Ahlberg

Reception 

Welcome to Ahlberg Reception’s homepage. Miss Billington is our Class Teacher and Ms Johnson is our Early Years Educator. This page will be updated every Friday where you can see what the children have been learning.

JOY

‘Sing him a new song

Play skilfully and shout for joy’

PSALM 33 V3

 

Class Updates

Friday 1st March 2024

A HUGE thank you for raising the enormous target needed to purchase our new wooden blocks for the garden. We are so grateful for the amazing school community at St Stephen’s.  The children have been busy this week having lots of fun building with them and learning to tidy them up at the end of the school day.

As part of our planting and growing topic this week the children have been busy drawing still life pictures of fruit and sunflowers using different mark making tools. They also particularly enjoyed a cut and stick activity, adding facial features to their choice of vegetable – think Mr Supertato but on paper!

This week in Literacy we have been reading, ‘Supertato’ by Sue Hendra. This tells the story of the Evil Pea who escaped from the freezer and causes destruction within the supermarket. We have been looking closely at the Evil Pea and the children have been writing simple sentences describing him and the things he has been up to. Next week, we will read, ‘Supertato, Veggies Assemble.’ The children will be reading and writing captions for a variety of characters from the other stories in the Supertato series.

In Math, at the beginning of the week we introduced 3D shapes to the children including sphere, cube, cuboid, cone, cylinder, pyramid and prism. We discussed the difference between a 2D and a 3D shape and introduced the new vocabulary faces, edges and vertices/vertex.

This week we have also covered learning different strategies to add. The children learnt to count on from the greatest number first when adding two groups together. The children used tens frames and double sided counters to solve addition challenges by counting on with their partners.

This week in our relationship and health education lesson we continued with our topic: Rights and responsibilities. The children thought about how they can take care of their friends. We had lots of fun acting out different role play scenarios.

In RE the children continued to learn about the Easter story. They learnt about the Last Supper when Jesus ate with his disciples. The children thought about special meals they have shared with their family and friends for different celebrations.

Handwriting

Another week of the caterpillar family – help your child to correctly form the letters g, q & e. Complete the worksheet and return on Thursday.

Writing Red words

This week’s Rainbow Red Words to write are:

Complete the worksheet and return on Thursday.

Royal Academy Young Artists Competition

There is still just under a month left to enter your artwork into the Royal Academy Young Artists Competition. The artwork can be in any medium you’d like: painting, drawing, sculpture or even performance art!

The deadline for entries is 5pm March 27th. Please visit: https://youngartists.royalacademy.org.uk/ to find out more and enter your child’s artwork.

If you have any questions about the competition please email Mrs Allen: e.allen@ststephensce.lbhf.sch.uk

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

 

Miss Billington, Miss Johnson, Mrs Alicja and Mrs Rolanda

Friday 23rd February 2024

This week we were very lucky to have a mummy who told the children lots about Luna New Year and also did a fun activity making good luck notes, using paint brushes and ink with the children. A big thank you to Iris! The children had a wonderful time. We  have also been busy this week making lots of different Lunar New Year Crafts to decorate our classroom with.

This week in Maths, the children have been solving addition problems. We introduced the part, part, whole model to show the children how two groups combine to make a new total amount. The children practiced their counting skills by lining up the two groups of objects and touching and counting each one. They then learnt to combine two groups by counting on from the greatest number to speed up their adding. We will continue with the counting on from the greatest amount strategy next week.

The children have been busy drawing pictures of Losty the polar cub we found and writing sentences to describe what Losty looks like. Hopefully Losty will be reunited him with his family soon!

This week in our relationship and health education lesson we began our new topic: Rights and respect. The children thought about how their families take care of them and what they can do to help at home.

In RE we have begun to learn about the Easter story and this week we read the story of Palm Sunday. We have been thinking about the role of the donkey who carried Jesus into Jerusalem and how the people reacted to him when he did so.

We have uploaded our learning goals for the second half of the spring term. Our new topic is, ‘Planting and growing.’

We have regrouped the children in phonics. You might notice that your child has made a leap with the level of reading book they take home today. Remember that for the first read the children focus on segmenting and blending each word. On the second read they might become a bit faster at segmenting and blending the words and perhaps sight read some of them. By the third read they will have a better understanding of the story and you can focus on simple comprehension questions. Reading for short periods of time and often is the key at this developmental stage. Be positive and give your child lots of praise. If you have any questions or concerns about the level of reading book your child has brought home then please speak to us or send an email.

Homework

Handwriting

We have decided to continue with another round of handwriting practice as it is so important that the children learn the correct letter formation in Reception. Help your child to correctly form the letters c, a & d from the ‘Caterpillar family’. Complete the worksheet and return on Thursday.

Writing Red words

The children need to write the red words on their sheet using different coloured pencils like a rainbow. This week’s Rainbow Red Words are:

Please find a Red Word assessment in your child’s homework folder. We are very pleased with how much progress the children have made.

