The Village Academy

The Village Academy is a group of town, city and village schools that have joined together to provide the very best education for the children in our care and where we believe that education is very much a matter of the individual.

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                                        Welcome to Hedgehog Class.

                                  Mrs Frost and Mrs Cassidy.

           Welcome to Term 5 in Hedgehog Class.


                 Hello, Hedgehog Class!    

I hope you have all had a fantastic Easter Holiday and were able to do some exciting things as we return to a more normal existence! I had a lovely rest and planted lots of vegetables in my garden. I really enjoyed it and it made me smile thinking about the fun we are going to have in our garden this term......                          

         You can view the Topic Web for Term 5 here.


Our topic this term is "Go Outside!"

In this topic, we explore the fascinating natural world of growth and change. We will be spending a lot of time outside, hunting for minibeasts and learning how their life cycles work. We will be researching the environments they live in and how different they can be. We will be studying the changes from caterpillar to butterfly and tadpole to frog and researching the best place to set them free when they have grown. We will be planting seeds and vegetables so we learn the conditions plants need to thrive.  Throughout our learning, our key questions are always "how and why," to encourage critical thinking and connecting narrative.                                                       


This term we will be sharing favourite stories relating to minibeasts such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Busy Spider. We will also be using information texts and search engines to support our learning about the minibeasts we discover. What is it? Where does it live? What does it eat? Is it changing? Why? Lots of questions to find the answers to! We will be writing captions and labels for our work and some of us will be writing sentences and instructions. We will be learning new vocabulary and using it in our speaking and writing.

Story telling is an integral part of everyday life at school. Sharing stories is one of the most valuable times we have with our children as it creates bonds, develops language skills and fires the imagination. We will be reading together daily and sometimes I will choose the stories but I also believe, children should have a choice in the stories we share so will be encouraging them to choose the ones they would like to hear. We will be encouraging responses to stories the children listen to through discussion, acting, music, painting, drawing and mark making.  This term we will be developing notation using captions, labels and simple sentences. We will be encouraging the children to use the phonics they have learned to both read and write simple sentences.                                 



At Selling, we follow the Dfe "Letters and Sounds" programme to develop phonics skills. Term Two is all about consolidating rhyming words and learning the sounds we use to read and spell. Please see the section below for a detailed account of phonics progression and websites which explain how pure sounds are pronounced.



In Numeracy we explore the number system  and shape, space and measures. Often young children come to school able to rote count up to very large numbers because they have learned the rhythm and order of counting but are yet to understand the value of each number. We explore the number system through rhymes, games and activities designed to increase their understanding of the value of number, counting with one to one correspondence and understanding one more and one less.  We explore patterns, shapes and measurement in this way too. This term we will be developing our understanding of volume and capacity, time,money and measuring. We will be counting accurately and recognising and writing numerals.  We will be combining two groups of objects to find the total and exploring ways to record the answer. We will be developing our understanding of teen numbers as 10 and some more.      


The EYFS Foundation Stage.                   

Hedgehog class follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which is the curriculum from 0-60 months or until children enter the Primary National Curriculum in Year 1. There are seven areas of development which the children will be assessed against throughout the year. Children are expected to achieve a ‘Good Level of Development’ by the end of the year. This is achieved by meeting the Early Learning Goals which can be found on the curriculum link below. We work closely with families and other professionals to ensure that all children are given the best opportunities to achieve their potential. If you would like to have a look at the curriculum please click on the links below:

EYFS Framework

Development Matters


Letters and Sounds - phonics.

We follow the Letters and Sounds programme but also use the actions and some songs from Jolly Phonics. For further information click the link here:

 We use pure sounds so if you would like to familiarise yourself with these, please click on this link

 In Phase 2, letters and their sounds are introduced one at a time. A set of letters is taught each week, in the following sequence:

Set 1: s, a, t, p                       Set 7: j,v,w,x                         Set 12: ow, oi, ear, er
Set 2: i, n, m, d                     Set 8: y, z, zz, qu                   Set 13: air, ure
Set 3: g, o, c, k                      Set 9: sh,ch,th,ng
Set 4: ck, e, u, r                     Set 10: ai, ee, oo, oa
Set 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss            Set 11; ar, or, igh, ur


As soon as each set of letters is introduced, children will be encouraged to use their knowledge of the letter sounds to identify words which start with that sound. I spy is a wonderful game you can play at home to develop this skill. Another great game is "Find the odd one out," ie give your child 3 objects: 2 that start with the "s" sound and one that starts with a different sound. When they have learned the first set of sounds, we will learn how to combine them together to make words eg they will learn to blend the sounds s-a-t to make the word sat. They will also start learning to segment words eg they might be asked to find the letter sounds that make the word tap from a small selection of magnetic letters.

