Mrs Iona Reece
Tyrese in Reception says
"Mrs Reece is very lovely and kind"
Main Themes of class work for week beginning: 2nd May 2017
Outdoor PE (weather permitting!)
Reception class will continue to have their indoor PE lessons on Thursday mornings, so please ensure your child’s PE kit is clearly labelled and in at all times. Indoor PE kits should consist of a T-shirt or polo shirt, and a pair of shorts or leggings in a labelled bag.
When the weather permits, Reception Class will also begin taking part in outdoor PE lessons. To ensure that your child can take part in these sessions, please provide them with well-fitting trainers or shoes suitable for running, which can be worn outside, and which they can put on and remove independently please.
They will also need socks, and we would recommend a jumper/sweatshirt and trousers/leggings until the weather improves. We are running very low on spare PE clothes, so if you have any unwanted PE clothing which your children have outgrown, we would greatly appreciate any donations.
Homework and reading books will continue to be sent home on Fridays and Book Bags should be returned no later than Tuesday mornings. Please note that homework handed in after this time may not be marked.
Please remember that book bags are due in on Tuesday mornings. Homework returned late will not be marked.
We encourage you to continue to read with your child every day, and play games which will support your child’s maths skills and phonetic awareness, such as I-Spy, and treasure hunts around your home to find things beginning with a certain sound. You can also make the most of online resources to help your child learn key ‘tricky’ words, links to which can be found on http://www.familylearning.org.uk/sight_word_games.html and on Reception class’s class website page (http://www.stpauls.cambs.sch.uk /index.php/reception ). We have also enclosed some suggestions for maths activities you can do at home over the holidays to support your child’s number skills, and we encourage you to help them count up to and backwards from 20 (or beyond!) and pay attention to numbers everywhere!
Parents and Carers may find it helpful to read our Early Year's policy (which can be found in the Policies section of our website), or click on the links below, which will provide more information about your child's development and the structure of the Early Years curriculum.
Statutory Framework for EYFS Document can be downloaded here: http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/eyfs-statutory-framework/
'what to expect when' document: /http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/2015/03/what-to-expect-when-a-parents-guide/
And if you missed Mrs Reece's 'Reading, Writing and Maths in Reception Class' workshop, or would like more information about Reception Class, please click on the documents below:
Welcome to Reception Class!
The Early Years are the most important years of a child's life. Here at St Paul’s we aim to work closely with you and your family to give your child the best start in life. We strive to develop a family ethos in our school and to encourage a love of learning for life.
The Reception Class Team
• Miss Lee is currently covering Mrs Reece’s maternity leave as our Reception Class teacher
• Mrs Christmas teaches the class every Tuesday morning, when Miss Lee is working on planning, assessment and preparation.
• Ms Julian is our wonderful Teaching Assistant, who helps us with our learning and play every day.
• Ms Julian, Mr Henville, Mrs Baile and Miss Brown also supervise the children at break times, in the lunch hall and then in the Reception playground, when they are also assisted by lunchtime supervisors and Year 6 Reception Buddies.
Reception Class Curriculum update: Spring 2 2017
This half term, our topic is Fantastic Food! This topic will include learning about Healthy eating and how to have a healthy lifestyle, as well as finding out where our food comes from, and sharing foods from all our different cultures. If you would like to come into school and make and/or share some food from your culture with the children, please speak to Miss Lee to arrange a suitable time and discuss dietary requirements and allergies in our class.
The children will also be busy learning about maps, labels and directions. This will link to our ICT focus about using programmable toys, and have lots of fun directing the Bee-Bots to move around maps. As we near Easter, we will also be learning about chicks and other baby animals, and hope to have some fluffy visitors hatching in our very own classroom!
In RE with Mrs Christmas, Reception class will be learning about different celebrations and rituals, focussing on when a baby is born. They will explore how birth is considered a special time and how this can be celebrated in different ways in different cultures and religions. They will also visit St Paul’s Church to learn about Christian baptism with Mr Beckett.
Daily whole class phonics sessions will continue to take place, following Phase 3 of the Letters and Sounds programme. You can find more information and resources about Phase 3 phonics at http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/phase-3.html . Please take a look at the Reception class website for more suggestions of activities and resources you can use at home to support your child developing their phonics and maths skills too (see above)
Reception class will also be thinking about how they can take responsibility for looking after each other and their environment, both at school, at home and in their wider community. You can see what else we will be learning about on the attached curriculum overview.
