Welcome to St. Francis class.

Our teacher is Miss Walley and our learning support assistants are Mrs Herbert and Mrs Searle.



We are excited for your children to start their school journey with us at St. Patricks and understand that as parents you will be keen to know what learning is taking place in the classroom.


Please take time to look at our 'Yearly Overview' below to see the topics and books we will be looking at across the year. Each term a more detailed overview will be added to let you know what skills from the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum we will be working on with your children.


The children will receive their first book to bring home on the week beginning 11th September for them to share with yourselves. The St. Francis team have stuck a note into their first page explaining how we encourage children to read 4 times a week at home and 'High Flying Readers' recognition. We would like to thank you in advance for supporting us in enabling your children to become successful readers.


St. Francis Class 'Yearly Overview 2017-2018'


Term 1 Overview




We have had a fantastic first term in Francis class, settling brilliantly into our new class and adapting well to the school routines. We have made new friends, engaged in new learning and acquired lots of new skills.


Communication & Language & Literacy

This term we have been exploring different sounds; how we pronounce these, what they look like and having a go at writing them. We have sorted different objects and pictures according to the sound they start with and have become excellent at hearing the initial sound in words. This has enabled some of us to start writing short CVC words and being brave enough to use our sounds to help us write letters and labels. Wow! This is something we will continue to develop in Term 2.

We have also been creating our own story maps and books by drawing our characters, setting and events and then telling these to an adult, using lots of new story language!

Please continue to encourage your children to write at home whether this is shopping lists, labels, birthday cards, letters - every little helps! 


Religious Education 

In R.E. we have been looking at 'Creation' and exploring all the fantastic things God has created in our world and how we show our thanks to him. We have been on an autumnal walk to explore the changes happening to the trees and finding small creatures God created that live within our school grounds. We made a collage of people using these natural resources. With the help from Mummy's and Daddy's we visited St. Patricks church and talked about how we can pray and learn stories about God at the church. We sang one of our Nativity songs to worship him. Francis class have become brilliant at joining in with our school prayers - well done!

Our topics in R.E. next term are 'Prayers, Feasts & Saints' and 'Advent'.



In Maths we have been focussing on counting and recognising our numerals to 10. We have counted birthday candles, played snap with playing cards, built towers, used counters, numbers lines and played samarai with the number mats. Our number recognition has really improved and prepared us well for moving onto addition and subtraction in Term 2. We have also looked at quantities and amounts to help us decipher which group has more and less. Towards the end of the term we started to look at measuring length and comparing the lengths of sticks, leaves and various objects in the classroom. We used the multilink cubes to measure our feet, arms, hands and legs. Great mathematicians St Francis class!




We have covered 'SuperHeros' as part of our Topic this term and looked at what makes us special. We made and decorated our own superhero masks which we wore and role-played with. We explored the different senses we have by playing instruments, tasting different foods, smelling different scents and touching a variety of materials. To help us to remain SUPER STRONG we looked at what healthy foods we can eat and made our own healthy wraps, safely spreading, chopping and grating using kitchen tools.


In addition to the above we have been learning how to role-play and work collaboratively with our friends. We have taken each others orders at 'St Francis Restaurant', served each other at 'Supermarket Francis' and taken a flight in our class rocket to see the stars and planets. Together we have built towers and car ramps, supporting each other and sharing our ideas. We have also modelled skills to our friends when we have seen they are struggling. Let's keep this up in Term 2!

**Please see below at our Term 2 Overview to see what learning we will be covering so you can support your children to practise these skills at home. Thank you!


>> Term 2 Overview


Term 2 has been a very exciting term for us in the run up to Christmas. Our learning has really stepped up and having learnt a lot of new sounds the children have been keen to write at every opportunity. As our confidence has increased in our new setting lots of our learners have come out of their shells and this has increased carpet participation and the talk within the classroom. 


