Return to Home Learning (Blogs and Extra Activities)


  • Memories of Reception….Continued

    World Book Day  was enjoyed by the children in school alongside their friends at home who joined in via a Zoom chat where the children showed each other their costumes and books.

    We had lots of fun experimenting and finding out during Science Week


    Reception always enjoy exploring and making discoveries. A big part of our work is predicting, estimating, problem solving and improving our ideas.

    Sometimes the best days are the ones we can’t plan for…Windy weather and kites!

    A very exciting time in Early Years was when Nursery had some chicken eggs to hatch. Reception loved seeing them hatch out and grow. We were very lucky to be able to keep track of their progress when they found a forever home with 2 children from school.  The chickens even sent us postcards!

    And finally, looking forward to holidays again and lots of outdoor fun in the sunshine. We had a practise with some role play and camping days.

    Miss Smith and Mrs Smith and the rest of the Reception Team have had a lovely year making lots of memories with  Zebras and Elephants, Thank you very much – it’s been fun!

  • Memories of Reception …. Part 1

    We have had so much fun in Reception this year and it is lovely to look back at all the things we’ve done using our Reception Journal which we added to each half term throughout the year.


    Right back at the beginning in September 2020, exploring our new environment inside and outside.


    Learning about and celebrating Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot


    So many different ways to learn new things. Do you remember our outer space adventue?


    Winter Weather, Hannukah, Christmas and the Reception Nativity


    Keep an eye  out for more memories from Reception this week

    At home: you could make a memory book of exciting (and everyday) things you do as a family. Photographs and a little bit of writing go a long way to creating wonderful memories to look back on.

  • Lions and Panthers

    Yesterday we visited our new Year 1 classrooms and met our new teachers. Today you will receive a lovely email from your new class teacher telling you a little bit more about them.

    Here are Zebras in their new Lion classroom:

    Here are elephants in their new Panther classroom:

    What you could do at home:

    • Tell your grownups all about your new classroom.
    • Where do you hang your coat? What’s your teacher’s name? Is there a carpet area?


  • England are through to the final!

    We were all very excited today when we came to school. We were so happy that England won the football match last night. Lots of us had fun calling ‘England Won, England Won!’ as we entered our classrooms.

    “I was in bed but I knew they won because I heard this really big cheer” said one child.

    We have been busy colouring in England flags and making flags using lollipop sticks and sticky tape. We enjoyed waving our flags outside and also practicing our ball skills.

    We also made ‘England Team’ ice creams using red and white card and tissue paper. The ice creams were strawberry, raspberry and vanilla flavoured.

    What you could do at home:

    • Find out what team your family supports. Do you all support the England team or other countries too?
    • Practice your football skills in the park or your garden. Can you gently dribble the ball in a wiggly line?
    • Make your own flags to wave on Sunday
  • Smartboards

    One piece of equipment that gets used a lot in Reception is the class Smartboard. The adults use them to enhance the children’s learning and the children love to use them for a range of purposes. Phonics games form a part of the children’s daily work. They love to see if they can beat their time for getting all their sounds right, practising tricky words or playing Maths games to support their learning.

    The Smartboards are often used as part of the children’s child initiated learning. Children often choose to draw or write on the boards and many times the adults have observed the children teaching each other Phonics and Maths work.

    As the children have gone deeper into retelling and rewriting stories the Smartboards have been used  to support this, including detailed storymaps of Jasper’s Beanstalk and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

    The children are knowledgeable about how to change pen colour and size.

    “You press this (the side bar) and you can choose from all these colours. If you press the rainbow you get even more!”

    “You press this to get the pen to be thick or thin.”






  • Sports Day

    We had so much fun on Sports Day!

    We worked in groups and had a go at lots of different exciting activities. We did mini hurdles, an obstacle course, goal shoot out and beanbag balancing.

  • Gardening…the final Reception update…maybe

    The Reception children continue to  enjoy gardening outside, there is never a shortage of children wanting to get busy. They are  keen to help with all the different jobs, weeding, planting and watering and are getting very knowledgeable about what plants need to help them grow well.

    “They need water but we can’t give them too much or they will not grow; you can’t just water them all the time!”

    “It is sheltered under here (near the roof) so they don’t get as much sun but it isn’t too windy, so that’s good.”

    The children have been learning about how worms help keep the soil healthy by eating all the old decaying plant material and putting nutrients back in the soil. “It’s like they are tidying up for us!”

    The last job will be preparing the flower beds to hand over to the new Reception children in September!

    At home:

    It is lovely if children can, or want to, help in the garden but even just planting a few seeds in a pot teaches them  about plants and their needs. Growing plants is also a good mindfulness activity teaching us patience and how rewarding it is to nurture living things.

    Learning about the minibeasts that live in the outdoors is rewarding as well. Finding out about the role of worms, for example, or bees and ladybirds and how they all have a job in our gardens is fascinating to children.


  • Capacity

    This week in Reception our focus in Maths is Capacity. The children have  put containers in order and discussed why they think they go in the order they chose. The children are being encouraged to think and give reasons for their selections:

    “This is taller but it is thinner so it won’t hold as much as this short one.”

    “This is wide so it will hold more.”

    They then tested their predictions using sand to test the capacity of the containers.


    We have also been working with water and predicting how many containers the children estimate it will take to fill a larger container and then testing their predictions.

    “I said it would take 3 to fill it up and it was 3 and a little bit so I was very close!”


    At home:

    When choosing glasses, cups etc for drinks ask your child to estimate which one will hold the most liquid.

