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Reception Weekly Updates on Learning 2023 - 2024

Friday 16th February

 

This week we continued our exploration of Handa’s Noisy Night. We answered comprehension questions about the events, characters and settings in the book; we read sentences that tell the story and put them into the correct order of the story and we also role played the main characters.

 

In Maths we have been looking at how we can add amounts to 5 to make bigger numbers, ordering those numbers and counting out a given number from a larger amount. This is all consolidating what we have already learnt and extending it to larger numbers.

 

At the beginning of the week the classes discussed Lent and all the children had made a Lenten Promise. On Wednesday the children attended the Ash Wednesday Service, marking the start of Lent. We also finished our RE topic: Galilee to Jerusalem this week. We considered how the school shared and helped others within our community, just as Jesus helped and shared with his. We remembered the collection made for Brentwood Food Bank in the autumn term. The children explained how foodbanks worked and who could make use of them if they needed to – everyone!

 

It’s been a very busy and fun half term, learning so many new things. We wish you all a very happy and restful half term holiday.

Friday 9th February

 

This week in Literacy we began reading Handa’s Noisy Night. To begin, we discussed the characters and setting of the story. Then we talked about nocturnal animals and wrote fact files about some of the animals that feature in this story, after voting on which animal we would like to learn about. Outside, we matching some of the animal names with their pictures and sounds in the black out tent, using torches.

 

In Maths we have been using the vocabulary more than, fewer than and equal to when comparing amounts. We had different objects and practised sharing them out with a friend, using the maths vocabulary to describe what we could see. Then we had a go at sharing an amount out equally.

 

We have had a busy week completing activities on e-safety week and Children’s Mental Health week. We made a happy jar with things that make us feel good and we also discussed what personal information should not be shared online. We also shared what it means to feel proud and drew pictures of things that we are proud of ourselves for. We also read a story about Digiduck and talked about how he learned about safer internet choices.

 

On Friday we celebrated Chinese New Year by creating paper chain dragons and having a musical parade around the school. What a busy and fun week we have had!

Friday 2nd February

 

This week in Literacy, we have been retelling the story of Handa’s Surprise, verbally as a class, then individually. We needed to think about the beginning, the middle and the end of the story to get it in the correct order. Again, one of our targets this week was to remember to leave finger spaces between our words so that we can read our writing back.

 

In Maths we have continued our work on the composition of numbers to five. We have been creating different ways of making 5 using counters on dice patterns and recording what we have discovered on whiteboard. We then went on to make different combinations of two groups to make numbers to 5, to 8 and to 10. We had to try to record what we had discovered and started writing number sentences.

 

In PSHE we have been learning about keeping healthy. This week we focused on how to keep our teeth healthy. We shared that we needed to brush our teeth at least twice a day. This would brush away any food or sugars left on our teeth. We know that we need to visit the dentist regularly so that he can check how well we are brushing our teeth. Finally, we discussed the best foods to eat and drinks to help our dental health, AND the ones to avoid!

 

During RE the scripture we learnt the Glory Be prayer. We discussed how it is a prayer of glory and joy, telling us that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit will always be loving and guiding us. The children created paintings to express how they had responded to the prayer and the wrote about how the Glory Be made them feel: safe, secure, loved, happy, excited.

 

In PE we have been working on controlling the movements of a small ball and we even enjoyed some sunshine while we did this.

 

Finally, we had a fabulous dance workshop on Monday helping us to learn about Chinese Lunar New Year. The children were able to follow dances using parasols and fans. They also became the Dragon, working together to move around the room.

Friday 26th January

 

This week in Literacy, we have been learning about some of the African animals in our Power of Reading text Handa’s Surprise. We wrote fact files about elephants, zebras, giraffes and ostriches after reading and watching information about them. One of our targets this week was to remember to leave finger spaces between our words so that we can read our writing back.

 

In maths we have been learning about the composition of numbers, focussing on the number five. We have been painting number bonds, singing about them and representing them using fruit. An important part of our learning this week was explaining how we know and comparing our representations to others.

