Welcome to the Kestrels Class! 


Teacher: Christina Marriott

TAs: Gemma McKeegan, Cheryl Round and Alex Lambert

Mid Day Leader: Jordan Maguire


On The Move

We have been very busy over our first half term of the year!

In English, we have been continuing to practise our letter formation and recognition of letter sounds, looking at blending them to read simple words. We have been looking at the recognition of high frequency words, reading them from sight and writing them in different sensory media. The children have also enjoyed experiencing the story of The Train Ride, where we have been joining in with the repeated refrains of the story as well as finding the different characters and putting key elements of the story in order and to re-tell it in the correct sequence using pictures and symbols.

In Maths we have been focussing on identifying and naming 2D shapes, finding them in pictures and using them to create our own shape pictures, and exploring them practically. We have been developing our number recognition to 20, practising writing them in different media and matching them in different activities. We have also continued to develop our counting out loud, focussing on counting to 20 forwards and backwards and using a number square to count up to 100 using one of our favourite number songs. 

During our Science sessions, we have been looking at forces where we have been exploring how magnets work to pull things towards them as well as push things away. We have used symbols to support our understanding of the push and pull forces involved and we’ve really engaged in watching how the magnets are able to attract different metal objects. 

In Design and Technology, we’ve been learning about different bridges and how there are many different designs worldwide. We have built our own bridges using various constructions as well as begun to make our own out of paper to test their strength. We then used small objects to test which paper bridge design was the strongest and held the most objects.  

In P.E. we have been practising throwing balls into a netted target as well as developing our swim skills in the Kingfisher Pool. We have shared a lovely bike session with the Ravens class where we have practised riding different bikes to develop our coordination skills. 

We have been focussing on the weather in our Geography sessions, where we have been using weather symbol boards to describe the weather each day and looking at different types of weather on the interactive whiteboard. We then sorted clothing items we might wear in different weathers and practically put on different clothing to suit the weather we were focussing on. 

In our PSHE sessions, we have looked at some simple emotions and how this might look in different people. We have looked at some facial expressions and tried to label their feelings using symbols. We have continued to develop our play skills in our developing play sessions, where we are working on sharing favoured activities and resources, as well as initiating interactions with our friends in class. 

It has been a great start to the academic year and the children have settled back to school well. They have continued to enjoy a range of learning experiences and it has been lovely to see some of the work they have produced. Well done Kestrels for a fantastic first half term!

Follow along with this half term’s Signalong video!


At Kingfisher we use Signalong as a part of a Total Communication Approach, we are constantly using core vocabulary with the children to support their language development and then through each of our topics we introduce new signs and language, which extends their vocabulary further. We also have two “Signs of the Week” which helps maintain and extend key knowledge and skills of everyday vocabulary.

Each half term we will be creating a short video showcasing and demonstrating signs relavent for the current term so that you can learn the signs and further this learning at home.

Click play to watch this half terms Signalong video!


If your child has a school dinner, the school menus can be accessed by clicking here. For children who bring a packed lunch, please remember to provide healthy and balanced options. We are a Healthy School and will be focusing on healthy eating and how children can make healthy lifestyle choices.

How You Can Help at Home

Our theme for this half term is ‘Winter Wonderland.’ To support your child’s learning at home, here are some ideas linked to what we will be doing in school over the next 8 weeks. We will also be sharing your child’s learning with you through See-Saw regularly.

  • We will be looking at the non-fiction text ‘Welcome to the Arctic’ where we will be looking at the information the book provides, how it is presented for the reader and learning some fun facts about living in the Arctic!
  • We will be focussing on the fictional text ‘Dear Santa’ by Rod Campbell this half term (we will look at this towards the end of the half term linked to Christmas) – below it a link to share the story online together

Dear Santa (fictional story)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MMJy8Q-KCE

  • Can you look at different books about the Arctic and different places from around the world with your child at home? – you could take your child to the library to do this! 
  • Continue to develop your child’s interests in books at home by sharing as many as you can together – get them to turn the pages, follow the words with their fingers and attempt to read some simple words if appropriate. Encourage them to find the title on the front cover, the author’s name and ask simple questions about the text as you read it. Can they name any of the characters or can they point them out when asked? Expand this to non-fiction books so that your child is able to see the difference between a fiction and non-fiction text. If your child is a confident reader, talk together about what they have read so that it is developing their understanding around the text they are reading – ask them questions about the story.
  • You can encourage letter and number formation at home by practising in different media such as shaving foam, flour, sand, sprinkles, cornflour etc. Encourage your child to write their full name (including surname) – this is something your child will be practising every day in school as well as some common high frequency words. For some of the children, writing simple sentences about a picture can be a good way of developing their early understanding of the words they are reading – can they write about what they can see outside? e.g. I can see….. what have they done in their day? I have…….. They could even write a list for you for when you go shopping!
  • We always talk about what day of the week it is in school – encourage this also at home to help support the children identifying what day it is today, tomorrow and yesterday – what did they do yesterday? What are they going to do today? What will they be doing tomorrow? Talk about things you would do at certain points of the day such as brushing your teeth, eating your breakfast – do we do this at night or in the morning? 
  • Play simple games with your child to develop their understanding around the rules around playing simple games as well as taking turns e.g. connect four, simple dice games
  • In History we will be looking at castles – can your child use various construction to build their own castle – research castles on the computer/tablet and use these as a prompt to copy from. 
  • In Science we will be looking at what objects are made from – find some different objects your child will recognise from at home and talk about what they are and what they are made from. Sort these based upon what they are made from or their properties such as soft/ hard, dull/shiny.
  • In Art, we will be looking at drawing simple Winter themed animals such as Polar bears. Watch some tutorials about how to draw these step by step and encourage your child to have a try at copying the steps:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-qpQ3mSg8M (drawing a polar bear)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eYss_-_3hU (drawing a snowman)

  • Continue to support your child in brushing their teeth as home, washing their own face, putting on and taking off their own coats, zipping up their coat – anything that promotes their independence as much as possible.

If you have any questions with regards to supporting your child’s learning at home, then please do message via See-Saw. 

We hope to enjoy our second half term together as a class of Kestrels where we are sure it will be full of lovely learning opportunities for them all!  

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