Headteacher: Anna Moss

0121 445 1622

Red Class

Red Class Christmas Fanfare 16.12.22


Hello Red Class Families,

Our last day was full of fun and laughter with a pantomime, party games and celebration assembly. In fact, it’s been a week of Christmas activities with our Christmas Show and a delicious Christmas dinner (thank you Mrs Barker and Mrs Miles). We’ve listened to carols every day and discovered how people celebrate the festival of Christmas.

Towards the end of term, especially near Christmas, the children become incredibly tired and give their every effort at school meaning their emotional ‘cup’ runs empty by home time. You might have seen a few grumpy or tearful faces this week or maybe you’ve had a few extra cuddles. Their behaviour is simply saying, “I’m tired and I’m ready for a break”. Well done little ones, you’ve fought bugs galore and demonstrated such resilience.

On Monday, we popped two reading books into every child’s bag to share during the holidays and new eBooks are available too. In January, we will begin a new topic, ‘Building a Business’ and we’ll continue our writing adventures as we learn to form letters using the cursive script. If you want to make a start during the holidays, Mrs Moss has made a number of videos on our You Tube channel showing letter formation. We always start with the curly caterpillar letters: c, o, a, d, g, q. Writing your name with cursive letters would be useful holiday homework too. Remember your tripod grip when you hold your pencil. If you’d like some holiday Maths homework, then please count forward and back to 5, then 10 and 20. Try 1 more and 1 less tennis to 10 using your hand to hit the ‘ball’ and work on your positional language. Perhaps, choose one decoration on your Christmas tree as a starting point and then find another above, below, between, to the left, to the right, in front or behind.

The children worked hard on their Christmas cards and calendars. We used our collage skills of cutting, sticking and overlapping and selected an appropriate colour for each season. Every year, you can look back at their 2023 calendar and see how much they’ve changed.

Finally, a big ‘THANK YOU’ for all your support and encouragement this term. Your kind cards, gifts and messages mean a lot to the team and we feel really lucky to be part of one big Blackwell family. Your child’s first term at ‘big’ school is complete and look at all we’ve achieved together. Children who are reading words and sentences, making new friends, singing in front of an audience and attending a school trip!

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a Wonderful New Year filled with fun, laughter and plenty of rest.

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class XXX

Red Class Friday Fanfare 09.12.22


Hello Red Class Families,

This week, we started our ‘Christmas’ topic. We looked at paintings, listened to stories, watched film clips and used role play props to understand the meaning of Christmas for Christians and even filmed our own version of ‘The Nativity’.

Another highlight of the week was our first school trip! The children were very excited to board the coach after a nice early lunch. ‘The Bear’ was a magical performance which captivated children and adults alike. We also enjoyed biscuits as a theatre trip treat!

Back in the classroom, in Phonics, we recapped digraphs ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘th’, ‘ng’ and ‘nk’ and read words and sentences with them. Practise these sounds at home and try finding digraphs in your reading books.

In Maths, we used objects, pictures and the number line to help our subtraction work. Our cheeky elf liked to jump back 1 on the number line to find 1 less. See if you can find 1 less to 10 at home.

We were bopping along to ‘The Happiest Christmas Tree’ in Write Dance. We used both hands to draw a Christmas tree complete with baubles, tinsel and a star. You can find the music here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqXzZH31Mbw

Next week, we have our Christmas show and Christmas dinner to look forward to as well as Party Day. Please send any last minute cards in by Monday as this is the night we turn the classroom into a Royal Mail sorting office.

Please look for any reading books at home and return them on Monday. We’ll be sending home two books next week in preparation for the holidays. New eBooks are available now. If you haven’t changed your library book for a while, please also send it into school so we can issue a new one for the holidays. Next week, we’ll send home PE kits and wellies.

Finally, remember your Christmas jumper for our Christmas shows on Monday and Tuesday.

Wishing all our Red Class families a wonderful weekend.

