Pensford Primary School

Pensford Primary School

Live and Learn Together
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Life at Pensford Primary School Life at Pensford Primary School Life at Pensford Primary School Life at Pensford Primary School
“Pupils feel safe
at school and are kind
to one another. They like
being at school and appreciate
the many experiences
they have.” - Ofsted
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Duckling duckling  Class

Teacher: Naomi Rawlinson

TA: Sasha Perrett

Term 5: PE days are Wednesdays. PE kit to be worn to school.  

Click here to see how you can enhance your child's learning at home.

Welcome to the Duckling Class page. 

Eating apples from our garden

We are the Reception Class for Pensford Primary School and can accommodate up to 15 children within the Reception Year.  

Term 5

The Term 5 and 6 topic is called, 'What do we find the birds and the beasts?' We will be considering wildlife within the air, land and sea, as well as our own place in the world.  Remember, for ideas on how to support your child's learning at home, click on the link above.

Week 4

What a glorious week it has been, weather-wise!  As you would expect, the children have loved being outside, and even built a den which could double as a sun-shade!  They also loved making apple pets, another activity the children could do outside in the sunshine.  

In the classroom the children have all produced some lovely Jack and The Beanstalk writing as well writing equations in their maths books.  If you are coming in for 'Come and Play' next week, please just ask to see the books if you would like to know what they are doing.

Den/ Sunshade

Apple pets

Week 3

This week was slightly unusual for us in Duckling class as we were joined by the Year 1 children every morning.  This was a really great opportunity for the children to mix in the form of the class they will become in September.  As always, the children did us proud.  Behaviour was superb and we were so pleased with how the dynamics work - we know Miss Cowin will be very pleased with mix she has next year!  The children all learnt the story of Jack and the Beanstalk through a story map, and whilst the Key Stage 1 children attempted to write the whole story by the end of the week, our Reception children started off with the first sentence.  We are hoping to have our stories completed next week.

Week 2

An author came to visit the school this week, CS Clifford.  The children were introduced to his book in an assembly, and then we were lucky enough to have Mr Clifford, tell a story to the Duckling children in the afternoon.  They loved his version of The Ugly Duckling and enjoyed a little sing-song too.

The children also transferred their sunflowers and sweet-peas to the Duckling flower bed this week. Granny Maureen came in to help the children and they all got their hands dirty in the process.

CS Clifford story telling

Planting seedlings 1Planting seedlings 2Planting seedlings 3

Week 1

Our introduction to the topic included making a giant's castle in the role play as we are learning about Jack and the Beanstalk.  The children have also started writing instructions on how to plant a sunflower seed (an activity they did at the end of Term 4).  We are hoping that we can transfer the seeds to our flower bed next week.

Term 4

The Term 3 and 4 topic is called, 'What are the "bear" necessities?' and will involve us looking at traditional stories - especially Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Remember, for ideas on how to support your child's learning at home, click on the link above.

Week 6

Art Week.  This was a fun way to end the term.  Arts Week was led by our Arts co-ordinator, Miss Cowin, who requested that each class should use three different mediums throughout the week.  In the lead up to Easter we thought it would be fun to create, 'Eggs 3 Ways'.  Our children began with their favourite indoor activity, colouring in.  We then moved onto egg dying.  This involved adding vinegar and food colouring to water and soaking hard boiled eggs in their shells.  The children added their own touches such as googly eyes and sequins to these egg-straordinary creations.  Finally the children used special paint pens to make their own Easter-inspired ceramic tiles - these were beautiful and all have been taken home now to proudly share with families.  We hope everyone enjoys the holidays and some egg-citing adventures are had.

Week 5

Science Week.  As part of science week we have all written some 'mini books' about ourselves.  These books will be placed in a time capsule and hidden in Dragonfly's cupboard.  This time next year a calendar notification will pop up for Miss Cowin and the children will open the capsule and be able to read their mini books to see how much they have changed in a year!

