Spring 2 – Year 2

This term we have continued to explore poetry, particularly those about Winter. They have worked together to create word banks to help them write poetry using new vocabulary. We then looked at writing an acrostic poem with the word ‘frosty’.

We have also looked at the traditional tale of Little Red Riding Hood and described the characters in the story by using expanded noun phrases. The children then listened to the story from the Wolf’s point of view and wrote questions they would like to ask the wolf which they did through some ‘hot seating’ drama. They then wrote a letter from the Wolf to Granny and a sequel to the Wolf’s story.

Spring 2

The children in year 1 have absolutely loved sharing the book ‘Alan’s big scary teeth’ by Jarvis in our English lessons this half term. They found this text very funny and engaging! The children were able to talk about the events in the story and recall these to answer a range of questions about it.

Before we started reading the text the children learnt about Alligators. They researched about their habitat, appearance and diet. They created a non-fiction fact file about alligators focusing on writing subheadings for each section.

The children were able to use this information to support their discussions about the book and it also provided the children with a range of adjectives that could be used to describe Alan the alligator too! 

By the end of the unit the children got in groups to create a role-play of the story – these were amazing to watch as part of an audience. They each chose a character and thought about the words that character would say as well as how they would act!

Reception – Spring 2 2024

This half term the children in Reception have been working really hard on recapping all of the digraphs they have learnt so far this year. This has included recapping the actions and songs to go with these actions. In phonics lessons, they have practised spotting these digraphs in words and sentences they are reading and they have also been trying to spell and write words that contain these digraphs. 

In continuous provision, the children have continued to access phonics and literacy related resources to embed the learning they have been doing in phonics lessons. They have been looking through the class book containing stories they have written, writing recipes in Ted’s Den and reading words on buried treasure! They have also been writing during their role play, writing medical slips for animals at the vets and booking dentist appointments.  

Year 2 – English Spring 1

During the spring term, the children in year 2 have explored many areas of writing and have been inspired by many types of stimulus.

The first text children enjoyed reading was the story ‘The Storm Whale’ by Benji Davies. During this area of their learning, the children enjoyed researching about Whales and wrote a non-fiction factfile using their own research. They also wrote diary entries from the perspective of the whale and made predictions about what might happen as a sequel story!

Our next stimulus was the Disney clip ‘Lava’, about two volcanoes who fall in love as they emerge from the Pacific Ocean. This inspired the children to learn about volcanoes and write a non-chronological report about them. They also researched the volcanic islands of Hawaii using various resources. The children then created their own holiday brochures trying to persuade people to visit there.

Year 2 – English Autumn 2

This half term the children in year 2 completed activities using the book ‘The Flood’ as a stimulus. They learnt about what to do in a flood and used their notes to make a fact file about how to stay safe.


We watched the short film ‘Man on the Moon’ and used The Usborne Mini Astronaut’s Handbook’ for our next unit of work. The children wrote captions to go with parts of the story told in the film. They used it as a starting point to write a newspaper report about the sighting of a man on the moon.


The children then learnt about the astronaut Tim Peake and took notes before using these as a basis for a fact file and then a diary entry from the astronaut.


Our next learning focused on the story ‘How to Catch a Star’ By Oliver Jeffers. The children designed a rocket and wrote instructions about how to catch a star. They then wrote a recount of when we found a magical glittery star outside our classroom door.


We then listened to Michael Morpurgo reading his story ‘Coming Home’ about the migration journey of a Scandinavian Robin. We learnt about the migration journeys of Spider Crabs, Arctic Terns and Basking Sharks. The children made notes about the animals and why they migrate. They turned their notes into a story map which they then used to write their own migration story.


Finally, we made Speculaas biscuits and look at instructional writing. We talked about the key features of instruction, in particular recipes, and wrote our own recipes for making these Belgium treats.

Year 1 English Spring 1 Term

This half term the children have become weather reporters and have really enjoyed this writing unit! They had a visit from Mr Bell, a meteorologist to start their Weather Experts topic. He spoke to the children about extreme weather but also gave some great advice for writing their own weather reports. Mr Bell provided the children with key words and phrases for their own reports.

Each day the children used the enquiry skill for Science, to observe over time, and recorded the weather patterns as a class. We then watched the weather report for East Anglia and made a word bank of more key words and phrases.

Before writing their weather report the children placed weather symbols on a map of the UK and used a script template to write their weather reports. Once finished, the children recorded their own weather report using Canva which made it look like they were really on the television!

They absolutely loved being weather reporters and look forward to seeing some of them being meteorologists when they are older.

Literacy in Reception- Spring 1 2024

This half term the children have continued to work very hard in their phonics lessons and have been busy learning many new digraphs and tricky words.

Our topic has been ‘Fantasy’ and the children have been enjoying listening lots of stories such as Supertato, Room on the Broom and Aliens Love Underpants. They have also been acting out these stories using masks and props!

In provision, the children have been busy exploring literacy activities such as writing potions & magic spells, leaving notes for the fairies to read and using picture cards to sequence stories.

Year 1 – English Autumn 2

This half term, the children have read the book ‘Dear Dinosaur’ in our English lessons. The children received videos and emails from adults that work behind the scenes in school, explaining what their job entails. The book which focuses on giving and receiving letters, inspired the children to write letters to their chosen member of staff. The children thought of questions that they would like to ask as well as introducing themselves. Here at Toftwood, we have amazing staff members who were kind enough to then write back to the children and responded to their questions.

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The children then applied their letter writing skills to write a letter to Father Christmas explaining how they have worked hard this year and asking for a gift that they would like to receive. The children’s letters to Father Christmas were then delivered to the North Pole. The day after the letters were sent we received two presents under our class Christmas trees which included two books linked to Dear Dinosaur! They were Dear Spookysaur and Dear Chocosaur. The children thoroughly enjoyed reading these and making links to the other texts.

Reception – Literacy Autumn 2

The children in Reception have continued to work hard in their phonics lessons and have learnt all of the single sounds. They have also started learning some tricky words too and remembering that they can’t sound these out!

They have also been practising their blending and segmenting skills and have enjoyed activities in the tuff spots that help them to develop these skills. 

Lots of mark making and writing continues to happen outside of phonics lessons and the children have been practising their writing skills both inside and outside.

Year 2 – English Autumn 1

The children have worked very hard in English this half term. We have focused on different texts including Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett.

When we read the Meerkat Mail book as a class, the children were very excited to discover that Sunny the meerkat had visited our classrooms! The children wrote some independent postcards in role as Sunny. They wrote about where they had visited, as Sunny, and what they enjoyed about their trip. The children also wrote missing posters and letters to help find Sunny when he went missing!

We learnt about meerkats using information videos, and then the children used this information to create a two-page spread poster. We included scientific facts and vocabulary as well as a labelled diagram of a meerkat.