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Each week we are setting five challenges for YR, Y1 and Y2 children.  Pick which ones you'd like to do or do them all!  Feel free to extend if your child is interested as the challenges are just to get you started!  If you have any inspiring pictures or stories that your child would like to share, please email Mrs Day so some can appear in The Heron Times!


Challenge 1 - BIRDS!

Choose a time to sit quietly and count how many birds you can see in your garden.  If you put out some bird food you might encourage more to appear!  Don't forget to leave a bowl of fresh water out so they can drink and take a bath! 

Download a sheet from the RSPB or make your own. https://www.rspb.org.uk/globalassets/downloads/kids--schools/teaching-resources/bsbw-under-5-counting-sheet You might like to record the birds in a tally and show your results in a chart so you can clearly see which birds visit your garden a lot.

The second part of this challenge is to make a bird feeder out of things you would normally throw away or put out for recycling.  You could use an old plastic bottle but think about what bird food you will need and how the birds will get to it.  You might like to design and plan it before you start making it and evaluate it when it's finished to see how it could be improved.  We'd like you to see how good your bird feeders are and which attract the most birds!  It is also a big thumbs up as you will be reusing something that would normally be chucked away, so it's very environmentally friendly!


Challenge 2 - Prayer Stone

When you are next digging about in your garden or out and about on walks or at the beach, choose a nice round, flat stone.  Just take one stone if you are at the beach so there are plenty left for other people to enjoy.  Wash your stone and leave it somewhere sunny to dry. 

Have a think about a special prayer or wish that you would like to put on your stone.  Maybe it's a prayer for people you know or people in other parts of the world, or maybe it's a special wish for North Curry or our school.  There's lots happening in the world at the moment, so it's good to think about how you are feeling and other people.  It will be fun to make a special stone that other people will see and you might cheer lots of people up!  

Get some paper and draw around your stone - make sure the stone isn't too tiny - and then plan on the paper how you would like to decorate it.  You might like one word or a sentence, or lots of decoration.  You could then use paint or permanent pens (sharpie pens are good) to get to work.  When it is dry you might like to get a grown-up to varnish it so that the rain won't smudge your work.

When you are next walking about in the village, find somewhere to leave your stone outside the church so that other people can see it.  Don't leave it on the grass in-case they need to use the lawn-mower.  Maybe near the porch would be a good place.


Challenge 3 - Nature Picture

When I was little, I used to love art programmes on TV like Take Hart and Art Attack!  My favourite bit was when they made big pictures on the ground using objects from around the house or natural materials.  

You could go for a walk and look for natural materials like wood, feathers, shells, stones, leaves and flowers (check what you are allowed to use as some things, like flowers, might not be allowed).  Draw a rectangle on the ground in chalk or put down a large piece of paper and lay your found objects down to make patterns or a picture.  Take photos as you can use the same materials to make different pictures.  I like doing boats and people.

You could also use objects from around the house - with permission - like pots and pans, cutlery, toys, clothes and shoes etc to make a big picture on the floor.  Try making a car with saucepans turned upside down as wheels!  I wonder what else you could make!


Challenge 4 - Ourselves!

Draw a picture of yourself and label parts of the body.  Can you identify the parts of the body that associated with our senses?  For example, what part of the body do we use to hear? Did you know that some creatures, like cats and snakes, have a special sense that we don't have, called the Jacob's Organ. They can sort of taste the air!

Have a look at yourself in the mirror and then look at a photo of when you were a baby.  What has changed and what is the same?  Can you make a list?  Have a look at the grown-ups in your house - how have they changed?

You might like to imagine what you'll be like when you're a grown up!  Can you draw a future portrait of yourself?  How about a picture of when you're really old, like even older than Miss Colling?!  Will your hair be the same colour?  Will you need a walking stick?  Some very old people are very fit and healthy and run marathons and go sky-diving!  What interests and hobbies do you think you'll have when you're grown up?


Challenge 5 - Music

I know we have some great dancers, singers and musicians in our school!  Choose some music to listen to and join in with an activity.  https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/ks1-music/zbcjscw  You might like to record yourself singing or making some music of your own!  You could even have some music ready for when you show off your art-work or bird feeder (but don't scare the birds away!).  


Have fun everyone and don't forget that The Heron Times might like to hear about what you've been doing!


New MindUp resources for families:



Please look after yourselves and stay safe. 

Useful links for mental health:






PS. Please remember we are here if you have any problems.  We think you are all doing a truly amazing job!  As we discussed, just a little bit every day will make a huge difference, but go with your child's interests and have fun!

Alex and Mary x




Hello everyone!


I have enjoyed speaking to you all, and reading lovely emails, and I think you are all doing an AMAZING job!  Remember, we want the children to be safe and happy first of all.  It sounds like all the Minnows are busy doing practical things, having fun and also doing some lovely learning, so well done!


Where possible, please keep any work that children produce and photographs so we have lots to talk about when they get back to school.  It would be really useful to date each piece and to briefly annotate so we know if it is completely independent (I), if you helped a bit (H-) or if you did it together/ gave lots of help (H+).


