Stanford Junior and Infant School
Living together - Learning together
At Stanford we believe that English skills are central to the development of all learning.
Mastery over language empowers children to communicate (both verbally and in the written form) effectively and creatively, allowing them engagement with the world at large. The ability to read widely, think critically, and communicate effectively are essential skills that underpin all learning.
Secure literacy skills give pupils the opportunity to contribute to the development of a successful life, where they can appreciate, enjoy, understand, evaluate, discuss and make informed choices and decisions.
We are passionate about promoting the love of language through the spoken and written word encouraging pupils by creating a stimulating learning environment within which all students can learn to read widely, think critically, and communicate effectively. We aim to provide engaging real life learning opportunities to practice their skills and real contexts for learning.
There has been a huge shift in the past few year in how we teach reading in UK schools. This is having a big impact and helping many children learn to read and spell.
Phonics is recommended as the first strategy that children should be taught in helping them learn to read.
Children are taught to read by breaking down words into separate sounds or ‘phonemes’. They are then taught how to blend these sounds together to read the whole word.
In Foundation and Key Stage 1 we teach phonics using the "Read Write Inc programme". Read our Parents Guide to find out more.
This is an award-winning free website packed with expert advice, top tips, eBooks and activities to help you support your child's reading and maths at home.
The free area of the PhonicsPlay website is filled with free interactive games, phonics planning, assessment ideas and printable resources. There is lots of advice to support parents in helping their children learn to read.
This BBC Schools website has Phonics games and printable resources to boost reading of high frequency words and practise your sounds.
The CBeebies ALPHABLOCKS has a great site where your children can play games and watch short video clips - all with phonics as the focus.
Our Foundation and Key Stage One home reading system has had a revamp. Outdated, tatty reading material have been replaced by new decode-able fiction and non fiction. The old books haven't gone to waste however... instead we have donated them to charity. They will support reading in schools in Africa.
Hope you and your child enjoy the new books.
Download our Reading Together booklet.
In groups we worked together to create an oral performance of our Class Kennings poem about the character Starjik.
Seedlings class wrapped up warm for a teddy bears picnic in the nature area. Children sang songs and rhymes and acted out the story 'Were Going On A Bear Hunt!'. The best bit was squelching through the sticky mud!
In Poppy class we held our first Spelling Bee!
Lily kept score and announced the results regularly.
Lily said ‘I really enjoyed it and it made me feel very important.’
Finley added ‘I was very excited when our team captain chose me to take my turn.’
Everyone was very excited and were all encouraging their team.
Katie and Elliot exclaimed ‘We wanted Anthony to get his word right. The word was should.’
Isabella and Dexter added ‘We wanted our team mate to win!’
Louis said ‘I wished my team mate luck.’
Sam showed that he has a growth mindset by saying ‘Even though I didn’t get my word right it was still exciting and next time I will get it right.’
Poppy class know how important spelling is. We work hard every day to improve our spelling and increase the amount of words that we can spell correctly. We use lots of different strategies.
This is a Spelling Scribble. We enjoyed using spelling scribbles for Maths words.
This is the Spelling Shed app that some children enjoy to use at home.
This is a look, say, write, check sheet.
Word shapes can help some children to learn different words.
Spotting spelling mistakes is often a useful strategy.
Word searches can be fun.
Which strategy helps you to learn best?
If you have any more super spelling strategies then please share them with Miss Whiting.
In English we explored in depth the opening of the story “Ice Palace. We considered the contrast in feelings between the seasons and the reasons for this. We used freeze frames to show the difference between the villagers lives in summer and winter.
Here in summer the village children are playing hand games and tig and the adults are singing joyfully.
Here in Summer children are playing throw and catch, football and hopscotch. Look how happy and content the children are.
In groups we shared our ideas of what the villagers would do in winter and how they would feel. We used the ipads and tablets to take photos of our freeze frames then evaluated them. We tried to show the different characters feelings by use of appropriate face expression and bodylanguage. We also worked on our postioning so that different heights and spaces were used effectively.
When we were happy with our freeze frame we used the stage to photograph our final freeze frame. Here they are:
In English we have been inspired to improve our descriptive language by describing a snowy landscape. This is in preparation for this term's main fiction texts, "The Ice Palace" and "The Princess' Blankets".
Here is our shared poem that we created as a class:
Alongside this in Art we have created Winter forest artwork. We have been exploring different effects using paint. We mixed salt and glitter with paint to create a frosty effect. We made tree branch stencils which we carefully placed on white cartridge paper then colour washed over. After this we removed our stencils which left white tree branches with a cold shimmery blue sky. When dry we added details to the branches and added a silver moon.
We read about the world before creatures lived and how volcanoes erupted turning lava into rock formations. We chose words and phrases that helped us to mentally picture this event. The children then worked in pairs to draw the images they had created in their minds and labelled them with the wonderful imagery and phrases we have discovered. They produced some wonderful pieces of art linked to the text and enjoyed working creatively as a team.