Miss Billington, Miss Johnson and Ms Alicja

 

 

Friday 9th February 2024

This week in Maths, the children have been exploring the composition of the numbers 6, 7, 8 and 9. They have also been learning how to write number sentences using the addition and equals symbols. Also this week in Maths, the children have been learning about capacity. They explored the capacity of each of the three bear’s water bottles using water and a measuring cup. They then went onto explore and order the capacity of the three bear’s bowls using porridge oats.

We have also been learning about the Arctic. We found a very lost polar bear in our classroom on Monday and will be making ‘found’ posters to try and reunite him with his family when we go

This week in our Relationship and Health Education lesson the children learnt about consent. We revisited the ‘Pantosaurus’ video which you can find and watch with your child here:  We discussed that private areas are private, who our trusted adults are and what is appropriate and not appropriate. We also discussed how important it is to always tell a trusted adult when something doesn’t feel right.

 

In RE this week, the children read the story of ‘The Good Samaritan’ and discussed whose responsibility it is to take care of our school. The children learnt that everyone can help to care for our world and make it a better place to live!

There is no homework over half term. If your child needs to catch up learning their Red Words then please focus on this. Please also read lots of fun picture books and see if the children can spot any Red Words or simple words in them

We hope everyone has a lovely half term break.

Miss Billington, Miss Johnson and Mrs Alicja

IMPORTANT

Always ahead of the curve, St Stephen’s has already instituted a ban on smartphones for children in school, and is strongly promoting collective move action by parents to not given their primary aged children smartphones at all. There is now a strong and growing movement to persuade government to take the issue of smartphone addition and the mental health damage it can cause children, more seriously – have a listen to this very powerful, short radio discussion from earlier in the week. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0h9h4nt. Let your Class Rep that you will join the No Smartphones Moratorium, if you haven’t already.

Friday 2nd February 2024

This week the children have begun learning about the explorer, Ernest Shackleton who attempted a number of times to reach Antarctica. They also learnt about Preet Chandi, the first women of colour to reach the South Pole solo and unsupported in 2021. The children learnt about the different equipment both explorers needed and discussed similarities and differences in the two explorer’s experiences. We continued to learn about Antarctica this week and the children enjoyed watching the first ten minutes of the first episode of Frozen Planet II on the BBC. They really enjoyed it and we encourage you to continue to watch this fantastic series with your children at home as it lends itself so nicely to our current learning.

This week in Maths, the children continued to represent numbers to 10 and compare amounts with their partner. They thought about how many more they needed to make ten and some even had a go at solving how many more or less they had than their Math partner. The children have also been learning about mass and capacity. They began by using their hands to compare the weight of objects and then moved on to using balance scales which they learnt are particularly useful when two objects feel similar in weight. The children used the language of: lightest, heaviest, light and heavy to describe objects in the classroom to their math partners. They also had fun in the water tray comparing the capacity of different containers and putting them in order.

This week in our Relationship and Health Education lesson we focused on staying safe online. The children helped a penguin called Smartie make sensible choices when using a device online.

In RE this week the children learnt about how to care for our school. The children spoke about various members of staff here and how they each play a key role in keeping our school a safe and happy environment. They then offered their ideas of how they also keep our school a happy and safe place to be.

Homework

Handwriting

Help your child to correctly form the letters x and z on the handwriting sheet sent home and then return on Thursday.

Writing Red words

For homework we are recapping our ‘Red Word’ learning. The children need to write the red words on their sheet using different coloured pencils like a rainbow. This week’s Rainbow Red Words are:

Next week, we are making small boats. Please could you bring in any clean junk modelling; such as egg boxes, small plastic fruit containers, corks etc. if you can. Many thanks.

 

We hope everyone has a lovely weekend,

Miss Billington, Miss Johnson, Mrs Alicya and Mrs Rolander

Friday 26th January 2024

This week the children have been learning lots about penguins. They have learnt about the various parts of a penguin’s body, the environment they live in, what they eat and how they raise their young. In Literacy, the children listened to the story, ‘Lost and Found’ by Oliver Jeffers. They learnt about labels and had a go at labelling items around the classroom and also worked with an adult to label the penguin or the boy from the story. Next week, we will be learning about polar region explorers, in particular Ernest Shackleton.

This week in Maths, the children have been exploring the composition of the numbers 9 and 10. They have been using the language of ‘add’ and ‘equals’ to say the number sentences for the numbers 9 and 10. They have spotted lots of patterns when searching for number bonds. They have also been comparing numbers within 10 saying which group has more or fewer and have had a go at saying the number sentence each time to their Math partner.

This week in our relationship and health education lesson the children learnt how to stay safe indoors and outdoors and helped Harold our class giraffe to make some sensible choices to keep him safe.

In RE this week the children learnt that Christians believe that God created all the different animals in our world and that they are special to Him. They thought carefully about pets they have at home or their extended family have and how to take special care of them. The children learnt about the Christian story when God asked Adam, the first human in the bible, to name all the animals He had created. We looked at some photos of different animals including some unusual ones and tried to name them.

Homework

Handwriting

This week we have continued with the robot family and the children have learnt how to correctly form v and w. Please help your child to complete this week’s handwriting homework and return on Thursday.

