Topic for the Term

This term our topic is:

‘How Many Colours in a Carnival?’

We will be learning all about different cultures and countries, and how they celebrate different events, as well as the changes of our features as we grow. During the term we will be visiting Drusillas Zoo, attending a Samba workshop and organising our very own Pennthorpe carnival for all parents and families to attend.

You can see more detail in our topic tree here.


The homework tasks, sent home each week in your child’s Learning Journal, will continue to help reinforce the learning that has taken place in the classroom, as well as keeping you informed about your child’s learning journey. These will come home every Friday, to be completed by the following Wednesday, unless otherwise specified. The children are still expected to read to an adult daily and we ask that you record this reading in children’s reading records. Every time your child reads twice, they move up a planet on our special Reading rocket wall. Once they reach the outer-most planet, Pluto, they will receive a prize of their choice. We use this as an incentive to get them to read as much as possible!


We are so pleased with the progress the children have made in reading so far this year and it is really important to keep up daily reading, as part of an ongoing routine. The following are suggestions for accessing reading material.

  1. (Free)
  2. (This requires a subscription, however, your child can continue progressing at their reading level with a variety of books. Please contact us if you are unsure what colour/level your child is currently at. NB. this will be different to your child’s RWI colour band.)
  3. (Free)


Our first class trip will be to Drusillas Zoo on Tuesday 16th January. And to end our topic with a bang, Year 1 will be organising a special Carnival Day for all families to attend on Friday 22nd March.

We’re so excited to be able to offer the children some real-world experience of what they are learning in school. Trips are a brilliant way of making learning more tangible and memorable, as they enable the children to engage with the material in a more active and immersive way than can often be possible in the classroom. They are a powerful tool for broadening the children’s horizons, and also a lot of fun; we cannot wait to enjoy these days out over the Spring Term!

More information will follow nearer to the dates.

Health & Wellbeing

Please ensure your child is well enough to attend school each day. If they’ve required Calpol in the morning, they aren’t well enough for school, so please don’t send them in. If in any doubt, please contact Matron to discuss your concerns.

Please can we remind you that water bottles will be sent home on Friday each week to be washed and returned on Monday. It is very important that the children drink water throughout the day and bottles help prevent spillages! If you do forget a bottle, just let us know and we can ensure that children have a cup to drink from.

Year 1 Routine

Children may be brought to the Year 1 classrooms via the rear classroom doors between 8:20am – 8:30am for registration, which takes place at 8:30am so please make sure your child is in school ready to start by this time. Children arriving earlier should be booked in for breakfast from 7:30am or join our Early Birds in the Pre-Prep Hall from 8:00am. When the children enter their classroom in the morning, we will ask them to take responsibility for putting their own belongings away. This will help us to create a calm start to the day and enable us to begin lessons quickly.

Collection at the end of the day is at 3.30pm. Please wait to meet your child outside the Year 1 classrooms at the rear of the Pre-Prep building, and make sure your child has ‘blobbed out’ with their teacher.

Children in Reception, and Years 1 & 2 may remain supervised in class until 4:00pm in ‘Free Fun Club’. If they are going to Supper Club, or a hobby, the children will be taken to that directly from the classroom. 

If you’d like your child to join us for breakfast, or stay beyond 3:30pm for hobbies or after school supervision/supper club, please contact to arrange this.

Dates for your Diary

As well as your pocket-sized diary, parents can also view the Spring Term calendar via the website and Parent Portal.

Please do have a look through and pop important dates in your diary.  Of course, sometimes plans need to be updated, and so any changes will be updated on our electronic calendar and communicated to you as soon as possible.

The key events for our Year 1 parents include:

  • Parents are invited to come along to our informal ‘Tea & Talk’ session with the Pre-Prep team on Thursday 11th January at 8:30am.
  • The Year 1 children will visit Drusillas Zoo on Tuesday 16th January.
  • If you are interested in finding out more about the Prodigy Programme, we will be hosting an information evening on Tuesday 23rd January at 7:00pm and Thursday 25th January at 8:30am.
  • The Year 1 Showcase & Celebration Huddle will be held on Friday 26th January at 10:30am.
  • Parents are invited to our PSHEE Tea & Talk for Reception to Year 4 on Thursday 1st February.
  • Parents of children in Years 1 & 2 are invited to attend a Read Write Inc. & Phonics Workshop on Monday 5th February at 9:00am.
  • All our parents are invited into school to Come & See What We Do Afternoon on Friday 1st March.
  • We will celebrate World Book Day on Thursday 7th March. The children are invited to dress up as their favourite book character for the day.
  • Parents are invited to our Year 1 Carnival Day on Friday 22nd March.
  • The Pre-Prep Easter Service at Holy Trinity Church will take place on Tuesday 26th March.
  • Wednesday 27th March is the end of term with school finishing for Year 1 children at 11:50am.

FoP events

Our brilliant Friends of Pennthorpe, as always, will be doing lots to support our school and community this term. Key things for you to watch out for include:

  • Bags of Support Collections on Friday 12th January and Friday 22nd March.
  • Please save the date for the FoP Quiz & Curry Night on Friday 2nd February.
  • The Friends of Pennthorpe Mother’s Day Shop will open it’s doors on Tuesday 5th March.
  • Pop Up Second Hand Uniform Shop on Tuesday 12th March.
  • After-school Tuck Shop on Friday 15th March.


With the continuing cold weather, please can you ensure your child has a named Pennthorpe hat, scarf and gloves in school each day.

The children should also have their play coat, waterproof clothing and wellies in school at all times, as we will get outside in all weathers at break times, as well as for our Forest School session on a Thursday (you may want to pack an extra pair of socks on these days just in case!). If things get particularly muddy, these will be sent home to be washed, but please can they be returned to school as soon as possible.

As per last term, on a Monday and Thursday, the children have their Games and PE lessons.  On these days, we ask that the children come to school wearing their Games Kit to reduce the amount of time spent changing. Normal uniform is not required at all on these days. Please note that in Year 1 kit is now in-line with the whole school sports kit – please see here for more information.

Swimming is on a Friday afternoon, and the children will be taken to Billingshurst Leisure Centre by minibus and return in time for school pick up time. A reminder that ALL children need a swimming hat as part of their kit, and boys should wear elastic ties unless they are able to tie their own. All children will swim unless there is a medical reason that has been discussed with your Class Teacher and Matron.

Please ensure that all items of uniform are named, including water bottles, shoes, wellies and trainers.

If you have any uniform requirements, please place an order via our website here. You can also book an appointment at the Uniform Shop by contacting or drop in during the times below:

  • Monday 8:30am – 9:30am
  • Tuesday 3:30pm – 4:30pm
  • Wednesday 3:30pm – 4:30pm
  • Thursday CLOSED
  • Friday 8:30am – 9:30am

Car park

Please do not park in the drop-off lanes at the front of school if you are coming past the gates to drop your child into school, or collect them from the Pre-Prep. These lanes are intended for dropping-off only!

Instead, please park up in the car park, or find a safe place to park on the neighbouring roads (being considerate of our neighbours, especially with regards parking near to junctions or driveways).

Mrs Jackson is available at the start of the day to help children to walk from the front of school down to the Pre-Prep independently of parents. Mrs Jackson always has some ‘Independent Iggy’ stickers to reward children for being grown up and independent 🙂

Our Wellbeing Ambassadors, who are children in Year 8, are also available to support families at the busy drop off time by walking children from Reception to Year 2 down to the Pre-Prep.

Please do use these options if you are in a rush and need to drop your child and leave.