Communication & Language & Literacy

This term we have been been widening our exposure to new sounds and how to read and write these. We have been working on our blending skills to help us read CVC words and have been challenging ourselves to segment words into sounds to help us label, create stories and build sentences. Over the term we have looked at the story of 'Stickman' and we were lucky enough for him to visit our class. We wrote our own stories with colourful illustrations and exciting ideas about where Stickman might have visited on his journey to us. As the weather has changed we have learnt about Arctic animals and practised our cutting skills to pack a suitcase of clothes that would be appropriate for a freezing climate, using our sounds and segmenting skills we labelled these to display on our WOW wall. Towards the end of term we had a visit from a special elf who got up to mischief whilst we were away from school. We wrote sentences about his shenanigans and he shared with Santa how hard we had been trying at school, Miss Walley thinks we will all have made it to the 'NICE' list. 


**Please continue to run through the GREEN & RED words sent home to help your children practise their blending skills and increase their exposure to 'tricky' words. We will be labelling and building this into phrases/sentences in Term 3 so keep up all that lovely writing and spelling practise, we really appreciate it! :) 


Religious Education 

In R.E. this term we have covered 2 topics; 'Prayers, Saints & Feasts' and 'Advent'. We have looked at 'People who Help Us' and how we show love to one another. Looking at the Bible stories 'The Wedding at Cana' and 'Jesus and the Fisherman' we have learnt about Jesus' life and the friends and family he had around him. We acted out this story and discussed how special Jesus is to be able to perform miracles. After making beautiful fish of all colours & designs we talked about what we can do to follow Jesus and the children discussed how kindness and prayer are important in being followers of God. As part of our preparation in Advent we discussed how we get ready for birthdays and the children had a go at wrapping presents, creating cards, blowing balloons and decorating cakes. We talked about how God asks us to prepare for his Son's birthday through prayer. Francis class have begun to contribute ideas for prayer and how to give thanks in our Collective Worship. As a class we have performed an excellent Nativity to our families and friends and have retold the Christmas story using pictures & props!

**Our topic in R.E. next term is 'Revelation'.



In Maths this term we have moved onto the concepts of addition and subtraction and being able to complete these processes using physical resources that we can move. The children picked these up well and incorporated this into their play with playdoh, cars and in the home corner. We have also spent time this term recapping the name of 2D shapes and discussing the properties of some of these shapes including counting the number of corners and sides. We made various shapes using lollipop sticks and then had to count their sides to find out the shape we had made. In our role-play we looked at different coins and their properties (size, colour, illustrations) to help us identify the value of the different coins. We spent time in class sorting them according to these different features and then tried to find the coins needed to pay for different treats at our 'Sweet Shop'. 

**In Term 3 we will continue to build on addition and subtraction and recognising these symbols within number sentences. Please try and incorporate these 2 essential mathematical concepts into your play at home, for example counting the smarties on 2 cakes (2 + 4 = 6) or how many ducks are left in the bath as you tidy these away (7 - 2 = 5)



Other Learning

In Term 2 we have covered a number of topics and have enjoyed widening our knowledge and experimenting to learn new things in our indoor and outdoor areas. We have explored mixing primary colours to see what combinations make our secondary colours. As part of our 'People who Help Us' topic we have role-played as police officers, fire fighters, doctors and parents. Some of the children have also role-played as a teacher reenacting our RWI lessons - a very amusing lesson for the observing classroom adults. We looked at the Artic and Antartica and the animals who live here, which extended onto us thinking about animals an their habitats. Our imaginations continue to build as we create structures and models in our Art Area and we have extended this to den building in our outside area, designing and creating our own houses! Miss Walley, Mrs Searle and Mrs Herbert were tempted to move in some of them were so impressive. :)



>>PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR TERM 3 OVERVIEW - This will help you in supporting your children with their learning over the next 6 weeks! :) 




 In Term 4 we have really shown what amazing learners we are and how far we have come since the beginning of the year. We have learnt the majority of our Set 2 sounds and have become fantastic at spotting these special friends in words and using them when we segment to spell. Our themes this term have been ‘Minibeasts’ and ‘Dinosaurs’ and our vocabulary has widened as we have learnt about the names of different species. We continue to grow in confidence and started our term looking at the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ in the form of our Mr. Men characters (slips will come home explaining these in further detail) discussing how we can approach our learning in different ways so that we maximise our opportunities to expand our knowledge and skills in the classroom.


