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Dear Elm Class Families,

Please don't panic, we will get through this together. I am still your child's class teacher and I will still be here to help you and your child over the coming weeks (and months).  They are all such wonderful little people and I know that you are all going to be fabulous at helping them with this rather unexpected part of their education.

If you are able to, please cherish this extra time that you have been given with your child, they really do grow up so quickly.

Stay safe and healthy and I'm here for you all.

Jo Chapman


Laura Samuels

Antarctica Explorers Dance

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Mother's Day

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Elm reception. Sporting superstars!!!

Jack and the Beanstalk - talk 4 writing story map.

The children all have a copy of the story map in their reading record. Please ask your child to tell you the story, using the story map to help them. We have been working on using different voices for the different characters. There is a video of us telling the story below if your child needs a bit of help.

Over the next 2 weeks, year 1 children will be adapting the story to write their own fairy story.


We have been learning different words for big.

Massive, huge, enormous, colossal, ginormous, gigantic, elephantine, humungous.


Jack and the Beanstalk - Talk for writing

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Thank you to everyone who came to share a story with us this morning. It was lovely to see so many of you.

World Book Day

Excellent Explorers

Our new topic links nicely with the end of our last topic, building on what we know about Antarctica. We will be learning about Scott of the Antarcitc and comparing him with Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Looking at the differences in equipment and travel between Scott and Fiennes and putting Antarctica events on to a timeline.

Excellent Explorers

Antarctica Poem

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Wanted - Ribbon / material off cuts

After half term we are going to be making some weaving wall hangings. If you have any ribbon or material off-cuts which you no longer need we would be very grateful of them.

Thank you


Performance poetry - Jack Frost

We learnt the poem Jack Frost. The children thought of actions to go with the words and then performed the poem for each other. 


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Phonics Workshop

On Monday 3rd February 3:00 3:30pm I will be running a session on how to help your child with their reading. We will look at how we teach the children the set 2 and 3 phonic sounds, and how to get the most out of reading with your child at home.

This session is open to anyone, please don’t worry if you have younger siblings. Feel free to bring them with you. If you are unable to make the session, please let me know and I will try to organise a second session at a later date.


This session is aimed at reception parents, but any year 1 parents are more than welcome to attend, especially if you were unable to attend last year.

Chinese New Year - Dragon Dance

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Chinese New Year  - The Year of the Rat

We had a Chinese banquet at school today. The children tried to pick up raisins with chop sticks, and then ate noodles, prawn crackers and fortune crackers. We learnt about lucky red and gold packets filled with money and how Chinese people celebrate Chinese New Year.

Thank you for donating prawn crackers and fortune cookies.

Bug Hunting

The children were so busy this afternoon in outdoor learning, looking for bugs, creepy crawlers, mini beasts and insects. They looked under logs, rocks, in the soil to find creatures and put them into a pot which they had to make like a mini beast home. The children choose to put grass, stones, bark, leaves and mud into their pots. The most common creature we found was worms, but we also found millipedes, centipedes, snails, slugs, ladybirds, ants, woodlouse and spiders. 

Hot chocolate fire circle

Talk 4 writing Egypt Fact File

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Talk 4 Writing - Egypt Fact File

Year 1 have been learning about hot and cold countries.

Our new topic is all about comparing hot and cold places. If you have been anywhere on holiday could you please talk with your child about the difference in temperatures, the types of clothes that we need to wear in different climates, and where different countries are located on the world map.

Goggles and Glasses - A Geography Topic comparing hot and cold places

Special Treat

As a special treat to finish off our Christmas Celebrations we had hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, followed by a Christmas dance. Fantastic.

We hope you all have a brilliant Christmas and New Year and look forward to seeing you in 2020. I wonder what we will be learning next year?

Lots of love

Mrs Chapman and Mrs Austin


Rock Steady Concert

Thank you so much for supporting our Christmas Crafternoon. All money raised will go towards buying the cases for the new tablets that FOGDS are buying for the school.

Christmas Crafternoon

Happy Christmas Jumper Day

Christmas Dinner


Wednesday 18th December Christmas Crafternoon!

