Ducklings Class


Teacher: Miss Fox

Teaching Assistants: Mrs Cheeseborough and Mrs Dibden


Please click for the Ducklings Curriculum: Ducklings Curriculum Letter Spring 2018

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



We have had such a busy second half to the Autumn term here in Ducklings! In maths we have been learning about 2D and 3D shapes. We have been building different models using 3D shapes, trying to build our own nets, using shape names and counting corners and edges. We have also become more confident in recognising numbers to 20 and are going to continue to work on this in the New Year.

In phonics we have been learning a range of new sounds and high frequency words (‘the’, ‘I’, ‘and’) and we are practising these words in our reading and writing. Nearly everyone in our class can now write their first name correctly and we are enjoying signing our pictures and work neatly! We have had a lovely time writing lists of disciples in R.E. lessons, designing Christmas stockings for our friends and family and – of course – writing Christmas cards!

Near the end of the term we all started to get very excited about Advent and Christmas! We have learned lots of new prayers and songs and enjoyed taking part in our own Key Stage 1 Advent Liturgy with Deacon Hugh. We also had fun performing as ‘Disco Stars’ on the stage during our Nativity Production ‘Lights, Camel, Action!’ We enjoyed finding out more about ‘The Christmas Story’ and used a lovely nativity set to retell the story ourselves. On the last day of term we also enjoyed having our very own birthday party for Jesus!


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!