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 1 2018


A very warm Milstead welcome to Catkins class!  It’s a momentous occasion when your child starts school for the first time and we know how daunting it can be, for parents and children.  All of Catkins class have settled in beautifully and have enjoyed exploring their new environment in a calm and respectful way.  Some of the children already knew each other from pre-schools and others didn’t know anyone at all, however everyone has been making friends and are working well together as a group already.

Our first couple of weeks in Catkins has focused on the settling in process – finding out where the toilets are and where we can fill up our water bottles.  We have also started attending collective worship as part of the whole school. Lunch times are going very well, with all children knowing what do and where to sit.  They are all doing so well and taking on all aspects of the new routines in such a positive way.


 We have spent time starting our topic for term one – ‘All about me’, finding out all about ourselves, our families and friends.  We are starting to make a Catkin’s family tree and would love for the children to bring in photos of their families and pets to add to this tree.  Photos can be brought in, or sent via tapestry where we will print them at school.   Each week we will have a focus text in our Literacy learning which will influence activities in all other areas of learning.  This week we have sent home a ‘creative home learning menu’, with some ideas and tasks for topic based learning at home.  Any questions regarding this, please do not hesitate to speak to a member of the Catkin’s team. 

Reading Books.

All children in Catkin’s have been bringing home reading books this week – they’ve even been choosing new books themselves!  These books have no words and are for story telling skills, to develop comprehension, imagination and vocabulary.  Later when the children move on to books with words we urge you to continue with the story telling skills as well as reading the words. We recommend you read with your child daily, for around 10 minutes to support the development of good reading habits and to practice all those skills learnt in school. Please comment on your child’s reading at home, using the reading record book.

Letters and Sounds - phonics

This week we have also started our phonics learning.  Your child might come home singing some jolly phonics songs to support the learning of each sound.  You might be familiar with these songs from your child’s pre-school, however if you are not you can look here to listen to all the songs your child is learning.  We will organise a ‘parents in class’ session later in the term, where you will be invited to a phonics workshop and to observe the teaching and learning of phonics in Catkin’s.  For now please look here to find out more about pure sounds to support your child at home.


Please ensure all items of clothing are clearly labelled.  We would like all children to have a pair of named wellies and a set of waterproofs (all in one or trousers and jacket) in school.  These items will be worn when using the mud kitchen in the garden and also for our ‘Woodland Wednesday’ sessions – more details to follow.  If you have any difficulty in providing these items please do not hesitate to speak to Mrs Foord or Mrs Baker so that we can support you.


Sensory Play.

In Catkins we have plenty of sensory play. This supports our fine motor skills.  Activities will include things like shaving foam, moon sand (baby oil with flour), oats, play dough, cooking, clay, gloop (corn flour and water) etc. If your child is allergic to any of the ingredients or you would rather they did not take part in this type of play please let me know via the yellow contact book.  Of course all children will be wearing aprons with full sleeves.



To begin with, our PE will take place as ‘Write Dance’ sessions followed by a children’s yoga session weekly.  Please ensure PE kits are in school every day and are clearly labelled.  As a school we also take part in a ‘Daily Mile’.  Each class spends 15 minutes a day outside running, jogging and walking and Catkins will be introduced to this in the near future.


We have really enjoyed seeing all the wonderful things your children have been doing in the summer holiday and it’s been lovely to share these with the children as a talking point. Please continue to add wow moments to tapestry – your input to your children’s learning and development is greatly appreciated.  If you experience any problems with tapestry please let me know.  We are also starting to upload observations of the children in their school environment engrossed in their learning.  We hope these insights into your child’s day are valuable to you and provide a wonderful starting point for conversations about their learning.


We’d like to thank you for your support in your child’s learning.  If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to speak to us.  You can use the yellow contact book, come and speak to us in person (at the end of the school day is often a better time) or by making an appointment via the school office.


Kind Regards


The Catkins Team.

Mrs Foord – Class Teacher

Mrs DaCosta – Teaching Assistant