The children have been really busy making crafts and treats to sell at our Christmas crafternoon. They have made Christmas tree decorations, clay candles holders (including a tealight ), mince pies and chocolates.

A bag with a tree decoration and clay candle holder will cost £2.

A bag of 2 mince pies and 3 chocolates will cost 50p.

You are welcome to come to school from 3:00 pm to buy crafts and enjoy a hot drink. If you are unable to make it please don't worry, you can send some money into school with your child. £2.50 will be enough to buy everything!



Elm Class Talent Show Auditions

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Diwali Dance

Well done Elm class, you performed the dance brilliantly. Thank you to everyone who came to watch. I hope you enjoyed it.



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Diwali Dance Performance 

I do hope you will be able to join us for the Diwali Dance performance on Monday 2nd December at 3:10 in the school hall. The children have been working really hard to re-tell the story of Rama and Sita. Don't worry if you can't make it, hopefully I will be able to video it and post it on the website.


Children in Need Big Move with Joe Wickes

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Hindu Shrine

It's A Baby

Please bring a named bag ready for the nativity costumes. If your child needs any extra clothes from home, a letter will be out by the end of the week.


Tickets are now on sale from the office - 2 per family in the first instance. 


Thursday 5th December 9:30 am- Dress Rehearsal

You do not need a ticket to watch this performance. 


Monday 9th December - 2pm

Ticket needed


Tuesday 10th December 6pm

Ticket needed - No under 3's allowed at this performance.

Please return the children to school at 5:30 pm. If you are not staying to watch the performance please arrive to pick the children up at 6:50 pm. 


The children have been working really hard learning the words, songs and dances. We can't wait to perform for you. 


Outdoor Learning

A very wet session this week. The children had a fantastic time making muddy paint to paint leaves, the clamber stack, the huts, the playground, anything they could find! We also had some spectacular puddle jumping, a broom wave machine and a drainpipe river. The children coped really well with the cold and wet. Well done everyone!

Light Up the World - Shabbat

The year 1 children listened to a talk about the Jewish special day Shabbat. The children listened to what happens at Shabbat and what objects are on the table. 


Outdoor Learning - Week 1

I was so proud of all of the children during their first outdoor learning session. They made the most of all the activities on offer: potion making, small creature den building, bug hunting, mud pie mixing. Some children focused on numbers and found sets of objects (leaves, conkers, pine cones) to fit into numicon holes. Thank you to all the parents and grandparents that helped us. It makes it so much easier when we have a lot of support. If you would like to come to outdoor learning, please let me know, we'd love to have you.

Outdoor learning should take place every Thursday afternoon, so please assume it is on unless you hear otherwise. Please remember to send in the children's waterproof trousers, warm jumper, extra socks, hat and gloves on a Thursday morning. 

Diwali Dance Workshop

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Light Up the World

A topic about festivals and celebrations.

Year 1 Multi Skills

History - Our Family Tree

The children have really enjoyed learning about life for their parents, grandparents and great grandparents when they were children. We have been talking about prime ministers (Boris Johnson, Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill), pioneers of technology (Tim Berners Lee, Neil Armstrong) and have looked as photos of the Queen at different ages of her life.

We have hired a box of old toys from Abington Museum and the children have had great fun playing with them. I was really surprised by how they persevered to get the toys to work. 

If you have any elderly relatives maybe your child could ask them what toys they played with when they were little.

Old Toys


Everyone should now have access to Tapestry, the online learning journal. Please activate your account so you can see the observations that we make on the children. Please remember to upload your own observations / comments on the children as it helps us to build a big picture of your childs learning and development.

If you need any help using Tapestry please do not hesitate to speak to me.


Peace At Last

The reception children did really well to re-tell the story of Peace at Last by Jill Murphy,using the text map to help them.

Well done everyone.


Peace at Last Group 1

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Peace at Last Group 2

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Peace At Last Group 3

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Peace At Last Group 4

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McMillan Coffee Cooking

Treasure Island

What a treat for our first full day at school! The reception children sat with their buddies to watch Treasure Island. Everyone enjoyed the show, especially when the pirates came to shake their hands at the end.

