Phonics workshop for parents

Thank you so much to all the parents who came to our phonics workshop this morning, we hope you found it useful, Here is the link to the power point slides from the session. 

Phonics workshop slides

Communication Activities

Please click on the link below for suggested activities and games that you can play with your child to develop the important skill of communication. 

Listen Up Activities

Curriculum Information



Spring Term


The EYFS curriculum is divided into seven different learning areas - Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal and Social Development, Literacy (Reading, Writing), Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. As a Catholic school, we also teach RE.
We use high quality core texts, recommended by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), to support our learning across all areas of the curriculum. We work with each text for approximately four weeks, before moving on to the next one. This replaces the old 'topic work' we used to do. 
To find out the current CLPE text please see our Literacy working wall. 
This area involves reading and writing
We have now taught all of phase 2 and the beginning of phase 3 phonics. We will continue to teach phase 3 phonics in the Spring term so please continue to practice all phases with your child, applying them in their reading and writing. Please encourage your child to use the sounds they know to write simple words and phrases.  
 To continue to develop a love of reading we will be sharing lots of stories in class and discussing what has happened in the story in the beginning, middle and end, how the characters are feeling, where the story takes place etc. Children now have reading books with words in. Your child will have their books changed and read with an adult twice a week. Children MUST have their reading book and reading log in school every day. 
Please continue to use picture books to tell stories. The aim is for your child to develop their speaking skills and be able to tell a story based on the pictures. It is vital that your child has a minimum of ten minutes reading time a day and that they are hearing adults read to them. Please read a range of genres and if possible visit your local library. 
Communication and language
This area involves developing Listening and Attention, Understanding and Speaking.
We will be placing a big emphasis on using language in the classroom. We will be encouraging the children to develop their speaking skills through a wide range of activities across the curriculum and modelling language and vocabulary as they play. Sharing stories and songs at home will also help them to develop their language skills. As your child plays and you play with them, model the use of language and introduce new words. A great deal of our language work will be linked to the texts we will be using. 
Our role play areas inside and outside play an important part in developing children's communication and language skills. We will change these areas depending on children's interests and needs. For example having a home corner, hairdressers, cafe, police station etc.
When talking to your child please encourage them to speak in full sentences, rather than giving one or two word answers. 
Physical Development 
This area involves developing Moving and handling and Health and self-care.
We have PE on a Friday morning, with a specialist PE teacher. Alongside this, we will be developing fine and gross motor skills through a range of activities. Activities such as play dough, using tweezers, hammers etc will develop your child's fine motor skills, which is essential for developing a good writing grip. 
To help develop children's handwriting we are focusing on developing their core strength. To do this we will be using the play village and outdoor climbing frames to develop our muscles which will help children when writing. We will also continue to practice the correct letter formation. Please look at the rhyme on the phonics sheets we sent home. Please speak to your children and ask them what they have been doing in their handwriting lessons. 

We use our wonderful outside area to develop gross motor skills using a wide range of apparatus. We use the climbing equipment, bicycles, hoops, sandpit etc.

How to help at home: Here is a link to a website that helps teach handwriting 
Personal and Social Development
This area involves developing Self-confidence and awareness, Feelings and behaviour and Making relationships.  

We will focus on developing good relationships with the other children and staff, through various games and whilst facilitating play. We will also be encouraging your child to talk about how they feel and giving them strategies to use to deal with various feelings.

Buddy time will play an important part in developing your child's personal and social development as well as speaking in larger groups. Your child will be allocated a buddy from Year 5 and we will spend time with them helping to develop these skills. 

This area involves learning Numbers and Shape, Space and Measure.
We have been using Number Blocks series to help learn our numbers. We will continue to count, order and recognise numbers to 10. We will also be learning 1 more and 1 less than a given number. 

It is really important that children understand the value of each number so counting socks, helping set the table for dinner whilst counting the number of plates, forks etc are good ways of making maths fun! You could also watch some of the Number blocks episodes together and ask your child to tell you what they have learnt. 

