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Andover Church of England Primary School

Striving for Excellence in a happy,secure and Christian environment

Week Beginning: 04.01.21

This week we begin our new topic- dinosaurs! There are lots of children with an interest in dinosaurs in the class so I am hoping that it really excites them and encourages their learning.  If you are working from home, please don't hesitate to contact me at if you require clarity or to submit any work you would like me to mark so that you are aware of the next steps for your child.  



This week we will not be learning in our small groups, we will be using activities and games to solidify our understanding of phase 4 as it is integral to being able to segment (break words into sounds) and blend (put the sounds together to be able to read the whole word).  During this week, we will also be checking where the children are by doing a phonics check so we can see what sounds they know (ph 2, ph3, ph 5 and then real/alien words).  This will help us to identify the area that they need to focus on as individual learners moving forward.  If your child is absent, this can be done via Zoom if you would still like for me to do it.  

Here is a short video about the screening check (from last year) if you're not aware of what it is! 


We will begin this topic by creating a word bank in groups.  This will encourage discussion and hopefully extend children's vocabulary so that they are more able to access the topic.  It will also give us the opportunity to drop in topic related vocabulary such as carnivore, prehistoric and even the names of dinosaurs to increase their word knowledge and prepare them for upcoming tasks.   If you are working from home, start with the word 'dinosaur' in the middle of the paper, or even print off an image such as the one above.  Ask your child what they can see and encourage them to 'sound it out'. For example they may say spikes, teeth, or roar.  Use the phonics mat in your parent pack to get them to spell the word independently.  If for example they write ror for roar, tell them that they are right with the sounds but then write the correct spelling above it to help with word recognition and spelling for later tasks.   


We will write question using our newly acquired knowledge of question marks.  What do the children want to find out about dinosaurs? Encourage them to say their sentence out loud- can they say it more than once? Can they extend their sentence using 'and'? Can they tell you what they need at the start, middle and end of their question? Write a check list and display it for them to be able to check their own work as they go. Ask them to write their question, then read it to you.  Have they remembered everything they need in a super question (capital letter, spaces, conjunction, end point)- can they tick it off the checklist you created earlier?  You don't need to do it all at once, work at the child's pace as you are at home.  Add some questions throughout the week! Explore the answers together over the next few weeks.  



Children will be continuing to learn how to correctly form the letters of the alphabet- where they should begin, the direction of the pencil and then how to end.  Those children that are ready will be encouraged to use 'leaving flicks' in preparation for beginning to join once their letter formation and then size are correct.  When writing at home, please can you ensure that the letters are formed as per the examples in your parent pack? Quite a few children ar incorrectly forming their 'd's'.  It is common for d/b and even the s to be facing the wrong way at this stage, just calm correction on a regular basis with lots of opportunity to practise will be the best way to support them.  

If your child is working on letter size, try using a highlighter and get your child to write the main body of the letter within the highlighted line, with tall letters (ascenders) going above and low letters (descenders) going below.



This week we will be assessing the children to identify strengths and gaps before steaming on with the next part of the curriculum.  We will be looking to ensure your child can confidently and independently: 

Count 1 more/ 1 less than a given number up to 20.

Recognise any number to 100.

Count in 2s 5s and 10s.

We will also assess their number bond knowledge (numbers that go together to make a given number) of 10 and 20.  If your child isn’t confident with this, then don't worry as we will be doing more work throughout the year but there is a fantastic game online by Topmarks.  The link is here:



Children will learn the continents of the world this half term, but for now if you haven't got this song stuck in your head yet then quite frankly, I am not sure how you have managed to escape it! It is a firm favourite of the children in the class and is super educational- enjoy!



The module for this half term is 'Be Yourself'. This week, children are going to think about themselves and what makes them special.  At home, you could begin by drawing their favourite things and identifying what they are good at.  Explain that telling others what they are good at makes them feel special- explore this together and enjoy your compliments for the day! There is nobody in the world like them (or you!), They're totally unique.  Ask children to draw a picture of themselves in the centre of a star and then write the things that make them special around it. 



We spent a lot of time focussing on PSHE last term so we really need to focus on other topic work this term.  Computing is something that you can really help with at home, from basic name typing to mouse/trackpad control these little learners really are amazing at using technology and it is a major part of their life! 



We are going to be looking at the subject of Passover this half term.  Do you know anyone that is Jewish that we could possibly pass questions to from the children and they could answer for us? If so please contact me on as it is always very useful to get a real life link for the children! 


Guided reading

Children work in groups (decided for the half term) to study comprehension once a week, work on reading skills once a week, in dependant phonics activities twice a week and finally one independent comprehension/follow on activity made up from the book they're reading. If you are at home please continue with your daily reading as you would normally and then have a look at the reading expectations in your parent pack with examples of questions you could use to check your child's understanding.


We will also be doing PE but I am awaiting guidelines for whether I can use the hall or bring equipment into the classroom to cover our gymnastics module.  I will update the page as I find out but please, just make sure you are keeping active if you're at home- thanks to Mrs Maddocks last year they adore Joe Wicks so search for him on YouTube! 

We will also be doing PE but I am awaiting guidelines for whether I can use the hall or bring equipment into the classroom to cover our gymnastics module.  I will update the page as I find out but please, just make sure you are keeping acive if you're at home- thanks to Mrs Maddocks last year they adore Joe Wicks so search for him on YouTube!