Maple Term 3 Newsletter – ‘Off We Go!’

Click here for a printable version of this newsletter

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome back and we hope you all had a lovely Christmas holiday.

Our topic is ‘Off We Go!’ where we will be learning about different types of transport and the journeys that they can take us on. We will also be looking at how transport such as cars, buses and planes have changed since they were first invented. Through this we will be exploring some non-fiction books and how we can find out information. We will also be looking at maps to see where different countries and cities are and how we might get there. We will learn a little bit about space and space explorations also!

Key Texts

Areas of Learning


Our focus in literacy this term is to secure our phonic knowledge to write sentences, instructions and stories through talk for writing. In reading, our phonics knowledge, high frequency and tricky words will develop further from our reading of key texts and sharing and discussing new stories together. We will continue to use the library and learn about non- fiction and information books.


In maths we will be becoming more familiar with naming and describing 2D and 3D shapes. We will be continuing to secure our number skills to 20 and then exploring addition and subtraction with games and activities. We will continue to develop our mathematical vocabulary about positions and directions.

Parent Readers and Learning Journeys

We would love to have different adults to come and read to the children every week. If you have the time, could you write down in your child’s homework book- a Tuesday afternoon which you can come and read a story to the class, or a small group of children. We would love readers from 2.55-3.15pm. It is also a chance to look through your child’s learning journey at school, so please feel free to pop in on any week.

As explained when the children began school, you are welcome to bring in any photos or contributions for the learning journey books. We have sent more ‘wow’ stars home for you to record any fantastic things they have been doing at home.

Bike and Scooter Week

During the second week of term (Monday 14th January), we would like to ask you to bring in a child’s scooter, trike or bike from home for the week. We will keep these outside our classroom and use them to practise our gross motor skills, make our own roads and bike tracks on the playground, make signs and inspire our learning from our own interests and ideas. Please bring them to the Playground on Monday morning and then collect them on Friday afternoon.

Home Learning

Thanks to constant practise, the children’s reading is developing well. Thank you to all of you who support this at home. It really does make a difference.

Reading Please read with your child regularly, even if it is just for a few minutes. Now that the children are using their sounds to blend new words, it is important that they begin to discuss each book and understand words such as ‘character’, ‘title’, ‘setting’, ‘beginning’, ‘middle’, ‘end’.
Letters & Sounds The weekly homework letter will continue to come home with the sounds that we have been learning. We have now moved on to learning ‘digraphs’ and ‘trigraphs’ (two or three letters to make one sound). Please keep looking through your phonics and tricky word books with your child. Little and often is best.

Super Home Challenges!

You might like to choose one of the following activities to try with your child at home. You record these in your home learning book and can bring these into school whenever they are finished to share with the class.

  • Go on a journey and take photos of how you got there and tell us about how long it took.
  • Make a model of a new vehicle and give it a name! Be as creative as you can!
  • Write a story about one of your vehicles at home.

Websites and Links

Quick Reminders

  • Please can you make sure your child brings in a water bottle and their book bags each day.
  • Can the children please always have a coat in school particularly as the British weather is unpredictable.
  • Our PE days are Monday and Friday but PE kits should be in all week.
  • Please can all children have a spare set of underwear and socks in their PE bag in case of any accidents. It is much more comforting for children to have their own change of clothes to put on if the need arises.
  • Library time- We are changing our library day to Tuesday, so if your child wishes to borrow a book, they must return it on a Tuesday before borrowing another one.

Transport Trips

We are planning a trip on a bus and along the old railway line and as part this terms learning. Letters with further information, will be sent out soon.


If you have any unusual vehicles such as an old bicycle, a tractor or a vintage car that you would be able to bring in and talk to us about, please let me know. Also if you have any models of unusual transport then we would love to see them.

Also we will be continuing our junk modelling skills, with large scale modelling to help us build inventions for space- so any LARGE boxes would be particularly useful and gratefully received.

