Kent Wildlife Trust Visit

On Wednesday we visited New Romney’s nature reserve as part of our topic flowers and insects. We had a long walk down the nature reserve and were really thankful for the parents and staff that helped to keep us safe on the way.

We were met by our guides for the day, they ran activities for us in both the Warren and in the Community Garden.

The children were able to collect bugs using a net, and then observe them closely in the magnified pots. We went on a bug hunt, flower trail and had to collect all kinds of things for our scavenger hunt! We also learnt about the parts of a flower and how it grows from a seed. We had to be really quiet when were inspecting which insects came to visit the flowers in the sunshine!

When back at school last week we then looked at all of our fabulous new bug houses and hotels to see if we had the same bugs back at school! – There were many, many woodlice, but not as many exciting spiders.

Have a look at our day in pictures, as well as our bughouses made my our amazing children and parents. We are really thankful for your support and hard work 🙂

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Fantastic Phonics Fun!

Over Easter we would love you to support your children with their phonics and practise it everyday like we do in school.

Here are some websites that you might find useful, the children have to segment (sound out words) and then blend (say it altogether). There are real words and ‘alien’ words which are designed to see if the children can recognise the digraphs (like ai in rain). In school we encourage the children to put ‘sound buttons’ under the word so they take their time to segment and blend it.


Here you can see that the single sounds have a dot under them, and the digraphs ch, sh, ll have a line, this encourages the children to blend the words together.


Every day we are practising the phase 5 sounds with all children for 15 mins after lunch, this is in addition to their personalised phonics learning groups which range from phase 3-5


There is an older post on phonics if you scroll further down our Year One page which gives you detailed information about what phonics is and how we teach it.

Practise is the best way to support your child, they are working really hard on this in school and making excellent progress. We would love you to celebrate in their success and let them show you how fabulous your children are!

Here is a power point where you can give a few words each day to segment and blend. Phonics screening

This is a good website if you aren’t sure how you can support your child:

And this helps if you don’t know how we teach the sound in school! 

Here are some games:

We use phonics play in school so the children are used to the games, try and encourage them to use phase 5 sounds.


Parents Guide to Phonics

Parents Guide to Phonics

We teach phonics daily here at St Nicholas Academy, the children are split into groups to help support their learning.

Here is a  guide to how phonics will help your child to read and spell.

Letters and Sounds is a fun and interactive way to support children in learning how to read and write. Initially, for the children to learn their sounds we use a programme called Jolly Phonics. Jolly Phonics represents each sound  with an action helping children to remember both more easily. Which is why your child might do an action when they say a sound! – watch here for the actions to help at home…


What is a phoneme?

The alphabet contains only 26 letters. Spoken English uses about 44 sounds (phonemes). These phonemes are represented by letters (graphemes). In other words, a sound can be represented by a letter (e.g. ‘s’ or ‘h’) or a group of letters (e.g. ‘th’ or ‘ear’). It is the smallest unit of sound and a piece of terminology that children like to use and should be taught.  At first it will equate with a letter sound but later on will include the digraphs.  For example `rain’ has three phonemes, / r  / ai  / n.

What is a grapheme?

A grapheme is a letter or a number of letters that represent a sound (phoneme) in a word. Another way to explain it is to say that a grapheme is a letter or letters that spell a sound in a word. E.g. /ee/,/ ea/, /ey/ all make the same phoneme but are spelt differently.

What is a digraph?

This is when two or more letters come together to make a phoneme. /oa/ makes the sound in boat.

What is blending?

Blending is the process that is involved in bringing the sounds together to make a word or a syllable and is how /c/  /a/  /t/  becomes cat.

To learn to read well children must be able to smoothly blend sounds together. Blending sounds fluidly helps to improve fluency when reading. Blending is more difficult to do with longer words so learning how to blend          accurately from an early age is imperative.

Showing your child how to blend is important. Model how to ‘push’ sounds smoothly together without stopping at each individual sound.

What is segmenting?

Segmenting is a skill used in spelling. In order to spell the word cat, it is necessary to segment the word into its constituent sounds; c-a-t.

Children often understand segmenting as ‘chopping’ a word. Before writing a word young children need time to think about it, say the word several times, ‘chop’ the word and then write it. Once children have written the same word several times they won’t need to use these four steps as frequently.

Children will enjoy spelling if it feels like fun and if they feel good about themselves as spellers. We need, therefore, to be playful and positive in our approach – noticing and praising what children can do as well as helping them to correct their mistakes.

What are tricky words?

Tricky words are words that cannot be ‘sounded-out’ but need to be learned by heart. They don’t fit into the usual spelling patterns. Examples of these words are attached under each phase. In order to read simple sentences, it is necessary for children to know some words that have unusual or untaught spellings. It should be noted that, when teaching these words, it is important to always start with sounds already known in the word, then focus on the ‘tricky’ part.

Useful website letters and sounds games:

We hope you have found this post useful and please ask your class teacher if you have further questions.

Week Three

We have had a fabulous week, busy learning lots and working hard.

Our English this week has been linked to ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and by using the story map attached your children should be able to retell you the story based on the traditional tale. The children thoroughly impressed us on Friday with their excellent adaptations from the story, we had stories about the three little princesses, kittens and many about the three little Pokemon!

In Maths we have been learning to estimate carefully and learning how to confidently use the terms ‘more than’, ‘less than’, most, least and equal. We have been using a range of materials in school to aid our learning, see what the children can do with handfuls of pasta from home.

We have also attached the spellings sent home, they are tricky words which the children are learning through phonics, and need to spelt correctly within their written work in school.

Within the IPC topic this week we have been looking at the Three Little Pigs houses. We have built our own replicas, trying to establish how they even built houses out of straw and sticks – it was pretty tricky but the children demonstrated excellent determination and teamwork to succeed in their tasks. There will be photos added soon – so keep looking.

Have a fantastic weekend and we look forward to seeing you all back on Monday

thumbnail of week-3-spellingsthumbnail of 3-little-pigs-story-map