07 January 2022

Posted on Friday 07 January 2022 by Nicky Russell

Our first Talk Time of 2022 has a reading and oracy theme.

I know a poem.

This week, you’re going to be learning a famous poem. It takes great resilience and remembering skills to be able to learn a poem – two of our 8Rs for learning.

Y1,2: Growing by Tony Milton

Given the length of this poem, this chunk of the first verse is what we’d like you to learn.


you may be small.

But one day

you’ll be tall,

like me,

maybe taller.

You won’t

fit into your bed.

Your hat

won’t fit on your head.

Your feet will fill up the floor.

You’ll have to bend down

to come through the door.


Y3,4: The Romans in Britain by Judith Nicholls

The Romans gave us aqueducts,

Fine buildings and straight roads,

Where all those Roman legionaries

Marched with heavy loads.

 They gave us central heating,

Good laws, a peaceful home…

Then after just four centuries

They shuffled back to Rome.


Y5,6: From a Railway Carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.

Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And there is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone for ever!

These talking points could be used to support your initial reading and understanding of the poem:

  • What’s the poem about?
  • Can you work out the meaning of tricky words and phrases by using the clues in the poem?
  • What’s the rhythm of the poem? Where do you pause for breaths?
  • Are there any rhymes (words ending with the same sounds (eg cat and hat)?
  • What other patterns do you notice (repeated words/lines, line lengths, themes/key messages)?

When you have a sound understanding of your chosen poem, turn your attentions to reading it aloud with confidence and clarity. This week’s Remember 2s (R2s) will help with that:

  • Speak clearly in a loud voice without shouting.
  • Pause for breath at the right places to make sure you read at an appropriate pace.
  • Face the reader as often as you can.

Here are some creative strategies that you might use to help you remember the poem – do what works best for you:

  • Create actions to go with certain words or phrases.
  • Draw a series of pictures to help you remember what comes next.
  • Say or sing the poem in a unique or funny voice.
  • Echo phrases/lines with someone at home.

10 December 2021

Posted on Friday 10 December 2021 by Nicky Russell

Living and learning is the theme for this week’s Talk Time.

I can talk through a ‘recipe’ for how to be a good friend.

Being a good friend requires a number of key ingredients. When discussing how to be a good friend, think about the qualities that you have and that you value in your friends, too. How many adjectives can you come up with to describe a good friend?

This week’s Remember 2s provide some useful top tips for being a good friend:

  • A good friend is someone that you can have fun with and makes you feel good about yourself.
  • You don’t need to spend all of your time with one person to be a good friend.
  • Your friend might not always agree with you but they will still respect your opinions.

One of the qualities in your good friend recipe is likely to link to honesty.

Discuss and come up with as many reasons why telling the truth is important.

For the second part of this Talk Time, come up with a list of reasons why telling the truth is important.

Think about a time when someone didn’t tell you the truth. How did that make you feel? Even if the truth might not be what you want to hear, is it better to hear the truth than it is to hear a lie?

03 December 2021

Posted on Friday 03 December 2021 by Nicky Russell

This week’s Talk Time poses a moral dilemma that links to our current Art topic.

Is it right that a painting can cost a million pounds?

In fact, only weeks ago, Banksy’s ‘Love is in the Bin’ sold at auction for a record £16 million.


The question does not have a right or wrong answer. You may already have a strong view on this but a key part of your discussions at home will be taking others’ views into consideration. Following this week’s Remember 2s (R2s) will help with that:

  • Why would someone pay a million pounds for a painting? Think about what the painting represents and how it could make a person feel.
  • Why might it be considered wrong for a painting to cost a million pounds? How else could that money be spent?
  • What is an acceptable amount of money to spend on a single painting?

