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Welcome back and this half term our Christian Value is HONESTY.


We are a happy, family school with strong Christian values. We all work together to promote a love of learning where children succeed and reach their full potential. We hope you enjoy your visit !

Autumn 2016

Autumn Term 2016

Who am I?

This will be our first topic this year.

Within this theme we will be looking at who we are, our likes and dislikes, our families, our senses, parts of the body, favourite food, portraits, birthdays and where we live.

We also like to take into consideration the children’s interests; therefore we will also cover a number of mini topics. Keep an eye on the 'This week!' page for more information. For instance in week 2 we will be celebrating Roald Dahl and his stories.

Reception (Class 1) is part of the Early Years Foundation Stage. We work from the same framework as your child’s nursery or preschool. If you are unsure about this or would like information about the end of year expectations then please take a look at the ‘Supporting your child in class 1’ page.

Every day we will be learning a new sound. At Hanley Swan we follow the ‘Read, Write, Inc’ scheme (Please see the ‘Read, Write, Inc information page). It is multi-sensory, active and particularly suitable for young children. It also means that the children are being taught the main 42 sounds of English, not just the alphabet sounds. With this knowledge they are taken through stages of blending sounds to form words and then to reading. At the same time they are taught to write by identifying the sound and relating the letter to those sounds. To help you understand a little bit more about phonics I will send home an information booklet for you to read. It will be in your child’s ‘Reading folder’ along with some other games to play.

Reinforcement of the sounds is very important and over the next few weeks I will be sending the new sound home each day that we have been learning in class. Please spend a few minutes each evening going over the sounds with your child and helping them to learn them. You can read them, spot them around the house, spot them in magazines & newspapers and find them in reading/story books. Most important of all is to have fun with them.

At Hanley Swan primary school we use the cursive script for writing. The children are taught cursive handwriting right from the start in class 1. This is important for parents to know in case they are writing outside of school. All letters start and finish on the line, if you are unsure about the letters there is a printable alphabet on the ‘Supporting your child in class 1’ page.

Activities in maths will involve sorting, matching, counting and shape/pattern work. Initially these will be largely practical and include the playing of number games and singing and acting out number songs and rhymes, followed by the undertaking of simple recording activities.


We will be starting Forest School in a couple of weeks. The children will need wellies (and these are best kept in school). It will take place on a Friday afternoon and I will let you know on the ‘This week’ page when it is due to start.


PE will start in the second week and will be on a Monday and/or a Wednesday. Again there will be more details to follow on the ‘This Week’ page.

Things to bring to school
PE Kit – Stays in school and sent home to wash if dirty and/or at the end of each half term.
Wellington boots – Stay in school.
Water bottle with water in.
Lunch box – if needed.
When cold and wet – coat and if needed cold weather clothes.
When hot – hat and sun cream
In Book bag – everyday:
Reading Folder with reading book and Home Liaison book.
Letters and sounds (phonics) folder.

In Book bag – Thursday or Friday:
    Library book in library folder.
My classroom door is always open (apart from weekends) for a chat and a chance to answer any questions/queries you have.

Do not forget – NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS!


The countdown to Christmas
After a very exciting end to last week with a mini topic on Egypt we will be continuing to learn about the pyramids and Pharaohs.


It is the start of ‘advent’ and we will be celebrating this is class 1 this week. We will continuing to look at the story behind this special time of year, we will be creating a ‘Santa’s workshop’ in class, learning some Christmas songs and enjoying all things Christmassy.
In literacy we will be revising all the sounds that we have covered so far, learning to write some of the letters in the ‘Curly Caterpillar’ family (c,a,d,f,g & q) and  introducing Christmas card writing in the workshop.
In maths we will be using an Advent calendar to read, write and order numbers up to and beyond 10.  We will also be reinforcing childrenʼs knowledge of spoken numbers and matching written numerals up to 10. They will order numbers, count on and back from a given number and write numerals 1 to 10. Finally we will be working out one more and one less than a given number and understanding the corresponding addition and subtraction number sentences.


