Ducklings Class


Teacher: Miss Fox

Teaching Assistants: Mrs Cheeseborough and Mrs Dibden


Please click for the Ducklings Curriculum: Ducklings Curriculum Letter Autumn 2017

Phonics Stay and Play   / Learning to Read and Write


As children grow older, they begin to understand more about the sounds of our language. This is an important stage as the children’s ears are tuning in to all the different sounds around them. Playing with sounds and tuning your child’s ears into sounds will develop their ability to hear different sounds which links to reading and writing.

Ways to support your child at home:

  • Help your child move to the rhythm of a song or rhyme
  • Try breaking down simple words when you are giving instructions or asking questions e.g. ‘Where is the c-a-t cat?’
  • Alliteration is a lot of fun to play around with. Your child’s name can be a good place to start, for example, say: ‘Jolly Jessie jumped’.
  • Make up nonsense stories together using lots of alliteration

Following on from this is oral blending and segmenting and linking the sounds that can be heard to letters.

In Reception we follow a phonics teaching programme called ‘Letters and Sounds’. It builds on the activities the children have already experienced in their pre-school setting and prepares them for early reading and writing.

We use ‘Jolly Phonics’ actions and songs to help the children learn the alphabet letter sounds. The attached sheet shows the actions we use to introduce and practise each new sound. The sounds are not introduced in alphabetical order but in groups that allow children to start to build up simple words. We run a daily phonics session where we use fun activities to learn and reinforce each sound and use them to form words.

Jolly Phonics Actions Sheet

We encourage the children to form these letters in a variety of ways such as drawing in the air, drawing in sand and using whiteboards, before writing on paper. We use a cursive script when writing but we also use print around the classroom so that children become familiar with both types.

Whilst learning the sounds, children are encouraged to hear initial sounds in words. They will then progress to hearing more sounds in words, blending and segmenting sounds, which is an important skill for reading and writing.

Blending is a skill for reading. The separate sounds (phonemes) of the word are spoken aloud, in order, all through the word, and are then merged together into the whole word. We use ‘sound buttons’ under each letter which are ‘pressed’ as each letter is spoken and then swiped across to merge the sounds. For example the adult would say c-a-t = cat.

Segmenting is a skill for spelling. The whole word is spoken aloud, and then broken up into its separate sounds (phonemes) in order, all through the word. For example, the adult would say cat = c-a-t.

Once children become confident hearing these sounds they start to use magnetic letters or letter cards to link the sounds to letters and build up words (segmenting) or read simple words (blending).

To aid this, we use words that are spelt phonetically such as ‘cat’, ‘dog’ and ‘map’. We also teach ‘wizzy words’. These need to be learnt on sight as they often cannot be sounded out or are used frequently in books e.g. no, the, and. We have attached a sheet of these ‘high frequency words’.

Ways to support your child at home


  • Read every day to and with your child
  • Collect a variety of pens and pencils and keep them handy to use
  • Bring stories to life using different voices
  • Let your child read what they would like – books, comics, catalogues
  • Leave books around the house for your child to dip into
  • Make flash cards


  • Make up words together using magnetic letters/fridge magnets
  • Make up a story about one of their favourite toys. You write for them, repeating the sentences as you write. When it is complete, they can draw pictures to go with it.
  • Look at writing when you are out and about – try and read any of the words or identify any of the letters.
  • Talk about the letters they have been learning this week


If your child is reluctant to read or write it is important not to worry; the important thing is to keep on sharing books and talking together. They will often choose to write when they have no real reason to.

We hope that you have found some of these ideas useful and feel confident to try some out!

Useful websites:

Interactive games:

National Bookstart Scheme:

This website provides information about the national bookstart scheme and information about sharing books with your child. 

Speaking and Listening Skills:

This website provides information for parents and teachers on the importance of speaking and listening skills for young children’s development. Although it is aimed at early communication development, there is lots of useful information and material. 


Welcome to Ducklings Class


Autumn term


What a fantastic first half term we have had in ducklings! The children settled into the classroom well and have made lots of new friends. In ducklings, we have been busy learning new phonic sounds and trying to blend the sounds together to read words. We have also been practising making marks, writing letters and our own names. We all enjoyed our ‘One Upon a Time’ fortnight topic, where we focused on using story language and retelling traditional tales. We transformed our outdoor role play area into Goldilocks and the Three Bears house and used our acting skills to retell the story!

In maths we have been focusing on numbers, counting, patterns and shapes. We have showed off our counting skills and been practising counting objects and pictures reliably. After lots of work, we are now more confident with reading and writing numbers to 10, and can now start to use these numbers with more independence. We have also been learning the names to more 2D shapes and have been making repeating patterns with objects, colours and shapes.

We all really enjoyed our curriculum week focusing on the serve element of our school visit. We were pleased to welcome visits from CAFOD, Mr Belcher (our school caretaker) and Mr Siebrits (from RNLI), and enjoyed asking questions about their jobs! We found out more about the equipment people need to use in their jobs and how they serve our community. In R.E. lessons, we have also been thinking about the jobs we would like to do when we grow up and how we can help our school community now. We were also excited to welcome Tricia and Harold from the Life Education bus, and we learned more about what is healthy and unhealthy for our bodies!

Everyone has worked very hard this half term and we are all looking forward to the learning adventures that next half term will bring!



Summer term


We have had a fabulous last term here in Ducklings class! We have been very busy and enjoyed all of our learning! We learned lots about keeping the environment clean during a visit from Sue Palma, and liked learning how to make our own ponies!


In maths we have been busy describing 2D and 3D shapes and adding and taking away. We have also had fun experimenting with how different materials react when they meet water, and with different capacities when tipping and pouring.


