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Summer Term Home Learning - Week 11

It's week 11 of the Summer term and it's also the second week of 'Children's Art Week' across the nation. Our whole topic this half term, Mini-beasts, is a science related topic, looking at the natural world and our environment so please continue to explore the activities suggested under our topic section below (scroll down). In addition, we have added some one-off art activities for the children to explore. Please email any art work you complete to our class email address.


Our mini-beast of the week is Caterpillars and Butterflies this week. We will be exploring what they look like, how they move, and their lifecycles. All of the information needed can be found in the attachments below. 


Once again, we have updated some elements of this page with additional resources and will continue to do so, however some of the work will roll over for more than just a week so please just check for any extra links we may have added. This week, for example, we are updating the maths section and we will be adding to the weekly 'specific activities' below so that you can join in with some of the same activities we will do in school each week.


We will continue to do our best to ensure there is plenty to get on with on this page and we are also able to get some simple work packs together for those who need it. Please email us to arrange this ( and don't forget to send in any photos from the home learning you do too!


We look forward to hearing from you all soon. Keep safe and well everyone.


The EYFS Team: Mrs Alston, Miss Cannell and Miss Waters


FYI - the videos of stories being read by your teachers as now all being added to the 'Reading Corner' page under the 'Children' tab of this website.

Children's Art Week 2020 Ideas

Our caterpillars are now chrysalis'

Our caterpillars are now chrysalis' 1
Our caterpillars are now chrysalis' 2
Our caterpillars are now chrysalis' 3
Our caterpillars are now chrysalis' 4
Our caterpillars are now chrysalis' 5
Our caterpillars are now chrysalis' 6
Our caterpillars are now chrysalis' 7
Our caterpillars are now chrysalis' 8

Some pictures from our in-school learning...

Returning to Reception Social Story to share with your child


Reading words with more than one syllable!  


As we are moving towards our final weeks in reception. We are starting to focus on reading words which contain more than one syllable. We would like the children to look at different words and working out how many syllables are in each word. A great way to get a child to understand syllables is by clapping the word: 'cat' is one clap whilst 'picnic' is two claps. Try to encourage your child to clap and say the word as this will allow them to understand how to break it down when reading.


Once your child is comfortable with clapping the syllables in words get them to have a go at reading them. A great way to do this is write the word down and break it up into syllables for your child. Get your child to read the word which is broken up using the sounds focusing on the first section first by sounding out and blending the sounds and repeat with the other sections. Once your child has read the word, get them to clap the syllables to reinforce where the word breaks up. See Example of activity below:




Another way of getting your child to read words with more than one syllable, is by making cards with different sections of a word on. Get your child to put the cards into pairs by reading the each syllable and putting it together. Is it a real word or is it a fake word? Which syllables work together? 



Once your child is confident reading words with more than one syllable, you can encourage them to write them down. When clapping, get your child to write down the word using their sounds and breaking it up. For example, in 'picnic' the first clap would be 'pic' so get your child to stretch out that section of the word and write the sounds they hear then clap the whole word again, breaking it into syllables ('pic' & 'nic') and repeat with the 'nic' section of the word. 


Phase 4 - further information


How are you all getting on with Phase 4? We would love to see some of the phonic work you are doing at home. Can you write some sentences with the sounds you have been practising? Maybe you could ask a grown up to record you reading a few pages of a book on the Bug Club website (or a book from home) so that we can see how you are getting on?


In Phase 4, no new graphemes are introduced. The main aim of this phase is to consolidate the children's knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and milk.


In addition, during Phase 4, the following tricky words (which can't yet be decoded) are introduced: said, have, like, so, do, some, come, were, there, little, one, when, out, and what. To help your child, you could put these words on flashcards and teach them to recognise and read them. Once they are able to read these words fluently, the next step is to spell them.


NB - IF your child is still unsure with any of the sounds taught so far, please reinforce these too. If there are lots of gaps in their knowledge, please concentrate on securing all of the sounds in phase 2 and 3 before moving ahead. They need to master these basics. Thank you.



What is a Syllable? | Open and Closed Syllables | Kids Academy

How to Read Closed & Open Syllables

This video is about Closed & Open Syllables. Yes, there's a spelling mistake...thanks for your grace!

Phonics Phase 4 Blends and Clusters Pronunciation

Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.

Phase 4 Tricky Words Song Sight Words Song for said, have, like, come, some, what, when


We are in our final weeks now so we would like to consolidate all of our learning with numbers. Please continue to practise counting forwards and backwards, counting in 2s, 5s and 10s and recognising odd and even numbers.


Please also go over simple addition and subtraction, in particular our number bonds to 10. This is a key skill which, if secured, will help so much for Year 1. Below are videos to give you ideas of practical ways to practice number bonds, as well as some teaching and activity videos. Please also head over to Purple Mash where we have set you a number bond challenge!


NB - for additional maths content, please see the BBC Bitesize website. Also, the entire 'Numberblocks' Series is currently available on the CBeebies website (link below) - this is an excellent series for introducing maths concepts and well worth exploring.

Number Bonds to 10 | Activities

Number bonds to 10 using the Part Whole Method

10 minute maths lesson: Number bonds to 10 using the part whole method. Children can join in and learn maths in under ten minutes.

