St Nicolas

CofE Academy

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Foundation Stage

Willow and Palm Tree classes

Picture 1
Picture 2

Meet the staff...

Meet the staff... 1 Mrs Brown
Meet the staff... 2 Mrs Bradshaw
Meet the staff... 3 Mrs Woolridge
Meet the staff... 4 Mrs Magee
Meet the staff... 5

22nd May 2020


Happy half term everybody!


We hope you have a lovely week in the sunshine.  If you would like some fun activities to keep you busy then you will find some exciting home learning challenges below.  Have fun!



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Wednesday 8th April - Today we created Easter bonnets. We began the day by painting the hats and then we added a variety of decorations. At the end of the day, we had an Easter bonnet parade to show off our creations.

Blinding Lights Challenge

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Today, we learnt a dance to Blinding Lights By The Weekend. We challenge you to learn this routine over the Easter holidays. Who do you think performs this dance the best? The Children or the staff??


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Our topics for this year are:


It's good to be me

Let's Celebrate!

Once Upon a Time

All Creatures Great and Small

How does your Garden Grow?

Wish You Were Here 

Home Learning


Click on the link below to access a Home Learning Pack of activities for your child.

You will find number and writing challenges and lots of suggestions for games and activities to share with your child at home.


Read Write Inc. Live 'At Home' Sessions


There are going to be a set of free Read Write Inc. Phonics lessons on YouTube for children to join in with at home.  There will be three short speed sound lessons with a RWI Trainer every day for the next two weeks.  Films will only be available at the following times:

Set 1 Speed Sounds at 9:30 am and again at 12:30 pm
Set 2 Speed Sounds at 10:00 am and again at 1:00 pm
Set 3 Speed Sounds at 10:30 am and again at 1:30 pm


Films are streamed live and won't be available at other times.

Visit the link below to view the films.


Maths Activity 24.03.20


Can you create a picture using 2D shapes? Can you label the shapes you have used. Here are some pictures to help you.

Now be a Shape Detective! Can you spot any 2D shapes around your house? You could upload photographs of your shape pictures or the shapes you found on your shape hunt to Tapestry. Have fun!


25.03.20 Maths Link for Parents


White Rose Maths have created a series of lessons and activities for parents to access at home.  Click on the link below and you will find the lessons for Reception under Early years. Have fun!


Home Learning Activities


Thank you for all of the wonderful updates on Tapestry showing the super work you have been busy completing at home. To keep you busy you will find some more activity suggestions below... have fun!


30.03.20 - Home Learning Documents


Below you will find links to three documents. The first is a breakdown of the Early Learning Goals that we would be working towards with the children at school.  Underneath each Early Learning Goal are suggestions for ways in which you can help your child to work towards meeting these goals. I hope you find it useful!


The second document is a set of home learning challenges and activities linked to each Area of Learning. Have fun and don't forget to keep us updated on Tapestry with all of your super learning! 


Finally you will find a link for a Play Dough Recipe.  The children love to make their own play dough at school and it always results in lots of fantastic discussion about how the dry materials change texture and how they feel.  If you don't have cream of tartar or glycerine at home, don't panic! You will find lots of alternative recipes online that do not require these two ingredients. If you do have them however, they will make the dough much more malleable and it will keep for longer (as long as it is wrapped in cling film or stored in an air tight container).  You could even try adding a scent to your dough. Cocoa powder, vanilla essence and baby powder will all make your dough smell delicious! Have fun!

Early Learning Goal Information for Parents

30.03.20 Reception Home Learning Challenges

Play Dough Recipe - Make your very own play dough at home using household ingredients!



Tapestry Update 


We are aware that there a a number of parents who have not yet been able to activate their Tapestry account.  An email has been sent this morning to any parents who's accounts have not yet been activated. This email contains a link for you to access your child's Tapestry account and set up a new password.  The link will expire after a few days.  Occasionally the email is filtered into junk accounts so if you do not receive an email today, please check your junk folder.  We are using Tapestry daily to upload story time videos, activity suggestions and also for you to share the learning you have been completing with your child at home.  We love seeing all of the fabulous things you have been doing! 



The Easter Story


At school we would have been busy reading the Easter Story and finding out the meaning behind all of those chocolate eggs! Below is a link to a short cartoon telling the Easter Story.  Watch the story and talk with your grown up about what happened to Jesus and how you think he might have felt.


After you have watched the video why not make an Easter Garden? Making an Easter Garden helps us to retell the story of Easter,  thinking carefully about what each part of the story means.  Below is a video showing how to make an Easter Garden.


When you have made your Easter Garden, don't forget to take a picture and upload it to Tapestry.  You could have a go at writing a simple version of the Easter Story - make sure you include the important words  Easter, cross, Jesus, died. 

