7th December 2018


Dear Parents,

Although we are nearing the end of the autumn term, we have a few very busy weeks ahead – particularly with lots of performances and festivities in the lead-up to Christmas.  Please check the dates list at the end of this newsletter so that you are aware of what is happening, and we look forward to seeing you at any events you are able to attend.  

In the event of severe weather (although it is still relatively mild at present), we have, on occasions, been forced to close because there are insufficient staff available to run the school without jeopardising the health and safety of pupils.

If the school has to close, we will endeavour to make a decision by 7.45 am on that day.  Parents will be informed by the following methods:

  • A message will be posted on the school website.
  • Information will be relayed to and broadcast on local radio stations

BBC RADIO BERKSHIRE broadcasts on 104.1, 95.4, 94.6 FM & DAB,

HEART broadcasts on 97.0 FM

The school will also send out a text message by 8.15 am if the school is to close.


November’s Superstars are: Lisa-Marie Jones, Jessica Yates, Harry Orr, Amelia Cartwright, Jenna Mortimer, Tyler Ritchie, Joshua Marshall, Finley Mott, Mia Kelly, Connie Gaskill, Katie Sealey and Finn Sommer. You should be very proud of your hard work – well done!


November’s Superstars are: Jessica Yates, Jack Ross, Tristan Pert, Edward Rutter, Alfie Sommer, Neil Ayres, Joseph Spackman, Jessica Lewis, George Glossop, Luke Edwards and Daniel Hayes. Well done – what a lot of brilliant writers!

A special well done to Jessica Yates for being awarded both the writer and mathematician award this month – you must be working very hard!


Our next parents’ forum is on Tuesday 11th December from 6.00 – 6.30 pm.

DRESS-UP DAY FOR CHILDREN IN NEED – A BIG THANK YOU                                                                  

The School Council are delighted to announce that our dress-up day raised over £500 for Children in Need! We would like to say a very big thank you to all the children (and staff!) who dressed up in their pyjamas to raise money.

Mrs Layton Matthews and Miss Edwards

RudOlph RAVE!             

   It’s that time of year again! The whole school will meet on the middle playground at 9.15am on the last day of term (weather permitting!) Friday 21st December, and each year group will take it in turns to lead the school in a dance to a festive song. The children will then partake in hot chocolate in the school hall, one year group at a time. Parents are very warmly welcomed to attend the Rudolph Rave on the middle playground, and are very much encouraged to join in with the dancing! The children are welcome to wear Christmas jumpers and accessories if they would like to.


The EYFS and KS1 Christmas Card Box can be found in the corridor outside Year 1 and Year 2. The KS2 Christmas Card Box can be found in the corridor outside the library. Please can all the cards have the child’s first name and the first initials of their surname along with their class name, to make it easier for our little delivery helpers.


A reminder about the videoing of Christmas plays.  Parents and carers can only use photographs and videos taken at a school event for their own personal use.  Such photos and videos cannot be sold and must not be put on the web/internet/social networking sites due to data protection legislation. If you do decide to video or take photographs of the school play, then please use your camera and/or video courteously.  Thank you for your co-operation.


A polite reminder that no dogs, big or small, are allowed on the school grounds.


In order to protect children who have nut allergies, Owlsmoor is a nut-free school.  Please ensure that you do not provide your child with nuts in their lunchbox, for example peanut butter or Nutella sandwiches.  Thank you for your help in keeping all of our children safe.


We only allow children to have water at break times rather than flavoured waters or squash.  They may have juice in their lunchbox however.  Break-time snacks are allowed but should only consist of fruit or vegetables. Fruit-based biscuits/bars etc are only allowed at lunchtime as part of their packed lunch. Children should not have sweets in their packed lunches. Thank you.


We have had many complaints from local residents and school parents that people are exceeding the 20mph limit around the school and that parents are increasingly stopping/parking on the zig zag and triangular white lines causing congestion. Please do not park or stop on any of the road markings outside the school, they are specifically placed to aid traffic flow and for the safety of your children. Please also do not park across our neighbours’ drives, or on the curbs as pushchairs etc cannot get through. Thank you.


As a reward for gaining the most house points this term, the winning house will be rewarded with a Christmas DVD and popcorn in the hall on Thursday 20th December. The winning team will be announced in assembly on Monday 17th December. If you do not wish your child to have popcorn or to participate in the house treat, please can you let your child’s class teacher know.


The last Judo of this term will be Monday 10th December and returns in the spring term on Monday 14th January 2019 at 8am. Years 1-6 welcome. £50 for the tuition and £5 for the kit hire.  Thank you.


The last netball training for Y5/Y6 children will take place on Thursday 13th December. Rachel and I would like to thank all players for turning up regularly each week – you are already showing huge improvement – and would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas.

Mrs Fish


Please find the list of clubs on offer for the spring term at the back of this newsletter. All clubs will start the week commencing 14th January 2019 (unless told otherwise).


Once again we have accumulated a massive amount of lost property.  The lost property cupboard can be found near the school library, so please feel free to come and have a look to see if any of your children’s lost clothing is in there. In order to try and reduce the amount of unclaimed items, please make sure that all clothing is named and then we can return it to its rightful owner.  Thank you.


We are aware that many of you will be very busy with your Christmas shopping over the next few weeks. As books are always a popular and worthwhile choice of present for children, we have put together a list of books that we would recommend for each year group, which may be of use to you (please find at the end of the newsletter). In particular, we have included a number of ‘classics’, as well as poetry and non-fiction, which are high quality texts and would support your child’s reading development. Please note – some of the recommendations are books which would need to be read to the child, rather than them reading them independently. We hope the list is helpful to you – happy reading!


Further to the successful Summer Fete (which raised just over £3400!), we have had a number of fundraising activities this term: 2p Battle ~ £350; Bags2school ~ £170; Christmas Cards ~ £900; School Disco ~ £1000. In addition we raised just over £2500 at the fireworks event which is fantastic, especially considering the miserable weather! Many thanks to all the volunteers before, during and after the event.  Please also pass on our gratitude to family & friends who helped that are not directly associated to the school.

We have funded a number of ‘nice to have’ things for the children which include:

KS1 & EYFS Christmas Books; Whole School Christmas Boxes (containing items for wet play and their Christmas parties); Whole School French Day - both the Cafe and Dictionaries; KS2 - Year group Thesauruses; KS1 - Year group Outdoor Chalk Boards.

We really appreciate your continued support.  There are a number of exciting funding requests that will be realised in the near future, details to follow in the New Year!

As always, there are ongoing fundraisers & events in the pipeline. Many hands make light work so if you can spare an hour or two to help and would like to be more involved please get in touch.

Many Thanks,

The PTA Committe


Nursery (Puffins)

We are now in full Christmas mode creating wonderful Christmas masterpieces for you all!

We have also been busy learning the songs for our Nativity, ‘Away in a Manger’, which will be performed at St George’s Church on Friday 14th December.  On this occasion, we would like you to take your child directly to the church for 9:00am, where they will then be dressed for the play. The performance will begin at 10:00am. We look forward to seeing you there.

Those children who do not normally attend a Friday session, or who only attend on a Friday morning can be collected from the church after the performance.  Children who normally attend on a Friday afternoon will be walked back to nursery by members of staff and parent helpers. We would like to ask that all costume requests are brought into the nursery by Monday 10th December.

We will be organising a Christmas Party for the children on Wednesday 19th December. If your child doesn’t attend the Wednesday afternoon session, they are welcome to join us from 1:00pm. Details of food requests and clothing will be on the nursery door nearer the time. The party will start for all nursery children at 1:00pm and will finish at 3:00pm. 

We also have the Rudolf Rave on the 21st December, starting at 9.15am.  There are more details for this event within this newsletter.  Again if your child is not in on that day, you and your child are more than welcome to join in the celebrations with us. On this day, the children can wear Christmas jumpers. For those children attending on the 21st December, the school will close at 2:00pm.

Gentle reminders: Every child needs a named water bottle in school and please can you ensure your child’s clothing is labelled. The weather is very cold now, so please can your child wrap up with coat, scarf, hat and gloves. 

Finally we wish you an enjoyable and hopefully restful Christmas. We look forward to seeing the children refreshed and ready for the new term in January. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us.

Miss Edwards, Miss Sandy and Mrs Toal


The children have really enjoyed our topics this half term. They have learnt about ‘Religious Celebrations’ and ‘Autumn’. Next half term the children will be learning about ‘Winter’, ‘Traditional and Modern Day Tales’ and ‘Chinese New Year.’

We have noticed that a lot of reading records are not being completed daily, indicating that reading homework is not being done.  Please could we remind you that your child should be reading every day and practising their letters by writing them in their green books each week.  Please encourage them to continue to read over the Christmas period, our local library has a good selection of reading books. A good way to practise writing their names, is with Christmas card writing over the festive season.

Our Christmas nativity ‘The Little Angels’ today was a huge success – thank you all for taking the time to come in to watch and for all the costumes. They have also performed two dress rehearsals for KS1, Nursery and KS2 children. Well done Reception children!