Understanding the World
This area involves learning about People and communities, The world and technology.
Children will have access to a variety of technology resources such as light boxes, cameras, Ipads/tablets, recordable devices etc which they can use independently to extend their learning. 
Children will have the opportunity to visit the ICT suite to access a variety of computer programs to extend their learning. We will also be teaching children about e-safety and how to stay safe online. Parents will play a very important part in supporting children with this. 
We will carry out scientific investigations in class and talking about how and why things happen. We will also be using our local area to visit the wooded areas around Muswell Hill and see first hand how our natural environment changes. This term we will also be growing cress, potatoes, flowers and lots more!
Expressive arts and design
This area involves learning about media and materials, and being imaginative
Children will have the opportunity to use a range of media both inside and outside to be creative and imaginative. This will be through drawing, painting, junk modelling, using building blocks, tools and role play.
We will be responding to music through dance, singing and using various musical instruments.

We follow the 'Come and See' scheme of work to teach teach R.E. Each topic usually lasts for four weeks. We begin each topic by exploring what each topic means to us before moving on to how it relates to religion. During the year we also learn about other faiths. At OLM we focus on Judaism and Islam. This is a brilliant way to teach respect for our community as a whole, regardless of cultures and beliefs.


The topics we will be covering in the Spring term are as follows;

Topic 4: Celebrating

In this topic we will begin by talking about different celebrations that we all experience in our own life. We will then look at the celebrations which take place in church. We will then look at scripture, listening to the story of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple and why this was so special. 

 Topic 5: Gathering

In this topic we will begin by talking about activities that families like top do with each other. Then we will talk about how the Parish family gathers together to celebrate mass and we will look at the different parts of the mass. We may even have some questions that we would like to ask Fr Mark. We will then learn about the Word of God and how everyone gathers together to listen to this at mass. 


Topic 6: Growing

In this topic the children will begin by talking about their own experiences of growing and how they feel about it. We will look at growing in nature and plant our own cress seeds which we will care for to help them grow. We will then look at the stories of Good Friday and Easter Sunday and think about ways in which we can grow to be more like Jesus.


 Throughout the year, OLM focuses on different elements of Catholic Social Teaching (CST). Each month we look at a different value and discuss what each one means:

September- We are Called to Live as Family and Community

October- Rights and Responsibilities

November- Promotion of Peace

December- No CST- focus on Advent

January- Solidarity

February- An Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

March- The Dignity of the Human Person

April- No CST- focus on Lent

May- The Dignity and Rights of Workers

June- We are Called to Stewardship

July- Recap


 Other information

A reminder that all children need to have a book bag in school every day, which are to be kept in their trays. We ask that no children bring back packs to school (unless it is the official school bag) or have tags on their bags as we do not have the space available for them.

All uniform, including book bags, P.E. bags, coats and water bottles need to be clearly named. It would really help your child if you could show them where their name is and encourage them to look at it when they dress themselves, so that when we are changing for PE, they are able to put the correct uniform on!

Can all parents and carers look at the school uniform list and make sure that your child has the correct items of clothing. Please note that children should have school shoes and not boots or trainers. Also, anyone who has long hair, must have it tied up in school. If they do not then we will get a hair band and tie it up for them.  

Please encourage your child to dress, undress, feed and use the toilet independently as this will also help them hugely in school.


How to help at home

You can help your child's social and emotional development by:

  • Talking with your child and encouraging your child to talk with other children and other adults.
  • Encouraging and supporting your child to play cooperatively with other children.
  • Regularly discussing with your child feelings and the consequences of different actions. 


You can help your child with the early stages of reading, writing and mathematics by:

  • Continuing to encourage an enjoyment of books, stories and poems; visiting the local library and sharing stories with your child.
  • Continuing to encourage your child to join in with rhymes and songs.
  • Practice the letters and sounds learnt in school. You can also help by sounding out a three letter word (segmenting) using the sounds that they have learnt so far and asking your child to put them back together (blending) to make the word.
  • Continuing to provide your child with a variety of writing equipment to encourage drawing and writing skills, encouraging your child to give meanings to the marks that they make.