Number bonds to 10 using a Tens Frame

The Counting by Twos Song | Counting Songs | Scratch Garden

Counting by 5s


Count 10-100 | Count by 10 Song | The Singing Walrus

Even and Odd song


This half term we have a new topic - Minibeasts!!! 


We will be reading 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle and learning about the life cycle of a butterfly. Hopefully later in the term our caterpillars will arrive and we will post photographs of how they grow and change into butterflies, giving our children an up-close experience of a real life cycle in action!


Over the next few weeks, we will be talking about nature and how we can look after our environment and protect all of God's creatures. We will learn the names of lots of different minibeasts, what they look like and their different habitats.

Ideas for home learning:

1. Go on a bug hunt! What can you find in your garden / in the park / along your street?

2. Draw or paint your favourite bug.

3. Make a bug from junk modelling equipment.



4. Create a bug hotel!

5. Read 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle with a grown up and retell the story in your own words.

6. Learn the days of the week in order - can you write them down?

7. Make up your own 'list' of things a different hungry caterpillar (or other bug) might each each day (on Monday she ate one pepper, on Tuesday she ate two chips, on Wednesday she ate three cakes, etc).

8. Write your own story / sentences based on the hungry caterpillar. NB - parents if you do this make a zig-zag book and focus on one or two sentences a day to avoid overwhelming your child.


Don’t forget we would love to see pictures of the activities you have been getting up to on our class email! We miss you all and hope to see you soon.

What is a minibeast? | Primary Biology - Animal Types

Mad About Minibeasts by Giles Andreas and David Wojtowycz

The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Animated Film

Religious Education


Although we are a Christian school, as part of our RE curriculum we also look at other faiths to develop understanding and acceptance of different beliefs and customs. This term we are moving on to look at Hinduism and, in particular, the Hindu story of creation, what it is like to be Hindu and the different names for God.


What is Hinduism?

Hinduism is over 4,000 years old, making it one of the world's oldest religions. It is made up of a variety of different religious beliefs and practices. It originated near the Indus River in India. The name 'Hindu' comes from the word Indus.


What do Hindus believe?

Central to Hinduism is the belief in a supreme God Brahman. Brahman is present everywhere and there is a part of Brahman in everyone.

Brahman takes many forms. Especially three forms called the Trimurti.

  • Brahma is the creator of the world and all creatures. He is usually shown with four heads.

  • Vishnu is the preserver of the world. His role is to return to the earth in troubled times and restore the balance of good and evil. He has blue skin and four arms.

  • Shiva is the destroyer of the universe. Shiva destroys the universe in order to re-create it. Shiva has blue skin, a third eye and carries a trident.

Hindus believe that life is a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. They also believe that the next life depends on how the previous life was lived.

*Information taken from the BBC Bite-Size RE pages.


We have already investigated Hinduism this year when we learned about the Hindu festival of Diwali (so called, 'The Festival of Lights'). Ask your child what they remember about this and watch the video below to remind them of the story linked to the festival.


To help you and your child learn more about the Hindu faith we have added some video clips below and a link to the BBC website which gives a child-friendly explanation of Hinduism.

Hindu creation story

Meeting two young Hindus | Religious Studies - My Life, My Religion: Hinduism

The Hindu Story of Rama and Sita | Religions of the World

We learned this story back in the Autumn term - here it is again!

Faber are releasing this little book in August, a preview of which can be viewed and read online via the link below. It is a really lovely little story about friendship, even when we are socially distancing, and we thought you might like to share it with your little ones. Enjoy!

Our Matisse inspired snail pictures!

Growing beans...

Growing beans... 1
Growing beans... 2
Growing beans... 3
Growing beans... 4
Growing beans... 5
Growing beans... 6
Growing beans... 7

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'Your Harlow' has announced a new competition launched by Robert Halfon MP, to help celebrate all those amazing people in Harlow who are volunteering, shopping for their neighbours, looking after the elderly, keeping services running, saving lives on the front-line or just doing their bit to fight the Coronavirus. He is asking the young people of Harlow to design a badge for these Corona Heroes and we thought the children of St James' might like to have a go!


Children in Harlow aged between 5 and 18-years-old can create their own badge design as a symbol of recognition and appreciation for all the hard work of the Corona Heroes. The winning drawing will be turned into a badge and presented to every Corona Hero in Harlow (once social distancing restrictions permit).


Parents/guardians are asked to take a photo of their child’s design and submit entries via email to together with their child’s name, age and parent’s contact details (postcode and email address). The closing date for entries is Friday 15 May 2020, with the winner announced on Robert Halfon MP’s Facebook page at 3pm on Friday 22 May 2020.


Information taken from the 'Your Harlow' website:

Reception Class Mission Statement

In Reception we try to be a good friend like Jesus was.

We try to always be kind. We try to listen to each other and share our toys and games. 
Sometimes we might get upset with each other but we are learning to say sorry

and to forgive the person who upset us as Jesus taught about forgiveness. 
In our class we will believe, love and learn together as friends.

Parents' Phonics Workshop

Thank you to the parents who joined us for this informative session about phonics and how to support your child. We hope you now feel more confident about phonics and enjoyed playing some of the phonics games we regularly use during our in class activities.

As promised, I have uploaded the PowerPoint which contains all of the links we discussed and useful video explaining the different elements of early phonics.

If you were unable to attend, please take time to look through the information on the PowerPoint and please do ask us if you have any questions at all.