St Michael'sChurch of England Primary School

Sandhurst, Berkshire

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Our first morning in Ducklings!

Welcome to Ducklings

The Ducklings is our Reception EYFS class for children who will have their 5th birthday in the academic year between 1st September and the 31st August. All the children start school together in September, with an option to go home at lunchtime until Christmas. By January all pupils are full time. There is a maximum of 30 children in the class with 3 members of staff every morning and 2 every afternoon.


The Ducklings have a rich and exciting curriculum with weekly visits to the local woodlands for an entire morning, or to a local care home to learn alongside their 'older friends' for an afternoon. They go on frequent trips further afield, visiting farms, museums, churches, theatres, parks and finally the seaside for a family day out at the end of the year. We are firmly of the belief that learning does not have to take place in the classroom and we embrace the outdoor life, whatever the weather!


The Ducklings are very much a part of the wider school, and the whole school trip in their second or third week of school gives them and their families a sense of being a real member of the St. Michael's community. We welcome parents and grandparents into the Ducklings classroom at all times and on our many trips. 


The Ducklings receive a letter from a buddy in Year 5 before they start school and their buddy greets them and plays with them on their summer afternoon visit to the school. The relationship  continues to flourish as they meet the again on the first day of school and know that they always have someone to look out for them in the playground.


Ducklings is an exciting but safe place for the children and their parents to flourish and form friendships to last a lifetime. Our children make excellent academic progress and most of all enjoy their childhood.


Timings of the school day

Ducklings should arrive in the classroom between 8.40 and 8.50, through the big blue arch doorway.

Pick up time, from the same door, is at 3.15. There will always be a member of the Ducklings staff on the door if you need to tell us anything or ask questions. If anyone other than a parent is going to pick up your child please let us know.

If you feel your child will find a whole day too long at first, you have the option of collecting him/her from the office at 12pm each day.


Lunch and snack

Lunches can be ordered in advance online, or by your child in the classroom. The Ducklings staff will be eating with the children in the dining hall for the first term. Children are never made to eat things they do not like but are often inspired by their peers to try new things.

Fruit will be provided daily and milk is free until your child is 5, when you have the option to pay.

The children will cook in class throughout the year. Please ensure we know of any food allergies.


PE Kit

Our PE coach, Mr Louis, comes on Wednesdays so the children should come to school in their PE kit every Wednesday.

On Fridays we spend the mornings in the woods so the children will need to come to school in PE kits again, with weather appropriate footwear and outwear. We go whatever the weather!


Spare clothes

It is a good idea for all children to have a small drawstring bag on their peg at all times with some spare pants and socks and a spare pair of tracksuit trousers, in case of 'accidents' or inclement weather.

PLEASE NAME ALL ITEMS OF CLOTHING! Things often go missing and turn up on the wrong child. If clothes are named they will find their way back to you.


What to bring to school

The Ducklings need to bring their blue book bag and school bottle (water only please) to school each morning. The bottles leak if they are put in the book bags so please carry them separately.



The Ducklings will bring home a blue phonics homework book each day in order to 'teach' you the letter sound they have learnt and for you to help them practise their letter formation. There is absolutely no doubt that the children who do this homework, for a maximum of 10 minutes a day, at home from the beginning make faster progress than those who do not. They learn that both their teachers and their parents are working together and have the same expectations. This should be a fun and positive activity and you can use coloured pens or stickers to encourage your child. Please only use letter sounds, not letter names. If you are not sure of these, this video will help.

Pencil grip is very important. The first part of this video is helpful to show you the correct grip. (The end of the video is not relevant to Ducklings)


Learning to read

We have a well-established order for learning the skills to read.

  • The children first learn the letter sounds, one a day in school.
  • Then they have simple words, learning to blend letters together to read.
  • Then they get their reading books which are changed every couple of days.
  • They start to learn tricky words which cannot be 'sounded out'.

If children come to Ducklings already reading this will quickly be identified and they will be moved to the appropriate stage. They will still be required to practise their letter formation in their homework book.



Your child will bring home a storysack on Mondays. You can keep it for 1 or 2 weeks, enjoying the stories and playing the games. Please only return Storysacks on Monday as this is the day Mrs Hill is in to change them and issue new ones.



We use the White Rose maths scheme to teach maths throughout the school. The scheme concentrates on developing a deeper understanding rather than racing through number work. Playing games like Frustration, Dominoes or dice games will really help your child at home.


Parent Helpers

We love to work as closely as possible with our families and look forward to the time when we can welcome you into the classroom so you can see how we operate. Just for now we have been advised not to have extra adults in class, but as soon as we can we will let you know.



This Ducklings class page will be updated with photos and news as time goes on. Do please keep an eye on it!

Class Teachers: Mrs Gill Evans

Support Staff: Mrs Erica Malone  Mrs Mandy Bearman Mrs Sophie Eckersall

PE Teacher: Mr Louis

Volunteer Helper: Mrs Dorothy Hill


Useful websites


Useful Information

You might find these books helpful at home:

Usborne Wipe clean lower case letters

Usborne wipe clean 3 letter words to copy