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Welcome to Reception Class!

Our Class Teachers are Mrs Watson & Mrs Wiltshire

Our Teaching Assistants are Mrs Parkins & Ms Field

Non- Negotiables for Reception

Pronunciation of sounds


Half-Termly Curriculum Letters

Brilliant Books 

For the Spring term we will be having 'Brilliant Books' every Friday. This is an opportunity for your child to bring in their favourite story or book from home. The book will be read to class and your child will be able to explain what they love about the story and answer any questions other pupils may have. Please look at the rota below and note down which date your child is invited to bring in their book. 



We have been learning all about birds this week! To celebrate the RSPB Big Bird Watch 2023, as a class we looked at a range of non-fiction books and researched lots of different British birds. We looked at photographs and videos of birds such as magpies, robins, red kites, kingfishers, blue tits and more. The children have drawn pictures of birds, written descriptions of them and have also made some bird feeders. We made sure to use biodegradable materials! This week in phonics we have learnt the sounds ur, ow, oi and ear and in maths we learnt about odd and even numbers.

We have had a fantastic time in Reception class this week learning all about Chinese New Year. We learnt that it is the 'Year of the Rabbit' and had fun making bunny headbands. We looked at a map together to find China and learnt that the capital city of China is Beijing. The pupils learnt how to say hello in Chinese (Nǐ hǎo) and made some Chinese lanterns, which we shared in assembly today. In phonics we have learnt the sounds oo, ar and or and in maths we have practised sharing equally.

In Reception class this week, we have been celebrating ‘Winnie-the-Pooh Day’. The children have made honey sandwiches for a tea party and brought in their favourite teddy’s from home. They have written a list of ingredients that they used to make honey sandwiches. They made stick puppets, drew the characters from the story, used their phonics skills to label their work and used a variety of media to make honey pots and moving Eeyore’s. They are very proud of their work.

We have had a wonderful first week back at school.  The children have settled back into our daily routines and are working very hard.  Please can you remind your children to hand their reading books and records in if they need changing.  Can you ensure that reading books and records are in school everyday.

Our key text this week has been The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The children have been developing their expressive arts and design skills. They have used a variety of media to create gruffalos, foxes, owls and snakes.

This week we performed the Nativity. Thank you to all parents and caregivers who came to see the show. The children performed incredibly well and we're all very proud of them!

Today Reception really enjoyed decorating the tree and performing 'Away in a Manger' in sharing assembly.

Away in a Manger

Still image for this video

We have been reading the story 'Beegu' by Alexis Deacon this week. The children enjoyed talking about the story and made some lovely drawings of Beegu. We have also been working very hard on our Nativity performance - perhaps the children are singing the songs we have been practising at home? The pupils all got the opportunity this week to make a special Christmas Tree decoration this week - some very glittery, dazzling pinecones! The children are all looking forward to the dressing of the tree next week.

This week has been World Nursery Rhyme Week. We have enjoyed learning lots of different nursery rhymes and singing them together as a class. In phonics the children have learnt the sounds y, z, zz and qu. In maths we have been using positional language, the pupils particularly enjoyed creating an obstacle course and describing how to travel across the equipment using the different position words we have learnt. The highlight of our week was a visit from Lucas Jet. Reception loved his circus show and enjoyed learning some circus tricks in the workshop afterwards. Please see some photos below from the show and the workshop!

We have continued to learn about space this week and all the children greatly enjoyed our book of the week 'Aliens Love Underpants' by Claire Freedman. The children designed their own underpants, created some playdough aliens with googly eyes and made some 2D shape aliens too! In phonics we covered the sounds j,v,w and x and in maths we have learnt about repeating patterns. The children also learnt about Remembrance Day, creating some beautiful poppy artwork that is now on display in the main hall.

Our book of the week this week was 'Whatever Next' by Jill Murphy. The children have loved role playing the story using some props in our role play area. We have also been busy making stars, rockets and paper mache planets to decorate our new space station. This week we have learnt the sounds l, ll and ss and we have been reading and writing words that contain these sounds. We have also been celebrating bonfire night. The children have created some very beautiful fireworks pictures using paint and glitter. All pupils were very proud to show their lovely artwork during sharing assembly.

We have been celebrating the harvest this week. Thank you to all families who have donated food and goods, we have a fantastic collection that will go to those in need within the local community. The pupils have all done wonderfully in their first half term, this week we have worked hard on using the sounds we have learnt to read and write some simple words. We have learnt the new sounds h,b,f and ff. The children have enjoyed reading 'What the Ladybird Heard' by Julia Donaldson and got creative in the week making their own paper plate ladybird. Today in sharing assembly the children performed our class song 'Conkers'. The video is posted below, we hope you enjoy the perfomance!

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In Reception this week we have been reading 'Farmer Duck' by Martin Waddell. The children have really enjoyed reading and retelling the story. In phonics we have learnt the sounds ck, e, u and r. The children have worked really hard using the sounds they have learnt so far to read and write simple words. This week in maths we have practised comparing amounts and using the words more and less. The children then practised finding one more or one less than a given number up to 10.

In Reception this week we have been reading Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins. In phonics we have learnt the sounds g, o, c, k and have practised blending and segmenting simple 2 and 3 letter words. We have also created this lovely display to welcome people to our classroom. The pupils thought about ways we can make our classroom a happy environment. We wrote the children's suggestions down and created handprints to show that we agree to follow these rules.

This week in Reception we have been reading ‘Peace at Last’. We really enjoyed retelling the story, making lots of different sound effects. We hope you enjoy the recording we have made! In phonics we have been learning the sounds i, n, m and d. In maths we have been practising recognising and ordering numerals to 10, as well as counting objects accurately.

This week we have been reading the story 'Owl Babies' by Martin Waddell. The children enjoyed creating an owl babies painting using paintbrushes, pens and sponges. This week in phonics we have learnt the sounds s, a, t, p and we have practised forming the letters on our whiteboards. The children have worked extremely hard!

The children are settling in well to school. They have enjoyed a variety of activities and are establishing our daily routines. This week we have been celebrating the Queen's life by designing our own crowns and joining in with a whole school project of creating portraits of the Queen.

Our Learning Journey 2021-2022

Friday 15th July

Our book of the week this week has been 'The Knight Who Didn't Fight'. The pupils have enjoyed learning about dragons, colouring pictures and writing dragon stories.  On Thursday, the children enjoyed a morning in their new classroom and today, the children had a well deserved pool party as a reward for their amazing attendance in the spring term! We all had so much fun in the pool. Afterwards, the children had a small picnic of some crisps, strawberries and watermelon. 

We also enjoyed showing our amazing superhero capes in sharing assembly today. The children have worked so hard, all the pupils are incredibly proud of their work - as they should be! 

Friday 8th July

Our book of the week this week has been 'Sugarlump and the Unicorn' by Julia Donaldson. The pupils have enjoyed writing their own unicorn stories and imagining what kind of magical powers a unicorn might have! We have also this week been thinking about all of our amazing achievements throughout the year. The children wrote a piece of independent writing about their favourite moment in Reception. The children had lots of ideas, ranging from creating Chinese dragons to celebrate Chinese New Year, going on a Teddy Bears' picnic, sports day, making superhero capes, posting letters and many more! We have also been discussing changes in preparation for the move to Year 1 and how change can be a bit scary, but it can also be very exciting! 


In phonics this week we have been consolidating our knowledge of all taught graphemes and have been reading short stories as a class. The pupils have located tricky words in the text that we can read automatically and have been 'digraph and trigraph detectives', finding 2 and 3 letter sounds within words. We have also been doing lots of sentence practise, remembering the write on the line and use finger spaces between words.


In maths we have explored money. The pupils have explored the concept of 'value', recognising that some coins are worth more than others. We have practised identifying all the coins and have used our knowledge of counting in 2s, 5s and 10s to quickly work out how much money is in a purse.


A big thank you to all the Reception families who attended our celebration evening - I hope you enjoyed looking at all the children's hard work from the past year. 

Friday 1st July

This week in Reception we have been doing lots of mermaid themed work based around our 'book of the week', The Singing Mermaid by Julia Donaldson. We have looked closely at the characters and setting of the story and enjoyed the rhythm of the book. Children were able to identify different rhyming words in the text and we learnt some new vocabulary, which the children put to good use when role-playing as mermaids or acting out the story using stick puppets. We have started to make our superhero capes too - all pupils in Reception were very excited to use the special fabric paints and pens to write their initial and paint a logo. We still need to add some extra decoration but all the capes are coming along nicely! 


In phonics we are coming to the end of Phase 4 of the Letters and Sounds scheme and will be consolidating the children's learning from now until the end of the year. We will be focusing on reading and writing sentences, combining our knowledge of tricky words and our phonic ability. Please keep practising reading tricky words automatically, using the poster that was sent home at the start of this half term. 


In maths the children have been working on some number and place value skills. We practised identifying 1 and 2 digit numbers and learnt how to tell the difference between -teen numbers (13,14,15...) and -ty numbers (30,40,50...). The children have also practised adding single digit numbers to 10, by looking at pictures of bead strings showing a -teen number and understanding that 15, for example, can be made using 10 and 5. The children then showed their learning by writing number sentences to match the bead string, such as 10 + 5 = 15. 

Friday 24th June

Reception class have greatly enjoyed sports week. The pupils have had the opportunity to take part in a range of different sporting activities and have shown lots of their CHAMP skills. The children have been so determined and motivated but have also shown great fairness and sportsmanship. A few of the activities we have competed in are rhythmic gymnastics, football, relays and sprints, goalball and the long jump. Below are a selection of pictures of Reception class taking part in these events! 


The children are enjoying our fantasy and adventure topic and our 'Book of the Week' has been 'How to Save a Superhero'. The children have written about their favourite superhero and have now designed their very own superhero cape, ready in time for making our own next week. In phonics the children have continued to practise reading and writing words with more than 1 syllable, such as floating, crunching, driftwood and printer. In maths this week, we have revised our knowledge of odd and even numbers and have begun sorting 2 digit numbers into odd and even. The children practised finding doubles and halves and are beginning to understand that they are opposites. 

Friday 17th June

Thank you to all parents that came to our class assembly this week, I think we are all in agreement that the children did a fantastic job! Thank you also for your support in helping your child learn their lines, it made all the difference. Overall it was a such a fun experience for the pupils and a brilliant way to build confidence by performing to children, teachers and parents alike. 


Our book of the week this week has been 'Superheroes don't get scared...or do they?' and it has been a lovely starting point to discuss times we have overcome our own fears. The pupils enjoyed identifying times they have felt scared, but overcame that feeling to achieve something. We have continued to complete many superhero themed activities this week, including designing, naming and writing a special power for their very own supervillain. The children were very creative in their ideas. We also used some lollypop sticks to make some miniature super heroes, role played as superheroes and wrote some sentences about what super power we could love to have ourselves. We have also done lots of outdoor learning in our Reception garden, with the children choosing to make water-channelling systems, play in the digging area or use the mud kitchen. 


In phonics this week the children have been practising reading words that have more than 1 syllable. We practised clapping the syllables in each of our different names and splitting longer words into their syllables to help us to read them. We continue to practise our tricky words each day in class, if you can please use the tricky word practise sheet sent home last week to help develop your child's reading fluency. 


In maths we have started to learn how to count in 2's, 5's and 10's. We practised matching odd socks and then counting in 2's to quickly find out how many socks there were in total. We identified that when we count in 2's, all the numbers are even and that when we count in 10's, all numbers end in zero. 


Friday 10th June

This week we started off our brand new topic - Superheroes! Our book of the week has been 'Supertato' and the children have enjoyed reading the many different adventures of Supertato and Evil Pea. Evil Pea has been getting up to lots of mischief all over Gade Valley school - he left us a message in our register and told us that he'd kidnapped some vegetables and had hidden them all over school! The children enjoyed playing detective and followed clues to help the poor captured vegetables. The following day Evil Pea had trapped some carrots in ice! Reception class did a great job working together to help melt the ice - we discovered that using warm water was one of the best ways to free the carrots. 


We are now working on sounding out and blending more complex words in class - this week we practised reading words beginning with the consonants scr- and str-. You will have also received a poster of all the tricky words that have been taught this year. Please practise reading these words with your child at home, as it will help improve their reading fluency. In maths, we have been learning about difference. We compared amounts of objects, identified which had more or fewer and then had to work out how many more or how many fewer one set had. 


Reception class assembly is next Wednesday 15th June at 9am in the hall. You will be able to enter through the main office. We hope you will be able to make it! 

Friday 27th May 

In Reception we have celebrated the Platinum Jubilee by learning lots about Queen Elizabeth II and about Kenya, one of the commonwealth countries. The pupils have been making crowns and creating paper chains and bunting for our celebrations in class. We also created Kenyan flags, painted African animals and learnt a Kenyan folk song called ‘Jambo Bwana’.


We really enjoyed the Jubilee celebration picnic on Monday along with hearing about other pupils learning in the special Jubilee sharing assembly. Reception shared the Kenyan folk song we had learnt, we performed it to the whole school. Mrs Parkins and Ms Field joined in using a xylophone and some African drums!


The children are currently on Phase 4 of our phonics programme. We have been working hard on sounding out and blending words that have 4 or 5 sounds and lots of consonants (crunch, crept, blink, toast). In maths we have been working on learning how to 'count on'. We have practised solving calculations such as '7 + 5 =' by holding up 5 fingers and counting on from 7 until all our fingers are down. We have also been comparing quantities, using words such as more and fewer and figuring out how many more/how many fewer a particular set may have. 


We hope all our Reception families have a lovely half term and we look forward to welcoming the children back after the half term on Monday 6th June. 


Friday 20th May 

Our book of the week this week has been 'Handa's Surprise' by Eileen Brown. We have learnt that Handa lives in the countryside in Kenya in Africa. As a class, we have looked at maps to identify where Handa lives and where we live in England. We compared the weather - the children learnt that it is much hotter in Kenya than it is where we live! It also started lots of interesting conversations about animals that we may see in Hemel Hempstead and animals you may see in the Kenyan countryside. Unfortunately we don't bump into any monkeys, elephants or giraffes on the way to school in the morning! 


In maths this week the children have been learning some new addition strategies. We have practised 'counting on'. The children have learnt that if you want to solve 6 + 5, you can put 6 in your head and hold 5 fingers up and count on from 6 until all five fingers are down again. Perhaps the children can practise this at home too! The children have also been working hard during P.E. this term. The focus has been on athletics and today the children had to practise collecting different colour cones. Pupils developed their spacial awareness skills by navigating safely through space and around others. The children also enjoyed playing some circle games at the end, particularly trying to move a hula hoop round a circle without letting go of anyone's hands! 

Friday 13th May 

Our book of the week this week has been 'The Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle. We have continued to learn lots about minibeasts and focused this week on the life cycle of a butterfly. The children observed some real caterpillars and we know soon they will create a chrysalis before turning into beautiful butterflies! 

As part of our learning, the children had the opportunity to taste some of the different foods the hungry caterpillar ate. Pupils were encouraged to try plums, apples, pears, strawberries and oranges and describe the appearance and taste of those fruits. Lots of fantastic vocabulary was used, such as "tangy", "juicy", "delicious", "crunchy" amongst others! The children also enjoyed creating their very own hungry caterpillars as part of a creative challenge this week. Pupils used the eggs boxes that the Reception families kindly provided to paint a red head and a green body. The children then enjoyed creating eyes and antennas for their caterpillars by drawing, cutting and sticking. 


In maths we have been learning number bonds to 10. We have looked at different ways of visualising bonds to 10, through ten frames, numicon and cherry models. The children have also used their fingers to help them find the missing number when looking at calculations that add to 10. 

Friday 5th May 

Our book of the week this week has been 'Superworm' and the children have really enjoyed learning all about minibeasts. We have been on minibeast hunts around the reception garden and have found spiders, snails, slugs, ants and flies. The children have learnt about different micro habitats and how minibeasts can help keep them healthy. In maths we have continued to learn about the composition of numbers to 10 and we have been using numicon to help us find different ways to make numbers. For example, we have learnt that 3 and 3 and 1 together makes 7. The children have then explored other ways to make 7 using numicon, such as 2 and 2 and 2 and 1. 


The children loved going to see the ducklings this week. The individual photos are posted below. After we held them, the children produced some lovely drawings and fantastic sentences to describe the ducklings, which we now have proudly displayed in the classroom. 

Friday 29th April 

Our book of the week this week has been 'The Rainbow Fish' and we have used this book to help us learn all about the oceans and different sea creatures. The children have learnt that there are 5 oceans in the world and that most of the planet is actually covered in water! We have looked at the names of the different oceans and having looked at the illustrations we think that Rainbow Fish might live in the Great Barrier Reef in the Pacific Ocean. 


The children have been creative this week and made their very own 'Rainbow Fish'. The children practised their scissor skills and used a variety of different materials to make their fish. We made sure we used some shiny materials too for his special scales. Pupils also practised retelling the story using the puppet theatre and we made our very own reef using some shells and fish in our water tray. 


In phonics we have finished Phase 3 of the letters and sounds scheme and are now moving on to Phase 4. The children are now practising reading and writing sentences, using finger spaces and full stops. In maths we have been working hard on understanding the composition of numbers up to 10. We have been using different representations of number, such as ten frames, the part-whole model and numicon to help us visualise how smaller numbers can combine to make a bigger number. 


We also have visited the ducklings a few times! It will be Reception's turn next Wednesday to hold the ducklings. 

Friday 22nd April 

It was lovely to welcome the children back after the holidays, we hope all our Reception families enjoyed a happy and relaxing break! This week we have started our topic for this half term 'Our Amazing Planet' by thinking about Earth Day 2022. As a class we read the book 'Somebody Swallowed Stanley' about a plastic bag lost in the ocean. The children learnt that sadly there is a lot of rubbish in the oceans and we discovered the importance of the message 'reduce, reuse, recycle'. As a class we thought of ways we can be more 'Earth-friendly'. The children had lots of ideas, such as turning plastic bags into kites or umbrellas, turning off taps and lights when they're not needed, and recycling things instead of putting them in the bin! 


As part of our learning this week, the children made cress-heads and bird feeders using natural materials such as old egg shells, cotton wool, pine cones and jute twine. We picked these as they are bio-degradable. The children really got on board with the message of Earth Day by doing some litter picking across the school using litter pickers and cleaning sea creatures in the water tray that had (pretend) oil spilt on them! We also got a bit creative and made a world out of old green and blue milk bottle lids. 

Friday 1st April  

Reception class have had a lovely time this week completing lots of Easter activities, including the lovely chick hats the children are wearing in the video below. The disco was a great success and we were all very excited when Reception were announced as joint winners of the attendance award! Wow! 


Reception also performed this lovely song in sharing assembly - please have a watch at home. We hope all of our Reception families have a wonderful and relaxing Easter holiday and we look forward to welcoming the children back on Wednesday 20th April. 


Spring Chicken

Still image for this video

Friday 25th March 

We have been enjoying the glorious weather in Reception this week and spending lots of time outside. The children have enjoyed completing many challenges, including water channelling, number and word hunts and some magnetic fishing! We have started celebrating spring by walking over to the woods and making observational drawings of all the lovely daffodils that are currently growing. 


We have continued learning about people who help us, focusing this week on postal workers and thinking about the journey of a letter. We were all amazed when watching a video tour of a royal mail sorting centre! The children liked the machines that all the letters went whizzing through. As part of this learning, the children have written a very special letter. We thought about what we needed to put on the envelope to ensure it arrives where we want it to. The children learnt about addresses, stamps and what a postcode is. This morning we went on our short local walk to post our letters, hopefully they'll arrive in the post by Tuesday or Wednesday next week! 

Friday 18th March 

This week was British Science Week! We celebrated this by completing lots of science experiments in class. One of the first was the bubble machines we made. We found that by blowing air we could create bubbles! The children found this very exciting - we added some food colouring and then took some prints of the bubbles we made. We also thought about floating and sinking. The children developed their scientific thinking by making a prediction (a 'clever guess') as to which objects would float or sink. We then tested our ideas in the water tray outside. We practised thinking like a scientist to try to explain why some things float and some things do not. The children learnt that things that are heavy for their size (like a coin) sink and things that are light for their size (like a piece of driftwood) float. The children have also made 'clouds in a cup' to learn that clouds are made up of water. When these water droplets get too big or heavy, it then rains. We saw this in action by adding food colouring into shaving foam gradually before seeing the food colouring drip down into the bottom of the cup like rain. 


We have also learnt about the Jewish festival of Purim this week. The children made cards and crowns to celebrate and each made a sweet biscuit called a 'hamantaschen'. We used pastry and jam and the children especially enjoyed eating them at the end of the day! 

Friday 11th March 

We returned to our topic of 'People who Help Us' this week, focusing on the role of the police and the emergency services. The children have learnt that you can call 999 in emergency to get through to the three emergency services - the police, fire brigade and ambulance service. This week we have been having lots of fun being detectives - the children had to find the missing teddy bear, searching for and writing down clues along the way. We made some fantastic police badges and wrote some sentences about how the police can help us. The children have particularly enjoyed dressing up and role playing this week as different people who help us. They have been so imaginative and have made police cars from the large construction materials and walkie talkies using card and colouring pencils. 


We were also very lucky to have a special visit from Officer Punter this week! The children were incredibly excited to have a real police officer come and talk to them all about policing. Officer Punter showed the children all the different parts of a police officers uniform - a utility belt, high vis vest, body armour and police helmet. We were able to ask lots of questions about what it is like to be a police officer. The children were also very grateful to receive two Thomas & friends books all about train safety. A big thank you to Officer Punter for coming to see us! If you or someone you know work in a 'People who help us' profession and would be happy to come in, please speak to Mrs Watson. 



In maths this week we have been learning about measures. The children have been investigating length, height, weight and capacity. It was exciting to do some fun capacity and weight investigations and think about the relation between size and weight/capacity. We were amazed to discover that the very tall thin cylinder had less capacity than a normal drinking cup. When we investigated weight, the very large swimming pool float was lighter than a small metal weight! The children enjoyed carrying out more capacity investigations using the water tray outside. 


Friday 4th March

In celebration of World Book Day this week, we have been reading the story 'Sharing a Shell' by Julia Donaldson. The children have enjoyed many activities focusing around this story this week, from enjoying a rockpool made in the water tray to digging for shells in the sand tray. In our literacy based challenges this week the children made stick puppets to help them orally retell the story, using lots of new vocabulary. They also made mini books of their own retelling sharing a shell. In maths, the children made '5' shells and wrote calculations showing all the different ways you can make 5. The children decorated their shells after with sequins and colouring pencils. They also made some fantastic octopuses, by sticking on 8 tentacles, writing the numbers 1-8 and then sticking the corresponding amount of stickers on each tentacle. They came out so well! 


Thank you to all the parents and children for the fantastic effort you made on World Book Day. The costumes were amazing and we made sure we got a photo for each child! During the week we took part in lots of 'buddy reading', where pupils from all the different year groups came to Reception to pair up and read a story. There was also a special assembly for World Book Day where Reception class could show off their fantastic costumes. 

Friday 25th February 

We've had a wonderful first week back in Reception and we have now started our new topic - 'People who Help Us'. We have been focusing on firefighters this week and have thought about fire safety. The pupils enjoyed making some fire pictures using paints, as well as making some firefighter hats! We have also used the large construction equipment to make a fire engine and duplo to make our very own fire stations. The pupils were also very proud this week to produce their first piece of writing in their brand new writing books. All pupils will now be writing once a week in their books and it will be a lovely way to chart their writing progress throughout the rest of the year. 


In maths this week the pupils have been learning how to find half of whole objects and how to find half of amounts. We have learnt lots of new vocabulary, such as part, whole and equal.  To help support this concept, the pupils practised cutting fruit in half. The children made sure they were very careful when cutting to make sure they cut the fruit into 2 equal pieces. 


Friday 11th February 

This week in Reception we have enjoyed sharing the story 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' by Michael Rosen. We have enjoyed many activities based on the story this week, such as making a story map from craft materials, drawing our own bears and making our own 'We're going on a Bear Hunt' mini books. On Wednesday this week the children received a special letter from the bear. He explained that he had lost some of his bear friends in the Reception garden and asked Reception to help him find them. The children had a wonderful time searching the garden for bears friends and ticking off on a clipboard who they had found!  


In maths this week we have been working on finding doubles. We have learnt that a double is twice the amount, and it is when you add the same number twice. We have been practising learning our doubles up to double 5 off by heart! In P.E this week we have been learning how to do a roly-poly and used some of the gymnastics apparatus which the children found very exciting! 


We hope all our Reception families have a relaxing half term holiday and we look forward to welcoming the children back on Monday 21st February. 

Friday 4th February 

This week in class we have celebrated Chinese New Year. We learnt that it is the Year of the Tiger and we had had fun discovering which year we were born in. We found out the children were either born in the Year of the Monkey or the Year of the Rooster! We read the story of Chinese New Year and how the animals of the Chinese zodiac competed in a race across a river - we then made our own stick puppets of the animals and performed the story in our puppet theatre. The children also had the opportunity this week to make either a lantern, tiger with moving parts or a chinese dragon. We learnt how to say hello in Chinese and performed a Chinese dragon dance! You can watch a clip below. 

Chinese dragon dance

Still image for this video

In maths this week we have learnt about odd and even numbers. We practised a rhyme to help us remember - 0,2,4,6,8 even numbers on a plate, 1,3,5,7,9 odd numbers in a line. Perhaps the children can practise this rhyme at home to help them remember their odd and even numbers.

Today we had our growth mindset day. The children have learnt about the power of 'yet', and how we must never say we can't do something, we just simply can't do it 'yet'. The children have been thinking of goals that they find challenging and then thinking of small steps to success they can take to help them achieve those goals! 

Friday 28th January

The children have enjoyed lots of wonderful learning this week.  In particular, they enjoyed our PSHCE activity on ‘My Star Qualities’.  We had a circle time and discussed our talents, interests and skills.  We thought about what goal we would like to achieve in our lives.

In maths our focus has been ‘sharing’. We have used the interactive white board for fun learning.  We have used our whiteboards to show working out and we persevered in a practical lesson where we shared gems equally.

In phonics we have recapped trigraphs air, ear and igh.  We focussed well and used our phonics skills during child initiated learning.

In PE this week Miss Layman taught us how to balance in a variety of different ways (Please see the PE page on the school website).

Friday 21st January 

Continuing our 'Into the Woods' topic this week, we focused on Winnie the Pooh and all his friends who live in Hundred Acre Wood. The children have enjoyed listening to stories about Winnie this week, and on Thursday we decided to make honey sandwiches - Pooh's favourite! The children had to work in pairs and listen to and follow instructions carefully. Making the sandwiches was great practise for their fine motor skills. 

After we had made our honey sandwiches, we decided to write a recipe in case others wanted to make them too. The children were able to write down the ingredients we needed as well as write down a simple method. We focused on sounding out the word we wanted to write, then writing down the graphemes we have learnt for the sound. The children worked so hard on their letter formation! 


Finally we got to enjoy our teddy bears picnic! We had a lovely time in the woods with our special toys from home and the children really enjoyed their honey sandwiches. 

Friday 14th January 

It's been lovely having the children back for our first full week of the Spring term. We have started our 'Into the Woods' topic of learning and our first story has been 'The Gruffalo' by Julia Donaldson. The children have really enjoyed our activities based on this story, such as drawing a map of the Gruffalo woods and writing words to describe the Gruffalo using our knowledge of sounds. 

This week we thought about animal homes and learnt that the place an animal lives is called a habitat. We remembered in the Gruffalo that the fox lives in an 'underground house', the snake lives in 'logpile house' and the owl lives in a 'treetop house'. We decided to create these habitats in our own Gade Valley woods and worked together to move logs and sticks. We discussed during whole class learning what kind of animals you can find in woodlands in the UK. We learnt that along with foxes and owls you can find deer, badgers, squirrels and hedgehogs! Please have a look at our pictures below. 

Monday 20th December 

Today we had our Christmas party and it was a lovely way to end the term. The children played party games, danced, played pass the parcel and enjoyed some party food. Much fun was had!

The children were also particularly excited to make their gingerbread men last Friday. We first wrote recipes and designed what we wanted our gingerbread men to look like. Then the children helped to weigh the ingredients before rolling the dough and cutting their gingerbread shapes. Once the gingerbread men had baked the children had fun sticking midget gems on with icing sugar to decorate them.

Mrs Wiltshire, Mrs Parkins, Ms Field and I would just like take the opportunity to wish all our reception families a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year. It’s been a fantastic first term and the children have all made fantastic progress. We look forward to welcoming all the children back in January!

Merry Christmas!

Friday 3rd December 


In Reception this week we have been practising lots for our nativity performance next week. The children have been working hard learning the songs and actions and can’t wait to welcome you into school next week to watch our performance on Thursday.


This week our book of the week was ‘One Snowy Night’. The children have enjoyed this story and we have practised retelling events and answering questions about the story. We also took part in lots of wintery activities this week, including making snowmen out of ‘snowy’ playdough and creating some beautiful snowflakes! In maths, the children have been learning how to add. We have learnt how to add 2 numbers together and write a number sentence to show our calculation.



On Friday morning we decorated the Christmas tree with our lovely glittery pinecone decorations. In the afternoon, the children enjoyed the pantomime ‘Dick Whittington’.



Next week our learning will focus around the Nativity. We will be learning more about the Nativity story and completing lots more wintery activities.

Friday 26th November


This week in Reception our book of the week was ‘Each Peach Pear Plum’ by Janet and Allen Ahlberg. It was a lovely follow on from nursery rhyme week as we had to ‘spy’ nursery rhyme and traditional tale characters within the story. At the end of the story all the characters enjoyed some plum pie. We decided to get a little crafty in class and make our own version of plum pie, using paper plates, paint and paper. We got to show our ‘pies’ in sharing assembly this week!



We also used the baking inspiration from the book to make some jam tarts this week. The children were so excited to do some baking. They demonstrated excellent listening skills as they had to follow instructions from a recipe. The children used the equipment sensibly and each child decided whether they wanted a marmalade or strawberry jam tart.


In Maths this week we have learnt about sorting, weight and capacity. We thought about how we can sort shapes – by colour, by size, by shape, or whether it is 2D or 3D. We also looked at groups of objects and talked about the odd one out – for example, we talked about why a hippo doesn’t belong in a group of birds. The children used lots of mathematical language!


Next week, we will be reading ‘One Snowy Night’ by Nick Butterworth. We will be thinking about the change in weather as we transition to the winter season. In Maths next week, we will be learning how to add amounts together and write number sentences. 



Friday 19th November


This week was National Nursery Rhyme week so our focus has been on singing and sharing all the nursery rhymes that we know! We have enjoyed singing along, making actions and identifying rhyming words. We even performed our favourite nursery rhymes to the whole school in sharing assembly this Friday. We have learnt lots about rhyming words this week; one of our favourite activities was using the iPads with Mrs Parkins to record ourselves saying silly words that rhyme with our own name. It caused much hilarity when the children then listened to the recording of themselves saying their silly rhyming words. 


In maths this week we have been learning about positional language. We learnt how to describe where an object is in relation  to another object, for example 'the ball is next to the chair' or ' 'the ball is in between the teddy and the chair'. The children then worked in pairs using a basket and a teddy. One child placed the teddy in, on or under the basket and their partner had to describe where the bear is. We also learnt about 3D shapes. The children worked really hard to find 3D objects in their classroom environment, learning that a football is a 'sphere'. 


Next week we will be sharing the story 'Each Peach Pear Plum' by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. We will be using our knowledge of nursery rhymes to try and spot all the traditional tale and nursery rhyme characters within the story! 


We're also pleased to say that many more children are now receiving a golden ticket for reading 5 times in one week. Today 65% of the class had a golden ticket - next week let's aim for even more! 

Friday 12th November 



This week our focus has been on Remembrance Day. The children really enjoyed our book of the week ‘Where the Poppies Now Grow’ and have produced some really lovely artwork to commemorate Remembrance Day. We look forward to sharing some of our artwork with you on our Celebration Evening on Tuesday 16th November.



We also enjoyed our skipping workshop on Thursday 11th. We learnt some important skills, such as forward skipping, as well as learning how to time our jumps. The children really enjoyed it and it's definitely inspired some to practise skipping at home too! 



In maths this week we have focused on shape and pattern. The children are able to recognise different 2D shapes and can describe their features, such as how many sides and vertices the shape has, along with whether the sides are curved or straight. We learnt the difference between a rectangle and a square and practised ‘seeing’ shapes in other pictures, such as the example below. Can your child tell you what shapes they can see?



We have also focused on pattern this week, learning what a pattern is and how to create their own increasingly complex patterns. The children have learnt how to continue a repeating 2 step pattern, such as ‘blue, yellow, blue, yellow’ and some children have been able to continue more complex patterns such as ‘circle, square, square, triangle, circle…’. Perhaps ask your child if they can identify patterns in their home environments? Patterns your child may be able to find are animal prints, polka dots, stripes and check for example.


Next week, we are focusing on spatial awareness and the language we use to explain the position of something. Our book of the week will be the traditional tale ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ and we will be using words such as 'under' 'over' 'next to' to describe where some of the characters are in the story! 



Friday 5th November 


It was lovely welcoming the children back to school this week, we hope all our Reception families enjoyed the half-term holiday together. It’s been a super start to Autumn 2 in Reception this week; we have been learning about Diwali and have learnt about the Hindu story of Rama and Sita. The children have created some lovely Diva lamps, Rangoli patterns and lanterns to celebrate this week. We have also learnt about Bonfire Night and why it is celebrated. The children created some super firework pictures using paint and glitter – we’ve put some pictures up below for you to see! Our book of the week this week has been ‘The Lost Acorn’ along with other books in the Percy the Park Keeper series. We focused on the signs of Autumn we could see, both within the book and in real life. As a class, we discussed the change in weather we are now experiencing and how the days are shorter now the clocks have gone back and we move into winter.


Next week, our topic will be Remembrance Day. We will be sharing the book ‘Where the Poppies Now Grow’ by Hilary Robinson, which is a very sensitive introduction to why we wear poppies for Remembrance Day, suitable for the age of the children. We will also be creating lots of lovely poppy artwork around this topic that we look forward to sharing with you next week!


We also look forward to welcoming you into school on Wednesday 10th November at 9am for our phonics morning. 

Friday 15th October 2021


This week in Reception we have really enjoyed our book of the week, ‘Whatever Next!’ by Jill Murphy. The children have really enjoyed playing with props from the story in the role play area, putting a colander on to use as our ‘space helmet’ and using wellies as our ‘space boots’! The children have been using their imagination, pretending the cardboard boxes are rockets, just like Baby Bear did in the story. We have heard some wonderful new language used throughout the week as the children have retold the story using these props. We have also been focusing on developing fine motor skills this week in Reception, so the children have had lots of play focusing on building up the muscles in their hands and fingers. We have used play dough, scissors, pens and pencils and tweezers amongst other things to help provide the children opportunities to really work those muscles! In maths we have continued our focus on numbers, and finding 1 more and 1 less. The children are becoming much more secure with these concepts and are learning that they can count on or back using their fingers to quickly find the answer. Next week is our last week before half term and we will be reading some Oxford Reading Tree books together.  This is to help introduce the children to the characters Biff, Chip and Kipper, as they will be reading of so many of their adventures in the months to come!

Friday 8th October 2021


This week was World Space Week so much of our learning has been themed around space. Our book of the week was Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freeman and Ben Cort. We noticed that within the book, there are lots of rhyming words. We learnt that rhyming words have the same group of sounds at the end and practised matching words and pictures that rhymed with each other. We designed our own underpants using the book as our inspiration! We have been learning new vocabulary this week, including the names of the planets in our solar system. We thought about the size of these different planets, and learnt that Jupiter is the biggest planet and Mercury the smallest. We imagined what it would be like to live on the different planets, and decided that Mercury would be much too hot and Neptune much too cold. The children also were very creative this week, and used marbles, white paint, glue and glitter to make fantastic space pictures! We're going to develop our scissor skills next week and cut them into circles, then hang our 'planets' on display. In maths we have focused on finding 1 more and 1 less using different strategies, such as counting on or counting back using our fingers, using objects or a number line. 


Next week we will continue with our space theme as the children have been so engaged in it. We will be reading Whatever Next and creating a rocket in our role play area. 

Friday 1st October 2021


What a fantastic and busy week we've had in Reception! Our book of the week was 'Rosie's Walk' and the children greatly enjoyed sequencing the story. The children also created their own mini-books based on Rosie's Walk. In maths we have been focusing on subitising, which is the ability to look at a group of objects and recognise how many there are, without counting. We practised this by trying to automatically recognise the amount of dots on a dice. We have also looked at 2D shapes and are beginning to learn their properties. We then practised making funny faces using 2D shapes!  The children are becoming much more confident in the classroom now. We have begun our 'rolling snack', where milk and fruit is accessible to all children during child initiated learning time throughout the day. The children are encouraged to help themselves when they are hungry or thirsty. In the classroom, many are now beginning to select resources and tools that they want to explore themselves, which is a big step forward. Some children are independently accessing the craft materials and paint to create some amazing pieces of artwork! We also did Forest School together for the first time, and looked for signs of autumn. The children made observations about the natural world around them and drew pictures of what they could see. 


Just wanted to also say a big thank you to all parents for sending in such wonderful pictures of you and your children sharing a story at home. It was so lovely to see such a range of pictures, with either the children reading independently or sharing a story with family members or even pets! We have now put the pictures up in the classroom and they have been a real talking point, with children discussing their favourite book or pointing out their mums or dads! We strive to encourage a love of reading from an early age and our reading area now looks amazing with all the children's pictures. 


Friday 24th September


This week our book of the week was 'Owl Babies'. The children have completed lots of fun activities, such as creating their own cotton wool owl babies using a variety of different resources. We have also created paintings of Sarah, Percy and Bill using lots of different tools, such as sponges, paintbrushes, fingers and pens. We hope you like them! This week we have started learning our first phonemes - s, a, t, p. In sharing assembly today, the children stood up in front of the whole school and sung the songs we have learnt for these phonemes - they did extremely well! This week we have also been learning about the numbers 1-10. The children have practised reciting numbers to 10, counting objects to 10 and recognising numerals. All in all a wonderful and busy week! 


Friday 10th September


Reception class have all had a wonderful first full week. We have learnt about good behaviours in class and how to look after our learning environment. We have also enjoyed learning about each other during circle time! We have discussed our likes and dislikes and what our favourite things to do at home are. We also talked about how we are all unique and special, so we made self-portraits to show this. We thought about our skin tone, hair colour and facial features. Our lovely portraits are now on display for us all to enjoy!