Academic Year 2016/17

24 March 2017

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week in the Robins the children have been continuing the topic of Space which they have thoroughly enjoyed and there has been lots of creative work during child-initiated times.  Many thanks for helping your children with their wonderful homework.  The children have enjoyed sharing their creations and it has made a fabulous display which the children are truly proud of.

In maths we have been focusing on number recognition and ordering to 20. We have also been practising counting an irregular numbers of objects.

In phonics we have been focusing on the ‘sh’ and ‘th’ sounds and I will be sending home a phonics activity link so the children can practise these sounds.

Finally, thank you for joining us for our Mother’s Day breakfast, we hope you enjoyed your treat.  The children loved using ‘real sharp knives’ to cut up the fruit for the fruit salad and I am pleased to report that there were no accidents! Lots of mathematical vocabulary was used when the children were cutting the fruit and it was a certainly a fun mathematical activity.

We hope you have a restful Mother’s Day on Sunday!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

The Robins Team

17 March 2017

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week in the Robins we have been learning many different aspects of Science.

On Monday the Wiggly Wild Show visited the school and the children enjoyed holding and touching many different creatures. They were very brave unlike their teacher!  In the afternoon, the children explored different science experiments and I was very pleased to see the children demonstrate them at the Workshop.  Thank you for attending the Workshop and sorry for the messy ending! It’s certainly wonderful to see the children enjoying their learning.

On Tuesday we read the book Potion Commotion and the children made their own magic potions. It was lovely to see them use their knowledge to make their magic potion bubble and fizz!  The children also explored the different planets in space.

On Wednesday, the children continued their learning about space and also measured one another on the playground.

On Thursday, the children enjoyed exploring solids and liquids by making chocolate nest cakes.

Finally, to complete our Science Week the children will be having a fire safety talk.

Just to let you know in advance that next Friday the Robins will be inviting mums to a special Mother’s Day breakfast. Personal invitations will be sent out today with all the details so please check your child’s book bag.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

The Robins Team

10 March 2017

Dear Parents/Carers,

The Robins thoroughly enjoyed their outdoor learning activity on Monday afternoon. The children joined the Blackbirds class and spotted lots of different flowers and observed the first signs of Spring.  This activity also helped the children to develop their communication and listening skills and to have an awareness of road safety.   During child-initiated times the children have been independently planting spring flowers in the planters and we look forward to seeing these flowers bloom so the children can observe different insects.

On Tuesday we had a very special visitor, Samuel’s new puppy.  The Robins were thrilled to meet the puppy and I very pleased to inform you that she obediently sat on her spot! The children asked Mrs Weller and Samuel lots of different questions.  It was a wonderful opportunity to develop the children’s speaking skills.


This week the children have been developing their knowledge of Lent and Easter. We visited the church and discussed the different artefacts. The children were very interested in picture of The Last Supper so we explored this further in class. The children role played this part of the bible story and we then enjoyed our lunch together.  It was wonderful to observe the children and listen to their comments.

In English and phonics we have been learning to write simple sentences.  Their homework is to write sentences which start with ‘I can’. For example, I can hop.  Please encourage your children to use their phonic sounds to write words independently.

In Maths we have been continuing to learn about money by using coins to buy a snack for break time. We have also been exploring cutting fruit into halves and quarters. The children have also been practicing number recognition and ordering numbers.

Finally, a special thank you to Albert’s daddy for making the sand pit. The children now have a sandpit where they can get in it and make constructions together. They have thoroughly enjoyed playing in it!

Don’t forget you are invited to join us to see what we are learning in Science Week on Monday at 2.45pm.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

The Robins Team

3 March 2017

Dear Parents/Carers,

Well it certainly has been a very busy week in the Robins. This week we have been reading The Pancake Runaway Story and the children have been enjoying acting out the different roles.  This has allowed the children to develop their confidence and has also embedded the structure of the story. 

In maths, we have been looking at different coins and the children have been buying their fruit snack from our role play shop.  To help the children to recognise 1p, 2p, 5p and 10p coins it would be lovely if you could practise this at home or even visit a local sweet shop where your child can choose and purchase penny sweets.  We have also been practising our cutting skills and the children have been cutting pancakes into halves and quarters. 

