Acorn Class


Welcome to Acorn Class
Reception & Year 1

Teachers Sophie Pink and Gemma Cheyne
Teaching Assistant Bridget Dennett

Acorn Termly Booklet – Spring 2019

News from week beginning 11th March

Red Nose Day!

What a week! The children have watched a pizza-making demonstration from Sherborne cafe, The Bake Out, then made their own pizzas with the kind help from some parents. They have had a super Red Nose Day and learned all about why we have Red Nose Day.

The children also had fun describing materials and talking with their partners about why keys are metal, not fabric, why windows are made from glass rather than wood and why socks are made from fabric rather than metal. Please ask them for some reasons!

In phonics, the Year One children were looking at the alternative sounds the ‘ew’ digraph makes (listen carefully to the ‘ew’ sound in new and blew), the alternative spelling for the sound ‘ai’ (ate, tail, say, eight, lady and prey) and the alternative spelling for the phoneme ‘c’ (cat, lick, kit, box, school and queen). They also thought carefully about the beats and spellings in the singles and plurals of words like frog versus words like church). The YR children learned the new tricky word ‘all’ and continued learning about syllables. We came up with words containing 1 syllable to 5 – please ask your child the two 5-syllable words we thought of! They were very chuffed!

In Maths the YR children learned about time – the days of the week, months of the year and used stopwatches, egg timers and counting to time various activities. The Y1 children learned about calculating addition and subtraction word problems, including multiplication problems, or ‘groups of’. They loved making up their own multiplication stories involving party bags and different numbers of bouncy balls in each bag.

In English the children planned then independently wrote their own fantasy stories, involving finding a magic pebble. Before writing, the children set their own targets (e.g. finger spaces, writing on the lines) then had the chance to show off their work on the visualiser, with their friends saying what they think would improve their work. The children were proud to show their work and took the advice with aplomb! We are delighted with their progress.

Have a super weekend!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 4th March

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory performance

Another very busy week in Acorn Class this week…

In phonics this week the Reception children learnt the tricky word ‘her’ and we started to explore two syllable words, for example farmyard. We talked about how many claps are in the word and then practised reading and writing different two syllable words. In Year One the children took part in a practise Phonics Check in preparation for the real thing in June and so that we can see areas that they need to revise.

In Maths the Year One children used apparatus like cubes or counters and pictures to solve word problems such as: “Isabelle has 12 cakes but Sakina has 5 more, how many does Sakina have altogether?” In Reception the children were learning about weight and in particular using the words heavier and lighter to compare the weight of different objects.

In English we researched different materials including wood, metal, rock and plastic. We thought of questions to ask about the materials for example we wanted to find out how metal is made and then we researched the answer to our questions on the iPads. We then created a non-fiction page using a photo of a material, an interesting fact about it, a heading and a label and we are all starting to independently sound out words to write them down, which is brilliant.

In other news we thoroughly enjoyed cooking and eating pancakes on Tuesday afternoon in the New Hall and as you can see from the picture the children loved taking part in the Charlie and the Chocolate factory dance workshop and performing for those of you who were able to come to the assembly today.

Have a wonderful weekend.

The Acorn Team 🙂


News from week beginning 25th February

Matisse Snails

This week in phonics, the Reception children had their final revision week, focussing on the sounds air, ear, ure and er. The children loved practising the alphabet rap again! The Year One children focussed on the ‘a’ grapheme (compare the ‘a’ sound in splash, bacon, fast and want), the ‘y’ grapheme (yes, by, pyramid, happy), the ‘ch’ grapheme (church, school, chef) and the ‘ou’ grapheme (sound, you, could, mould). They also learned some tricky words (different, any, eyes, friends, once, please).

In Maths the Year Ones were revising some concepts that they struggled with in their mid-year review – such as number patterns and missing numbers problems. The Reception children were learning to record using marks they can interpret and explain – this recording took the form of pictures, part-part-whole diagrams and number sentences.