We have also be exploring tunnels in our tough tray and predicting which materials would be best for making tunnels in.  The children have had lots of fun making sand and rock tunnels, although the sticks proved a little tricky.  

For our last activity we discussed pollution in the sea and the harm that plastic can cause.  We demonstrated this using a glass bowl and showing a lovely clean sea, and then what it looks like when oil and plastic has been added.

Clean sea

Sad sea pollution

Week 4

So ..... sew .... so we had a great child initiated activity sweep over us this week.  One child has taken a real interest in an Arts and Crafts book that she found in our reading area.  Last week she made a lovely ballerina card and this week spotted a pirate doll.  She took it upon herself to trace the pattern from the book and then wistfully told the teacher how much she would love to make a doll.  Of course we try to accommodate our children's interests to searched for the resources.  By the end of the week, not only had she made a lovely doll, she had inspired most of the class to join in! We have encouraged the children to thread their own needles, pick their choice of felt, independently sew the edges and stuff the dolls.  They have then added buttons and small designs to make them personal.  

 Group sewing

Threading needle

Pulling the thread


Weeks 3

We had a teddy bear's picnic area for the role play area but all changed this week.  One of our children has mentioned a love of space and co-incidentally, another parent at school asked if we would like a space ship donated.  Well of course we said yes!  Out went the picnic area, and in came the space shuttle!  The children love it and it's provided lots of opportunity for different children to play together as names are having to be randomly chosen in order for all to have access to it throughout the day.  What a treat!  


Weeks 1 and 2

These first two weeks have flown by - the children have helped rebuild the mud kitchen; been on a bug hunt; helped to start build a woven wigwam; made pancakes and visited Hidden Valley for Forest School, where the children went on a bear hunt AND found the bear. 

There were magnifying glasses hanging around in class that another class had used.  The children were fascinated with them so we brought some fossils into the class to inspect.  The children started looking at a bug book through them and then asked if they could look at bugs outside - as we follow the children's interests we said, 'of course' and let them lead the way.  We taught them how to use the magnifying glasses as they were holding them to their eyes trying to study daffodils across the playground!  As you will see below, our little explorers got the hang of it eventually.

Pancake toss

Making pancakes

Searching for bugs


Term 3

Week 6

The last week of term has felt like it's flown by - hopefully like the kites the children have been making in class!  The children have moved onto a new maths topic (shape) and have been thinking about the properties of shapes.  To assist with this we have watched the CBeebies 'Shape Up' song - maybe this is something you could do at home too?  The children also sing a great version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in which they substitute the word diamond for a more mathematical term!

On our book shelf by the role play, we've put a number of objects for the children to explore and discover - we would love it if you had anything at home that you could offer - e.g. a pot of cotton reels, curtain rings, corks, etc.

Looking through our sorting objects

We hope you all enjoy the half term - please keep up the reading, the children are making such good progress.  

Week 5

As part of Mental Health Week, we looked at activities recommended by  We discovered that many of the activities and sessions suggested were things we incorporate into our routine on a regular basis anyway.  Talking to the children about friendship, teamwork, and how being healthy and physically active can make us feel happier, is nothing new to our class, but we still wanted to ensure that we really thought about these ideas and talked them through.  As Mental Health Week coincided with Chinese New Year, we played a game called 'Catch the Dragon's Tail'.  The children had to work as a team for the head of the dragon to catch the tail of the dragon - for this to work the children discovered that running faster didn't actually help, it turned out that slow and steady won the race!  

Week 4

What a fabulous week we have had!  As well as continuing to think about the Bear Hunt, and draw some amazing maps for the story, we have had another set of Stay and Play sessions and the school nurse gave us a session about hand washing.

In the Stay and Play sessions the adults watched the children settle for register before seeing a 10 minutes phonics session: this was followed by free-play in the classroom.  We've had some lovely feedback on how these sessions went (click here to see).