In RE the children have been investigating the question “Why is Easter a special time?” and to introduce this investigation the children enjoyed making pancakes and undertaking traditional pancake flipping competitions.

Lastly, thank you to the parents who joined our Maths and English classes, I hope that they gave you a valuable insight into how your child is learning new skills.  You will notice that both lessons focused on listening, maintaining attention and carrying out a series of different instructions.  It is also worthwhile practising these skills at home.

The Robins Team

27 February 2017

Term 4 plan

10 February 2017

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week started with a fun-filled day at Squirrel Wood.  The children had a wonderful outdoor learning experience where they were given the opportunity to explore alongside the Key Stage 1 children.   This opportunity allowed the younger children to learn from their older peers and to develop their social and emotional skills as well as their friendships.  It was wonderful to see the children totally engrossed in imaginative activities such as nest and fire building and dinosaur cave building. The imaginative chatter between them was delightful to hear!  As a teacher, it was a perfect opportunity to step back and allow the children to take ownership of their learning.  I have to also commend the children on their excellent behaviour during the course of the day.  The children were aware of the rules and consistently abide by them which is very impressive for children so young.

In maths this week we have started to do Yoga Maths.  This activity combines physical development whilst allowing the children to develop and apply their maths knowledge and enhances their listening skills.   We have also been developing the children’s understanding of place value and subtraction.

On the first day back to school, I have planned to have a ‘show and tell’ session as the children are very keen to bring in different items.  Over the course of the half-term break if you are visiting friends or family, or you are going on a day trip, then please can your child bring in photographs or items so they can share their experience with the class.

I hope you all have a wonderful week off.

The Robins Team

3 February 2017

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week in the Robins we have been reading the story for Bumpus Jumpus Dinosaurumpus and the children have been learning lots of different facts about dinosaurs.

In Maths we have been concentrating on place value (tens and units) and having been focusing on the numbers 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15.  The children have also been counting backwards and learning about takeaway and subtraction.

In phonics we have been learning to blend and segment sounds and practising our cursive writing.

We are looking forward to our outside learning day on Monday at Squirrel Wood.  We will be accompanied by Blackbirds class and we have many different activities for the children to try.  Please remember to dress your child in comfortable and warm clothes and please feel free to put additional layers or spare clothes in their bags.

Enjoy your weekend!

The Robins Team

27 January 2017

Congratulations to the Robins for being the first class to win the Buster Book Club Reading Class of the Week Award.  Keep up the hard work with the reading and high frequency word games!

This week in the Robins we have been learning about Chinese New Year and different traditions relating to this celebration. The children are beginning to explore and understand different cultures and it is wonderful to hear them ask so many different questions.

In Maths we have been learning number recognition, ordering and practising number formation. We have also been working on adding and subtraction.  In your child’s book bag you will find a helpful list of practical maths activities which will support your child’s maths learning.

Enjoy your weekend!

The Robins Team

20 January 2017

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week the Robins have thoroughly enjoyed the maths activities.  We have been preparing for our Robin Café by assigning roles and organising menus.  We have also been sorting 2d and 3d shapes and exploring new mathematical language to describe them.  The children used their counting and ICT skills to complete problem solving activities involving ordering and comparing amounts.  To extend their PE skills we have incorporated physical movement into practical mathematical activities and the children particularly enjoyed the target shooting activity with Year 1 during a child-initiated session.

In English we have been learning the days of the week and retelling the story of The Hungry caterpillar.

It has certainly been a busy week!

Enjoy your weekend!

The Robins Team

13 January 2017

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week in the Robins we have been completing lots of practical activities to allow the children to develop their mathematical vocabulary.  These activities encourage the children to develop their understanding of estimating, securing their knowledge of weight (heavier/lighter), reliably counting an irregular number of objects and developing understanding of more and less.

In English we have been learning the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  The children enjoyed role playing the story with the community play blocks during their child-initiated time and the children are beginning to develop an understanding of the characters within the story.  The children are thoroughly enjoying this story and next week we will be continuing this learning by making a Pie-Corbett story map.

