Thank you all for attending the 'Meet the Teacher' meeting, it was wonderful to see so many faces. We have uploaded the PowerPoint (below) with all of the information that we shared, including key information such as P.E days, Library days and outdoor learning days. If you have a questions or queries, please don't hesitate to contact one of the team.
Thank you for taking the time to come and look at the exciting learning that takes place in Reception. Please have a read of this blog to find some interesting information about life in Reception. We will keep this page updated regularly with blogs, pictures and information but please also regularly check Tapestry to see the exciting learning we have been doing in school!
As you know, children in Reception are on the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum (EYFS).This curriculum is predominantly play-based and celebrates the whole child’s learning and development in a holistic approach. Our planning comes from the children - through careful observations and assessments of their play, noting the gaps in their knowledge and primarily from their interests in an overarching ‘topic’.
In school, we typically have a daily 20 minute phonics lesson, 20 minute maths lesson and a short topic taught session. In addition to this, we have 10 minutes reading a day.We support the children’s writing development with weekly small group guided writing sessions. This is where the children can apply their skills and knowledge of letters and sounds from their daily phonics lessons. The rest of the day is child-initiated play in the learning environments inside and outside. We call this COOL time (Choosing Our Own Learning)! This allows children the time for totally uninterrupted play; they can apply their learning from the taught sessions in a range of different activities and contexts. This ensures the learning is meaningful to them and that it becomes embedded. We try to ensure that the children have a minimum of 1.5 hours in the morning and the same again in the afternoon.
Reading books - changed on a Monday and Thursday / library books on a Friday
Your child will soon receive a reading packet and a reading record. It is really important that these are brought into school every day in their book bags. We will change your child’s reading book every Monday and Thursday. By practising re-reading the same book over a few days, it will help your child to become more confident with the text and fluent. The children will visit our wonderful school library on a Friday morning, where they will get to choose their very own book to take home! They will need to return their library back to school every Friday morning, in order to change it for a new one. We kindly ask you support your child with taking good care of our reading and library books at home, so that we can keep them in a nice condition for everyone to enjoy.
Outdoor learning - Wednesdays
Every Wednesday afternoon, we have outdoor learning. This is an amazing opportunity for the children to learn a range of skills from cooking on a fire, fire safety, making bird feeders, creating art using nature materials and much more! Every Wednesday your child will need to come into school in clothes suitable for outdoor learning (they do not need to wear school uniform on this day) – old, warm and waterproof which you do not mind getting a little muddy! They should already have their wellies at school which they will change into in the afternoon.
This morning all of the children
from reception went down to the DT room to do some cooking! First of all we
lined up to wash our hands and then we put an apron on. Everyone sat down and
listened to what we were going to do, to make some apple crumble. We discussed
the recipe we were going to follow, and the ingredients we were going to use.
The children had lots of thoughts and ideas, telling me -
“Wash our hands.”
“Put apron on.”
“We’re in the cooking room, we’re going to do apple crumble.”
“Wear aprons because we will be baking.”
“I’m going to make a yummy apple crumble.”
“Put aprons on, ask a friend to help.”
Miss Rowe explained how we should
hold our knives to cut up the apple safely, using the bridge method. Everyone
had a go and being very careful we chopped up the apples, then we put them into
the dishes. The children noticed lots about the apples telling me -
“It smells like apple juice.”
“It smells fresh. You can plant the seeds.”
“I can see the seeds, it feels smooth and the shape inside looks like a flower.”
“I can see dots. The stalk goes there, I found leaves.”
“We can pull up some of the grass, but the grass back down so the seeds make a tree.”
“There’s big seeds and lots of little seeds.”
“I think there will be seeds inside.”
“The apple is hard and has holes.”
“We use a knife to remove the skin.”
“Peel them, get the skin off.”
“I found the pips, I can put it in a pot, it’s science.”
“You make a hole, seeds fall out the apple, they go into the ground and take a bit long to grow to a tree.”
“The pips grow.”
Everyone helped to measure out some butter, flour and sugar to make the crumble topping and had a go at rubbing the butter into the flour.
“We harvest flour.”
“It’s wet and smells nice.”
“It’s slimy, flour comes from the farm.”
“Slimy.” Harriett- “It’s not porridge, it’s oats.”
