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September - December 2019

Welcome Back

Welcome to our Autumn Newsletter. We hope you have had a fantastic summer holiday. I’ts been amazing to see our children settling in so well and making new friendships. This term our themes will be:

Nursery – Ourselves 
Reception - Dinosaurs/Light & Dark


Children will be talking about their family members, feelings and emotions and will learn to name the main body parts.

They will take part in numerous art activites including creating self-portraits using paper plates, collage resources & yarn.

Children will familiarize themselves with Nursery rules and will learn to follow them. They will continue to make new friendships and interact with the adults.

In mathematical development they will be exploring shapes and numbers from within 5.

Pupils will be enagaged in various communication and language development activites to expand their vocabulary and speaking skills.

There will be opportunities to practise fine and gross motor skills through a range of tasks such as cutting, drawing, colouring, building and physical activities.

In PSED development children will be encouraged to demonstrate their skills of sharing, turn-taking and playing co-operatively alongside their peers. 

In reception our theme is Dinosaurs. We will be exploring a range of stories about dinosaurs this half term. Children will learn about  types of dinosaurs and their habitat.

We will begin to teach Phonics so please practise new sounds with your child on a daily basis.

Our focus will also be name writing and letter formation.

Children will develop their fine motor skills through cutting, drawing, tracing and pencil control.

In PSED children will learn to follow class rules as well as model positive beahviour. Children will continue to build new friendships and respond to the teaching staff in class.

There will be many art activities avalaible to develop children’s imagination such as collaging, colour exploration and junk modelling.

Children will be introduced to our reading system and will bring their first reading book home to practise their sounds. More information on the reading/phonics scheme will be available during our phonics workshop. 

Important dates this half term:

  • Parents’ /Carers’ consultation evening – Thursday 17th October 2019 – Reception 
  • Phonics Workshop for parents – 13th  September 2019
  • Maths workshop for EYFS parents – Thursday 19th September 2019 - Morning
  • The Dinosaur Project (open afternoon for YR parents) – 18th October 2019 
  • Book Fair – 8th – 13th November 2019
  • Nursery Parents’ Conferences  - 25th – 29th November 2019

Key Messages from the Teachers

  • Please ensure your child has spare clothes left in a bag.
  • Continue to toilet train your child if necesseray.
  • Recognising their name on a peg.
  • Please send in family photographs as we will be using them to talk about our family members.
Please collect and send in leaves, twigs, stones and bark – we will be making a story setting for our focus book ‘Owl Babies’ 
  • Support your child with writing their name and putting on/ taking off their coat.
  • Please remember that the children will need their PE kit to be kept in school and a book bag for school communication, resources and homework. Ensure all PE clothes/trainers are labelled.
  • We advise sending in a water bottle so that your child stays hydrated throughout the day.
  • Please make sure you check your child’s book bag daily for any correspondence or homework.
  • We would like to remind you that no food is allowed to be sent to school.
  • Please fill in the slip for the Phonics workshop and return to your child’s class teacher if you would like to participate. 

7 Areas of Learning in EYFS

In EYFS, we focus children’s learning on 7 keys areas; Communication and Language, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World (UW), Physical Development (PD), Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) and Expressive Arts and Design (EAD). Every half term, children develop their skills in these areas through a topic. This half term, our topic is Growing

Communication & Language

In C&L, children will develop their listening and speaking skills through listening to and talking about traditional tales.  Children will also listen to and sing songs to develop their vocabulary. We will continue to help your child extend their vocabulary, through careful questions, role play and help them develop their concentration skills, so that they can listen attentively and respond to question.

Useful EYFS Links

Parent Guide
Parent Guide 2
Development Matters


In Literacy, children will continue to develop their reading and writing skills. They will learn to read, say and write initial and final sounds. Children will continue to read and write CVC words. Some children will progress to writing sentences with capital letters, full stops and finger spaces. Some children will begin to write series of sentences based on a weekly text This will be completed in RWI and English lessons. Children will read the following books as part of their English lessons; – The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Teeny Weeny Tadpole, Monkey Puzzle and Paper Dolls.