Communication & Language & Literacy

We have continued to expand our amount of Read Write Inc. sounds and have been focussing on learning those new ‘special friends’ that sit together to make a sound. You can find these Set 2 sounds on the back of the laminated sound cards we sent home earlier in the year. Francis class have worked on being able to read these in words and also use them within their spelling. Miss Walley, Mrs Herbert and Mrs Searle have been super impressed at the children’s effort with our focus on ‘Holding a Sentence’ this term. They have practised orally repeating their sentences over and over before recording them on paper and the children wrote some fantastic sentences from our story ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’. We learnt the story using ‘Talk for Writing’ actions and the children performed the story beautifully within their class assembly. In addition, we have written some great facts about minibeasts thinking about their different features and where they live. The children also loved cracking open our Easter eggs and writing captions for the different pictures they found inside, as well as creating their own maps to find dinosaurs and writing instructions about how to find them!!


Religious Education

In R.E this term we have looked at ‘Lent’ & ‘Holy Week’. We explored how the colour purple is very important in Lent as it represents our preparation for Easter. We learnt the story of Jesus being in the desert and practised doing actions for 40 seconds to think about how tiring 40 days would be! Some children in Francis class acted out the story using our playmobil small world play, recalling some of the things that Satan tried to tempt Jesus with. As we explored what preparation meant the children discussed how we prepare for bed and we acted out the different small steps to get ready for bedtime. This enabled us to see how lots of small things can prepare us spiritually and we created some lent promises that we could try and fulfil in this special time. Over the term we completed lots of role-play to help us to experience some of the important parts leading up to Jesus death. The children acted out the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey and we created out own palm leaves to wave as we called out ‘Hosanna’. We also washed on another’s feet talking about how Jesus asked us to be kind to each other.

**Our topics next term will be Easter & Penetecost.





In Maths this term we have spent some time becoming confident with our teen numbers as our mathematical concepts start to include bigger numbers. We represented these in lots of different ways using cubes, numicon, beads and practised counting on from 10 to count the quantities. We have flashed through number cards and become professionals at recognising these numbers. Linking to our minibeast theme we have learnt how to order different bugs according to their length; using the language shortest, tallest and longest. We experimented making worms, slugs and centipedes using playdoh and string and then ordered these by lining them up at the bottom! Using our large ladybird laminates we also challenged ourselves and began to learn about doubling and how we have 2 quantities that are the same. The children drew dots on the ladybirds ensuring they were the same amount and then counted to find the total, writing the associate number sentences. Wow! As we work towards our end of year ‘Early Learning Goals’ we have started to learn how to count on using objects and our fingers when adding. The children picked this up really quickly and approached this new learning with such a fantastic enthusiasm.

**Please try and encourage your children to count on and back with their fingers when completing simple maths in the house. As we begin to focus on halving and sharing next term allow them to get involved when sharing treats, fruit etc. at home using this vocabulary so the children have pre-exposure.



Other learning

We have covered lots of animals in our topics this term. We looked at the names of different animals and their young and matched these up, looking at similarities and differences. Following this we explored the life cycles of butterflies and frogs and how these differ to other animals; the large amount of changes that the animals encounter during their lives. We have been lucky enough to have our own caterpillars in the classroom and have watched them grow fatter and fatter and as they turn into cocoons over Easter we look forward to being able to release them as butterflies after returning from the Easter break. As a class we went on a minibeast hunt and found lots of creepy crawlies hiding in the wooded areas, capturing some of these in our magnifying dishes – the children were sooooooooo brave! We have sang lots of songs to learn about dinosaurs and their complicated names and have discussed our favourites, as we read lots of dinosaur books. The children played in our tuff spots coming up with some very imaginative tales about what would happen if the dinosaurs returned.






**PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR TERM 5 OVERVIEW. This will break down the different learning children will be covering within our next school term.



Maths Games 

Please visit the espresso website and use the Foundation Stage maths area for useful games.


Please see the Phonics link (in the Useful Info box) for Mr.Thorne's phonics. There are lots of really useful short video clips showing the correct pronunciation of all the phonemes/sounds in English.