Your discussions will build on the skills gained through this half term’s oracy focus: building on the views of others and reasoning. If you agree with someone else’s comments, you could respond with one of these sentence starters:

  • Picking up on what’s been said, I’d add…’
  • ‘As well as that…’
  • ‘In addition to that…’
  • ‘Furthermore…’
  • ‘Moreover…’

It might be that you disagree with the views of people in your household – that’s okay but it’s important to remember to respect their views, too. Whatever your opinion, using ‘because’ in your discussions will help you to put forward a strong argument.

26 November 2021

Posted on Friday 26 November 2021 by Nicky Russell

The Talk Time for this week leads on perfectly from the previous week’s statement.

I am confident that I would tell someone if I felt bullied, or if I know someone who was being bullied.

I can name people I would go to, and can explain why I’d choose them for help.

During last week’s discussions, you recalled the two meanings of ‘STOP’: Several Times On Purpose (our definition of bullying) and Start Telling Other People (our response to bullying).

We suggest approaching this Talk Time in two steps.

First, discuss why it is important to tell someone if bullying is happening. Remember, everyone is responsible for helping to prevent bullying. If you see someone being treated unfairly, don’t assume someone else will report it or that it’s a one-off.

How many reasons can you think of to tell someone if you feel bullied or know someone else is being bullied? On the other hand, why would not telling someone be a bad idea?

Second, come up with a list of people you could go to. Consider what makes someone a good person to talk to.

This week’s Remember 2s are question prompts to help you when creating your list:

  • Who can not only help you feel better, but also help to explore and solve the problem? (Think of people outside of school as well as people at school.)
  • What do we mean by ‘trusted adult’?
  • Is talking the only way you can alert someone to a problem like bullying?

19 November 2021

Posted on Friday 19 November 2021 by Nicky Russell

Living and Learning is the focus of this week’s Talk Time.

I know how to STOP bullying.

As it’s Anti-Bullying Week, we’ve placed a strong emphasis on what bullying is and how to stop it. In fact, ‘STOP’ is an acronym that provides a clear definition of bullying:

Several Times On Purpose

An example of bullying would be someone saying on multiple occasions that you can’t join in with their game. On the other hand, getting upset/angry in the heat of the moment or accidentally bumping into someone wouldn’t be considered bullying. As part of your discussions, can your child identify examples of what bullying does and doesn’t look like?

Our school ethos statement is that our school is a happy and healthy place to achieve and believe. School will not be a happy and healthy place if we don’t know how to stop bullying.

‘STOP’ not only tells us what bullying is, but also how to make it stop:

Start Telling Other People.

Ask your child what ‘STOP’ means – encourage them to remember both: Several Times On Purpose and Start Telling Other People.

This week’s Remember 2s (R2s) are actions to take if you see, or are the victim of, an unpleasant behaviour:

  • Challenge the behaviour with that person. It may well have been accidental or something not intended to be hurtful.
  • Tell that person that you don’t like that behaviour and that you want it to stop.
  • If the behaviour occurs again, let a trusted adult know so they can explore the situation.

12 November 2021

Posted on Friday 12 November 2021 by Nicky Russell

Our Talk Time has a vocabulary focus this week.

Thinking about the new topic vocabulary, I can begin to use these words at home.

We’re all being artists this half term. Along the way, we’ll gain knowledge of famous artists and their work. We’ll also learn and develop a range of skills to improve our own art. The following list of vocabulary is being taught and applied in our art lesson at school:

Years 1 and 2 Art vocabulary:

graphite Mixed with clay, graphite forms the ‘lead’ in a pencil
HB Referring to pencils, HB stands for ‘hard black’ – a medium hard pencil
H and B H stands for ‘hard’ and B stands for ‘black. B pencils are soft.
primary colours three colours (red, yellow, blue) that can’t be made by mixing other colours, but can make other colours
secondary colours three colours (orange, green, purple) that are made when two primary colours are mixed using paint
pattern arrangements of things such as colour, shapes and lines that repeat in a logical way
texture how something feels, like smooth or rough
shape a two-dimensional area which may be created using lines or colour
tone how light or dark a colour is

