Welcome to the Sparrows Class! 


Teacher: Maria Hallett

TAs: Katie Harris, Gaynor Brownstein, Ellie Dearden and Stephanie Heywood


Hairy, Scary Beast

We have had a great half term in the Sparrows class and have focused our learning around the topic ‘Hairy Scary Beast’.

In English, we have continued to create sentences & captions using the ‘Colourful Semantics Approach’. This supports us to really think about the structure of a sentence and the key parts involved. To support and develop our thought processes, we focused on the key questions Who? What? where? and When? We have continued to work on how to use full stops and capital letters within our writing as well as how to share our sentence aloud to support us with proofreading our work. We have continued to explore the use of adjectives and how these can be used in our writing.  In Phonics, we have continued to progress through Phase 4 – 5 sounds. Through games & carefully planned activities we have explored how to segment & blend to read unfamiliar words. The children have worked hard to use this phonic knowledge to read words across the curriculum.

In Maths, we have continued to focus on both the skills of addition and subtraction using different apparatus to support us. We have been working with the number line, 100 square, mental maths and counting apparatus such as Numicon. We have used our knowledge of place value to support us with solving number problems. In addition to this; we have continued to explore both 2d and 3d shape properties, capacity & worked on identifying coins up to £2. 

In PE, we have been working on the skills of balance, agility and co-ordination. We have been able to apply these skills in a range of activities. Each week, we have navigated around the cones and as we have progressed we have been able to change directions on command and dribble around the cones using a football. 

In PSHE, we have focused on Caring Friendships and Respectful Relationships. This has involved discussions on bullying, online safety and the importance for respect for the differences and similarities between people. The children have started to develop their understanding of the impact of bullying and what to do if this occurs.

In Art, we focused on the Sculptor Angela Haseltine Pozzi. We explored her beautiful work & were amazed at all of the different recyclable items used.  The children created their own designs and went on to follow their designs to create their own sculptures. They enjoyed sharing their finished piece of work & sharing ideas on how to improve it.

In History, we focused on ‘How Has the Locality of Chadderton Changed?. We explored the terms ‘past and present’ and what this means in our own lives.  We researched all the different buildings that make up the locality of Chadderton. We then used this knowledge to represent our ideas on paper. We also explored how the local parks have changed and how farming & Mills were a big part of Chadderton. 

The Sparrows


At Halcyon Way we use Signalong as a part of a Total Communication Approach, we are constantly using core vocabulary with the children to support their language development and then through each of our topics we introduce new signs and language, which extends their vocabulary further. We also have two “Signs of the Week” which helps maintain and extend key knowledge and skills of everyday vocabulary.

Each half term we will be creating a short video showcasing and demonstrating signs relavent for the current term so that you can learn the signs and further this learning at home.

Click play to watch this half terms Signalong video!


If your child has a school dinner, the school menus can be accessed by clicking here. For children who bring a packed lunch, please remember to provide healthy and balanced options. We are a Healthy School and will be focusing on healthy eating and how children can make healthy lifestyle choices.

How You Can Help at Home

The following activities are suggested as appropriate homework activities which you can enjoy with your child and reinforce the learning, we are focussing on this half term –

  • Ask your child to say 1 thing that they have learnt at school that day, this helps your child to structure his/her ideas and offers a good discussion point for you as parents.
  • Discuss the theme ‘Hairy Scary Beast’ and share stories that reflect this including ‘The ‘Gruffalo’ and ‘The Gruffalo’s Child’. Ask your child questions about the story to develop their understanding. Who are the characters in the story? What happened? What do you think will happen next? Where did the Gruffalo go? Why did do you think the Gruffalo said that? Share the clip on YouTube or alternatively search for it on BBC iPlayer https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00pk64x/the-gruffalo
  • Encourage your child to explore basic movements both indoors and outdoors. Together explore the skill of ‘balance’. Can they play games including balancing on 1 leg? Can they balance a ball on their head? Can they side step? Explore different movements to develop balance and coordination.
  • Using books & the internet explore the basic needs and habitats of different kinds of animals and plants. Go on a nature walk and explore the animals and plants in their habitat for example, Daisy, Daffodil, a bird lives in a tree or a cow lives in a field.  Explore the differences and group living things such as fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. 
  • Using books & the internet explore the artist, Angela Haseltine Pozzi. Browse her work & encourage your child to share their views. Encourage your child to interpret the work of the sculptor & to create their own using different recycled materials.
  • Continue to play shop with your child & explore the value of each coin. Encourage them to use different coins for the same value. Allow your child to experience paying for items in a shop setting.
  •  Continue to identify 2D and 3D shapes around the home and when outside. Focus on the shape name, amount of sides, faces, edges & corners.
  • Encourage your child to solve practical problems involving measure. Can they order objects by size? Can they recognise the appropriate way of measuring objects – using a ruler, measuring jug or scales.   
  • Reinforce good hygiene with your child and talk about the importance of keeping the body clean. With support encourage and allow them to take some responsibility for their own personal care. Demonstrate good handwashing & model how to catch a sneeze in the crease of your elbow. Share this video with your child: How to catch a sneeze   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqJHbdj_nV8
  • Continue to explore feelings with your child; model different feelings & how we can express our feelings in a safe manner. See link for feelings song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J7HcVLsCrY
  • More importantly when you are at home spend time with your family.  Read a book together, watch a film together, cook a meal together and stay socially aware and safe in your community.  

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