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St Mary's Catholic Primary School

Together we are a family of God, a family of love, a family of learners

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Together we are a family of God, a family of love, a family of learners

Termly Blog

Term 5

We have had so much fun and wonder with our topics this term, "Animal Safari" and "Creepy Crawlies".  We have compared our community with that of a school child's in Africa, compared the animals that we would find in the wild in both countries and also the food, which included some very brave tasting from the children!  Our science focus has been on habitats of different animals and the bug investigations, including hatching our own butterflies!  We have looked at hot and cold climates, linked to the animals we have learnt about and created some lovely art work also liked to this topic.  To top it off, we went on a fantastic school trip to the animal park which included a safari and the chance to see some full size dinosaurs!  




We have been learning about numbers 10 - 20 and the composition of these numbers.  The children have worked hard to find many different ways of partitioning numbers and used bar models to represent these.




The children have been wonderful this term and have applied their phonics knowledge to their writing.  We have focussed on the use of finger spaces, (which many still need some reminding of) and full stops.  The children have written stories, recounts of our trip and prayers in their writing sessions.  They have really impressed both myself and Mrs Pullen so well done Reception!




We have been learning all about the good news of the resurrection, Pentecost and recently we have focussed on May being the month of Mary and how special she is to our school.  The children have learnt the Hail Mary prayer in sign language and have enjoyed learning the songs for our May procession.


I am sure you would agree, it has been a very busy, fun filled term and the children definitely deserve a wonderful half term break!


Term 4

Our topic this term has been 'Once Upon a Time', which has given us wonderful opportunities for story telling and imaginative play.  This along with our first school trip, science day, world book day and Easter celebrations, it has certainly been a fun filled term!



We have enjoyed many traditional tales and looked at what features make them this specific type of tale.  We loved reading 'The Little Red Hen' and the children learnt the story with actions so well.  They even showed this off to Mrs Pullen who was really impressed.  We discovered how flour is made by looking at wheat, the grain, the flour and then the bread and learning about the windmills that grind the wheat.  we then of course had a chance to make our own bread which was delicious! We are very grateful to Jacob and Vicky for coming in to the class and helping us with this as it was a great experience.  The children then wrote instructions of how we made the bread in our literacy lessons.


We have also spent time on 'The Three Billy Goats Gruff' story.  the children have designed their own troll and described it in their writing sessions as well as acting out the story using masks.  We have made our own bridges and discussed how they need to be strong for the goats to pass nut also have enough space for a troll to live underneath.



We have learnt about 3D shapes and their properties this term.  the children have become experts at finding these shapes in their own environment and categorising them.


We have also learnt about the composition of our numbers between 5 and 10 and how many ways we can make each number.  this has included odd, even and doubles.



During our science day where we linked up with other KCSP schools, the children used different liquids to paint pieces of apple.  We then observed changes over time and noticed that the lemon juice stopped the apple going brown.  We did all decide however, that we would still prefer to eat the apple without the lemon juice on.


The children were making their own fairy tale stories and at one point they were building a volcano.  This was a great opportunity to make it erupt using vinegar and baking powder.  This then lent itself to exploring how much of each would make the best eruption and what shape the volcano needed to be to make the lava run furthest.  So much learning and excitement came out of this session.


World book day was lovely and the children's costumes were wonderful.  Well done parents!  We read the wordless book 'Journey' and the children imagined what they would find behind the magic door that was in our classroom.  They had some wonderful ideas ranging from Flamingo Land to a harbour full of boats!


Our fossil hunting trip was brilliant and the children were wonderful.  they loved the coach, listened to the safety instructions well, really enjoyed using the tools to find the fossils, played beautifully together at the park, were very polite to all adults they met and of course they were asking for lunch from around 10am!  It was a great day and they made me very proud.



We have really focussed on the time of Lent and how we can prepare for Jesus returning.  We looked at how Him returning brings new hope and life to the world.  We went on a Spring walk to find signs of new life and repeated this every couple of weeks to see the changes in the world.  



