Class News

Living and Learning: Mental Health

Posted on Monday 28 November 2022 by Mrs Freeman

We’ve started a three week block of Living and Learning lessons around mental health this week. Being able to identify and talk about our feelings and emotions is an important part of mental health. In our Living and Learning lesson today, we shared our feelings and emotions and discussed how these can change. The children considered different things we can do if we’re feeling angry, sad, worried, anxious.

When I feel angry I ….

listen to music

read a book

listen to the sound of birds

take time out

lie down

do some breathing techniques

do some mindfulness

The following emotions, stress and anxiety, came up a lot in our class discussion so we thought of strategies to help to ease these.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Using a fidget toys cannot prevent or eliminate these issues, but they can help to calm our strong emotions.  We have a selection of these in our room so we each took turns in touching them and describing how fidget toys may help to ease some of our emotions.

Finally, the children created some helping heroes. These advertised some self help techniques for others.

Maths: area

Posted on Monday 28 November 2022 by Mrs Valentine

In maths, we’ve been learning about area – the space inside a 2D shape. We’ve used a range of skills when learning about area: estimating, comparing, counting and reading.

This is the kind of stuff we’ve been discussing in class – ask your child their opinion of this question…

Help at home: Why not check out this video to support your child’s maths learning at home!

Week 4 – How to catch a star

Posted on Friday 25 November 2022 by Mrs Payne

In our maths sessions this week we have been investigating the number 5. We have been using part whole models to explore different parts that come together to make a whole. We enjoyed creating 5 in different ways with linking cubes.

Following on from our learning around the Houses of Parliament we looked at some pieces of artwork by Monet. Monet created images of the Houses of Parliament at different points during the day. We really liked how all the colours blended together. We decided to use oil pastels to create our own pieces of inspired artwork.

Thank you to everyone who has brought their outfits in for the FS/KS1 Nativity. Please can all outfits be in school by Monday 28 November.

Mrs Payne

Week 3 – Nursery rhyme week

Posted on Friday 25 November 2022 by Mrs Payne

We love nursery rhymes in Reception. This week our learning has linked to lots of different nursery rhymes. We used our measuring skills to make cups of tea for Polly. We built Humpty a new wall that was a little safer than his old one! We then compared the heights of our walls to see which one was the tallest and shortest. We sizzled sausages on our camp fire and even had wriggly teddy beds jumping out of the bed!

Have you ever drawn using charcoal? This week we used charcoal to create our observational drawings of an old suitcase. The suitcase didn’t look like any of our cases we have at home. We looked carefully at the different features and how we might include them in our drawings. We used smudging to add extra effects.

Thank you to everyone who helped us raise awareness of anti bullying week and Children in Need. We had lots of discussions around what bullying is and why it is so important to respect each other and celebrate our differences.

A big thank you to everyone who joined us for our Marvellous Maths session on Thursday. It was fantastic to share our learning with you all. We will be holding more stay and play sessions throughout the year and looking forward to welcoming everyone into Reception.

Living and Learning – I can talk about my feelings

Posted on Friday 25 November 2022 by Mrs Palmer

This week, we have been talking about our mental health.

We looked at some pictures and shared our thoughts and ideas on how the character was feeling.

I think he is angry because he has his hands in a fist and has steam coming off his head.

I think he is surprised because he is bending back and has his mouth open like he is surprised.

I think he is scared because it looks like he is crying.

We used the sentence starters to think about a time we might have felt different ways.

I felt embarrassed when I tripped over outside.

I felt nervous when I first started school.

I felt excited when I could play on my iPad.


Posted on Friday 25 November 2022 by Mrs Palmer

In our Topic learning today, we continued to compare optical art by our feature artist, Bridget Riley. We commented on how there are lots of patterns in her work – the arrangement of colours or shapes in a logical order. We compared Bridget Riley’s artwork using a Carroll diagram. We looked at lots of different features – shapes, colour, patterns, and if the picture appeared to be moving.