Using Phase 3, we extend our learning to the digraph sounds which are two graphemes/letters which create one sound eg sh, ch, th, ng and the trigraphs, igh, air and ear. We play lots of games which encourage recognition of sounds and how to use them to blend and segment words. This term we will be practising reading and writing words using our phonic knowledge and forming letters correctly.

 For further support on how to help your child with phonics please click on this link:              Phonics Matters


 Numeracy and Shape, Space and Measure.

The number system is taught through lots of practical activities, rhymes, songs and games and Term 3 focuses on developing the following skills.

Number recognition

  • One more/one less from numbers to 10 and extended to 20.

  • Saying the number that is one more or one less from a given number.

  • Counting with one to one correspondence and finding the correct numeral to show the amount counted to 5, 10 and 20.

  • Combining two sets of objects to find the total and beginning to record results.

  • Estimation and checking results.

Shape, space and measure.                                        

  • Use everyday language in relation to time.

  • Use familiar objects and common shapes to create patterns and build models.

  • Ordering 3 or more objects by height/weight/length, using the language of measurement.

For further support on how to help your child with maths please click on this link:             Maths Matters


Child initiated play.                         

The EYFS curriculum places great emphasis on the impact of play and how this supports a child’s learning and development. We have a child initiated session in both the morning and the afternoon for children to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world, technological skills, communication and language, speaking and listening, building and developing relationships, expressive arts and imagination. This time consolidates a child’s understanding and allows them to put their skills in to practice and develop them independently. Having the freedom to follow their own interests will develop critical thinking, decision making, narrative and extend relationships as children play together.


 We will send story books home for you to share with your child. This is to encourage them to engage with stories, answering and asking questions about the characters, the events and the setting of the story. As you read to your child, point to the words so they become aware that words convey meaning. We will then progress to picture/photo books which will not have any words in them to begin with. The aim of these books is to develop children’s comprehension of a sequence of events told through pictures and to encourage children to speak in full sentences rather than a single word or phrase. When we have learned phonemes (sounds) and their corresponding grapheme (letter shape) we will send I spy type books and texts which encourage blending.

Please try to read with your children each evening for 10 minutes and record this in the yellow reading log. If we can see all the pages in the book have been read, we will change the book. We will ask you to read the story several times with your child to encourage them to use their comprehension skills to understand the story that they are reading rather than simply decoding the words with their sounds.


In Hedgehog Class, we use Tapestry to document children’s learning and development. You will already have seen some of the videos we have shared with you of our classroom and school grounds. Tapestry is a wonderful tool for you to share your child's interests and achievements with us too and we love to see the activities they enjoy at home. It contributes to an "all round" picture of our children. If you require any help with Tapestry, please come into class and see Mrs Frost who will be pleased to help you.

Fruit and Milk.                                        

All children will be provided with a snack at 10.30am daily. Children will be provided with a piece of fruit and carton of milk. Free milk is available for all children under the age of five in school, funded by the UK government. (You do need to register your child for milk whether it is free or paid for: click link below.) Once your child turns five you will be asked to pay a subsidised rate for your child to continue to receive milk. If you would like to register your child for milk please visit:

Lunch time.

All children will be supervised in the classroom by a member of the reception team. They are there to help the children to carry their trays, support them to use a knife and fork and encourage them to try a variety of different foods offered. All children in EYFS and KS1 are entitled to a free school meal. Menus can be found at: and are also available from the school office.

If children prefer, they can also bring in a packed lunch. We are proud to say that we are a ‘healthy school’ and encourage well balanced meal choices. We don't think chocolate is a bad thing at all :-) but ask that children don't bring it in their lunchboxes as it tends to get everywhere on little sticky fingers!

We have always operated an "Open Classroom" policy in Hedgehog Class where we have been around at the end of the day for you to pop in and see us if you had any concerns or queries, or equally if you had exciting news to share or just wanted a chat! However, in this current Coronavirus pandemic, I'm not sure we will be able to do this right now. However, be reassured you can contact me via Tapestry or phoning/emailing our School Office and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Many thanks for all your support.

Best wishes,

Mrs Kate Frost and Mrs Zara Cassidy.