Along with any bits and pieces we put on-line, please remember to use the resources in the maths pack, key-word sheets, sounds books and writing books plus anything else you have at home that can be called upon.  We also emailed out a little story pack with several traditional tales, story maps and pictures to give you an idea if you want to create your own writing projects.


In order to ensure that children build on their amazing progress this year, I would highly recommend that, where possible, children spend time on core skills every day.  We'd like to keep children "ticking over" so that the return to school will be as happy as possible!  Try and keep it as light and fun as possible, ideally coming from their interests, but here are some suggestions:

  • reading, sharing and talking about books, learning keywords (maybe snap or other games)
  • revisiting all the sounds we have learned (Read Write Inc Phonics) and using them to blend into words, moving onto the next set when appropriate (https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/)
  • free writing any words and sentences they are interested in (please remember the importance of correct letter formation and pencil grip - see information sheet in the writing book for ideas)
  • working with an adult to say a sentence and then have-a-go writing it, letting the child work as independently as possible when actually writing, remembering to use finger spaces and to check through afterwards to make it even better
  • lots of counting out loud, counting on and back from a given number (don't always start counting on from 0 or 1, or down from 10 - try a random number like 17 etc)
  • playing number games to help recognition of numbers to 20 and understand where they fit onto a number-line (place value) including snap, find me a number that is one more/ one less than x, ordering jumbled numbers, filling in missing numbers from a partial numberline, exploring how each number is made up, thinking about place value
  • counting out objects to match a number (remembering to count carefully, perhaps moving the object as they count) and matching to numicon pieces
  • exploring addition and subtraction using objects and 10/20 frames and part/part/whole grids


In addition to this, there are so many things that children can do to contribute to their development, including role-play, dressing up, gardening, playing educational games on the laptop/tablet etc, finding out about the world (e.g. the environment, other cultures etc), thinking about where we live, getting creative and arty with singing, dancing, making things, painting, chatting, building models and evaluating/improving them, identifying and talking about shapes, learning about our bodies and staying healthy, comparing objects according to size, seeing if they can measure a room or an object with hands/feet/non standard measures, making patterns, cooking, challenging ourselves to balance on one foot or move around the room in different ways etc etc!  You have all been doing fabulous things to keep children entertained and stimulated, so well done!


I know many of you may feel a bit daunted, but we are all entering this unknown phase together and I am here to help in any way I can.  Depending on your child, their level of interest and ability, I would suggest that even an hour a day will keep them moving forward.  I know that for many people this will be really tricky, but do what you can. We can do it folks!


Alex :-)


Useful links:

Read Write Inc Set 1 and 2 speed sounds lessons that can be used each day:



Minnow Parent Suggestions:


www.topmarks.co.uk - hit the button maths game


Espresso Lessons and resources


Please log in under: North Curry CE Primary School, Username: student3808, Password: curry8


Oak Academy Lessons



White Rose Maths resources



CLPE - Centre for Literacy in Primary Education 




Espresso Daily Challenge



Sing Up at Home










Writing prompts

Picture 1

Welcome to Minnow Class!


Minnow Class is the best class in the school!  


We are super grown-up Reception children in Minnow Class!  Our grown-ups are Miss Colling and Mrs Tottle. Our classroom is in the main building near the office and we have our own outdoor area and private doorway to the sensory garden.  There are 16 children in our class.  In September, we had part time entry, and children were all full-time by 23 September 2019. We spent time getting to know each child and provided play and learning opportunities based on their interests. The start of the new year was an exciting time for Miss Colling and Mrs Tottle who visited children at home to have a chat and play with favourite toys!


We are very proud of our achievements and enjoy learning to be independent and creative.  Sometimes we work with grown-ups in small groups and other times we learn by exploring our own interests. The grown-ups make observations and help us get better at our learning.  Minnow classroom is always busy and we love to try new things.  We are all developing our Growth Mindsets and we think it's ok to make mistakes and keep trying!  We look after ourselves with regular brain breaks, peer massage sessions and pauses to reflect.  Minnow Class think that showing Agape is very important to everyone and we love to help other people. We are looking forward to more exciting learning and adventures this term!  


Please feel free to come and have a chat if you have any worries or if your child has developed any new interests at home.  We love to celebrate all of our learning and it's really important to us that your child is happy and enjoys their first year in school.


Mega-Byte Award




Mr Bulbeck's Home Exercises Key Stage 1 PE 



Fitness exercise you can do in your home or your garden.


*Star Jumps

*Spotty Dogs


*Touch Jumps (touch the floor and jump up high)

*Running on the spot




*Shapes - Straight (long and thin)

*Star (long and wide)

*Tuck (small)

*Straddle (bend at hips, legs straight and apart with arms shadowing)

*Pike (same as straddle with legs together)


Balances (large and small body parts)

Create sequences using the above shapes and balances as well as jumps and rolls.


These are good websites for more activities