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Autumn 1

6th-15th September

Our Reception children have made a fantastic start to school life.  They have quickly settled into new routines and are already becoming quite independent in putting their belongings away when they arrive in the morning.  The children know our school rules, which are quite simply:

'Be kind.  Be brilliant'

Staff have created a daily timetable that ensures a good balance between more formal teaching times and opportunities for the children to explore and follow their own interests.  


We began our daily phonics sessions on Monday, for some children the first couple of weeks will be a revision of sounds already learnt, for others this will be something completely new.  

As a school we use the Read, Write, Inc approach to teach the skills required to read and write with confidence.  This week the children have worked on the sounds 'm,a,d,s & t'.  Hopefully you have seen the sheets that your child has brought home each night, you can use these to work with your child on their new skills by encouraging them to say the sound, write it and to think of other words that contain the new sound.  We will be holding an evening meeting very soon to explain in more depth our approach to the teaching of reading and writing and how you can support your child at home.

Physical Education (PE)

Our regular PE day will be a Wednesday, we do ask that PE kits remain in school every day though, we do sometimes have special events taking place that require the children to put their sports kit on.  Don't worry we will sometimes send PE kits home on a Friday for a wash and freshen up.  In the Early Years curriculum a large element of the physical development aspect is about gaining independence in self-care, this includes getting dressed.  For the first few weeks most of the PE lesson will be about getting changed and supporting the children to be as independent as possible.

18th - 29th September

18th - 29th September 1 Hunting for bugs.
18th - 29th September 2 Making their own hopscotch game.
18th - 29th September 3 'We're making a trap!'
18th - 29th September 4 Outside mark making
18th - 29th September 5 Sequencing daily routines
18th - 29th September 6 Outside water play

It has been a very busy couple of week in Reception.  The children have really settled into the daily routines and they are responding very well to the daily phonics sessions with lots of writing opportunities being taken up during exploring time.  We have continued to focus on our topic 'Do you want to be friends?', this week the children were giving some very good advice when staff in the setting did a small role play about not sharing.  


The children are trying really hard to be more independent when changing for PE.  It would be really helpful if you could also encourage this independence at home.  We have challenged them to try to put their pyjamas on without help at bedtime.  Do let us know how they get on.


We have also been thinking about sequencing daily events and routines, using the language; before, after, next etc.  The children continued to investigate daily routines by sequencing picture cards of everyday activities on a washing line, it generated much discussion between the children, especially when individual routines differed.  The children have also been making the most of the sunshine and there has been a lot of outside exploration.  Water play has been quite a feature this week, the children decided to create a car wash, they worked collaboratively to create a flow of water from the tap to the car wash using guttering, buckets and any other resources that they thought would be appropriate.  The children also discovered why we ask them to wear aprons and wellies when playing in the water, even on a warm day.


To help you with conversations you may have with your children after school here is a typical day in Reception.  Wednesday is PE day, so routines are different in the afternoon.


8.40am - Welcome, registration, weather report, wake & shake

9.00am - Phonics

9.30am - Snack (this will get progressively later as phonics time increases)

9.50am - Sell the day (an introduction to the opportunities available during exploring time)

10.00am - Exploring time (the children are able to explore purposefully both inside and outside, there are also some adult led activities during this time)

11.00am - Maths

11.25am - Tidy time (the children are encouraged to take responsibility for looking after the resources and putting them away carefully)

11.30am - Story/rhymes inc. getting ready for lunch

11.50am - Lunchtime

1.00pm - Registration and group time (these group times cover topic focuses and a weekly session devoted to Personal, Social and Emotional Development with elements of mindfulness included)

1.25pm - Exploring time

2.55pm - Tidy time

3.05pm - Story time

3.30pm - Home time


2nd -13th October

In the final week of our focus on 'Will you be my friend?' the children got to know the story of 'Where's my teddy?' really well.  At the end of the week there was a massed retelling of the story to an audience of parents, the children joined in with actions, rhyming words and some key phrases.  We will continue to have an in depth focus on a range of story books throughout the year.  


In our phonics sessions the children are beginning to build words using magnetic letters, as well as continuing to learn the Set 1 sounds.  To find out more about how you can support your child with putting sounds together to make words take a look at this web page,


As we started our new topic 'Why do squirrels hide their nuts?' the first focus has been on the changing season and harvest.  Thank you for all the signs of autumn that you have collected and brought into class, they have been a great point of interest and encouraged some good questions.  


In maths the children continue to explore the numbers 0-10 in great depth.  You can support this learning at home by encouraging your child to find a certain number of objects, counting out everyday items when they are helping or tidying up and identifying numbers that they can see when you are out and about.  


'Two letters, one sound'.  During phonics this week the children were introduced to 'sh' the first of the sounds that are made using two letters.  Over the coming weeks there will be more of these sounds for the children to learn, look out for them in the daily sound sheets that are sent home.

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