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:

Click here for a parents' guide to the EYFS

Baseline Assessment

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.

Drawing Club

 Drawing Club brings children's attention to detail. It's not about being 'good' at drawing. Instead it's about the development of fine motor skills to add the detail, the extension of vocabulary whilst doing it and the joy in the success of messaging, all the time experiencing life at the cusp of confidence.

Each session begins with sharing wonderful words that are linked to the story. These words are explained so the children understand their meaning and actions are put to the words. These words are repeated throughout the sessions and the children are encouraged to participate using the actions. The story is then shared with the children (this is: a story book, fairy tale or animated story). As the story is read, the wonderful words are incorporated to make the links in context to the story itself. The adult then models the drawing linked to the book and uses two secret codes that unlock something magical to happen to the idea created. The first code is related to phonics, letters and sentences and the second code is linked to number recognition and maths skills. The children are then invited to Drawing Club so that they can complete their own version of the modelled example.

At Woodham Ley, we have two sessions of Drawing Club a week. The first session focuses on the character from the story and the second session can either be linked to the setting or an adventure the character may go on.


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.

Thank you!

Focus Children

'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.

Reading books

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.

Reading Cafe is starting on Tuesday 23rd September at 2:30pm. Parents/carers are invited to come into school and share a book with their child in class. This is another way to develop that love of reading.

Recycling wanted!

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 had an extremely busy first week back. They have made another transition in preparation for Year 1 by joining the rest of the school at break times each day. They have all enjoyed this extra time. We rehearsed for Sports Day so the children were aware of what to do for their races and had their very first class photos taken. 

On Friday, the children were exceptionally well-behaved as they took part in Sports Day. They enjoyed the carousel of activities during the morning sessions and loved the opportunity to race in front of their parents in the afternoon. It was a lovely day and they coped very well with the all of the races.

In phonics, we are continuing to work on phase 4 and reading longer sentences.

In maths, we have focused on 2-D shapes and created our own Grandpa's Quilt based on the book that we had read.


Last week in Reception...

The children have completed their PE lessons with Will for the Flying Start project and successfully sent Mook back home to his planet by collecting all of the gems he needed for his spaceship. They have thoroughly enjoyed the lessons and we want to thank Will for his time and for making these sessions so much fun.

We have finished watching our special videos from our grown ups and have loved learning about all the other children in the class and hearing why they are so special to their families. It has led to some lovely discussions and appreciate the efforts the grown ups at home have gone to in supporting this task. After half term, we will be focusing on why do people do extraordinary things and will be having a visit from a policeman and a fire fighter as part of our topic.

In phonics, we have revised last week's learning as the words we were reading were a lot harder with different suffixes. Phonics assessments have also been completed and emails sent out to parents to address any gaps in knowledge. The children have coped really well with the phase 4 work we have been doing.

In maths, we have continued our learning on numbers up to 20 and have focused more on less than.


                                Beautiful Butterflies

                               St George's Church visit

                       Our beautiful daffodil paintings

The Three Little Pigs


Colchester Zoo trip

Nursery Rhyme Week

                             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

 Hello, Reception!

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.

Have fun!

Mrs Hambleton

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'




Contact Us

01268 753 652


Rushbottom Lane