Welcome to Reception
Here at Ranelagh we work as an Early Years Unit. Each morning the nursery and reception classes share the same learning spaces. This helps the children become familiar with all staff and helps to make transitions from nursery to reception much smoother for the children.
The children have continuous use of indoor and outdoor environments all year round and in all weathers so please ensure your child has the appropriate clothing for the weather conditions! Please NAME all of your child's uniform including their coats, plimsolls and shoes. We also advise that you provide a spare set of NAMED clothes in a drawstring bag that can remain on your child's peg in case it is needed. Please can we also ask that you provide your child with a pair of NAMED plimsolls to wear inside the classroom.
Our Reception teachers are.........
In the Ladybird classroom our teachers are:
On a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday - Miss Turner (Foundation Stage Leader)
On a Wednesday - Mrs Hambira
In the Butterfly classroom our teachers are:
Everyday - Miss Felgate
Wednesday afternoon - Mrs Clark
We have been focusing on, and investigating a number each week. We have taken a closer look at each number, thinking about it's position on a number line, what comes before and after, ways it can be represented, the corresponding numicon plate and looking in our environment for the numerals. This has got us thinking more deeply about numbers and their purpose and how they are important to our everyday lives.
This half term in phonics all the children have been introduced to the phase 2 letters and sounds. They have learnt all the phase 2 phonemes (sounds in words) and graphemes (letters we write). As this has been taught the children have been learning to blend phonemes together (for reading) and segmenting words (breaking words down to hear phonemes) for writing. Please continue to support your child at home with this. Each time a new phoneme is taught they will bring this home on their phonics key ring for you to practice. Over the next few weeks we will be sending children home with reading books, words to learn at home and a personal reading book. These will be sent home for you to work on together, they will need to be brought back to school daily. Please remember to fill in your child's reading diary each time to show us that you've read together. There are links at the bottom of this page for Jolly Phonics, Geraldine Giraffe and alphablocks to help with this.
Christmas share session
We had another successful parent share session, where it was lovely to welcome so many of you into school to take part in various Christmas crafts and games. Thank you to all of you who made it in, we understand how busy it can be!
We were very excited to go on our very first class trip to the New Wolsey Studios where we watched the show ‘Arthur's Dreamboat.' This was a lovely story about a little boy who relied on his imagination as his family were too busy with other things. It showed us the importance of spending time together with our families, listening to each other and spending less time on gadgets such as tablets.
The show was lovely and interactive, encouraging us all to join in with singing and dancing, we even got to meet the puppets at the end! When we returned to school lots of the children were keen to share what their favourite part of the play was, inspiring some beautiful pictures and emergent writing.
Kimmy's petting zoo
In November we had a visit from Kimmy's petting zoo. We were all very excited to find out which animals we would see. In groups, we took turns to hold a particular animal and have a close look at it. Sarah and Tegan (the grown ups who look after the animals) then came round to show us the others. We got to meet and find out about Turbo, the giant African land snail, Flower the leopard gecko, Shir Khan the snake, Bam Bam the armadillo and Winston the meerkat.
We listened carefully as the helpers told us lots of information about the animals. When we got back to class we talked about what we liked and how we felt about them. We then took a vote on which animals were our favourites.
Tapestry cafe and stay and play session
Thank you to all of those who joined us for our first reception share cafe of the year. This was a great success with most of our parents now logged on and accessing tapestry (our online learning journey). It has been lovely sharing what we get up to at school with you all. It's great to see that parents are now feeling more confident to add their own observations from home, it really does help us establish those all important home school links with our families. The children also relished the chance to show their grown ups around our classroom, taking part in our day and sharing what they enjoy doing!
This half term has seen us share and celebrate many special days and occasions. We paid our respects on Remembrance Day, celebrated Diwali and fire works night, joined in with Children in need day, had crazy hair to help support our school Christmas fayre and came to school wearing our Christmas jumpers to raise money for the charity 'Save the Children.'
Jack and the Beanstalk
We had a panto visit (Oh yes we did!). The theatre company put on a production of "Jack and the Beanstalk." It was great fun and the children were so engaged and excited to see what happened. They became very animated and got to join in with the actors in some parts. When we got back to the classroom, we talked about what we had seen and what our favourite parts were, some of us then made a picture to represent this.
During the first few weeks as we all settle in, we will introduce story times and will be using lots of positive praise to children during these times to model and reinforce listening and attention skills. We will also be enabling children to explore the indoor and outdoor learning environments, learning how to play with and use resources with each other and the importance of taking care of things. At the end of sessions we begin to teach children new routines incorporating tidying inside and outside and then lining up to transition to the next part of our day. They will be learning how to make new friends and build relationships with adults as around half of our new intake have joined us from other settings.
As the half term goes on, and as the children become more settled, we gradually begin to add more ‘formal’ learning times, including circle time, phonics and maths times. This happens when the children are able to participate in group activities. However, most of our learning throughout the year will continue to be through child led play and experiences.
Phonics and Reading
As our children will have had very varied pre-school experiences and with the long summer holiday, we start teaching phonics with Letters and Sounds Phase 1. This focuses on differentiating environmental and musical instrument sounds, learning rhymes, listening activities, and beginning to orally blend and segment sounds in words. We deliver activities in a fun, play based way.
Please support your child at home by playing listening games such as 'what can you hear?' as you are walking to and from school and have conversations together without the TV as a distraction.
You can share stories together too. The children will bring home a new story book each week for you to read to them. Talk together about the characters; What happens? How might characters be feeling? Relate stories to your child's own experiences. Do share the comments your child makes in the reading diary, and if you wish, you are more than welcome to change the books more frequently.
You can also encourage your child to recognise their name when it is written, and begin to write the letters in their name too. Please remember that we only use a capital letter at the beginning of our names and the rest are in lower case! This will help them to label any pictures that they make at school.
As the term progresses, we will begin having daily teacher input for maths. We will also have additional maths circle time inputs in small groups where the activity is specifically matched to the children's next steps for learning. We deliver maths input through stories, songs, games, and teacher led activities, both inside and outside. We plan lots of activities for children to explore maths opportunities in their play.
Please support your child with learning maths at home. Some ideas to help include, counting how many steps as you go upstairs, looking for numbers on houses and street signs as you walk to school, look at the shapes of street signs as you walk to the shop, count out how many grapes you have on your plate, compare the height of family members... Who is the shortest/ tallest? Who has the biggest/ smallest feet?
We are looking at the children's Learning Journeys and carrying out assessments to plan effectively for each child's next steps.
Please be reminded that we ask for a voluntary contribution of £5.00 snack money per half term. This small amount of money enables us to provide snack such as crackers, bread sticks and yogurts in addition to the fruit that the children are provided with. The money also allows us to buy supplies for fun cooking activities.
We ask that the money is paid promptly at the beginning of each half term to enable us to continue with this successfully. We would also be happy for you to pay in advance for a whole term which is £10, or you can pay for the full three terms.
Once we are settled into class and the children are more familiar with the setting, reception children will start going to the woodland area on the school site. They will learn about the changes that occur through the seasons, to look for insects, to learn how to care for living creatures, and to take part in team building exercises such as den building to name a few activities. We experience the outdoor area in all weathers so please ensure children have appropriate clothing at school.
If they have their own pair of wellington boots, it would be helpful to bring them to school once this is up and running, we will keep you updated!
In reception we have lots of opportunities for independent learning, and some of our play can be messy! The children look very smart in their new uniforms, and while we try our best to make sure they are wearing aprons at certain activities, sometimes the children are very keen and get there before we do. We spend lots of time at the beginning of term teaching the children about wearing aprons at messy activities but inevitably they will get a little messy, and it is okay!