Do not forget the Christmas fayre on Friday after school. You will also get a letter this week about the carol service on the 15thDecember. Class 1 will be doing the tableau during the service, therefore if your child is unable to make this event please let me know ASAP.


Jungle Book & Toys
This week we will be continuing with our theme of toys and exploring the story of the Jungle Book. We will be looking at the variety of toys in the classroom and paying particular attention to the electronic toys. The children will get the chance to play with a programmable toy this week – the Bee Bot.

On Tuesday we are going on the whole school trip to Worcester to see The Jungle Book and following that we will take part in a variety of Jungle Book activities.
In literacy we will continue to revise tricky sounds and learn new sounds – ‘ir’, ‘ou’, ‘oy’ and ‘air’.  We will be developing our name writing and looking at the formation of some more letters.
In maths we will be looking at 2d and 3d shapes, counting to 100 and writing numbers 1 – 10.
Do not forget the school disco on Friday. All the money raised will go to the PFA. It is very important that parents support all the events organised by the PFA as the money raised supports your child’s experience at our school.  If it was not for the PFA subsidising trips they would all cost in excess of £20!


It is also Children in Need on Friday. Wear one thing spotty and bring some loose change so that the children can play The Spotacular Spot Drop!


Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the parent consultations last week! It was a delight to talk to you about your amazing children and please do not forget to come and ask if there is anything else you would like to know. 




Toys R us continued…


This week we will be continuing the work from last week as we went on a slight tangent last week with  Diwali and the history behind Bonfire Night.


In literacy we will be learning ‘oo’, ‘ar’, ‘or’ and ‘air’.


In maths this week the children will be chanting numbers to 20 and beginning to chant numbers to 100. They will count ten items into a set, and will begin to count up to 20 items into a set. They will count accurately using one-to-one correspondence and understand conservation of number. They will learn to write numbers to 10 and begin to compare and order numbers to 10.


On Wednesday we will be visiting Hanley High school for our very special trip – see letter for more details.



Toys R us

I hope you all had a lovely half term? This week we will be starting a new mini topic on ‘toys’. The children will be able to tell us all about their favourite toys and do a variety of activities based on their favourite toy.
In literacy we will be learning the sounds ‘ay’, ‘ee’, ‘igh’ and ‘ow’ and revising some of the sounds that the children are still finding tricky. I am pleased to report that all children have made good progress in their sound acquisition and some of the class now know all of the alphabet sounds. These children have started the Read, Write Inc. scheme. For more information on this please see the Read, Write, Inc. page.
This week in maths the children are exploring length and height, using the language associated with comparing and measuring. We will also begin to explore capacity using the terminology ʻemptyʼ, ʻhalf fullʻ and ʻfullʼ.


Do not forget to sign up for parents evening if you have not already done so.



Our 5 super powers
This week we will be looking a little deeper at who we are and what we can do. We will be exploring our 5 senses, how our body is made up and what we can do to develop our super powers.
In literacy we will be continuing to blend CVC words, developing our handwriting (particularly our names) and learning ‘q/qu’, ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘th’, ‘ng & ‘nk’.


This week in maths it is all about introducing children to addition and subtraction. Children start the week by practising subitising numbers up to 6 using fingers and dots on a dice. They move on to find number pairs to 5 and then to 6, and are shown the addition number sentence that goes with each pair. They are introduced to simple subtractions using their number pairs, and learn to recognise that adding and subtracting are inverse operations.


If you are interested in finding out a little more about our literacy scheme and how best to support your child with reading at home, do not forget the meeting on Tuesday – 2:45pm.



Autumn Fun
Autumn is finally here and this week we will be celebrating this. We will be going on an ‘autumn adventure’ finding evidence for the new season and using the things we find for art and design activities.
In literacy we will be learning v, y, w, z & x. We will continue to blend blend blend and will continue to look at some of the ‘long ladder letters’ (l, i, t, u & y) when handwriting. These letters all have the same pattern. Start on the line, up and down!

On Tuesday we will be having a very special literacy lesson. We will be watching a live ‘story telling’ broadcast from ‘Old Jack’s Boat’ (Cbeebies). The children will learn how to form good stories with a little help from characters they might just know!!

