Darwin Class (YR )

Our topic this term is
Once Upon a Time (castles)

5th January 2023                                                              


Dear Parents


Happy New Year!


We hope that you all had a lovely Christmas and you enjoyed spending time with family and friends. The children and staff were certainly ready for a rest after a very busy end of term. But we are very much looking forward to welcoming you all back ready for another exciting term ahead.


The children have all settled into school so well and it has been lovely to see lots of friendships forming within the class and all across the school. Children are getting used to the school routine and it has been amazing to see their confidence grow. With this is mind, we feel the children are ready to come straight into school and no longer need to line up on the playground in the mornings. There will be a member of staff in the conservatory ready to welcome your child into school.


Our topic this term is ‘Once Upon a time’. We will go back in time to the olden days of knights and dragons, kings and queens. We will begin by exploring how castles are different to our own homes and we will enjoy finding out who lived and worked in them. The children will then train to become knights and will have plenty of missions to complete, we might even meet some dragons along the way! We will also be having our very own Cinderella’s ball, with lots of dancing and plenty of delicious treats to eat at our very own banquet. Children will have an understanding of passing time and compare how life was different long ago. They will learn lots of new vocabulary and this will be embedded in their continuous provision time.

We will continue to build on children’s personal, social and emotional development through reading lots of stories about dragons, knights, castles and princesses. We will be encouraging children to retell narratives and ask and answer questions about what they have heard.


We have been very pleased with how well the children have been applying their phonics in their reading books. Over this next term we will continue to learn more letter sounds and apply this knowledge in our reading and writing. We will be encouraging and supporting children to write words and begin to record simple sentences with growing independence. Like last term, children will be sent home with a ‘phonics book’ which covers the new sounds the children have learnt in the previous week, they may also have another phonics book more suited to your child’s ability. A sharing book will also be sent home but children are not expected to read these books, these books are purely for you to read to your child and talk about the content. We encourage the phonics books to be read at least five times to ensure that your child embeds what we are teaching in class and so they become more confident and fluent with their reading.


We will still be doing PE on a Monday and a Wednesday, so please can you make sure that children come to school in their PE kits on these days.


The children have been really enjoying the Forest School sessions with Carrie on a Tuesday morning, these will be continuing with the first session back being on Tuesday 10th January. With the weather getting colder and wetter, please can you make sure that children come appropriately dressed wearing waterproof trousers and jackets. We recommend warm socks as wellies are great at keeping the water out but they don’t keep feet warm.


We are always available after school if you wish to speak to us, alternatively write a note in the home/school contact book or send an email and we will try to respond as soon as possible.


We are looking forward to the term ahead and we hope you are too.



Mrs Bagshaw and Mrs Jackson


Knowledge Organisers
Knowledge Organisers are usually a one sheet document which presents the key facts of a topic in a simple format and gives an overview of what the children are expected to know and learn by the end of that topic.

They are a useful document to use with the children to understand how much they already know, to help parents understand the parameters of a topic and also as a reference document for children during lessons to support their learning and progress.
Below are several Knowledge Organisers for topics as well as some generic English and maths themes.