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Reception

TEACHERS: MRS P DUNN/MISS ANDERSON

TEACHING ASSISTANT:  MRS J QUIRK

Welcome to Reception!

The children have now settled into the Reception class routine and are working hard. It has been lovely observing their friendships develop, as they explore the classroom and access the resources. We are looking forward to helping them learn and grow as they play and explore together.

We are currently assessing the children to find out what they already know, understand and can do, to enable us to plan effectively for each child's learning needs. We are passionate about pupil progress and will regularly monitor the children's progress and set them personalised targets. We look forward to working with you to help your child achieve their full potential.

                        

Our Fantastic Families

We have been talking and learning about our different families. The children have enjoyed listening to each other talk about their family photographs, which are now on display in our classroom.

Reading Rocks

Thank you for allowing your children to bring in their favourite reading book from home. It has been wonderful to listen to the children speak so enthusiastically about their stories.

Before reading each book we have been identifying the name of the author, illustrator and reading the blurb.

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School Reading Books

We will be sending home a school reading book next week. Please make a comment in your child’s reading record book each time you share the book with them. We change the books every Monday. Please also read books from home as being exposed to a wide range of books will benefit your child.

                                                            

We want to encourage children to read at home. Research shows that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge, a better understanding of other cultures and are more successful in adult life.

Sharing a book with your child allows you to share adventures and experiences in the safe world of the book. It allows you to ask questions, talk about what has happened and decide what you think together.

Please listen to your child read as often as possible and write a comment in their reading record book. Mr. Smith will be monitoring reading and your child’s name will be placed in the Golden Box if they read at home at least five times a week.

Summer Reading Challenge

We are very proud of the children in our class who completed the summer reading challenge and are now officially ‘Animal Agents’!

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Super smart and looking the part!

It was wonderful to see the children looking super smart in their school P.E. kits. They enjoyed taking part in a number of fun games and developed their catching and throwing skills.

We were very impressed with the number of children who could get dressed and undressed independently. Keep practicing those tricky buttons at home!

Reception high frequency words

The following words are called ‘high frequency’ words. Children should be able to read them, by the end of the school year. We will be sending home a few words to learn each week.

I

to

go

of

can

big

are

come

see

mum

the

day

up

dad

my

she

look

play

said

yes

here

dog

you

in

it

on

going

went

like

and

this

was

is

he

am

all

a

me

love

get

at

we

no

away

cat

for

from

they

 

 

Diwali

We have enjoyed learning about Diwali, the Hindu festival of light. We found out facts about Diwali by reading fiction and non-fiction books. We also watched a film about a boy called Shyam and how his family prepare for their Diwali celebrations. It was interesting to see him visiting a temple with his family to light candles and say prayers. We talked about their traditions and recognised some similarities to the way we prepare to celebrate Christmas as they send cards, give presents, decorate their homes, wear special clothes and prepare a family meal.

During the week, we set up an inter-active Diwali display so that the children could explore some of the objects that Hindu’s have in their houses during Diwali.

The children enjoyed working with clay to make their own diva lamps They listened carefully to the instructions and showed good control as they worked with the malleable material. Once they had dried they decorated them with paint and glitter, carefully combining different colours.

At the end of the week we enjoyed our own Diwali celebration day, linking together all of the learning we had done.

Many children had their hands decorated with Mehndi patterns. The children showed great patience in waiting for the henna ink to dry before washing it off. A few children recognised that some of the Mehndi designs were symmetrical.

After looking at pictures of Indian dancers with dandia sticks, we set the children a challenge to make their own dandia sticks in the workshop. Many children made fantastic dandia sticks and decorated them with repeating patterns. We played Bhangra songs and had great fun moving to the beat of the music.

Many children worked in the writing area and made beautiful Diwali cards for their friends.

The children were extremely creative in the outside classroom using coloured chalks to make Rangoli Patterns. We also set up large trays for the children and they were highly involved exploring coloured glass beads and designed some fantastic patterns.

We were very lucky to have a special visitor, Monica, who talked to us about Diwali and had prepared food for us to taste. The children were very keen to sample the dishes. A few children were spotted making several visits to the buffet table! Some children thought of fantastic adjectives to describe the taste.

Monica also showed us how to wear a sari. The children had great fun choosing traditional saris and coloured bindis to wear. The teachers dressed up in traditional Hindu costumes and a great day was had by all!

It was fantastic to observe the enthusiasm the class had for learning about other cultures, communities and traditions.

The children displayed high levels of involvement during the week and it was amazing to watch them develop their ideas and extend their own learning.