Many children have learnt lots of sounds and are beginning to learn how to use these sounds to read some simple words. Can you ‘Fred Talk’ and blend these words?
We looked at a variety of explanation texts and worked in small groups to evaluate these texts and explain and share how these could be improved using the key features we learnt in the previous lesson.
Barley class read a short passage from their Power of Reading book, Skellig. They discussed what they could se and then sketched a picture to represent their visualisation using charcoals on white paper. They then describe the picture.
This week Y5 and Y6 visited the library.
Some people took the opportunity to just have a really good read.
We enjoyed reading alongside one another.
We read aloud to each other and chatted about our books and life experiences.
We enjoyed our visit to the library and we shall definitely visit again.
Barley class love to read and have recently bought new class reading books to enjoy reading even further! From Alex Rider to C S Lewis, fiction to non- fiction... we can't wait to read them all!!
In English today we worked in small groups imagining if we were Eels on Eels Island. We considered the following questions; What rules will they need? How will they organise themselves, or distribute food? We designed a list of rules for life on Eels Island. This work is linked to our Power of Reading book' FLOODLAND' by Marcus Sedgwick.
We were very excited to go to the library.
We even stamped our own books.
We enjoyed our lunchtime library adventure and are looking forward to returning next week.
These three inspirational boys have decided to run their own reading club, twice a week during playtimes. They started by advertising their club using some very informative posters. Louis said, “We love reading and we want to motivate other children to read more.”
Toby added, “We are hoping to help some of the younger children improve their reading by helping them to read more regularly.”
Brandon continued, “We hope to encourage people who don’t read as much to want to read more. Simply because we love to do it, we hope that they will too.”
In Year 1 we use sound buttons to help us see the letter sounds in words. This really helps us to read, write and spell words.
Barley, Star Anise and Poppy Class joined together this afternoon for their reading collaboration. Pupils from Barley visited Poppy, Pupils from Poppy visited Star Anise and pupils from Star Anise visited Barley. We worked as reading buddies to inspire others and improve our reading skills but most of all because we simply love to read.
Thank you Mrs Wink for leading the Summer Reading Challenge – so many pupils have impressed you with their holiday reading! The pupils received a certificate of congratulations and Juniper class received a set of books – they were the class who had the most reads. Mrs Wink says 1750 books have been read by Stanford pupils over summer from the Stanford Library - wow! Children at Stanford have a great love of reading and we are so proud of them. Well done.
We have been reading the book 'The Egyptian Cinderella'. In this story the girl never meets the Pharaoh but because he gets her slipper from the Gods he decides he will marry her. He turns up and tells her she will be his wife and the story ends.
First we looked at various statements about the ending and tried to think about whether they would make the girl happy or not e.g. She will marry the pharaoh and live in a palace. We then thought about the statements and wondered if they would really make her happy - she might not like the pharaoh and she was never asked if she wanted to marry him. We realised that there were positives and negatives to a lot of the statements and it wasn't as straight forward as we originally thought.
We then split into 2 teams and discussed about whether the main character would actually be happy at the end and whether all fairy stories have a happy ending.
Barley and Poppy class pupils came together to share their love for reading! They discussed their favourite books and characters as well as reading together.
Sunflower class wrote formal letters to St James Rotary for support with our Friendship Art project. The Rotary Club donated £100 to the school during our Sunflower Class assembly. Many thanks to Mrs Vaughan and President, Mr Duckworth, for attending and for the generous donation.
Sunflower Class have been writing letters to Caistor Lions and the St. James Rotary Club asking for donations towards an exciting Art project.
Finley- We will be making a special friendship wall in the playground.
Oscar- We will be working with Zoe the artist again.
Cerys- It will make the playground nicer and there will be a place for us to stop and make friends. Elissa- The children will paint designs with Zoe.
Today Mr. Kemp from The Caistor Lions visited Sunflower Class and kindly presented a cheque for £480. Mrs. Brady would like to thank Caistor Lions for this very generous donation and would also like to congratulate the children for writing such wonderful letters. Mr. Kemp is looking forward to returning to school to see the finished project.
In Star Anise we have had Reading Generals patrolling the classroom during the mornings and supporting their individual teams in their reading – well done generals. Many different children have taken on the role of General for a week.
Week One we won with 91.6%; Week Two we won with % 90.7%; and Week Three we got the hat trick and won for a third time with 91.6%. Congratulations to all our readers, all the support from home and Thank You to our Generals.
We researched information about the workhouse. We wondered what the food tasted like so we sampled some gruel and broth. Also we shared an extract from "Street Child" which described Jim Jarvis being sent to the workhouse and the conditions there. These are helping to inspire us to create diary entries that describe a day in the life of a child in the Workhouse.
This week Star Anise class are really proud to have won the reading challenge – having the highest percentage of readers in the class with 3 reads or more during a week. It was a real team effort both at school and at home. We are all really proud of ourselves – can we keep it going?
