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Welcome to Owls Class




We are looking forward to a fantastic year together!


Welcome to Owls Class and, for those of you who are new to the school, to Woodlands Park! We hope that you are as excited as we are to begin our year together. Ms Shepheard is your Class Teacher and Miss Cunningham and Mrs Brierley are your teaching assistants. This is your class page and we hope to use it to share and celebrate all the wonderful things we will be doing over the coming year with your families.


Feel free to come and speak to one of the class team if you have any questions or concerns. Our door is always ‘open’! Alternatively, you can put a quick note in your child’s communication diary for us to read and we will respond to it as soon as possible.


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Summer Term 5



Welcome back after the Easter Break. We hope you are fully rested and ready for another term of fun filled learning.

Term 4 was a  busy term, not unlike those before it. The children have forged ahead in their learning, impressing us with their ability to recall information, share their growing knowledge and skills confidently whilst tackling challenges that they encounter. I am particularly impressed with how so many of our little Owls have adopted the mantra of "we can do it!". I am told/asked on a regular basis that "we just need to have a go and try our best don't we Ms Shepheard?!" This makes my heart sing. The children completed an astounding array of Dinosaur Brain Builder Tasks earlier in the term with those adults invited to view our 'exhibition' being  suitably impressed.


The summer season brings a wealth of learning opportunities and we anticipate a change in the weather and therefore hope to take full advantage of this, spending as much time outside as we can. We have already noticed the changes the seasons have on our natural environment and look forward to seeing this change further over the coming months. The theme of 'growth' will inform much of our learning this term and we hope to put our 'green fingers' to the test by planting and observing what happens as our seedlings grow. As the weather improves we hope to see greater evidence of bugs and creatures in our environment and will take the opportunity to investigate the lifecycles of some of them. We may even be lucky to see this in action with a creature of the cute and fluffy persuasion too!! This will be fully supported by our planned trip to Braywick Nature Reserve at the end of term.


As ever we are never too sure what learning journeys will naturally occur from the children's interests and will continue to embrace these as they arise. A day in the life of Owls Class can be a truly interesting one!


Here's to an exciting Term 5. Are you ready Owls?!

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Spring Term 4



Welcome back to Term 4. We hope that you had a restful half term break and are ready for  what this term has in store for us.


Last term was yet another busy term in Owls Class. We made New Year Resolutions, helped a 'mixed up' monster, celebrated Chinese New Year, had our very own circus and hatched dinosaur 'eggs' of all things! That is just the tip of the iceberg and everyday in Owls Class can be a surprising one. We are half way through the year already and hurtling towards the end at break neck speed, there is no time to put on the brakes! I suspect that books will still focus heavily in our explorations this term and this will coincide with World Book Day on Thursday 7th March 2019, what character will you be? We will be looking for signs of Spring in our environment and begin to thing about growth, planting seeds and considering life cycles. Above all we will undoubtedly be having fun with our learning! 


A word of caution: As ever we can plan interesting and exciting learning opportunities for the children but it is not unheard of that the children themselves will come up with a far more interesting train of thought. It is only right therefore that we jump aboard this train ready for an adventure wherever it may take us!


Calling all Owls are you ready for this term's adventures?!

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The children of Owls Class worked hard to develop their performance of our Spring song for the Easter Assembly, creating the props they would use with the able assistance of Miss Cunningham. Those of you who were lucky enough to see it I am sure will agree they all did so well. Standing up in front of a room full of people can be a daunting prospect!

Elsewhere we had fun in the learning environment with Easter themed learning opportunities, none more popular than an 'egg hunt' in the woods. Sadly this was not of the chocolate persuasion but instead each egg contained a ''challenge'. It could be a green or red word to read or a maths problem to answer. The children worked independently or as a team, searching high and low for the eggs, the Easter Bunny had hid them in some tricky places. It was delightful to see everyone persevering and accepting the challenges, seeking out help should they need it and using the language of learning, talking about 'having a go', 'keeping on trying' and using the magic word that is 'yet'!

We even had an impromptu Easter Egg competition in class, judged by Mrs Penny. Congratulations to our winner, Brody, and our runner up, Shyla! Well done!

Does anyone want to share a story?

At the beginning of the week, to celebrate World Book Day a double decker story bus came to Woody P! We stepped on it into the world of The Gruffalo. We were so excited and really enjoyed the performers retelling of the story. When we returned to our classroom some of us created creatures from the story and retold the story in our writing. Some of us even put our own spin on the story. At the end of the week we arrived all decked out in our World Book Day costumes. There were superheroes a plenty, a quartet of princesses, a trio of Dorothys, a witch, a young wizard from Hogwarts, Jessie from Toy Story, Little Red Riding Hood (thankfully no wolf!), Goldilocks and even an Oompa Loompa and a My Little Pony!

