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Welcome to Reception!

 Please read the sections of the website below for details about what we are learning about in the different areas of the learning this half term. We hope you enjoy reading our class page, where topic, literacy and mathematics 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 team for this year will be:


Mrs Swift (Early Years Leader and SLT)- Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

Mrs Letheren- Alternate Wednesday afternoons, Thursday and Friday

Mrs Wilson (Teaching assistant)- Monday and Tuesday all day, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings

Mrs Naylor (Teaching assistant)- Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons

Mrs Meek (HLTA)- Monday afternoon when Mrs Swift is having her leadership time and planning exciting things for the whole school! 


We really value your input into your children's learning and see parents as partners in this. You know your children the best and you will be able to tell us lots about their learning and development outside of school, which really helps us to build up a full and rounded picture of the children. With this in mind our virtual classroom door is always open, even if our physical one cannot be at this time. Any queries that you may have are hugely valued so please do not hesitate to contact any member of the school team. We understand that it is going to be difficult not having face to face contact with the Reception team and not being able to enter the classroom so we want to make sure we are as accessible as possible. We will be happy to arrange phone calls with parents to discuss any concerns and answer questions. We will also update the web page regularly with pictures and videos of the children.


There may be some days when Mrs Swift and Mrs Letheren are not in the classroom teaching. This is usually because we are on a course learning new things and getting new ideas for the curriculum and classroom! On these occasions we will always tell the children who will be teaching them and we will always try to make it someone from the Reception team. 

Welcome to Collingham School!smiley

Happy September! We are so excited to start the new school year and get to know you and your children! We had such a lovely week in July when we visited your driveways and gardens, it was great to have the opportunity to put names to faces and meet you and your children. We were amazed with how grown up the children were and loved finding out about them and what they like to play with. We finished the week with big smiles on our faces and very excited for September!


We have been very busy over the summer setting up the Reception classroom, we have had a new floor fitted, have a lovely new rug for our carpet area and a fantastic new reading sofa! Due to government guidance we are unable to have certain things in the classroom such as access to sand and water provision, cushions and soft toys. However we have turned this into a positive and have completely redesigned the classroom and areas of learning, the classroom is now much more open plan so that the children have more space to play! We have a much bigger writing area and an all new maths area. We also have a new technology area. After meeting you all and getting to know your interests, Mrs Swift had lots of fun doing her favourite thing- shopping! We have lots of new trains, cars and aeroplanes and lots of small world toys for you to play with!


The children will have their own pencil case which will contain their own packs of felt tips, colouring pencils, pencils, whiteboard, whiteboard pen and rubber. The children will also have their own plastic box with playdough in ready for when they want to access this. Shared toys and resources will be rotated and washed frequently. The children will also be washing their hands at regular intervals throughout the day. 


Once the children have settled in and we get started we will be running the Reception classroom exactly the same as we have done in previous years. Children will have whole class carpet inputs and then half the class will be working with adults and half the class will access the provision in the areas of learning in the classroom. The groups will then swap over the next day.


The first two weeks in Reception


During the week beginning 14th September the children will be coming to school for half days and will be collected after their lunch at 1.15pm. (Please see previous letters from school for your child's start date and also start time)  By staggering the children's start date and time it means that the children can come into school in smaller groups, this will enable us to really get to know your children, it will also mean that it is less overwhelming for the children. Over the course of this week we will be carrying out lots of observations on the children playing. Observations of play are the primary method of assessment in Early Years, these observations will enable us to make baseline assessments on the children. We use these observations and assessments to plan learning that suits the needs of your child and helps them to make progress. We will also be teaching your children about routines of the school day. We will be 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.

The children will start school full time the week beginning 21st September. This week all the children will start the school day at the same time- 9.10pm and be collected at 3.10pm.During this week we will continue to observe the children playing and will also do some very short 1:1 assessments with the children to inform our observations and help build up a full picture of your child's development, we will also teach the children about the RESPECT code through the use of stories.





Upcoming events


Once the children have settled into school we hope to hold some Reception zoom meetings which focus on reading and writing and also mathematics- details will be sent out soon


07.09.20- Training day

14.09.20- First morning at school

21.09.20- First full day at school

24.09.20- First PE lesson in Reception (please come to school dressed in PE kit)

08.10.20- RWI Zoom meeting 7pm

22.10.20- Mathematics zoom meeting 7pm

Latest news


This section will be updated fornightly on a Thursday so please keep checking back for updates



Show and Tell

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.  We will start Show and Tell once the children are settled in to school. Show and Tell we take place in children's house groups. More details will follow about this.


Tommy the Travelling Bear

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.

Curriculum this half term



We follow the Read Write Inc (RWI) scheme of work in our phonics lessons. We use this scheme to teach the children to read and write. We will learn a different sound each day. We will practise saying, reading and writing that sound as part of the whole class carpet input. The children will then move to the tables in small groups and practise writing the sounds they have learnt. The children will use whiteboard pens during our phonics lessons to begin with as they help with the 'flow' of letter formation and are easier to grip. There will be a big focus on children holding their whiteboard pens correctly and forming their letters correctly. RWI has rhymes in order to help the children do this. The children will recap every sound they have learnt each day so that learning can be consolidated. The children will also practise writing their full names. Sounds that the children have learnt each week will be sent home so that you can support your child with their learning.