Well done to the year 1 children who sat so beautifully at the front.


Treasure Island.mp4

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Starting School - Reception

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Lunch with our buddies - Reception

Talk 4 Writing Peace at Last

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Welcome to Elm Class.

We are really looking forward to a fun filled year of learning and adventures.


Our first topic is "Our Family Tree" where we will be learning about our family and what life was like for our grandparents and great grandparents. If you have any old artefacts at home that you could bring in to share with the children that would be great e.g. old phones with the spin dial, old cameras, toys, photos etc.

New Year 2019-2020


Farewell Finland Class

What fantastic progress all the children have made this year. We've learnt a lot together, a few ups and downs along the way, but plenty of fun and smiles. The photos and videos will remain on the website as a reminder of all the fun we shared together.

Have a fantastic summer and we will see you all in September.


Mrs Chapman, Mrs Mistry and Mrs Austin

Team Finland!

Lots of fun in the last few days of term. Bikes and scooters. Then a play in the park.

Splash Day

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Outdoor Learning Fire

The children made a sweet bread dough to cook over the fire. They rolled the dough into a sausage shape, twisted it around their stick and then cooked it over the fire. Once cooked, they dipped it into some jam. The children remembered the rules of the fire, making sure they walked around the fire circle and listening carefully to the instructions.

Thank you to everyone who was able to help us. We really appreciate it.

Well done Finland Class.

Outdoor Learning Fire

Outdoor Learning Fire - Tuesday 9th July

 Any helpers are welcome from 1:15 pm. This is our last outdoor learning session of the year.

Sports Day Video

Please click News and Events - PE and Sports to watch a video of what the whole school gets up to on sports day.

Sports Day - Thursday 4th July

Children to come to school wearing PE kit, suntan lotion applied, sun hat and a water bottle.

They do not need to bring book bags with them.

We will be having a collection for Race for Life Cancer charity. All are welcome on the field from 1pm to cheer the children on and take part in the Race for Life.


Stanwick Lakes Trip

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Summer Fayre - Country Dancing

Please come to school for 5:30 on Friday afternoon and bring your child to Spain classroom. The children have been working really hard learning the dances and can't wait to perform for you!

Sponsored Marathon

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Summer Term Diary Dates

A jam packed half term, more details of each event will follow nearer the time.

27th June - Sponsored marathon - Finland class running at 11:00 am

28th June - Summer Fayre - Children country dancing at 5:30pm

3rd July - School trip - Stanwick Lakes - any parent help greatly appreciated 

4th July  - Sports Day - parents invited to watch from 1pm

9th July - Outdoor Learning Fire - Any parent help greatly appreciated from 1:30pm

16th July - Splash Day

19th July - FOGDS summer disco pm

22nd July - Wheels Day

24th July - Break up from School



Trip to Stanwick Lakes

As part of our All at Sea topic, we are taking the children on a trip to Stanwick Lakes on Wednesday
3rd July. We will be leaving school at 9:15 and returning at 3:15pm. The children will spend the
morning on an adventure walk, on the zip wire, tyre swings and looking at the birds from the bird
hide. After lunch we will play in the adventure playground and the children will be able to play in
the water.
Children need to come to school wearing sensible clothes and shoes for a day in the park. Please
ensure you have applied suntan lotion to your child on the morning of the trip.
Children need to bring the following items with them, which all must be named:
 Packed lunch, including drink
 Plenty of water to drink
 A sunhat
 A towel
 A change of clothes (including socks, underwear and shoes)
 Beach shoes to wear in the water (crocs )
 Bucket and spade if they have one (named)
The cost of the trip will be £12 per child, which covers the cost of the coach and a mini milk ice
cream (Any allergy issues please let us know). You need to pay for this using the online payment
system. If you need any help with this please call into the office where they will be happy to help
you. We need parent helpers to support us with this trip. If you are able to help please fill in the slip
If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.
Mrs Jo Chapman

Police Video

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New Topic - All At Sea - a topic linked to pirates.