 

In PSHE we have been learning about keeping healthy. This week we discussed different ways that we enjoy exercise in school and when we are at home. We also learned about germs and how they are spread. Our teacher pretended to sneeze on us, using glitter to represent germs. Then we spent the rest of the day noticing how the glitter covered us. We are now practising sneezing and coughing into our elbows, if we cannot get a tissue in time.

 

During RE the scripture we read was the Feeding of the 5000. We discussed how Jesus teaches us to share. We even broke bread with our friends and ate once we knew we all had enough.

 

In PE we have been working on making shapes with our body and balancing on different parts. We really enjoyed playing flamingo tag. It has also been nice to enjoy our outdoor area this week after that cold spell.

Friday 19th January 

 

We have continued to explore our new Power of Reading book, Handa’s Surprise, by Eileen Browne. This week we thought about describing words (adjectives) that would help us make our writing more descriptive and interesting. We spent time collecting a variety of adjectives to describe animals, traditional tale characters and finally fruit. The children each wrote a Fruit Poem, including words to describe each of the fruits that they wrote about. Well done!

In maths, we worked again on the counting and ordering numbers. This included making physical representations of numbers in order, for example multilink towers and building brick staircases. This week was as much about noticing if the numbers were not in order by looking at all the towers together and correcting it by moving them around.

In RE we are learning about the topic of Galilee to Jerusalem. This week we read the Scripture relating the occasion when Jesus called the children to Him. The children heard that Jesus got cross with the disciples when they tried to send the families away, instead saying “Let the children come to Me.” The children retold the story in their RE books.

During PE we used the equipment in the hall: benches, mats and stools to practise making shapes with our bodies when we moved and jumped. The children enjoyed making star and straight shapes when jumping off the stools, remembering to bend their legs when they landed. In addition, they crawled flat and found a variety of ways of moving on the mats.

Friday 12th January

 

It has been lovely having all the children back in school this week! We have had an exciting week starting our new Power of Reading book, Handa’s Surprise, by Eileen Browne. We talked about where our food comes from and discussed the setting of the story. We also tasted all of the fruits that feature in the book. Furthermore, we recorded what our favourite fruits were and talked about the most and least popular. Lastly, we drew and wrote about what kinds of surprises we would like to take our friends if we visited them, just like Handa plans on doing.

 

In Maths, we have been working on subitising and looking at which groups we can see in dot patterns. This is helping us with our understanding of number bonds and preparing us for calculating. We are getting really quick with our subitising and explaining our understanding.

 

In RE we are learning about the topic of Galilee to Jerusalem. We read the scripture about the Epiphany and discussed why the Magi brought Jesus such special gifts. We also role played the story using some props from our Nativity performance.

 

During PE we practised ball skills by rolling and bouncing. We are also learning to copy shapes with our body in our PE lessons. We practised drawing fruit bowls and painting number books in the Creative Area this week. We’ve had a great first week back, trying to keep warm and settling back in.

Friday 15th December - Reception Nativity

Friday 8th December

 

We continued working on the poem, Gruff and Dave from the anthology of poems by Michael Rosen called ‘A Great Big Cuddle’. This week we considered what the setting of a story and poem might be, the place where it takes place. We then learnt some facts about Kew Gardens, the setting of Gruff and Dave. The children suggested describing words and then sentences to write about the setting. Finally, the children considered the friendship between the dog and frog and why it worked. They went on to make thank you cards for their own friends, writing about why they were grateful.

During Phonics, we have been continuing to embed our knowledge of the sounds we have learnt so far. We are then applying these skills when writing sentences. We have all been given high frequency words to read and then learn to write. As we learn our high frequency words we will receive new lists, so ensure to practise! This week we specifically focused on using words from the set 1.3 and including them in our sentences. This helps us to remember how to write the word as this is usually more difficult than reading the word.

In Maths we have been working on exploring pattern in number, in particular, recognising odd numbers. We thought about the patterns of odd and even numbers in numbers to 10 and then to 20. We had to spot the odd numbers, sort numbers into odd and even, use the outdoor areas such as hopscotch to challenge ourselves to only go on odd or even numbers. Finally, we filled in the missing odd numbers in number sequences.

