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! 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 and Wednesday morning - Miss Turner (Foundation Stage Leader)
From Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday - Mrs Blake
In the Butterfly classroom our teachers are:
Everyday - Miss Felgate
Wednesday afternoon - Mrs Clark
It's the summer term already and Early years is as busy as ever! We have lots happening over the next term, from looking at growth and change through to preparing for our transition to year one.
We have already begun looking at and caring for some tadpoles and watching how they have changed over the past few weeks. This has been very exciting to watch and we have had to research and investigate their life cycle. This has inspired us to want to look at more life cycles so watch this space in the coming weeks to see what will be arriving in our classroom next!
On the theme of growing........ we have started to plant our own seeds! Some of these will be for us to take home once we have watched how they grow and some we will be planting in our very own Early Years garden. We have been helping to tidy and sort the garden ready for the summer, we have refilled the bug hotel and are helping our creature friends to move in.
We are also pleased to have the summer house up and running, this is a space where we can go and share stories or have a quiet place to rest.
As the term goes on, we will start to prepare the children in their transitions to year one. This will be done over a period of time where we will work closely with the KS1 teaching team. We will be visiting the Year 1/2 classrooms and our new teachers will also come to visit us in our classroom.'
Thank you so much for the very generous cards and presents we received for Christmas.
We are looking forward to seeing seasonal changes as we move forward into the Springtime.
Already this term the teachers have been very impressed with how much progress the children have made since they first started school with recognising and writing their names.
As we continue with phonics, some of us will be recapping the Phase 2 phonemes, and some of us will begin to learn the Phase 3 phonemes. Please help your child to practise these at home; what sound does the letter make? Can you read or spell some words with the phonemes in? Remember to practise letter formation too.
Spring was a very busy term for us in Reception. We enjoyed the snow and the frost and all the excitement that came with it once we returned after the Christmas break. The excitement continued later on in the term with the arrival of Pancake day.
We were lucky enough to have some visits from the dental nurse and local Police Officers to talk to us about their jobs and how we can keep healthy and safe.
To help us become more creative story tellers and writers, we have been exploring all the ways we can develop our imaginations. We started by telling our own "helicopter" stories and the teachers scribed them for us, then we acted them for our class, it was so much fun being "directors" of our own stories, choosing the characters and actors! Once we got really familiar with story telling we moved on to writing a story as a whole class, using the "talk4writing" approach. We used signs and symbols to help us remember the flow of the story. We were so amazing at this we were set the challenge to write our own stories, using some story prompts as inspirations and we created some really impressive writing!
It was lovely to welcome some of our parents and carers into school for the first of this years reading cafes. it was fantastic to see everyone having so much fun and joining in.
Phonics and Reading Workshop
Many parents stayed on after the craft session to take part in the phonics and reading workshop. The powerpoint and handouts were sent home to all families but it is also attached here for you too.
The summer has been a very busy one as we are fortunate to have had a complete re-decoration and new kitchen area in Early Years which we are very excited about. The children will be busy exploring new indoor and outdoor areas. 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. 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.
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 £3.00 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, or even pay the full yearly amount which is £18.
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 inevitablythey will get a little messy, and it is okay!