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St. Mary’s Catholic Academy
part of the Painsley Catholic Academy

Love and Serve

“Every individual will develop knowledge, skills and understanding with confidence and belief to take in life's journey. Together we will excel, love and serve through the Catholic Faith without limitations.”


to Nursery Class page J

Nursery Reading Canon - Key texts to be covered during the Nursery Year along with useful guidance from Pearson on reading with your child.



Following exciting changes to the curriculum for 2019 / 2020 school year the Nursery children will work towards a final agreed outcome each term. As our learning takes us on a journey we will refer to 'topics' as our 'Vehicle'. Details of this terms vehicle can be found below as well as a link to the changes we have made to our curriculum.


Our vehicle for Spring term is :

Furry Friends



We are happy to report that our Furry Friend has now arrived in school. We are still not too sure if the children were as excited as the teachers, but everyone's behaviour on our trip to Leek Pet and Fishing centre was beyond exemplary.


The children gave a clear briefing to the nursery staff and parent helpers on the day of the trip, explaining how we would stay safe on our trip and everyone remembered to follow the rules.  





Once back in school we shared ideas about names for the hamster and used Purple Mash to vote for our favourite.


The winning name was Twinkle.


Vehicle Up[date - Nursery children impressed us again today when the Zoolab came to visit. They showed us how well they can listen and how confident they are talking to visitors. Some of us were even brave enough to hold the Millipede, Snake and Cockroach...the trantula stayed safely in her box!

Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Day. Today we LOVED! our learning. It was delicious!

To honour our pledge to help those in God's family who are less fortunate than ourselves the nursery children created a shop this week. They made a selection of gifts and decided on a pricing structure. It was a little sad at the end of the day when all the lovely gifts went into the shop instead of home with the children but the fact we were doing a kind deed for others helped us understand that we could not just take them. The gifts are available to purchase from the nursery classroom and school hall until stock runs out - given the rush yesterday, this won't take long.

Vehicle update - This week Nursery have started to take the responsibility for the care of our new class pet. Each week our Special Helper will have some important jobs to do to make sure Twinkle is happy and healthy. Oliver was first and he even got to hold Twinkle on his hands.

Nursery took their shopping list to Leek Pet and Fishing store on Thursday. They read the list to the shop keeper and asked lots of thoughtful questions, beofre gathering all the items we would need for our new arrival.

Vehicle Update - children have voted on the most approriate pet for our class. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when the Crocodile did not win.

Nursery News - January


What a great start to the new year we have had!

 Don't forget children in Nursery are still working towards the nursery rhyme challenge and can gain their reward at any point in the Nursery Year.


Dates to remember:- 

Thursday 30th January, 2020

 Children will be visiting Leek Pet and Fish store to buy a home and the other equipment for our Hamster.



Every Week

Stay and share sessions.

A weekly opportunity to stay and share a learning activity with your child. Timing 8.45 - 9.05 am. Friday mornings.

Parents having been enjoying our stay and share sessions and the children have loved getting you involved in their learning.

Session will start the first week back in January.

Things to look forward to : Squiggle Whilst you Wiggle session, Chinese Lantern making, Author of the term Story Telling Session.


Parent Stay and Share

Spring Best Bits.

Vehicle Update - Wow what a great response!!! The photobooks have now been ordered and will be with us before Christmas. Anyone wanting to place an order in the New Year can still do so, please see Mrs Else with enquiries.

Vehicle update. Nursery Year Book 2019 Children think back to the beginning of their lives. They loved exploring the baby pictures, guessing who was who and talking about how their lives have changed already.

Nursery Yearbook 2019 - Children take the lead as expert photographers now their coaching session with Academy is over.

Nursery vehicle picks up momentum as expert artisits visit from around the school to give guidance on Self Portrait skills.

Something New for Nursery.

PE or PD

We already know that our children in Nursery love to jump, run and climb so we spend lots of time doing activities outdoors to meet our

P hysical     D evelopment milestones.




It's very difficult to slither like a snake on the playground so we have decided to continue with our PE/ PD sessions in the hall.


This year (2019/2020) will see us introducing full PE kits for nursery and we will gradually build up to a full change for each session. 


Mrs Else knows this might take some time initially but it is important that the children learn the self-help skills of caring for their belongings and dressing themselves. You can help with this by encouraging children to dress and undress themselves at home. 


Our session so far have been thoroughly enjoyed by the children who have leant to use space safely, negotiating space and adjusting speed and direction to avoid collisions.