    When the warm weather returns Capacity is a lovely outdoor activity giving the children a chance to predict how much liquid a container can hold then testing their theories.

    You can use virtually anything to test capacity, for instance, how many pom-poms or scrunched up pieces of paper can fill a container.      

  • Camping

    This week Reception decided to make the most of the beautiful weather and go camping! We set up camp at the top of the field by the willow trees and had a lovely morning doing all the activities we usually do in Reception and lots more besides.

    Apart from the tents, we had a BBQ centre, snack station, drawing, writing, Maths and reading areas as well as a camp shop and sports activities.

    The children had a fantastic time and were so good at helping clear up at the end.

    “This is a brilliant day, thank you so much!” Zayn


    At home: if you have a garden perhaps you could set up camp for the day, maybe having a picnic or a BBQ  Children love to build dens and a few blankets go a long way! This can also be done inside or at the park. Simple activities such as drawing and reading are a lot of fun outside as well as more energetic games.



  • Money

    In Reception we have been learning about money. The children are very good at recognising all the different coins and have been working with 1ps, paying for items in our shop and doing very careful counting to make sure they give the correct amount.


    This then developed to working with 2ps and making the connection that 2 1ps equal a 2p piece. The children have been counting in 2s and making the connection with prior learning of odd and even numbers.


    At home:

    You could give your child some coins to ‘pay’ for a snack at home or even pay for a small item in a shop.                       If your child has pocket money encourage them to count how much they have and what they could buy with it. The concept of saving for something they really want is such a positive life skill.

    Practise counting in 2s, 5s and 10s as we will be moving onto these amounts in the coming weeks.

  • All About Boats

    The fantastic weather has really helped our work about journeys as part of the Summer Fun topic. Today  in Reception we used boxes  to make  boats. We used pictures of different types of boats and ships to inspire us.



    Some children started making paper boats and experimented with how to make the boats and then improve them. In the coming days we will investigate different materials to see which works best.



    The children were very keen to problem solve any difficulties:

    “I need to work out how to keep it together.” Hady

    “I think the bottom needs to be flat for it to float.”  Ethan  “Yes, it floats!”

    “It can float and have leaves in it!” Ethan


    At home: 

    Make boats out of paper or card, or other materials such as Lego and investigate which material is best and why.

    Experiment with how fast the boat can go or how much cargo it can hold.

    Race two or more boats or compare how many objects each boat can hold.


  • Bean Planting

    A few weeks ago Reception planted beans as part of our work about Jasper’s Beanstalk. The children have enjoyed watching them grow.

    Some beans have grown faster than others and the children thought about why this might be.

    “Some children planted their beans earlier than others so they’ve had more time to grow.”

    “Maybe these ones didn’t get as much light as these ones.”

    “They are growing slowly because it’s cold.”

    “I think they’ve had too much water because it has rained so much. They are too full of water.”


    At the snack table, in our Conversation Cube, we have a bean that was planted earlier and kept indoors.

    “It grew faster because it was planted it a long time ago.”

    “It’s warm in the classroom so it grows faster than the ones outside.”

    “We give it water because it doesn’t get rained on, it has enough water today.”


    At home-

    Perhaps you could plant a sunflower seed and see how  quickly it grows. This is a wonderful activity for measuring  progress over time.

    You could keep a diary to keep track of how the sunflower grows with photographs or drawings and measurements-it would be lovely to see these at school.

  • Stuck in the Mud

    We have been learning to tell the story ‘Stuck in the Mud’ by Pie Corbett. Last week we thought about how we could change the story. Instead of a farmer called Tom, Zebra’s decided to have an astronaut called Tom.

    Look at our washing line of the story. We have used post it notes to make the changes.

    This week we are all writing our very own version of the story. Look at our writing so far, some of us have called our new story ‘Stuck in the Sand’.

    What you could do at home:

    • Tell your grown up the story of ‘Stuck in the Mud’. Remember to do all our special story actions and include the story language ‘once upon a time’, ‘who’, ‘but’ and ‘so’.
  • Monster Meal

    During our daily Guided Reading sessions in Reception this week, some children have enjoyed reading the book ‘Monster Meal’ by Paul Shipton.

    The children then wanted to create their own meal for a monster. We wrote a recipe and named it ‘Mud Meal’.

    In our child initiated learning time we then followed the recipe and made the meal in our outdoor mud kitchen. It was super sticky and gooey. We were careful to follow the recipe and put the correct number of spoonfuls and cups into our mixture.

    What you could do at home:

    • Write your own recipe for a monster.
    • You could go on a walk around your local park or the woods and find things to make your monster meal.
    • We would love to see some photos of your yummy concoctions!
  • Daily Mile

    Reception enjoy taking part in the Daily Mile as part of their exercise every day. In September we started with 2 circuits of the playground, then built it up to 3 circuits. Recently we have set the children  a time challenge; the timer is set for 5 minutes and the children run, walk, skip or jog for that time.

    If they get tired walking is encouraged rather than stopping. The children have certainly risen to the challenge!

    The children have noticed the greater effort:

    “I can feel my heart beating fast”

    “I’m getting faster at running”

    “I’m getting tired, I’ll walk for a bit.”

    This is all good for the children’s awareness of the effect of exercise on their bodies and gives them a chance to let off steam before settling down to learn; it is so good for their mental well being. The adults enjoy joining in, too!

    Perhaps you could have a family challenge where you challenge yourselves to improve at some form of exercise. It could be running, bike riding, jumps on the trampoline or whatever each person likes to do or wants to get better at. In this weather it could be jumps in puddles!