Term 3

It has been another busy term in Reception and the children have been working very hard in all areas of learning.



We have been learning about the composition of number this term.  The children notice different numbers within bigger numbers and have been making numbers in as many ways as they can.  We then moved on to working out the part wholes of numbers and finally addition of numbers.  We focussed on the use of mathematical vocabulary such as 'addition', 'combine', 'equals', 'larger', 'fewer' and 'balance'.


We have also looked at weight and mass within our play.  The children built their own scales in the outdoor area and used their problem solving skills to work out which items were heavier than others and also how they could make the scales balance.


We made potions linked to our literacy and measured amounts of ingredients to add to our mixtures.  We found out that we had too much potion for the bottles so we had to work out how to fill it to the brim without it spilling over.  The language within our discussions were wonderful.



We have enjoyed a number of texts this term, our favourite definitely being 'The Three Little Pigs'.  The children drew their own story maps and retold the story using our small world figures.  The children learnt the story so well, that they were able to retell the story using drama in small groups and they were absolutely wonderful.   They did so well, especially the acting of the wolf huffing and puffing!



Our topic this term has been Dangerous Dinosaurs".  The children discovered dinosaur footprints, learnt all about volcanos and dinosaur habitats.  We received a letter and an egg from the T-Rex in the museum and they asked us to make them a habitat that they could go on holiday too.  The children did a great job and built habitats from junk modelling and Lego for the dinosaurs.


We have continued our learning about seasons and focussed on the turn from winter to spring.  We have explored how rain is formed and comes through the clouds using shaving foam and coloured water.  We have also learnt all about rainbows and made our own class collage as well as learnt the rainbow song in sign language!


We were very lucky that we were in school when it snowed!  This meant that we got dressed for the weather and had the chance to explore snow flakes, frost and ice.  There was some wonderful learning happening and it was lovely to see the excitement on their faces!



This term, our focus has been 'gathering'.  We have explored when we gather together at school and at home for special occasions.  The children have really reflected on how they feel at these special occasions and what it is that makes them special. We explored how we feel at times when we gather at school and in church to celebrate God and listen to his words.


We have also looked at a couple of the bible stories.  We heard Noah's Ark and Jonah and the Whale.  The children really unpicked the stories to understand the message behind the stories which has been lovely.


Overall we have had a fantastic term, even with a lot of poorliness which has meant that we have missed lots of our friends at times; but we have worked together and looked after each other and shown some wonderful learning.  Well done Class R!

Term 2 is always a very busy one but also lots of fun.  The highlight of the term has to be how amazing the children were in their nativity.  They certainly made me proud and I am sure they made you proud too.  Here is a summary of some of the things we have been up to in our learning this term.



We have been focusing on the numbers 1-5 this term and getting a deeper understanding of number.  We have been finding out how different numbers make parts of 5 and subitising rather than counting which is an essential skill to have mastered ready for their future maths journeys in the school.


We have also discovered the properties of triangles, circles and four sided shapes.  The children have learnt to verbalise how they know a triangle is a triangle by using good maths vocabulary such as vertices, sides, straight and curved.



We have enjoyed lots of stories this term, our favourites most definitely being 'Owl Babies' by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson and 'Whatever Next' by Jill Murphy.  


Linked to our story whatever next, the children explored different materials and compared how they felt.  They then chose the best ones to create a soft teddy bear picture.  They came up with some wonderful vocabulary such as soft. fluffy, smooth, cuddly and rough. 


The children also enjoyed designing and creating their own rockets to visit the moon.  They really thought carefully about what they needed on a rocket and what they could use from our junk modelling to create it.  They did a really good job and were proud of what they created.



This terms topics were 'Starry Night' and 'Winter Wonderland'.  We learnt all about nocturnal animals and even went hunting for them with our torches in the dark cave.  


