Year R newsletter

Happy New Year to you all!

Please click on this link to view the latest Year R newsletter: Year R newsletter Spring 1 2020 

This week we will be sending home a report on your child’s learning over the Autumn term. Within this report we will comment briefly on your child’s ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’. These are:

  • playing and exploring – how your child investigates and experiences things, and their ability to ‘have a go’.
  • active learning – how your child concentrates and perseveres if they encounter difficulties, and enjoys achievements.
  • creating and thinking critically how your child can develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

This report will include ‘I can’ statements (things your child has achieved and learned to do since starting school) and next steps. We hope you find the reports useful. 

Fabulous Year R!

It’s hard to believe that the children have only been at school for 12 weeks! They were amazing in the Nativity and we are so incredibly proud of them for the maturity and enthusiasm they brought to the performances. We hope you enjoyed coming to watch ‘A miracle in town.’

This week we are back to normality and will be focusing on RE and our theme is ‘Celebrating Birthdays’. We will first learn about the significance of our own birthdays and then learn more about how Christians celebrate Jesus’ birthday at Christmas.

PE bags can come back in this week please.

Year R Learning Update

What a busy few weeks we’ve had!

We were very lucky to be visited by the fire service, the police service and the ambulance service and all brought their vehicles to show us which was exciting! The children had the opportunity to look at the different uniforms they wear, find out about the equipment they use and ask questions about how they help people in different ways.

These visits have really enthused the children and enhanced their learning, so we’d like to say a big thank you to Jessica and Ava’s Dads Dan Trump and Ben Matthews who visited from the fire service, Stuart Bond from the police service and Katie Collingwood from the ambulance service for giving up their time to visit the children.

We have also been very busy practising for our Nativity play and the children are looking forward to performing to you next week on Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th at 10am.

Please remember that you will need a ticket to attend either performance. Please contact the office ASAP if you haven’t got your tickets yet.

We will not be having PE again next week so you don’t need to bring their bags to school on Monday 2nd December.

Have a lovely weekend. We hope to see many of you at the Christmas Fair tomorrow!

Year R Notices

Christmas Play

– Due to rehearsals for the Christmas play we will not have PE this week so you do not need to send in PE kits tomorrow, Monday 25th November.

– Costumes for the Christmas play are due in tomorrow, Monday 25th November. Please ensure items are named and in a named bag.

– We have four remaining rehearsal this week before our dress rehearsal on Monday 2nd December so please keep practising your child’s lines with them at home and singing ‘Away in a Manger’ as much as possible!


Spare clothes

Despite starting the school year with an ample supply of socks, tights and pants to lend out, we now have no socks and very few pairs of tights or pants left. While we are happy to lend your child our clothing if they have a toiletting accident, get wet feet at playtime, or do not have socks in their PE bag, we do ask that you return them as soon as possible once laundered.

Please can you all check at home to ensure you don’t have any school socks, tights or pants.

In the meantime we ask that if your child is prone to accidents you provide some spare clothing in their book bag as of tomorrow.

Thank you.


Away In A Manger

This morning we learned ‘Away in a manger’ to sing in our Christmas Play. While some of the children know verse one from pre-school or nursery, the children were mostly very unfamiliar with the tune and words.

It would be very helpful if you could practise singing it at home as much as possible! Here is a reminder of the words and there is an audio clip to sing along to at the bottom of this page.

Thank you.


Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,

The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head;

The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay,

The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.


The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,

But little Lord Jesus no crying He makes:

I love thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky

And stay by my side until morning is nigh.


Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay

Close by me forever and love me, I pray;

Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,

And fit us for heaven to live with thee there.


Learning update for Year R

We’ve had a busy 2 weeks in Year R since returning after Half Term. The children really enjoyed sharing the Autumnal objects they collected with you during the Half Term holiday, so thank you for helping them scavenge!

This week we started off our ‘People Who Help Us’ topic by thinking about everything medical, and have talked about doctors, nurses, dentists and paramedics as well as learned how we can keep our bodies healthy through healthy eating, good hygiene habits, and exercise.

Next week we are learning about the Fire Service and we are excited to (hopefully!) have some fire fighters and a fire engine visit us!