It was lovely to see the children arriving in school so excited to start our own celebrations. There was a wonderful atmosphere in the Foundation stage Unit as the children wandered from activity to activity, encouraging each other to participate.
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Fine Motor Skills

It has been fantastic to see so many children taking up the different finger gym challenges that are placed within the Continuous Provision each week. Lots of fastening, attaching, connecting and exploring to develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination. Great concentration and involvement! #FantasticFunkyFingers

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Remembrance Day

In class we remembered all of the brave soldiers who fought in World War 1. We talked about the uniforms that the soldiers wore and how difficult it was fighting in the trenches, often going without sleep and food. We also thought about the doctors and nurses who cared for the injured soldiers and helped to make them better.

We looked at pictures of medals that were awarded to soldiers and nurses for being courageous and helpful. Some medals were star shaped and some were circles. We particularly liked the rainbow coloured ribbons attached to the medals.

This led to a discussion about the significance of the poppy flower and why we wear a poppy in November to remember the brave people involved in the War.

After the lesson, the children were highly involved in the workshop making their own poppies. They competently used a variety of tools and materials to create their poppies and were quite rightly proud of what they achieved.

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Super Shape Work

We have had a fantastic week exploring shapes! The children have been learning to name and describe 2d shapes. 

We all enjoyed going on a shape hunt around school. We found lots of shapes but could not find anything shaped like a pentagon! We took lots of photographs for our classroom display. 

It has been wonderful to observe the children continuing their learning independently during COOL Time. They have been playing with the mystery shape bag and using a variety of resources to create their own shapes. We are very impressed to hear them using the correct maths vocabulary to name and describe their shapes.

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Fantastic Formation

We are very impressed with how well the children are forming their numbers. Lots of them are recalling the number rhymes to remind themselves how to form each number.

The children have been making their own number lines and writing amazing addition number sentences.

This week the children have had fun playing "roll and cross". They have been taking it in turn to roll the dice and crossing off the number they roll. It has been fantastic to listen to them reasoning, as they discuss how many numbers they still need and which numbers they need to roll to win.

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Teddy Bears Picnic

We enjoyed sharing the story ‘Best Loved Bear’ by Diana Noonan. This book gave us the idea of having our own best bear competetion and a teddy bears picnic.

The children were highly involved writing lists of all the party food they would like to eat. It was fantastic that they used their phonic knowledge to Fred Talk and write unfamiliar words.

On Friday we had great fun at our teddy bears’ picnic and everyone brought into school their favourite teddy bear. We could tell that all of the bears were well loved but Ryan’s bear won our class competition.

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The Christmas Story

In R.E. we have been discussing the different ways we celebrate birthdays. We led us to about the birth of Jesus, the son of God. We shared the Bible story of Jesus’ birth and explored this further through the performance of our Christmas Nativity, The Bossy King.

The children enjoyed telling and retelling the story of the Nativity through role play, sequencing and songs. We are very proud of how well the children learned their lines and the lyrics to all of the songs in our play. It is fantastic to see how much they have grown in confidence.

We enjoyed sharing the story of Anna and Simeon (Luke 2:21-40) and thinking of adjectives to describe how Mary and Joseph would have felt hearing that Jesus was so special.

The children now recognise that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. We were extremely proud to take part in the Christmas Service at Church and perform a song from our Nativity. We have shared in the excitement together and our circle time has revealed the ways we will be celebrating Christmas.

 

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Healthy Living

We have really enjoyed returning to school and starting our new topic- ‘Healthy Living’. We have been learning how exercise, good hygiene and healthy eating can all contribute to good health.

We have read lots of interesting books about healthy food. The class read a fiction book called ‘Oliver’s Vegetables’ and were impressed by how the main character, Oliver, became adventurous and tried lots of different vegetables.

We looked at vegetables and tried to name them. We discussed their shapes and sizes and which vegetables we enjoyed eating. The children have enjoyed investigating the weights of the vegetables and concluding which is the heaviest and lightest.

We did a class survey on favourite soup and made a tally chart. After discovering that not many children in the class liked cauliflower, Mrs. Dunn and Mrs. Quirk decided to help change their minds! The children were all involved in a cooking activity and made their own cauliflower soup.

We talked about the ingredients and agreed what equipment we would need to prepare the soup. After washing our hands we read the recipe and followed the instructions step-by-step.

We peeled and chopped the vegetables then added them to the pan. We then measured the water and milk and crumbled in some vegetable stock cubes for extra flavour.

The soup was a fantastic hit with many children having second and third helpings and some pupils were spotted licking their bowls!!!

It was wonderful to see the children so enthusiastic about their learning. They now recognise the importance of healthy eating and understand the need for a variety of food. We have explained that we can still enjoy unhealthy food but it should be a weekly treat rather than something we eat every day.

It was great to listen to the children sharing their experiences and ideas about how to cook vegetables and what they enjoy cooking at home.

There was a lot of excitement in the classroom as the soup was cooking. All of the children got very involved in the cooking process and were keen to taste the soup.

