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Information for Parents and Carers

Helping with Reading

Preschool Reading

Children can learn a lot about reading even before they come to school and are formally taught. Young children learn about reading when

  • they see people reading books, magazines, newspapers etc.
  • they notice print in the environment
  • they have their own books
  • they are read to regularly and can talk about the story and predict what might happen
  • they are encouraged to look at books and try to read for themselves
  • they say rhymes and poems off by heart and sing songs

Starting School

We would like children coming into school to

  • have had stories read to them
  • have enjoyed sharing books with others
  • have handled books on their own
  • have an awareness of print around them
  • have some idea of what reading and writing is
  • have had the opportunity to draw and write with various materials
  • have confidence and look forward to learning to read

Strategies used in teaching a child to read

Children use many strategies when reading. Phonics or ‘sounding’ a word out is the most important stage and we teach a scheme of work for synthetic phonics in our Reception class as recommended by the ‘Rose Report.’ Children also learn to use visual memory, that is looking at a word and remembering it. Children also learn when reading a good story. If the story makes sense and holds his/her interest the child can gather clues from the text and the pictures, making logical guesses about unknown vocabulary.

Helping your child progress with reading

Once children have started to read they will make better progress if you can help them by reading with them daily.

Helping Your Child with Maths

Activities to do at home

  • counting in 1’s, 2’s, 5’s and  10’s
  • number activities in everyday situations e.g. How many buttons are on your coat ?; Pass me 5 apples; What number is on that house?
  • traditional games like Snakes and Ladders, Ludo and Dominoes are an invaluable and fun way to learn
  • looking for relationships and patterns in numbers
  • using ‘mathematical’ words e.g. long, longer, longest, tall, short, narrow, more than, less than etc
  • recognising and naming shapes
  • using the language of position e.g. under, over, above, between, next to, below, behind, in front of etc..


Helping Your Child with Writing

Children usually experiment with their own pretend writing first and this should be encouraged. Children are making marks at this stage but often to them they are writing. Ask your child to read back their writing to you and give them lots of praise, don’t tell them it is wrong or ‘just scribble.’ Young children learn writing when:


  • they see people writing
  • people share and discuss writing with them
  • there are opportunities for children to join in writing with adults. Can they help write the shopping list?
  • the child does some writing which is praised by the adult
  • the child’s efforts (even pretend writing) are taken seriously


A young child encouraged in this way will soon be ready to form letters correctly and will develop a love of writing which will stay with them throughout their learning.


Activities to do at Home

  • colouring books, dot to dots, tracing over patterns
  • Activities which encourage a pincer grip (finger and thumb) like picking up small objects with plastic tweezers
  • large arm movements especially anti clockwise such as waving flags and swirling ribbons
  • painting
  • make a name card for your child to copy
  • as children progress write birthday cards together, shopping lists, invitations, thankyou letters, so that writing is shown to have a purpose.
  • play simple word games
  • Look at word with your child


In Reception, when children first learn their letter sounds they are taught to form their letters correctly. We will send out more information about this in the first half term.


Websites to help support your childs learning;





Recommended Books to help with Maths;

  • Dinosaur Dig! by Penny Dale – This inventive counting story manages to combine diggers, dinosaurs and counting.
  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury – Illustrated beautifully by the illustrator of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, this story is ideal for young children.
  • One Ted Falls Out of Bed by Julia Donaldson and Anna Currey – This magical story by the author of The Gruffalo has a counting theme and rhyming text. It’s all about the fun that toys have while children are fast asleep.
  • One Mole Digging A Hole by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt – Another counting, rhyming story by children’s favourite, Julia Donaldson. From moles digging holes to parrots pulling up carrots, the wacky and wonderful illustrations by Nick Sharratt are sure to make counting fun!