Writing Red words

For homework we are recapping our ‘Red Word’ learning. The children need to write the red words on their sheet using different coloured pencils like a rainbow. This week’s Rainbow Red Words are: said & was.

Uniform

Please make sure that on Fridays (for gymnastics) your child wears the school PE shorts and the school PE t-shirt under their jogging bottoms and jumper.

We hope everyone has a lovely weekend and we look forward to seeing some of you at our Reception Drop in morning next week.

Miss Billington, Miss Johnson and Mrs Alicja

 

Friday 19th January 2024

A big thank you to all the parents and carers that were able to support us on our class trip this week. On the trip the children learnt about the different seasons and searched the park with their tick lists for the signs of winter. They then worked together to build nests to keep the park animals warm in the winter months. Back in class the children have had a go writing a recap of their trip.

This week in Reception the children have been learning about the 3 Rs: recycle, reduce and reuse. They listened to the story, ‘Somebody swallowed Stanley’ by Sarah Roberts. A plastic bag ends up in the ocean but is made into a kite by a little boy who finds it trapped in a turtle’s mouth. The children enjoyed using recycling and scrap paper and materials to make large scale penguins and vibrant ‘Save our planet’ posters.

In Maths, the children turned into real penguins for their learning and have continued exploring number bonds focusing on the composition of the numbers 6, 7 and 8. They have been learning to say the number sentences for the number bonds using the language of add and equals.

This week in our relationship and health education lesson the children thought about and discussed the different safe things they put into their bodies. They thought about the things at home and school which might be unsafe to put into their bodies and learnt that it is important to always ask their parent or carer for permission.

In RE this week, the children thought about ways they can take rubbish and turn it into something new and useful such as a cardboard box car for their teddies to ride in or the kites which we will be making next week.

Homework

Handwriting

This week we have continued with the robot family and the children have learnt how to correctly form k and p. Please help your child to complete this week’s handwriting homework and return on Thursday.

Writing Red words

For homework we are recapping our ‘Red Word’ learning. The children need to write the red words on their sheet using different coloured pencils like a rainbow.

We hope everyone has a lovely weekend,

Miss Billington, Miss Johnson and Mrs Alicya

Royal Academy Young Artists Competition 2024

The Royal Academy Young Artists Competition has opened again this year! Children can enter with any art they have made, be it at home or at a club. The winning entries are displayed at the Royal Academy of Arts in central London! The deadline for entry is the 7th of March. To find out more about the competition, or to enter your child’s artwork, please visit: https://youngartists.royalacademy.org.uk/

If you have any questions about the competition, please email Mrs Allen (e.allen@ststephensce.lbhf.sch.uk)

St Stephen’s Instagram : Who has spotted the new Instagram account?

Do take a look using the links below and follow us to keep an eye on what’s been happening here from day to day.

Children whose parents have given consent will appear anonymously, unless specific permission has been obtained when pupils names will be included.

This supersedes the X / Twitter social media account, now dormant.

ststephensce_w12

https://www.instagram.com/ststephensce_w12/

 

 

Friday 12th January 2024

Welcome back and Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a lovely, restful break. We have uploaded the spring 1 goals to the class page and our termly poem. This term’s topic is: Polar Regions. We have begun the topic by beginning to learn about Antarctica. The children have enjoyed making penguin pictures and have been enjoying their new ice kitchen.

In Literacy the children have been sharing their holiday news with us and the children had a go at writing a sentence about their holiday to display in class.

During Maths this week we have focused on ordering numerals to 10, matching quantity to numeral, accurate counting and the ways of making 5.

Our new Relationship and Health topic is: Keeping myself self. This week the children thought about all the things they put on their body to keep safe and we also talked about road safety and how to stay safe on our upcoming trip.

In RE we began our new topic: Who cares for this special world? The children looked at some photos of beautiful, natural places around the world such as beaches, mountains, forests. Then they also looked at some natural places that have been spoilt by rubbish dropped by humans. The children thought about ways they could look after their community and make it a beautiful place to live.

Next week we will be learning lots about recycling and conservation. Please bring in any clean, safe recycling on Tuesday for us to sort.

A few reminders for our upcoming school trip:

  • The children will need to bring a healthy packed lunch to school to take with them on the trip including a bottle of water. No nuts or seeds please.
  • The children will need to be able to carry their packed lunch, a small backpack is ideal.
  • The children will need to wear their winter uniform with a warm coat, winter accessories and a pair of sensible shoes/trainers for exploring the park.

Homework

Handwriting

This week we have introduced the robot family and the children have learnt how to correctly form n, h and m. Please help your child to complete this week’s handwriting homework and return on Thursday.

Writing Red words

For homework we are recapping our ‘Red Word’ learning. The children need to write the red words on their sheet using different coloured pencils like a rainbow.

We hope everyone has a lovely weekend,

Miss Billington, Miss Johnson and Mrs Alicja

Friday 21st December 2023

What a wonderful autumn term we have had. We can’t believe it is over already! A HUGE thank you for all your support and kind words this term, and the incredibly generous gifts. It has been an absolute pleasure teaching your children this term and we can’t wait to get started again in January.