In RE we have been reading the book Wonderful World by Nick Butterworth and learning about the bible.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

The Robins Team

6 January 2017

Term 3 Plan

9 December 2016

This week in the Robins we have been embedding the children’s knowledge and understanding of The Nativity Story.   Thank you to the children and parents who have offered Joseph, Mary and their donkey a home for the night!  The children have been very busy practising for the Superstar nativity play and I’m sure the children will be real Superstars at the performances.

In phonics we have been making CVC words and are developing the children’s segmenting and blending skills.

In maths the children have been sorting, weighing, counting and adding groups of real chocolates from a large box.  I am very impressed that the children have not eaten any of the maths lesson!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

The Robins Team

2 December 2016

Dear Parents/Carers,

Firstly, thank you for helping your child to make a Christmas decoration.  They thoroughly enjoyed talking about them and it was wonderful to see so many different creative ideas.

This week in Robins we have been learning about The Nativity Story.  To enhance this learning each child will have the opportunity to bring home a box with figurines of Joseph, Mary and their donkey.  The children have been asked to give them a home for the night.  Please send a photo and information about how you welcomed them into your home.  The purpose of this is to teach the children about people who are less fortunate than them and to remember the true meaning of Christmas.   We have also been writing Advent Wishes which we are sharing as a class on a daily basis.  It is wonderful to hear the thoughtful ideas!

In maths we have been exploring weight and Mrs. Elf has been helping us to balance our scales.  We have also been learning about number formations and correcting irregular amounts.

As the weather has turned very chilly, the children were very excited to find ice in the tyres on the field and we took this opportunity to talk about seasonal changes and also had a science lesson about solids and liquids. 

As homework, please encourage your child to zip up their coat as this does help them to become more independent.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

The Robins Team

25 November 2016

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week we have been reading The Jolly Christmas Postman.  This book is interactive and the children have enjoyed exploring the different letters.  We will be continuing our learning using this book next week.

In phonics we have been learning the ‘i’ and ‘n’ sounds.  As you are all aware your child is signed up to www.teachyourmonstertoread.com and I do hope the children are enjoying playing this fun phonics game as the practise will help embed their phonic sounds.  There have been a few comments that children are finding it a little frustrating navigating their way around the games; however, please persevere as this is an excellent skill to develop their hand-eye co-ordination. 

This week we have started the ‘WriteDance’ programme so there is a strong possibility your child will be talking about volcanos!  This programme is especially designed to develop your child’s gross and fine motor skills through dance to enable them to build up their muscles to hold and mark make with a pencil.   We will be using this programme alongside ‘playdough disco’ to provide wider variety of physical activities.

In maths we have been ordering different sizes, forming numbers and counting reliably to 20. 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

The Robins Team

HOMEWORK FROM MRS JEROME

Christmas card competition
Hartlip School enjoy wishing all supporters of our school a very Happy Christmas and thank them for their hard work. What better way than to send a card that has been designed by the children? So this weekend, there is some whole school homework from Mrs Jerome… to design a Christmas card that can be sent from us at Hartlip School. Nothing better than to get you in the Christmas Spirit! In order to allow printing time and then distribution, please could all entries come in to school on MONDAY. Very much a weekend project. Enjoy!

18 November 2016

Dear Parents/Carers,

Let’s start with the highlight of the week… Our police visitors! The Robins and Blackbirds shared this wonderful and memorable experience.  It was delightful to see the children’s excitement and engagement when they were hopping in and out of the police car, being locked inside a cell in the van and trying on the police hats and helmets!  All the children were totally fascinated!  A huge thank you to Simon (Mollie’s dad!) and his partner Gary for taking the time to talk to the children and most importantly teaching them that the police are there to help. 

To support the Robin’s understanding of the meaning of tolerance we focused on the book Elmer.  The book gave us the perfect opportunity to examine how our appearance may affect the way we feel.  During the course of the week the children began to develop a better understanding behind the story and we introduced guided reading questions into the English lessons.