Reception class will continue to have indoor PE lessons on Tuesday mornings with Mrs Christmas, when they will be beginning the Games topic ‘Fundamentals’. Indoor PE kits should consist of a blue or white T-shirt or polo shirt, and a pair of shorts or leggings in a labelled bag. As the weather improves, we also hope to begin having some outdoor PE lessons. To ensure that your child can take part in these sessions, please provide them with well-fitting trainers or plimsolls suitable for running, which can be worn outside, and which they can put on and remove independently please. They will also need socks, and we would recommend a jumper/sweatshirt and trousers/leggings until the weather improves. We are running very low on spare PE clothes, so if you have any unwanted PE clothing which your children have outgrown, we would greatly appreciate any donations.
Healthy Snacks and Drinks
All children are provided with fruit for their daily morning snack, but when your child attends full time can you please provide them with a small healthy snack which they will eat in the afternoons, such as fruit, carrot or cucumber sticks, rice cakes, breadsticks, or a healthy cereal bar. NO NUTS (including nut butters) please, as we do have children in the class with severe nut allergies, and we have a Healthy School policy which means children should not bring chocolate bars or crisps for a snack. Please avoid messy snacks such as yoghurts and cheese dippers too as these can easily be spilt!
Reception Class Show and Talk
We will also be beginning a new cycle of our weekly ‘Show and Talk’ sessions in Reception Class.
This provides children with a great opportunity to develop their speaking and listening skills, and we have a few rules to make sure it continues to be a positive experience for everyone:
• Each child has an allotted ‘Show and Talk’ Wednesday, and the timetable is below.
• If a child forgets their item or is absent on their day, please speak to the class teacher to arrange another suitable time.
• Children may bring in only 1 item, on their Wednesday (we do not have the space to store them for other days).
• Their show and talk item should relate to the current topic of learning, which this half term, is Fantastic Food.
• We ask the children to tell the class 3 things about their item, and then allow the rest of the class to ask them 3 questions about it. Please help your child by discussing the 3 things they will tell the class beforehand.
• Please discourage your child from bringing in anything too big or valuable.
Reception Class Showing Times - Spring 2 Term 2017
We always celebrate children’s birthdays by singing Happy Birthday to them in class and in the Key Stage 1 singing assemblies. Many parents often wish to bring in treats for the class to celebrate their child’s birthday, but we have a Healthy School policy and several children in the class with various allergies, so we ask that parents do not bring in treats or foods for the class. Many parents choose to buy the class a book or game instead, and if this is something you would like to do on your child’s birthday, please speak to Mrs Reece if you need any suggestions. Please note that the Reception staff are extremely busy and that our time in school needs to be spent helping your child, and therefore staff do not have time to hand out birthday invitations. We also find that it can cause upsets and disagreements if some children are not invited, so if you wish to hand out birthday invitations, you will need to do this in the school playground at pick-up and drop-off times.
The Seven Areas of Learning during the Autumn Term in Reception Class
Our learning across the 7 Areas of Learning during the Spring Term in Reception Class
The curriculum in Reception class adapts flexibly to the interests of the children in our class, and events taking place in the world around them, but here is an overview of the key foci for their learning this half term:
Pick-ups and Drop-offs
Please tell Mrs Reece or Mrs Christmas in the morning if someone different will be picking up your child at the end of a particular school day. If it is someone new, such as a visiting member of family, we would appreciate it if you could introduce us to them or provide us with a photo of them for child protection reasons. Please note that we cannot send your child home with anyone we do not recognise unless we have your verbal or written permission. We understand that sometimes parents and carers get held up and plans change; if for some reason you or the person who regularly picks your child up cannot collect them for school at late notice, please call the school office to let us know what alternative arrangements you have made. All children must be collected by the time the school gates are locked at 3.45pm, and any children who are not collected in time will be taken to After School Club, for which you will be charged.
Please do speak with me if you have any concerns or queries, preferably at the end of the day, as we need to assist the children first thing in the morning. Alternatively, you may wish to write me a note about more private matters, or arrange a meeting with me if you have any concerns or queries that may need longer than a few minutes.