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class x

P.S. Thank you for all your contributions to our junk modelling bin. We’re now full to the brim. We’ll start collecting again after the holidays.

Red Class Friday Fanfare 02.12.22


Hello Red Class Families,

Today marked the end of our ‘Traditional Tales’ topic. Earlier in the week, the Nursery children visited Red Class to listen to our retell of ‘The Gingerbread Man’. We showed the Nursery children our story actions so they could copy too. We performed a Gingerbread Man song and showed our Nursery friends our display of Christmas cards. Mrs Allen then used her story spoons and some Nursery helpers to retell the story of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. Well done Team Red and Team Nursery for sharing your storytelling skills.

Our next topic is, ‘Christmas’, where we’ll listen to and retell the Christmas story and find out how and why people celebrate Christmas. On Monday, we’ll be filming our Early Years Nativity. We’ll also be taking photos of each child in their costume to make a photo gift for parents. As part of the performance some characters will wear face paint (just two little circles on their cheeks). If your child is sensitive to face paint, please email the office to let me know.

This week, in Phonics, we added ‘s’ to the end of words to mean more than one e.g. bags and cats. We recapped single graphemes and digraphs covered this half term and introduced ‘we’, ‘me’ and ‘be’ to our tricky word list.

In Maths, we used our hands, bucket scales and seesaw scales to weigh objects. We also tackled misconceptions. For example, all big things are heavy and small items are light. See if you can find examples at home e.g. a big teddy bear that feels lighter than you would expect and a heavy piece of jewellery. On the subject of jewellery, please leave bracelets and necklaces at home to keep them safe.

Today, we started tying knots at Forest School. The children practised stopper knots which will help them with their den building and craft activities. It was lovely to see lots of children showing their friends what to do and helping them to achieve the skill. This was our last Forest School session for this term as we’ll be using our Friday time to prepare for Christmas shows and events.

This afternoon, we sent home a book from the Book Trust. We have copies for our poorly little ones stored safely at school. If you ordered Christmas cards these should be with you too. Thank you to all our families for supporting Story Night. We shared Christmas songs and stories, played Christmas games (dance and freeze and pin the nose on Rudolph), shared gingerbread biscuits and even had time for a very special visitor. This marks the beginning of our Christmas celebrations in school with Christmas dinner, Christmas shows and Party Day all to follow in the next two weeks.

Finally, we introduced our ‘Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar’ this week. Each school day in December, Red Class will be given a mission to complete in school. So far, we’ve all smiled at a friend and tidied the boots on the balcony.

Wishing our poorly little ones a speedy recovery at home with lots of love and cuddles.

Best wishes,

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class x

Red Class Friday Fanfare 25.11.22


Hello Red Class Families,

Forest School was all about trust today. The children worked in pairs. One child closed their eyes and the other was the guide. We talked about the importance of talking to our friend to reassure them, holding hands and using walking feet to stay safe. Later on, the children used blindfolds and walked beside a rope with their partner. Mrs Lewis was busy making little rafts to float in the puddles and some children tried mud painting.

We’ve been working hard in Maths to recognise a number by talking about the arrangement. Is the number presented in dice or Numicon style? Can you see ‘five style’ and use your ‘power of five’? Spotting arrangements will help the children to quickly find a number of objects without needing to count one at a time. This will also help with our mental maths work, for example, recalling doubles and number bonds. We’re developing fluency and reasoning skills all the time.

During Phonics lessons, we practised ‘sh’, ‘th’, ‘ng’ and ‘nk’. I’m noticing some confident reading in Red Class with children reading words automatically. We want the children to feel confident enough to read automatically because they’ve rehearsed the same words, phrases and sentences over and over again. This is the reason we read our group practice book three times each week and then send it home as an eBook.