We focused on our bedtime routines and how we all do similar things.  We especially focused on the importance of brushing our teeth.  We discussed what types of food are healthy for us and our teeth and what we can do to ensure that the unhealthy things we eat sometimes does not harm our teeth.  We carried out an experiment using eggs in different types of drinks that we sometimes have.  We used Coke, orange juice, squash and water.  The children were amazed by the results and then practiced their tooth brushing skills on giant teeth to make sure they know how to brush their own teeth well.  We concluded that although it is okay to drink other drinks occasionally, water is definitely the best drink for our teeth.



Of course with this being a very special time in our RE calendar we focused on the true meaning of Christmas and Jesus' birthday.  We spent a lot of time talking about kindness and giving at this time of year and what we can do without spending money to show that we care.  


One of our activities was to make cards for people who live in a local residential home to make them smile.  We also made bird feeders to help our class charity, Wildwood, to feed the birds during the winter.


The children do now know the nativity story very well after their performance and the many activities that we have done in class.  The children enjoyed sharing our nativity story books and using our figures to act it out.


It has been a fun filled, busy term and the children most definitely deserve a rest.  We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and we look forward to seeing you all in the new year!

Term 1 - Me and My Community


Wow!  What a great start to the school year we have had!


The first term in Reception Class is very much about ensuring the children feel safe and happy, forming good friendships and establishing class routines, and the children have done amazingly with this.  They have settled into the St Mary's school family wonderfully and we have had a very busy term of learning.



We have been using our mathematical knowledge to sort and classify, create more complex patterns and compare size and mass and capacity.  The children have really started to think in more detail about the possible answers and to explore various solutions to a problem.



The children have been working on their multi-skills in PE which include working as a team, following instructions and developing their hand-eye coordination.  We have also been doing gymnastics using our hall equipment and the children have really challenged themselves to improve on their skills each week.


Literacy and Phonics:

As you know the children have already learnt a number of sounds and are starting to use those sounds in their blending to start to read words.  It is always magical when a child can read their first book and we are well on our way towards that.  We have been learning lots of rhymes and songs which have helped us to recognise when words rhyme.


We have had fun exploring many books this term.  We even made our own version of The Naughty Bus and The Gruffalo has definitely been a firm favourite in the class.  The children have been retelling the stories, sequencing and identifying the parts they enjoy most.  I think the baking of gruffalo biscuits may well have been a highlight of the term.


To link with our story 'Lost and Found' the children explored the changes of matter of water.  They were challenged to melt big blocks of ice to rescue the penguins inside.  After a day of trying hard, we gathered to come up with a new plan.  The children wanted tools, sun (which we agreed on hot water bottles as the sun was hiding that day) and furry materials.  The next day we introduced salty water which the children enjoyed exploring with and concluded that this sped up the melting process.


We also explored our world a little and used globes to understand where land and water is and we looked at where we were compared to Antarctica which is where our penguin in our story came from.  The children noticed that Antarctica was cold and we were warmer.



This term our topic has been 'Me and My Community'.  We have been learning about the people who help us in our community and exploring our school community as part of our transition.  We really focused on our families at home and how we all have different families that are full of love.  The children enjoyed creating their homes to display and drawing all of the people and pets that live in them.


The children have met their Year 6 buddies and have reported how much they enjoy having a buddy that is there to help them.  the buddies have read stories to them and supported them at lunchtimes.  They even came to join us on a woodland walk and created some beautiful art with the children.  It really was a lovely afternoon.


We have also started to look at Autumn.  This topic has been delayed slightly as the weather was certainly not autumnal until this last week so we will continue exploring this next term.  We have however been on woodland walks with our buddies and created some wonderful natural artwork as mentioned above.  In our Forest School session we learnt a bit more about Autumn and we went on bug hunts.


As you can see it has been a busy, fun-filled term and the children have done a great job.  Have a wonderful half term break and see you next term :)



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St Mary's Catholic Primary School is an academy, and part of the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership. The Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number 08176019 at registered address: Barham Court, Teston, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 5BZ. St Mary's Catholic Primary School is a business name of Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership.