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Upton St James CofE Primary School

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Richard Branson (Reception class)

Welcome to Branson class!

We believe that Richard Branson needs to be remembered because he made the first hot-air balloon crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. He has also set speed and distance records for balloon flight and made several attempts to fly all the way around the world in a balloon as well as being a very successful person in business. He achieved all this despite struggling at school due to dyslexia and ADHD.


About our class

Mrs Wright is the teacher and Mrs Birkett and Mrs Ryan are the Learning Support Assistants in this class. 

Pupils and their parents/carers are welcome to come into the playground from 8.40am. The bell will ring at 8.45am and the children are asked to line up smartly holding their reading diaries to be checked on entering the classroom. The gate is closed at 8.55am and any child arriving after that time will be marked as late. The school day finishes at 3.10pm and children can be collected from the main gate. Children should be in full school uniform every day, with any long hair tied back.


We really value parent/carer-school partnerships so please do speak to your child’s class teacher on the playground if you have a quick message or ring the school office to book a telephone appointment if a longer conversation is required. You can also use Class Dojo to message your child’s class teacher and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible within school hours.


Our curriculum learning this half term

This half term is based around the theme of ‘Change’. Please see the curriculum information on our website about why ‘Change’ is an important ‘Curriculum Upright’ at our school. Our children will be having transition sessions to their new class later this term. https://www.upton-st-james-primary.torbay.sch.uk/change-1/


In worship we will be focusing on ‘Loving ourselves’. Our value this term is 'forgiveness'. 


Our Class Learning

An outline of our class learning is added to the school newsletter each week – please do take a look! We will also add at least one item of interest about our class to Class Dojo per week, such as photos, videos or pictures. If you haven’t yet connected, please do speak to the office.


In English this half term, Branson Class will be embedding the skills and knowledge needed to confidently write sentences that can be read by ourselves and other people and, in preparation for Y1, will begin to write longer texts. We will be remembering to use finger spaces, capital letters to start the sentence and a full stop to end it. Additionally, we will be focusing on correct letter formation, making sure we start forming letters in the correct place and try not to reverse them.


In reading we will be continuing to develop our phonics skills of speedy sound recognition and word blending, working towards reading short texts confidently and fluently. Through the stories that we listen to we will develop our comprehension skills, ask and answer questions and make predictions about texts.


In maths we will continue to explore the composition of numbers to 10 with a focus on understanding the relationship between addition and subtraction. We will revisit number patterns including odd and even numbers and doubles and will begin to explore division through equal sharing.


In our wider curriculum learning we will be exploring artefacts from the recent past in history, asking how they are the same and how they are different to the things we use today. In Science we will be finding out all about minibeasts, and in art we will be refining our painting skills, learning to select the best tools for the job and use a paint brush with care and control to achieve a planned outcome.


Useful websites and resources

Oxford Owl have lots of great downloadable resources, ebooks, story videos and ways to support your child’s learning at home. They also have lots of information for parents about our phonics scheme, Read Write Inc.



Useful websites and resources

Topmarks has lots of age-appropriate maths games https://www.topmarks.co.uk/Search.aspx?Subject=16&AgeGroup=1

CBeebies have lots of maths themed shows, games and activities – we all love NumberBlocks! https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/topics/numeracy



Our PE days are Tuesday and Wednesday and this half term we will be focussing on athletics and bat and ball skills. We ask that your child comes to school in their PE kit (and school jumper or cardigan) on P.E, days.



We really value reading at Upton and ask that each child reads for 10-15 minutes each night and records their reading in their home reading diaries. Please can parents/carers sign the reading diaries to show that that your child has read and bring them back in each day.


Home learning

Our main focus for home learning is reading as regular practise makes such a massive difference to your child’s developing skills. We also post Read Write Inc phonics videos on Dojo for you to share with your child. Additionally, children bring home a piece of topic-based home learning each Friday.

School Motto

"Rising to our best"


‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12 v:30 – 31)

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