“It feels slimy, the butter does.”
“It’s soft and sticky, it smells like cake.”
“It was all yucky and sticky, ew!”
“It was all sticky.”
“We put the oats on.”
The crumble mixture went on top of the apples and Miss Rowe put them in the oven. Everyone helped to tidy up, and when we got back to reception we were keen to tell Miss Yates and Miss Miskowicz all about it -
“We used flour, sugar, butter and flour, and mixed with my hands.”
“Apples and flour and sugar and more sugar at the top. Then put it in the oven.”
“It was sticky.”
“We cooked it in the oven. It’s hot.”
“It was all slimy and felt funny.”
The following day we got to taste the apple crumble, with a bit of ice cream on the side. Everyone had a taste, and it was great to see lots of empty plates. The children were very proud of their finished crumble, and were delighted to eat it.
Throughout the session the children displayed excellent listening skills and were able to follow two part instructions. The children demonstrated their fine motor skills when cutting the apples, and were aware of the safety rules within the kitchen. The children were kind and friendly throughout, helping each other with the aprons and showing great turn taking. Everyone was a ‘have a go hippo’, and all had a try at giving the crumble a mix with their hands. Great crumble making!
This morning, Miss Rash took a small group of children out into the Investigation Area where they explored the different shapes, sizes, colours, smells and textures of apples. The children were able to show fantastic listening skills as they took it in turns to describe the variety of apples, using key vocabulary to discuss what parts of the apple they had already learnt (stalk, seed, skin and core). They then demonstrated brilliant development in their small motor skills by using knives carefully to chop the apple in half, and also how they used their fine motor skills effectively by using tweezers to pull out the pips.
They then discussed how the apples had changed once they had been cut in half.
Here is an insight of some of the things the children said.
“Apples are red, green and brown on the outside and yellow inside.”
“If you plant the seeds you get a tree.”
“The apple was a circle before but now I’ve cut it it’s a heart.”
“Apples grow on tall apple trees.”
Once the children had explored the apples and discussed everything they knew, we ended the session by drawing our own apples and blending oil pastels to get the right colours needed. The children stayed focused during the whole activity and showed fantastic engagement throughout.
Following on from the children's interests in the talking tub and floorbooks, this week we have been investigating apples. For snack time today we all had apples. The children were exploring the how they felt on the outside, what they could see and how they tasted. They used their language skills to describe using their senses. Here is a snapshot of their thoughts.
“It smells like fresh air.”
“The brown bit smells dirty. It’s yellowy, brown and red.”
“It’s not bumpy.”
“I can see the blossom!”
“I hear a crunch.”
“I can hear the skin crunching.”
“It’s lovely and juicy.”
“It tastes like donuts.”
“The yellow bits smell like flowers.”
“It smells like banana peel and donuts.”
“The juice smells like apple juice.
“It smells like lollipops.”
“It makes a sound when I eat it.”
“The juice is sticky.”
“My stalk is really long.”
“Mine is small.”
“Mine is the middle sized stalk.”
“Mine is even smaller.”
“It is yellow.”
This morning in our topic lesson
the children spent time exploring pumpkins. First we had a look at a pumpkin
that had been cut open. They showed fantastic communication and language skills
as they discussed in a group the different textures and physical features of
the pumpkin. One child noticed that the outside was hard yet the inside was
soft and stringy.
We then passed the pumpkin around and took in turns to smell and feel it. The children used their language skills to describe what they thought.
“It smells sweet.”
“It feels gooey.”
“It has lots of yellow seeds.”
To end the lesson Miss Miskowicz brought in some pumpkin seeds that she had bought from the shop. The children instantly pointed out that the ones from the shop were darker in colour and smaller than the ones fresh out of the pumpkin. They learnt that this was because pumpkin seeds from the shop have been cooked so they are ready for us to eat. The children were very excited to try the seeds and were then handed a small handful each. They used key vocabulary to describe the seeds. Here is a snap shot of their words they used to describe the taste and texture.
“They are crunchy.”
“They taste like nuts”
“They taste like seeds.”
“It’s a bit like peanut butter”
“It’s like porridge.”
“They are chewy.”
“ They feel squishy.”
“They taste like nuts.”
Reception Diversity Day
Today is Diversity Day! The
children discussed how we as a class have similarities and differences for
example some children wear glasses and some have the same hair colour.
