Nursery Rhyme Week 2019

nursery rhyme week

In Reception, our children love to sing nursery rhymes, and we learn a new poem every week! Not only are spoken and sung rhymes an opportunity for closeness and fun; the repetition, language, sounds and rhythm, help children to predict what’s coming next. This can make the words of the rhyme more memorable and highlight individual sounds, which prepares children for learning to read.

We know that learning to say and sing rhymes supports children’s skills as early readers! “Research has found that when a child knows eight or more nursery rhymes by heart, at the age of 4, that they are usually one of the best at reading and spelling in their class by the age of 8! ‘ Mem Fox Reading Magic.

So, this year Prince Edward decided to join many schools nation wide and take part in Nursery Rhyme Week!

First we descovered a crime scene outside! The children put together the clues and  guessed it must have been “Humpty Dumpty”. We enjoyed singing the rhyme, and the children even made a poster to warn people about what happened to poor Humpty Dumpty! The children have even made their own Humpty Dumpty’s from resources independently in the workshop!


We have also enjoyed exploring the musical instruments, and using these to retell  familiar rhymes. The children thought carefully about which instruments could make sounds to represent the beginning, middle and end of the familiar rhyme: incey wincey spider. This also supported our understanding of how stories are structured with an opening, problem and a resolution.


We have also enjoyed learning number rhymes 10 green bottles, 5 little ducks, 10 fat sausages, 5 little speckled frogs and 5 little men in a flying saucer. We have been learning all about subtraction and finding one less through being active, singing songs, and having fun.

We enjoyed learning rhymes, and we even created our own rhyming strings! We listened to the sounds in the words and looked at letter patterns to help us to identify when the ending of words was the same. We then thought of some other words that rhymed and added those to the strings!


We had a great week and have loved learning all about Nursery rhymes!

What have we been learning?

  • to  sing nursery rhymes, showing an awareness of words that rhyme.
  • to explore sound patterns and create our own rhyming strings.
  • to talk about how stories are structured with a beginning, middle and end.
  • to subtract and find one less through being active, using practical resources and singing familiar songs.

How can you continue the learning at home?

  • Read books with rhyming words in them- Julia Donaldson books usually have rhyming words. Can your child finish the sentences with a rhyming word? Can they hear which word between two is the rhyming words? eg. The cat is black, It sits in a….. Is it sack or bed?
  • Play other rhyming games such as Cake Bake on Phonics Play. Click this link to find the game. You will need the Username: PRINCE2 and the Password: EDWARD to access the site fully.
  • Sing Nursery Rhymes with your children. If you are less confident with them yourself you can find them on Cbeebies and on the World Nursery Rhyme Week page (link is attached bellow).
  • If you would like any more information on how rhymes support children’s reading development, please visit the sites bellow. You can also find videos, fun ideas and activities that you can try at home! https://www.worldnurseryrhymeweek.com/ https://www.booktrust.org.uk/news-and-features/features/2018/november/rhymes-in-early-childhood/

Reading at home

This week we held an information session where parents were invited into school to find out how we teach children to read in school and how they can teach their child to read at home.

Miss Deighton and Miss Boyd would like to say a HUGE thankyou to all those who attended. We had lots of fun learning about phonics and playing games with the children. Each family who came received a special Reading Bag full of goodies to take home. There was information to help with reading at home, some brand new reading books to keep at home, a phoneme strip to keep, and other goodies. All children in Reception also received their Booktime book from the Book Trust.


During the session we talked about a few different aspects to reading:

Why we need to read? 

  • Better life chances
  • Makes life easier
  • Helps with all subjects in school
  • Because you enjoy it
  • Research shows that children who read for pleasure do better at school

Different types of reading

  • Reading storybooks and information books for enjoyment and bedtime stories
  • Reading school book band books for learning

What are Book Band Books? 

  • Levelled books designed to help support children learn to read
  • Emphasis is on the children reading
  • Adult supports the reading
  • Some are decodable phonics readers, some are not
  • The adult needs to:Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 21.14.04

We explained the different types of reading sessions we carry out in school, these include; Storytime, Booktalk and Guided Reading sessions as a whole class and in smaller groups, reading one to one with children, sharing books at a deeper level during Literacy sessions and having them freely available as part of our Continuous Provision.

What about Storytime books? 

  • Books for enjoyment at any age
  • Doesn’t have to be a story, could be any book
  • Emphasis is on the adult reading
  • Child supports the reading and talks about the pictures
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We talked about what to do if your child won’t read with you because its not because they can’t read and its not because they can’t sit still. Some ideas for motivating your child are:

1.You have to make it exciting, be interested and impressed by whatever your child is reading

2.Make it funny- reinvent stories and find funny books to share.

3.Think outside the box- try ebooks, comics, letters and even chalk letters outside.

4.Read for a purpose and make it interesting.

5.Copy and collect- link reading to interests, such as Peppa Pig, dinosaurs and recommendations from other parents/ children.