During RE are continuing the topic of Birthdays. This week we read the Gospel, describing Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem and finally finding somewhere to stay. Jesus was born in the stable. The shepherds were told by a host of angels that they should go to visit the new King. The kings travelled from far away to find the new King. The children chose one person from the Nativity story and talked about their role in the story.

Last week we began to plan our DT project of making a stable for Mary and Joseph, with a roof. This week the children made the shelters from recycled materials, trying to follow their plans. They all succeeded in making a comfy space with a cover. Well done!

Friday 1st December

 

In Literacy we are reading an anthology of poems by Michael Rosen called ‘A Great Big Cuddle’. We are focusing on a poem with a dog and a frog as the characters so this week we did some non-fiction writing. We watched information videos about the different animals and wrote sentences about the facts that we had learned. Then we discussed which animal we would prefer as a pet and gave reasons for our answer. We wrote guides on how to look after the pet that we chose.

 

During Phonics, we have been embedding our knowledge of the sounds we have learnt so far. We are then applying these skills when writing sentences. We have all been given high frequency words to read and then learn to write. As we learn our high frequency words we will receive new lists, so ensure to practise! This week we specifically focused on using words from the set 1.3 and including them in our sentences. This helps us to remember how to write the word as this is usually more difficult than reading the word.

 

During Maths we have been working on exploring 2D shapes. We have been discussing the properties of shapes and going on shape hunts in the classroom. Later in the week we focused on using 2d shapes to make another shape and exploring the patterns that shapes can make. We even designed our own wrapping paper using shapes.

 

During RE are continuing the topic of Birthdays. We have learned about the Advent wreath and used a program to build our own wreath on the interactive screen. We then described the wreath and its meaning. We also learned more about Mary and her special role in the Christmas story.

 

In PSED we have been talking about positive relationships and thinking about both adults and children that we have healthy relationships with. We have begun planning our DT project of making a stable for Mary and Joseph, thinking about what materials we will need and what their purpose may be.

Friday 24th November 

 

Michael Rosen’s wonderful poems in A Great Big Cuddle have still been keeping us learning and amused this week. We really investigated the poem I am Angry: who do we think is saying this? When have you ever been angry? What did you do or say when you were? We thought about why the poem was funny. In addition, we recited the poem trying to include expression in our voices and expressions that would make the poem come alive to the listener. Finally, we wrote sentences to show the ‘nonsense’ things that we might say when we are angry, e.g. I will scramble an egg! We then listened to a short selection of poems from the anthology to decide which was our favourite and why we liked it.

During Phonics, we continue to bed in the sounds we have covered so far and to use those sounds practically to write words and sentences and to read and blend words. The sentences have included our tricky words and high frequency words we have been also practising at home.

In Maths this week we have been enjoying all the challenges and clue solving in our Pirates themed Maths Week. The children had to solve the 4 clues they had been left, so that we could help to open the pirate treasure chest on Pirate Day on Thursday – the treasure was shiny Maths Star stickers for everyone. In addition, we had a daily challenge based around estimating or subitising. So much pirate fun, not to mention, Pirate Day on Thursday!

Alongside Maths Week activities, we have been building on our previous learning, bringing together counting, sequencing numbers and cardinality. Can we recite numbers accurately to 20 and beyond? We have been recognising numbers and selecting them from a sequence of numbers. The focus when counting objects and actions this week has been to show we understand the cardinal number: the number we stop counting at. Also, that if you have counted them out once, we can say how many there are without having to recount the objects or actions, just remembering the cardinal number.

Outside, the children were getting physical to count the number of times they could throw and catch a beanbag. They had to remember their previous total and then try to beat it. The children were performing I am Angry in our performance area and using chalks to write the high frequency words on the playground.

Friday 17th November

In Literacy we are reading an anthology of poems by Michael Rosen called ‘A Great Big Cuddle’. We practised writing questions to a character from the poem ‘Lost’ this week. We learnt about question marks and how to use them properly, also discussing question words such as who, what, where, when and why. We are still practising performing poems by using intonation and actions.