In maths this week the children are learning about the days of the week, reciting the names and beginning to order them. They will use language related to time such as ʻyesterdayʼ, ʻtodayʼ, ʻtomorrowʼ, ʻmorningʼ, ʻafternoonʼ, ʻeveningʼ and ʻnightʼ. They will see oʼclock times in the context of their daily routine. Children will also be introduced to the language of position, playing hide and seek with a teddy bear using key vocabulary such as ʻinʼ, ʻonʼ, ʻoverʼ, ʻunderʼ, ʻbesideʼ, ʻleftʻ and ʻrightʼ.
Please do not forget that Forest School is now a weekly event (usually a Friday afternoon) and the children do need wellington boots. It is helpful if they can keep them in school all of the time just in case they want to go out and play in the rain or snow!!
I hope you are enjoying the reading books and making the most of them each evening. On Tuesday the 18th October at 2:45pm I will be holding a short reading support session for parents. At the session I will run through a variety of ways to use the reading books and how you can support your child with literacy at home. Please feel free to come along if you are interested.


Harvest continued…


This week we will be finishing our Harvest topic. We will be unpicking why we celebrated Harvest and talking about other types of Harvest. We will also be finishing off the story of the Little Red Hen and hopefully cooking some bread!!


In literacy we will be learning the letter sounds, e, l, h, r & j. We will also be starting to form letters accurately by looking at letter families. This week we will be looking at the ‘Long Ladder Letters’ (l, i, t, u & j). Please remember we do cursive script writing.


In maths it is another week about counting; chanting numbers in order up to 20, counting 10 items into a set, counting up to 10 items taken from a larger set, matching how many to a numeral and matching written and spoken numerals. Children will learn to count accurately using one-to-one correspondence and come to understand conservation of number. They will subitise numbers to 6 and count along a 1−10 number track.


It is also an exciting week as we will have a German exchange student with us. Her name is Miss Kaiser and hopefully we will be able to learn a little about Germany and have a go at speaking some German.


Harvest and the Little Red Hen

This week we will be learning all about harvest time and using the story of the Little Red Hen to help us. We will be learning a song for our Harvest Festival (Friday morning – don’t forget) and exploring a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Over the next few weeks we will be talking about healthy eating and the importance of fruit and veg. 
In literacy we will be learning the letter sounds ‘c’, ‘k’, ‘u’, ‘b’ and ‘f’. We have started to demonstrate blending simple words and this week we will crank it up a notch. The children will be having a go at blending CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words and spotting a few high frequency words like ‘I’, ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
We will also start handwriting this week. We will be using ‘Write dance’ (mark making to music) and looking closely at letter formation. Please remember we use ‘cursive’ letters straight away.


This weekʼs maths learning is all about patterns. Children will copy, continue, describe and create patterns using colours, shapes, objects, sounds and actions. We will also continue with numbers to 10 and 20. 




Look at me!
This week will be all about ‘showing off’. Every day the children will have the chance to show off their skills to the rest of the class. These skills could be anything from things they already know, to newly acquired skills. Hopefully this will develop their self-confidence, promote a positive attitude to learning and give everyone a chance to see who they are sharing their class with. We will be exploring what we are all very good at and some of the things we are not so good at.
In Read, Write Inc we will be learning the sounds i, n, p, g and o. We will also be teaching how to blend letters, with a little help from our friends the ‘Alphablocks’.

On Thursday afternoon (because I am out on Friday) we will start Forest School. Please make sure that your child has a pair of wellington boots in school that day.

Maths this week is all about counting − chanting numbers in order up to 10 and then 20, counting items into a set, counting items taken from a larger set, matching a number of items to a numeral, matching written and spoken numerals and being able to count accurately using one-to-one correspondence. Children should also understand conservation of number and be able to count along a number track 1−6.

If your child has access to digital media and you would like to have a look at some maths ‘activities’ together then we will be using ‘The Numtums’ to support their learning. Please take a look!



If you have a ‘tablet’ of any description and you have not already done so, then please download the Cbeebies apps. There is a Cbeebies play/ play island app and a Cbeebies story app. They are both excellent and meet the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. Have fun!