You could also make some Easter cards or ask a grown up to hard boil an egg for you to decorate!  


Everyone at school wishes you a safe and happy Easter. Here is a special Easter prayer from all of your teachers...



RWI Website Update


Please visit the link below for an update on useful resources to support RWI at home.  The RWI website has made available a wide range of resources including;


  • 72 eBooks matched to Read Write Inc. levels
  • 62 Speed Sounds practice sheets
  • 28 Ditty sheets
  • 8 Speedy Green Words slideshows
  • My Set 1 Speed Sounds Book as an eBook
  • My Sets 2 & 3 Speed Sounds Book as an eBook
  • 3 Speed Sounds Slideshows


We hope you find these resources useful!

Read Write Inc.

Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners.

We can achieve this together through:

  • Read Write Inc, a programme to help to your child read at school
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home


We use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their literacy. We have put together a guide to how the RWI programme works together with some useful links.

 Please take the time to read the information as it will provide invaluable information as to how you can help and support your child in reading.


What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.  

RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at



The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below
  • learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
  • read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
  • work well with partners
  • develop comprehension skills in stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions



The children:

  • learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
  • learn to write words by using Fred Talk
  • learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write 



The children

  • They work in pairs so that they:
  • answer every question
  • practise every activity with their partner
  • take turns in talking and reading to each other
  • develop ambitious vocabulary



Fred Talk


We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.

At school we use a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! we call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.


The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred.


The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.


Step 1:

Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.


Set 1




Down Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain.


Round the apple, down the leaf.


Slide around the snake


Round the dinosaur's back, up his neck and down to his feet.


Down the tower, across the tower,


Down the insects body, dot for the head.


Down Nobby and over the net.


Down the plait, up and over the pirates face.


Round the girls face, down her hair and give her a curl


All around the orange


Curl around the caterpillar


Down the kangaroos body, tail and leg


Down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle


Down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel


Down the stem and draw the leaves


Slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg


Down the long leg


Down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


Slither down the snake, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


Down the robot's back, then up and curl


Down his body, curl and dot


Down a wing, up a wing


Down a horn, up a horn and under the yak's head.


Down, up, down, up the worm.


Down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back


Zig-zag-zig, down the zip.


Curl around the caterpillar, , then down the horse's head to thehooves and over his back


Round the queen’s head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl


Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way


A thing on a string


I think I stink



Click here to hear how to pronounce sounds correctly.


Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.



Step 2:

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels. When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds.


Long  vowel sound

Set 2 Speed Sound cards

Teach these first

Set 3 Speed Sound cards


ay: may I play

a-e: make a cake

ai: snail in the rain


ee: what can you see

ea: cup of tea

e: he me we she be


igh: fly high

i-e: nice smile


ow: blow the snow

o-e: phone home

ao: goat in a boat


oo: poo at the zoo

u-e: huge brute

ew: chew the stew


oo: look at a book




ar: start the car




or: shut the door

aw: yawn at dawn



air: that’s not fair

are: share and care



ir: whirl and twirl

ur: nurse for a purse

er: a better letter


ou: shout it out

ow: brown cow



oy: toy for a boy

oi: spoil the boy




ire: fire fire!




ear: hear with your ear




ure: sure it’s pure?



Nonsense words (Alien words)          


As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term.


Step 3:

Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words. The short vowels should be kept short and sharp:

Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties. They will bring these home once they have read and discussed the book in class. Children will then be challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge to write short sentences.

Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers.Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary.Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.




Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.

Once your child has been introduced and taught these words in school we will send them home for you to continue practising with your child.

During the RWI session children will read the book three times and at each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills. You may have heard your child talking about ‘hold, edit or build a sentence’.

Hold a sentence is an activity that encourages children to remember a whole sentence while focusing on spelling and punctuation.

Build a sentence is to give children the opportunity to create their own sentence to that shows the meaning of a word and edit a sentence allows the children to critique a sentence using their knowledge of spelling punctuation and grammar. Children complete a longer piece of independent writing, which gives them the opportunity to show off their creativity and to practice their spelling, grammar and punctuation.


To help at home:

Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident readers. Please help them to read and give lots of praise!


Phonics Screening Check Year One

What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?

The Year 1 phonics screening check is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.

It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check so that schools can track pupils until they are able to decode.



Useful websites for Parents

Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child  learn about phonics. Games and fun activity websites are also included. - Games and information for parents - many games to play - fun games for the children to play  - fun games for the children to play  - fun games for the children to play and information for parents  - fun games for the children to play  - fun games for the children to play  - fun games for the children to play

BBC Bitesize - many games to play covering all areas of the curriculum