Acorn Class

Welcome to Acorn Class
Reception & Year 1

Teacher Gemma Cheyne
Teaching Assistant Bridget Dennett

Acorn Termly Booklet – Summer 2019

Year 1 Parent Information

Spellings no spellings

Homework no homework

News from week beginning 15th July

Larry the Tortoise!

This has been an amazing last full week!

We’ve had three visitors from our link school in Hudimesnil, France. They were so lovely with the children and taught us all lots of french words and expressions. They even sang us a french song!

We’ve had a junk modelling session, some fun reading and phonics sessions, practiced handwriting and had time on the iPads. We also watched the KS2 performance of Treasure Island – which was brilliant!

We had Pupil Voice morning where the children move around the four classrooms to give their opinions on topics like collective worship, the curriculum, clubs and themed weeks they might like.

We also had a visit from Larry the tortoise. He charmed us all!

Have a wonderful weekend!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 8th July

Balloon fun!

We’ve had a wonderful week! The children shared their experiences of the Dorset Moon exhibition in Sherborne Abbey and discussed why there is an exhibition of the moon.

The YR children used logic and reasoning in maths and had fun exploring number lines of different types with missing numbers and doing sudokus! The Year One children explored position, movement and turns with the associated language.

The children also learned and wrote about Roald Dahl – please ask them who Patricia and Felicity are! They listened to jungle sounds and then decided which instrument matched with the jungle animal sounds. The children then had a chance to write down what they think the sounds would look like. This was challenging for them but they came up with some fabulous zig zags, dots and curvy lines linked with the jungle animal sounds.

The children had a brilliant time at Pogle’s Wood, collecting natural treasure, going on the rope swing and exploring and making dens in the hazel tree area.

The children loved designing their own animal masks with moving parts – we had dogs, cats, elephants, rabbits, gorillas and chameleons! They then made them and told us where they wanted the split pins and reviewed how they could improve them. We hope you liked seeing them at the parents assembly!

As it was ‘well-being week’, we had a visit from a counsellor who talked to the children about all the different feelings and asked the children to release balloons to represent letting go of bad feelings. They were so excited!

Have a great weekend!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 1st July

Bunny fun!

This week has been so much fun!

We finished off our animal stories and self-assessed how we could improve it next time. In Maths the Reception children revised the concept of subtraction and ‘the difference between’ by exploring number sentences, part-part-whole diagrams, using Maths Bingo on iPads and fitting Numicon plates over other Numicon plates, to see the difference. The Year One children have been exploring the concept of weight/mass and have had lots of fun using balance scales.

In Science the children learned about grouping animals by what they eat, using the terms herbivore, carnivore and omnivore. We read a book about the various animals that are endangered and how we can help save them. The children learned about the conservationist Dian Fossey and her pioneering long-term study of gorillas. Please ask your children what happened to the baby gorilla on the video once it had settled into the nest it had just made!

The highlight of the week was the visit from one of the Reception children’s bunnies – the children heard about them then got to hold one! They were thrilled to hold and stroke them. Thank you Autumn!

Have a lovely weekend!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 24th June

Snakes and Ladders fun!

We’ve packed a lot into this four-day week!

In Maths the Year One children have been exploring capacity and volume and discussing whether containers are full, empty, half full or quarter full. The Reception children have been thinking about number facts that they ‘just know’ and trying to work out related number facts from them, without using objects, fingers or counting on or back in their heads – saying, for example, “If 5 and 5 is 10 then 5 and 6 is one more than ten so 11.” The children have loved this and they think they are now the best mathematicians ever!

In English we first read a story which is written from the narrator’s perspective. The children then chose an animal to be and planned and started to write a story from their own perspective (e.g. One misty morning I was slithering along the grass…) – they have really enjoyed this challenge! We’ve had bats being chased by golden eagles, penguins being grabbed by orca whales, jelly fish almost being eaten by sharks. It’s been tense! They will be finishing their stories next week.

In Science the children learned to group animals into fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. Please ask them if a whale is a fish because it lives in water and whether a bat is a bird because it has wings – then please ask them to explain why.

We had the pleasure of a visit from a girl from the Gryphon School on Wednesday, who helped the children with their learning, including playing Snakes and Ladders with them!

Have a wonderful long weekend!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 17th June

Number formation fun!

We’ve had another bumper week in Acorn Class!

In English the children came up with questions about an animal then we used iPads to find out and write the answers. In Phonics the Reception children carried on practising reading and writing all the tricky words so far and writing sentences that can be read by themselves and others. We’re having a big push on reading by sight at the moment, rather than depending on sounding out and blending each word, especially two-letter words. On the inside back cover of the Home Link books, there are many high frequency words to practise trying to read by sight. The Year Ones have been revising the sounds they struggled with during their Phonics Check last week (e.g. ‘aw’ and split digraphs).

