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Foundation Stage

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Welcome to Reception!


Welcome to Collingham School!smiley


We hope you have all had a lovely half term holiday and gave your brains a big rest! Mrs Letheren and I cannot wait to see you again and get started on the next half terms learning! As some of you might know this half term is Mrs Swifts favourite as it involves lots of exciting Christmas learning!  Before that we will be learning about Bonfire night and writing Bonfire night poems, we will be learning about Remembrance day and answering the question 'Why do we wear Poppies?' We will also be taking part in Nursery Rhyme week, keep checking the website for more details on this- a letter will be sent out about the importance of Nursery rhymes and how they can help children with their reading and Mathematics learning. Finally we will be taking part in Anti-bullying day and Children in Need and learning about why  these days are so important.


 Please read the sections of the website below for details about what we are learning about in the different subject areas this half term. We hope you enjoy reading our class page, where topic information will be updated ready for the start of each half-term and latest news will be updated fortnightly on a Thursday. As always, there will be lots of photographs uploaded after all the exciting activities and events we get up to!


The Reception staff team consists of Mrs Swift, who is the Early Years Leader and class teacher and a member of the Senior Leadership team, Mrs Letheren, class teacher and Mrs Wilson, Mrs Naylor, Mrs Shaw and Mrs Meek who are teaching assistants. Mrs Swift will be teaching Monday mornings, all day Tuesday, Wednesday mornings and alternate Wednesday afternoons. Mrs Meek will be teaching on a Monday afternoon when Mrs Swift is having her leadership time and planning exciting things for the whole school! Mrs Letheren will be teaching alternate Wednesday afternoons and all day Thursday and Friday. Mrs Wilson will be our teaching assistant every morning. On Mondays and Tuesdays Mrs Shaw will be our teaching assistant in the afternoons and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Mrs Naylor will be our teaching assistant.


Our PE day this half term will be Friday. During this lesson the children will focus on particular skills and aspects of PE. However the children have access to physical development opportunities every day both inside and outside of the classroom. Physical development in the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) is a prime area of development.  Part of this includes developing children’s knowledge and skills in taking responsibility for their own health and self –care. The EYFS states that ‘children manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully including dressing and going to the toilet independently’. For this reason, Reception children should bring their PE kit to school in a draw string bag at the start of every term. Their PE kit will stay in school and children will practice getting dressed and undressed independently at the start of every formal PE lesson. Reception children will take their PE kit home at the end of every half term to be washed.


Book changing days will be Mondays and Thursdays, please note that books will only be changed if your child's reading record has been signed. Books will not be sent home with the children as soon as they start Reception. Children will be given a reading book to take home when Mrs Swift and Mrs Letheren have assessed them as being ready.


Show and Tell will be on a Monday. This is an opportunity for children to talk to, and/or show the whole class about something important to them. This may be something they did or created at the weekend or out of school or it could be something from home that is special to them. Show and Tell helps us to get to know the children and their achievements and interests outside of school, it is also a fantastic opportunity to practice their speaking, listening and questioning skills. Children do not have to participate every week, this is an optional activity.


Tommy the Travelling bear will be sent home with a different child every Friday and should be returned preferably by Monday but no later than Wednesday of the following week. Tommy will be part of your family for the weekend, the class love hearing about what he has been up to! Tommy activities can be recorded in his book with writing and/or pictures, please see Tommy's book for more details. 



Upcoming events

Thursday 2nd November- Individual school photos

Friday 17th November- Children in Need

Wednesday 29th November- Superhero day



Latest News


This is the place to check in each fortnight to find out about all the exciting things we have been up to!


We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Wow! What a busy and fun-filled couple of weeks we’ve had in Reception!

Firstly we’d like to say a big thank you to all the parents and grandparents who were able to attend our end of topic sharing afternoon. We could see that the children loved showing off their Learning Journeys to you and we really value the feedback you gave us. We were very impressed by the superhero model making too!

Another ‘Wow!’ is in order for our Christmas play! The children worked so hard to learn all the song words and to remember when to go on and off stage. We were incredibly proud of them for showing such joy and courage during their performances.

Next we’d like to say a massive well done to the children for behaving so brilliantly on our trip to Abbey House Museum. It was such a fab day! We noticed how wonderfully inquisitive our children were and all the staff noticed how polite and sensible they were. We were very proud of our class. Again!

Somehow we have manged to fit in a mini topic as well, based around the story Santa Needs a Wee! We have learnt about how children celebrate Christmas in other countries around the world. The children have also listened to and ordered the Christmas story, thinking carefully about the reasons we celebrate, sing and give gifts at the special time of year.

This year we have taken a different approach to making Christmas cards in Reception. We attended an Early Years Conference in November during which the key note speaker Dr Kathy Ring spoke about the importance of children’s drawings and how they are a way for children to express themselves about the many different things that they experience. In light of this we decided to make our Christmas cards more individual this year rather than every family getting the same design. The children really thought about what Christmas means to them and we had lots of discussions about their own Christmas traditions. The children have based their design on what they think about when someone says the word Christmas. We are so proud of the children as they have really taken their time and thought carefully about what to draw. We hope you like your cards as much as we do!

The children have been busy little elves and we hope that you like all of our Christmas crafts. They have tried so hard, right up until the very end of term. We think they might be in need of a lot of sleep next week!

Have a magical Christmas everyone!

The Reception Team

Reception Nursery Rhyme Week

Wow! What a fantastic week we have had in Reception! The children have loved learning and performing Nursery Rhymes. We have even had a go at changing some of the words and adding actions. All the children have grown in confidence when performing this week. Some of them would happily perform all day long! We are really looking forward to finding out what you have been getting up to at home. Please remember to return Learning Logs on Monday 27th November.

We have also had a brilliant timing being Scientists over the last two weeks. The children have been full of awe and wonder and have been so enthusiastic about their learning. Please encourage your child to tell you all about our egg investigation and about what happens when you drop a mint into a bottle of fizzy pop!

Please remember Christmas Play ticket letters and Abbey House trip permission slips. The trip date is THURSDAY 7th December.

Busy, busy, busy!

What a fantastic start we’ve had back to Reception! The children have settled back into their routines and are learning brilliantly. The school photographer could not believe that they are only Reception because of how well they all followed her instructions and their superb behaviour.

We had an excellent launch to our new RE scheme Understanding Christianity before the holiday and the children loved finding out about The Big Story and The Creation Story with the characters Tom and Tessa. They had lots of interesting things to say and produced some wonderful artwork. Try asking them why God made jellyfish?

We would like to say a big thank you to all those of you were able to attend our Maths Sharing afternoon. It was fantastic to see you all so keen to learn with your children and how well they could explain methods and concepts to you! We have really enjoyed reading your feedback forms so far; please send them in as soon as you can. Thanks.

Finally, we have done our first Big Write this week. The children had fun creating Bonfire Night poems and practising sounding out and listening for sounds in words. We wish you an exciting and safe Bonfire weekend. Remember, remember the 5th of November…


RESPECT Code- Newsletter update 2

Reception have made the transition to school amazingly! Mrs Swift and Mrs Letheren are so proud of them. It has been a joy to observe the children as they explore the resources in the classroom. The children are playing with such focus and high levels of engagement.
We have been learning all about the RESPECT code and the values within it. The children have all been using Mrs Swifts favourite word- perseverance! We have also started our RWI and Mathematics lessons and the children have all been very positive and enthusiastic about their learning! Mrs Letheren would like some old mobile phones with key pads to enhance our technology area in the classroom, if you have any that you can bring in that would be great.


A fantastic start to the new school year!- Newletter update 1

Thank you for welcoming us into your houses last week! We have really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know all the parents and children in Reception. This week the children have been coming to school for half days, all the staff in Reception cannot believe how amazingly the children are settling in. They have listened really well and as a result are learning all the new routines in the school day quickly. We have been focusing on organising and putting on our belongings independently, tidying up our learning resources, lining up at playtimes and how to take it in turns to speak when we are having whole class discussions. One thing that has really stood out to us both is that all the children have all been really engaged when playing and exploring in the classroom both inside and out. Next week we will be learning about the schools RESPECT code and what the words in the RESPECT code mean and how they will help us to become superhero learners! We would like to thank all the parents in Reception for their support in preparing the children for school as the children have been trying really hard to be independent and have already been showing lots of elements of the RESPECT code. Mrs Swift and Mrs Letheren.

Homework expectations


Learning logs in Reception will not be sent home every week they will be set when appropriate to the children's learning and often link with what the children have or will be learning at school. Inside the learning log there will be a learning challenge set by the teachers, tasks and expected timeframes for the return of completed learning logs will vary depending on the challenge set. Time frames and expectations will always be clearly communicated to both children and parents at the setting of each task.  


Learning Logs are a unique personalised home / school learning resource for children. In the Learning Logs, children record their responses to learning challenges set by their teachers. Each log will become a unique record of a child's thinking and learning. The children can demonstrate their learning in a way that suits them. Learning logs are an excellent opportunity for parents to contribute to their children's learning journey and profile in Reception and have fun learning together! We really value any annotations or notes about how your child has been carrying out the learning log at home.


Curriculum this half term




The curriculum in Reception is holistic and not separated into subjects. The curriculum is set out into areas of learning. We do not explicitly make links to these area when talking to the children about topic learning. However when teachers plan topic learning is planned using these areas. As parents we realise that you might like to know which areas of the curriculum the topic learning links to and so we have provided the curriculum links for you. Please note that all learning that takes place in Reception covers all the areas of learning however the links provided are the ones that we are particularly focusing on that week. Literacy (reading and writing) and Mathematics forms part of all the topic learning that we do. In order to prepare the children for Year One we will where appropriate link learning to the national curriculum subjects such as History, Science, Geography.


Below is a key for the areas of learning;


PSED= Personal, Social and Emotional development

C&L= Communication and Language

PD= Physical development

UW= Understanding the world

EAD= Expressive Arts and Design.


Please see the web links at the bottom of the page for more detailed information on the Early Year curriculum and areas of learning.


Our topic for this half term continues to be..............We are superheroes! We will then begin a short Christmas themed topic for the last two weeks of term- more details to follow!

We will be learning about what makes us superhero learners- this topic focuses heavily on being ready for school and the RESPECT code and PSED area of learning



During our topic this half term we will be answering the following questions; 

  •  What qualities do good superheroes have? Are there superheroes in other countries?- This week we will be learning about 'real life' superheroes such as Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks and what makes them superheroes. We will be writing letters about Nelson Mandela and making superhero friendship bracelets.
  • What is a good material for a parachute? This will be a science focus week in which we will be investigating the best way to stop an egg from smashing when dropped, we will be working in teams to create our designs and then testing our designs with real eggs!
  • How can we make a superhero potion? This will also be a science week in which we will be making a potion and thinking about how it worked and what happened during the experiment!
  • How do superheroes keep healthy and safe? We will be looking at how to keep healthy and making superhero smoothies!
  • How can we look after our world like superheroes? This week we will be looking at recycling and how to look after our world. We will be making musical instruments out of recyclable materials.



We will continue follow the Read Write Inc (RWI) scheme of work in our Literacy lessons. We use this scheme to teach the children to read and write. The children will continue learning their 'Set 1' sounds. We will focus on a different sound each day. We will practice saying, reading and writing that sound. The children will recap every sound they have learnt each day so that learning can be consolidated. Sounds that the children have been learning that week will be sent home at the end of the week so that you can support your child practicing at home.


When the children can say, read and write sounds confidently then they will start to take part in 'word time' activities. This is where the children start to read ( by blending the sounds together) and write ( by segmenting the sounds) three letter cvc (consonant, vowel, consonant) words made up of the sounds they already know. 

In Reception the children will have opportunities to read and write in all areas of the classroom and areas of the classroom will be enhanced at different times to encourage the children to read and write words and sentences using the skills they have learnt during RWI lessons. 


The children will take a reading book home when Mrs Swift and Mrs Letheren have assessed them as being ready. The reading books your child brings home are different to those we use in class for the teaching of specific reading skills. The home reading books are designed for your child to ‘show off’ to you about how well they are doing with their reading. They should never present too much of a challenge or become a chore; by using these Oxford Reading Tree books (based on the adventures of Biff, Chip and Kipper) we hope to foster a love of reading and an enjoyment of books that your child will carry with them into adulthood. Remember to read the books more than once and ask plenty of questions. Understanding the story is just as important as being able to read the words so look at the pictures and ask questions about how the characters might be feeling, predict what might happen next or ask why a certain character did what they did. We do not hear your child read every reading book that we send home however we assess your child in their reading all the time as part of their RWI lessons and will move them up to the next stage when they are ready.



Mrs Swift will be focusing on the number strand of Mathematics including addition and subtraction. This half term the children will be learning;

  • Comparing and ordering numbers
  • Finding one more than a number
  • Finding one less than a number
  • Addition
  • Subtraction


Mrs Letheren will be focusing on the shape, space and measure strand of Mathematics. This half term the children will be learning:

  • Children use everyday language related to time and can order and sequences familiar events

  • Children can name and explain the seasons and begin to recite the days of the week correctly

  • Children understand and use positional language such as under, over, behind and in front of

  • Children recognise and name ‘flat’ 2D shapes, and use mathematical terms to describe them such as side, corner and curved

  • Children use everyday language to talk about size and length and begin to solve problems

  • Children can order two or three items by length or height



We will be learning how to draw pictures on the computer using the 2Paint program. Lots of children who have never used a mouse before are developing good control in clicking and dragging already. In our Technology Area, the children will have access to simple programs to practise using a mouse pad on the Netbooks. Later on we will be learning how to use the CD player to practise our Christmas songs and use Talk Tins to record ourselves singing!



Last half term we started our new RE scheme Understanding Christianity and the children responded brilliantly to characters or Tom and Tessa who are going to help them learn in this subject. They have learnt about the Creation Story already and produced some super artwork. They will continue to learn about what Christians believe and what is important to them, then it’s on to the true meaning of Christmas.



The children have really enjoyed using the parachute and have demonstrated some good listening skills. We still have a few more activities to do using the parachute to see just how well the children can follow instructions. We are also hoping to get outside before the weather gets too cold, in order to play, practise and learn playground games. Some of these are forgotten yet are so valuable for learning fair play, control, co-operation and moving safely around a space.



We will continue to learn about greetings and addressing people in French using fun actions, rhymes and games. We will also learn about what happens at Christmas in France.


British Values


This half term we will be focusing on the British Values of mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith when we learn about the real life superheroes Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks.

.British Values include;

  • democracy
  • the rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.




Meeting Father Christmas!

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Preparing for school

Wow stars

Learning log homework statement


Personal Development Goals

Reception Curriculum including Characteristics of Effective Learning

Reception Maths Calculation Methods