Elephants and Zebras 2021-22
What a fantastic year we have had in Reception. We are so very proud of the progress you have all made and how grown up you have become. We are sad to say goodbye to you all but know we will see you in your new Year 1 classes next year continuing to try your best and working hard.
Do you remember all the fun we have had this year and the ambitions we have achieved?
We have learned to retell narratives:
We have become global green citizens:
We have become confident risk takers:
We have celebrated a variety of cultures:
We have become more independent and learned to take care of ourselves:
We use good manners:
Well done everyone for learning so much and making us all proud.
Have a lovely summer holiday and be sure to say hello to us if we see you out and about.
Mrs Summers, Mrs Nicoll, Mrs Barnes, Mrs Jones and Miss Will.
Last week Ms Adams came to talk to us about Canada day! We leant that this is the national holiday of Canada.
Did you know that a very long time ago people from Great Britain and France travelled by boat and they discovered Canada.
This holiday celebrates the country’s independence 155 years ago, becoming its own country. Some people refer to Canada day as Canadas birthday.
Ms Adams showed us where Canada is on us a map of the world, it is a big country; 41 times the size of the United Kingdom!
Ms Adams also talked about the beautiful scenery and the different wildlife that you can see:
Canadians celebrate Canada Day with parades, barbecues, picnics, and displays of fireworks. The most important celebration takes place in the area of Parliament Hill, in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa.
Members of Canada’s national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, do horse riding tricks. Part of the Royal Canadian Air Force puts on an air show.
(In Reception children will recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in
other countries. Development Matters, 2021).
This Week in Reception
A We continued to read ‘Commotion in the Ocean’ and identify rhyming pairs of words. We recorded these carefully in our books and even had a go at writing our own rhyming poem about a sea creatureof our choice!
(Children in Reception will be learning to spell words by identifying the sounds and then
writing the sound with letter/s. Development Matters, 2021)
We recapped the meaning of the word “commotion”. The children then created a commotion of their own during their child initiated learning.
Here we are looking for phonemes to build words in an ocean tuff tray.
Can you spot the words we have found?
We built dens in the sandpit for a family of foxes. Later we built a village on top of one of the dens.
We have been refilling the potions station on our own and adding pinches of magic.
We have been adventurous with our balances on the out door climbing frame
We also created our own sea creatures in the forest. See if you can spot what they are:
(Children in Reception will be learning to explore the natural world around them. Development Matters, 2021).
We had an exciting visit from Bushey Library to tell us about the library challenge, The Ga(dgeteers, running from 9th July to 3rd September. You need to be member but each time you read a book you can earn a sticker. If you read 6 books you earn a pencil, a certificate and a special medal. We look forward to seeing lots of medals in September.
In Maths we were reviewing automatically recalling number bonds of 5 and some number bonds of 10. During the week we used the nursery rhyme ‘Five little speckled frogs’ to help us visualise and remind us of the different number bonds of 5. As we sang, we talked about the number of frogs left on the log and how many were in the pool and we represented these numbers by using fingers on different hands. We then used two different colours of counters on a die-frame to show the different number bonds.
(Children in Reception will be learning to explore the composition of numbers to 10. Development Matters, 2021).
We also thought about the Tennis championships, Wimbledon:
How you can help at home:
Sign up to the library challenge this week.
Join in with this week’s nursery rhyme, “When I was one”.
Spot rhyming words. Here are some games you can try:
On Friday we had our first Sports Day. We came to school wearing our PE kit and trainers day for a fun filled morning.
First we got into our teams and headed up to the field. Then we took part in the activities.
There was the egg and spoon race, hockey, an assault course, a water stop and penalty shoot out.
After that we did our running races. We were so fast and were great at congratulating our friends.
The highlight of the day was the picnic on the school field!
Our teachers were very impressed with us. We managed to concentrate on our activities even though so many grown ups were on the field.
We had a super Sports Day.
This week in Reception
This week we have continued our “Under the sea” theme.
Here we are finding treasure in the sand and making words using our phonic knowledge. We are learning to, “Blend sounds into words, so that they can read short words made up of known letter– sound correspondences.” (Development Matters 2022)
We have made potions using seawater and sunshine.
We are strengthening our fine motor skills using syringes and pipettes in the water tray to make water jets, practising our writing and making sea creatures from paper plates. Weare learning to, “Develop their small motor skills so that they can use a range of tools competently, safely and confidently. ” (Development Matters 2022)
We also remembered to help tidy up.
In Mindfulness Monday we were drawing people who inspire us. We are learning to, “Name and describe people who are familiar to them.We had a range of different people from members of our families to scientists and dentists. All of the children asked were above to explain why these people inspired themselves:
” They fight fires and I want to be a Firefighter when I grow up.”
