The Village Academy

The Village Academy is a group of town, city and village schools that have joined together to provide the very best education for the children in our care and where we believe that education is very much a matter of the individual.

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 Year R - Reception (Robins Class)
















Welcome To Year R - Robins Class

A Message from Miss Grace

Term 2

Welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful half term and are ready to begin a new term in Robins Class. Our topic this term is 'Are We There Yet?' where we will be experiencing a variety of celebrations from around the world and exploring journeys through stories. 

In Literacy we will be reading a range of journey stories and developing our understanding of how they are sequenced. Some texts we will be reading include; 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt', 'Naughty Bus' and 'The Jolly Postman'. 

In Phonics we will begin to move onto Phase 3 sounds and consolidate our segmenting and blending skills to help us to read and write simple labels, captions and sentences. 

In Maths we will be learning to estimate, find one more by counting forwards, and consolidating our recognition of numerals. We use lots of practical materials to support us in Maths and will be exploring length, weight and 3D shapes through exciting Christmas-themed activities such as wrapping and weighing parcels!

 For further information please see our Topic Web here.

Our daily timetable can also be accessed here.



Week 2

 Robins Class have been exploring the celebration of Bonfire Night this week. We have been making our own fireworks using different materials including Playdough and glitter. The children have also been discussing how we can stay safe around fireworks and bonfires and we have enjoyed role-playing as firefighters this week.






In English we have been reading ‘Owl Babies’ and we have been using a story map to re-tell the story. We have also been on a listening walk to help us consider what the Owl Babies might have heard in the woods to inspire our writing. The children have also really enjoyed making their own mini books inspired by their own lives.

In Maths this week we have been practicing counting out from a larger group by counting out the correct number of feather to give to the owls.

 Week 1


Robins Class have been learning about all things spooky this week. We have been very busy exploring pumpkins and creating our own out of paper. Some of us have made magic wands and had a go at dressing up too.


Robins have also had fun riding our new bikes around the playground and we have begun practicing the songs for our Christmas Nativity.



In English we have been reading ‘Room on The Broom’ and have labelled the characters on our own Broomsticks. We also made a potion together and wrote lists to show what we would put in our own potions. In Maths this week we have be making shape Witches and practicing counting objects using 1:1 correspondence.


Upcoming Events

We will be inviting you to attend more 'Stay and Play' sessions this term, dates will be provided closer to the time. 

Towards the end of term we will be holding our Christmas Nativity performance! Again, dates should be provided to you closer to the time by the school office to ensure you catch  our first performance. 



Home Learning  

Each Friday your child will be set a ‘Love To Learn’ task in their book to be returned by the following Thursday. You can be as creative as you wish when completing these tasks as we want to encourage your children to love their learning both at home and at school.


Further Information


Our Curriculum

In Reception we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which is the curriculum until they enter the Primary National Curriculum in Year 1.

There are seven areas of development which the children will be assessed against throughout the year. Children are expected to achieve a ‘Good Level of Development’ by the end of the year. This is achieved by meeting the Early Learning Goals which can be found using the curriculum links below.

We work closely with families and other professionals to ensure that all children are given the best opportunities to achieve their fullest potential.

 If you would like to explore our curriculum please click on the attachments below:

EYFS statutory framework

Development Matters



In Robins Class, we use Tapestry to document children’s learning and development in their online Learning Journal. This is a fabulous tool for us to share the children’s significant new learning with you and for you to share the things you do at home too.

The children love to share their photos from home with the class and it is a great opportunity for them to develop their confidence, especially when speaking to a large group. Look out for ‘I Wonder’ challenges we might leave on tapestry observations to support you in challenging your children’s next steps.

It is great to see so many of you already engaging  with Tapestry, the children have thoroughly enjoyed sharing their experiences from home with their friends!


Forest Fridays

We are enjoying our weekly Forest Friday sessions and have been exploring some of the new additions including giant tyres and a base area where we can share stories. The children are provided with a all in one wet suit however it is very important that they have wellies in school as it is starting to get muddy in our forest area! 



Our PE sessions are on Tuesday afternoons. Please ensure you child has a full PE kit in school and that everything is named as things can easily be misplaced when the children are changing themselves. Their PE kit should include shorts or warm trousers, plimsolls and a coloured t-shirt which corresponds to your child's 'house' (if you are unsure of your house team please ask either the school office or myself). 

This term we are developing ball skills in PE. We will be learning to control a ball through rolling, throwing and catching. 


Reading Books

The children should all have simple words books which they bring home each evening. We ask that you read with your children every day. They are not expected to read a whole book, just a few pages is enough – unless they are very eager of course!

Once you have finished your book we will change it for you, please remember to sign your child’s reading record to let us know.

You may have some books repeated, this is helps to build your child’s confidence and fluency whilst reading and allows them to understand the story rather than focusing on segmenting and blending the words.



At Petham we use the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme alongside ‘Jolly Phonics’ to support our teaching.

We will begin teaching Phase 2 sounds this term. You will be invited to attend a Phonics Workshop to give you further details about Phonics and we will also hold a ‘Stay and Play’ session so that you can come into our classroom and see how we teach Phonics in school.

We teach your children to use ‘pure sounds’ for example, when introducing the grapheme s we would say ‘sss’ rather than ‘suh’. Please refer to the video below to hear the pronunciation of each sound.



Phonics Overview

Phonics is split into 6 phases.  In the reception year we focus on phase 2, 3 and 4 and we may begin phase 5a towards the end of the year.  Phase 5 is split into four sub sections which are usually taught in year 1 and phase 6 is usually taught in year 2.

Sounds in phase 2

s, a, t, p ,i ,n ,m, d, g, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r, h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss

Tricky words in phase 2

I, no, go, into, the, to

Sounds in phase 3

j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu, sh, ch, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er

Tricky words in phase 3

he, she, me, we, be, you, all, are, her, was, they, my

Phase 4 There are no new sounds taught in phase 4.  Phase 4 focuses on learning to read and write polysyllabic words and to read and write consonant blends and clusters.

Tricky words in phase 4

said, have, like, so, do, some, come, there, little, one, were, out, what, when.

Phase 5

Phase 5 is split into four subsections.  Some children will begin to explore phase 5a towards the end of the year.  There are no new sounds taught in phase 5, however phase 5 teaches alternative graphemes (spellings) for sounds learnt in phase 3 including split digraphs.

Phase 5a sounds/graphemes

ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, aw, wh, ph, ew, oe, au, ey, a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e.

Please continue to practise these sounds at home, using our ‘pure sounds’, look for them in books – how many can you find in a minute? Search for them in the environment, form them in the park or garden with sticks, put them into sentences, chalk them on the ground or use a wet paint brush on a dry day.  Practise reading the tricky words and writing the tricky words from phase 2 and 3 in fun and exciting ways.



If you have any further questions, concerns or anything you wish to share with us we will be available on the playground each morning and afternoon. You can also write a note in your child’s reading record if required.

Thank you for your continued support,

The EYFS team

Miss Grace, Mrs Hands and Miss King