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.
'Focus child' meetings will start from the week of the 26th 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 before your child's focus week. 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 -these are reading for pleasure books (we are not expecting your child to be able to read them). Please share these and talk about them with your child at home on a regular basis. After October half term, once we have assessed the work on Phase 2, the children will also have a reading book to bring home (from the publisher Big Cat Collins). They will be given a phase book as well as their reading for pleasure book (these will be changed every Friday morning). As the children progress at their own rate, the level of book 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, and tips are provided inside the covers of the Big Cat Collins books.
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. Thank you in advance!
This week in Reception...
The children have enjoyed learning the story, 'We're going on a bear hunt', using the Pie Corbett Talk for writing actions. They are now able to retell the story themselves using the story map we created in class and were even able to go on their own bear hunt around the outside area (see the video of us retelling this story and the photos of the bear hunt below).
During our carpet time discussions, we have thought about the changes in seasons and have focused on autumn. The children have been able to explain that leaves fall from the trees and are a different colour, the weather changes and we change the types of clothes that we wear as it starts to get damp and colder. They have then had the opportunity to create their own autumnal pictures using the natural resources in the classroom.
We have shared the story 'Have you filled a bucket today?' with the children and they have picked up the idea really quickly of helping others by filling each others buckets. They understand the need to be a bucket filler and that we want to avoid dipping into others buckets. Watch the video below to see the story.
In phonics, we have introduced the graphemes: i, n, m and d and have revised the ones we learnt last week. The children are becoming more familiar with the structure of the phonics sessions now and are beginning to segment and blend words with more confidence.
In maths, we have continued our learning on sorting objects and have now become sorting experts! This new skill will help them to sort the objects in the classroom at tidy up time.
Last week in Reception...
The children have had a very busy week for their first full week in class. They have settled in well into their routines and are starting to get used to the carpet time sessions of phonics and maths on a daily basis and lunch time in the hall with the rest of the school. The children have completed their baseline assessments and have even learnt their first poem, 'Leaves are falling' off by heart.
In phonics, we have learnt the graphemes 's, a, t, p' and have played games that are designed to develop their blending skills. We have also learnt the letter formation for these graphemes and have rehearsed these.
In maths, the children have been organising and sorting different objects depending on whether they are the same. They have decided how they are the same which could be the same colour, same type of object, same size etc and have enjoyed the practical sessions.
We're Going on a Bear Hunt
The children have loved learning the story of 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' using actions and a story map based on Pie Corbett's Talk for Writing. During free flow, lots of children have then continued this learning by going on their own bear hunts and creating their own caves to sit in. We were even lucky enough to go on our own bear hunt at the end of the week which we all thoroughly enjoyed!
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'