The Village Academy

The Village Academy is a group of town, city and village schools that have joined together to provide the very best education for the children in our care and where we believe that education is very much a matter of the individual.

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Catkin Class (Reception)

A Message from the Class Teacher, Mrs Foord

Welcome to the Catkin's Class Page!


Catkins Newsletter Term 2 2018


Welcome back! I hope you have all had a wonderful half term break.  The children are very refreshed and have been very excited to tell us all about their half term holiday and all the exciting things they got up to – tapestry has been a fantastic portal for your children to share their experiences, thank you for your regular updates.

We had a wonderful first term, settling into life at Milstead in Catkin’s class.  Everyone has settled so well, and we have had great fun learning all about ourselves, our families and each other.  We started our phonics learning and have been working very hard learning our letter sounds and learning to read our first words, the children are very proud of themselves and love showing off their skills!  We have explored lots of different ways to write and have loved getting messy and mucky and exploring our senses.


This term our topic is ‘Are we there yet?’ focussing on journeys and transport.  This leads nicely into Christmas as we focus on the journey that Mary and Joseph took.  We will shortly be exploring the story of the Nativity with the children and beginning to practise our singing to perform our own Christmas Concert for you. The children will soon be coming home singing the songs from the concert and will be very excited to share this! We ask that children wear a Christmas/winter top of some kind for their performance, however please do not feel pressure to buy something new if you don’t already own something – perhaps your child could decorate a t-shirt or jumper to give it a Christmassy/wintery style.  The concert is on 13th December 2018 in the afternoon, please add this to your diaries and the children will be sending their own invites home to you soon.

Parents in Class.

Thank you to all who attended our parents in class phonics session, we hope it was useful to you to see how phonics is taught and learnt at Milstead.  The children loved having you in class to share their learning environment.  If you were unable to make it and would still like to know more, please let us know and we can arrange something with you.


This term we are entering phase 3 phonics – the children are very excited to be learning new digraphs (2 letters make 1 sound).  New sounds will be added to your child’s keyring each week, please ensure that the keyrings are in school on a Friday for updating.  We will also continue to add tricky words to the keyrings, ask your child if they can make any sentences with those words or find those words in their reading books.

Reading books.

Reading books will be changed as often as you wish.  However, now that the books are lengthening, you might find that your child would like to keep the book over a couple of days to further explore the story, phonics and tricky words.  Please state in the reading record if you are ready for the book to be changed.  Remember to be led by your child and find a relaxed time of day to share reading.


Woodland Wednesdays

Woodland sessions will be continuing this term.  The weather is somewhat chillier now, however once the children are wrapped up warm and get moving they still have a wonderful time in a session that is invaluable for their learning.  Please ensure your child has named waterproofs, a warm coat, hat, gloves, scarf. Parental support for woodland sessions is always welcome and very much needed in order for us to be within a safe adult to child ratio.  Each week we need a minimum of 2 extra adults to be able to go ahead, so please join us when you can (and wrap up warm!)


PE will continue this term as we explore a range of different ways to move. Please ensure children have a full named PE kit that can stay in school as this term our PE days will be flexible to allow for Christmas play and concert practices in the hall.


We are so lucky to be provided with a free piece of fresh fruit for each child daily from the government.  However for some children this isn’t quite enough to fill their hungry tummies.  If you feel that your child might need an extra snack please feel free to send in an extra piece of fresh fruit or vegetable. 

Tuck shop.

Tuck shop continues to be on a Monday and a Friday.  Most of the children have enough money still left in school to see them through a number of weeks, therefore we will let you know via the yellow contact book if your child’s funds are running low.

Book bags.

Please check book bags regularly for letters, forms and things your child would like to take home.  The packs given in the summer can be kept for your child to use at home.

Colder weather.

As the weather becomes colder, please ensure your child has a warm coat each day and additional items such as gloves and hat if you wish.  Please ensure all these items are named to support the children independently accessing their things.

We have also been encouraging the children to put on their own coats and have taught them ‘the coat trick’.  Has your child shown you this yet? If not, ask them – they’re doing a fantastic job!


Please ensure every item of clothing is named to make it easier for your child (and us) to locate their items, particularly all the red jumpers and coats!  Many thanks.


Thank you for your ongoing support.


The Catkins Team

Mrs Foord – Class Teacher

Mrs DaCosta – Teaching Assistant (1:1)

Mrs Wrigglesworth – Teaching Assistant