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Reception 2023 - 2024

Welcome to Reception!

Miss Deeley, Mrs Weston & Miss Burling



Through the secret garden

This half term, our theme has been 'Through The Secret Garden', providing an opportunity for the children to explore and learn about the seasons, spring, plants, animals, growing, Easter and more! It has been a very creative few weeks and the class particularly enjoyed making their chicks and spring pictures, along with Easter cards and paintings, providing us with lots of beautiful samples to create the spring term display in class. The children have also enjoyed learning about the different things that plants need to grow, and they have all planted their own 'magic beans', with the hope of winning the tallest bean stalk. In addition, last year, we harvested the seeds from our sunflowers, so the children have also planted these, to look after in the garden, when the weather becomes warm enough, (they are all taking their gardening duties very seriously, so we will keep you updated on the success of the beanstalks and flowers). 


The theme has meant that we have read some great books for the book of the week, including Jack and the Beanstalk, The Tiny Seed and Is It Spring Yet? Though the children have enjoyed them all, the firm favourite was most definitely Jack and the beanstalk and this inspired the children to create some lovely sentences about the story, after acting as the main characters in the book during a class performance. We have seen a big change this half term in the children's sentence building and blending, which is brilliant. Please encourage this at home and find any and all opportunities for your children to read short words/sentences and then try to create their own, using their phonetic knowledge. Their home pack sounds will help them with this. 


The focus this half term has been on the composition of 10, length, odds and evens and the use of the part whole model to create number sentences. Each child should have received a composition of 5/10 in their home packs, however, please feel free to talk to a member of staff in reception if you would like any further information on how to support your child at home with maths.  

Easter stay and play

Thank you to everyone that attended our recent stay and play, the turn out was brilliant and the children clearly loved it. We hope that you enjoyed it just as much and will continue to support such events in the future, as it allows your child to share their class, resources, activities and learning with you. The children could not wait to share their spring percussion and dance performance with their audience, however this was possibly beaten by being able to make their cookies for you to enjoy on the day, especially as they got to eat the left overs for snack the next day too! 

World book day, Comic relief,and odd socks!

We have had some fabulous fun on our dressing up days and it has been brilliant to see so many of the children taking part and enjoying showing off their outfits! Most importantly it has raised either money or awareness for some brilliant causes. 

Class achievements

It has been really lovely to see so many of the children challenging themselves to continue to do tasks and challenges at home, and we always love it when they bring their work in to show us. In addition, a big well done to everyone that completed their stick jobs each week and entered the prize pot. 

In particular, well done to Jud, Izzy, Everly-Rae and Harper for their star of the week awards. 

The Jungle

The children had a lovely week, playing in the jungle themed role play area and using the jungle animals in the small world. We explored different sounds, views and animals that you might find in the jungle and all had lots of fun singing our jungle song and hunting for the animals through the verses. In addition the children created their own jungle pictures and labelled them, as well as ordered jungle animals by size, as part of their stick jobs during the week. This week the children have been looking closer to home and learning about the community that they live in. They have used maps to explore the roads and familiar places around their homes and school and have been very excited to work in our post office all week!

Book of the week

Monkey Puzzle was a huge hit for our book of the week during jungle week. Most of the children were very familiar with the story and could join in with the rhyming words. This was followed by The Jolly Postman, and the children loved all the little letters within the book.

Class achievements

We have had so many of our children reaching the pot of gold recently and this is brilliant. A special well done to Nedungko for receiving the star of the week award, for achieving some areas of his targets and completing his tasks each day. Well done Nedungko! 

Lastly a MASSIVE well done to our whole class for achieving Mrs Johnson's class of the week award, for being respectful, calm, and quiet around school and for working hard in class.

The Arctic

This week we have been exploring all things arctic! The children have loved trying to free the animals from our frozen icebergs and igloos and have enjoyed playing in our igloo role play area. In addition, they have created their own arctic animals and then deepened this task, by labelling the parts of their animal independently.  

Sensory and quiet learning area

You may have noticed the improvements made in our kitchen area this week, which has now been developed into a much more useable and calming environment for quiet learning, intervention time and sensory experiences. It is now an environment that can be utilised when children need some calm, quiet time, need a quiet area to concentrate on challenging tasks or when children are feeling overwhelmed in a busy, and sometimes noisy, bustling classroom. We are delighted with the new look and believe it will be incredibly beneficial to the whole class.

Class achievements

A big well done to Jessie for receiving the 'star of the week' award for trying really hard this week at carpet times and with her tasks, and for listening to the adults and being kind to her friends. 

In addition, a special mention to the whole class this week for trying to keep their learning environments tidier and for many of the class completing their stick jobs and entering the prize pot. 

Earth and beyond

This half term, the theme is 'Earth and beyond', so we have been exploring space and our planet over the last two weeks. The children have loved discovering new facts about space and especially enjoyed watching small clips from an astronaut in space, finding out information such as, where astronauts sleep, what they eat and how they drink. There has been some really engaged learning and brilliant examples of writing, especially when the children responded to a letter, left in our classroom, by Aidee the astronaut. The space station role play area has been a huge hit and the class all decorated a giant rocket in the creative area too.

After exploring space, we focused on our planet and used globes and maps to take a closer look at Earth. The children found similarities and differences when comparing communities and animals from all over the world, and discussed how changes such as the weather, alters the way in which people live.


The class continue to have their daily phonics input and this has now increased to 5 days a week as opposed to the previous 4 days a week. During this input the children practise their sounds, blending, letter formation and reading. Please ask your child to show you their sounds that they have been working on and use the letters in their home pack to create short words to support blending. 


The children have been learning about weight in class and have been comparing the size and weight of items in their learning environments. They made estimations on which item was the heaviest and then used the scales to check if they were correct, learning important factors such as that larger items are not always the heaviest. 

In addition to weight, we have introduced the children to the 'how to make 5 song', to support retaining the different ways that you can make 5 using two parts. If you would like to listen to this at home too, I have added the link below:

Class Achievements

A big well done to Jud for getting the star of the week award for his progress with phonics and writing, along with always being kind, sensible and always following the class rules.

In addition, a huge well done to Ada-Mae and Jessica for becoming mini-crusaders - this is a huge achievement and only awarded to children that always follow the crusader code, so they should be very proud of themselves, as we are of them!!

Christmas 2023

The last few weeks of this term were spent celebrating all things Christmas related. The children especially enjoyed the role play area and spent long periods of time, engaging in imaginative play with their friends, recreating their past experiences of Santa's workshop, Santa's home, and his gift delivering journey's! Another firm favourite was the use of the interactive whiteboard for maths and gross motor mark making, decorating the giant Christmas tree's, creating patterns and matching and counting the Christmas decorations. Our cheeky elf created the perfect amount of chaos each day in the classroom and the children were excited to find out what he had been up too each morning! In addition, we recreated the nativity story, through learning about each character in the story and then acting it out, in front of our classroom audience, we even made a modern day version of the story too!

Christmas show

A huge well done to all the children for their Christmas performance, they all did such a great job and and should be very proud of themselves! 

Book of the week

As we had kindly been donated a Christmas book advent calendar for the class, the book of the week changed to a book of the day over the festive period! However, we did also have a deeper focus on some more specific books, including 'The Nativity Story' and 'Aliens Love Panta Claus'. As many of the Christmas stories rhyme, it provided a great opportunity to support the children's understanding of rhyming words, as this is a difficult concept for them to learn.

Class Achievements

A big well done to our stars of the week, Riley - for really trying hard with his writing, reading and phonics, Pranshi - for helping her friends and working hard at tidying up the classroom and outdoor area, and to Ellis, for completing more stick jobs and making great choices in the classroom and at carpet times.

However, the whole class deserve a huge congratulations for all their hard work in show rehearsals and in their final performances too, so well done to every one of you!!

Autumn 2 - Week 2 & 3

Continuing with the theme of 'Awe and Wonder', we have been exploring Diwali and nursery rhymes over the last couple of weeks. The children loved the different Diwali activities that they took part in and especially enjoyed making the diyas and cards for the people that are special to them. At the end of the week, we all joined together for chatty snack and enjoyed Diwali themed foods, with our homemade chapati's. 

During nursery rhyme week, the class had so much fun, dressing up in story themed outfits and loved the Queen of Hearts role play area. We focused on a different, traditional nursery rhyme each day and each stick job linked to a nursery rhyme to support input.

Children in need 2023

The children all looked brilliant in their spots, Pudsey Bear outfits or pajamas, it was a lovely way to end an exciting week and it provided the opportunity to talk to the class about looking after others and helping people who need our help. Thank you for all the donations and supporting your children to contribute to such a fantastic cause. 

Class achievements

Well done to all the children that have completed their stick jobs and entered the prize draw, this has been more difficult with additional jobs and the introduction to the Christmas play practice, so these children have really challenged themselves. 

A huge well done to Izzy, who has been making a particular effort to tidy up, help with jobs and work extra hard in phonics and to Ruby, who has also been trying hard with her reading and phonics, and were therefore picked as our star's of the week.

