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.
The lifecycle of a butterfly
We have been learning about minibeasts in the spring term as part of our key question, "What do we see when we stop and look...during the day." Part of our learning has been about the life cycle of a butterfly. We had some of our own caterpillars that we fed and observed over a couple of weeks and watched them grow from being very tiny, to very large and hairy! Once they were ready, they created their own cocoons and slept whilst we waited for them to become butterflies. Only one butterfly emerged before we broke up for the Easter holidays so Mrs Hambleton took them home and waited just a few more days until they were all hatched. The five butterflies: Sunflower, Snuggles, Reggie, Fluffy and Bertie, were then released in her garden (see the video below of how beautiful our painted ladies looked).
Ella - "My favourite part was naming the butterflies. The butterflies start as caterpillars when they go in their cocoons." Lily B - "It was lovely seeing the butterfly set free. It would have made the butterfly happy."
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.
Our Celebration Gallery
This week in Reception...
This week the children have taken time to observe themselves in a mirror to see why they are special and how unique they are. They have drawn a self-portrait, looking carefully at their features so we could create our own class gallery. Take a look below and see if you can spot your child from their drawing.
We have also taken part in our second PE session and the children are doing extremely well at changing themselves and keeping track of their belongings. We have also continued to watch the wonderful videos from home which are making the children feel very special.
In maths, we have been exploring shapes and creating different pictures out of shapes. We have discussed how many sides a triangle has and how a triangle can have an different orientation, be bigger or smaller etc but that as long as it has the same properties, it is still a triangle.
In phonics, we have revised the graphemes: oi, or, ow and ur and have learnt to spell the tricky word: you.
Last week in Reception...
The children have had their first Reading Cafe with parents on Thursday. It was lovely to see such wonderful support and so many parents. The children enjoyed sharing the poems they have learnt, as well as having the opportunity to share a reading book for pleasure.
In phonics, we have revised the graphemes: igh, ee, oo and ar and have learnt how to spell the tricky words: 'was' and 'my'.
In maths, we have continued to look at the composition of number bonds to ten and how to use these to create numbers to 20. The children have played different board games and matching games during the sessions, as well as using tens frames and numicon resources to support their learning.
The children have also started watching videos that the parents have sent in to explain why their child is so special to them. This supports our topic based on 'Why do people doe extraordinary things?' and the children are very excited about hearing why they are special to others. We will continue watching the videos next week, and the following week until every child has had the opportunity to see theirs.
Step into Spring with us and see how amazing our observational skills are with our very own painted daffodils. We are fabulous budding artists!
St George's Church
We visited the church to learn more about Easter and why Christians celebrate this time of year. Rev Hillmann was very kind to share lots of information with us about the things they do in church and the children asked some fabulous questions, such as: Why did Jesus die? Why do you have candles in church? Rev Hillmann even treated us by ringing the church bell at the end for us to hear.
Colchester Zoo - December 2021
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Colchester Zoo where we had a wonderful session learning more about penguins and that most penguins actually live in warmer places around the world and do not live in the North Pole. Mittens, the Christmas elf, helped us to learn more facts about penguins, including the type of food they eat and that they have flippers and not wings. We were even lucky enough to meet a few penguins and see them close.
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'