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St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Claughton-on-Brock

St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Claughton-on-Brock


Claughton Primary School is an outstanding rural primary school situated in Claughton-on-Brock.

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Spring 1

Under the Sea

We are enjoying learning about our new topic!  The children are very excited to know that they will be visiting Blackpool Sea Life Centre on Monday 15th January.  We have been gaining a little bit of knowledge about animals that we might find in the sea through stories, songs and Our Planet.  They have built routes to the Sea Life Centre and thought about important landmarks that they will see en-route.  We have also been learning about how the body parts of sea animals are different to ours and have been learning new vocabulary such as blowholes, fins, flippers and flukes.  We noticed that there are similarities too though as we have two eyes and a mouth like most of the sea creatures!

Reception have been recalling and retelling the Christmas story, in particular the events after Jesus’ birth and the arrival of The Wise Men.  They used their knowledge of the Nativity performance to guide them in their story telling and considered the gifts that the Kings brought as well as what they would gift a newborn baby.

We are loving Judo and cannot wait to learn some more next week!  So far, we have learnt some new vocabulary – Hajime (Start) and Matte (Stop) as well as how to fall safely and how to hold people.

What a fabulous time we had at the Sea Life Centre! The children’s awe and wonder was palpable and audible. They brought a smile to all our faces as well as the staff and other visitors as cries of “Wow, I’ve found a…” and “Look, I can see a …” rang out around the Sea Life Centre. We made observational drawings, looked closely at the differences between crabs, sting rays and sharks and even squeezed in some measuring and comparison of height to see who was the perfect size to fit in the shark cage!

This half term has been busy already! The arctic wind has been blowing and brought a flurry of snow which we have loved – the perfect opportunity to wrap up warm, take our learning outside writing our phonics words and creating 2D shapes in the snow. We had so much fun exploring our Classroom Under the Sky and playground comparing the  to how they usually look. The children described the snow as cold and crunchy like crisps. What a perfect metaphor!

Autumn 2


We have had a fabulous time learning about the Christmas story. The children have been reenacting and retelling the story in so many ways! We have also busy practising our nativity in church and at school and have made lots of Christmas crafts to share with our families. This has included learning about the importance of Angel Gabriel and his role in the Christmas story. We decided to make our own angels to put on our Christmas trees and remind us of this this Christmas. We have also learnt about and made an advent wreath. We learnt about the colours of the candles and their meanings as well as when to light them. Take a look below!


We have continued to welcome Bruce, our reading dog, into school with his owner Naomi. The children also enjoy learning about how to care for and train Bruce and always have lots of questions for Naomi! This time, they were thrilled to welcome them into our classroom and greeted Naomi with a hot chocolate and gingerbread man from our new role play, The Gingerbread Bakery. The children asked for this change after baking mince pies ready for the Christmas Fair.

In Art, the children have learnt about Kandinsky and created pieces of artwork inspired by him. We learnt lots of new language such as concentric and contrasting!


Festivals of Light and Dark

This half term has quite literally started with a bang! We have been learning about Diwali and Bonfire Night and why these festivals are celebrated at this time of year. The children noticed similarities between the Hindu festival of Diwali which marks the triumph of light (and Rama) over darkness and some our celebrations when we also decorate with coloured lights. Interestingly, we also learnt that Hindu’s have an altar just as we do! Of course, we have also considered how to be safe when there are fireworks and outdoor celebrations.


We have begun considering the birth of Jesus and will be learning about road and fire safety later this half term.


Our author study this half term is Julia Donaldson and we are loving listening to and watching her stories especially now we have our new Toniebox thanks to the PTA!


Autumn 1

School begins!

What a super first week of school we have had!  Our 8 little faces beamed coming through the gate on Monday morning and have done every day since.  Those huge grins don’t leave their faces all day and we have had a fabulous time exploring our new classroom, our classroom under the sky and the rest of school.  I have been so pleased to see so many of you reading at home every day and I can’t wait to see your learning logs coming back into school next week.  Have a fabulous weekend Reception, you have well and truly deserved a lie in for the next two days because you have been superstars!


Our second week of school has flown by too! We have celebrated our first talking tin which encourages the children to bring in a small selection of special items from home to share and talk about with their peers. What a great start as we heard about conker trees and forest walks! In the mornings, we share a game together and it is great to see the social skills of game playing really developing. We have also started our disco dough to help develop those fine motor skills and strengthen our hands in preparation for becoming fabulous writers and authors. Speaking of authors, we celebrated Roald Dahl day on Wednesday 13th September by joining Jamie with some The Twits themed yoga then an excerpt from Matilda inspired us to make our own chocolate cake. However, rather than one large one we decided to be healthy and make smaller cupcakes which we could then share with our families. What a great choice Reception! Our phonics has taken place both indoors and outdoors this week and I am so proud of all of you for your amazing efforts.