Lastly, a massive well done to Shania, who was chosen as Mrs Johnson's star of the week, for choosing to look after other children in her class, always being kind and caring and always being eager to attempt every task, with enthusiasm, even if this is challenging. 

Autumn 2 - Week 1

This week we have been celebrating bonfire night, which links to our new theme, 'Awe and Wonder'. It has been a very crafty week, full of firework paintings, sparkles, chalk night time pictures and lots of rich conversations about the children's experiences of their own bonfire events and celebrations. The children have watched various short video's relating to bonfire night and then applied their phonetic knowledge, using descriptive vocabulary to write words linked to their sensory experiences, such as 'smoke', 'boom', 'pop', 'crackle' etc. In addition, we have also discussed poppy day with the class and every child made a leaf to create our poppy wreath, which we took to the memorial service at the Cenotaph on Friday. The whole class not only walked there and back without a grumble, but also remained silent when required and we were incredibly proud of them all!

Book of the week

Our book of the week this week was 'Sparks In The Sky', continuing the theme of bonfire celebrations. Though this book was unfamiliar to the class, they really enjoyed the interactive nature of it, visually being displayed on the whiteboard and the links to the children's own experiences of their bonfire celebrations. 

Phonics and reading

The class have coped well with their first week in new phonics groups. Each day, the class divide into smaller groups after lunch, to learn new sounds and re-visit previous sounds. They work together with their group and teacher, to blend sounds to create short (CVC) words, which contain their new sound. The more the children practice their sounds, the easier this will become for them, which is why we ask for the children to also practice these at home. The children are also really enjoying reading in class with an adult and are excited to get a new book to practice at home, please ensure that these books are in their bag daily so that they are available when it is their turn to read in class. 

Class achievements

As usual, a big well done to all the children that have completed their stick jobs this week or that have managed to reach the pot of gold throughout the week. A big well done to Izzy this week as she was selected for the 'Star Of The Week' for challenging herself, starting to help at every tidy time and helping others to do the same. 

Autumn 1 - Halloween

We have had a spooky end to our term and spent the last two weeks, continuing with the Autumn theme, with the addition of some fun Halloween linked activities. A particular favourite for the children, has been our 'witches cave' role play area, giving the class an opportunity to use their imagination, to dress up and create their own potions in the cauldrons! We have learnt about our bodies, through the skeleton song that we have enjoyed in class and the children made their own skeletons in small groups and helped to label the parts of the skeleton using their phonetic knowledge. The spider web tough spot was also a big hit for the children, where they spent long periods of time, engaged in trying to pick the spiders out of the web using the tweezers. 

Book of the week

Most of the children were very familiar with the Halloween themed book to finish the half term! 'Room On The Broom' is always a favourite story in class and helped to support the introduction of rhyme. We have had lots of fun, joining in with the story as a full class and acting out parts of the story too. In addition, the children split into small groups and had lots of fun using different rhyming words and resources to make their own spells and potions, they were very excited to add bicarbonate of soda, to create a colourful, magical, bubbling cauldron!


As the children were learning their Harvest assembly song, we also explored Harvest in class and linked this to different food types, the work of farmers, how food gets from the ground to the plate and which foods are healthy and less healthy. The children did a fantastic job of performing their song at the start of the Harvest assembly and remembered all of the actions and signs.

Halloween Stay and Play

Thank you to everyone that came to the 'Stay and Play', it was a fantastic afternoon of fun, Halloween themed activities and a lovely opportunity for the children to show off their classroom and learning. We were very lucky with the weather too, which meant our outdoor activities were also possible! We hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did. 

Halloween disco

The school disco was lots of fun and there was some brilliant costumes and scary faces! We had lots of fun dancing and playing games with you all. 

Class Achievements

Well done to all the children who completed their stick jobs and entered the prize pot this week. The stick jobs will be increased after the half-term break so this will be an extra challenge to the class!

A big well done to Everly-Rae for being the 'Star of the week', for always listening, helping, looking after her friends and trying her hardest in activities and tasks. 