We will be having our Christmas party on Wednesday 19th December, where we will have a visit from Father Christmas and we will play some party games.  The children can come to school dressed in their party clothes on this day but please ensure they are warmly dressed for play time. A list of party food will be put up shortly on each classroom door and we would appreciate it if you could sign up for 1 or 2 items. Thank you so much in advance.

Please remind your children to continue to bring in water bottles every day and a separate juice carton for lunch times only, if they would like.

Finally, we would all like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Mrs Layton–Matthews, Miss Grant and Mrs Bryan

Year 1

We cannot believe the children have almost completed their first term in Year 1. We are impressed with the enthusiasm they have shown towards their learning and the work that they have produced.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the children are expected to read at home at least four times a week. Please make sure this is recorded in your child’s reading diary so that they receive their extra play on a Friday.

Year 1 will be having their Christmas party on Wednesday 19th December. Children are invited to wear their party clothes to school on this day. A letter about party food will be sent out in due course.

We will be joining forces with Year 6 for a Christmas concert consisting of singing and dancing. There will be two performances on Tuesday 18th December at 9.15am and 2.30pm. You should all have received a note regarding costumes.  Please contact your class teacher if there are any issues regarding this.

Finally we would like to thank you for your continued support and wish you all a very Happy Christmas.

Year 1 Team

Year 2

Can you believe it’s almost Christmas, where has this year gone? Many thanks to the parents who supported their children in the handbell performance this week. The handbell group will continue to run throughout the year for those who are already members (or for any other Year 2 children who wish to join). We are also excited to announce our Christmas nativity service this month. It will be hosted at St. George’s Church and will begin at 9:30 am on Thursday 13th December. We would be grateful for some volunteers to walk with us to the church (please contact your class teacher) and we look forward to seeing you there.  If your child does have a speaking part, please can you help them learn their words.  All of the children will have a special role to play but only some will need costumes and we will put a note in your child’s reading record if this is the case.

We have a busy few weeks ahead of us, including our Year 2 party at the end of term, which will be on Thursday 20th December.  We would like all of the children to come to school dressed in their party clothes for this.  We will be sending out letters asking for party food soon and we wanted to remind you to only send quantities of items suitable for 6-8 children. 

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

Year 2 Team

Year 3

The children had a super time on their trip to Kew Gardens. The learning experience gave the children a chance to put their fieldwork skills to the test as we measured soil temperature, humidity, sun light and the moisture in the soil. We then compared these measurements to those of a tropical rainforest when we went inside the palm house. The children experienced high humidity for themselves as they all began sweating and had to take off coats and jumpers! All of the children also went on the treetop walk, a metal walkway high up in the trees, to get a feel for life in the canopy layer of a rainforest. On the journey home a number of children commented on how much they had enjoyed the day, which was wonderful to hear and a great way to end an enjoyable topic. In the spring term, our history topic will be ‘Stone Age to Iron Age’ and our science topic will be ‘Rocks and Soils’.

There is a lot happening towards the end of this term so please check the ‘important dates’ listed at the end of the newsletter for whole school events. Both Year 3 classes will be celebrating the Christmas season with class parties on Thursday 20th December; we will be sending letters home with further details shortly.

We will also be rewarding the children’s hard work this term with a class treat on Friday 21st December. Children are invited to bring their pyjamas or onesies in a bag to school and bring a teddy or cushion if they wish. They will then choose a Christmas film to watch. Teachers will

provide crisps, popcorn and squash as a treat during the film. Please let your child’s teacher know if you would prefer them not to have those food or drink items.

Thank you for your continued support this term and we politely request that you keep hearing your child read during the holiday. It is very important that your child reads regularly and understands what they have read. You can help check their understanding by asking them to summarise what they have read in their own words and by asking questions about what they have read. If you are thinking about books as Christmas gifts, you might like to gain inspiration by looking at our list of suggested quality texts at the end of this newsletter. Most importantly, children should read for enjoyment so, as well as story books, they might like to look at non-fiction texts, comics or newspapers.

Finally, we would like to wish you all very happy Christmas break and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Mrs Fish, Miss Barton and Mrs Walden

Year 4

The children have greatly enjoyed their research into the bread industry (mainly the tasting) and have now designed their own bread.  As per the letter we sent out, we will be making the bread in school on Thursday 13th Dec. The ingredients for the dough itself will be provided by the school, but we ask that the small amounts of your child’s specific chosen ingredients (written on the letter) are brought in to school that morning. Many thanks for your support with this.   

We have found that some children are changing their reading books very frequently.  As we discussed with you at parents’ evening, we are focussing on comprehension.  To make sure they have really read and understood their book, we would like parents to write in their reading records when they have questioned their child on the text.  If you require support on the type of questions you could ask, please talk to your class teacher.

Unsurprisingly, there are lots of events and activities rapidly approaching as we draw near to Christmas; so please check the ‘important dates’ listed at the end of the newsletter for whole school events. Each of the Year 4 classes will be holding Christmas parties on Thursday 20th December; we will be sending letters home shortly with more details. 

If any of you are available to help with listening to children read, we would very much appreciate it.  You will need to be DBS checked but this can be sorted out by the school office.

We hope that when the time comes round, you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and we look forward to reuniting in the spring term once we are all well-fed and refreshed.

Year 4 team

Year 5

We have really enjoyed studying the Greeks this term, particularly our visit from Athena (Goddess of Wisdom and Literature). Over the next 2 weeks, the children will be continuing their work on Greek mythology by making Trojan Horses in our DT lessons. Well done to Emus for a fantastic assembly on Ancient Greece. We all learned lots of information and we are looking forward to Ostriches’ and Kiwis’ assemblies later on in the school year.  

Thank you for your support with reading, spellings and homework this term – the children have really benefitted from this. Please continue to support your child in these areas in the last few weeks and over the holidays.

Next year we will be studying the Vikings in our ‘Vicious Vikings’ topic. If your child would like to conduct some independent research on the topic over the holidays, we look forward to hearing about what they have found out in January.

There is a lot happening towards the end of this term so please check the ‘important dates’ listed at the end of the newsletter. Each Year 5 class will be celebrating the Christmas season with a party on Thursday 20th December; we will be sending letters home shortly with more details.  Have a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Miss Poulter, Miss Parkinson and Miss Hipkin

Year 6

This term, the children have really enjoyed exploring the First World War and have created some amazing writing, art work and topic work on this tragic period in history. We are looking forward to next term, when we will be starting our study of Macbeth in English and our topic of English Monarchs. We will begin by looking at the reign of Henry VIII and moving onto Victoria I later in the term.

Christmas is nearly upon us and, inevitably, with the festive season comes a hectic schedule – particularly in the final weeks. Please take a note of the diary dates – letters have been sent out regarding each event:

Monday 10th December 7pm-9pm, Christmas Disco exclusively for Year 6 pupils (tickets required at a cost of £3); please note that Year 6 have this event instead of having a class party. 

Year 1 and Year 6’s Christmas show is on Tuesday 18th December at 9.15 and 2.30pm. It will be held in the school hall and tickets are required as space is limited. All children should now know their parts and whether or not they require a costume. If there are any problems, please contact us as soon as possible. All costumes need to be in by Monday 10th December ready for dress rehearsals later in the week.

Over the Christmas holiday, we will be setting a small project for the children to compete alongside the usual reading and spelling expectations. This has been sent out today so that the children have plenty of time to complete it with minimal impact on their Christmas activities.

We would also like to remind parents that, as the weather begins to get colder, children need to bring a pair of jogging bottoms in their PE kit, as we will be outside for PE as much as possible.

Lastly, a further reminder that Mill Rythe payments can still be made at the school office. We will let you know of the final payment due date in the New Year.

Thank you for your support this term and we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Year 6 team.

All that remains is for me to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy 2019. Have a restful holiday and see you all next term.

Yours sincerely

EA Cole (Mrs)


DIARY DATES: (new dates or information in bold) 

Monday 10th December                            Year 6 Disco 7pm-9pm

Tuesday 11th December                            Parents’ Forum 6.00 – 6.30 pm

Thursday 13th December                           Y2 Christmas play – 9.30 am at the church

Friday 14th December                                Nursery nativity – 10.00 am at the church

Tuesday 18th December                            Y1 & Y6 Christmas Play – 9.15 am & 2.15 pm

Wednesday 19th December                    Nursery & Reception Christmas Party 1pm

                                                                        Year 1 Christmas Party

Thursday 20th December                         Year 2 Christmas Party

                                                                        Year 3 Christmas Party

                                                                        Year 4 Christmas Party

                                                                        Year 5 Christmas Party

Friday 21st December                                 Rudolph Rave 9.15am


Monday 7th January                                    Inset Day

Tuesday 8th January                                  Pupils return to school

Wednesday 23rd January                         Kites’ Class Assembly 9am

Friday 25th January                                   Penguins’ Class Assembly 9am

Friday 1st February                                    Chaffinches’ Class Assembly 9am

