Acorn Class

Welcome to Acorn Class
Reception & Year 1

Teacher Gemma Cheyne
Teaching Assistant Bridget Dennett

Acorn Termly Booklet – Autumn 2019

Year 1 Spellings (for test on Friday 15th November)

Group 1 six, seven, eight, nine, ten

Group 2 toast, float, road, boat, coach

Year 1 Homework ordinal language worksheet and please learn left and right!

News from week beginning 4th November

Body percussion

We have been using our bodies even more than usual this week! We talked about what ‘body percussion’ means and what parts of our bodies we can use to make noises, other than our mouths. Then we watched a video of some older children using their bodies to make sounds and beats – the children jumped up to copy them! Here is the video – try and keep up!

In phonics the Reception children learned the final two single letter sounds (‘y’ and ‘z’) and their second digraph (‘qu’). They also waved their tricky fingers at ‘he’ and ‘she’. The Year One children thought about using mnemonics (memory aids) to remember how to spell tricky words such as ‘because’ (big elephants can always understand small elephants) and explored the words have, like, some and come.

We finished off the last chapter of The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark. We sat with our fingers crossed hoping that Plop, the baby barn owl, would like the dark in the end – we ended up whooping with joy! The children wrote about the facts they had learned within the book – please ask your child about badgers’ nose stripes, a special group of stars and which owls say ‘twit-twoo’ and ‘eeeek’. They also wrote about the human characters in the story and how they had described the dark to Plop.

In maths, all the children explored positional language – the Reception children used language such as behind, near, opposite and the Year One children used ordinal language such as first, eighth as well as left and right.

We discussed the meaning behind Remembrance Day and had a super PE session dancing in a string of movements to dance music. Miss Ford and I rather enjoyed dancing along with the children!

We hope you enjoyed seeing the children’s shakers that they designed, made and evaluated. I hope there wasn’t too much flying rice!

Enjoy your weekend!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 21st October

Feature hunting around Thornford

We’ve had a lovely four-day week!

In phonics the Reception children have learned the sounds j, v, x and w. The Year Ones have carried on writing words containing consonant clusters (e.g. lamp and hand) and discussed syllables – please ask them to tell you words with 1 syllable, 2… all the way up to 5 syllables! They have also focussed on the letter names, using the wonderful alphabet rap.

In English the children have heard (most of) the story ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark’. Plop, a baby barn owl, is not only afraid of the dark but completely adorable and really funny. The children have loved hearing about his adventures. We’ve been thinking about characters and settings in stories.

In maths the Reception children have focussed on number recognition. The Year One children have finished off the mini-topic on subtraction by solving number problems involving taking away and thinking of their own number stories involving frogs on lily-pads. They have been thinking about the relationship between adding and taking away and the ‘family of number facts’ (e.g. 4+1=5, 1+4=5, 5-1=4, 5-4=1). It’s been hard work but they’ve enjoyed the challenge!

The highlight of the week was having a walk round Thornford, looking for features. They had their eagle-eyes switched on and they spotted all the things they were hunting for around the village!

Have a lovely long half term and we look forward to seeing you on the first Monday back (Year One children, see you on the Tuesday, after your Montacute House trip on the Monday!)

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 14th October

Road Safety

What a wonderful week, full of special nurses, proving we are humans and rice krispie spiders!

In phonics the Reception children learned the sounds h, f/ff, b and l/ll and the tricky words ‘no’ and ‘go’. The Year One children finished off revising the Phase 3 sounds of the Letters and Sounds programme.

The children loved learning about the special World War One nurse, Edith Cavell. They did some hot-seating as Edith, an English soldier, a German soldier and her vicar father. They did some gorgeous role-playing dressing up as nurses and mending their friends’ and staff injuries and curing their illnesses!

In maths the Reception children practised counting – two children counted beyond 100! Also touch-counting skills with larger numbers. The Year One children explored a variety of ways to subtract.

The Reception children learned how to start up the computers and log on, using the mouse. The Year One children used the new Chromebook laptops, logging on, manipulating the school website, minimising and maximising the screen and signing out, all using the touch-pad. They loved it!

During a different session, we tried to log in to our new Music Scheme and there was a security check on it, making sure we weren’t robots. The children helped me spot the squares in the pictures that had traffic lights or bikes etc – this went on for some time, with lots of checks and the children found it hilarious how it wasn’t accepting we were humans!

One of the highlights of the week was having a visit from a unique spider one playtime – it had long hair-like legs and a body that looked like a rice krispie! The children loved discussing it and watching it move around.

A policeman came in to talk to the children about keeping safe on the roads. It turns out the Green Cross Code is still in existence! Stop, Look, Listen, Think. Please ask your children which side of the pavement adults should stand if they are walking with children. Also, what adults should do with a child’s hand if they are walking down a pavement!

Have a brilliant weekend and keep safe!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 7th October

Ride-on toy fun!

What a busy week!