Reception Multi-Skills


We have really enjoyed searching for min-beasts during outdoor learning, the children have found them under logs, rocks, plant pots and scurrying around in the grass and bark. Today we made mini-beasts out of plasticine and then made our own mini-beast world for them to enjoy.

Plasticine Mini-Beasts

Cuddling the ducks!

The Ducklings Hatch.

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The children found lots of mini beasts during outdoor learning. They chose which mini-beast they would like to make out of felt. They designed their mini beasts and then tried really hard to cut 2 identical pieces of felt to make the front and back. They sewed their mini-beasts together and added legs, antenna and eyes. I am so proud of all of them for their perseverance. Great work Finland class!

Watching the dove nest


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Life Cycles

We have been so lucky in Finland class. A collared dove chose our outdoor area to build its nest. The children have been watching with great interest over the last few weeks and we have just seen 2 very healthy looking chicks. The mum and dad are both taking good care of the chicks, taking it in turns to sit on the eggs, and to gather food for the chicks.

Mrs Homer brought in Giant African snails and stick insects for our insect lab. Again, the children have been fascinated to watch them grow, and help to feed the snails. They really like apples, but did not like the grapes.

Our duck eggs arrived on Monday, and one duckling has hatched already. The children think it is an Indian Runner duck, as it has yellow feathers, yellow feet and a pink bill. We are hopeful that more of the eggs will hatch over the next few days.



Summer 1 - Marvellous Mini-beasts


Cinderella's Ball

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Story Telling Tea Party

Thank you so much to everyone who attended our story telling tea party. The children have worked so hard all term, baking, painting, story telling and writing and it was lovely for them to be able to share what they had done with you all. I promise the children will be able to bring their books home with them, we just need to keep them in school for the next few months.


Story Telling Tea Party

Cinderella Story - by a few Finland reception children.

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Farm Web.mp4

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Happy Mother's Day

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Outdoor Learning Fire

We had a fantastic afternoon at our first outdoor learning fire of the year. The months of training had been worth it, as the children were brilliantly behaved in the fire circle, remembering all the rules to keep them safe. The children tied newspaper knots to go at the bottom of the fire, then watched as the kindling they had collected last week was used to build up the fire.

Once the fire had reached a good cooking temperature, the children toasted 2 marshmallows and then ate them between 2 chocolate digestive biscuits - yummy!!

They really enjoyed watching the fire being put out with buckets of water.

Thank you so much to all the parent volunteers who came to support us. We really couldn't do it without you.

Well done Finland class - you make me very proud.



Outdoor Learning Fire

Cricket Workshop

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Kings and Queens - A topic about fairy tales

Chinese New Year - The Year of the Pig

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Rocket Launchers

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Reception animal facts - independent writing

Animal Encounters

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Animal Encounters

We had such an exciting morning with Mr Price from Animal Encounters. He brought a stick insect, a milk snake, a royal python, a crested gecko, a chameleon, a tarantula and 2 meerkats.

The children listened very well to a talk about each animal. We learnt where they lived, what they ate and some interesting facts about each animal. They then got the chance to hold, or stroke them. We were amazed at how brave they all were, especially those children who had the royal python around their necks and who held the tarantula.

Hopefully this week they will show us how much they have remembered and show off their fantastic writing skills. Well done Finland Class, you make us very proud.

Move like an animal.

We have been talking about how different animals move through the rain forest. We got the PE apparatus out and had a go at climbing ropes, ladders and bars; crawling across benches and rolling on mats. The children listened really well to the instructions and it was lovely to see what confident climbers they are. Well done Finland class.

PE Apparatus

Rang Tan

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There's a Rang Tan in my bedroom - Talk 4 writing text map

Rang- Tan

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We have been watching this video in class. We will be learning about the rain forest and the animals which live there. We will also talk about why we need to save our rain forests.

Outdoor Learning - Matching Sets

The children chose a number and then had to collect natural objects to match the number. If they chose leaves, they had to find matching leaves. They all worked really hard to collect leaves, bark, twigs,  and sticks.