Wednesday 6th February                          Flamingos’ Class Assembly 9am

Friday 8th February                                    Year 5 Production 9.15am


Monday 18th Feb – Friday 22nd Feb       Half term

Monday 25th Feb                                         Back to school









Dear Zoo

Rod Campbell

Each Peach Pear Plum

Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg


Julia Donaldson

Peace At Last

Jill Murphy

The Rainbow Fish

Marcus Pfister

Room on the Broom

Julia Donaldson

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

Pam Adams

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Michael Rosen

Handa’s Surprise

Eileen Browne


Shirley Hughes


David McKee

Guess How Much I Love You

Sam McBratney




Year 1





The Cat in the Hat

Dr Seuss

The Smartest Giant in Town

Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo’s Child

Julia Donaldson

The Jolly Postman

Allan Ahlberg

Charlie and Lola

Lauren Child

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

Jon Scieszka

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Judith Kerr

Amazing Grace

Mary Hoffman


Allan Ahlberg

Hairy Maclary

Lynley Dodd

The Trouble With Jack

Shirley Hughes

Non-fiction: Topic Books (e.g. Old Toys, Homes in the Past); Children’s First Atlas. 

Poetry: Nursery Rhymes (Usborne or Puffin), Twinkle Twinkle Chocolate Bar (John Foster)



Year 2





The Diary of a Killer Cat

Anne Fine

The Magic Finger

Roald Dahl

The Famous Five

Enid Blyton

Horrid Henry

Francesca Simon

The Worst Witch

Jill Murphy

Fantastic Mr Fox

Roald Dahl

Charlotte’s Web

E. B. White

Mr Magnolia

Quentin Blake

The Sheep Pig

Dick King Smith

A Bear Called Paddington

Michael Bond

Non-fiction: The First Encyclopaedia of Science (Usborne)


Poetry: Please Mrs Butler (Alan Ahlberg), Revolting Rhymes (Roald Dahl)





Year 3





Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Roald Dahl

The Firework Maker’s Daughter

Phillip Pullman

How to Train your Dragon

Cressida Cowell


Dick King-Smith

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

Stig of the Dump

Clive King

Flat Stanley

Jeff Brown

Voices in the Park

Anthony Browne

Oliver and the Seawigs

Phillip Reeve

The Great Kapok Tree 

Lynne Cherr

The Enchanted Wood

Enid Blyton

Non-fiction: Skara Brae (Dawn Finch); The History Detective Investigates: Stone Age to Iron Age (Clare Hibbert); Meet the Ancient Romans (James Davies); Eye Witness: Ancient Rome.  


Poetry: The Lost Words (Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris); I Like This Poem: A classic anthology (Edited by Kaye Webb). 





Year 4





The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

C S Lewis

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters

John Steptoe


Roald Dahl

The Dragon's Child

Jenny Nimmo

The Reluctant Dragon

Kenneth Grahame

Little House on the Prairie

Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Sea Piper

Helen Cresswell


Henrietta Branford

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

Joan Aiken

The Demon Headmaster

Gillian Cross

Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

Robert C O’Brien

Non-fiction: Lesser Spotted Animals (Martin Brown); 100 events in History (Jo Cottrill and Cathy Brett).


Poetry:  Dragon Poems (John Foster & Korky Paul)





Year 5





Harry Potter series


Listen to the Moon

Michael Morpurgo


Roald Dahl

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Rick Riordan


Antony Horowitz

The Box of Delights

John Masefield

The Iron Man

Ted Hughes

The Neverending Story

Michael Ende

Tom’s Midnight Garden

Phillipa Pearce

Whistling in the Dark

Shirley Hughes

The Owl Service

Alan Garner

Non-fiction: The Vicious Vikings (Horrible Histories)


Poetry:   The Puffin Book of Utterly Brilliant Poetry




Year 6





Goodnight Mr Tom

Michelle Magorian

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens


Louis Sachar


David Almond

A Stitch in Time

Penelope Lively

Dark Materials series

Philip Pullman

Carrie’s War

Nina Bawden

The Borrowers

Mary Norton

The Sword in the Stone

TH White

Inkheart series

Cornelia Funke

The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett

Treasure Island

R.L. Stevenson

Tell Me No Lies

Malorie Blackman

Lion Boy

Zizou Corder

The Hobbit

J.R.R Tolkien

Why the Wales Came

Michael Morpurgo

Charmed Life

Diana Wynne Jones

My Sister Jodie

Jacqueline Wilson

The Stones are Hatching

Geraldine McCaughrean

The Girl of Ink and Stars

Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Black Beauty

Ann Sewell

Non-fiction: Boy (Roald Dahl); Going Solo (Roald Dahl)


Poetry:   The Puffin Book of Utterly Brilliant Poetry







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