In phonics the Reception children learned ‘ck’, ‘e’, ‘u’ and ‘r’ and the tricky words ‘the’ and ‘to’. The Year One children revised the sounds ‘er’, ‘ure’ and ‘air’.

In maths, the Reception children practised number recognition of teen numbers, early addition skills and ‘one more’ and making their own mathematical marks. The Year One children made addition number stories using objects and pictures then put them into equations (number sentences/sums) and part, part, whole diagrams. Also they started working on subtraction by the ‘crossing out’ method.

In English, we continued with the poetry theme from last week, learning some more poems and thinking about rhyming words. The children evaluated their junk models from the last couple of weeks – they were very thoughtful and discerning about their self-reviews! We revised what Harvest Festival is and handed round four different vegetables, using touch, smell and sight to explore them, and came up with amazing adjectives to describe them. The children also created some beautiful collage vegetables. We hope you enjoyed looking at them and hearing the adjectives during the Harvest Festival service. They did brilliantly!

Have a super weekend!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 30th September

Stick Insect poem

We’ve had a very poetic week this week! The children absolutely loved learning the poems for the Poetry Celebration on Thursday. They came up with wonderful actions to help them learn the verses. And what a performance it was! They are all very excited to show you all at the next KS1 Assembly on 18th October.

In phonics the Reception children learned the sounds ‘o’, ‘c’ and ‘k’ and revised the tricky word ‘I’ – they are really coming along with their blending. The Year One children revised the digraphs ‘ow’ and ‘oi’ and the trigraph ‘ear’ – they had fun coming up with some endings for ‘ear’ such as ‘muffs’ and ‘plugs’.

In maths the Reception children practised number formation using peg boards and trays of sand, matching number cards and conkers and finding totals of two groups using a Singapore method – they loved this. Please ask them for the part-part-whole actions (including the mouth shape for ‘whole’!) The Year One children matched part, part, whole diagrams with number sentences (sums), added two numbers by counting on and began to explore inverse operations (7=5+?) using teddies and balancing scales!

The children watched a video on Harvest Festival and discussed what it is, how we celebrate it and why. We also had a super time exploring our new music scheme ‘Music Express’ – there were some chants, songs and other fun and active activities. The children also had some reflection time – they were shown an autumnal scene and asked to sit quietly while they looked at it. After a while, they were asked what they can see, what it reminds them of and how it makes them feel. They came up with some gorgeous reflections.

Have a great weekend!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 23rd September

Junk Modelling

“There are 7 cubes in total, how many am I covering up?”

What a fun, glittery week!

The Reception children learned three new sounds – ‘m’, ‘d’ and ‘g’ and revised the tricky word ‘I’. The Year One children revised the digraphs ‘ng’, ‘or’, ‘ur’ and ‘ar’ and the tricky words they have learned so far.

In English, the children learned instructional language, using ‘bossy verbs’ and enjoyed thinking about how to explain to an alien exactly what to do to get ready for school and each tiny step of brushing their teeth.

In maths, the Reception children looked at number lines and practised touch-counting, matching numbers to objects and making up number stories with dinosaurs, toy soldiers, teddies and World of Warrior characters. The Year One children experimented with number bonds (pairs of numbers that make another number (e.g. 1+9=10 5+5=10 etc) and practised number formation and reading and writing number words (e.g. two, eight).

In Science, they discussed how to keep themselves healthy and in RE how also to look after God’s amazing world. Please forgive us if you get nagged to turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth, to walk not drive and to turn off the lights/TV when you’re not in the room!

The highlight of the week was when the children chose an item from the junk modelling area and designed what they wanted to make then made it…with a lot of glitter! Mrs Dennett said “The classroom looks like a rainbow has burst!”

Have a wonderful weekend!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 16th September

Park fun!

The children have rocketed with their confidence this week – it’s lovely to see! The Reception children learned the sounds ‘p’, ‘i’ and ‘n’ and their first tricky word ‘I’. Please ask them if they can remember the tricky word song and actions! The Year One children revised the sounds ‘ee’, ‘ai’, ‘oa’, ‘igh’ and the two pronunciations of ‘oo’ (e.g. in book compared to food) – please ask them what they needed to do with the blue cuckoo eggs! They also revised the tricky words from last week.

In English we read the gorgeous book, The Smartest Giant in Town, and the children matched the animals and the items of giant’s clothing, thinking carefully about the words ‘problem’ and ‘solution’. The highlight of the English sessions was when the children hot-seated as the characters, building on the activities last week. As soon as they held the tie or sock (with diamonds up the side, of course!) or shirt, they transformed into the characters.

In maths both the Reception children and Year One children focussed on more and less and comparing numbers to varying degrees, using different numbers and language!

In science the children labelled the body and in computing the children were thrilled to use the iPads to take photos. We showed the photos to the children afterwards and it was hilarious what they had captured!

The highlight of the whole week was the Eco-walk and park visit. The children were amazingly behaved and had a super time!

Have a great weekend!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 9th September

Tummy time!

