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Reception 

Rights Respecting Articles in Child Friendly Language

 

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. 

 

Aristotle

Please visit our ’Welcome to Penwortham' website for our transition meeting slides and more information.

 

Welcome to Reception at Penwortham! Our vision is for children to have the best possible start to school life and to ignite the love of learning that will be so important throughout their lives. Wellbeing is at the heart of what we do at Penwortham. We help children to form positive friendships with their peers and strong, nurturing relationships with their teachers. We encourage them to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children learn to listen to others, express themselves well and have resilience in the face of a challenge. We support children to be independent and engaged learners. We want every child to make good or better progress from their starting points and carefully plan our curriculum to ensure this happens. Our outcomes at the end of Reception are consistently above National and Local Authority averages. 

 

Our learning environments are stimulating and challenging for children with lots of exciting opportunities and experiences. In Reception, play is a very important part of your child’s development and most learning will be introduced through a mixture of carefully planned play, some adult-led focused activities and carpet sessions. Our staff are knowledgeable and experienced and know how to develop children's learning, and we are fortunate to have a qualified Early Years Practitioner in every Reception classroom alongside the class teacher. 

 

The overarching principles of the early years (Early Years Statutory Framework, 2023):

  • every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
  • importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates.

 

We look forward to working in partnership with you throughout the year and value the important role you play in your child’s learning.  

Meet the team

In Reception we have three classes.

 

Barn Owls are taught by Miss Granger,

Snowy Owls by Mrs Redgrove and Mrs Rowe and

Tawny Owls by Mrs Bundy.

 

Mrs Redgrove is the Early Years Lead at Penwortham.  

Our support staff: Ms Johnson, Miss Diaz and Miss Morgan are our Early Years Practitioners and Miss Dennis supports across the year group. 

What we do and when

Autumn 1 learning overview

Autumn 2 learning overview

Spring 1 learning overview

Spring 2 learning overview

Summer 1 learning overview

Summer 2 learning overview

Our learning

Spring 1

This half term, we have loved learning about 'People Who Help Us.' We have had so many brilliant visitors in to tell us about their jobs, including our school nurse, a doctor, the fire brigade, a police detective, an air ambulance doctor and a pilot! We also found out about people who help us at school with a special assembly. They came up with great questions to ask the visiting adults and the topic has led to lots of fantastic writing. 

The children carried out two fantastic home challenge projects this half term, creating emergency vehicles at home and researching a job that interested them. Their projects included finding out about lifeguards, midwifes, refuse collectors and teachers. Lots of the children interviewed an adult to find out more about their job. 

In Maths we have been working with numbers up to 10 and focused on odd and even and doubles this half term.

 

Autumn 2

Our topic this half term is 'Let's Celebrate.' We have enjoyed learning about lots of different celebrations, from Diwali to Hanukkah, birthdays and Christmas. 

The children loved sharing photos of their birthdays over the years and were able to talk about how they had changed over time. We celebrated 'Kipper's Birthday' when reading the book and made party snacks, played games, made cards and wrote invitations to our party.  

One of our favourite focus books this term was 'Stick Man.' The children completed a home challenge to make their own stick people, and we were so impressed by their crafting. They shared photos of them making their stick people with the class. As writers, the children made lanyards to warn other people on Stick Man's behalf, saying 'I am not a...stick/pen/flag' and enjoyed chanting this in class. The children made posters to help find Stick Man and stuck them up around the school. 

  

Autumn 1

To kick off the year we have introduced our 'Marvellous Me' topic and have been enjoying getting to know each other through lots of games and time to play and explore the indoor and outdoor learning environments.

We have been supporting the development of some lovely new friendships. The children have been learning the school routines and expectations and have been absolutely fantastic. We are so proud of them all! They have been listening during lessons and having a go at some activities in maths and phonics with their Learning Partners. 

The children have made the most of the weather outside for lots of great learning opportunities, such as shadow drawing. 

Last year...

In the summer term, Reception’s topic was Amazing Animals. We went on a trip to Bockett’s Farm to learn about farmyard animals. It was our first all day school trip and we had to travel by coach! Our favourite parts were the pig race, the trailer and tractor ride and meeting lots of different animals, including horses, sheep and rabbits.

During our Animals topic, we learnt about animal habitats and created our own bug hotels using recycled materials. We worked in teams of 5 to create our bug hotels, so we really needed to listen to each other’s ideas to make something amazing together.

The children loved getting stuck into our Space topic last term. We enjoyed reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, including ‘Goodnight Spaceman’, ‘How to Catch a Star’ and ‘Look Up!’  We made our own stick puppets of characters from the story ‘How to Catch a Star’ and retold the story as a show!

