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Autumn 1 Blogs 2022

Harvest, Hens and History!


This week our main focus has been learning about what the word ‘harvest’ means (gathering food), naming vegetables and beginning to understand how different foods are harvested.

We used the story of The Little Red Hen to find out about growing wheat from seeds, how it then needs to be picked, that the little red hen took it to a mill to grind it into flour before she could bake it into bread. The children then talked about how the hen had to do a lot of the work by hand (wing!), but that nowadays, we use machinery such as combine harvesters to make the job quicker and easier. Following this, the children ordered pictures of the story and had to retell it to an adult using the correct language such as wheat, mill and “Not I”, which all the animals say to the hen when she asks them for help. Many children enjoyed playing with the characters and settings from the story that we set up in a Tuff tray – retelling the story with their friends, using their imagination brilliantly.

Our second focus story for the week was Oliver’s Vegetables, which helped the children to recognise and name more vegetables, as well as practise the days of the week. As part of our Expressive Arts and Design curriculum, the children explored printing using paint and a variety of vegetables. They had to create a repeating pattern, just like we have been doing in Maths, such as carrot, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, beetroot, cabbage.

This week, we also began learning about History. We started by looking at the large timeline on our classroom wall, noticing how it starts now, when the children are in Reception, and goes back in time to when they were babies…when Mrs Swift was born…when Mrs Letheren was born…World War 2…right back to the time of the dinosaurs! We used the vocabulary now/ present, past/ a long time ago, old/ new, history/ timeline. We will keep adding people and events to this timeline throughout the year. I then challenged the children to order 4 pictures of harvesting, which they did and explained really well. For example, they quickly realised the oldest photo was of the people harvesting by hand and the newest when they were using a shiny, new combine harvester. However, we also looked at tricky ones like a photo of modern day people harvesting by hand, and one child explained “it’s because those vegetables are very delicate” – wow! What great listening and learning!

In our outside area, the children have been busy helping to weed our pots and flower beds, as well as planting lots of new bedding plants for Autumn/ Winter. It’s looking lovely – well done children!

Finally, we have to say the most ENORMOUS well done to all the children in Reception for their amazing performance of Big, red combine harvester at the Harvest festivals this week. We appreciate that it must feel incredibly daunting for them faced with a hall full of grown-ups watching them, but WOW, did they impress us! There were no tears, just great, big smiles and some absolutely fantastic singing. We really are SO proud of you all Reception! J

We hope you all have a restful weekend, ready for one last week before a well-deserved holiday. Their first half term of Reception is nearly done!

The Reception Team J

Well done Reception! J

Well, what a busy couple of weeks we have had in our brand new Reception class! We know some of the children will be starting to get a little tired now (as they realise that they have to come to school EVERY day!), but once they get into the classroom with their friends and all our fantastic equipment, they settle quickly and have so much fun!

Last week, we focused on the story of The Colour Monster to help the children to name, understand and begin to control their emotions. They listened to and talked about the story really well and created some amazing collage colour monsters for our cloakroom. Every morning, they put their name into the pot of the colour monster to show how they are feeling. For example, if they are feeling happy, that’s the yellow colour monster. Perhaps try asking them if they can remember the different colours and emotions.

This week, our main focus has been learning about our school RESPECT Code. Firstly, the children learnt about what the letters in RESPECT stand for and what these words mean – Resilience, Equality, Service, Positivity, Empathy, Choices, Togetherness. The children then worked in groups to paint a large drawing of a school pupil in their uniform, and talked about what one of the words means. For example, for Togetherness, one child said that means “Be friends with everyone.” These RESPECT Code pupils will be hung up in the classroom – you’ll probably bump into one when you come to visit us in school later in the term! We then read the children a story to introduce them to all the ‘superhero’ characteristics of our RESPECT Code. For example, we used The Smartest Giant in Town to learn about Generosity, The Lion inside for Courage and The Hare and the Tortoise for Perseverance. We have been trying hard all week to remember all these tricky words, what they mean and match them to the symbols (or superhero badges!). The children seem to absolutely love listening to all our stories and many have been trying really hard to put their hands up and answer questions about them.

We also started our phonics this week and so far have practised saying and writing the following sounds: m, a, s. d. t. Although we haven’t been able to give you the sound books as yet, try pointing to one of these sounds in a book, on a sign etc and see if they can tell you what sound it makes. They might be able to tell you the rhyme we use to remember how to write it and maybe even write some for you!

As well as all this, we have been doing our initial Baseline assessments with the children, asking them lots of Maths questions, successfully managed our first two PE lessons (!), managed to sit well for three Collective Worships (100 bonus house points from Mr Cook this afternoon for being the BEST class!), had a visit from Reverend Carolyn, started our Computing, learnt our Harvest song, learnt lots of play dough skills using ‘Dough Disco’ and also in groups with Mrs Bolton, had fun doing some rather messy art (conker rolling!), played in the outside area lots and had brilliant fun playing in the classroom…it’s no suppose they’re feeling tired!

We hope that you all have a wonderful weekend!

The Reception Team J