Reception w/b 11th September
Date: 15th Sep 2023 @ 4:51pm
Congratulations to our wonderful Reception children on completing their first full week of school, and what a fantastic week it has been. The Reception team have been delighted with how well the children have settled into the routine of the school day with confidence and we have thoroughly enjoyed spending time getting to know each and every child. We can hardly believe the children have only been in school for a week and a half!
The children are great at referring to our visual timetable to recognise the sequence of the day and then turning over each activity once it is completed. This week, we were most intrigued to find a new visual timetable card…’phonics’. On Monday, we were introduced to Miss Witham’s friend Fred the Frog who can only talk in ‘Fred Talk’. We thought this was rather funny! He has helped us to play some Fred games such as ‘Fred says’ and ‘Fred spies’. Fred used his ‘Fred talk’ (e.g. “tap your h – ea – d”; “Fred spies a p – e – g”) and then we blended for him by saying the full words (e.g. head, peg). Fred also introduced us to our Read Write Inc. silent signals: Team stop, My turn Your turn, and Turn to your partner. We have been practising these signals and are now experts; embedding these routines will help our phonics sessions to run speedily and smoothly. We have also been introduced to all 25 pictures that correspond to the 25 single letter sounds. This will help us when we introduce the single letter sounds over this term e.g. we will recognise the ‘dinosaur’ picture when we teach ‘d’ and learn to associate the two. I can tell that we are going to be phonics experts! Fred will help us next week as we begin short, more formal phonics sessions, focusing on a new sound each day. We hope to see many of you at our Early Reading and Phonics meeting on Monday (18th) at 2:30pm in the school hall. This will be a good opportunity to find out all about how we teach early reading and writing at Brereton and how best to support your child at home.
We have also noticed a ‘maths’ card on our timetable this week. This week, this has involved lots of number songs (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, once I caught a fish alive; five little speckled frogs; five little ducks) and counting stories (e.g. Ten Little Dinosaurs). We also met another friend…Counting Croc. Counting Croc sometimes needs our help with his counting and he likes to challenge us with new counting activities. A challenge we particularly enjoyed involved Miss Witham hiding behind the board and dropping marbles into a tin. We had to listen very carefully to count how many marbles were dropped. Having some scheduled maths time this week will help us to settle into some short maths lessons from next week as we begin our NCETM Mastering Number journey – a session that is always popular!
On Tuesday, we were so very excited to have our first Forest School session with Mr Simmons and Mrs McAree. The rain did not dampen our spirits in the slightest as we popped on our waterproofs and wellies with enthusiasm. This session was a chance to explore our Forest School environment and learn the rules and routines of Forest School. Mr Simmons, wonderful as ever, found lots of opportunities for exciting new discoveries that evolved naturally through play and exploration. We are looking forward to creating clay portraits next week. Please do ensure that wellies/school shoes/waterproofs are clearly labelled. It would also be useful to help your child practise putting their own coat on. We will, of course, always help them but will be encouraging children to have a go independently – a great skill to learn. We love this trick for anybody finding it a bit tricky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F7x2ad5upI
The first PE session of the year always involves lots of time finding out how to get to the hall, how we sit when we arrive in the hall, how to travel safely around the space, making sure you stand in a big space etc. There is so much to learn when you start Reception! We did then spend time learning our gymnastic shapes for this half term. Our gymnastics unit has a space theme and this was reflected in our warm up game. We moved around the room in different ways into big spaces, including: twinkling stars (hands twinkling in the air as we walk on our tiptoes); floating stars (moving around sideways and softly); shooting stars (moving around quickly, keeping our heads up to avoid bumps); daytime (crouching down and hiding). We then learnt and practised the following shapes: straddle star (straddle), pike alien (pike), flying saucer (arch), dish, moon (tuck). Next week, we will make our session a bit longer and enjoy applying these shapes. Well done Reception gymnasts.
In the afternoons, we have had lots of stories and circle times, so that the children can learn the names of the other children and a little bit about them. We most especially enjoyed the ‘keys game’, stealing Miss Witham’s keys from under the chair and then challenging the person on the chair to guess and name the culprit. Much laughter ensued! Routines such as breaktimes, lunchtimes, using the toilets, lining up, register etc. continue to be absorbed with confidence. It was super to rejoin the school for today’s celebration assembly and the children listened so very well. A new routine that we introduced this week was our carousel of ‘morning jobs’. These are some calm, soft start activities that the children will rotate around throughout the week, allowing them to access everything by the end of the week. This routine enables us to start our day in a calm, positive manner as well as working on lots of skills such as fine motor dexterity and strength. The children have been so impressive as they self-register by moving their photograph onto the five frames before finding their group and settling to an activity.
I have also been completing some baseline activities, including name writing, pencil grip and any existing sound knowledge and oral blending. This will help us to plan our work going forwards so that we can best support all of the children.
Of course, we have also enjoyed lots of choosing time with all of our friends. The photos below show the fun that was enjoyed by all and just a snippet of the purposeful, focused play that the staff have delighted in sharing and observing.
Our Makaton signs of the week have been: please, thank you, good morning and good afternoon. This has allowed us to use Makaton to answer the register and accompany our beautiful manners. There are some videos below so that you can enjoy learning these signs together at home.
Please and thank you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjZVMj3B7XE
Good morning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XtH1Q3T0Eg
Good afternoon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcUE1l2jRdI
Phew, what a busy week! It is no wonder that, by this afternoon, we had lots of sleepy children. Therefore, one of this afternoon’s choosing options was some ‘rest time’. Lots of children chose to snuggle up with a blanket and cushion for a little bit of Bluey. We decided that this was the best choice after our very first full week! We then ended our day with a lovely story outside on the field in the sunshine. It has been a very busy week full of fun and learning so, whilst I hope that the children have lots of stories to share about their exciting week, I am sure that they must be very tired and in need of a good rest!
Reception, we are so proud of you all. We hope you have a lovely, restful weekend and look forward to the excitement that next week will bring.
With many thanks and best wishes,