 

During Phonics, we have been embedding our knowledge of the sounds we have learnt so far. We are then applying these skills when writing sentences. Our tricky word of the week is into. We have all been given high frequency words to read and then learn to write. As we learn our high frequency words we will receive new lists, so ensure to practise!

 

During Maths we have been working on breaking numbers into two parts, to help us understand number bonds. We have talked about the composition of different numbers and used objects to demonstrate our understanding.

It was anti-bullying week this week. On Monday we wore odd socks to celebrate that we are all different. Then we have talked about the definition of bullying and ways we can help to stop bullying if we experience it or witness it.

During RE we celebrated Interfaith Week by learning about the story of Hannukah. We explained parts of the story and drew illustrations to go with it.

 

Outside, we have been going on number hunts and writing the high frequency words we find. We have also been putting on puppet shows and role playing with the house and food.

Friday 10th November

 

In Literacy we continue to explore the work of Michael Rosen, referring to his anthology: A Great Big Cuddle. This week we have been looking at three particular poems: Let Me Do It, Oh Dear! and Once. We all thought about what we would like to be allowed to do and this showed lots of imagination. The children thought about how we can use expression and gestures to make the text interesting and entertaining. We have been focusing on rhyming words, thinking of words that would rhyme with a given word, eg peas, hat and cake. Finally, in Once, we thought about what a Berrible, a monster, might look like. Using the power of the words to spark our imaginations.

 

During Phonics, the sounds we have been learning are: j, v, w & x. We have been learning to hear the sound, say the sound and then identify words that begin with the sound. Then we practise writing the graphemes (letters) for each sound, using whiteboards and pens. We have also been trying to hear the sounds in simple words and write them down. We are continuing our work on blending the sounds we know to read words.

 

This week in Maths we have been starting to think about the composition of numbers. How can we make a whole from parts? We started off thinking about familiar things: toys and animals. We can see all the parts of those things and when we put them together, it makes a whole. We then moved on to numbers, looking at how the numbers 2-5 can be broken into parts and put back together again. This is one of the steps that will lead to us learning our number bonds.

 

On Thursday and Friday we have been marking Remembrance Day. We have considered how some people have gone beyond what might be expected to keep us all safe. We have remembered that servicemen have fought and died in wars on our behalf. We have created printed poppies and explained their importance as a symbol of remembrance. The whole school observed a 2 minute silence on Friday at 11am.

 

In addition, in the classroom this week, the children have been investigating different materials and sorting them into plastic, wood and metal.

 

Outside, we have been practising recognising and writing our tricky words: the, to, I, no, go. In maths we have been independently counting amounts and labelling them.

Friday 3rd November

In Literacy we are reading an anthology of poems by Michael Rosen called ‘A Great Big Cuddle’. To introduce the author, we read through his most popular book ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’. We joined in with the story and talked about how we enjoyed the onomatopoeia in the story, making the sounds the most fun to say. We illustrated and wrote about our favourite part of the story.

 

During Phonics, the sounds we have been learning are: h, b, f/ff, l/ll and ss. We have been learning to hear the sound, say the sound and then identify words that begin with the sound. Then we practise writing the graphemes (letters) for each sound, using whiteboards and pens. We are now working on blending the sounds we know to read words. Our tricky word of the week is I.

 

During Maths we have been working on counting for accuracy and comparing numbers. We have been matching objects to characters and people to ensure we have enough and have been counting forwards and backwards.

 

This half term we are talking about how we are all different. We have talked about our families, appearance and likes and dislikes. We painted paper dolls and talked about something that makes us special. We also created maps of going on a bear hunt on our Creative Table.

During RE we are still in the topic of Welcome. We have been learning about the sacrament of Baptism and what role each person has. We created a Baptism candle and then carried the message forward by telling our families about what we learned.

 

Outside, we have been trying to stay dry and writing words from ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.’ We have also been building towers and finding the numbered stone to match the bricks in our tower.