In phonics we have been blending the sounds ‘s, a, t, p’ to make words and focused on the children carefully listening to each sound so they can identify whether it is at the beginning, middle or end of a word.  To support your child’s learning you can build words: at, pat, sat, tap.  The children also learnt about ‘nonsense words’ as this is a skill they need to develop for their Year 1 phonics screening.

In maths we have been working on number formation, ordering numbers and taking away.

During child-initiated sessions it is very clear that the children are excited about Christmas.  So, if you are preparing for Christmas as a family (e.g. buying presents and decorations, visiting Father Christmas, writing cards, etc.) please send photos via dojo so that the children can share their experiences with the rest of the class.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

The Robins Team

11 November 2016

Dear Parents/Carers,

At the beginning of the week we talked about Guy Fawkes and the children were keen to tell us all about the firework displays they attended. It was a lovely to hear that so many of the Robins returned on Friday and attended our Founder’s Day fireworks; they seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed it. 

We have also been learning about the importance of Remembrance Day and the Robins visited the War Memorial in preparation for Friday’s service. The children have certainly enjoyed having the opportunity to purchase their poppy merchandise at playtime. The Robins are beginning to understand that their money will help the families of soldiers.

On Thursday the mobile library visited the school and the children had the opportunity to change their books.  These books have been sent home for you to share.  The children seem to be enjoying their reading books.  Please can I ask that you make a comment in the contact book every time you read with your child as the parental feedback is very much appreciated.

In phonics we have been revisiting the sounds ‘s’ and ‘a’ and have been playing sorting games to encourage children to carefully listen to these sounds.  We have also introduced a the new sound  ‘t’.

In numeracy we have been ordering numbers with the help of Owl.   Owl has been visiting his aunty and has had lots of different numbered items to pack in his case.  The children have also been learning to compare amounts which enhances their knowledge of number value.

Finally, thank you for your dojo messages and observations which have been entered on the Tapestry Online Journal. It’s wonderful to see the observations and have this evidence added to their personal files.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

The Robins Team

4 November 2016

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week in the Robins we have been preparing for Founder’s Day. The children have been looking at old photographs of the school and also visited Mary Gibbon’s grave. As a class we have written a thank you prayer which will be laid on her grave at the Founder’s Day ceremony.   The children are very excited about the fireworks display and we look forward to seeing you there.

In English we have been reading the book Funnybones; as we thought it would be perfect as the clocks have changed and the dark evenings are quickly drawing in. The children have been learning to sequence the story and we have talked about the characters. The children decided that the skeletons were very naughty and unkind because they wanted to scare people, so we discussed different ways we could be kind to others. The children have also been learning about different parts of their bodies and how they can keep themselves fit and healthy.

In phonics we have been learning the sounds ‘s’ and ‘a’ and to support this learning at home please play games like ‘I spy’.   A website link for a phonics game has been sent via class dojo.

In numeracy we have been learning about one less, how to accurately count and we have been different comparing amounts.

As you are aware reading books have come home this week. There are two books, one for you to read and enjoy with your child and the other book is for your children to read to you. Pictures play an important role when teaching children reading strategies; so please have lots of conversations about the pictures and feel free to make up a story.

Finally, Thursday was a very busy day as the school had its Open Day.   We were so very proud of all of the Robins who welcomed the visiting children and their parents.   We are very proud teachers!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

The Robins Team

Term 2 Plan

14 October 2016

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week in the Robins we have been reading the book ‘Kitchen Disco’. This book has been supplied by the Book Trust and the children will each receive a book to keep.  Please feel free to look on the Book Trust’s website as there are some wonderful ideas which are linked to the book and you can do together at home. 

The book has allowed us to discuss different fruits and understand foods which are healthy and unhealthy.  Also Malachy’s grandparents very kindly brought in their record player and played a vinyl records.  This activity helps children to see the similarities and differences with technology.

In maths we have been looking at repeated patterns and the children thoroughly enjoyed making their fruit kebabs.

Coco and Ginger have settled into their new environment and the children are beginning to handle them.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

The Robins Team

7 October 2016

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week in the Robins we welcomed our new class pets and I am pleased to announce that they are called Coco and Ginger.  The class voted on the different names which you kindly suggested and these names were definitely the most popular!  The children are very excited and I am very pleased to say that both Coco and Ginger are happily settling into their new environment.