Our sessions in January and February will focus on movement. We will us our vehicle 'Furry Friend' as inspiration for our gymnastic style learning. We will be hopping, jumping, skipping, rolling and slithering all at different heights and speeds.  


The PE kits expectations for Nursery are the same as the rest of the school and can be found in our prospectus.

Please support your child be purchasing pumps with elasticated or Velcro fastenings. 


A huge well done to the children who changed themselves for our PD session this week.

We can tell they have been having a go at dressing themselves at home.


                                                                        Parent Partnership


  WOW! The children are still loving their busy bag challenges and Ofsted did too!  WE are enjoying seeing the work you are send in, in person or via the Evidence Me app, so Thank You.

 All bags are linked to topics or skills your child will cover during the Nursery year. 

The letter to accompany the bags can be found at the bottom of this page for reference. 


  In each bag you will find a range of games, books and resources to guide play. These can be done alongside your child to help them make the most of each  learning experience. 


 Each bag will need to be returned to school on a Tuesday so it can be refreshed for the next child. Bags will be sent home on a Wednesday. 


Some examples are shown in the pictures below. 


For those still wanting a more traditional worksheet, or to supplement the bags, an activity linked to our weekly mark making / letter / number can be found in the cloakroom area of nursery. please help yourselves. 



 There will be lots of opportunities this year for you to get involved in your child's education in school too! Please regularly check our class page and the school calendar for upcoming events. 






Through our vehicle and other activities will be learning to:-





*follow the rules and boundaries we have in school and wider society- last years Nursery children made us a video to help.

*talk about our family, and say thanks to God for their creation.

*talk about what makes us special, the things we like and don’t like.


*Put on our own coats.

*use the toilet by ourselves, including remembering to wash our hands.

*eat using a knife and fork.

*race and chase without bumping.

*hold a pencil using three fingers (See links below).

*control our fingers and bodies to help our mark making by ‘squiggling’ and ‘dough disco’.

*speak using full sentences when sharing information about our favourite toys / foods.

*listen and follow simple and the 2 step instructions.

* listen to what our friends say and respond to them

*listen and join in with some stories and rhymes.







*listen and join in with stories.

* remember what happened at the start, middle and end of stories.

*listen for words that rhyme and words that start with the same sounds.

*recognise our name.

*start to copy some letters from our names.


* say our number names in order to 10 by singing songs and exploring number rhymes.

*learning to count by counting everything from fingers to conkers, even things we can’t see!

*use shapes to build and make pictures.

*explore that shapes we can see in the world around us

*explore the different sounds we can make with instruments and our voices in our new creative hub.

*sing, sing then sing some more – we can use lots of songs to hep us learn other things.

*we will make diwa lamps and Rangoli patterns to celebrate Diwali.

*learn to copy sequences of sound

*describe the texture of everyday objects.

*practise drawing pictures of our selves and God’s wonderful creations following a visit from an artist.

*think about how the world was created and say thanks to God.

*talk about our family and friends - parents will be invited in to talk about the jobs they do.

*talk about Autumnal changes.

*explore our home life through familiar role play activities like our home corner and post office.

*explore advent and the true meaning of Christmas.

*talk about what we want to be when we grow up - thinking about aspirational goals. 




To help at home you can:-

There is lots you can do at home to help your child master some of the skills mentioned above. The links below will provide you with resources, videos and activities you can do at home. If you feel you or your child need any support, please do not hesitate to ask the class teachers.


Links to popular nursery rhymes and fairytale stories.


A useful sheet about dough disco. A recipe to make your own and some moves for you to try.


Numberblocks – a fun programme to encourage counting and digit recognition.


Many thanks for your support,


Mrs Else & Miss Moore


Autumn Best Bits.

Question of the Day.

(This will start in week 9 of the Autumn Term for the new children but take a look at how well it worked last year)

Democracy in Action


The Nursery and new Pre-school children have loved getting involved in the decision making in our school.

Each day the children have been writing their name (Nursery) or finding their name (Pre-school) and then using these to answer the question of the day.


Today's question was 'What story shall we read at home time?'


This is not just about reading and writing though! It has resulted in some interesting debates. What happens when you don't like either of the choices? What happens if your choice doesn't win? What happens when the number of votes is the same?

Parents you could try this at home and see how well your children cope with disappointments or problem solve to find a solution. They could choose what to have for tea tonight.

Busy Bag Letter for Parents

Make Your Marks, Get Set, Write - don't forget to search for Squiggle Whilst You Wiggle and Dough Disco for further information and demonstrations of the learning we do each day in school.