Thank you for your continued support and please do not hesitate to come and see me if you have any questions of comments.

Mrs Sanders and Miss Bews

Learning Map

Maple Term 2 Newsletter – Noisy Nightlife!

Click here for a printable version of this newsletter

Dear Parents,

Welcome back, I hope you all had a lovely half term.

Our topic this term is ‘Noisy Nightlife’. We will be spending time learning about nocturnal animals and winter celebrations such as Bonfire Night, Remembrance and Christmas.

This week we will be learning about Diwali to develop our cultural awareness.

Our second week of school will be ‘Armistice week’, where we will reflect on the end of the First World War as a school and include some appropriate learning for the children at their level during the week.

As part of this topic, we will begin to look at ‘Light and Dark’, non-fiction books and will be writing letters, lists and invitations.

Some of the texts we will be looking at are:

Understanding of the World

  • Learning about nocturnal animals
  • Light and Dark
  • Different celebrations such as Diwali and Christmas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Understanding differences
  • Safety and rules in different situations
  • Working together

Expressive Art & Design

  • Diwali art
  • Christmas craft
  • Cards & Decorations

Communication and Language

  • Listening and following instructions
  • Thinking and talking about feelings
  • Understanding and sequencing stories and events

Physical Development

  • Fine motor skills – Holding pencils correctly, threading,
  • Spatial awareness when moving
  • Letter formations

Religious Education

  • What is a prayer?
  • What is assembly?
  • What is Christmas about?


  • Counting skills & recognising numbers
  • Exploring capacity and money
  • Using mathematical vocabulary
  • Understanding ‘more’ and ‘less’


  • Letters and sounds, phonics,
  • Writing captions, lists and letters and our weekly news.
  • Exploring non-fiction books

Home Learning

I would like to thank you all for your effort with last terms home learning tasks including reading with your children. The children have already made great progress with learning sounds and every read will help this to become more secure. The homework will continue as last term.

Reading Please read with your child regularly, even if it is just for 5 minutes.

It is really important that the children bring their book bags, yellow reading record and their reading book into school every day.

When reading with your child please acknowledge the fact that the book has been read by
signing and dating in the comments book, or you may like to add a positive or helpful comment in the reading diary. This might be that they have recognised this weeks phonics or tricky words, or that they have blended simple words. We will change their books when appropriate.

Letters & Sounds Please can you continue to look through your child’s phonics and tricky word booklet with them. We will continue to highlight any of the sounds your child has learned at school. Please practise writing the sounds, finding pictures of objects that begin with these sounds, drawing, and writing short words that you can think of.

Please feel free to bring in small, named objects that begin with these sounds too!
We also highlight tricky words, which you can help your child to learn by looking at them little
and often.

Key questions to ask your child at home:

  • Which animals come out at night?
  • Why does the world get dark?
  • Who works at night time?
  • What sounds can you hear at night time?

 Useful Websites

Friday Morning Learning Journey Sharing

Every other Friday morning, beginning on Friday 12th November, we will be opening our doors a little early for parents to come in and share their child’s learning journey with them. Please feel free to come in whenever you choose. There is no expectation for parents to come every fortnight as some weeks we have more to share than others but it would be lovely to see as many of you as possible over the coming weeks. We will be asking any visitors to add a small speech bubble to the learning journey to comment on a beautiful piece of work or an achievement that you are proud of. Please come to the office at 3pm and then you can come down to the classroom until the end of the day.

Quick Reminders

  • Please can you make sure your child brings in a water bottle and their book bags every day.
  • Can the children please always have a coat in school particularly as the British weather is unpredictable.
  • It is going to get wet and windy, but we will continue our learning outside. If you have waterproof and wellies spare to bring and leave at school, that would be great- please can you make sure they are named. If not- we’ve got spares.
  • Our PE days are Monday & Friday but PE kits should be in all week.

