St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Thame

Inspired to be our best.....


Precursive letter formation sheet 

 January 2021 - Happy New Year to our wonderful Reception class and their families!


Merry Christmas from Reception!

7 December -11 December 

Reception have had lots of fun this week. We have made our very own Post Office and in the run up to Christmas it has become very busy. We have letters, cards, envelopes and stamps. The rush is on to get everything posted in time. 

 We have been very busy in the production line making reindeer hats, Christmas trees, sewing our own puppets and preparing Bambinellis for next week’s special service.

 We have ordered Christmas trees from tallest to smallest and have written letters in the snow, and measured the length of candy canes. We used marshmallows and cocktail sticks to make our own Christmas trees and had to solve the problem of how to make it so it wouldn't fall. 

 We have been very busy practising for our Christmas play and we are excited to show you when we are ready. 

 Next week we have a packed week of Christmas fun!

30 November - 4 December

This week the children watched the assembly presented by Ms Gowers and Year 6 introducing the start of the very special time of Advent. We  lit the first candle on our wreath - the candle of hope. The children are thinking about special acts each day, guided by the Advent calendar from Church.  Maybe at home you can read the thoughts that are given on a Saturday and Sunday.

The other special time we have been thinking about this week is National Tree Week. We have decorated trees in so many ways - using playdough and glittery shapes, using a selection of collage to make patterns, outside filling in chalk outlines, and we have decorated some special trees to bring home at the end of term. 

We found out what happens each season to trees and the children have been working together to paint a big scene of how the trees change through the seasons. We were also very keen to take part in the Planting Britain challenge, which aims to have a tree planted for each new school starter in 2020 - 750,000! Our dear friends at Haddenham Garden centre kindly donated some purple and green beech hedging plants, which we have started to plant. We will then be able to add our efforts to the national map. 

The children had some wonderful ideas about why planting trees is important - good for wildlife, owl homes, gives us fruit to make us healthy, trees help us breathe, for squirrels to climb, and so everyone can see the beautiful trees! Well done everyone.

23-27 November

 This week we have been finding out about the Special Time of Yalda. This is an Iranian/Persian celebration of the longest night. It celebrates light overcoming the darkness. Poetry is shared and a feast of red fruits and dried fruit and nuts is enjoyed. Mrs Adams and her wonderful daughter, April, shared information about this festival with the class, so a big thank you from us to them!

 We loved looking at watermelons and pomegranates. Many of us had a taste. The watermelon was delicious! The pomegranate gave us lots of think about! Some of us loved the sweet and crunchy 'red jewels'; others of us found them way too sour! We loved seeing how the juice made magical paint - it turned from pink to purple and it was great fun painting with pomegranate seeds - Mrs Horner didn't realise how much juice could squirt from these beauties, so some of us were quite splattered by the end of the day!

We have been exploring nursery rhymes and poetry. We made a lovely poem about pomegranates and we have been making get well cards for Humpty Dumpty and we carried out an experiment to find out which would be the best landing for Humpty Dumpty by dropping eggs in bags of flour, wooden blocks and baked beans! 

We have been practicing 'one more' in maths and we have looked at the phonic sounds, u, b, f and o. Some of us made some awesome 'o' octopuses when reading and writing words with 'o'

16-20 November

We have had such a fun and busy week! First, we have been learning about Road Safety. The children had a great time making traffic lights, road signs and learning how to be safe when crossing the road by saying STOP, LOOK, LISTEN AND THINK.

We went on a trip to town to see the zebra crossings and pelican crossings. We realised that when we are on the pavement we still have to be careful as there could be cars coming in and out of the driveways. We talked about not having a zebra crossing or a pelican crossing and we should find a safe place to cross. We saw lots of different road signs and roundabouts and we spotted numbers on the doors. We loved passing the toy shop and have a look in the window.

We had some very excited children and it was a pleasure to take them out. The children’s behaviour was outstanding. We even had members of the public come over and say how well behaved they all were. They are a credit to you all and we are so pleased to be their teacher.