No handwriting this week, we will continue with handwriting in the New Year.

We have completed the first Red Word assessment and sent them home for you to review. Please don’t worry if your child has been absent, we will see how they are getting on during the first week back. Over the holiday keep practising the words sent home so far. Try playing a game of splat: write the red words on to small pieces of card and put them on the floor. Say a word and encourage your child to spot it and splat it as fast as they can with a fish slice or wooden spoon!

We need volunteers to help us on the school trip in January.  Please contact us in the New Year if you are able to help.

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas holiday, see you in the New Year!

Miss Billington, Miss Johnson and Mrs Alicja

Friday 15th December 2023

We continued with some festive learning this week by reading the story, ‘Mog’s Christmas’ by Judith Kerr. The children then sequenced the pictures to help them retell the story and had a go at writing a sentence (for the first time!) about Mog. They learnt how when writing a sentence they must use a capital letter at the beginning of the sentence, finger spaces between the words and a full stop at the end of the sentence.

In Maths, the children learnt to find one more and one fewer to 10. They also explored 2D shapes and used the star vocabulary ‘corners’ and ‘sides’ to describe the shapes. We also played a fun hide and seek game with giant bugs so that they could practise using positional vocabulary.

In our Relationships and health lesson we discussed how to be a kind friend and thought about friendship scenarios and how to respond when faced with a problem.

The children also enjoyed watching the KS1 Nativity dress rehearsal on Wednesday.

Homework

This is the last homework for this term.

This week we have introduced the ‘One armed robot family.’ This week’s letters are r and b.

We will be collecting in reading books on Monday. So please read over the weekend so they are ready to be handed in.

Red words

For homework please practise all of the Red Words we have learnt so far including this week’s new ones. We will be assessing the children next week on all 15 red words sent home so far to see how they are getting on with their learning.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Miss Billington, Miss Johnson and Mrs Alicja

Friday 8th December 2023

What a fantastic week we have had in Reception! We hope that you enjoyed our Nativity and it got you in the mood for the festive season. We thought the children were fantastic. We were so proud of how well they all said their lines and remembered all the songs and dance moves.

        

Homework

 

This week we have continued with, ‘The long ladder family.’ The children have learnt how to correctly form j, y and u.

Red words

For homework please practise all of the Red Words we have learnt so far including this week’s new ones. Red words are common words with an uncommon spelling. Encourage your child to ‘Fred’ the words to begin with to identify the uncommon spelling then move on to learning them off by heart:

Please keep using the Red words as much as possible. Next week, we are introducing sentence writing to the children. We will also be assessing what Red words the children know, so please keep practising.

We hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Miss Billington, Ms Johnson and Mrs Alicja

 

Friday 1st December 2023

It’s beginning to feel very festive at St Stephen’s this week. We have been very busy rehearsing for the Reception Nativity. The children are doing so well. We need them to continue learning their lines at home this weekend so that they are loud and confident.

On Thursday we had a special visit from two festive donkeys, Cid and Rocky. The children visited the donkeys with the Year 6 buddys and had the chance to groom and stroke them.

In Maths this week we introduced the numbers nine and ten. The children found ways of representing the numbers using resources and objects from our classroom. They have also been learning the composition of each number to ten. We ended the week by finding one more than numbers all the way to 10.

In Literacy and RE the children have been sequencing and retelling the Christmas Nativity story and practising their cutting and sticking skills.

We have been very busy making salt dough ornaments for you to buy on Saturday at the St Stephen’s Christmas Fair. Please only purchase your child’s ornament as these are a very special keepsake that the children will want to take home. The ornaments will be £2 each and the money raised goes towards our incredible school!

Homework is changed every Thursday, so we must have your child’s homework folder returned containing their homework, reading record and any Ditty sheet, Sound Blending Book or Ditty Book that your child has had for that week as well. Please sign your child’s reading record each time you read with them, so that we can see how they are reading at home.

Homework

This week’s red words are:

Please also complete this week’s handwriting sheet

Enjoy the Christmas Fair and KEEP PRACTISING THOSE LINES!

Miss Billington, Ms Johnson and Mrs Alicja

Friday 24th November 2023

In Math this week we introduced the numbers six, seven and eight. The children found ways of representing the numbers using resources and objects from our classroom. At home please support your child by doing lots of counting out loud and counting objects. Within 10 to begin with and then challenge your child by counting out loud to 20 and beyond. Are they able to tell you what one more than and one less than is to 5 and then 10? Also encourage your child to spot and identify numerals in their environment such as: door numbers or number plates on vehicles.

This week the children have been learning about lists. They have been thinking about all the different types of lists people might write and have had a go at writing a list of the animals that live at Old MacDonald’s farm.

In Religious Education we have been learning how Christians prepare for Christmas and have been learning about ‘Advent’ and how the church use candles to count down to the birth of baby Jesus. The children all also made their own wreaths, which we have put up in the classroom. Next week we will be looking more closely at the Nativity story and also making our Christmas crafts. We will also be decorating our classrooms.