Our hand washing lessons were very informative - did you know there are more germs on your hand than there are people on the planet?  We were pleased to hear that we already have so many good skills and techniques already happening in the classroom such as washing our hands when we come in from the playground, and bug-busting before both snack and lunchtimes.  

The nurse used a UV light and glitter bug spray to demonstrate the invisibility of germs and all the children showed great understanding of the importance of cleanliness relating to healthiness.

Hand washing lesson

Week 3

We're Going on a Bear Hunt has been a key story for us this week.  We've read the story together, acted it out, and created a landscape for it on top of our tough tray.  In maths we have been thinking about numbers beyond 10.  Starting at 11 we have already worked our way through to 15.  To strengthen the children's understanding of these numbers we've though about them in terms of 10 and 1 makes 11, 10 + 2 = 12 etc.  This allows the children to build on there understanding of numbers within 10 (such as 1 and 2) to support their learning of numbers beyond 10.

On Thursday both the Reception class and Year 1 went to a Funs Festival at Chew Valley Secondary School.  The children mixed well with all the other school there and really enjoyed the activities on offer, as hosted by Year 9 students.  

YR and Y1 Funs Festival

Weeks 1 & 2

The first two weeks of term flew past - we've had a lot of fun and we are all enjoying being back together this new year.  The children have now met our new PPA cover teacher, Mrs Young, and they enjoyed learning the honey pot game.  Although our topic is all about bears, many children have naturally gravitated towards playing with castles and dragons.  We always follow the children's interests and so have let them take the lead.  They have built a castle that now sits on top of the bear den, and many children have made egg-box dragons.  

Phonics is now being taught in two groups so that we can both support and extend the children at their own pace.  For children who are still struggling to blend, we are concentrating on blend short words with single sounds e.g. 'd-o-g, m-a-p, w-e-t, f-o-x'.  For children who are showing more confidence in reading we are learning digraphs and trigraphs.  So far we have learnt, 'sh, ch, th, ng, nk, ay, ee'.  

Once a week the whole class will read together, working in partners to read aloud a sentence at a time.  The children are amazing at this - have a look at their brilliant concentration skills.

Class Reading

Term 2

Week 7

It has been a lovely week.  The whole school nativity took place on Wednesday at the church and all the children were amazing.  We were so pleased to see all of the Duckling children being able to take part in both the afternoon and evening performances.  

We will keep this update brief - it's been a lovely end to a lovely term and we wish everybody a MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

Class Christmas Jumpers

(HOMEWORK: Please ensure your children have lots of fun during the holidays and come back with some great adventures and stories to tell us.)

Week 6

We have now learnt all our first set of phonic sounds (a - z) including the digraphs, 'sh, ch, th'.  Please help your children continue their amazing learning journey by reading the books in the book bags with them at least 3 times a week.  They have also been taught a number of tricky 'red' words including: I; my; you; the; of; so; no; said.

The children have also worked on simple additions and subtractions within 10.  They are using an amazing resource - their fingers!  Ask them a calculation and see how they fair.

Our formal lessons are not the only important things we do in school as you know, and this week the children have been creating their own obstacle/ stepping stone courses around the playground.  They have used anything they can lay their hands on (we've even pinched an old fence panel from the back of the school - shhh - don't tell anyone).  All the children have participated at some point and this has been an entirely child-led activity and one that has lasted days and days.   One child then found a log and some connected slats to produce a brilliant seesaw.  Another then took this to another level by shifting it onto the plank of the pirate ship.  There were a few falls, bumps and squashed fingers but our children are very resilient - they just brushed themselves off and got back on!

**Another shout out - for playground resources e.g. tyres/ crates/ planks of wood/ tiles etc.  Our children are so creative and we feel - the more basic the equipment, the more advanced the imagination! 