Autumn 1 - Week 6

We have had a fabulous week in Reception this week, exploring Autumn and there has been some brilliant learning through play and adult supported, Autumn themed activities. The children have all really engaged with their stick jobs this week and enjoyed using harvested Autumn resources to create art work and develop their fine motor skills, through tasks such as our leaf hole punching job. The children especially enjoyed learning about hibernation and used the internet to find out facts and investigate which animals hibernate over winter. They have all then worked in small teams, to create their own hibernation habitats, recalling the information that they discovered through input and technology. Each team made a hibernating creature to live in their habitats and the 'sleeping creatures' have been a useful tool to remind the class to keep the volume down inside the classroom! At the end of the week, we went on a very wet and muddy, Autumn nature hunt, in our forest area. The class found a variety of beautiful items, including berries, different coloured leaves, cones, fruit and more. We returned to the class to dry off and display our items. Everyone helped to label the items, applying their phonetic knowledge within discussion and we then took photos of our hunt art, before returning all the items to the garden. 

Balance Bikes

We were very lucky this week to have some visitors in school for PE. They brought in balance bikes and the whole class had the opportunity to practice both physical and listening and attention skills, using their balance bikes, in the hall. The children loved every second of it!

Book of the week

Our book of the week this week was 'The Squirrels Who Squabbled', linking to the Autumn theme, and the class have loved this story! This has been read several times throughout the week to deepen their understanding of the different learning opportunities within the story and without exception, the entire class were attentive and engaged in the story on every occasion.


Maths is supported continually within activities and provision, as at this age, the children learn maths most productively through actively engaging with shape, number, length etc. However, we have introduced the concept of capacity within their maths input this week and the children spent an extended period of time, exploring capacity in the outdoor water trough, using various sized containers to discover how one vessel can be full, but when poured into another vessel it is nearly empty, half full, nearly full etc. 

Class Achievements

It has been a very successful week for Reception this week - a huge amount of the class completed their stick jobs this week and have been engaged in their learning so intently and obviously, that they also won Mrs Johnson's 'Class of the Week' award! Well done Reception, we are so proud of you!

In addition a big 'well done' to Gioia for being the star of the week, for always being kind and always trying her hardest in all areas of learning and play. 

Finally, a huge 'well done' to Jessica for being chosen as Mrs Johnson's star of the week, for challenging herself, engaging in learning outside of school and using the tools within the classroom to support writing tasks in class.

Wow! Keep up the brilliant work Reception. smiley

We had fun this week!

Autumn 1 - Week 5

This week we have focused on our similarities and differences, and have had lots of class discussions about how special and unique we all are. We have linked maths to this and looked at lots of different ways to group both ourselves and items/objects both inside and out. 

We have continued to make the most of the good weather and have done lots of group time and learning in our outside environment; with a focus on respecting each other, being kind, helping our friends, remembering the class rules and turn taking. This has included using the balance bikes (these are very popular so have really supported skills with turn taking) and team construction with both the large loose parts and the foam den kit.

This week, we also introduced our 'snack and chat' to the children - each day we display a picture on our snack table, along with a prompt question. The adults in class support discussion around the picture to encourage the children to chat to each other during their snack time. One of the most important ways in which we can support the children to develop their communication and language skills is to encourage engaged and rich conversation, this not only builds better relationships but in addition, supports their understanding of language and builds a wide and varied vocabulary. Please encourage this further at home by asking your children about the pictures on the snack table during their week. To further build on this idea, we have also introduced a Friday 'family style' snack, in which we all sit together inside (as opposed to our usual outdoor, self-service snack), this allows the whole class to communicate on a larger scale and eat alongside the teachers, providing a really lovely opportunity for general discussion of the children's choosing.

Book of the week

This week our focus book has been 'The Smeds and the Smoos' - this has been a fantastic book to support PSE and deepen understanding on how everyone is different, most importantly though, the children have loved this book! We set up a space role play area to link to the book, which was also a huge success and encouraged lots of engaged learning through play. 

Class achievements

Well done to all the children that reached the pot of gold this week and to all those that completed their stick jobs and therefore, entered the prize pot.

A special 'well done' to Cora for being our class 'star of the week' for her obvious increased effort and engagement in activities and class jobs. 

We have also started to give out a 'tidy award' as the children are finding it a struggle to remember our class rules of 'choose it, use it, then put it away', well done to those children that have already received a certificate for their effort to keep our classroom and garden area tidy. Please support this at home by encouraging your child to help at home and tidy away their own toys. 

Autumn 1 - week 4

This week we have had lots of time playing and learning outside, the children helped to harvest the seeds from the sunflowers and we explored the flower heads (and the bugs that hide inside them!), the children were amazed to discover the hiding seeds and spent lots of time, chatting to their friends, content with plucking them out. We extended this and used the textured heads to make sunflower prints with a gross physical painting activity. The children also enjoyed using the loose materials in the garden for construction, especially Bobby, who made his own washing machine to help with the class laundry! Bobby then used the school washing machine to clean our outdoor dressing up resources and was excited to hang them out in the sun the following day - thank you Bobby for being such a big help this week!