Living and Learning

Posted on Friday 25 November 2022 by Miss Kay

Over the next three weeks in Living and Learning, we are exploring mental health. We began this series of learning by discussing and identifying emotions.

The children had to look closely at the facial expressions of different characters and decide which emotion they might be feeling.



25 November 2022

Posted on Friday 25 November 2022 by Steph Bones

This week’s Talk Time relates to this half term’s Art topic.

I can compare and contrast different artworks, architecture and designs. 

I can give my opinions, and back them up with reasons. 

In our Art lessons, we’re thinking about the work of these artists, architects and designers and we’re using the following vocabulary:

Y1,2 Artists:
George Seurat
Bridget Riley
Vocabulary: pointillism, op art

Y3,4 Architects:
St Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren
London Aquatic Centre, Zara Hadid
Vocabulary: architect, architecture

Y5,6 Designers:
William Morris
Orla Kiely
Vocabulary: pattern, repetition, symmetry, foreground, background

The key to this task is being able to explain thoughts and opinions. It’s worth remembering that the opinions of one person may not match those of another and that it’s okay to disagree.

We’d like your child to speak confidently and passionately about art. Using ‘because’ will encourage your child to think carefully about their own interpretation of the art. Offering your own opinions may also help your child to consider alternative viewpoints and perspectives.

Discussions about the art could take place in a number of ways. Here’s a couple of suggestions:

  • Discuss each piece separately before then looking at them side by side.
  • Have both pieces side by side from the start.

Whichever approach you opt for, referring to these questions and the vocabulary above will help to focus your discussions at home:

  • Explain what you like about each piece.
  • Explain what you dislike about each piece.
  • How are the two pieces similar?
  • How are the two pieces different?
  • Considering what is most important to you, which piece do you prefer?

Additionally, or alternatively, you might like your child to consider our current Christian value…

At St James’ CE Primary School, we learn about Christian values that help us to become well-rounded citizens in society. The values are woven into our everyday school life. Each half term, we have a new Christian value that will be embedded into our collective worship and our reflection areas.

This half term, our Christian value is compassion. The definition of compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is hurting, in pain, or has misfortune and is accompanied by a strong desire to help the suffering. Christians believe that Jesus is the greatest example of someone with true compassion. It’s not always easy to show compassion, especially when we feel like the person deserves their misfortune, but we try to show compassion to all who need it whether they are the same as us or different.

This week’s Talk Time homework is all about showing compassion.

‘If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion’
Dalai Lama

With your adults at home, have a chat about the quote by the Dalai Lama. Do you like this quote? What do you think it means? Does it really help you to be happy by showing compassion? Does showing compassion really help someone else?

Think about your day at school. Think of three times or places where you could show compassion to someone. Or, come up with your own quote about compassion – share it with your teacher so it can go on our Christian Values board in the hall.

Topic and English

Posted on Thursday 24 November 2022 by Mrs Palmer

In Topic this half term, we are artists!

We are learning and experimenting with structure, inspired by one of our feature artists Bridget Riley. She specialised in optical art. We are creating our own optical art pieces!

The first step was to draw straight lines with a ruler. Some children had drawn many lines, some had not so many, some had thick lines, some had thin… there was certainly lots of experimenting happening! Then, we used the colour black to paint every other line. We talked about this being a pattern, one of our key words.

Linked to our Art topic, in our English lesson we read Katie and The Impressionist. After, we worked in small groups to re-tell and sequence the story. We shared our favourite part of the story with each other.


Posted on Thursday 24 November 2022 by Miss Kay

In our Topic learning today, we continued to compare optical art by our feature artist, Bridget Riley. We commented on how there are lots of patterns in her work – the arrangement of colours or shapes in a logical order. We made our own patterns in the classroom.

Then, we compared Bridget Riley’s art work using a Carroll diagram. We looked at lots of different features – shapes, colour, patterns, and if the picture appeared to be moving.