In our Relationship and Health education lesson the children listened to the story, ‘Come over to my house,’ by Dr Seuss. The children enjoyed talking about their homes and the different types of homes in our community and further afield. They also had a think about what their dream home might include! Some children had a go at making junk model houses. If you have any clean, dry boxes or containers (smallish) then please send them in and we can continue our junk modelling fun next week.

In Phonics this week the children have been grouped into three smaller groups. The children have been revisiting Set 1 sounds they are not yet secure with and some children have begun learning the Set 1 digraphs (2 letters, one sound).

Today some children will bring home a Sound Blending Book or a Ditty Sheet. Please read carefully the letter which explains the reading process to you (the letter can also be found on this blog).

Homework

This week’s red words are:

Please also complete this week’s handwriting sheet  s, f, o

We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Miss Billington, Ms Johnson and Mrs Alicja

 

Friday 17th November 2023

It was wonderful to be able to meet with you during the parent consultations this week and discuss how your child is getting on so far in Reception. Thank you for your support with these meetings and for being so positive about your child’s experience of Reception so far.

This week we have continued to explore out topic: Celebrations. The children have been learning about how people celebrate Eid and have been discussing similarities and differences with the other celebrations they know. During Literacy we have been learning about labels and their various uses such as clothes labels, price labels, food labels and information labels. The children then all labelled simple pictures and some real life objects around the class.

During maths this week the children have been looking at ‘one more’ and one fewer’ within 10.  We used the story ‘Mouse Count’ by Ellen Stoll, explore finding one more than numbers to 5 then ‘Ten little dinosaurs’ by Mike Brownlow to explore finding one fewer than numbers to 5. We have also been looking at the composition of numbers 4 and 5.

In our relationship and health education lesson the children discussed and shared with the class the people that live with them in their family homes. They then had a go at using a key and choosing the right colours to represent the different people they live with.

The children have settled quickly into their new phonics groups. They have been revisiting the Set 1 sounds they are not yet secure with and some children have begun learning the Set 1 digraphs (2 letters, one sound). During the phonics lessons we teach the children to hear the sounds in words, read words and then move on to writing words. Please find below a list of words that we use:

Word Time words

Homework

This week’s red words are:

Please also complete this week’s handwriting sheet: g, q, e.

In the front of your child’s reading record we have glued in your child’s 4 digit code for accessing the school library system. Please see ParentMail for more information.

We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Miss Billington, Ms Johnson and Mrs Alicja

Friday 10th November 2023

We have had a very busy week in Reception! We are so proud of all the Reception children. They showed off all the amazing learning we do and all the fun we have at St Stephen’s to our special visitors. Thank you for all your kind words of support and encouragement at drop off and pick up times.

In Literacy this week, we have been learning about two celebrations: Diwali and birthdays. We read, ‘Rama and Sita the story of Diwali,’ by Malachy Doyle and the children enjoyed making Diva lamps using clay which they will bring home once we have decorated them. We then read, ‘Kipper’s Birthday’ by Mick Inkpen, and the children thought about how they celebrate birthdays in their family. Some children had a go at drawing a celebration picture and labelling their pictures with initial sounds.

During maths, the children have been learning to sort different representations of 4 and 5. They have been doing lots of subitising to 5 and learnt how to use a five frame with double sided counters to begin exploring composition to 4 and 4. Below is the link to a free White Rose Math app which has excellent subitising activities to 5 which you can use to consolidate your child’s learning at home.

White Rose 1 minute maths

In Religious Education we continued to learn about Christmas. The children learnt that Christians believe Mary and Joseph were visited by the Angel Gabriel and the angel told them they would be having a baby who would be the son of God and they should name him Jesus. The children have begun to make Angels using lots of different resources available. They will bring these home in time for Christmas!

In our Health and Relationship lesson the children listened to a story about Harold the giraffe and how he shared his very long scarf with all his friends on a cold and windy day to cheer them up. Their friends had told them they were too tall, too short and too brightly coloured but Harold told his friends how special they all were. The children thought about how to be a good friend and shared some great ideas.

We have now completed our phonics assessments to see how the children are getting on with learning their sounds. On Monday we will begin our new phonics groups. This week we have revised a, s, d and t.

Homework: red words and handwriting

This week’s red words are:

We will now be sending home handwriting as well as red words each Friday. This is an important stage in your children’s learning. They begin to learn how to present their work neatly and clearly so that it can be read by others. Please take the time to read this information carefully so that you are able to help your child to get off to a good start with their writing.

In class the children have been practising writing on the line and are beginning to learn how to size their letters so that they fit between the lines. We are not aiming for the children to have tiny writing but please encourage your child to use the lines on the worksheet (sent home today). If you find this is an issue please ask your child to try to write the letters on a blank piece of paper for the time being. In class we have talked about how some letters start by almost touching the ceiling (the line above) and that some letters start in the middle of the two lines. We will also introduce how some letters have parts that hang down below the line. All letters must stand on the floor (the bottom line) and not float away. It is so important that children are writing letters with the correct formation as this is extremely difficult to fix once they have settled into a way of writing.