We hope you’ve found the Walk and Talk board useful and you’ve enjoyed being able to have discussions with your child about their day to day learning. As you will have noticed,we are also sharing this on Tapestry for those of you who are unable to pick up each day.

We’d love to see Tapestry observations of any home learning, and if your child completes any work at home do bring it in and we can share it in class and take copies for our records.

Don’t forget to add those WOW moments to your child’s Tapestry journal, and also any fun experiences and activities they have been enjoying at home. We have about 5 parents in each class who are regularly posting observations but other than that, it is being unused. We’d love to see more of you contributing. If in any doubt about what or how to post, please come and ask!


Christmas Play

Today some children will come home with lines for the play (on pink card). Please could you practise these over the weekend as our first rehearsal is on Tuesday. Ideally we ask that these lines are memorised. The children do not need to be able to read them as there will be an adult to prompt during the performance. They will be speaking into a microphone too.

You do not need to send these lines back into school as we have a set at school to use for our rehearsals.

Please ensure all costumes are in school next Friday 25th November in a named carrier bag. Remember, if your child is an Angel and you already have a costume at home, please come and let us know ASAP so we can allocate the small number of costumes we have in school to those who need them.

You have all been allocated four tickets to attend our Christmas performances. If you don’t need all four then please return them to us.





Year R learning update

Last week the children enjoyed sharing their baby photos and talking about how they’ve changed. This week we have thought about what we would like to be when we grow up. The children’s ideas have ranged from police officer, drummer and footballer to mermaid, princess and pirate!

Our Year 6 buddies came to visit on Monday and the children shared facts about themselves and talked about each others’ likes and dislikes.

Unfortunately we were unable to get our class photos published in the Gazette newspaper this year, which we are disappointed about. We were missed off the mailing list from the Gazette so did not receive the submission date in time. However, if you would like a print out of the photos we took as a keepsake, please come and ask and we would be happy to send a copy home.

Have a great weekend,

The Year R team.



Your contributions to Tapestry

At St Mark’s we are keen to promote strong links between home and school and to also recognise children’s achievements in both settings.

We would really like Tapestry to be a collaborative effort between staff at school and parents and carers at home. It’s been lovely to read your comments to our observations sent home so far. Please continue to share your thoughts!

In addition it would be great to begin to see observations which you have made at home. If your child does something that really makes you think ‘WOW’ and you feel it is a particular achievement or a ‘first’, complete an observation to share this with us. Your child can then take a turn to share their WOW moment with the whole class.

Examples of WOW moments could be:

  • Riding their bike without stabilisers for the first time.
  • Completing some independent writing; hearing and recording sounds in the words.
  • Picking up a book and attempting to sound out a word for the first time.
  • Being brave and trying something new for the first time.

Instructions for how to write and send an observation can be found in these simple user guides:

Click here for Android guide  

Click here for iOS guide

We look forward to finding out what the children are achieving at home.

Year R Team

Year R news

It’s been a week of ‘firsts’ in Year R: Singing Worship, playtime with the older children, Bookclub, Maths and Music. The children have had a fantastic week meeting all of their classmates and getting to know them now everyone is full time.

We launched Tapestry on Monday and everyone should have received an activation email. Hopefully you’re logged in and have started to receive observations of your child. Please let us know if you are having any difficulties logging in or need help to navigate the app.

A few reminders:

  • Reading folders – the named zippy folder we gave out at the last class visit in July containing their sounds book, Boris story, sound cards and other summer activities will now become your child’s reading folder. Please empty the contents and send the folder in on Monday. Reading books and Green log books need to be sent into school every day.
  • Please ensure that everything in your child’s PE bag is named, as well as the bag itself. A label or named key ring on the outside is preferable.
  • The children need shorts and jogging bottoms in their PE bag every week please.
  • The children need a waterproof coat in every day. We use our outside area in all weathers.
  • Please send your child’s water bottle in every day. As well as using it in the classroom, the children take it to lunch with them so it’s vital they have it.

Looking forward to next half term, our topic is ‘People who help us’. If you work for either the police, fire or ambulance service and would be able to come in to talk to the children we’d love to hear from you. Please speak to Mrs Baird in Penguins class.

We hope you have a restful weekend.

The Year R team

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