We also talked about what to do if you as a parent find reading more difficult:

1. Have a go- the children will enjoy their time with you and appreciate your efforts.

2. –Look at a book yourself before looking at it with the children so there are no surprises.

–3. Work out difficult words together.

–4. Come and ask in school if you’re struggling. We are more than happy to help. 

We talked about the positive emotional impacts of simply sitting and sharing abook with your child where the emphasis is on the adult leading of reading the book whilst discussing what happened, the characters and the setting. We emphasised the importance of children understanding what they have had read to them as this will help them to realise that print holds meaning and will aid them when they begin to read books independently.

Some parents were unsure how to pronounce the sounds correctly and so were teaching them the letter names. Although the children do need to learn letter names this does not help them to read, please watch the video below to hear the correct pronunciation.

We modelled reading a story to a child, making it interesting and fun to gain their attention and also how we would scaffold them as they are learning to read independently. Ensuring that the children were encouraged to identify and attempt to blend the sounds they know and reading the words that would be unfamiliar for them. The video below gives some exmples of how to help your child to blend sounds to read.

We showed parents the some phonics sites which we find useful in school – Every child can have free access to Phonics Play which is used daily in the classroom and supports Phonics learning in school. If you need the login details please speak to a member of staff in class.

Also,  please follow the link below to Oxford Owl. This site has lots of useful information about Phonics and how to support your childs reading at home.


It is quick and simple to make a free acount with the site then you can access lots of  free books to read with your child online. If you need any support making an account please talk to a member of staff in school who will guide you through the process.



Anti Bullying Week 2019

Last week was anti-bulling week, so we have been learning about how to spot a bully and what to do if you see one. We all agreed that everyone has the right to feel safe and happy and school, and nobody should have to feel sad or scared!

“If you was punching someone thats unkind and you might hurt them.” Lois

“It’s not kind to call somebody names” Remi

“to tell lies about them” Carter

We know that bullying is different to being unkind just once…

“you do it over and over and over” Lathen

When we made our class promise at the beginning of the year, it was important to the children that everyone was kind to one another. The children came up with lots of great suggestions about how to take care of your friends.

“You could make them a picture” Aniya

“Give them a cuddle” Anaea

“Play with them” Mutasim

“Sharing is caring” Jay

This week we loved reading a very special book called Superkid, all about a little boy who was secretly a superhero and saved his friends from mean bullys. So much so, that we made our own superhero story about how to stop bullies!






Bonfire night!

After half term, lots of us in Onyx class had been really excited about fireworks. Some of us had been to see fireworks with out grown ups in Manor top and other places. Some of us had even had fireworks in our very own gardens!

“When I went to the fireworks in the big field, I seen 100 sparks and then it started to Pop!” Kallum

“I like the way it sounded ,blue , green and brown!” Aisha

“The fireworks went pop and whizz and bang!” Lois

We enjoyed learning about Guy Fawkes, and how he tried to blow up the houses of parliment. We have been thinking about the sounds that the fireworks made and describing what we could see, hear, smell and feel.

It was really exciting to see our very own sparkler display by Miss Hukin in the outdoor area. They wern’t as noisy as the fireworks we watched, but still made lots of sounds! It was very cold, but that didn’t put us off! We wrapped up nice and cosy and enjoyed some delicious hot chocolate to keep us warm. We had to sit on the crates in a circle so that we were a safe distance away, as we know that fireworks can be very dangerous if you aren’t careful with them.

“They get hot so you don’t touch them” Jay

“They could burn you”. Lathen

“It was like a rainbow” Hannah

“It went fizz and bang.” Atrisa



What have we been learning?

  • To show an awareness of the need for safety and take measures to keep ourselves safe.
  • about special occasions and how we celebrate them.


How can you carry on the learning at home?

  • talk to your children about why we celebrate special events.

Phonics in FS2

We have started daily Phonics sessions with the children.

We have started teaching the children the sounds that the letters make so they are able to recognise them both in books and around every environment they go in. We will also expect them to start using them in their own writing.

This video will help you know the exact sounds which each letter makes. It is important that these pure sounds are used. Listen in particular to n, l and m.

We use the Jolly Phonics actions to support the children while they are learning the sounds each letter makes. We sing the song and do the action to make it easier for the children to remember them.


When we teach the letters and their sounds we teach them in an order which makes it easier to make words. First the children will learn s, a, t, p, i, n. Then they learn m, d, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r, h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss. These are all the letters and sounds they will learn in Phase 2.

Although it is important for the children to know the sounds the letters make it is also just as important for the children to be able to blend sounds together to make words. This means when you say to them the sounds they are able to make them into the word. At first the children will do this when they just hear the sounds. Children are expected to to be able to do this when they start Reception (FS2). As they get more confident with the letters they are expected to be able to read the letters themselves and blend them into words.