During the week, we also had a really important job to pick our two class representatives for our school council. The children decided if they would like to have a chance to be selected for this, and from those children, the rest of the class used their counter, to vote for their choice for both the boy and girl candidate - well done to Ada-Mae and Ellis and we look forward to thinking of class suggestion for you to take to your meetings. 

Book of the week

This week, our book of the week has been 'We are a class family', this continues to link to our theme of magical me and supports learning linked to managing feelings and making relationships, as well as developing understanding about our similarities and differences. The children have enjoyed the tasks linked to this such as our classroom role play area and decorating their petals in the creative area, to make a team flower to display in our classroom.

Class achievements

Well done to all the children that completed their stick jobs this week and were entered into the prize pot.

A big well done to Ada, who won our 'Star Of The Week' award for her kindness in class and her growing confidence to engage in new activities and experiences with her friends, Ada is now moving areas and sadly, this was her last week in our class, we will miss her lots but know her new school is lucky to have her in their class - goodbye Ada from Reception.

A very special well done to Bobby, who won Mrs Johnson's star award, for being being enthusiastic about coming to school and joining in with lots of new experiences that have previously been daunting to him, he has shown courage and resilience and we are very proud of him. 

Our week in Reception...

Welcome to your new class!

Welcome to Reception and well done for being so brave in the first two weeks of school! The children have settled in really well and are all making friends and starting to build relationships with us and each other. 

We understand that this is a scary time for both the children and their grown-up's, therefore we are spending a lot of time building trust and helping the children to feel secure in their new class, however, if you have any questions or concerns, please come and speak to a member of the reception team.


During the past two weeks, we have been helping your children to become familiar with our daily routine and begin to understand and manage the class rules and tasks, the children have enjoyed completing some of their stick jobs and have even started to learn some of their sounds in phonics sessions. We have loved reading 'The Colour Monster' and thinking of times where we have all felt happy, scared, excited etc. The children then had lots of fun creating their own colour monsters as one of their adult-led tasks. In addition, we have been focusing on families and we have really enjoyed looking at their photos and drawing family members for their family portraits. 


As most children at this age find it difficult to recall the activities that they have been involved with during the week, I have outlined some of the routines that the children will engage with throughout the term to help you to be able to chat to your child at home about their school experiences.

Stick Jobs

In addition to the continuous provision, each week the children will be completing more focused activities called stick jobs. These will be linked to our theme and Miss Deeley's learning objectives for your children. At the start of the week, we will introduce each stick job to the class, which they can then complete independently throughout the week. The children mark completion of the job on their board in class, when they have completed all of their stick jobs, they can add their name to the prize pot to have a chance of winning one of the prizes at the end of the week. They currently have three stick jobs, which many of the children completed, however, Miss Deeley intends to increase this over the following weeks, as the children settle into their routine, to reach a total of five stick jobs each week. Please ask your children to tell you about their sticks jobs at home to support recall and understanding of their routines. 

Adult Supported Tasks

Our adult-supported tasks focus on the theme and learning objectives for your children and are completed in small groups, with the support of an adult. Currently, these link to literacy and numeracy, within our theme of 'Magical Me'. Your children have been discussing and recording information about themselves and the people that are important to them, along with their likes, dislikes and things that make them unique and special. They have started to look at numbers up to 10 and attempted to link the correct amounts to the corresponding numeral.

Book of the week

Your children have access to a large and varied range of books and reading resources, which they can access independently. We also read with them regularly as part of the daily routine and love to spend time in our cosy reading corner, sharing a book. However, in addition Miss Deeley will choose a book of the week to explore. This week our book of the week has been 'Families, Families, Families'. Please chat to your children about the book off the week and any activities or new information that they have learnt from reading this. 

Phonics sounds

Your child has been sent home with the set one sounds, these are the sounds that your child will be learning in their phonics sessions. Please support your child to practise these at home and record this in their diary. I have attached a link to give further information on how to help your child with phonics below:


Phonics videos – help your child learn to read - Oxford Owl

Home Learning Packs

In addition to the phonics support, we have sent home the 2D and 3D shapes that the children will learn throughout the year, as well as their number bonds to 5. Again, please record when they have practiced these at home in their diary, so that we can credit the engagement in home challenges, in class.


Well done to our 'Stars of the Week' - Willow and Jessica.

Also, well done to all the children that managed to reach the pot of gold over the last two weeks, of which there were many!

Keep it up Reception smileyyes