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St Robert Southwell

Catholic Primary School

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Picture 1

Bethlehem (YR)


Welcome to Early Years

During your child’s first year at school we deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage by using the ‘Come and See’ Catholic topics as a starting point for our learning.  In addition to this we also consider individual children’s interests and needs, to provide a holistic curriculum that supports each child’s ongoing learning and development.


We offer a continuous play-based approach where children can explore their indoor and outdoor school environment whilst engaging in challenging activities, interesting topics and learning through first hand experiences.


Early Years Staff

Miss Clark – Class Teacher

Mrs Rafferty – Class PPA Teacher

Mrs Winton – Teaching Assistant



Topic: Celebrating

Monday 16th March - Friday 24th April. Together we will explore the lead up to Easter, through Lent and Holy Week.


An outline of the exploration and learning covered in our growing topic:

- What is 'growing' in terms of Spring (This will be linked to 'Understanding of the World' - we will spend lots of time outside, looking for signs of Spring - drawing them, taking photographs, painting them. We will also be doing some planting. And we'll spend some time looking at Jack and the Beanstalk.)

- Animals - baby/adult 

- We will give particular focus to Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

- How Jesus wants us to live and how we grow to be like Jesus. 


Questions the children may be asked include:

- How did Jesus die?

- Who was there with him?

- What did he say to them?

- How do you think he felt?

- Who was Jesus thinking about?

- What does the story tell you about Jesus?

- What does the story tell you about Mary?

- What does the story tell you about John?

- What is the Priest wearing?

- What did the Priest say at the beginning of Mass?

- What is the Priest giving out?

- Who helped Jesus to grow in love?

- How did Jesus learn to grow in love?

- What do we call this special time?

- When does Lent start?

- What do we try to do during Lent?


Key vocabulary will include: Grow, spring, different, Lent, Good Friday, cross and Easter Sunday.



Helping to enrich our topic and classroom

It is always great to have items or visitors that support our topic, so if anyone has any experience or items that me help us, we would love to hear about or borrow them. If any parents or relatives would like to become a class reader, either as a one-off or a regular reader, please let myself or the class reps know. 



PE lessons are on a Thursday with Mrs Rafferty - please make sure long hair is tied back and earrings are taken out or taped (PE kits will be sent home at the end of each half term). Please make sure your child brings their water to school each Monday, and their reading books and records daily for use within school. Any items coming into school should be clearly named, this supports your child to be independent in recognising and finding their own items and helps us when items are misplaced/lost. 






Please read with your children daily, using their school book to support their early reading skills using their phonic knowledge as well as other fiction and non-fiction to engage their imagination and develop vocabulary. 


Tips when reading with your child;

  1. Discuss the illustrations. What do they think is going on? Why?
  2. Predict what may happen? What would be good/bad etc.
  3. Make up alternative endings.
  4. Discuss what your child’s likes/dislikes are about the text.
  5. What did we learn from the story? Was there a moral, did it give them any information? Was it factual or a fiction story?
  6. Can you change your voice for all the characters?
  7. Be guided by your child’s interests- Read your own stories as well as school books.
  8. Become an explorer- Read fact, fiction, rhymes, poems, picture books.
  9. Ask questions about the story.
  10. Discuss the sequence of events. Can you recall the events?
  11. Most important keep it short, enjoyable and fun. 



In the Autumn term, we learnt the Song of Sounds song and have continued to use this daily. Please continue to help your child with their phonics using the song of sound sound mat. Keep practicing blending and segmenting the sounds in words through the reading of words, these words can be in books, street signs, shops, newspapers, etc. The letter formation books we sent home with the initial sounds, will help you child to link their reading of phonic sounds to their writing, we have noticed a big difference. We have begun to learn about tricky words which do not follow the usual phonetic sounds, we have to 'stop and think'. Your child may refer to these words as; red words, tricky words, dangerous words or spiky words. These words include I, the, go and no. 



In the Spring Term, we will continue to build upon and consolidate our 1-10 number knowledge. We will begin to work through the teen numbers up to 20. Currently, we are using the part-whole method to support the children's addition skills. Please support your child to continue to recognise numbers up to 20, this can be done whilst walking home from school, popping to the shop, looking in books etc. We have explored 2D and 3D shapes; learning their names, how to recognise them, and how to describe them. Next up we will be looking at size; encouraging the children to use language such as big, small, taller, larger, tiny. 



Many thanks for your continued support,

Miss Clark 

Class teacher