St John's C of E Primary School

Monday 27th April

Dear parents and carers,


As we move into the fourth week of home schooling, we wanted to share staff feedback about how fantastic they think you are. You are doing such a great job with the children. As a time we feel that we are getting more used to this way of working and it pleased that it sounds that same for families.  While it is not easy, we are definitely all learning!

Play is the best way for children to learn at this age. Play is their learning. We are providing home learning in the hope that it is useful. However, please do not feel that you have to do it. Your child’s happiness is the most important thing right now so please do as much ‘school’ work as feels right for you.


Our plan is that the weekly emails will:

  • give you an overview of what support is available on the website
  • respond to frequently asked questions
  • help deal with any issues that families are facing in terms of accessing learning.

Each week we update the website using the feedback you have given us so we hope you are finding it useful.  We find it helpful to hear what works for you and the children along with what’s not working so well or what you’d like more help on.


Where can I find the learning projects?

We update the learning projects on a weekly basis, making links with videos and activities. Please find them here:

We are linking our weekly book with the learning projects so the activities we have made can be found here:

If you are struggling to find something on the webpage, please look at our frequent asked questions section We will continue to update this based on feedback that you give us.


Do you know when the children will be coming back to school?

The short answer is not yet. We are following government guidance. Look out for Mrs Seymour’s emails as she is providing updates.

How will we get the children ready for Reception?

We wanted to reassure you that we have plans in place to do our best to support the children whenever we return.

We are really aware that this is an important time for preparing children for Reception so have created a new area for updates and ideas for Reception


What can I do for phonics?

Reading stories and playing with language are really important for phonic development.

  • Reading

Sharing books with your child is the best way to develop their love of reading. It will help them with their phonics too.  If you’re looking for new books, we highly recommend the Book Trust website for recommendations.

  • Listening to St John’s staff read stories also seems to be a popular way to share stories. We’d also recommend listen to children’s stories on audible (which are all free during this period).
  • Nursery rhymes

Singing is not only fun but a great way to promote language and phonic acquisition. Please see our Music, Song and Nursery Rhyme section on the website if you’re looking for some new ones!


  • Phonics sessions

Our phonics page is here.

  • Letters and sounds  - speaking and listening activities

In Nursery, we teach Letters and Sounds (Phase 1) before we begin our journey into teaching letter sounds (phonemes). The idea of these activities is that the children become attuned to listening to sounds around them.

We recommend that all children use the Letters and Sounds activities as they are great for improving speaking and listening skills.  Following your feedback, we have added teacher led sessions and parent/ carer guidance videos starting with instrumental sounds.


  • Read Write Inc (Ruth Miskin)  - Learning sounds

At St John’s we learn letter sounds (phonemes) through a scheme called Read Write Inc. In Nursery, we work on ‘set 1 sounds’. You can look at these sounds, look at resources, and find sessions here. We love the daily ‘Set 1’ lessons that you can find here.

Click here for a video explains the key terminology and gives details about the ‘Set 1’ sounds that we learn in Nursery. Further information on ‘Set 1’ sounds can be found by clicking here.


How can I help my child with their writing?

  • Gross Motor Skills

Writing for Nursery aged children is all about making marks and talking about what they mean. Children’s bones and muscles (that will support them to write) are still developing at this age. You can help them to develop a strong body which will help them to write by doing lots of gross motor activities .

  • Pre-writing

Before children learn how to ‘write’ there are lots of skills that children need to master (pre-writing skills). Although children’s pre-writing can look like scribble to us, it is very important in terms of their development. If you are not sure how to move your child on, we highly recommend looking at the pre-writing progression guide. At Nursery, we use it to help us plan what sort of writing to model to your child. When writing in front of your child show them writing that looks like the next step. For example if they do scribble writing then show them symbols that represent letters. Be warned, your child may completely skip some of these stages or take longer on some than others – this is totally normal. The most important part is that children enjoy writing – for lots of our children this will be drawing pictures.

  • Letter shapes

Click here for sheets that your children can use to practise letter formation (they are the same as the packs that we sent out earlier in the year). Please scroll down the page for the sheets.

There is also an interactive workbook that the children can copy from. However, the children may need this on a device or piece of paper put flat in front of them as they are still developing their coordination skills.


How do I access Teams?

Please click here for a video guide for accessing Microsoft Teams.


Do I have to send photos of my child?

Although we love seeing photos of the children, please do not feel you have to send them. It’s more important that you and the children get to spend time together without feeling you have to send photos to us.


We hope that you have a lovely week. We look forward to speaking to you and the children. Please do ask if you have any queries or concerns.


Stay safe,

The Nursery Team