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, this is so important for developing children's language and early reading skills


Week beginning 21st September- We read 'The Colour Monster' and talked about different feelings. We put some words on our Wow Word Wall- angry, calm, fear, afraid, happy, scared, and confused

Week beginning 28th September- We read 'The Runaway pea' which is the book that got sent home for you to read from the Book Trust. We focused on rhyming words and played some games with rhyming words and then thought of somewhere else the runaway pea could travel to on his next adventure and drew a picture. See the link at the bottom of the page for some rhyming activities you can do at home.



Reading books

Reading books will be changed on Mondays and Thursdays, please note that books will only be changed if your child's reading record has been signed. The children will take a reading book home when Mrs Swift and Mrs Letheren have assessed them as being ready. Reading books will match children's current phonic level and this will be continually assessed when we listen to the children read in class.The reading books that children bring home are different to those we use in class for the teaching of specific reading skills. The home reading books are designed for children 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; 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. As well as your child's reading book, please continue to read other books at home and continue to read to your child daily if possible so that they are exposed to a wide range of different texts.




In Reception we focus heavily on incorporating Mathematics into our daily routines, 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 a maths meeting once the children have settled into school.


Mrs Swift will be focusing on the number strand of Mathematics including addition and subtraction.

Mrs Letheren will be focusing on the shape, space and measure strand of Mathematics. Shape, space and measure learning will link with our focus number for the week.







Physical Development

Our PE day this half term will be Thursday. 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’. Under normal circumstances the children would bring their PE kit to school so that they can practice getting changed independently, however due to the current circumstances the children will be coming to school dressed in their PE kit. In order to help the children achieve the Early Learning Goal in health and self-care please ensure that the children are dressing themselves as much as possible at home.


Our PE sessions will be on THURSDAYS. When possible, we will try to get outside to enjoy the fresh air whilst exercising, so please ensure that your child comes to school in kit appropriate for all weathers! We will focus on the key skills of agility, balance, space and co-ordination through individual and whole class activities and games. Each session will include a warm up activity where we will discuss how our bodies change and the importance of physical exercise. We will endeavour to minimise physical contact and the sharing of equipment during our PE lessons.


With the exception of phonics and some mathematics all our learning in Reception is topic based.The curriculum in Reception is holistic and not separated into subjects. The curriculum is set out into areas of learning. We have one topic that covers all areas of learning. We do not always explicitly make links to these areas when talking to the children about topic learning. However when teachers plan topic learning, it 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 opportunities provided as part of all 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. When planning for our topic we will also take into account our whole school curriculum drivers and plan learning that incorporates these.


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.


Our first topic will be about ‘Superheroes’ and this half term the children will be looking at what we need to become a superhero learner. Their learning will be based on the RESPECT code and how to become and life long learner! The Early Years Foundation Stage also has ' Characteristics of Effective Learning'  which are central to all learning in Reception. These ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ will be reported on at the end of the year. As a school, we believe that these characteristics underpin all learning and it is extremely important that children learn and develop these skills to create a life- long love of learning. At the bottom of this page are links to all three documents, please take the time during your child's first few weeks at school to familiarise yourself with the language we use as a school when talking about the skills we need to learn as the children will be using lots of words from these documents in everyday life!


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


The children will begin their time at Collingham by learning about our school’s Christian Vision Statement, our whole school Christian ethos and RESPECT Code. Each week, they will take part in either daily Classroom Worship or whole school/ Key Stage Collective Worship via Zoom! Our school theme for this half term in Thankfulness. They will also begin to learn about Christianity, God, other faiths, prayer, Bible stories and so on, through our Worship sessions. We have a Reflection Area in our classroom, where the children might choose to make or take a phone call from God on our special telephone or just relax and have some quiet, reflective time.

We will start our first specific unit of RE – Creation – after half term.


In our Technology Area, the children will have start by trying to program our Beebots (programmable robots) and accessing simple interactive programs on our brand new iPads! Once the children are settled, we will also use these programs in the Computer Suite using a computer and mouse. They will begin to use a CD player and headphones to listen to stories. The children will also be able to have fun using and making a variety of real and pretend phones and numbers.



We will start learning French after half term ,once the children have settled fully into school. 

British Values

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


These values are embedded throughout the curriculum in Reception and we focus on different values in each topic.

This half term we will be focusing on the British Values of 'individual liberty' and 'mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith'. We will be looking at ourselves and our families and why we are special and also about Superheroes from other cultures.




Preparing for school

Wow stars

RESPECT code, Lifelong learner poster and Curriculum drivers

Reception Curriculum including Characteristics of Effective Learning

Reception Mathematics calculation policy

Rhyme activities