We have worked hard through phonic lessons to improve our reading and writing skills, and enjoyed growing potatoes in our outdoor area.

Growing potatoes

The whole class were very well-behaved on our school trip to Honeybrook farm! Highlights included seeing many different animals, learning how to handle guinea pigs and rabbits, spotting things around the farm during a tractor ride and exploring the play park together. A special thank you to the rangers at the farm for taking care of us, and to Mrs Foote, Mrs Delgado, Mrs Dauncey and Mrs Reeves who gave up their time to accompany us.

School Trip

In R.E. lessons we have been learning the Pentecost story and enjoyed making our own wind with musical instruments, crafting flames with different papers and retelling the stories. We also learned much more about Islam, and now know many new facts about how Muslims pray and live. We examined artefacts such as prayer rugs and enjoyed using them.

Nearer the end of term we did much transition work and enjoyed spending time with our new teacher Mrs Hills, as well as making our last days together fun filled and happy. We are all ready for a well-deserved summer holiday now!


Spring term



What a busy end to the Spring term we have had in ducklings! As the weather has improved, we have been noticing the changes the season has brought in the world around us! We planted beans and have been eagerly observing the changes in their growth! We also set up a garden centre role play area and practised making lists and recognising coins. The children have enjoyed working in our outdoor area, enthusiastically hunting Easter eggs and showing their imagination in the Forest School area and muddy kitchen! During a road safety workshop, we had a fabulous time learning about the green cross code, dressing in lots of costumes and learning to cross the road safely.

We have had lots of fun learning a range of new songs and enjoyed performing a fantastic animal-based assembly to the other classes in the school and our parents. We were very proud to perform our favourite song ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and really liked it when the children and adults joined in as well. We worked hard to raise lots of money during our Sponsored name writing challenge, and were proud to receive certificates at the end. Nearer the end of the term we focused on learning the Easter story, and discussing why this is a happy and a sad time during Holy Week. We liked making lots of Holy week scenes, taking part in Easter cooking and making Easter glass painted charms!


World Book Week


World Book Week 2017

We had such a fabulous World Book Day in Ducklings! We all had a wonderful time dressing up as our favourite book characters and enjoyed spending time with our Year 3 book buddies. The book we focused on this week was ‘The Tiger who came to tea’ by Judith Kerr. After learning to re-tell the story, we brought in our own stuffed animals from home and had a ‘tiger tea party’. We designed and made our own sandwiches and tried a range of herbal teas. Chamomile tea was not very popular!



Our start to the term


What a busy start to the Spring term we have had in Ducklings! We have learned lots about when Jesus fed 5000 people, and we shared bread ourselves and thought more about sharing in our classroom. In maths, we have been working hard to recognise and order different numbers, and practised writing them and learning to add.

We were really excited to take part in RSPB bird week and enjoyed using birdspotting sheets to identify different birds. We made bird food using different ingredients such as flour, lard, bird seed and grated cheese, and formed pastry maggots, which we liked hiding around the outdoor area and waiting for the birds to eat! We also read non-fiction books about birds to find more information, and have learned lots of new phonic sounds!

As we entered February, we learned more about the first time baby Jesus went into the Church with Mary, and talked about lights! We had our own Candlemas in class with real candles (which we took home to keep) and learned all of the words to ‘This Little Light of Mine’. Before the holidays, the weather became more mild, so we were able to explore in our mud kitchen and forest school area. We enjoyed balancing in different ways along low tree branches, and making delicious mud pies!


Anti-Bullying Week


What a fabulous time we have had learning about Anti-Bullying Week in Ducklings class! We have spent the week thinking about being good friends and talking about what makes a nice friend. When we have been playing and learning together this week, we have all taken extra care to say nice things and use kind hands. We learned about two key Bible stories – Jesus healing the blind and Jesus calling the fishermen (when he selected his first disciples). We also discovered that disciple is another word for both special friend and follower. Finally, we made a big mind map as a class in our God Matters book, discussing what makes a kind friend and what kind hands do!



September 2016


What a busy first half term we have had in Ducklings class! The children all look extremely smart and grown up in their school uniforms and have settled into the school beautifully! They are becoming very independent with unpacking their things at the beginning of the day and are enjoying telling stories from their reading books at home. Thank you so much to all the parents and guardians who have helped support the children this half term.

We started the Autumn term with a topic called ‘Who’s who?’ We talked about ourselves and learned the names of our new friends in the class. We talked about favourite food and drink, special toys and the colours we like. We also started to discover how God plays a part in our lives when we are at school, learning all about the creation story and creating our very own worlds from things in the classroom! Over the first few weeks we enjoyed collecting things from the outdoor area to add to our class prayer table.

We have enjoyed learning to jump, hop, walk, run, balance, crawl and skip in P.E. lessons, and we are slowly becoming more independent when changing into our sports kits. All of the ducklings especially enjoyed using the hall to re-tell the story of Jonah and the whale during our Curriculum Enrichment week. We told the story with actions, talked about forgiveness and God’s mercy, and even used paint to experiment with colours we imagined would be in the story.

During our ‘Once upon a time’ topic we listened to a range of traditional tales, focusing on ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ and ‘The Three Little Pigs’. We read the stories together and quickly learned the repeated phrases in the story, even going on to pretend we were Goldilocks or the bears in the role play house! We have learned the S A T P I N sounds in phonic lessons, and have been trying to recognise and write these sounds too! We have also been busy counting, reading numbers and building pictures with 2D shapes, trying to use language like ‘corners’ and ‘sides’ when talking about them.