The children described the taste of the soup with the majority of them loving the taste. We’ve done lots of cooking in Foundation Stage over the years and cauliflower soup has been the most popular by far!

It is wonderful that the children are confident to try new activities and a pleasure to observe them making such good progress in their learning.

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National Number Day

 

We all enjoyed celebrating National Number Day in support of NSPCC and Joel, our sponsored child. The children wore a number of their choice on their uniform and we had a fun day filled with fantastic facts about their numbers.

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Fantastic Fine Motor Skills

There have been a lot of opportunities this term for children to develop their gross and fine motor skills. They have have explored a range of activities in the indoor and outdoor classroom.

It has been fantastic to see so many children taking up the different finger gym challenges that are placed within the Continuous Provision each week. Lots of fastening, attaching, connecting and exploring to develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination. Great concentration and involvement! #FantasticFunkyFingers

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Internet Safety

We have been exploring the different ways we can use technology to help us.

Importantly, we have learned how to stay safe on the internet by sharing the story- ‘The Adventures of Smartie the Penguin’. You can access the story at-http://www.childnet.com/resources/smartie-the-penguin

The children were able to solve problems that arose whilst playing games on the ipad, by remembering to tell an adult and ask for help. We learned a fantastic song to remind us how to stay safe on the internet.

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Knowsley Speed Bounce Challenge 2018

There was a great sense of excitement in Reception when Mrs. Scott explained that we would be taking part in the Knowsley Speed Bounce Challenge. 

In advance of the P.E. lesson, children were spotted practising their jumping skills in the outdoor classroom, taking part in a long jump challenge and using chalked lines on the floor to do speed bouncing.

After lots of warm-up exercises, the children watched Mrs. Scott's demonstration. The activity was timed and the class worked together to use the stop watches to time their friends. We heard lots of fantastic maths vocabulary being used as they compared their scores and tried to beat each other. There was lots of personal determination to improve on their own scores.

It was lovely to hear the children encouraging each other and cheering their friends along. Thank you Mrs. Scott - we love your P.E. lessons!

Gung Hey Fat Choi!

We had a fantastic time in Foundation Stage learning about and celebrating Chinese New Year. The children showed great enthusiasm for discovering new facts and exploring Chinese traditions.

We talked about how we could find out more information about how Chinese people prepare for the New Year celebrations. The Reception class suggested they could:

  • Research using computers, iPads and tablets
  • Watch ‘Children’s Newsround’ or television
  • Look in information books
  • Ask their families what they know

We shared the story of ‘The Great Race’ and learned why 2018 is the year of the dog. The children had great fun engaging in imaginative role play and retelling the story using animal props, showing how well they had listened.

We set up an inter-active display of Chinese dragons, pictures, decorations and musical instruments for the children to explore. We also shared a number of fiction and non-fiction stories and watched a video about a Chinese boy, called Ian.

We carefully planned lots of challenges within the Continuous Provision, differentiated to appeal to all abilities, to develop children’s skills and extend their learning. It was wonderful to observe the children having a go and persevering when things were tricky. The workshop challenge was to make your own paper lantern and decorate it with a repeating pattern. The class were quick to engage in this activity and created some fantastic patterns which they were able to describe. As the week progressed the lanterns became more complex and the repeating patterns more detailed. It was fantastic to watch the children growing in confidence and experimenting with new techniques in the workshop.

Some children had their own ideas in the workshop and created magnificent dragons using a collection of cardboard boxes and materials. They also made an array of attractive paper fans decorated in bright colours.

Whilst the children were proud to show off their excellent work to the rest of the class, they were more eager to take their work home to share with their families. The levels of motivation and enthusiasm within the setting were at times almost tangible.

Grace brought in a poster about events taking place in Liverpool. She also sent the class a New Year card and kindly brought everyone a lucky envelope containing sweets.

We learned that it is tradition for households to thoroughly cleanse the house to sweep away ill fortune and make way for good luck before decorating them. We therefore decided to decorate our classroom and hung brightly coloured paper lanterns and dragons from the ceiling.

We changed our fruit and vegetable shop into a Chinese take-away. The children were highly engaged playing the role of shop owner; allowing customers to choose food from the menu and telling them how much it would cost. The shoppers used real money and we observed some great problem solving as they used their maths skills to calculate total prices and the amount of change owed to the customer. The only problem with the take-away was that it made us all feel very hungry!

A ‘chopstick challenge’ was set up to develop fine motor skills. The task was to fill up a bowl with noodles, by picking up one at a time, using chopsticks. We used strips of rubber as noodles and the pieces were of different lengths and thicknesses. This was a difficult challenge but the children showed great perseverance as they focused on achieving their goal.

We also worked hard in our maths lesson to help Uncle Chan solve his money problem, as he had muddled up the coins in his lucky envelopes. We worked together, using our addition skills, to ensure each enveloped added up to ten coins.