Phonics and Reading Websites

Reading at Home 1

Reading at Home 2


In Maths, children will continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of number. They will learn to recognise numerals out of context. They will learn the names of 3D solids (cube, cuboid, cone, sphere, cylinder, prism) and match them to everyday objects. Children will learn how to double, share and sequence events. Children will also deepen their understanding of addition and subtraction.

Useful Websites

Maths Through Play

Understanding the World

In UW, children will cover a variety of areas. They will discuss past and present events, and begin to show an understanding the future. They will look at the life cycle of a butterfly and frog, they will closely observe how plants grow and will be growing their own. Children will also learn more about online safety and will begin to log in to computers and complete a programme.

Physical Development

In PD, children will continue to develop both their gross motor skills and their fine motor skills. They will develop their manipulation skills through cutting, sticking, using scissors safely and with control, painting, drawing and tracing through activities linked other curriculum areas (making 3D models, vehicles, daffodils, puppets and Easter and Mothers day crafts). Children will also learn how to get undressed and dressed for PE more independently, particularly buttons and shirts. They will also develop their balance and movement skills, including jumping and landing, making shapes, travelling with control, changing direction and throwing and catching.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children will continue to develop their social skills through carrying out collaborative tasks and play activities. They will be given opportunities to solve problems without aggression. Children will also begin to listen to other children, and take their ideas into account when planning activities. They will also begin to talk more about their preferences and preferred activities.

Expressive Arts and Design

In EAD, children will develop their skills in singing, playing instruments and dance through a wide selection of songs, rhymes and chants. Children will learn the tadpole song and the hungry caterpillar song along with some nursery rhymes. They will take part in the craft activities mentioned above.

Child-Initiated Learning Through Play

In Reception, much of children’s learning comes through child-initiated play. Children are provided with a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, from which they choose activities they wish to partake in. Furthermore, children are given a challenge each week Please ask your child’s teacher what the challenge is, so that you can help them achieve it.


In Reception, children are given 1 piece of homework each Friday, which supports either their Maths or English learning. Please ensure this is completed and returned by the following Wednesday.

Children are also given a reading book and diary which is changed each week. We read the books on different days, so please ensure your child brings in their book every day.

Children are also given a set of common words to learn. We check children’s knowledge of these each week. Please sit with your child regularly to help them learn their words.

How to Help

Please support your child by reading their school reading book with them daily for 10 minutes and leave a comment and a signature in their reading diary. Your child will also be given a card with termly challenges. We strongly encourage you to assist your child with completing these as this is a great way to consolidate and extend their learning. You will find the card in your child’s Homework book. 

The Shaftesbury Pledge

This is our school, where we learn and grow together,

May we respect everybody, today and forever.

We are a family at Shaftesbury - growing and learning as one,

May we be caring, friendly, polite and have fun.

The 5 Cs

  • Care
  • Courtesy
  • Consideration
  • Co-operation
  • Commitment

Please help children learn their school pledge and the 5 Cs.

Online Safety

Do you know what your child is doing online?

  • Check the internet history to see what your child has been doing.
  • Let children use devices in a communal room (living room or kitchen) so that you can monitor what they are doing.
  • Have conversations with your child about what they are doing online. 
  • Ask them about the dangers they are aware of.
  • Ask them questions about what they should do if they have a problem or see something that upsets them

Visit the following website for more help and support


Child Protection – Reminder

The Lead Child Protection Officer at Shaftesbury is Ms. Hussain

The Deputy Child Protection Officer is Ms McDonnell

If you have any concerns about a child please contact the Safeguarding team on 0208 472 0761

Thank you.

Reception Teachers:

  • EYFS Lead: Ms. Kicman

Class Teachers:

  • Ms Godla (RG)
  • Ms Saiyed (RS)
  • Ms Mani (RM)