When reading at home, you might spend the first two days decoding the home reading book (real book) using sound talk (c-a-t) and blending (cat). The next two days aim for automatic reading. This might include echo reading where you read and your child copies. In the final few days, you might revisit the book and ask some questions to check your child’s understanding. This model replicates our group reading practice sessions.

As well as the home reading and eBooks, any games you play such as matching pairs or bingo also count as a daily read. Playing games with your tricky words, such as writing them on paper and splatting them with your hand, will count as a daily read. Try reading the following tricky words at home: to, into, go, no, he, she, of.

Next week, we will perform our retell of ‘The Gingerbread Man’ for the Nursery children. We’ll show them our printed gingerbread men cards and sing a counting song on the same theme. Our showcase will complete the ‘Traditional Tales’ topic before we move on to Christmas. We’ve already started practising for our Christmas show. You might have heard some lyrics or seen some strange hand shapes. All will be revealed at the Christmas show! I might also be planning a little audience participation. Remember to pack your dancing shoes. Talking of dance, I think a few of our Red Class friends will be dazzling in their dance shoes this weekend. Good luck if you’re performing!

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class xxx

Friday Fanfare 18.11.22


Hello Red Class Families,

Thank you for donating to Children in Need. In assembly, we listened to the Children in Need choirs from around the UK and, at the start of the day, we watched a CBeebies story about Pudsey Bear to explain why we were raising money and wearing colourful socks and headbands.

In Phonics lessons, we explored the grapheme/phoneme correspondences for ‘z’, ‘qu’ and ‘ch’ and started work on plurals, helping the children to understand how to read a word with ‘s’ at the end to mean more than one. We looked at ‘ch’ as two letters making one sound. We used a catchphrase to help us to remember e.g. ‘Chew the cherries children’.

In Write Dance we started ‘The Train’. This Write Dance is all about developing flowing, curved loops called garlands and arcades. As well as learning the train dance, we also experimented with loops in shaving foam and across chalk boards and today we created a Write dance train (see the picture below). If you would like to draw a Write Dance train at home, just click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkvM-baoqZI&t=383s

Maths focused on addition this week. We recapped 1 more before finding out how to add two single digit numbers using concrete apparatus. We also discovered the ‘power of 5’ or ‘5 style’ to support quick counting and recognition of numbers. So, when we look at the Fabacus, we find 5 beads (without counting), pull them across and carry on counting in 1s. We can also use the ‘power of 5’ to make numbers by seeing the number in parts, for example, 8 as 5 and 3. This will really support mental recall of number bonds and help the children as they move through school.

The workshop has been open for a couple of weeks now. This week, I’ve seen a cupcake maker, a straw factory, a bird box and a mouse house! It’s lovely to see such imagination. During the year, we will learn to shape, join and decorate in the workshop and our models will evolve! This area of the classroom allows the children to plan, design and test ideas and it’s always a popular area. Thank you to all our families for supplying junk. To limit the number of creations returning home, we’ve asked the children to select one model each week and this will be sent home on Fridays. This will allow the children to return to their model, evaluate their work and make changes during the week.

In PSHE, we looked at keeping safe in school. We talked about the importance of rules and following our class rules: good listening, following instructions, tidying, sharing and kind hands. By following our class rules, we can keep everyone safe. Later on, we talked about people who keep us safe at school. The children were able to name myself, Mrs Edney from club time, Mrs Moss and lots of other grown ups. We then remembered that we need to keep ourselves and each other safe too.

Finally, the children have been working hard in Wake and Shake. However, it was too difficult to pick leaders for the half term as they were all fantastic. So, to give more children the opportunity to lead, we’re changing every week!

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class xxx

Red Class Friday Fanfare 11.11.22


Hello Red Class Families,

To find out about Remembrance Day, we watched a short film and created prints of poppies in Art. Mrs Moss also spoke to the children and we all fell silent to remember.