Friday 20th October

In Literacy it has been the last week of learning from our Power of Reading book: A Brave Bear. We sequenced the events in the story, telling each other what order they should go in and then working by ourselves to get a set of pictures from the text in the correct order.  We also talked about how we had enjoyed the book and why, practising forming sentences, counting the words and helping me to write them down.

 

During Phonics, the sounds we have been learning are: ck, e, u r. We have been learning to hear the sound, say the sound and then identify words that begin with the sound. Then we practise writing the graphemes (letters) for each sound, using whiteboards and pens. We are now working on blending the sounds we know to read words. Please let your child practise these sounds over the holiday by showing you things or noticing words that contain any of our letters so far: s, a, t, p, I, n, m, d, g, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r.

 

During Maths we have been working on counting and getting our numbers in order. We have been concentrating on the cardinal number – this is the number we count up to and stop at. This is also the number of objects we remember we have counted, without having to count them again.  Over the half term holiday, perhaps you could ask your child to collect you or find a given number of things and see if they can just bring you that number and remember how many there are.

 

This week we learnt more about Harriet Tubman, noting the key events in her life and when she died, 1913. We placed the key dates in her life on our Classroom timeline. In our exploration of our feelings, we discussed tiredness and excitement this week – very appropriate with the holidays at hand!  We created painted leaf prints with a collection of different leaves and made faces using natural found objects.

 

During RE we are still in the topic of Welcome. This week we heard the scripture passage:

 

 

The children thought about which virtue they would choose to follow in the steps of Jesus: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. They talked about how they would show that in their actions.

 

Outside, we have been conducting a science experiment with pumpkins. The children used the skills of observation and questioning when inspecting these pumpkins. What do you see? What do you wonder? The children then enjoyed opening up the pumpkins and exploring what the inside looked like, how it felt and smelled.

 

Friday 13th October

In Literacy we are still learning with our Power of Reading book: A Brave Bear. We read other stories with bears as the characters, such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. We talked about what some of the differences and similarities were between the stories. Then we practised role playing parts of each story.

 

During Phonics, the sounds we have been learning are: g, o, c, k. We have been learning to hear the sound, say the sound and then identify words that begin with the sound. Then we practised writing the graphemes (letters) for each sound, using whiteboards and pens. We are now working on blending the sounds we know to read words.

 

During Maths we have been working on identifying groups of objects using more and fewer to describe them. This helps us to make estimations, subitise and then count for accuracy.

 

This half term we are learning about identifying and managing our emotions. We have talked about when we feel worried. We are making faces with natural objects to display different feelings as well. We have also been learning about Harriet Tubman for our Black History Month lesson. We made lanterns to remind us about the dark journey she helped others through.

 

During RE we are still in the topic of Welcome. We have been learning about the sacrament of Baptism and what role each person has. We role played a Baptism and talked about what happens.

 

Outside, we have been enjoying our new climbing frame, looking at natural objects related to autumn and using magnets to hunt for letters in the sand tray.

Friday 6th October

 

In Literacy, we thought about how the characters might be feeling as the story progressed. The bears decided to make the journey to the river to cool down, Little Bear had a fall and Daddy Bear was worried. The children thought about a time when they had tried to do something on their own and it had not gone completely right. We also decided on the questions we wanted to ask Daddy Bear about how he would cheer Little Bear up enough to complete their journey. We have continued with our Class Reading Race and it has been brilliant to see how many spaceships have made it to Saturn for reading and having a note in their Reading diaries 5 times or more – don’t forget to make a note everytime you read with your child.

In Maths we have been focusing on subitising this week. This is the skill that allows you to see how many objects / pictures / fingers you can see without having to count them. We were working on these skills up to the number 4. The children enjoyed playing a subitising bingo game as well as getting lots of practise in our carpet sessions and with the class teachers.

During RE started our new topic of Welcome. This week we thought about the Big Question: Why is Welcome Important? We thought about times we had been made welcome and how that felt as well as when we made someone else feel welcome. The children talked about how the Early Years adults made them feel welcome as they came into school everyday.

In PE this week, we were learning a new game where we had to listen to instructions and then act. This was quite a challenge to remember when they were supposed to move! However, they were practising the skills of moving safely in a space while avoiding others in a safe way, listening and starting and stopping.