Children should also be encouraged to use a tripod grip. If children are not using the correct grip on the pencil (even if their letters look good) then they will experience fatigue much quicker than their peers, and may not be able to write for long periods of time when they are older.

Each week we will focus on a family of letters that are formed in similar ways. This week is the caterpillar family. The children have practised c, a and d. Please find the handwriting sheet in your child’s homework folder. There is also space for your child to practice writing their name.

This week, we celebrated Parliament Week. To mark this occasion, we were joined by MP for Hammersmith and Fulham, Andy Slaughter, who spoke to the children about our British Values and the importance of democracy. The children asked a variety of probing questions which sparked a healthy debate.

Thank you for all the delicious cakes sent in today. It was an incredible feast and we are so grateful.

We hope you have a lovely weekend.

Miss Billington, Ms Newton and Mrs Alicja

 

Friday 3rd November 2023

We have begun the second half of our autumn term by exploring the world around us. The children have been thinking about the changes they can see, hear and feel around them. They have enjoyed using magnifying glasses to look closely at the autumnal objects they collected over half term. On Thursday our Scientist in Residence spent the day with us exploring different materials and investigating colour.

In Literacy this week, we have been reading ‘Pumpkin Soup’ by Helen Cooper. The children have enjoyed making ‘Silly Soup’ with objects that rhyme. Some children have had a go at writing a list of ingredients for their silly soup using the sounds they have learnt in their phonics lessons. We have also been learning about ‘Guy Fawkes’ and ‘Bonfire night’. The children made lots of fireworks pictures with different resources. The children will continue to learn about different celebrations next week focusing on birthdays and Diwali.

During maths, the children have been comparing objects by size and mass and we have finished off the week by exploring positional language. Next week, we will be exploring 4 and 5 in more depth and the children will be learning to use five frames and counters.

In Religious Education we are learning why Christmas is special to Christians and thought about how families prepare for new babies. The children learnt that a long time ago some people were getting ready for a new baby to be born, baby Jesus. They learnt that Christians believe this baby was God’s son and God had sent messages to tell people that the baby would be born.

In our Health and Relationship lesson we began our new topic, ‘Valuing difference’. The children shared their likes and dislikes and we found that there are lots of differences as well as similarities in our class. During choosing time children had the opportunity to draw a picture of their favourite hobby and we made a class pictograph then discussed the findings.

In Phonics this week we have learnt the sounds w, z and x

w – Down, up, down, up

z – Zig, Zag, Zig

x – Down the arm and leg and repeat the other side

Homework

We will now be sending home Red Words every Friday.

This week’s red words are:

Red Words are words that your child will need to learn off by heart, as at this stage they have not yet been introduced to the alternative sounds that letters and groups of letters make in many of the words we will send home.

Learning to read these common words will help your child when they begin reading and writing sentences.

It is a good idea to display these words in your home such as on the fridge or in your child’s bedroom and review them as many times as possible during the week with your child.

Try playing a game of splat the red word with a wooden spoon or hunting for the red words as you read a picture book to your child.

Your child will need to be able to read and write them by the end of their Reception Year.

We hope you have a lovely weekend, enjoy the fireworks!

Miss Billington, Ms Johnson and Mrs Alicja

Friday 20th October 2023

We can’t believe how quickly the first half term has flown by! This week has been a wet one in Reception. Please do remember to send your child in with a waterproof coat and warm enough uniform to play outside.

To celebrate Black Voices Week the children have been learning about Maresia-Liburd Spencer. The children learnt that she is co-founded an organisation called ‘Black Deaf today’ and that she has helped connect the black deaf community. The children learnt lots of Makaton gestures to use alongside words to help them communicate with each other.

For, ‘Give Racism the Red Card Day,’ we explored similarities and differences and the children learnt that they should be kind and caring to everyone. We finished off the day by having a parent reader come in to read to the children. A big thank you for coming in today Emma.

In Maths this week the children have learnt the different ways to represent the number 5. They have also been comparing amounts up to 5 and doing some subitising to 5. Then they explored capacity, sorted objects in different ways and repeating patterns. A lot of Math learning has happened this week!

In Literacy the children listened to the story, ‘Oi Frog!’ by Kes Gray and identified the rhyming words. Then during choosing time they had the chance to find matching pairs of rhyming objects. We will continue with rhyme next term, please do read lots of books with rhyme to your child.

In our Relationship and Health Education lesson we explored feelings. The children enjoyed listening to the story, ‘The Colour Monster,’ by Anna Llenas in Spanish. Then they thought about what makes them happy, excited and finally cross. They learnt that it is normal to feel cross sometimes and the children thought of lots of ways to calm down when they feel cross.

In RE the children continued to think about feelings. They listened to the story ‘Ruby’s Worry,’ by Tom Percival and then shared with the class times that they have felt worried. The children learnt that it is important to talk about their worries with an adult and this will help them to feel less worried. The children also learnt that Christians believe God loves everyone and that their faith helps them with their worries.

In phonics we taught the following sounds:

r – down his back, then curl over his arm

j – down his body, curl and dot

v – down a wing, up a wing

y – down a horn, up a horn and under his head

We hope you all enjoy the break. Keep an eye out for conkers to bring in next term and any other autumnal objects.