Stepping Stones

Balance Beam Homemade seesaw

Week 5

The nativity practice has really started and all children have been measured for their outfits.  Our version this year is called, 'It's a Party!' and it differs slightly from the traditional story.  To help us understand the Christian version of the story the Reverend Denise Calverley came to talk to the class.  She showed them the story using some wooden props and read them the nativity.  The children listened well and showed a lot of respect to their visitor.  On Friday they experienced another story - 'Beasty Baby', at the Tobacco Factory theatre.  The production had been described as,  a funny and magical shared experience for the whole family, to warm up those cold winter days' and from the laughs we heard, our children agreed.  It was a lovely trip, topped off with comments from the ushers who complimented the children saying they were, 'angelic' and 'a treat to have visit the theatre'. 

In the class this week we have also been 'wrapping presents'.  This has required some careful measuring of paper size and has been a great mathematical provocation.  Look out for your present under the tree coming home very soon!

Listening to the Nativity Story  Wrapping Station

Week 4

The weather has started to turn and we have noticed that outside is colder and wetter than before.  This will not stop us spending as much time as we can outside.  Can we therefore please ask that you send your child to school in suitable wet-weather over-clothes so that their time outside.  Raincoats and waterproof shoes/ boots are essential.

This week, as well as playing outside, the children were keen to use items from the playground to create their own shelters.  A net may not seem like the most obvious option but the children used the net as a surface to build up against.  The photo shows the brilliant rain-shelter that at least 9 children clambered into!

Children in the rain  Making a shelter

Week 3

It's been an exciting week in school with both Robert Mitchell, high-jumper, joining us for some indoor circuits AND Forest School at Hidden Valley! 

The children enjoyed their time with Robert, having raised valuable sponsorship money for GB sports stars and the school.  They were amazed when Robert demonstrated his skills by jumping over the piano - talk about hitting the high notes!  

Forest School was also a highlight.  It was the first time Duckling Class had visited Hidden Valley together and the children had a great time thinking about appropriate clothing for cold weather.  The children went on a hunt throughout the forest to find the clothes and then dressed their 'characters' with what they had found.  The children worked well in their teams and warmed up after with a lovely cup of hot squash.  

Camp fire  Charcoal drawing 

Dressing the character  Warm squash


Robert Mitchell and Jenson  Circuits

Week 2

The children have been learning the Gingerbread Man story in class and can already retell half of it.  We have been learning this through the making of a story-map and giving it actions.  Many of the children have been so enthralled with the story, they have made their own story maps to take home!  

EVERY child enjoys shouting, 'run run as fast as you can, you can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man' - just ask them!

Gingerbread Man Story Map

Week 1

Wow!  The children have come back to school this week and have been impressing us so much in so many ways.  They are working and playing together so well, and are so enthusiastic to take part in everything.

This week saw the 100 Year anniversary of Armistice Day on Sunday 11th November 2018.  It was lovely to see some of the Reception Children at the local memorial service: even laying some of the poppies that we had made in class on the Memorial Stone.  

On another note, we celebrated Diwali on Wednesday 7th and made Dried Fruit Ladoo sweets to take home and share.  The children are always keen to find out about other celebrations and traditions, and we enjoy supporting them in this too. 

Writing on the board  Diwali Sweets

Practising our 'phonics'!                              Stirring the dried fruit to make ladoo sweets for Diwali.

Term 1

Week 8

We made it!  The children have had a great first term and the staff have been awed by each and every one of them.  This week we were lucky enough to be invited to the Dragonfly party.  The Key Stage 1 class had been thinking about the question, 'Who's coming to tea?' for their topic.  The answer was …. Duckling Class!  We had a great time joining in games and eating the delicious dairy-free cakes they had made.  Thank you Dragonfly children, for making our last week lots of fun!

A quick phonics recap for any parents/carers looking to continue the learning at home during the break.  The sounds we have learnt so far are.... a, c, d, g, i  m, n, o, p, s, t    and the tricky words  'the', 'I' and 'of'.

Dragonfly party  Dragonfly Party

Week 7

Wow - the children have been in school full time for 7 weeks and there is still another week to go.  What a mammoth term this has been for them and yet, they have continued to impress with their positive attitudes and their willingness to embrace everything on offer.  This week they joined in two Harvest Assemblies!  The children sang a Harvest song at the beginning of each event before returning to the classroom and participating in our first series of Stay and Play sessions.  The feedback we received from parents and carers has been very positive and we hope to hold these sessions on a regular termly basis.