Carnivores take over Owls Class ...

Wow! Look at all our fantastic brainbuilder task. They are all so different! We have had a lovely time sharing them with each other. We have arranged them in our very own 'Dinosaur Exhibition' and invited some of the other teachers to come and take a look. We have written invitations and will be delivering them very soon. Ms Shepheard is a bit scared though ... too many of the dinosaurs are carnivores or the eggs contain carnivores. You know what that means! She much prefers the idea of herbivores.

Spring Term 3


Welcome back after our Christmas break.

We hope that yours has been a restful one and we would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy New Year!


Last term was a busy one with a class assembly, a Nativity, a visit from a dragon (Zog) and reindeer too! We are not sure how we are going to top it but we will give a good try!


So many of the children have shown a keen interest in sharing books and stories in our Book Corner prior to Christmas. It is a lovely sight to behold watching them sharing this cosy space together and how they have taken ownership of this area to make it theirs. We will capitalise on this interest and will be using some of our favourite stories alongside unusual objects to inspire our own story telling and writing too. We may even act out some of our stories!


Over last term our independence has grown and we will be putting this to the test this term, coming into class on our own and even collecting our own school dinner too at lunchtime! In support of this we will be exploring the concept of a 'growth mind set', the concept of what 'we can do' and what 'we can't do yet'. Emphasis will be placed on language for learning which the children are used to the adults using already, linking very nicely into our Characteristics of Effective Learning which centre around each child developing the skills to learn effectively, through self-belief, perseverance, a willingness to 'have a go' and attempt to problem solve. To compliment this we will talking about feelings, which can be both supporter of and barrier to our own mind sets, This term we will be helping a monster who is a little confused to sort out his feelings. In doing so we will explore how we feel at different times, what this looks like and what it means to us.

It all started with a footprint ...

We discovered an indentation in the mud down in the woods we concluded it may be the footprint of a dinosaur! We suspected there may be fossilised bones under the surface of the soil and attempted to dig them up. The biggest surprise was finding two dinosaur 'eggs' at the base of one of the trees. After much discussion we decided we needed to identify the dinosaur that may have done this. We carefully took the eggs back to the classroom and decided that we needed to 'incubate' them so they might hatch. We made suggestions about what we thought the dinosaur might look like. Ms Shepheard set herself the homework task of identifying the dinosaur for us. She contacted Alice the palaeontologist to help us who sent us an email telling us she suspected that it was a Dracoraptor, a distant cousin of the Tyrannosaurus Rex! Fossilised bones of this dinosaur were found in Wales. There was much excitement in the classroom we made our own fossiled bones (using salt dough), attempted to fit into the length of a Dracoraptor, we managed to fit 17 of us only, and created our own Dracoraptor pictures too. We wanted to know more about the dinosaur so we wrote our own questions which we sent to Alice, we wanted to know how fast it could run, how sharp its teeth were, how long its tail was and if it was a big as a Tyrannosaurus Rex amongst other things. However the big question was when would the eggs hatch! We arrived one morning to the evidence, broken eggs, upturned incubator and footprints one the floor. Some of us predicted where we thought that the hatchlings had gone. A group of us collected goggles, a rope (just in case) and magnifying glasses and set off in search of the hatchlings. We discovered evidence in Mrs Penny's office! Later she showed images of what looked like our dinosaur in her office and the woods on her phone. Where will the dinosaur appear next?

What animal are you?

We celebrated Chinese New Year in Owls Class. We remembered how in western cultures we make resolutions at the beginning of a new year and learnt how in the Chinese culture they prepare for a new year by cleaning their homes, giving gifts, decorating their homes and releasing fireworks. We made the connections between this and the things that we do in our own homes during times of celebration. We discovered that red is considered a colour that brings good luck and watched footage of traditional lion and dragon dancing. We were inspired to make our own dragon and then engaged in our own version of a performance, some of us being the dragon whilst others provided the accompanying music, the dragon even made an impromptu visit to meet Mrs McKee and Mrs Morgan in the office! We made spring rolls too, yummy! We realised that Chinese numbers look different as does the writing, some of us had a go and despite finding it a bit tricky, persevered until we could make some of the marks accurately. We also shared a story connected to the Chinese Zodiac. According to Chinese legend 12 animals had a race to solve an argument about who the year should be named after. The rat was cheeky and hitched a ride on the back of the ox meaning that he won the race! We learnt that the year we were born in determines the zodiac animal we are. We found out that Owls are either snakes or horses and Ms Shepheard is an ox! We recreated the race on the playground with much hilarity and animal noises!! Later a group of children visited the offices to find out which animals the ladies were. On returning to the classroom we created a tally chart to find out which was the most popular animal. 