We learnt facts about some amazing astronauts, including Mae Jemison and Tim Peake. The children learnt all about life on the International Space Station and thought about the items they would pack if they were travelling to space. We wrote letters to Tim Peake to ask him about his experience and enjoyed lots of imaginary play in the Space Station areas in our classrooms! We learnt lots of space songs and the children enjoyed writing fact books about the Solar System and drawing pictures of the different planets using pastels and watercolours. As part of our home learning the children made their own space vehicles out of junk modelling which they loved sharing with the class. During the last week of term we had a visit from a mobile Planetarium which was an incredible experience for everyone!

‘The Planetarium was amazing! I felt like I was actually zooming through Space’

We also celebrated the King’s Coronation by reading the book ‘The King’s Pants’, designing a pair of pants fit for a King and enjoying a big shared picnic with the rest of the school.

 

Last term we had great fun learning about different countries in our topic ‘Our World.’ We travelled around the world in a plane, on a husky ride and swam under the sea. We have enjoyed reading a variety of texts that have taught us about what life is like in different parts of the world. As part of our home learning the children researched a country that was important to them and enjoyed sharing this with their classes.

We started our World tour in France, where we learnt about French culture, famous landmarks and learnt some of the language. The Reception children had the opportunity to practise their baking skills by making cheese straws.

We then went on a jungle adventure through the rainforest and learnt about the different animals that live in Brazil. We also had a go at Samba dancing! We then learnt about Australia and plastic pollution through the story ‘Alba and the Ocean Clean up’ and learnt about Artic animals and the country Iceland.

Last term we are having an exciting time learning about ‘People who help us’. We have already used our great questioning skills to find out about the jobs that adults do in our school. We have also had a great week learning about healthcare professionals. It was a real highlight to be able to speak to a doctor to find out about her job and the children came up with some excellent questions. We are very excited to have the police and the Firefighters visit us to talk about their role and let us explore their police cars and fire engine.

In addition to this, we have learnt about The Lunar New Year. We have made handprint rabbits, dragon masks and tried out dragon dancing. We also had a go at Chinese calligraphy and learnt all about the story of the Great Race. 

We focused on settling the children into their new environment. We spent time getting to know each other, learning about our families and our likes and dislikes. We shared pictures from home, made self-portraits using collage and talked about the things that make us special and unique. We also introduced to the children to the fact we are a Rights Respecting Gold school and have begun to learn about children’s rights.

In October for Black History Month, we loved learning about Ruby Bridges. The children learned about how Ruby had to be brave when lots of people did not want her to attend school and we designed her a medal to celebrate her courage.

We loved taking part in our whole school Poetry Slam, learning a poem from the book ‘Smile Out Loud’ called ‘The Dinosaur.’ We made dinosaur shape hats and learnt the words and some actions. Each class performed the poem in front of other year groups. They really enjoyed listening to the other class’s performances too!

This half term we are looking at different celebrations from around the world. We loved learning all about Diwali, the Hindu festival of light. The children made Diya lamps, Rangoli patterns and mango lassi, which everyone agreed was delicious! 

 

How can you help at home?

You can encourage your child to be independent in things like putting on their coat, eating with a knife and fork or organising themselves before leaving the house. 

Please read with your child; this can be done using the phonics book and the story book your child brings home weekly from school. Please record any reading at home in your child’s reading record. 

Please keep us updated on Tapestry about your learning at home. We love to see photos of what you have been up to and hear about fantastic experiences. We really enjoy seeing you comment on what your child has been learning at school. We will also post phonics videos to show you how you can support with phonics at home.

We encourage you to practise writing in purposeful ways, such as writing diaries over the holidays and writing shopping lists or letters. We have put together the key words covered in Reception on a one page sheet and as a printable resource. Please get your child to practise reading and writing these.

Useful Websites

  • There are some great activities on ICTgames.
  • CBBC's Numberblocks is a fantastic programme for showing a range of number skills
  • If you have access to an iPad, the Sounds-Write app is great to download

  • Oxford Owl has some books to read on the iPad - login details are on Tapestry

  • Epic Reading has a great online reading library
  • Earth Cubs is a fantastic resource to teach children about sustainability.

Join our community

Do you have skills, knowledge and have lived experiences that could be beneficial to our pupils at Penwortham?  For example, you may be a practising Buddhist or be of the Windrush generation. Your line of work may involve promoting sustainable living (for example) or you may have links to people who would be happy to run professional development sessions for members of Penwortham Primary School.

 If so, please sign up to the Penwortham community!

 Thank you