Our Class Teachers are Mrs Watson & Mrs Wiltshire
Our Teaching Assistants are Mrs Parkins & Ms Field
Show and Tell
For the Summer term we will be returning to 'Show and Tell' every Friday. Your child is invited to bring a special item from home or to 'tell' about an experience they have had. Ideas include certificates or medals from out of school activities or clubs, books, ticket stubs, photographs or mementos. You are welcome to email in some photographs or add them to Tapestry so we can show them on the big board. We kindly ask that children do not bring in toys.
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 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.
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.