Books to enjoy at home include:

  • Julia Donaldson books- The Scarecrow's Wedding, Room on a Broom, The Grufffalo, A Squash and a Squeeze and many more.
  • Nick Butterworth books- " Percy the Park Keeper Stories"
  • Mike Inkpen books- Kipper, The Blue Balloon, "Penguin small","Jasper's Beanstalk"
  • Jill Murphy books - " All in one piece", " Five Minutes peace", and lots more about the elephant family.

A good website for buying books at discounted prices is www.thebookpeople.co.uk/schools




Parental involvement strategies used in Foundation Stage 2.

Here are some of the strategies we use in our Reception class to involve our parents in their children's learning. Any further suggestions are welcome. Please contact Mrs Robinson.

Polar Regions-Spring 1 2020

As part of our work on Polar regions we read a story called "The Polar Bear and the Snow Cloud" (see the text map). We have also done lots of non fiction work about Polar animals, Antartica and the Arctic. We have written facts about penguins and polar bears in our writing sessions. In art and craft we have painted and used collage materials to make different pieces. As part of our "Understanding the World" aspect of EYFS, we have used globes and maps to find out where these countries and continents are located. We also learnt about Inuit people who travel around parts of the Arctic circle.

Text Maps

These are text maps which we use to support "Talk4Writing." The children learn actions to match the pictures which helps them retell a story or another style of writing. Spring 1- The Iceberg

Nativity Play 2019

This first Christmas play is called "The First Nativity". Don't they all look great in their costumes?

Getting ready for Christmas.

The children dressed up and had their photo taken to put on their calendars.

A little Visitor comes into School.

During our work about Autumn and hibernating animals, Miss Crooks ( our TA in year 1) brought in her pet pygmy Hedgehog. She told us all about him and what he liked to eat, play with and how he could curl up into a ball when he was scared. We even got to touch his spikes. It was very interesting.

Little Red Hen

We have been reading the story 'The Little Red Hen.' we have learned some actions to go with the story so we can re tell it. This is called Talk4Writing.

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Pumpkin time

A Magic Moment for Reception. This happened on 21.10.19 Making a pumpkin lantern. To begin with we passed the pumpkin around to feel how heavy it was. We discussed what a pumpkin was, what it looked like on the outside and what it might look like on the inside. Mrs. Robinson cut around the top of the pumpkin to make a lid. The children were amazed to see so many seeds inside one pumpkin. We discussed how we could plant the seeds and grow our very own pumpkins. Mrs. Robinson cut out the face of the pumpkin and put a light inside. We then turned off the lights in the classrooms we could see our pumpkin glow

Autumn in the nature garden

14.10.19 This week we visited the nature garden in small groups. We had a checklist of things we had to look for and collect.We were looking at the changes Autumn brings.We noticed how the leaves had fallen from the trees and changed colour. They were yellow, brown, orange and red. We noticed the apples had dropped from the apple tree. When we returned to the classroom we looked more carefully at the items we had collected. we used magnifying glasses to look at the detail on the leaves.We made a picture with some of the items we had collected. We have displayed our pictures in the classroom.

Text map for Gingerbread man

Here you can see a photo of the story map we will be using in school for our re telling of 'The Gingerbread man'

The Gingerbread Man

We have been doing lots of work in class linked to the story 'The Gingerbread Man' We have performed the story using our Talk 4 Writing actions. We have drawn our own story maps. We have made gingerbread men and ladies out of playdough that smells of ginger. We decided to change the ending of the story and allow the Gingerbread man to escape from the fox. We decided to build bridges to help the Gingerbread man get across the river. We used lollipop sticks, twigs, bricks, straws and lego. We had to use lots of different skills to create our bridges and we really enjoyed ourselves. Look at what we came up with....

Reception class September 2019

We would like to say a big 'Thank you' to all our Reception parents and children for welcoming us into your homes when we undertook home visits. We were made to feel welcome and it was a pleasure to meet the children in their home environment. The children are now settling well into school and we would like to share some photos of some of the activities we have been doing in the first two weeks. We have spent time in our outdoor classroom. We have enjoyed the shop and mud kitchen. Inside the classroom we have been exploring the different areas of provision.