It is a Chinese tradition to send New Year cards to friends and family and make lucky pictures. The children were keen to follow this tradition and were curious about using the special gold pens. Every seat in the mark making area was taken as children rushed to take part in this activity. The children were unusually quiet - evidencing their concentration and focus on creating their cards and pictures.

To mark the holiday, Chinese families typically unite and gather at each other’s homes to celebrate and eat together. We decided to have our own celebration at the end of the week.

The teachers prepared a traditional Chinese buffet and the children tucked into rice, spring rolls, prawn cracker, curry sauce, sweet & sour sauce and noodles. The tasty food proved very popular with many coming back for second helping. In keeping with our topic of ‘Healthy Living’ we finished off our buffet with slices of orange!

We all had great fun dancing beneath the Chinese lion. It reminded us all of the film we watched of the dancing dragon parading along the streets in London during New Year celebrations. We also learned a calming Chinese song and it was lovely to hear children and staff singing it throughout the day.

As we left school after a day of fun, we each received a set of chopsticks, a lucky red envelope containing white rabbit sweets and lucky pennies and a fortune cookie- excited to read the message inside!

A wonderful week has been had by all learning about another culture. Lots of families have planned to continue this learning by going into China Town to watch the New Year Procession in Liverpool and experience the excitement of dragon dancing and firecrackers in the street. We look forward to sharing your experiences.

World Faith Day

We all enjoyed listening to our special visitors who came to talk to us about their religion, Islam. We learned some interesting facts about Islam:

  1. They believe in one God.
  2. They pray 5 times each day. They take their shoes off and kneel down on a prayer mat. They must ensure that they pray facing the direction of Saudi Arabia. The prayer mat we looked at had a compass on it.
  3. They believe in helping others and give money to charitable causes.
  4. During the month of Ramadan they fast and do not eat from sunrise to sunset.
  5. The holy book they read is called the Quran. It is printed in Arabic which is read from right to left, so they open their book at the ‘back’ to begin to read.
  6. They cannot eat food containing gelatine, as all of their food must be Halal.
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World Book Day 2018

We had a fantastic time celebrating World Book Day. Everyone dressed up as their favourite book characters. Mrs. Dunn was Little Red Riding Hood and Mrs. Quirk was Velma from Scooby Doo.

The children talked about the book they had brought in to swap. It was lovely observing them chatting about the stories and reaching an agreement over who to swap with. Everyone was excited about taking a new book home to read.

We also watched 'The Biggest Book Show' which was a film put together by a number of authors to raise the profile of reading and encourage children to become writers.

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Super Science Week

The children had great fun taking part in Science Week. We carried out an investigation into mixtures and made our own porridge! This fitted into the learning we had been doing around the wonderful story of 'The Magic Porridge Pot'.

There was great excitement when Mrs. Kiziltan got the recipe wrong and we had to separate the mixture back into its original components. 

It was wonderful to observe the children's enthusiasm as they took part in this practical experiment.

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The Easter Story

We have enjoyed sharing stories from the Bible and learning about Easter week. The children explored our chatterbox and were able to detect which clues related to each story.

We recreated The Last Supper in class and said a prayer as we shared bread and grape juice.

The children loved performing in our Easter play and telling our families about the real meaning of Easter. We were very impressed by the confidence of our children speaking on stage and singing our Easter songs.

Everyone made an Easter bonnet at home which they wore in our parade. We were astonished at the amazing creativity this year.

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Mrs Dunn

Sadly, we said goodbye to Mrs Dunn as she moved on to 'pastures new' when we broke up for Easter.

Mrs Dunn has been a much-loved teacher at Halewood CofE, who has provided so many children with a brilliant start to school life. Learning was ‘always fun with Mrs Dunn’!

We wish you well Mrs Dunn and hope you enjoy spending a bit more time with your family before you decide what to do in the future. With love from the children and staff in EYFS.

Bible Tales with Natasia

At the end of April, Reception children had a great day learning about one of the parables that Jesus told.

Natasia (our parish youth worker) came in to work with the children to create a ‘play in a day’ from a Bible Tale. The tale chosen was ‘The Good Samaritan’. This wonderful story about caring and compassion ties in beautifully with what we teach children about kindness to others and doing ‘the right thing’.

The children thoroughly enjoyed the experience so ‘thank you Natasia’!

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Happy Hair Grass Heads

We have had a wonderful time this week learning about new life and exploring the changes in the outdoor environment. We looked at non-fiction books about spring and we read the story “Jack and the Beanstalk”.

The enhancements that we placed into the provision inspired us to grow our own grass heads. We carefully filled a pot with soil, then sprinkled some grass seed over the top and gave it a good water.

We will check our grass heads every day to see if there are any changes. When they do start to grow, we can compare the sizes of them and measure them to find out which one has the tallest hair.

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