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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         Hedgehog Class

                   Mrs Frost and Mrs Leader.

Welcome to Term 4 in Hedgehog Class.

Welcome to Term 4 everyone! We hope you had a lovely week of rest and relaxation and are ready for an exciting term culminating in Easter celebrations. This term, we will be visiting the Jubilee Gym in Faversham every Wednesday afternoon. This is a fabulous opportunity for the children to develop and extend their gymnastic skills, core strength and team work. Please can our children come to school in their PE kit on Wednesday and Friday for this term.

 You can view the Topic Web for Term 4 here.


Our topic this term is "Once upon a time!" We will be exploring the fairy/traditional tale genre and discussing the " goodies and the baddies." We will be looking at how good usually triumphs over evil and the moral the story is telling. We will also be developing understanding of the importance of oral story telling and how these stories have been passed from generation to generation. We have some lovely activities planned, including discovering the best materials for building, planning a picnic (which we hope to have towards the end of term) and how to cross a river! We will also be discussing making good choices and how to keep ourselves safe. We will be cooking up a storm, including pancakes, porridge and gingerbread men. Throughout our learning, our key questions are always "how and why," to encourage critical thinking and connecting narrative. 




Our stories this term will include Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Gingerbread Man. I also want to include time to explore the traditional tales the children choose. In our writing, we will be developing our skills to write captions for pictures and simple sentences. We will be making "Wanted " posters, creating menus, looking at recipe formats and making building plans. We will be blending (reading) simple words and sentences and segmenting (spelling) them too in our writing. We will also be consolidating reading the high frequency and tricky words by sight. eg I, no, go, to, into, the, we, be, me, she, he and new ones: was, my, you, her, they, all, are, will and with.

Phonics takes place daily and we will be working on Phase 4 of Letters and Sounds where we will embed the sounds we have learned and the ability to blend and segment them in reading and writing. It was lovely that so many of you came to our Phonics workshops and I hope they were useful for you all.  I have added the order of Phase 3 sounds to the Phonics section of the webpage below.



We will continue to explore the number system through games and activities which encourage counting with one to one correspondence, understanding one more/one less from a given number to 20 and recognising and writing numerals. This term we will be consolidating addition recording using + and = symbols and introducing subtraction. We will be learning about teen numbers as 10 and some more and practising those tricky numbers 11,12,13 and 15. We will also be learning how to count on from a given number and exploring coins and their value. This term I am offering Numeracy Workshops. Times and dates to be advised.


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 will organise a session later in the term, where you will be invited to a phonics workshop to observe the teaching and learning of phonics in Hedgehog Class. 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 2: i, n, m, d
Set 3: g, o, c, k
Set 4: ck, e, u, r
Set 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss

Set 6: j,v,w,x

Set 7: y, z, zz, qu

Set 8: sh, ch, th, ng

Set 9: ai, ee, oo, oa

Set 10: ar, or, igh, ur

Set 11: ow,oi, ear, er

 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.

We then extend our learning to the digraph sounds which are two graphemes/letters which create one sound eg sh, ch, th, ng and the trigraphs air and ear. We play lots of games which encourage recognition of sounds and how to use them to blend and segment words.

 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 20
  • Counting out a given number from a small group.
  • Counting with one to one correspondence and finding the correct numeral to show the amount counted.
  • Combining two sets of objects to find the total.
  • Estimation and checking results.

Shape, space and measure.                                        

  • Positional language. 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc
  • 2D shape/3D shape and their properties.
  • 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. After extensive research, we have decided to use a " deconstucted " role play area in Term 3 to encourage the children to develop their own play rather than restricting it to one theme. 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 fabulous learning that has taken place and we are excited to see you sharing observations from home with us too. 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 therefore no crisps or chocolate are to be bought into school.

We operate an "Open Classroom" policy in Hedgehog Class. We are always around at the end of the day, so please feel free to pop in and see us if you have any concerns or queries, or equally if you have exciting news to share or just want a chat! Many thanks for all your support.

Best wishes,

Mrs Kate Frost and Mrs Donna Leader.