Years 3 and 4 Art vocabulary:

complementary colours colours that are opposite on the colour wheel (roughly, a primary and a secondary colour can be paired up like this)
warm and cold colours Warm colours represent roughly one half of the colour wheel (like red, orange, yellow) and usually represent heat and emotions like anger and excitement. Cool colours roughly represent the other half of the colour wheel (like blue, green, purple) and usually represent cold things and emotions like calm and sadness.
form Often used to talk about sculpture or the human body, form is the physical aspects or the shape of the artwork or parts of the artwork.
space usually used to describe areas or parts of an artwork where there are large blocks of colour or ‘gaps’
medium the type of art (eg painting, sculpture, printmaking), or the materials an artwork is made from (plural: media)
collage the technique and the resulting artwork where things like pieces of paper, photographs and fabric are arranged and attached to a surface
mixed media artworks created from a combination of different media or materials
abstract art a type of modern art that is not an accurate depiction but instead use shapes, colours, forms and marks to achieve its effect
figurative art art that has strong references to the real world and in particular, the human figure

Years 5 and 6 Art vocabulary:

pastel a coloured drawing medium, usually stick-shaped, produced in soft, hard and pencil formproduced in soft, hard and pencil form
art the expression of creativity or imagination, or both
art movement a style in art followed by a group of artists, often linked to a time and place or to particular artists (sometimes called an ‘ism’)
sculpture three-dimensional art made by one of four basic processes: carving, modelling, casting, constructing
negative space the space around and between the subject
maquette a sculptor’s initial model or sketch
modern art art that is often experimental and not traditional (1900s onwards approximately)
classical art used to describe art that makes reference to ancient Greek or Roman style

Some of the words may not have been covered in class as of yet so be sure to refer to the definitions for words your child seems less confident about.

Encourage your child to think back to their art learning so far. The following questions might prompt your child to remember even more about the vocabulary:

  • What does this word mean?
  • Can you use the word in a sentence?
  • Can you (where possible) give an example of this?
  • Have you seen a piece of art that links to that word?
  • Can you link this word to one or more of the other words?
  • Which of these words would you group together?

This half term, our oracy focus is building on the views of others and reasoning. Referring to these ‘Remember 2s’ (R2s) will help your child to speak confidently whilst also respecting the views of others.

  • Listen carefully to an opinion (have eyes on the speaker).
  • Respond by acknowledging what has been said and add further ideas of you own. Use phrases like these:
    • ‘Picking up on what’s been said, I’d add…’
    • ‘As well as that…’
    • ‘In addition to that…’
    • ‘Furthermore…’
    • ‘Moreover’
  • Challenge yourself to provide reasons for your opinions by using ‘because’.

05 November 2021

Posted on Friday 05 November 2021 by Nicky Russell

This week’s Talk Time relates to perseverance, one of the Christian values.

I can describe situations when I’ve shown perseverance.

Perseverance closely links to resilience which is one of our 8Rs for learning. For a great definition of resilience and to find out more about the 8Rs, follow the link to our school website below:


Perseverance is a useful skill for people of all ages. Everyone will encounter things that they find difficult. Your child will probably be able to relate to having to keep going with at least one of the following:

  • remembering a piece of knowledge (eg facts about a historical figure)
  • improving at a skill (eg counting forwards and backwards in 10s)
  • learning something new (eg times table, poem or song)
  • reading (a particular word, passage or perhaps entire book)
  • spelling a tricky or unfamiliar word
  • playing a sport or musical instrument
  • creating a piece of art or something crafty

When recalling situations when they have shown perseverance, encourage your child to explain how they overcame their difficulties. This will not only help to boost their confidence, but also remind them of the problem solving skills that will help them in the future.

15 October 2021

Posted on Friday 15 October 2021 by Nicky Russell

This week’s Talk Time has a Living and Learning focus.

I can describe and use self-care techniques.           

Everybody experiences a wide range of emotions (feelings). While many emotions are positive, some are not. There’ll be times when you feel sad, angry, anxious or low in some way.