Helping a 'mixed up' monster ...

The children of Owls Class were called upon to help a 'mixed up' monster sort his feelings out. They received a letter from The Colour Monster asking them to help sort out all his feelings. We shared the story and decided to do the same as the little girl in the book, sorting out all the different feelings into 'jars', red represents anger, black represents fear, green represents calm, blue represents sadness whilst yellow represents happiness! As we sorted out the 'feelings' the children discussed in partners what they felt each feeling looked and felt like to them. It was very interesting to hear them share their ideas and demonstrate their understanding. The children then went on to create their own Colour Monsters and write about them too.

Let's make a New Year's Resolution! We want to get better at ...

Look at our fantastic writing!!


On our return after our Christmas break we talked about making New Year's Resolutions. Together we talked about all the things that we wanted to get better at during the year. We made a word bank and Ms Shepheard helped us build sentences and then scribed them on the board for us. Then it was our turn, some of us magpied the sentences from the board whilst others of us had a go at writing our own using our phonetical knowledge. This does mean that our writing may not always look accurate at first glance. In Owls Class we celebrate everyone 'having a go'.


Some of us wanted to get better at doing cartwheels, riding a bike and even eating broccoli and carrots!!

Autumn Term 2



Welcome back to this our second term of the year. It is clear that you have all settled into Owls Class well and are keen to learn and develop. It is delightful to see how proud you are of the work you are producing, be it a drawing, a junk model or an amazing structure.  I am looking forward to seeing what this term has in store for you all.

Looking forward we have a busy term ahead of us with plenty of opportunities to 'celebrate' together. Halloween is perhaps the first thing some of us will celebrate and we will be having some of our own spooky fun in the classroom. Not long after will be Bonfire Night and Diwali where we can explore light, dark and colour too. We must not forget Armistice Day and the act of remembrance and have already begun to make our poppies. Later still will see our Christmas performance of our Nativity but perhaps more exciting is our very first class assembly towards the end of November!

We hope to share photographs and examples of our work here on this page as the term progresses.


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What a surprise! Christmas came early to Woody P!

We were incredibly lucky to meet Halo and Lightning, real reindeers!! Their handlers shared some very interesting information about their charges. Did you know reindeers use their antlers to dig below the snow to find the things that they like to eat and even use their hooves to break the ice to reach drinking water?! Moss, leaves and grass are their food of choice ... definitely not carrots!! After such a wonderful surprise some of us just had to write about what we had learned.

A letter to Santa ...

Picture the scene ... excitedly we have written our letters to Santa and shared our wishes with our friends ... but wait ... how do we get the letters to him. This was the cue for the children to pool their knowledge and ideas of what we should do (with a little help from the adults).


"Write his name on a thingy!" [I think you mean an envelope] "We need to write his number on it!" [That would be his address] "We need put a stamp on the envelope Ms Shepheard!" [That's right because we have to pay for the postage]. 


With much excitement we put on our hi-vis vests (to keep us safe of course) and made our way to the local post box. We found out that the postman or postwoman would collect our letters from the post box early the next day before we arrived at school (the sign on the post box said so!) We are keeping our fingers crossed!

We have been talking about what makes us special, what we like and what we don't like. Ms Shepheard challenged us to make a self portrait of ourselves using loose parts at home. The only rule was that we weren't allowed to use pens or pencils! We rose to this challenge and we are sure you will agree they all look fantastic. We proudly shared them all in our very first Class Assembly and sang a song too complete with actions. Ms Shepheard and Mis Cunningham are very proud!

We will remember ...

We talked as a class about the significance of 'Poppy Day', why we wear them and the act of remembrance. We made poppies out of play dough and used loose parts to create poppies too. Some of of us painted poppy pictures. We shared a lovely short animated film on CBeebies. Having made our ceramic poppies we joined the rest of the school in our Remembrance Assembly and later laid our poppies in our Remembrance Garden. We stood for the two minutes silence beautifully and Ms Shepheard was very proud!

Planting bulbs ...

We were very excited to be part of Mrs Powell's mass planting of daffodil bulbs in the park. We studied the bulbs to see which way up we should put them into the ground and listened to Mrs Powell's instructions. We talked about when we could expect to see them start to emerge above the ground. We decided we would have to wait until it was a little bit warmer. We have decided to return to the park when this happens to see if our prediction is correct. Those of you who use the park, keep your eyes peeled!!

We were inspired ...

... to create some amazing 'daffodil art'. Planting the bulbs didn't allow us to see what daffodils look like. The flowers are hiding inside the bulbs until they are ready to emerge! We used the computer to find out what they looked like. We discovered that daffodils are not all yellow. Did you know this?! Some of us were inspired to paint our own daffodils whilst others of us made a thank you bouquet of daffodils for Mrs Powell.