Our Reception School Councillors have created some fine posters to promote the Brentwood Food Bank collection drive next week: 9-13th October. Please give generously if you are able.

Friday 29th September

 

We are doing a great job learning new routines and skills such as: sitting on the carpet and listening, following rules on the playground and during PE and speaking with our Talk & Listen Partners during lessons. 
 

In Literacy we are still learning with our Power of Reading book: A Brave Bear. We came up with a list of ways the bears could cool down. Then we wrote a letter to the bears telling them what our idea was. We have been working on hearing the initial sounds in words and accurately recording the graphemes (letters).

 

We have started Phonics lessons this week! The sounds for this week are: s, a, t, p. We have been learning to hear the sound, say the sound and then identify words that begin with the sound. Then we practise writing the graphemes (letters) for each sound, using whiteboards and pens.

 

During Maths we have been working on the composition of three. We have been gathering groups of three objects, explaining how three is made and making towers of three objects inside and outside. We have also practised spotting when there is not three, and using reasoning to explain our answer.

 

This half term we are learning about identifying and managing our emotions. We have talked about things that make us happy and excited. We have drawn pictures of different faces and have recorded a video of ourselves sharing one thing that makes us happy.


During RE we completed the topic of Myself. We have been practising sitting in a circle and joining in with group prayer. We enjoyed singing our class hymn ‘I am Special.’ and sharing the knowledge that we are precious and God knows all of our names.

 

Outside, we have still been enjoying playing with the water tray and scooting on the playground.

Friday 22nd September 

 

This second full week, we have continued to learn the class routines, including our self-register in the mornings. We are trying hard to focus and listen during the day, particularly during our carpet sessions.  

In Literacy, we started the week thinking about what we might like to ask the bears in our Power of Reading book: Brave Bear. We have then been learning facts about different kinds of bears, including brown bears, polar bears and pandas. We then wrote fact files about the bears, sharing what we have learnt and drew a picture, choosing our colours carefully. We got to use our class Reading Races this week as we read to our adults and moved our names along the race. 

 

In Maths we have been working on our counting skills. We helped our class puppets to get their counting in the correct order, stopping when they had finished counting and then saying how many items or actions there were. The final number when counting gives us the total (it is the cardinal number).The children matched numbers and counted out amounts to match, they did a class survey on What is you Favourite Animal and then counted actions. 

 

During RE we continued our topic of Myself. This week we considered how God knows each of us and knows our names. We are precious to God. Then we thought about who is precious to us and why. The children drew a picture of someone precious in their life and told us why. 

 

On Thursday we celebrated International Day of Peace. We thought about the things that make us feel peaceful and we related it to our reading of the Colour Monster last week. We thought about how our class rules help us all to enjoy a peaceful time with kindness around us. We decorated a beautiful white dove with our fingerprints which will be displayed in our classroom. 

Friday 15th September

 

We have had a fantastic first full week in Reception!

We have been learning new routines and skills such as: sitting on the carpet and listening, lining up for lunch in the dinner hall and speaking with our Talk & Listen Partners during lessons.

In Literacy we started reading our Power of Reading book: A Brave Bear. We focused on the text on the first page ‘Everything was hot.’ Then we identified things that are hot and described times when we have been hot. We created collages to display our concept of hot, by gluing paper and pictures and drawing pictures to represent our ideas.

 

During Maths we have been working on the skill of subitising: knowing how many there are without having to count each object separately. We have enjoyed learning with some of the Numberblocks characters. We have also been counting out objects and matching them to the correct numeral.

 

This half term we are learning about identifying and managing our emotions. We read the Colour Monster and talked about times when we have felt these different emotions.


During RE we began our new topic of Myself. We talked about how special our names are and how we feel when someone says our name. We also painted self portraits which look amazing in our Creative Areas in the classroom.

 

We have also enjoyed our time playing in the Green Area this week! We have been filling and pouring in the water tray, creating structures using the waffle bricks and playing shop with the food market and then cooking in the kitchen.

 

We have all had a great time getting to know our friends and teachers!

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