Miss Billington, Miss Johnson and Mrs Alicja

Friday 13th October 2023

In Maths this week we introduced the numbers 3 and 4. The children learnt lots of different ways to represent these numbers such as unifix cubes, pictures or numicon. Next week, we will be focusing on looking at 5 in more depth and will be representing 5 in a variety of forms. We will also be looking at comparing size, mass and capacity.

In Literacy this week we have been reading ‘The enormous turnip’. We have continued to discuss how lots of stories are made up of a beginning (where the story setting is introduced), a middle (where there is a problem) and the end of a story (where there is often a resolution to the problem). The children then role played the story. During this activity we encouraged the children to talk about the story and recall the key events. Next week, we will be reading the book ‘Oi Frog!’ and other rhyming books by the author Kes Gray. We will be encouraging the children to identify the rhyming words and continue a rhyming string.

Next week is Black Voices week. The theme this year is ‘Celebrating Our Sisters’ and we will celebrating the achievements and lives of Black British Women throughout history. We will be learning about ‘Maresia Liburd-Spencer’ who is the co-founder of an organisation called ‘Black Deaf today’. Maresia believes in the importance of connecting the black deaf community in the UK and we will be learning lots about her. We will also be learning some British Sign Language signs.  We will also be reading ‘Riley can be anything’ by Davina Hamilton and the children will be thinking about what occupation they may want to do when they are older.

In our Relationships and health lesson this week the children have been exploring who in our communities they can go to for help. They were able to confidently talk about people at school that they can go to for help.

In Phonics this week we learnt the sounds e, l and h. The formation rhymes for each sound are below.

e – Lift off the top and scoop out the egg

l – Down the long leg

h – Down the head to the hooves and over his back

Next Friday is Show Racism the Red Card Day. The children will not change for gymnastics so please send your child in comfortable clothing and something red (or PE kit if easier for you and something red).

Miss Billington and Ms Johnson

Friday 6th October 2023

The children enjoyed their first St Stephen’s Church school service on Wednesday and it was lovely to see so many parents and carers able to come along and celebrate Harvest with our school community. In RE this week the children learnt that Harvest Festival is a time for Christians to give thanks to God. They thought about what they are thankful for and shared their ideas with the class.

In Maths, we have been learning how to count efficiently. The children learnt that it is always best to put objects in a line first, to touch and count each object only once, to stop when they have counted the last object, to count slowly and to always ‘check it’ by counting the group of objects twice. Ask your child to teach you how ‘to do good counting’ at home. We also introduced the concept of ‘Zero’ this week and the children have been learning that ‘zero’ means ‘nothing’ and not to use it when counting objects. They enjoyed listening to ‘Zero Zero Superhero’ a number song you can find on YouTube as well as lots of other number songs and rhymes to practise their rote counting. We then moved on to introducing number 1. The children learnt lots of different ways to represent the number such as using unifix cubes, pictures or numicon.

In Literacy this week we have been reading ‘The Little Red Hen’. We discussed how stories are made up of a beginning (where the story setting and characters are introduced), a middle (where there is a problem) and the end of a story (where there is often a resolution to the problem). The children then sequenced the story by cutting out pictures and sticking them in the correct order. During this activity we encouraged the children to talk about the story and recall the key events. We had lots of fun baking bread rolls and eating them just like the Little Red Hen. Next week we will continue exploring traditional stories and sequencing key events using the story, ‘The enormous turnip.’

In our Relationships and health lesson this week the children have been exploring who in our communities they can go to for help. We will continue with our discussion next week looking more closely at the different members of staff at school and key community figures.

In Phonics this week we learnt the sounds u, b and f. The formation rhymes for each sound are below:

u – down and under, up to the top and draw the puddle

b – down the laces to the heel, round the toe

f – down the stem, and draw the leaves

An important message

On gymnastics days the children must have their shorts on under their jogging bottoms and they must wear a t-shirt under their jumper.

Hispanic day

On Hispanic Day please send your child in the colours of the Colombian flag or Hispanic dress. The children do not need to bring in their PE kit or wear it to school. Please make sure they wear sensible shoes to do PE in.

We hope everyone has a lovely restful weekend.

Miss Billington and Mss Johnson

Friday 29th September 2023

We have had another lovely week here in Reception. This week we continued with our circle time games to get to know each other better and we have been reading lots of social stories to help the children understand how to work together and respect each other as they play. We began buddy reading with Year 6 this week. This is a weekly 30 minute session. We partner up each Reception child with a Year 6 child and they spend the half term reading and enjoying library books together.

This week we also carried out a floating and sinking investigation. The children enjoyed voting with their thumbs whether or not they thought each object would float or sink and share the reasons for their predictions. It was very exciting!