Examples of this:

c– a– t  is cat                  s–a–t  is sat

p–i–n  is pin                    g–o–t  is got

We also teach the children to read alien words which they are able to blend but make no sense.

Examples of these are:

s–e–c is sec                    h–i–b  is hib

d– u–p  is dup               l– e– c  is lec

Once the children are able to read words with Phase 2 sounds and also sound out to spell them we move onto Phase 3 letters and sounds, which include vowel digraphs (two letters, one sound). Children should be secure in reading and writing with Phase 3 sounds at the end of Reception (FS2)

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Picture taken from www.twinkl.co.uk

What can you do to help the learning at home?

  • Complete the Phonics homework each week. This will tell you which letters and sounds the children have been learning that week. 
  • Play the games on www.phonicsplay.co.uk which will help your child with their phonics skills. Good games to practise blending are Buried Treasure, Obb and Bob and Dragon’s Den. 
  • Look for letters everywhere and see if your child knows which sound they make. If you see words with the sounds they have learnt ask your child to help you read it. You can do this when you’re reading school reading books but also sometimes in other books you read together. Your child won’t be able to read the whole book but they can begin to help you. 

Please ask in school if you would like more help or there is anything you’re not sure about. We’re happy to help 🙂 




Healthy Living week

Before the half term holidays it was healthy living week at school. We have done lots of learning about how to keep ourselves safe, healthy and happy.

First Mrs Murch came to visit us with her special friend the pantasourous. He is a really clever dinosour who knows all about good and bad touch. He taught us about good touch and bad touch, and about what to do if we feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

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Please follow the link bellow if you would like any more information.


We also talked about how important exercise is! Our bodies need to move around lots when we are little to help us grow and develop. Exercising is really important, so that we can be fit and strong, so we can run fast, and move our bodies freely as we play and learn with our friends. We know that doing lots of exercise builds a stronger heart, bones and healthy muscles. 

“We do exercise when we do PE” Anaea

“We got to exercise when we play basketball” Jay

“You got to exercise so you get muscles and run really fast” Harvey

We had lots of fun in the hall trying different activties, balancing, throwing, catching, jumping. Well done everyone for trying your best! We were all pretty tired out after!

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We have also enjoyed having a visit from James, a paramedic at St John Ambulance. James works in the amulance. If someone is really hurt, his job is take them to the hospital, where the nurses and doctors help make them better. He talked to us about what to do if our friends hurt themselves. Miss Boyd even found us some bandages so that we could practice on each other.


We talked about eating a balanced diet. Your body needs lots of different types of food to grow big and strong. Some foods like sweets are okay, but only as a treat!

Riley Mae, “Don’t eat too many sweeties or you get cavities”.

Aniya, “Fruits are really good for you”.

We all agreed that fruit and vegetables are really good for you, so we decided to make our own vegetable soup!

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What have we be learning?

  • to eat a range of healthy foods.
  • to develop healthy habits and keep ourselves safe and healthy




Worms and Stick insects

Lately the weather has been a little damp! Perfect worm weather! We have been finding worms everywhere and the children have been fascinated!

In the outdoors area, the children have been really busy collecting worms for our class wormery. We keep our wormery filled with sand, soil and some leaves for the worms to much on!


We decided that we needed to find out more information about worms if we are going to keep them as our pets. The children came up with lots of great questions that we wanted to find the ansers to:

“How do you know if it’s a boy or a girl worm?”

“What do they eat?”

“Do they have babies?”

“How do they dig?”

As a class we discussed where we could find out information. Some children suggested we go on google to find out more. Miss Boyd thought this was a great idea. She also suggested that we could read some non fiction books about worms! We are really lucky to have a library right in Prince Edwards where we might find some!

We explored some non fiction texts to find the answers to our questions. Can you remember any facts about worms?

“There are no boys or girls, they’re both” Lois.

“Worms play on the dirt and they play everywhere around the world” Zayyan

“The bit in the middle where the babies come from is the saddle” Harvey

Image result for classroom wormery

The children of Onyx class show lots of care and concern for living things. We love to watch the worms in the wormery. They like cool dark places so we cover up the wormery when we aren’t looking at them.

The children also love to explore in the neighbouring Garnet classroom, showing interest in their class pets: the stick insects!

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We have been really excited to find that the stick insects have laid lots and lots of eggs. There are now too many babies for Garnet class! We promised to take really good care of them in Onyx class. The children have been waiting very patiently for their eggs to hatch!


What have we been learning?

We have been learning about creatures in our environment, and what they need to live. We show care and concern for living things.

We have been showing curiosity about things around us, and we know that information can be retreived from books and the internet. We enjoy exploring books to find information.


How can you carry on learning at home?

Encourage your child to observe living things around them, for example, go on nature walks and look for bugs in your local environment.

Build a bug hotel in your garden. You can find some ideas by following this link https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/give-nature-a-home-in-your-garden/garden-activities/build-a-bug-hotel/

Join your local library and encourage children to explore fiction and non fiction texts.