Then we spent two days celebrating Diwali. We made Rangoli patterns with coloured pasta and lentils, numicon and paper shapes.  We heard the story of Rama and Sita. The children were budding actors in their retelling of the story. We found out that diyas lit the way for Rama and Sita as they made their way back through the dark forest, showing that light triumphs over darkness. We followed instructions carefully and made some fabulous shiny diyas. Some of us even had Mendi designs painted on our hands. We all had a good mix of the ingredients as we made some sweet and delicious Milk Barfi. What a busy week!

09-13 November

This week we celebrated Kindness week and Remembrance Day.

On Monday we received cards from our friends to show our kindness for one another.

We attended a Remembrance assembly on TEAMS held by the Year 6s. We prayed for the soldiers and their families. Together we did a 2 minutes silence to remember the soldiers who died in the war. We also got to see all the classes in our school and we waved to them all.

We made poppy pictures and our very own poppies!

In PE this week we showed off our Charleston dancing. The children had a great time doing facial expressions to some fantastic moves.

In Maths we used the words more, less and the same. We used these words in sentences to describe different amounts. We compared treasure chests of 2 pirates and also used the trickier word, fewer. ‘Fewer’ is used to refer to countable objects such as, the coins, whereas, ‘less’ is used to describe amounts of something that cannot be individually counted such as, treasure.

In phonics one group recapped n and p and another group g, o, c. Our red word (words we can’t sound out) were ‘your’ and ‘said’.

Another amazing week. Next week we are looking at Diwali and road safety. 

03-06 November

This week we have been learning about fire safety. We came up with a set of rules on how to be safe when using fireworks and sparklers. Even better we made our own sparklers from breadsticks and marshmallows that we could eat. 

In Maths this week we sorted lots of different objects in different ways. We had to find the odd one out and explain why it was different.

In phonics we covered the sounds n and p. We had lots of fun and the children are becoming more and more confident with their sounds each week. 

The children have made some fabulous rockets this week. They looked at the numbers and put stars on the rockets to match. 

We even did some ribbon dancing outside to keep warm and we explored moving in different ways. 

In PE this week we talked about having a safe space before starting our lesson. We then got into our cars and (being safe!) put our seatbelts on. We got stuck in traffic jams, went over speed bumps and we even met some dinosaurs. We had to be careful when passing around the dinosaur egg that we didn’t drop it. 

We have had a fantastic first week back. We can’t wait to see what next week brings. 

19-23 October

 Firstly, we would like to say a big thank you to all the children and parents for starting the reading journey with the children this week. You have blown our socks off with all the fabulous reading. Keep up this amazing work.

This week we went to the opticians. We made glasses for our shop and we also got to use our learning glasses when we did our number 5. We were interested to find out which colour eyes we all have, so we made a pictogram to show the results.

 Carrots are good for our eye sight so we pulled carrots from the sand to see what red words it revealed. We have been learning special words - I, the, of, my, to, no.
The phonics sounds we have been learning this term are m, a, s, d, t, i, n

We have been using leaves to create patterns and put these on cards to create cards for our friends.
The children have made a fantastic start to their school journey this term. They are ready for a well deserved break. Mrs Dale and Mrs Horner would like to say a big thank you to everyone in helping them settle into school life.

12 -16 October

Last Friday the children put out some dog food for the hedgehogs. On Monday morning the children checked on the plate to see that the dog food was gone. The hedgehog had a feast and we had some very excited children. After reading a story about hedgehogs the children decided that they needed to make houses for them so they would have somewhere to hibernate. The next morning the children got a letter from the hedgehog to tell them that he really enjoyed his house, although he was feeling a bit lonely and thought he needed some friends to keep him company for when he hibernates.

 The children made leaf hedgehogs and some wonderful hedgehogs out of clay.