Barley class worked together to revise key Grammar terms. We did this in a variety of ways. First we had a Grammar treasure hunt, in small groups, to find and answer key questions. We were timed which made it fun! The other activity we completed was identifying the grammar terms within a given paragraph. Pupils worked in small teams to identify these using a variety of colours and keys.
Take a look at the wonderful Flashback writing display that has been created by Barley Class! All their wonderful writing skills are on display to showcase the fantastic, high quality writing in Year 6!
As part of our reading focus this term not only have we been challenged to read at least three times but we wanted to find out about reading from adults in our community. We asked Reverend Stevens and Mel Robson from our local Family Hub. Here are their responses.
What is your favourite book/author?
Wind in the willows by Kenneth Grahame is my favourite childhood story. I still have a fascination for rivers and the wildlife around the riverbanks and like nothing better than hiring a rowing boat and messing about on the river.
What do I have to read to carry out my job?
I read my calendar on my computer and other messaged to find out what I am doing. I read telephone numbers and family addresses. I read the internet to find new ideas for planning activities with children and I read catalogues to find new things for the children to play with.
I read and write daily reports on every child to find out how they are getting on. Weekly I read team meeting minutes to find out what everyone else has been doing.
What is your favourite childhood book/author?
I remember listening to my dad read ‘The Hobbit’. My favourite book now that I like to read is the Russian book ‘Anna Karenina'. It took me a long time to learn to read. I read words first then when I was older I started to enjoy reading books.
How do you use reading as part of your job?
I read stories from the Bible every day to find out what God is like and how Jesus taught us. I read hymns and words that we sing. I write preaches in church or assemblies and read it.
They emailed their questions to Mr. Callan. Mr. Callan is a Secondary School Science Teacher, a Church Minister and a Musician.
When you were five, what stories did you like?
I liked Mr. Men. My favourites were Mr. Bump and Mr. Uppity. Also Mr. Snow, he was nice because he reminded me of Christmas.
What kind of things do you read when you are at school?
I read Science books at school, children’s work and information on the internet.
Can you read music notes?
Yes, I can play a church organ. I began learning when I was seven. I also sang in a Cathedral choir.
Do you enjoy reading?
Yes, I like to read the news and know what’s going on in the world every day. I have two little nephews and I love to read bedtime stories to them.
Do you get much time to look at books?
Yes, particularly when I’m on holiday and then I have time to relax and enjoy a good book.
How did you learn to read?
I had reading books and I read every night to my parents.
Are you a good reader?
I have to be a good reader to be a teacher. I spend evenings marking school books and reading all the children’s work. When I’m in church I have to be able to read tricky words in the Bible.
What do you read when you are in church?
I read the New Testament in the Bible. I read the Gospel’s of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They tell you all about Jesus and how he helped people.
Seedlings had great fun on ‘World Book Day’ dressing up as their favourite story characters. There was Batman and Harry Potter, Little Red Riding Hood the Singing Mermaid and even a new teacher for the day called Miss. Poppins! Lots of paired reading took place, before joining together to learn a new song and share our costumes in assembly.
Today it was fabulous to see that all the children had taken on a character from one of their favourite books. The children introduced their character to the rest of the class. Their costumes were amazing as were the props and accessories that they had. Each child brought their book in and we shared the stories. They could all tell everyone about their favourite thing their character did in the book.
What an exciting day we've had.
All of the children and staff enjoyed themselves thoroughly on World Book Day.
Do you recognise any of the characters?
Poppy class would like to thank their families for their support and hard work creating these outstanding costumes. Miss Whiting and Miss Peck were simply overwhelmed!
The whole class used their design technology skills to create some magnificent design sheets that explained how their costumes were created. Miss Whiting covered up all of the names and then gave Miss Peck the tricky task of choosing four winners. Miss Peck really struggled as all of the competition entries were exceptional.
We created book marks for our friends.
Has anyone spotted Wenda?
Star Anise class had a wonderful World Book Day on the 2nd March. We all came dressed as a character from our favourite book.
Our four winners of the character study writing competition are Mia , Abigail , Thomas and Isobel. Well done everyone who took part.
We have enjoyed taking part in World book day. The costumes were fantastic with all the class getting into their character's role. We have shared our favourite books and characters and really enjoyed the day.
The sorting hat started the fun.
Even the teachers got involved.
Reading by candlelight was quite magical.
Quiz booklets at the ready we thought very carefully.
There were witches and wizards everywhere!
Star Anises home readers for last week, we managed to achieve 88%. Lets see if we can achieve even better results this week.
Well done to the Seedlings children who have read at least three times or more this week. They are very proud of their reading sticker. Keep up the amazing reading!!
Visiting author Virginia McLean shared her book ‘Journey to the Beginning of the World’ with Mustard and Barley. The pupils developed their deeper thinking skills and posed thoughtful philosophical questions. Many thanks to Virginia for visiting our school. Many pupils enjoyed receiving signed copies!