World Book Day 2018


After all the snow which fell we were lucky in school that we decided to celebrate World Book Day on Friday the 2nd. We didn’t have all the children in but those who came did a great job of decorating our door with Onyx class’s favourite book. We had talked earlier in the week about which book was our favourite and Love Monster was the stand out winner.

The children who were in school got busy making a Love  Monster for our door.


We were very excited when Miss Parker told us that she had tweeted a picture of our door and Rachel Bright, the author, loved it!!! She loved it so much she retweeted it and shared it with all her followers.

Your child should have brought home a World Book Day token either on Friday or Monday. You can use it to get a special £1 book for FREE. You can get these at a number of different shops. You can also use the token to get £1 off a book, including at our Book Fair which is now rearranged for March 19th-23rd in school.


We hope you get to use your special book token. Don’t forget to let us know which book you choose.


Books at Bedtime Week 3

For the last week of Books at Bedtime we had a whole celebration day in school. We were all allowed to come to school in our pyjamas! There was a special assembly which Miss Varley held in the main hall with all of FS2 and KS1. Our Grand Prize Winner was announced and she chose a whole collection of Julia Donaldson books as her prize. IMG_0371

We had a storytelling session with our school storyteller Andy Messer which everyone loved. We were all laughing out loud at the story although one part was much scarier.


We also got to have a storytelling session with hot chocolate in the classroom and share some of our favourite stories. One of our friend’s favourite books was in Polish so we had to ask his sister to come and read it to us because Miss Parker struggled with all the pronunciation! We noticed there were lots of books on dinosaurs- maybe we’ll have to learn about them soon…

Thanks and well done to all who took part in the Books at Bedtime competition. Don’t forget to keep reading bedtime stories with your children every night as part of your child’s bedtime routine.



FS2 Reading Workshop

We held a workshop for parents and carers to come and find out why and how we do reading with children in Reception. There was also a discussion about how parents and carers can help their children at home and develop a daily reading habit.


It was wonderful to see so many of our families there. 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 also received their Booktime book from the Book Trust.



This year’s Booktime book is The Bumble Bear

There was also a special finger pointer in the reading pack to help children learn to track the writing left to right and point at each word in turn. We talked in the presentation about making reading as fun as possible, this is one of the ways we use in school.


During the presentation 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

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
  • Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 21.18.04.png


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.

Taken from https://blog.oxfordowl.co.uk/five-ways-to-encourage-reluctant-readers/

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 shared the Oxford Owl website where you can find more reading books to read at home. You can find it here: https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/find-a-book/library-page/

For Onyx class the username is Onyx and the password is Onyx123

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Please come and ask if you’ve got any questions in school about reading and how you can help your child.

Happy Reading! 



Books At Bedtime Week 1

Every child in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One was given a Books at Bedtime card last Wednesday. They had to read a Bedtime Story with their grown up every night this week and write down which one they had read. Today was the day we had to bring them back to school. We put them all in a big pile, closed our eyes and picked a winner. Look who won!!!

She got to go and see Mrs Ainsley and choose a book from the box. It was hard choosing from so many great books but finally she settled on a dinosaur book.

Don’t forget to read your Bedtime Stories this week and you’ll get to go in the prize draw next Wednesday if you bring your card back to school. Then the week after its the big Prize Draw.


Anti-Bullying Week 2017

A couple of weeks ago in school it was Anti-Bullying Week. We did lots of talking about what a bully is and what to do if we think we see someone who is a bully. We also talked lots about how to be a good friend and make sure we are not a bully.

At the end of the week we collected all our ideas and made a book. You can read it here…

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We acted out our ideas and took photos to make our book. We only pretended to be bullies though. After we made our book we put it in our reading corner so we could keep on reading it. We really enjoyed reading our book. We hope you like it.

Parents/carers- you can read the book again at home with your child and make sure they understand what a bully is and what a bully does. It is important for your child to understand that for these behaviours to be bullying it happens frequently and is targeted at the same child or children. 


Phonics in Reception 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.

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)

Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 21.19.48

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 🙂 




Our First Visit to the Library

This week we had our first visit to Manor Top Library. We had to leave school and walk with our partner across all the busy roads to get there. Everyone was very sensible and walked safely to the Library. Miss Parker was very impressed.


When we got to the Library we got to have a look at all the books they have there. It was great to look at some new books including some we don’t have in school. We really enjoyed looking at the books and listening to our grown ups tell us the stories.

We will go to the Library every fortnight on a Monday in the afternoon. We will be able to start taking books home next time we go if your child has returned their Library Card form or you’ve already given us their Library Card.

We will also need parents/careers to come with us so look out for the sign up sheet in the classroom. We can take as many parents/careers as want to come but we do ask that you leave younger children at home.