In English the children finished off their information writing, recounting the Grace Darling story. They really are coming on so well with their writing – confidence-wise and ability-wise!

The children also put wheels on their superhero cars. We’re hoping to show you the finished products at the parents assembly this coming week. They created Matisse-inspired collage snails – we’re hoping to put these on display, in the Design and Technology area outside the classroom, for all to admire! Another highlight was watching in awe as the Gryphon children performed their music roadshow for the school. What an inspiration those older children were!

Have a super weekend!

The Acorn Team


News from week beginning 11th February

Steve Clifford story-telling

In phonics the Reception children started to learn the alphabet rap (letter names rather than sounds) and revised the sounds oo, ow and oi. In Year One the children learnt the alternative oa sound ow as in snow, the alternative igh sound as in pie and talked about what the term ‘punctuation’ means and when to use a . , ? ! and … in their writing.

In English the children learnt about Grace Darling and started to write historical recounts about how she bravely saved 9 men and women when their boat crashed into some rocks in the sea outside the lighthouse that she lived in.

In Maths the Year One children enjoyed completing a review of the work that they have done in their Maths No Problem textbooks so far and the Reception children learnt about subtraction by playing skittles, making up their own subtraction number stories and playing a mental maths train game on the computers.

The highlight of the week was when the author, Steve Clifford, visited and answered questions about himself, did a workshop with the Year Ones and told a story and sang a song with the Reception children. The children were enthralled by the real life author!

We hope you all have a wonderful half term and look forward to seeing you soon!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 4th February

Poetry Reciting Celebration


In phonics the Reception children revised the sounds oa, oo, ar and ur and all the tricky words learned so far. The Year One children learned the alternative sounds for the grapheme ‘i’ (compare the i sound in milk and remind) and the alternative o sound (compare the o sound in hot and both) and the two alternative sounds for the u grapheme (compare the u sound in plug, unicorn and pudding!). They also learned about vowels and the rule when c or g is followed by an e, i or y (they make the sounds s and j respectively).

In English the children wrote a recount of their snowy weekend then looked through and self-assessed their writing. They came up with their own writing targets to try to remember each time they write. They learned their poems for the Reciting and Debating Celebration – we hope you enjoyed their performances at assembly!

In Maths the Reception children were focussing on estimating (‘clever guessing’) and the Year One children were using tens and ones tables and Base Ten apparatus to help them with their understanding and writing of numbers more than 20.

We have started making our superhero cars – thank you for all the boxes!

Have a wonderful weekend!

The Acorn Team

News from week beginning 28th January

In phonics the YR children revised the sounds igh, or and ee and all the tricky words learned so far. The Year One children learned the alternative ee grapheme ‘ey’ (as in trolley and monkey) and the alternative oa grapheme ‘oe’ (as in toe and potatoes), the tricky words come, some, were and there and revised split digraphs (the ‘a’ sound in rat compared to it after an ‘e’ is added, i.e. rate).

In Maths the YR children learned about money, identifying different coins and using the interactive TV to buy toys with 1p coins. The Year One children looked carefully at using tens and ones to be able to count and compare numbers of objects quickly.

In English the children wrote most of their superhero stories they planned last week. They tried very hard to hear all the sounds then write them in the right order. They were really motivated by writing their own stories with their own characters and setting and their own superhero magic objects.

We designed our superhero cars, ready to make them next week and the week after. The children came up with fabulous ideas, including flames and lightning bolts down the sides and spoilers to make them go faster!

The children really enjoyed learning about pitch in Music. They watched a video and sang according to where my hand was (high for the high notes, low for the low notes) – I rather enjoyed being a conductor! We then looked at the different sounds produced by a wet finger around the top of two wine glasses with different amounts of water in – not everyone had time to have a go so feel free to experiment with this at home!

We hope you have a lovely extended weekend!

The Acorn Team


acornsAcorn 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


Spellings (for test on Friday 22nd March): nephew, threw, lady, boxes, shape


‘Groups of’ worksheet


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