“Mylo and me don’t have the same hair.”
“Miss Rowe has black hair.”
“You have black skin.”
The children listened to Miss Rowe
talk about Kenya. We learnt about the country and the flag, and looked at
pictures of clothing and jewellery. The children said the families’ clothes
were brighter than our families’ clothes.
“It’s got lots of colours, I like the bracelet.”
“The flag looks like a rugby ball. The red and white are the same.”
We learnt about Kenyan safaris, and
looked at lots of animals that live in the wild. They particularly enjoyed
seeing the cheetahs and lions, the ‘big cats’. Miss Rowe explained how to say
hello, ‘Jambo’ in Swahili which is the language Kenyans speak. We talked about
schools in Kenya and the children noticed the differences and similarities.
“The clothes are different.”
“They don’t have uniform.”
“I see the hippos. I have a toy hippo at home.”
The children were very intrigued by
the video of the African dancing, and asked lots of questions. We then explored
how to dance to the Pata Pata, moving our bodies to the rhythm and music.
We finished by exploring lots of artefacts and items that Miss Rowe had brought in. The children were fascinated by the beautiful bright jewellery, and trying them on. They were particularly excited by the musical instruments and enjoyed having a go at creating their own rhythm.
During outdoor learning this week, the children went on an owl hunt. They were able to show amazing listening skills and were able to follow the instructions as they travelled around trees, through bushes and over tree stumps. This allowed the children to develop their confidence as well as their gross motor skills and co-ordination. Finally they found the owl that they had been hunting for, who was hiding high up in the tree.
After going on an owl hunt, they listened carefully to a story all about hedgehogs. They then had the opportunity to make their very own hedgehog out of clay. This was a wonderful activity where they were able to use many techniques to manipulate the clay and continue to develop strength in their fingers. They then went and collected some autumn treasures such as twigs and leaves to ensure that their hedgehog would be warm, comfy and cosy and ready for hibernation.
his week, we have been busy making bird feeder balls. This activity came from the children's discussions in the talking tub. Carefully following step by step instructions, the children mixed the different ingredients to make their balls. They moulded the ball mixture around a piece of string and labelled a plate with their name, in order to keep theirs safe. Some children were able to write their name independently and others knew to use their name card for some support.
Once everyone had made a bird ball, we watched a clip from Autumn Watch to gather ideas on where to place them. We were then able place our balls in our garden areas. Using a bird sheet, we sneakily tried to spot birds enjoying our foody creations!
This week, our focused story is ‘Owl Babies’. Each day we’ve read the story and we have also learnt how to follow a story using a story map. In our COOL (Choosing Our Own Learning) time, some of the children have chosen to retell the story all by themselves using the story map and the book. We’ve learnt how to sequence of the story, by discussing what happened at the beginning, middle and end, as well as naming and describing the characters.
As part of our topic learning, we’ve been learning different facts about owls. Did you know that owls can eat reptiles, small birds, mice, bugs and even fish?! Ask your child what amazing facts they can remember! In our speaking and listening times, the children have explored the meaning of new vocabulary linked to our topic. We can now explain what nocturnal and camouflage mean!
In our outdoor learning time this week, we set the children the challenge of creating a habitat (we do indeed also now know what that word means!) for Sarah, Percy and Bill (the owl babies from the story.) The children used their knowledge to create nest out leaves and sticks. Some of the children chose to work in a group and some of the children wanted to complete the challenge individually. One of their super ideas was to create a secure wind break around the nest so that the leaves didn’t blow away!
We still have some questions surrounding owls which the children have come up with and would like to discover more about. One of them is ‘Why are owls scared of people but not other animals?’
What amazing, engaged learners we have in Reception!
We are inspired by the awe and wonder of the world.
We are bold and innovative in our approach to find new solutions to the challenges we face.
We are the best we can be.
We take responsibility for our actions in an environment of mutual respect.
We overcome all barriers to reach our potential, developing a capacity to improve further.
We are passionate about learning.
INSET day Monday 1 November 2021. School Starts back on Tuesday 2 Nov at 0825.
PE Days: Y1: Thurs; Y2: Tues; Y3: Mon; Y4: Friday; Y5: Weds and Fri; Yr 6: Weds and Fri.
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