Happy Diwali

We celebrated the Hindu festival of Diwali by making our own rangoli pattern with coloured rice. Ms Shepheard challenged us to see if we could fill each of the segments of the rangoli design carefully with a different colour. It was quite tricky because we had to sprinkle the rice slowly to fill the shape, controlling our movements well. We were ably supported by Miss Cunningham. We also made our own individual rangoli patterns using coloured paper and explored the idea of mehndi patterns too. You can see some of our masterpieces on display in the classroom.

Autumn Term 1



We are going to start the year with the theme


‘Marvellous Me’


Bring your ‘Marvellous Me’ bag into school having chosen 1 or 2 objects and/or photographs that are special to you to share with us all. You can even decorate your bag!

Ms Shepheard, Miss Cunningham and Mrs Brierley are looking forward to getting to know you all. We hope to share with you what you like (and don’t like), what you are good at and what you might like help with, all the things that make you special! Perhaps you might like to share how you celebrate special occasions with your family, how many brothers and sisters you have, how many pets you have or what you do when you are not at school?! We can't wait!




Daily phonics sessions began prior to Christmas with our Read Write Inc Set 1 Speed Sounds and continue apace. Alongside this, we will work to develop our communication and language skills to support us during these sessions. This will include our ability to identify sounds that we hear in our environment, the sounds we can hear in words as well as rhyming words in stories and lots more.


To develop phonics skills effectively children benefit from learning the sounds in a methodical way through focussed sessions in school and by being reinforced at home. We would welcome your support. It is expected that you practise at home for 5 minutes each day. Please refer to your child’s communication diary for the sounds of the week as appropriate.


To support your child at home you may find Ruth Miskin’s website useful where you will find helpful resources including short video clips to support you (see link below).


This is the order we learn our sounds in ~


Read Write Inc Speed Sounds Set 1:

1.1 m a s d t

1.2 i n p g o

1.3 c k u b

1.4 f e l h sh

1.5 r j v y w

1.6 th z ch q x ng nk


Read Write Inc Speed Sounds Set 2:

ay - May I play?

ee - What can you see?

igh - Fly high

ow - Blow the snow

oo - Poo at the zoo

oo - Look at a book

ar - Start the car

or - Shut the door

air - That's not fair

ir - Whirl and twirl

ou - Shout it out

oy - Toy for a boy


If you have a question or concern, please do not hesitate to speak with Ms Shepheard, Miss Cunningham and/or Mrs Brierley.

Please take a look at the Parents' Phonics Information PowerPoint below for more information.

A little reminder for the grown-ups!


Punctuality - Please remember that children are expected arrive at school promptly. The classroom door will open at 8.40am. Arriving to class on time supports your child to settle ready for the school day. Please may we remind you that should your child not be in school before 8.50am they will be registered with a late mark.


Water Bottles - Learning is thirsty work! To make sure all children are kept hydrated and ready to learn, your child must have a named water bottle to bring into class. Facilities are available to refill bottles in the classroom during the day. Children are also entitled to a drink of milk up to and including their 5th birthday.


Afternoon Snack - Learning is hungry work too! Please provide a healthy snack (fruit or raw vegetables, please no nuts or nut products and no sweets) for your child in a clearly named box or bag. Your child will be provided with a snack during the morning.


Welly Wednesday - Your child has free access throughout the week to the outdoor learning environment during the school day. On Wednesdays we will be taking this further still, taking our learning completely outside whatever the weather. With this in mind we recommend that your child has a pair of welly boots in school or an alternative pair of shoes. Things can get messy!!


PE Kits - Please ensure that your child has their fully named kit in school ready for our session. We will keep kits in school for the duration of the whole term sending them home for washing during the breaks. Our PE slot is Thursday afternoon.


Class Fund - Each term we ask for a small voluntary contribution of £2. This goes towards additional resources to support your child’s learning, such as ingredients for cooking and arts and crafts materials. Thank you in advance for your support. Please make payment via your online sQuid account under 'school fund donations' or place the cash in a named envelope and pass to a member of the class team. Thank you.

Phonics Information Session For Parents 21/09/18

Useful Websites

A useful document for all adults supporting children in their learning. It details typical development of children and includes suggestions of how children can be supported in their learning in everyday situations.

‘50 things to do before you are 11 ¾’ Lots of fun suggestions to do outside and make memories with, many of which do not cost a penny … make a daisy chain … go on a bug hunt … roll down a hill.


Communication and Language and Literacy Pop a sound! Pop a word! Have fun forming letters!


Mathematics Practice number and counting skills Have fun repeating patterns!