Welcome to Reception
The Reception year is a very exciting time for both parents and children. At Woodham Ley Primary School, children are offered the very best start to their education by being provided with rich opportunities and experiences. Our curriculum is based on the framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and we deliver this through a play-based approach. The curriculum is organised in a way which meets each child's individual needs, interests and fascinations, resulting in us planning 'in the moment' rather than through a 'one size fits all' topic.
Throughout the year, the children will have fun, make friends, learn and develop at a pace matched to each child's stage of development. We work hard to foster positive relationships with parents and value just how important these partnerships are. Right from the start, we endeavour to ensure that caring, nurturing and warm relationships are developed between all members of staff and the children in our care. We promote calm, positive interactions with all children in order to enable them to quickly grow in confidence and independence.
We encourage children to take risks, be curious and explore. We want them to become resilient individuals who are able to problem solve and persevere with tasks even when they find them a challenge. By doing this, we can rest assured that each child will be equipped with the skills to be a life-long, independent and effective learner.
Planning in the Moment
For further information on our rationale behind 'planning in the moment', please read the document below:
For more information on the Early Years Foundation Stage:
During the first six weeks of the children starting in Reception, we will be completing the Statutory Baseline Assessment. Please be reassured that the children will consider these assessments to be just a small practical task that we are asking them to complete which will feel like they're playing. Below is a link to the government website for more information regarding the assessment process.
If you have any questions about this, please speak to a member of the EYFS team.
The children will have the opportunity to receive free fruit and vegetables through the Government's Free Fruit and Vegetables Scheme (SFVS) which aims to help children achieve their 5 A Day, and there may be occasions when we can provide and encourage children to try fruits they may not have come across before. We will also have a variety of other snacks made available each morning for the children to try, such as croissants, crackers, cucumber etc. In addition to this, children under 5 are entitled to free milk under the Nursery Milk Scheme. We also provide fresh drinking water so the children can re-fill their water bottles during the day, if required.
Please make sure that you speak to a member of the EYFS team to make sure we are aware of any allergies your child may have.
One of the opportunities the children have, when they are a focus child, is to participate in a cooking activity. We try to vary the experiences they have each time and encourage them to try both sweet and savoury items. This opportunity is a very important life skill and also provides an avenue for lots of additional learning linked to: Maths, Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. Usually the children would share what they had made at our weekly Reading Cafe, but as we are not able to go ahead with that at the moment, the children will be given what they make to take home instead.
In order for us to continue this provision, we are asking for contributions towards these cooking experiences. £10 a term, per child, would cover the cost of the ingredients and food bags for sending the items home. These contributions can be made on parent pay. Please speak to the office if you need help with this.
This week in Reception...
The children have had an exciting time learning about pumpkins and why they are used to celebrate Halloween. They took time to scoop out the inside of the pumpkins before carving faces into them ready to decorate the outside area. They also found ways to move through a spider web, investigate slime, spaghetti and foam to find the hidden bugs in the tuft tray, use different resources such as tissue paper and painted apple halves to create their own pumpkin faces and danced to a skeleton song which labelled the different parts of the body. They also worked really hard to learn their second poem of this term called 'Five little pumpkins'. Maybe they could show this to you at home?!
In phonics, we focused on using our voices to create different sounds and voices in stories, played games like 'Follow the leader' and started to orally segment and blend cvc words. They listened really carefully and did a great job of identifying Mrs Hambleton's deliberate mistakes.
In maths, they have continued to work on the numbers 1,2 and 3, and in particular, the composition of these numbers using different resources.
The children have worked very hard this half term and it has been lovely to see them so settled since their start in September. They are always very engaged in the environment and have already learnt lots of wonderful new words and increased their knowledge of countries around the world: Africa, UK, America and Australia.
Last week in Reception...
The children have had a very busy week. It started with listening to the story 'Handa's Surprise' as part of our way of celebrating Black History Month. From this story, we discussed that the book was set in Africa and what we might see there. We identified Africa on a map of the world and compared it to where we live, highlighting the differences in the weather and the types of animals they might see. We listened to some African music, including music from steel drums, and learnt some African dance moves. The children also produced some observational fruit drawings and then sampled the fruit that had mentioned in the story.
In maths, we have been focusing on the numerals 1,2 and 3 and have completed lots of practical activities to identify and compare those numbers during the week.
In phonics, we have been working on alliteration so that the children are beginning to think about the initial sounds they can hear at the start of words and we have also started segmenting and blending words using our robot talk.
We're Going on a Bear Hunt!
Over the course of a week, the children listened to the story before we recorded the story map of it to learn off by heart. We used actions to help us to remember the sequence of the story. At the end of the week, we went on our very own bear hunt which was so much fun!
'Focus child' meetings will start from the week of the 27th September. I will be in contact with you when it is your child's week. If there are any worries or concerns, please feel free to come and speak to me. Please take pictures of things you have done with your child over the weekend after you receive your letter, and send them in to us (via the Evidence Me app) to share with the rest of the class. I look forward to hearing all your news!
Focus children are provided with home bags on the Friday before they are a focus child. The bag is linked to communication and language with activities to do at home. At the end of the week that they are a focus child, they are sent home with a story pack for them to learn and re-tell. Both of these activities are there to support the child's development in speech and language and to encourage a love of books and stories. Please ensure that these packs are returned by the following Monday each week so that they can be prepared and are ready to be shared with another child.
Once all the children are settled and into a routine, every child will receive a few books to bring home. Please share these and talk about them with your child at home on a regular basis. Once we start work on Phase 2 (after October half term), the children will also have a set of sounds to learn and rehearse at home. They will be given a phase book as well as their coloured book (these will be changed every Friday morning). As the children progress at their own rate, the level of book and phonics sets the children are given to learn at home may change, so please monitor this at home.
Please read with them regularly at home and discuss the book's characters and themes. Ask them questions about what has been read, give summaries of the book and see if they can make predictions about what could happen next as you read. Extra guidance on how to support your child at home can be found on the 'Reading' section of the website, under curriculum.
We would like you to dig deep into your recycling bags for yogurt pots, tubs, fruit containers, egg boxes, kitchen tubes, bottles etc as we use them in the creative area. All containers, pots and bottles will need to be washed out before being brought into school. Given the current pandemic, they will be quarantined in storage for a week before the children will be given them to use. Thank you in advance!
We usually start our Reading Cafe every week once the children are full-time but unfortunately, due to guidelines from the government, this will not be possible at the moment. We will keep you informed if this changes.
The Invisible String
I have prepared a video for you to listen to. It is about a wonderful story called 'The Invisible String'. Please watch it and discuss any questions you may have with someone who can help you at home. There is a task to do at the end which may help you to feel more at ease on your first day with us.
Enjoy the rest of your time at home, and we will see you very soon.
Stories to be shared
These stories are all about trying new things. They are lovely stories that could be shared with your child in order to prepare them for their first day.
'The Koala that could'
'Be brave little Penguin'