No matter how old you are, feeling any one of these is completely normal. It’s important to know how you can manage these feelings. A strategy that works well for one person may not have a positive impact on you. That’s why this week’s Talk Time is all about finding strategies that will benefit you specifically.

When discussing self-care techniques, remember that this involves both mental and physical health. The following ideas can be used as a starting point for your conversations:

  • Where can you go to combat feeling low and who can help you (trusted adults)?
  • Think about exercises that you enjoy. This is the UK so it would be good to have indoor ideas, too.
  • What creative tasks do you have access to (writing, music, arts, crafts, cooking/baking etc)?
  • How do you relax and unwind (reading, watching a film etc).
  • Consider strategies that will help you when emotions are heightened (breathing, counting, meditating etc).

This is not an exhaustive list. The link below has lots of great ideas that you may also wish to use.


The oracy focus for this half term is voice projection, fluency and pace. As we’re nearing the end of this half term, this week’s Remember 2s are an opportunity for your child to showcase what they’ve been working on at school:

  • Think about what you are going to say before you speak.
  • Talk in a clear, loud voice without shouting.
  • Sit or stand with good posture (eg not slouching).
  • Face the person, or people, that you are speaking to.

08 October 2021

Posted on Friday 08 October 2021 by Nicky Russell

This week’s Talk Time relates to a moral issue and also links with our current Geography learning.

Is it okay to build new houses on green space (fields and parks in towns and cities)?

 Your child may already have some views on this. However, this statement is all about taking different viewpoints into account.

This week’s ‘Remember 2s’ (R2s) will support your child as they reflect on the pros and cons of building new houses on our green spaces:

  • What are the reasons for (the pros) building new houses there?
  • What are the reasons against (the cons) building new houses there?
  • Reach a conclusion – Do you take one particular side or is there a compromise that could satisfy everyone?

 There’s a range of ways to approach this moral question. We suggest exploring the 5Ws and H (who, what, where, when, why, how).

Check out the examples below to help get discussions flowing:

  • Who needs new housing (young people, families, elderly etc)? Who would build the new houses?
  • What would new housing look like? What will be the impact on the environment with fewer trees and plants?
  • Where would the animals from the fields/parks go? Where else could people go for walks/exercise?
  • When would things be able to run normally (traffic, pathways etc)? When would people want more houses?
  • Why don’t people move into houses that are already built? Why do we need more housing?
  • How long would it to take to build the houses? How much would the new housing cost? How many people could live in the new housing?

Fancy an extra challenge? Your child might like to plan the new housing or design the type of housing that should go on some green space.

01 October 2021

Posted on Friday 01 October 2021 by Nicky Russell

This week’s Talk Time relates to the knowledge we’ve gained about British geography this half term.

I can show off my knowledge of British geography.

Years 1 and 2:

I know the four countries and capital cities of the UK, and the seas which surround the UK.

Years 3 and 4 (as above plus):

I know some of the counties in the UK, and some of the main rivers and mountains in the UK.

Years 5 and 6 (as above plus):

I know some of the main rivers, mountains and regions (eg the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District, the Highlands of Scotland).

With each geography topic that we teach, children are often building on the knowledge and skills gained in the previous years. We therefore recommend you start discussions around the Year 1 and 2 knowledge, before discussing the knowledge for your child’s current year group.

Check out this song about the countries and capital cities of the UK. We’re sure your child will have heard this before and know it almost word for word. If they don’t yet, they will soon!


At school, we refer to 8Rs to promote good learning behavior. You can read about them by following the link. See how many your child knows.


This week’s ‘Remember 2s’ (R2s) directly link to three of the 8Rs:

  • Remember – Think back to geography lessons, learning, tasks, games etc.
  • Reflect – Which facts are you most confident with? Which ones do you need to work on?
  • Resourceful – For facts you’re unsure of, how can you improve your understanding? Who could you ask at home or at school? What resources could help you? (eg map, atlas, online tools such as Google Maps and Google Earth)