Tree climbing was really popular today, with children using animal movements to work their way along the branch to collect the cuddly animals. Plenty of potion making, tent building and the tree swing kept everybody busy all afternoon.

Thank you to everyone who came to help us today - we really appreciate it.

NSPCC Sponsored Circuits

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Jack and the Beanstalk

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African Day

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Dear Earth - A topic about saving our planet

Christmas Sing-A-Long

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Merry Christmas

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Happy Christmas!

Firework Dance

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Dance performance

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Thank you to everyone who came to watch our dance performance. I was very proud of all of the children. This video has had to be heavily edited. I will try and film them again next week so you can see the performance in full.

Outdoor Learning - Milk Bottle Rockets

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Firework Art

The children watched a video clip of fireworks and then experimented with a variety of paint techniques to create their very own fireworks.

Paint, glitter and glue everywhere!!


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Kinetic Letters 

Please click on the letter to make them bigger so you can read the rhyme. The children have started to learn the letters in the jumper family (r,n,m,h,b,p)

Kinetic Letters


This term we will be using junk  to create all things space related - rockets, space stations aliens. Please could you send in as much junk as you have - Cardboard tubes, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, plastic trays, yogurt pots, plastic milk bottles etc. Anything you would normally put into your recycling bin we will use!! (No metal tins)

Please put it under the junk modelling table in the undercover area.

Thank you for your continued support.

Finland Class

The Squeaky Story

The children have learnt The Squeaky Story by using a talk 4 writing story map and actions.

Reception children have used story blocks, masks and the map to help them re-tell the story. They all knew the words, some of them a little louder than others! I am really proud of their efforts.

Year 1 children have re-written the story, adding in their own animals and an adjective to describe the animal. I have been blown away by their writing. Keep up the great work Finland class.


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G, L, S-l, S

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Kinetic Letters Parent Workshop.

Thank you to all of who attended. Below is a very brief re-cap of the things we talked about.


Body strength - Please see the video to see what we do in class everyday to help increase upper body, core and finger strength.

Seated push ups, push and hold, meerkat sit, Tommy Thumb, duck and dinosaur.


Other activities to try at home:

plastic tweezers

clothes pegs

scrunching up paper with 3 finger friends


monkey bars and tree climbing


Pencil grip. - point the tip towards you. pinch, lift, tip

Be relentless with them if they are not holding their pencil correctly. Put it down and try again.


Letter formation

First in the air, then on the paper next to the monkey tree.

Letters start from either the brave monkey (top of the tree), or the scared monkey (middle of the tree). Every time we say bump, the pencil must touch the line.

Jumper family   (down, bump)- r n m h b p

Abracadabra family (pull around, push along the ground, abracadabra)- c a o d g s q

Window cleaner family (down bump, flick the water off)- i l t u

Fisher family (down on down and catch a fish)- j f g y

Slider family (slide down) - z x v k w

Squirter family (squirt out) - e


I will get a copy of the rhymes that go with each letter and send home some monkey tree sheets.


Kinetic Letters Parent Workshop - strength exercises

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The children did really well getting dressed and undressed for PE. A little help was needed to get shirts over heads, but on the whole they all managed to get dressed by themselves.

We did some action songs and talked about what happens when we exercise - feeling hot and our hearts beat faster.

Well done Finland class.


The Squeaky Story - Talk 4 Writing Story Map

Home Sweet Home

We looked at lots of different styles of houses. The children were asked to make a house using anything they wanted to. They were all very busy with blocks, paper, card, play dough, foam, tyres and made some fantastic houses. We talked about the features of houses: walls, roof, windows and doors.

The year 1 children had to write labels to go with their houses.

McMillan Coffee Afternoon.

We hope you can join us for the McMillan coffee afternoon at 3pm in the school hall on Friday 28th September. The children have been very busy making and decorating cakes for you to eat. They have also written recipes of Chocolate Weetabix cake.

Harvest Festival

We hope you can join us in the church at 3pm on Thursday 27th September. We will be singing Pick a Little Bean. Here is a sneak peak at our song!

Pick a Little Bean Web.mp4

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Busy Little Bees!