We enjoyed a lovely morning at Forest School. We used our senses to ‘meet’ a new tree and looked for leaves and seeds to identify it. Later on, we made tree guardians to look after our favourite trees. If you visit Forest School, hopefully, you will still see them on the trunks of the trees. Play and Explore time in the forest involves climbing trees (not too far from the ground and with an adult watching), dragging branches, rolling logs and painting with mud. All in a day’s work in Red Class!

In Phonics, we concentrated on ‘j’, ‘v’, ‘x’ and ‘y’. We also introduced ‘his’ as a tricky word. Every day we read a challenge phrase. First, we sound talk and blend the words and then we read the words automatically. Try to do this in your reading at home as it will help with your pace and fluency. New eBooks are available from today.

In Maths, we compared a number of objects and used the language of more/greater and less/fewer. We looked at the relationship between more and less and started to recall 1 more and 1 less than a given number. Try finding and recalling 1 more and 1 less at home. If you’re quick and confident, see if you can solve some simple word problems (verbally) e.g. Mrs Webb made 8 cakes for a cake stall but her cat licked one of them. How many cakes did she have left to sell?

In PE, as part of dance, we chose action words for fireworks and then created firework motifs. We watched small groups as they performed their motifs and then used their ideas to make our work better.

Every Friday, we attend a celebration assembly where two children from each class receive a gold award certificate. During the week, we look for skills needed to be a good learner: resilience, problem solving, co-operation, communication and independence. Congratulations to our gold award winners so far. Who will it be next week?

Congratulations to our new Eco-Councillors. They will be helping Mrs James and all their friends to reduce, reuse and recycle. As well as jobs to help the school, we also have roles in class such as register monitor (this changes weekly) and, next week, we will choose 4 wake and shake leaders. Every day, the children help me with jobs to make the classroom run smoothly. A popular job is collecting the fruit peel! Well done, Team Red!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend with plenty of play and rest.

Best wishes,

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class

P.S. Get well soon and sending lots of love to our poorly little ones.

Friday Fanfare 04.11.22


Hello Red Class Families,

It’s been a busy week in Red Class as we started our ‘Traditional Tales’ topic. Throughout the week, we shared different versions of ‘The Gingerbread Man’, identified the main characters and story events and talked about the meaning of new words e.g. ‘chase’, ‘brave’ and ‘greedy’. On Monday, we printed gingerbread men for our display.

In Phonics, we explored the grapheme/phoneme correspondences for ss, ll, ff and j. During home reading, the children might need to be reminded that two letters make one sound e.g. ll in hill. This week, the children moved on to read phrases in Phonics. We read the following as a class:

a red hat

a red sock

a bell on a bed

jam on a hen

They all chuckled at the last one! Try reading these phrases at home. We also shared our group reading books three times and now they’re available as eBooks for you to share at home. Please let me know if you need any support or login information for the eBooks as these books help to develop confidence and fluency.

Maths lessons included subitising, counting, comparing and ordering numbers to 10. We used Numicon tiles to support our work. Write Dance lessons focused on the ‘Robot’ where we practised the robot dance (Red Class parents know all about the robot and his dance) and we created straight line patterns and pictures too. Click the link to find out about the robot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHMsJkiZbmY

Today, we looked for the characters from ‘The Gingerbread Man’ in the forest before using mirrors to find out about the forest canopy. The children were nice and ‘toasty’ in the forest with their warm hats and gloves and extra layers. We were also lucky to have sunshine rather than rain! In PSHE, we talked about how to keep safe on Bonfire Night and shared some important rules. If you’re visiting a fireworks display, this weekend, have a lovely time.

Thank you for attending our Early Years workshop on Wednesday. The Little Wandle website can be found here: https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk If you click the parent tab, there are videos and support materials to use at home. Slides from the meeting were sent home on Thursday.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class

Red Class Friday Fanfare 21.10.22


Hello Red Class Families,

Congratulations for completing your first half term in Reception. I’m incredibly proud of the children’s achievements. From learning classroom routines to developing their early reading and maths skills and making new friends.