We hope you all have lovely second term supporting the children in their learning and can see how much they have learnt already. Please do not hesitate to come and speak to us if necessary.

Thank you for your support,

Mrs Sanders and Miss Bews

Outdoor Club

Whilst the Autumn sun was shining, we decided to play with the water outside. Lots of exploring different sized containers and how is the best way to transfer large volumes of water from one place to the other without getting too wet in the process!

We picked and ate some more raspberries and tomatoes, which are continuing to grow and had a go at trimming our willow tunnel. It now looks fantastically tidy. Well done outdoor club”


Term 1 Update

Just a quick note to say how brilliantly the children have started their year in Maple Class. They have been enthusiastic in their exploring and willing to have a go at all the new activities and adapted to the busy routines of school life superbly.

We have explored shapes and numbers, discussing sizes and counting as we play.

We have explored with our senses, using our fine motor and gross motor control to help us to learn and explore, inside and out.

I keep getting told how fantastic they are at playtime, lunchtime, assemblies by other adults around the school, so they should be proud and be congratulated by all! Welcome to St Mary’s Maple Class!

Mrs Sanders.

Maple Term 1 Newsletter – ‘Once Upon a Time’

Click here to download a printable copy of this newsletter

Dear Parents,

Firstly, we would like to say how impressed we have been with the children since they have started with us. They have all settled into school life amazingly!

Our topic for this first term is ‘Once Upon a Time’. We will be spending time exploring some familiar stories such as ‘The 3 little pigs’ and ‘Little Red Riding hood’. Alongside this, we will be working on number recognition and formation. We will also be developing our foundation understanding of letters and sounds.

Our key stories this term are ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and ‘Little Red Riding Hood’

Home Learning

We encourage children to continue their learning at home which will enhance their progress at school. There will be a meeting on Wednesday 19th September 2.45pm in the Hall, to discuss home learning, reading and phonics. We have sent home a picture book home for you to enjoy together, we will then send home phonic reading books following the meeting.

Phonics – If you are supporting you child with their phonics at home please visit  to ensure you are teaching the pronunciation of the sounds in the same way. There is also a link to the jolly phonic songs below.

As the year progresses and children’s understanding develops, home learning tasks will adapt and increase appropriately.


Please read with your child regularly.

At this stage it is really helpful to encourage the children to use the pictures to tell stories.

We change the children’s Home Reading books regularly. Their books and book bags will however be needed in school every day for 1:1 reading.

You may like to add a positive or helpful comment in the reading diary but please acknowledge the fact that the book has been read by signing and dating in the comments book.

More information about our reading strategies will be given at the meeting.

Letters & Sounds

Every week the children will bring home their phonics booklet with the highlighted sounds and tricky words they have been working on in the week.

In their homework book, the children can practice these sounds by writing them, finding words that start with them and cutting pictures out of catalogues.

It would be really useful to support the children in identifying these sounds when reading with them.

Also to connect our learning in school with home, could you please find something small from home that starts with one of our sounds, for example P – pirate or S – Snake and bring it into school on Monday (ensuring it is named). This is so we can create a ‘Sound Table’ which the children can use.

Quick Reminders

  • Please can you make sure your child brings in a water bottle and their book bag each day.
  • Can the children please always bring a coat particularly as the British weather is unpredictable.
  • Our regular PE day is Friday but PE kits should be in all week as we fit in other sessions where possible.

Forest School

We are planning to start taking the children to the woods for Forest School sessions throughout the year. These will be on a rotational basis with the other classes in the school.

Our first two sessions will be on Thursday 4th October and Thursday 8th November.

Your child will need waterproof trousers and jacket, a pair of wellies, a small rucksack instead of their book bag, which they can carry independently to hold their shoes, a water bottle and a snack

Useful websites

We hope you all have a lovely first term supporting the children in their learning and please do not hesitate to come and speak to us if you have any questions.

Thank you for your support.

Mrs Sanders and Miss Bews