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Welcome to Reception!


Welcome to Collingham School!smiley

Welcome back! We hope you had a lovely half term! The children have come back to school brilliantly! We started this half term by making and tasting pancakes and learning about Lent, we have also been carrying out lots of observations of the children in their play during our first week back. This helps us to assess the children and plan their next steps in learning. This term we will be continuing with our Frozen topic and going on a very exciting school trip- details to be revealed soon! Like last half term we will be encouraging the children to be as independent as possible with their reading and writing and also their mathematics. We are also looking forward to getting outside a bit more as the weather improves! On Monday afternoons Mrs Meek and Mrs Shaw will be doing lots of gardening with the children, planting flowers, creating a wormery and generally tidying up our outdoor area. This half term we will also be sending home some words for the children to pratice reading and writing- see the Literacy section of the website for more details.


 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 beThursday.. 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

Friday 2nd March- World book day non-uniform event in school

Friday 2nd March- Dside visits

Monday 19th and Wednesday 21st- Parents evenings

Wednesday 21st March- Easter learning afternoon

Tuesday 27th March- Non uniform day

Wednesday 28th March- Easter Bingo after school

Wednesday28th March- School trip




Latest News


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


Super Science Week

This week we have really enjoyed being scientists again in Reception whilst investigating how and why ice melts. The children came up with some brilliant ways to try to make their ice cube melt quicker. We will then linked this learning with what is happening to the environment in the Polar Regions and how we can help to look after our world by saving energy and recycling.

Our igloo is finally finished and ready for lots of imaginative play. Thank you for all the milk containers!

Thanks also for all the flowers and plants that you have donated. Mrs Meek and the children have been busy planning our garden re-vamp. It’s going to look fab!

Finally, we have been learning about a Spring celebration from another culture, Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Mrs Azimikorf came in to talk to the children about it and showed the them lots of real life artefacts that her family use during this celebration. The children loved listening to her and she was extremely impressed with their behaviour and curiosity.



Spring is coming…or is it?!

Firstly we would like to say a massive well done to all the children for showing courage and huge amounts of joy when performing our dance routines just before the holiday. We were so incredibly proud of them.

During that week the children also enjoyed learning about Chinese New Year, especially making and eating a stir fry! We were lucky to have Mrs Bamforth to come in and talk to us about Chinese New Year, bringing with her lots of authentic artefacts for the children to look at and also kindly giving all the children a red envelope, colouring sheet and fortune cookie. Here is what she had to say…

“The Reception children were attentive throughout my little talk. They were very inquisitive and full of fascination for a different culture and it’s traditions. The children made a great audience and it was such a pleasure for me to be able to share a little bit about the Chinese New Year traditions and celebrations with them.”

So far this half term the Reception children have already enjoyed making pancakes, exploring colour mixing with paints, starting gymnastics with our coach, learning some new tricky sounds and lots, lots more! Over the next few weeks we will continue our Frozen topic, focusing on features of the polar regions and real life explorers. How fitting the current climate is!

Polar explorers and researchers!

What a busy and exciting couple of weeks Reception have had! Last week the children started planning our expedition around Collingham, they were split into teams. We have had a risk assessment team who have been learning how to carry out a risk assessment and thinking of all the dangers around Collingham and how to minimise them, we have had a team that wrote a letter to parents, a team that drew a map of Collingham, thinking of all the places that we might want to visit and finally a team that have been writing a list of what we need to take with us and how we need to behave. Last week the children also became researchers and learnt all about the features of non-fiction books and how they differ to stories (fiction). They again split into teams and used information books to research different polar animals, the children then presented their facts and research to the rest of the class. We have made our own information book about seals, penguins, arctic foxes and polar bears with a contents page!

This week the children have been learning about the festival of Chinese New Year, we have made and tasted chicken stir fry, the children had lots of fun using chopsticks! The children have also been singing and dancing with Chinese dragons. They have had a go at writing some numbers in Chinese! We have also been on our expedition around Collingham, the children had a map to follow and clipboards to write or draw anything interesting that they saw. We hope you enjoyed our dance performance; the children have worked really hard and listened well to Mrs Letheren and the dance coach. Have a fantastic half term and a well-deserved rest Reception!


Reception had a very exciting start to their new topic when Elsa left them a message on Mrs Swifts computer! We started the topic by looking at how to ask questions and then thought of lots of questions we would like to find out about winter and cold places. Last week we learnt all about what happens in winter in the United Kingdom and found Collingham on a map of the U.K. We enjoyed looking at atlases and creating our own maps in our polar explorer tent in the classroom! We went on an exploration around the school grounds with our magnifying classes looking for signs of winter. Mrs Letheren and the children got very messy when learning about what happens to animals in winter and making bird feeders! This week we have been learning about an artist called Lowry, we have been looking at some of the pictures he drew and talking about what they mean to us. We looked at one of Lowry's pictures 'Winter in Broughton' and used our observational skills to draw our own pictures of 'winter in Collingham' in the style of Lowry. We have also been learning about the art of origami and making origami penguins. The children have had to practice their perseverance and fine motor skills when folding the paper! Mrs Swift and Mrs Letheren have been amazed at the children's increased independence with their writing, we have started 'big writing' this term and the children have been writing sentences all by themselves. The children have also been doing lots of their own writing in their play- we have even had some instructions on how to make bird feeders this week!






A fantastic start to the term!
Wow! The team in Reception have been amazed by how well the children have returned back to school. We have been really getting stuck into our reading, writing and maths and making sure that we recognise all the sounds we have learnt so far and can form them correctly. In Maths we have been looking at 2d shapes and also subtraction. The children have really impressed Mrs Swift by learning to read subtraction sentences and find the answer  by counting backwards! We have started the term by doing some RE and learning about the story of 'Noah'. The rainbow in the story was a promise from God that he would never send a flood again and we have been making our own new year promises on rainbows. This week we have been focusing on the 'thankfulness' part of our RESPECT code and thinking about why it is important to say thank you. We have also been thinking about children who are less fortunate than us, who may not have had the same Christmas as us and what we can do to be kind to others. We have been writing thank you letters to Father Christmas. Next week we will begin our new topic - Frozen! If parents would like to know what we are learning about in this topic there is a  more detailed breakdown of the topic on our web page, we also have a list of what we are covering in mathematics this half term on our web page. Finally if anyone has any 'Frozen' themed dressing up that they no longer need or hats, scarves, gloves and woolly jumper etc for our explorer role play this would be much appreciated.






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 will be 'FROZEN'


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

  • Who has explored the North and South Poles? This week will be a History focus week in which we will be looking at explorers past and present. We will be looking at how the equipment to explore has changed over the years. We will also be thinking about what we would need most on a polar expedition.
  • Who lives in the North pole? This week we will be learning about the Inuit people that live in the North pole, we will be making our own Inuit finger masks
  • Why does ice melt? This week is a science focus week, we will be investigating how and why ice melts. We will be playing with lots of ice cubes and writing up our investigations
  • Will the polar regions melt? This week we will be thinking about how to look after our world, we will be making poster to display around school about how to save the environment. We will be discussing recycling.


During this half term we will also be learning about Mother's Day and talking about why our Mummy's are special. We will also be having an Easter learning week during the last week of term.



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 be continuing to recap their 'Set 1' sounds and will be starting to learn their 'Set 2' 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. This half term some children will begin to take part in 'Ditty' activities which focus on reading and writing in sentences rather than just single words.

This half term the children will continue to take part in 'Big Writing' once a week. This will be taught by Mrs Swift and is where all the children sit down and write at the same time without the help of an adult, it is an opportunity for the children to make marks and write independently depending on their stage of development. The children will begin by writing a sentence that is constructed by an adult and will then move on to thinking about their own sentences. As the half term moves on the children will have a go at doing longer pieces of writing around different genres like stories or instructions! Big Writing really improves the children's confidence and their stamina for writing at length. The children are often very proud of their grown up writing!


This half term the children will also be learning their letter names (capital letters) and starting to learn High Frequency words- a letter will be sent home about these words with tips on how to help at home.


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;

  • Ordering numbers and writing numbers
  • Finding 1 more and less than a number
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Estimating
  • Number bonds to 10- finding different ways to make the number 10


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

  • To begin to use mathematical names for ‘flat’ 2D shapes and ‘solid’ 3D shapes and use mathematical terms to describe them such as side, corner, face and edge

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

  • Children begin to recognise and name left and right

  • To compare and order at least 2 objects by weight, capacity or length and to begin to measure objects using non-standard units such as cubes or cupfuls

  • To begin to recognise that coins have different values (they will buy more or less). To begin to match real coins to amounts of money, e.g. 10p is ten 1p coins



The children will continue to access multimedia and art programs on the Netbooks, in the Computer Suite and on our interactive board. In our Technology Area and as part of our Maths sessions about direction, the children will learn how to input instructions into a programmable toy called a Beebot. Later will carry out switch and machine hunts to consolidate their understanding of the technology we use every day.  




During March we will be learning about the Hindu Spring celebration of Holi, the Festival of Colour and another New Year celebration, Nowruz. Our creative activities will be linked to these celebrations. Towards the end of the half term we will focus on The Easter Story.



This half term the children will be having a specialist gymnastics coach for our PE session on THURSDAY AFTERNOON. The children will be improving their skills and agility in areas such as travelling, balancing, rolling and jumping.



Our French focus this half term will continue to be counting, linked as usual with lots of rhymes and games. We will learn about what school is like for French children and continue to practise all the French we have learnt so far. Try asking your child to say hello, goodbye, yes, no and count to 5.


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 how spring and the new year is celebrated around the world and in other faiths. We will also reinforce our British values when we learn about the Inuits. We will also be including British Values in our topic learning.

.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