We have continued with Phase 1 on the phonics programme and have been exploring instrumental sounds.  We will be sending you some phonic games which you can play at home to support your child’s learning.  Please also talk to your child about what you have heard so they can develop their vocabulary. 

In Maths, we have been learning about making a repeated patterns and playing with the Numicon resource.

In English, we have been reading the book The Three Little Pigs.

This week we have also been focusing on the Harvest Festival.  The children have been enjoying singing “I’m a dingle dangle scarecrow”.  We have also been looking at different fruit and vegetables and they have enjoyed tasting the red pepper.

Hope you all have an enjoyable weekend and if you do fancy having a couple of furry friends to spend a weekend with you then please do not hesitate to let us know!

The Robins Team

30 September 2016

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week in the Robins we have started Phase 1 on the phonics programme. This focuses on environmental sounds and the children have been going on listening walks inside and outside school and drumming sticks on different objects outside.  You can support your child’s learning at home by playing listening games with loud and soft tones.  Then encourage your child to talk about what they have heard. Can they describe the different sounds they hear? 

In numeracy, we have been learning to count reliably and comparing amounts.

In English, we have been continuing our work on Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Next week, the children have chosen the book The Three Little Pigs.

Now the weather is changing, we have also been learning about seasonal changes and discussing the weather.

On Thursday the children enjoyed visiting the mobile library and each chose a book which will they will be bringing home this weekend.

On Friday, we have a special visitor in class and I hope the children will tell you all about it.

Finally, please note that contact books have been sent home and inside there is your unique KLZ login so you can log into the KLZ website.  This website has lots of helpful learning links and is a great way to keep up to date with the school diary and events.

The Robins Team

23 September 2016

Dear Parents/Carers,

This week in the Robins we have been learning about Goldilocks and the three bears.  The children are being to learn the ‘Pie-Corbett’ actions to help them retell the story and have also being learning a Goldilocks song. We shall be continuing this next week.

In maths we have been learning about the value of numbers and accurately counting objects.

You may have noticed that our tree in the outside area has been trimmed this week. At first the children were very disappointed that their “hide-out” had disappeared overnight. However, they were very pleased when they realised that they could now climb it! A fabulous opportunity to develop their characteristics of effective learning.

Finally, Friday is going to be party day (hence the fancy dress) because it is Mrs. Luckhurst’s birthday.  I thought it would be a lovely opportunity for children to learn about special celebrations! The children will also be developing their communication and language skills to talk to their peers about their outfits.

The Robins Team

16 September 2016

Dear Parents/Carers,

WOW! The new Robins have been simply amazing. It’s hard to believe that they have only been here for a week and they are settling into the new routine.  I have to say that they all look absolutely exhausted (the hot days certainly have not helped) and I’m sure they are ready for a restful weekend!

The aim for this week was to begin to get to know each other and encourage the children to try a variety of new activities.  Through child-initiated play the children have had the opportunity to explore their new learning environment and resources and of course meet new friends.  Communication and language development are important skills in order for your child to form friendships and child-initiated activities prompt communication amongst their peers.  It has been very reassuring to see all the children engaged in activities and playing alongside each other.  They absolutely love the mud kitchen, digging, gardening and water play activities!

Well done Robins on being truly amazing!

The Robins Team

9 September 2016

Dear Parents/Carers,

A big thank you to all the Robins for welcoming us into your homes.  We have had a wonderful time visiting you and listening to all your holiday adventures, you certainly have been busy!

The plan attached gives you an overview of this term’s topics.  However, please be aware that there will be possible changes as we believe the children should have an input into what they wish to learn.  The main aim over the next few weeks is to begin to know each other with the main teaching focus being on your child’s wellbeing and involvement. The transition from nursery to school entails a lot of changes and we want to make sure that each child feels secure, confident and most importantly happy at Hartlip School.  It is also an opportunity for us to build a trusting relationship with yourselves, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.  We are here to help you and our door is always open.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and look forward to seeing all the new Robins on Monday for their first day at school.  A truly memorable occasion!

The Robins Team