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Year R: Sweet Chestnut, Horse Chestnut

Teacher Contact Information 


Your teachers are: Miss Parker, Mrs Hawkins and Mrs Baker


You can email them at:

Miss Parker (Sweet Chestnut)


Mrs Hawkins and Mrs Baker (Horse Chestnut)    

Friday 1st December

This week we have been learning about vets and the important work they do. The children have enjoyed role playing as vets, looking after poorly toy animals! The children were very excited to meet Emily, a farm vet, who is a parent from Sweet Chestnut class. The children got to hear about her job and all helped to look after a realistic calf. The children also had a visit from Mr Newberry and the school dog, Mabel. We also saw the school pet mice. What a busy week. Please ask your child about the various visits and check for photos on Tapestry!

Trip to Stratton Church - On Friday 8th December

To ensure we all get back in time for lunch, we are asking if the children from Horse Chestnut can be dropped off between 8:40 and 8:45 (this is before the rest of the school) at our usual gate. This means those children can come into class, register and get ready to leave school at 9:15am. Don’t worry if you can’t drop off your Horse Chestnut child early. If this is the case the Horse Chestnut children can be dropped at the Sweet Chestnut side at 8:55am. Sorry, we can only collect Horse Chestnut children at 8:40 or 8:55 as the rest of the school is arriving in between.

To ensure the trip goes ahead, we are asking for lots of adult volunteers that can help walk the YR children to the church. We will need 12 volunteers to walk with us for the trip to go ahead. We are sorry, but no younger siblings as our priority is the safe walking of the children. The first group will be leaving at 9:15am and the second group returning by 11:45. If you can give up the whole morning, that is great. If not, let us know the times you are available, please. Thank you for all the kind offers of help that we have already received.   `.

 If you are able to help, please speak to one of the YR team. We will probably ask if you are able to help with a double walk, there and back, as we are going in two groups. Once in the church, the adults won’t be needed, as the children will be busy and safe, but adults will be able to wait in the church. Thank you for help, we know the children will enjoy their first school trip!

Class Christmas Party - food

For our Class Christmas Party, on Friday 15th December, we will be asking for a small food donation from each child for our party food lunch. Next week, one of the YR staff will be standing by the middle gate with a list of food. Please speak to the adult and sign up for one of the food choices.

Please remember we must have a list of ingredients for any food item. If not, we will be unable to serve it.

Christmas Singing

If your child would like to, they can also make a Christmas card for the class, which we will share and display.

This week we have started learning about Christmas. We have begun learning some Christmas songs which the children will perform in the last week of term. We will film their performance and share this with you on Tapestry before the start of the holidays.


The children have now completed their interim assessment to see how they are getting on. Based on the outcome of the assessments, the children have been re grouped and will be starting the new groups next week.  Some children will be in the same group as not all the children move up every time and just need to consolidate. Other children will be moving to the next challenge. Please see the slip stuck in your child’s reading log it will explain which group they’re in and what they will be learning next.

It is really clear that all of their practise at home is paying off, so thank you for your continued help and support! Please remember to log every time your child completes a homework task in their yellow reading log. These tasks include:

  • Practising individual sounds with flash cards
  • Reading their lilac book
  • Reading their blending book
  • Reading their ditty sheet

It is a part of your child’s reading homework to have 5 entries per week in their reading log to show the practise that they are doing at home.


This week in maths we have been consolidating the composition 4 and 5.

For your home learning this week, please have 4 or 5 objects and see the different ways you can arrange them. For example, 4 and 1 makes 5.

The Big Ambition

We are inviting you to help your child fill in a Big Ambition Survey. This is an important chance for our children to have their voice heard about what is important to them. Please visit the online survey

Have a great weekend!

Miss Parker, Mrs Baker and Mrs Hawkins 


Dates for the diary

Friday 8th December – Count Down to Christmas at Stratton Church with Year 6 Buddies

Thursday 14th December – Christmas Lunch

Friday 15th December – Class Christmas Party

Tuesday 19th December – Last Day of Term

20th Dec – 3rd Jan – Christmas Holidays

Thursday 4th January – First Day Back


Reading Homework


With your child, please carry out a variety of the following tasks at least 5 times a week.

  • Practise recognising letter sounds using flashcards daily – this is essential practise to get your child reading.
  • If your child is consistently recognising most of the letter sounds, make simple words out of the flashcards for them to practise reading. For example, sat, tap, dog, bed. Encourage your child to point to each letter as they say the sounds. Once they have said each sound, they need to blend them together to say the whole word. Eg. s – a –t, sat. They may need you to model this initially before they have a try.
  • Share your child’s lilac book. This book has no words. Your child needs to look closely at the picture and talk about what they think is happening. This develops their oracy comprehension and inference skills.
  • Based on your child’s most recent phonics assessment, the may also bring home a Read, Write, Inc Blending book or a ditty sheet to read at home.

Please keep all of the above in your child’s book bag. They need to bring their book bag to school every day.

Complete this reading record at least 5 times a week so that we know that your child is practising their reading at home.

Please make sure that you date and initial to show that your child has read their lilac book/blending book/flash cards.

We will check the reading logs once a week. Please speak to any member of the Reception staff if you have any questions.

Thank you for your continued support in helping your child learn to read.

The YR Team

Phonics Meeting for Reception Parents: An Introduction to Read Write Inc. Phonics

Phonics Parent Video: How to say the sounds

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