We have been learning about the number 4 in so many different ways. How can you make a number 4? Can you spot any around your house? What is one more than 4? What is one less than 4?   We have been guessing how many pieces of treasure are hidden under the cups, sorting the number of wheels on vehicles and playing number bingo. We have had some very proud moments when we realised how we could write and use the number in different ways.  We even found number 4 and our sounds all over our bikes and we needed to wash them away. 

We have been learning the ‘s’ sound this week and new words ‘of’ and ‘my’ and also some fantastic blending to read words with the help of Fred the frog. He has been amazed with the children in their phonics work and can’t wait to visit them again next week. 

 Some fantastic achievements this week from home learning from learning to ride their own bikes to climbing mountains. It’s lovely to hear what the children are getting up to outside of school too. 

 The children have worked so hard this week and Mrs Dale and Mrs Horner are feeling extremely proud of each and every one of them.

5- 9 October

Some wonderful learning has been going on this week from reading, writing, learning new sounds and fun with the number 3! Can you spot any number threes around your house, or on any doors you might pass?

We have been learning all about how important it is to brush your teeth. The children have been brushing bacteria (wipeable pen) from teeth to prevent any cavities.  We've been painting with toothbrushes, using dice games to fill the mouths with teeth, and making playdough teeth to match the numbers. The Dentist's surgery was fully booked with appointments this week!

We have also been looking after our wild life and making bird feeders. We were delighted to have a picture of one of our bird feeders being thoroughly enjoyed in your garden, thank you! We are also working with Year 1 to look after hedgehogs and both classes have put out some dog food for the hedgehogs to enjoy this weekend.

28 Sept -2 October 

Well done to everyone in Reception this week. We've had confident, smiling children coming in in the mornings, they have taken on our Rainbow of challenges, managed to survive a very rainy Friday and are getting so much better at learning each other's names.

Our Rainbow of Challenges sets the children six challenges and they put the correct coloured stick in their pot when they complete it. I wonder how many will get six sticks in their pot next week?


The mud kitchen moved under the shelter today and the children found out how much sand and how much mud would make the perfect mud pie!

We've been busy programming beebots to park on the right number in the car park. What a bunch of pros they were!

Things were looking serious for our skeleton puzzle, until our merry band  of doctors and nurses came to the rescue!

Not only have the children been making us proud, but we know they are making their families proud too. We were delighted to put up this magnificent work of art on our proud wall, that was completed at home. Do let us know if your child does something special to make you proud, send us a note or a picture and we would love to celebrate it in class with the children.

21 -25 September

This week we have been exploring our emotions through the book, The Colour Monster . The children loved listening to 'The Angry Song' and they thought of so many brilliant ways to help cheer ourselves up when we are angry, I'm sure we could all use some of these ideas!

  • Being tickled
  • Having a hug
  • Listening to a story
  • Going for a walk
  • Playing with your favourite toy
  • Having your back stroked
  • Having a rest on your bed

We have also been appreciating our world and all the wonders of creation. The children have made a lovely video to show the things they love and are thankful for...


14 -18 September

What a special week we have had - busy, fun and exciting! It has been great to have all the children together, and they have been amazing in their capacity to take on new routines, make new friends, try new activities and food and do their very best to share and listen and smile!

The children have been exploring magnets, shells, the sandpit for treasure...and cheerios!


We have loved exploring space as part of our Here We Are work. The children have painted planets, made space glitter numbers, created aliens and even made rockets that flew!

Week 1

We are delighted to have finally met each and everyone of our fabulous new class in person and we are already getting to know them after their short visits. This week we have been super impressed with how grown up and brave they were and how they came into school on their on. 

 We can't wait to get to know them even more next week as we all join together as a class. Already we are seeing some amazing qualities such as sharing, caring, laughing and playing together. We can't wait to see this develop more and see where their learning will take us. 

But if you are walking near Cuttlebrook, watch out because there may be pirates about!

Links and Support Information for Transition 

Am I ready for Reception - Top Tips for Parents and Carers - Click here

You may be interested in the following link to a BBC bitesize page with guidance and videos to support starting primary school: