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Foundation Stage

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Welcome to Reception!

This week we have started our new Christmas topic- 'Father Christmas Needs a Wee' The children were very excited to come into school on Monday and see that the classroom had been transformed! The children are really enjoying playing in our Santa's toy shop inside and our stable outside. We have been reading 'Father Christmas Needs a Wee' and have been linking this to our Maths learning- recognising numbers to 10 and doing lots of counting and subitising. Please read the topic section of our web page for further information about this topic.

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 team

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. Mrs Lowe will be in Reception this year every morning and Mrs Stubbs will be in Reception Tuesday to Thursday in the afternoons.




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


Monday 5th November- School nurse visit

Tuesday 13th November- Parents consultation evening

Wednesday 14th November- Parents consultation evening

Wednesday 28th November - (1.00pm) Parent Topic Share - 'Superheroes' Letter to be sent out  with more details

Wednesday 5th December- School trip to Abbey house museum Letter to be sent out  with more details

Tuesday 11th December- Christmas play 2pm-3pm

Wednesday 12th December- Christmas play 10pm-11pm

Friday 14th December- Christmas jumper day

Tuesday 18th December- Carol Service at Church

Tuesday 18th December- Reception Christmas party PM

Wednesday 19th December- Collingham Showcase PM



Thursday 14th February - (2.30pm) - Parent Topic Share - 'Dance'

Wednesday 17th April (afternoon) (time tba) - Easter Afternoon 

Wednesday 3rd July (time tba) - Charity Event




Latest News


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


Inn-credible Christmas Fun!

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

We hope you all enjoyed our fantastic 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 very proud of them for showing such joy and courage during their performances.

Last week we enjoyed a brilliant trip to Abbey House Museum. We all had a fab time at the ‘Christmas Experience’; making a Christmas hat, dressing up in Christmas costumes and even meeting Santa himself! Amazing!

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.

The children have been busy little elves and we hope that you like all of our Christmas crafts. We think they might be in need of a lot of sleep during the holidays!

Have a magical Christmas everyone!

The Reception Team

Mud, mud, glorious mud!

We would like to say a huge thank you to Mr Clarke for building a wonderful mud kitchen to enhance our outdoor learning. The children are loving making potions and being involved in lots of fabulous, imaginative play. We do ask that the children wear aprons in this area but please be understanding if they get a little muddy sometimes. The exploration and learning is worth a little bit of mess! On order to enhance this area further, we are looking for the following unwanted items:

· mashers

· spoons - unusual, different shapes & sizes

· pans

The Reception children have absolutely loved being superhero scientists. We have continued to be impressed by their creativity, enthusiasm, perseverance and courage, especially when experiments don’t exactly go according to plan!

Thank you so much to those of you who were able to attend our Superhero end of topic celebration. The children loved sharing their (very full!) Learning Journeys with you and it was a lovely way to celebrate the amazing learning and play that they have been doing over the last term. We were impressed with how much the children recalled about being a healthy superhero and the masks looked great!

And finally…‘it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’ and we are super excited to ‘step into Christmas’ and start our new (and favourite!) topic. Christmas play rehearsals are already well underway; we can’t wait for the children to show off their super singing in the performance.


Busy, busy, busy!

What a fantastic start we’ve had back to Reception! The children have settled back into their routines, are remembering our RESPECT Code and are learning brilliantly and we think that they have really grown up over the holiday.

Last week the children had fun creating Bonfire Night poems and practising sounding out and listening for sounds in words. We hope you all enjoyed an exciting and safe Bonfire weekend.

Also last week, we learnt about why people buy and wear poppies. We talked about the war, the army and remembrance in a simple way to make it accessible for the children but so that they begin their understanding of this incredibly important event. The children made poppies to help to decorate the school entrance and took part in a special remembrance assembly on Friday. The children behaved so sensibly and respectfully. We were very proud of them.

This week we have started a Science project. The children are very excited about being scientists and have been busy thinking about how to stop an egg from breaking when dropped from a height! Mrs Swift was absolutely amazed by their ideas! All our budding scientists will be designing, making and testing their inventions. They were very firm with Mrs Letheren about making sure we do a fair test!


Kind Hands  19.10.18-26.10.18

For the last couple of weeks, we have been focusing a lot in Reception on sharing, being kind and working together. Last week Reception continued their learning about Harvest. The children worked in groups to retell the story of ‘The Little Red Hen’ They had to take it in turns to talk and also listen to other people’s ideas. The children worked in pairs to sequence the journey from wheat to bread, they then got the chance to spread jam and butter on a piece of bread and eat it! However, the children had to take it in turns to use the jam and butter and also cut their piece of bread in half to share it. We made our own Superhero rules to compliment the RESPECT code and talked a lot about having kind hands. We had a very exciting visitor from a Superhero dentist! Mrs Partington came to talk to us about how Dentists help us and how to look after our teeth. We learnt that children need help brushing their teeth until they are 8! A VERY BIG THANKYOU to Mrs Partington from Reception- we really enjoyed talking to you!

This week we have been focusing on RE, the children have been learning about the Creation Story and thinking about questions such as ‘Why did God make Jellyfish?!’ The children have been retelling the Creation Story in groups and also been making collages of the different animals that God created in the Creation story. These animals have been displayed in the Reflection area in our classroom.


Finally thank you to all the parents that came to our Maths afternoon last week. It was such a lovely afternoon. The children really enjoyed showing you their maths skills and we hope you found the parent’s information session useful for supporting your children at home. Please don’t forgot to fill in your evaluation forms about the afternoon and return them to school, they really help us when planning for next year.


Well done Reception on your first half term at school- have a very well deserved rest!


Happy Harvest! 01.10.2018- 19.10.2018

Reception were absolutely amazing in the whole school Harvest Celebration! All the children joined in with the singing and actions and it was fantastic to see them with big smiles on their faces. They were so proud of themselves afterwards and all the staff in Reception thought they displayed a huge amount of courage by singing in front of so many people for the first time.
Reception have had a really busy couple of weeks. Last week, we learnt about British Values which are an important part of our school and also about becoming a superhero learner. We learnt about the British values of democracy, individual liberty, mutual tolerance and respect and the rule of the law. We created our own superhero rules for the classroom. We drew ourselves as superheroes and talked about what makes us a superhero by thinking about values from the RESPECT code. We talked about how to draw a person and thought about the correct colours to use. We also worked in pairs and designed superhero friendship bracelets for each other by following a repeating pattern. This week, we have been learning about harvest and about how a combine harvester works. We have been reading the story of 'The Little Red Hen' and have been thinking about how wheat is turned into bread. Mrs Meek has been reading the story of 'Oliver's Vegetables' and the children have been harvesting carrots grown in our Reception garden. They have also been printing with vegetables.
We also had the opportunity to meet some real life superheroes in our community – the firefighters. The children really enjoyed the visit. The firefighters spoke about the qualities that you need to join the fire service and the children were surprised to hear many of the words in our school RESPECT code mentioned. The fire fighters also told us all about their special superhero suits (protective clothing). The children listened brilliantly and asked lots of interesting questions.
We look forward to seeing you at our Maths afternoon on Wednesday 17th October!


Superhero Reception!   17/09/18 - 28/09/10

Wow! What a fantastic couple of weeks Reception children have had. We have learnt all about the RESPECT code and are therefore well on our way to becoming superhero learners! We decided that one of the most important words in the RESPECT code is 'perseverance'. The children have been very mature in applying this word when they are doing their learning, saying things like 'if I just keep going and keep trying I will get there' and ' I cant give up, I have to keep trying' This week the children have started their Literacy and Mathematics lessons, the days are now very full of learning so you may notice that the children become quite tired! This week we have been focusing on ourselves and our families and what makes us special superheroes! We have been thinking about what makes a good friend and making our very own superhero class rules. We have also been getting creative (and messy) by making our faces out of clay. Thank you for all the 'special boxes' that you have brought into school and have been contributing to over the summer- this week the children have been standing up and sharing what is in these boxes with the rest of the class, we have really enjoyed listening to what the children have been saying. The
boxes have been going home in small groups all week as we no longer need them in the classroom.
Thank you to the parents who have already bought in some 'wow' stars from home, we enjoy hearing about what the children have been achieving at home so if your child does something that you feel is significant to their development, or something they have not done before, or conquers a fear, or tries something new we would LOVE to hear about it. Please write on the star telling us what happened and the date, you can even include a picture if you like! This star will then by stuck into their learning journey books and will help us build up a wider profile of your child. If you need more 'wow' stars then they are available on our class web page or from the classroom.

What a fantastic start! 03/09/18 - 14/09/18

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. All the staff in school have been so proud of how independent and resilient the children have been at lunch time. We cannot believe how amazing they have been! They have all managed to carry trays with plates and cups on and find their seats. Mrs Swift and Mrs Letheren have been with the children in the hall for some of lunchtime and have observed some lovely table manners and children trying really hard to cut their food and use a knife and fork. Please keep practicing this skill at home! The children have also been learning to clear away their plates and cutlery and scrape any left over food into our food waste box, this is a very tricky skill but one that has already improved over the last week. Please practice clearing plates with your children at home so that they become confident to do this independently. 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!



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 the rest of this half term is 'Father Christmas Needs a Wee'-  We will be answering the following questions together:

  • How do Christians celebrate Christmas? We will be learning about the Christmas story, retelling it and putting it in order. We will also be talking about what advent means.
  • What do children in France leave out for Le Pere Noel? We will be learning about the traditions of French children and making our own 'Le petit soulier' (little slippers) to leave out for Father Christmas
  •  Who do children in Germany write to at Christmas? We will be learning about how in Germany children write to the Christmas Angel (Christkind), we will be writing our own letters to the Christmas Angel, telling him what we would like for Christmas
  • How do children in Alaska celebrate Christmas? We will be learning about a tradition in Alaska in which children run through the streets, carrying a star on a pole. Everyone else tries to get the star. We will be making our very own salt dough star decorations
  •  Why do we send Christmas cards? We will be learning about the tradition of giving Christmas cards and designing and making our own Christmas cards. We will also be practicing our sewing skills and will be making our very own Christmas decoration.





This half term we will be taking part in Nursery rhyme week- we will be learning a different nursery rhyme every day- more details to be sent home soon!

Once the children have settled in to school we will 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.We will learn 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. It is also really important that children are read to and are exposed to a variety of different text types. We will read stories to the children most days. Some weeks we may have focus stories that are linked to our topic. We will let you know what these stories are throughout the year. Please continue to read with your children at home as often as possible.


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.



This year we will be focusing more on incorporating Mathematics into our daily routines in Reception, during tidy up time and other transition points throughout the day the adults in the classroom will be scaffolding the children's maths learning in a variety of different ways, by counting resources, ordering resources, working out how many children are here and how many children have milk, how many more straws we need to make 10 etc. More information about this will be shared in the maths afternoon.


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


  • All about the numbers 3 and 4 
  • All about the numbers 5 and 6


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

As explained at our Maths afternoon, all the Shape, Space and Measure learning we do will be directly linked to the number of the week.

Position & Direction

· Children use everyday language to talk about position to compare objects and to solve problems.

· Children can describe their relative position such as ‘behind’ or ‘next to’.

2D Shape

· Children explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

· Children begin to use mathematical names for ‘flat’ 2D shapes (circle, oval, triangle, square, rectangle, rhombus, pentagon) and mathematical terms to describe shapes (side/ edge, corner, curved, straight).

· Children select a particular named shape.


· They recognise, create and describe patterns.

· Children use familiar objects and common shapes to create and recreate patterns and build models.


  • Children use everyday language related to time (days, months, times of day, seasons, o’clock) and can sequence events.


· Children begin to use everyday language related to money (coin, pence/p, 1p, 2p, 5p, total, value).


· 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. Many 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 and will also be able to have fun using and making a variety of real and pretend phones and numbers. 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!



The children will continue to learn about God, the Bible, what Christians believe and what is important to them. Following this, it’s on to learning about the true meaning of Christmas through stories, arts and crafts, music and so on.



We are hoping to get outside before the weather gets too cold, in order to play, practise and learn playground games. Some of these games seem to have been forgotten in recent years and yet are so valuable for learning fair play, control, co-operation and moving safely around a space. The children will have lots of fun together and keep fit playing games such as ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?, various versions of ‘tig’ and big circle games.



We have yet to start this due to spending a little extra time on becoming superhero learners in school.

We will be giving the children their first taste of linguistics! It is widely reported that young children pick up languages easily. The children will take part in a whole class French session every week. We will start by focussing on greetings 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 value of 'Mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith' when we learn about Nelson Mandela. We will also be thinking about this value when we learn about how Christmas is celebrated all around the world.


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.




Abbey House trip!

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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