In Phonics this week we learnt the sounds g, o, c and k. The formation rhymes for this week’s sounds are below:

g – Round her face, down her hair, give her a curl

o – All around the orange

c – Curl around the caterpillar

k – Down the kangaroo’s body, tail and leg

In our Relationships and health lesson this week the children have been talking about the special people they spend time with outside of school. We read the story, ‘The Smeds and the Smoos’ by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler and some of the children had a go at using charcoal pencils to draw family portraits and tell an adult about their family. We will continue this this week

In RE the children thought about all the incredible natural wonders in our world and had the opportunity to paint pictures of natural things that ‘wow’ them such as a beautiful beach or tall mountains. We have also had time this week for some of the children to share the photos they have brought in and tell the class about something that brings them joy. Please continue to send these in or email them to us.

Next week we would like to make some toilet roll people so please send in the inner cardboard tubes for us next week.

We hope everyone has a lovely restful weekend.

Miss Billington and Ms Johnson

Friday 22nd September 2023

It’s been a lovely week here in St Stephen’s Early Years. The children are settling well, beginning to work as a team and are becoming familiar with their daily routines. This week we read the story, ‘Mouse Paint’ by Ellen Stoll Walsh and the children learnt how to mix primary colours to make secondary colours. There were opportunities’ during choosing time to have a go at some colour mixing.

In Phonics this week we learnt the sounds t, i, n and p. The formation rhymes for this week’s sounds are below:

t – Down the tower, across the tower

i – Down the body and dot for the head

n – Down Nicky and over the net

p – Down the plait and over the pirate’s face

In our Relationships and Health lesson this week we have been discussing all the things which make us special. We have been looking at the many ways we are similar and also celebrating the ways we are unique. The children really enjoyed their circle time and were keen to share their thoughts.

During R.E this week we have been learning about how Christian’s believe the world began and  the children have been thinking about different beginnings, such as a new day or the beginning of a story. Next week, we will thinking about how wonderful the natural world is. The children will have the opportunity in class to draw and paint pictures of natural things that ‘wow’ them such as a beautiful beach or tall mountains.

Please send in your photos

Each Year group at St Stephen’s has a bible verse and a word to reflect our vision statement. In Reception our word is, JOY. We would like to explore this with the children and to do this we would like you to discuss with your child what brings them joy in their life and then send in a photo to reflect this. We will then discuss and display these photos in class. Examples of photos to bring in could be: spending time with a special person such as a grandparent, spending time at a familiar place of worship, a special family celebration or an activity that you do as a family such as puzzles on a Sunday. Please bring these photos in as soon as possible.

Our class poem

Each half term each class at St Stephen’s has a poem to learn. Our first poem is by Alan Ahlberg our class author. It is called, ‘When I was a little child’ and it is a poem about being little. The children have listened to and talked about the poem. We will focus on learning just the first verse (in bold ).

Important reminders

We are finding lots of jumpers and cardigans that have not been named. Please make sure that you do name all of your child’s uniform this weekend including their water bottle.

Please can the children all have a rain proof coat or jacket with them daily.

We hope everyone has a lovely restful weekend.

Miss Billington and Ms Johnson

Friday 15th September 2023

Well done to all of the children for completing their first full week in Reception. You may notice that they are more tired than usual and will require a little more rest this weekend.

This week the children have done a fabulous job getting to know us, finding their way around the Early Years and beginning to learn their new routines. They had their first P.E. lesson with Sam, their first music lesson with Ms Rachel and their first Gymnastics session with Fiona and Sharon. They also had a library session with Mrs Pereira. The children will take home their first library book next Monday. We are so impressed with how well they are adjusting to life at St Stephen’s.

This week we have been busy painting self-portraits to display in class. The children have enjoyed looking in a mirror and describing themselves. We also agreed some simple class rules to make our classrooms safe and enjoyable places to be. The children enjoyed playing some games and singing some songs to learn and remember each other’s names. We have been discussing our feelings and what the children can do if they are feeling sad or angry including, telling an adult, taking deep breaths, having a drink of water, looking at a book in the reading corner or having a snuggle with a class soft toy.

We have also begun our daily Phonics lessons and introduced the sounds m, a, s and d. Thank you to everyone who attended our Phonics presentation this week. We have posted the Phonics presentation on our class page for you to refer to. There is also a link to a video to aid you with the pronunciation of each sound and a short guide on sound blending.

In our Religious Education lesson (R.E.) this week we began our first unit, ‘Who made the wonderful world?’ The children listened to the story ‘Dogger’ by Shirley Hughes and the children shared with the class things that are precious to them and why.

In our Relationship and Health Education lesson this week we began our first unit, ‘All about me.’ The children thought about some of their favourite things and shared them with the class. We considered how there are things that are the same about us and things that are different. The children were introduced to Harold our giraffe that helps us learn during these lessons.

We sometimes notice that during the 2nd and 3rd week of school some of the children will get a little more tired, possibly teary and definitely more aware that Reception is a full time thing now. Please try not to worry. We will let you know if any of the children are upset when in school and find that this stage is short lived. Please do let us know if you have any big concerns though as we are more than happy to chat.

Homework

We have sent home a task for you to complete with your child and return by Thursday 21st September in your child’s homework folder. It is about your family’s heritage. We will spend time over the coming week’s exploring each child’s heritage and family traditions during our snack time discussions.

We hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Miss Billington, Ms Johnson and Mrs Alicja