This first full week has been a fun one! The Reception children learned their first sounds ‘s’, ‘a’ and ‘t’ via the lovely Sidney the Snake – they are starting to use their robot arms to sound out and blend sounds together. The Year One children started revising the digraphs they learned in Reception last year, namely ‘sh’, ‘ch’ and the two pronunciations of ‘th’ and also the tricky words such as ‘I’ and ‘go’.

The children listened beautifully to (the 50-year old story) The Tiger Who Came to Tea and some were brave enough to do some ‘hot seating’ – please ask your child what this is. They did brilliantly! The Reception children explored the maths resources, focussing on counting backwards and forwards, number recognition, writing numbers and touch-counting. The Year One children started their first formal ‘Maths No Problem!’ sessions and loved them. These were counting backwards and forwards, learning to read and write number words and the concept of zero.

We went on a senses walk where the children were in teams, finding as many things they could hear/see/smell/touch (not taste!) on the school field then reporting back to their class friends. They also heard the Christian creation story via the book ‘Wonderful Earth!’ and its amazing illustrations and vocabulary. They had some paired reading time, lying on their tummies – as well as being fun, this helps their core, gross motor skills and fine motor skills.

The children also loved drawing a picture of themselves and writing their names (Year Ones wrote about themselves) for the Writing Wall. Reception parents, please look out for this on Tuesday at the Reception Parents’ Information Evening. We look forward to seeing you there.

Have a super weekend!

Acorn Team

News from week beginning 2nd September

What a wonderful first few days!

The children have settled in remarkably well and have all made lots of friends. They played some name-learning games, played on the iPads in pairs, decided on some class rules for our Class Charter display, played some phonics games on the interactive TV, took their pencils for a colourful walk, played some counting games, sang some songs, listened to some lovely stories and the Reception children had their first school circle time talking about their favourite part of the summer holiday.

Enjoy your weekend together and we look forward to seeing you all on Monday!

Acorn Team


Acorn Class Information

Homework and Home Learning

Things you could do at home to help your child’s phonic knowledge and number skills

Reception children have sheets sent home on Fridays to enhance their learning of sounds at home. They can colour, paint or collage the pictures and practise writing the letters. It is important that the children can recognise words that contain these letters. A good activity is using magazines, catalogues and cereal boxes, and finding the individual sounds.

Ask your child to regularly write their name and a caption when they have done a picture at home. Encourage children to make menus, shopping lists, instructions and recounts.

Play ‘I spy’ focussing on words that begin with the phonemes (sounds) they are learning or play ‘Treasure Hunt’ – children can earn a point for each object they bring to you or show you beginning with a specific letter! Have fun.

Count from 1- 20. Try not to miss out some of the tricky ‘teen’ numbers! Look for numbers in the environment and add or subtract using the environment around you.

Watch an episode of ‘Alphablocks’ on the cbeebies channel or on the website.

The following website – is a good introduction to the phonemes your child is learning. The videos you may want to watch first can be located under ‘Prologue’. “The Phonemes of the English Alphabet Code” and “The Phonemes of the Alphabet”.

Reading Rewards

We are very keen for children to become regular readers and to encourage them to read at home we use a reward scheme. Every time your child reads at home with you please write it in their Home Link Book. If your child reads at home 3 (or more) times each week for a term, they will receive a special prize such as a Thornford pencil, rubber, gel pen etc.

Ideas for talking about books with your child

As your child gets older you tend to ‘hear’ them read less and less because they become more fluent. However, it is important that the children continue to develop their comprehension and reasoning skills, through talking about the books they are reading. These discussions will count towards your child’s reading reward too, so please note them in their Home Link Book too.

Here are some ideas to help:


1) After they have read a book, ask them to find their favourite part

  • Ask them what happened before this?
  • Why did they like it?
  • What do they think will happen next?
  • How do they think the issue/problem will be resolved?

2) Ask the children about their favourite character in the book. Then ask them if they have read any other books with similar characters? Or ask them if they know characters from other books that are completely different.


  • Is the information presented clearly?
  • Do they think the layout is interesting? Would they lay it out differently?
  • What information did they find out from the text?


Reception Parent Information

We use the Letters and Sounds programme for phonics which involves learning actions alongside the sounds. This helps the children remember their sounds more effectively. For more information, please visit


Phonics video and website

Please click here for information on how to say the sounds



Year 1 Parent Information

Phonics Information for Parents of Year One Children

Please find below some information taken from the Government guidance on the Year 1 phonics screening check.

What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?

The phonics screening check is a quick and easy assessment of your child’s phonics knowledge. It helps your school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress. The check takes place during the Summer term.

How does the check work?

  • Your child will sit with a teacher he or she knows and will be asked to read 40 words aloud.
  • Your child may have read some of the words before, while others will be completely new.
  • The check normally takes just a few minutes to complete and there is no time limit. If your child is struggling, the teacher will stop the check. The check is carefully designed not to be stressful for your child.

Contact Us

For more information or to get in touch:

01935 872706
or by Email