We have carried on with some more fabulous learning! This half term has been action-packed. We have been focussing on turn-taking when playing games and have also been enjoying disco dough and yoga in the mornings. Both of these help to develop our motor skills which in turn prepares us for writing. Our phonics knowledge is developing and we continue to practise the skills of blending (for reading) and segmenting (for writing). We are also enjoying using bug club to help support us with these skills and are getting really great at reading our reading books! Miss Deakin has been treated to us popping round to see her with our fabulous work quite a few times!

We have launched a new attendance initiative in reception which is going down a treat! Children were attend school every day, on time for the week are entered into a draw on a Friday to win a prize from our lovely new prize box. Our winners so far have been very impressed!

The children are loving learning about God, Jesus and His teachings. They have created a fabulous display in the classroom showing how God created the world and everything in it for us. This lead us to explore Pope Francis’s message in Laudato Si and to consider how we could help care for our local community. We had some great ideas that we hope to put into fruition during the school year!

We have also been introducing prayer and liturgy within the classroom and the children are so keen to take ownership of leading the start and end of worship – well done children!

Our vocabulary in music is ever expanding as we listen to our song of the day with ‘Music that inspires us’ as is our scientific knowledge and vocabulary as we continue to develop our investigation area.

Little Way Week is an initiative inspired by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the Patron Saint of Mission. She gave to the Church a teaching called the ‘Little Way’. This is a commitment to do small tasks with love every day. We have marked this in school and linked it back to the message of Laudato Si and caring for our common home. It also inspired some fabulous artwork!

“Snuggle up with a book” sack

We are so pleased to launch our “Snuggle up with a book” sacks. These will be sent home each Friday with everything you need to enjoy some precious family time together with a good book! Enclosed is a notebook to capture your favourite moments and we would love to see/hear all about your experience using Seesaw. Thank you so much for all your support so far with nurturing a love of reading, it is very much appreciated.

Summer 2

Meeting our new reception cohort

This morning we met our new reception cohort. We opened the gate to smiling faces who were so excited to come and play which was delightful! They have had lots of fun exploring their new classroom and meeting some new friends on the playground. We can’t wait to see you again next week!


Our new reception children have been back again and had a super morning! They were very excited to collect their special gifts from us and we can’t wait to see you in September. You will have so much to tell us about all your adventures, holidays,  celebrating birthdays and some of you becoming big brothers!


Our author study is Eric Carle and we have been reading ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ as well as ‘The Bad-tempered ladybird’ to find out more about these minibeasts.  The children have been busy hunting for minibeasts and creating a bug hotel for them.  They have examined their body parts carefully to learn more about each minibeast and are creating their own minibeasts.  Watch this space for photo updates and more fabulous learning! We have learnt lots about lifecycles from our author study, in particular the texts The Tiny Seed and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and have created some fabulous writing and display work from it.


We have celebrated World Music Day by listening to lots of different music from around the world and comparing the different styles. Our class playlist is growing longer everyday as we discover new music that we love! Each morning, we listen to, discuss and appraise a piece of music within a weekly theme (this has included music for marching to, music in different languages and musicians with disabilities). The children continue to amaze us all with their musical vocabulary and ability to appraise the music in terms of its pitch, tempo, rhythm and most importantly of all how it made them feel before voting for their favourite piece at the end of the week. Take a look at our class music book below.



At the start of the half term, we wrote to local garden centres asking if they could support our topic – Down in the Garden. We have now been to visit Ribblesdale Garden Centre and Briarcliffe Nurseries where we met the lovely James and Andrea who both so kindly donated lots of seeds, plants, pots, compost and feed to us. We are feeling so very grateful! Andrea even gave us some bee friendly plants to encourage more bees in our Classroom under the sky. Perfect timing as we have just learnt about the life cycle of a honey bee and their importance! We have also created a new role play area together – welcome to our new garden centre.



We have enjoyed recapping on our knowledge of plants by identifying the parts of a sunflower. Then we read Camille and the sunflowers and decided to recreate Van Gogh’s sunflower painting during Art Week. There was lots of careful observations, attention to detail and excellent discussion happening!



Take a look at what else we have been up to during this topic!