Homework, Reading Books and Book Bags
After the children have settled into school, we will begin to send home reading books and homework in your child’s book bag. Please bring a clearly named book bag into school no later than Friday 16th September. These will be sent home every Friday and their homework book will have a short task for you to help your child complete and return, in their book bag, before the following Tuesday. Book bags will remain in school from Tuesday to Friday, to allow us to change their reading books and mark homework. Please ensure that they are clearly labelled.
Homework should be quick, fun and helpful for your child, and is not meant to be arduous or difficult. Usually the children are keen and enthusiastic about their homework but if your child is reluctant to do the homework please leave it.
We will also send home a ‘Home Reading’ book which your child has chosen themselves (labelled HR) which are designed to help all pupils to develop a love of reading, and spend time enjoying talking about these with their families. These are too difficult for the children to read themselves, and should be read to them by parents, carers or older siblings. We will also begin to send home Guided Reading books which we your child will have read with Mrs Reece in school that week, to support your child’s learning in phonics and reading. These books may not have words at first; this is so that your child can learn how to ‘read’ the stories told through the pictures themselves (an important early reading skill), and practise telling their own stories using story language. We will also send home a yellow Reading Record which should be kept in your child’s book bag. Please use this to record the date, book titles and your or your child’s comments about the books you share with them.
Please note that if you cannot return the book bag with its contents by Tuesday then homework will not be marked, and books may not be changed promptly.
Donations of Resources
We are always keen to update our classroom resources and outdoor play equipment, so if you have any comfy beanbags or clean cushions which are in a good condition, for our book area, please speak to Mrs Reece before bringing them in. Likewise, our dolls are looking very sad so if you have any nice dolls, baby clothes or paraphernalia suitable for doll play, we would greatly appreciate any donations!
Wet Weather clothing and playing in our Mud Kitchen!
We are keen to encourage children to play and learn outdoors in all weathers, and therefore ask that parents and carers provide children with appropriate clothing for all weathers. Wellies are great for wet weather, and many parents choose to keep a pair at school to ensure they are always on hand. If your child wears their wellies to school, please provide indoor shoes for them that day as well. If you have any wellies or waterproofs for 4-5 year olds that older siblings have grown out of, and which could be worn by those children in school who do not have their own, we would greatly appreciate some spare pairs!
As with all items of uniform (including shoes), please label any clothing your child wears to school clearly. We will do our best to return any lost clothing that is labelled to the correct owner, but any unlabelled items will be placed in the school lost property area, which is located in the main school courtyard.
Our permanent outdoor mud kitchen offers wonderful opportunities for children to experience the pleasures of messy play in a safe and meaningful way. Mud kitchens come highly recommended by outstanding Early Years’ practitioners and consultants. A mud kitchen includes elements from real life and scientific investigation and children’s experiences are hugely enriched through working closely with these natural materials outside. We do have waterproof suits for children to wear when playing in the mud kitchen, and they will of course be washing their hands with warm soapy water once they have finished, but wellies will need to be provided by parents and carers, and please remember that children will get messy and muddy, but that it is important for them to learn that this is ok!
How you can help us
Although it can be difficult for parents when their children begin school, we find that the children settle in quicker and easier when parents are not present in the classroom. Please be assured that we will contact you if your child is distressed. However, after half term, when the children have generally settled in well, we do appreciate parents and carers helping us in the classroom. Please speak to Mrs Reece if you feel you would like to help in the classroom in any capacity, for example with admin, displays, class walks, or with working with the children. We really do appreciate and encourage parental support, either on a regular weekly basis, or occasionally when commitments allow. All volunteers are required by our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy to complete a DBS check, so if you are interested in assisting with our class, you will need to book an appointment with the school office after speaking to Mrs Reece.
We also use lots of play dough and in the past parents and carers have volunteered to make it for us. We provide the recipe, which uses everyday household ingredients, and it offers a great chance to support children in developing their maths skills (such as weighing and measuring), motor skills and life skills, and have fun! Please sign up to a week on the rota kept in the classroom if you and your child would like to make us some.
One of the best ways you can support your child during this period of transition is to ensure they are well-rested, and healthy, and spend time with you, sharing stories, speaking and listening, and having fun with any activities we send home!
Many thanks for your continued support and cooperation. We look forward to another great term of learning with you all!