On Tuesday, we participated in our first wake and shake competition. Although Blue Class were the champions, Mrs Moss was very impressed by our dancing! Watching the children perform in front of the whole school was a highlight for me this term. We finished our ‘Seasons’ topic with a week about owls. We created owl eyes in Write Dance by drawing circles and lazy eights and discovered some facts about owls too.

In Maths lessons, we explored length. At home, see if you can find two different socks and compare them. Is one sock shorter, longer or the same length as the other sock? Find 3 different types of pasta. Which piece is the longest piece? We also explored number bonds to 5 using songs, stories and games.

In PE, we developed spatial awareness by practising movement skills within our ‘gateway’ (the space between 2 cones) and rolling a ball through the gateway to a partner. Music lessons, throughout the half term, focused on keeping the beat and playing a rhythm using our sock puppets called ‘Beat’ and ‘Rhythm’. The children might like to clap and sing ‘Jelly on a Plate’ with a partner at home.

This week, we issued a second ‘real’ book instead of an eBook for the half term holiday. Zebras and Giraffes also changed their library books yesterday. If you’d like a new book, please return the old book on your child’s library day.

Monday – Lions

Tuesday- Tigers

Wednesday –Parrots

Thursday –Zebras

Friday – Giraffes

After half term, we’ll change our learning partners and begin a new topic, ‘Traditional Tales’. For now, please rest, play and enjoy time with your family.

Wishing everyone a lovely half term break.

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class xxx

Friday Fanfare 14.10.22


Hello Red Class Families,

Thank you for attending parent consultations. It was lovely to talk about the children’s progress and to share their learning journey with you. After half term, you will receive a report detailing some of the points discussed including targets. If we met via Zoom, you should find a mental maths progression sheet in your child’s book bag. This is a long half term and the children have worked incredibly hard. Not long to go now before we can all enjoy a good rest.

In Phonics, we looked at ‘h’, ‘b’, ‘f’ and ‘l’ and the keyword ‘the’. Remember to open your mouth a little, put your teeth on your bottom lip and push the air out to make ‘f’. When saying ‘l’, pop your tongue to the top of your mouth behind your teeth and press saying ‘l’. Try to find objects beginning with ‘h’, ‘b’, ‘f’ and ‘l’. Practise oral blending by listening to letter sounds e.g. l-e-g or h-i-p and touch the correct body part.

In Maths, we explored 2D shapes (rectangle, square, circle and triangle). We used elastic bands on pegboards and paper straws and string on the floor to create shapes. During our practical activities, we started to describe the shapes and identified whether they had straight or curved sides. We also found a semi-circle and discovered it had both straight and curved sides. See if you can find some 2D shapes at home. Can you find and count the sides of the shapes?

During Communication and Language lessons, we looked at two nests and asked and answered questions about them. We also sequenced the events of ‘Owl Babies’ and ordered a phrase as a whole class to match a photograph of an owl. Next week, we’ll be finding out interesting facts about owls!

In Write Dance, we created circles and eights with our hands, arms and feet. We then traced circles in shaving foam and created owl eyes by crossing the midline of the body and drawing lazy eights (eights on their side). You can find a link to support learning at home here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFEZzcJRtVQ

Finally, it was another busy session at Forest School. Two children found dinosaur bones (interesting pieces of bark), while other children made leaf mobiles to hang in the forest or created potions. We played a new game where the children return to camp without Mrs Lewis spotting them. I love to see their tactics when they play this game. Thank you, Mrs Lewis, for volunteering every week to help us to play and learn in the forest. 

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend. If you’re visiting the scarecrow trail, look out for our school cook scarecrow. We think the staff of The Blackwell Kitchen are superheroes. They make over 750 meals a week and help the children to be healthy, happy and ready to learn. Not all superheroes wear capes.

Best wishes,

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class xxx