First reading book!

The children will be bringing their first reading book home today! They are very very excited! Please make this time together very special, it will help you in the long run.

. You only need to share the book for a few minutes each night and hopefully this will help your child develop a positive routine for reading.

You do not have to have a new book every night, so if your child enjoys the book keep it a little longer. If you would like a new one then please write ‘finished’ in the comments box and we will do our best to change it straight away.

In the coming weeks I will hold a brief meeting about reading at home to help anyone who is unsure. Keep your eye out for the date.


Where are we?
What a great first week last week was!! Your children were brilliant! They have all settled in wonderfully and it already feels as if they have been part of our school family for ever! Please do not forget that they are still very young and may still become upset occasionally. If this is the case make sure you give them loads of extra cuddles and words of comfort and do not worry – they will ALWAYS been absolutely fine once they are with us in school.
Now the children have settled into school we will start adding in some of the other activities that we do in class. On Monday and Wednesday next week we will be doing PE. Please make sure that their uniform is named and that they can, at least, have a go at dressing and undressing themselves. Please do not let your child be the scarecrow of the class!!
We will be exploring the school in more detail this week. The children will get to visit all the classrooms and meet all the staff. We will be looking at the classroom and where everything goes and working on our ‘tidying up’ skills!
We will start to learn our letters this week. We will be covering m, a, s, d & t and using them to read some simple CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words like sat, mat and mad.  Alongside a ‘Write dance’ session (pre writing movement activities) we will begin to attempt to write these letters and the letters in our name. Please remember that we use cursive handwriting at Hanley Swan.
In maths we will be counting to 10 and above with correct 1 to 1 correspondence and counting out loud to 10/20 and back.
Every day last week I sat in with the children whilst they ate their lunch. They were great and they all ate most, if not all, of it every day. I will continue to support them in the lunch hall and let individual parents know if there are any issues.
Please do not forget the ‘parents meeting’ on Tuesday at 2:45pm - come to the school office and Mrs Harrison will direct you from there.


Home liaison book

The ‘Home liaison book’ is for communication between home and school. It can be used in any way that is useful for individual parents. Here is a rough guide to get you started:

When your child brings home a new book we will write the title in the ‘Title’ box. This helps us keep a record of what your child has read (they choose their own books from the appropriate level). If your child reads other books with you at home (please please please make sure you do!!) you are more than welcome to write them in as well, but that is up to you.

The ‘Pages read and comments’ box is for you to note down how far you have got in a book if you have not read it all. You can also add information about things you have noticed whilst sharing the book, e.g. likes, dislikes (this is important so that we can try to encourage them not to pick a similar book again), letters/words they have struggled with, etc.

In the ‘spellings’ box I will write words (later on in the year) that they are finding tricky, you can then look at them at home.

The ‘Home/school message’ box is for you to write any important information in. Changes to who is picking your child up, questions if you do not have time to talk to me in the morning/evening. Any other information about your child that you think will be important to us in school. I will also use this box to write information in if I do not get a chance to speak to you.

The blank box can be used for anything you like…doodle, draw, scribble, colour…

If you have limited time in the evening I would rather you spend an extra 2 minutes cuddling, reading or talking to your child than filling the book in. I hope this helps.


The children have their first library book in their bags today. Please enjoy it over the next few days. The library book and folder does not need to be in the book bag every day, it only needs to be in the book bag on a Thursday or a Friday. We will then return them to the library on Friday and choose a new one. 

Who are we?

This week we will be settling the children into school life with a strong focus on personal, social and emotional development. There will be a large amount of choice in the activities they do, covering all aspects of the curriculum.
We will also be learning about each other – our names, likes and dislikes, favourite things and the school routine.
On Friday the children will be bringing their first library book home. Please make a big thing about the book and their choice and then enjoy it over the following week. These simple things will make a big difference to their enjoyment and eagerness for reading.

Please remember that your child is still very young and starting school is a very emotional time. If they are feeling uneasy then I am more than happy for them to bring in a small comfort toy to help them settle.