The children had also shown an interest in making boats in the craft area.  We therefore built upon this interest by providing them with foil and asking them to design and make their own boats.  They then tested them to see which design could hold more weight.

designing the boat  making the boats

Here you can see the children working together to make their designs.

Week 6

To explore our senses we have made a sensory tough tray this week, whereby the children can scoop with spoons, make noisey rattles, and choose various colourful beads and sparkles for decoration.

The children have also been exploring our playground to work out just what new toys they can make with the different resources outside.  (If you think you have some resources for our playgrounds (planks of wood; wheels; rope; pebbles etc - we would be happy to receive it.)

Playground resources  Sensory tough tray

Making a roller from playground resources.     Our sensory tough tray.

Week 5

Well you may have noticed some children coming home smelling of toothpaste (and covered in it).  What started out as an experiment, 'Can you paint with toothpaste?', turned into a huge painting project!  We love following the children's interests and they were certainly interested in finding out the answer to this question.

And if you didn't know - the answer was yes!

Toothpaste Painting  Lexon adding to the rainbow

Our toothpaste painting.                           Adding to the rainbow made from collected items.

Week 4

We have continued with our Healthy Me theme this week and focused on teethbrushing and drinking water. All the children in our class know that drinking water is important and they’ve all made an effort to drink regularly throughout the day.  The children all contributed to a discussion about tooth decay and how regularly we should brush our teeth.  We have been given some teeth cleaning packs that include toothpaste and a toothbrush and these have all been sent home.

We have changed our tough tray resources to include lots of blank faces for the children to create with media of their choice.  They’ve had lots of fun making funny faces.

 Rose Harriet and Molly making craft faces

Week 3

We've had lots of fun this week - the children have been making animal houses with cardboard, and creating food from around the world in the craft area.  

   Spaghetti and Meatballs

Pic:  Making spaghetti meatballs.

Story books and reading books were sent home this week: books will be changed on either a Monday or Tuesday.  The children have also started learning their phonics - we have started with the sounds 'm' 'a' 's'.  If you would like to support the learning at home please encourage them to practice writing these sounds on the sheets we send home and in their homework books, and ensure the children are saying the sounds correctly e.g. 'ssssss' not 'suh', and 'mmmm' not 'muh'.  If you are not sure on how to support your child's reading and writing at home, please just pop in for a chat.  

Week 2

This week the children will have brought home a 'Homework Book'.  Please don't worry - we are not expecting them (or you) to write essays.  The activities* include questions like, 'What different numbers do you see around your house?' and encouraging early phonics games such as I Spy.  Please bring the books into school on a Thursday, in your child's book bag, so that we can respond to their efforts and encourage their interest in learning. All homework receives a dojo in the form of a smiley face.

Next week we will start to send home story books for you to read to your child at home.  The children will choose these themselves and you may find they want you to read the same story again and again and again.  This is perfectly normal and great for their development: children learn through repetition.  So whilst you may be up to your eyes with poisonous warts and owl ice cream, please persevere as it will be having a positive impact.  

*(Please click on the Purple Bar above to see the homework for this term.)


Pic: In the Mud Kitchen.            


Week 1

To say we have had an amazing first week would be an understatement.  Our class of 14 new children have settled into the new routines better than anyone could have predicted.  Parents will have already seen numerous dojo points being uploaded to their child's accounts for so many good reasons; making people happy; respectful behaviour; working together.

The children have spent a lot of time with their Year 6 buddies and are very confident around the school.  From next week parents will drop the children at the classroom door and allow the children to independently come into the classroom. We normally don't try this until Week 3 or 4 but as this group of children are showing such confidence already we are following their lead and moving at their pace.


Click here to see the Medium Term Plan for Terms 5 and 6.