In Maths, the Year Ones explored money – discussing and naming all the coins and notes (they particularly liked handling the £50 note!) The Reception children explored number formation and had a hilarious time making numbers with their bodies – please look at the main photo for some brilliant numbers! They also revised the difference between length and height. It was lovely to see so many YR parents attend to observe the maths session – the children had a great time working out all the ways to make 10.

In RE we learned about the Jewish Festival of Light (Hanukkah) and why Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah – please ask them what they do when they hear ‘Maccabees!’ and when they hear ‘soldiers!’ We had fun sequencing the story. In Science we watched some Springwatch clips and the children were detectives, spotting all the animals. The clips had us all ‘oooohing and ahhhing!’ at the gorgeous animals.

Have a wonderful weekend!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 10th June

Animal Sounds

This week has been great!

The Year One children seemed to throughly enjoy the Phonics Check and they all tried really hard – well done children!

In Maths the Year One children learned about time, the months of the year, when to use ‘earlier’ rather than ‘quicker’ and many more fun ‘time’ things. The Reception children practised creating number stories with counters, Lego people, koalas etc then recording them by writing the related number sentence and part-part-whole diagram.

A fire fighter visited the school with his cuddly toy dinosaur, Flames. The children were so focussed on what he was telling them about keeping safe. In Science the children wrote all the animals they could possibly think of and we then decided on how we might sort them into groups – first we grouped them by number of legs then by whether they lived on land or in water. The children then talked with their partners about which music instrument might match which animal – please ask them to tell you which instruments matched elephants, snakes, bulls, zebras, birds and cows!

Have a lovely weekend!

Acorn Team

News from week beginning 3rd June

Oak Class-run Science Fair

We have had a fabulous Maths and Science Week! The children thoroughly enjoyed the visits from parents (and a giant teddy, George from Peppa Pig, a real-life dog and some noisy rice krispies!) who use Maths and Science in their jobs. They also loved going around the Science Fair run by Oak Class children – there were 15 different stalls, manned by the Oak Class children, with exciting science experiments to get involved in.

In phonics, the Year One children focused on revising all the sounds they have learned over the year, ready for next week’s Phonic Check. The Reception children focused on writing wonderful sentences linked with their lives (one writing session was about an Acorn birthday party last weekend, one was about the Science Fair).

The children finished off their alien stories from last week and self-assessed their writing to come up with one way they could improve it for next time. In Maths the Year One children learned to tell the time to o’clock and half past and thought about time language such as evening, minute, before. The Reception children explored the idea of sharing equally.

Have a great weekend!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 20th May

Making Bobbia’s spaceship

We have had a wonderful week!

During one of my dog walks last weekend, I found a little alien in a field so I brought it into Acorn for the children to see, so we could chat about what we could do to help her. They named her Bobbia and the children spent the week thinking about and doing things linked with Bobbia. They planned and made their own spaceship to help her fly home. The children made their own aliens using pipe cleaners and googly eyes then planned a story based on their own alien – making sure they introduced the character and setting, the problem and the solution. The children also wrote stories from their plans. They were so caring and thoughtful about Bobbia – what a kind class!

In Maths the Reception children learned about counting on and back – focussing on using number lines or just their heads. We spotted some cheeky finger counting at times! The Year One children continued exploring numbers up to 100, thinking about tens and ones, looking at number patterns with numbers going up and down, in ones, twos, fives and tens. Also how to put 2-digit numbers in order (i.e. look at the tens column first).

The children planted their own cress seeds and have been so excited, going straight over to the pots to see how they have grown each morning. They started writing their own seed diaries which will continue at home as the half term homework.

The children did so well at the KS1 Music Assembly. They were so confident standing up in front of the rest of the school, staff and parents. We were very proud – well done children!

Have a great half term!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 13th May

Gore Farm trip

We have had a very different week this week – full of New Hall fun with our Beech Year One friends and a fabulous trip to Gore Farm.

Due to the older children having SATs, we did lots of exciting things in the New Hall Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning, including playing games on the enormous interactive TV, word-searches, colour-by-number sheets (lots of concentration faces with this one!), paired reading, listening to stories, playing ‘Duck Duck Goose’, number challenges, singing songs and writing about our grandparents – to name but a few!

The trip to Gore Farm was wonderful and the children not only had lots of fun, they learned huge amounts with the hands-on activities. Their recounts on Gore Farm were so beautifully written, they were obviously very motivated!

Have a lovely weekend!

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