Welcome to Highwoods Community Primary School Reception class
We will be updating regularly to provide home learning challenges and ideas to work on during school closures. Please post on Tapestry what you have been doing so we can stay in touch.
Please read this letter about the home learning packs we have sent home. Home Learning Pack Letter
Here are some links and ideas for supporting EYFS learning at home: Home Learning Links
Here is a list of the rhymes we use to support handwriting. If your child is struggling to recall a letter shape if you say the rhyme this helps them to visualise the letter to write it down: Handwriting Phrases
In reception we look at a wide variety of stories including: The Gingerbread Man, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Colour Monster, Handa’s Suprise, The Way Back Home and Dear Zoo. As the terms progress we learn to sequence events and to retell them using a story map, actions and lots of enthusiasm.
We try to enhance the learning experiences of all children by linking activities and experiences. For example, we make our own Gingerbread men, eat porridge, go on a bear hunt in the woods and make our own masks/props. Our role play area will transform from the Gingerbread Man’s kitchen, the Three Bear’s Cottage, a supermarket and Space Station.
We combine texts with non-fiction books about space, food and understanding different animal life-cycles. The children particularly enjoy exploring all the tropical fruit from Handa’s surprise and making witches potions in the role play area.
In addition to the staged school reading books, once a week each class visits the school library where we share a story and choose a story book to take home and enjoy.
When children start in reception we focus on key skills: carefully counting objects, identifying and recognising numerals 1-20 and naming basic 2D shape names. We practice counting from 1-20 and back again frequently to ensure children have a sound understanding of basic numerical place value. As the year progresses we move on, following the EYFS framework and introduce addition, subtraction, doubling, sharing and language about time into our lessons.
Where possible we use songs and stories to support the teaching of maths such as; ‘Ten Green Bottles’, the days of the week in the Hungry Caterpillar and time language from “Night Monkey, Day Monkey”.
Our mathematics lessons involve lots of visual support and concrete learning opportunities. Young children learn best through exploring numerical concepts in their play. We have opportunities to develop numeracy indoors and outdoors.
At Highwoods we follow the Read, Write, Inc Phonics scheme.
We have phonics lessons every day at 9am. We have small groups of children between 8-15 per group to ensure learning is at the right pace and level for every child to make the best progress that they can.
We learn the sounds that letters make, moving on to breaking down words to hear all of the sounds that make up a word (segmenting) and blending individual sounds together to read.
We learn the letter sounds in this order: m a s d t i n p o c k u b f e l h sh r j v y w th z ch qu x ng nk. Once children are secure on these sounds and can blend simple words together we move on to more complex vowel sounds. We liaise closely with parents so you know what your child is learning and how you can best support them with reading at home.
Understanding the world
Every Wednesday we share ‘World Wide Wednesday’. This is where we look at different countries from across the world.
We do lots of different activities, we might look at the country on Google Earth to see where it is in relation to our school. We will also try some food from that country and learn to say ‘hello’ in their native language. We also consider the differences between ourselves and children/schools in the country and look at different pictures to see what we can observe. We might listen to some traditional music from that country, look at famous art or artists and have a go at making our own art in that style.
In previous years we have visited, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, China, Thailand, Kenya, Nigeria, India, Australia and many many more. When we have children from different countries we try to include their country so all children have an awareness of their cultural heritage,
Children particularly enjoy playing African drums, learning about Chinese New Year and learning the song ‘frere jacques’.
In addition, children have plenty of opportunities to develop their understanding of the people, communities, natural world and technology around them.
At Highwoods we work on both our fine motor skills, those needed for writing, and our gross motor skills, that help us play safely together.
We have PE lessons once a week and also enjoy additional blocks of Yoga and Forest school.
We embrace a child led ethos, therefore children can go outside in our outdoor classroom and playground all year round in all weathers. We have a variety of activities including a mud kitchen, digging area, sandpit, water tray and balance/climbing equipment.
We spends lots of time in reception working on key skills to build up core strength in our arms, hands and wrists. We do regular ‘Funky Fingers’ activities which focus on different fine motor skills to build precision in movement, strength and improved hand-eye co-ordination.
These activities can be done at home to support your child’s physical development. We would recommend children have regular access to activities that use: lego/duplo, play dough, climbing, digging, sweeping, colouring, painting and threading.
Expressive art and design
In reception we focus on exploring different art and design activities. We want to enthuse a love of creative activities that will prepare children for the rest of their lives.
We do regular art activities most of which are child-led and we follow their interests. The reception class this year have been enjoying making their own masks and kites so we support these interests and develop their skills by showing them how to cut things out accurately and safely, and how to join materials efficiently.
We use the artwork of Kandisky to support mathematical teaching on 2D shapes and use 3D shapes to print and make our own artwork in his style.
Children are encouraged to use their imaginations in their play, we provide differing role play areas and story telling props which help to act out familiar stories and for them to make sense of the world around them These activities are fundamental for developing social skills and positive relationships with peers.
All children in reception have regular afternoon sessions at Forest School. Here we develop key skills for learning through hands on practical activities.
Forest school ensures that children are given opportunities to develop outside of the classroom and boosts emotional well-being. Over time, children develop an increase in resilience, self confidence, enthusiasm for learning, communication and problem-solving skills.
Tapestry is our online Learning Journey. All children are signed up at the start of the year, it is secure and confidential.
Teaching staff upload regular observations, pictures and videos of what children are doing at school. This helps us to record their progress and is invaluable to open up communications between home and school so parents can discuss with their children about the things they have been doing.
Parents are encouraged to upload their own observations to Tapestry of activities children do at home that support their learning. We often set Tapestry challenges to complete which relate to the work we have been completing in class. Children enjoy talking about what their parents have uploaded to Tapestry in Tapestry talk sessions (similar to show and tell).
Don’t forget to check it regularly to see what your child has been learning.
Click here for Tapestry