”They make discoveries that help us. That’s really important.”
”They look after me.”
This week our nursery rhyme is “A Sailor went to sea, sea, sea.” We are learning to, “Sing in a group or on their own, increasingly matching the pitch and following the melody.” (Development Matters 2022)
Why not have a go at singing it at home?
How you can help at home:
We are practising writing the alphabet in capital letters. Please have a go at home starting at the top for each letter.
We are also trying hard to remember how to form numbers correctly. Look at this PowerPoint to help.
30 days Wild!
During June we have been following the Wildlife Trust’s initiative, 30 Days Wild, encouraging us to get out and get active.
In Mini explorers this week Reception made binoculars with Mrs Mitzman.
First we took two cardboard rolls.
Next we joined them together using tape.
Then we were able to look through them and become wildlife detectives! We saw some wonderful things in nature; leaves, flowers, birds and lots mini beasts.
Did you know that it is National insect week?
This encourages us all, whatever our age to learn and discover more about the insects around us.
“Insects are by far the most diverse and ecologically important group of animals in land habitats, there are over 24,000 known species of insect in the United Kingdom, with hundreds of species to be found in almost every garden and green space. With so many species to consider and study it is important to group the most similar species together in a way that makes sense. Insects are therefore grouped into ‘Orders’…”
Royal Entomalogical Society.
For more information please see: https://www.insectweek.co.uk/discover-insects
This week in Reception
We are learning to, ” Listen carefully to rhymes and songs, paying attention to how they sound,” (Development Matters 2020). We are listening to a new story in Literacy called ‘Commotion in the Ocean’. We started by looking at the front cover of the book; the title and pictures to think what the story might be about. We then thought carefully about the words ‘Commotion’ and ‘Ocean’. The first thing we noticed was that they rhyme. The second thing we did was to talk about what each word meant. Together we decided that a ‘commotion’ was when something noisy happens, usually in a group. We knew that ‘ocean’ was another word for sea water so along with the pictures of the sea creatures, we soon got the idea that there was going to be some exciting activity, in the deep!
We then thought about the types of sea creatures that might be in the story and were asked to draw one on a post-it note and have a go at writing what it was. We then made a simple chart; in Elephants the most popular underwater animal was an octopus and in Zebras it was a starfish.
We have followed this underwater theme in our Child-Initiated- Learning:
Outside, we have made wavy patterns in the sand using cutlery forks, plastic gardening forks and rakes and then creating sand-sculpture fish using moulds. We have been practising blending and segmenting phonics to make words with pebbles, created magical potions to make someone fly and pretended we were camping by building a den.
We have further investigated floating and sinking with corks, shells, pebbles (and other objects that we found!)
On the stage we have used sea creature masks to act out watery tales.
Inside some children have drawn underwater pictures and have tried out wax resist painting…it is like magic!
The children have also continued to practise their cutting skills by learning to, “Develop their small motor skills so that they can use a range of tools competently, safely and confidently.” Suggested tools: pencils for drawing and writing, paintbrushes, scissors, knives, forks and spoons, “(Development Matters 2020) and created a super submarine. The fun goes on and on!
This week we have been learning the Nursery Rhyme, “One Man Went to Mow.” Please have a go at singing this at home.
This week in Reception
Our week had a calm start with Mindfulness Monday as we practised our cutting skills to make a tractor, adding wheels, ladders and shovels. It reminded us of our brilliant trip last week.
(Development Matters, ‘ Children in Reception will be learning to develop their small motor skills so that they can use a range of tools competently, safely and confidently. Suggested tools: pencils for drawing and writing, paintbrushes, scissors, knives, forks and spoons. )
In Literacy, we were excited to learn how to write a recount of our fantastic visit to Mead Open farm. First we learnt a Talk for Writing version of our trip, using photographs to remember the main events. We then created a class story map to also remind us of the order that they happened in. Next, in pairs, we cut and sequenced the photos, preparing us well for writing sentences for our class book. (Development Matters, 2021′ Children in reception will be learning to write short sentences, with words with known sound-letter correspondences using capital letters and a full stop’.)
In Child- Initiated-Learning we took the theme of ‘day trips’ having just been on our first school outing! In the role play area we packed bags, thinking about the things we might need; hat, coat, snacks, lunch, drinks etc… Outside we played in the den and pretended to have a barbeque:
In the malleable area we made food that we could take with us; sandwiches, fruit, cupcakes etc…
We played with the farm in Small World, both inside and out and build stables and barns with different types of construction. Here is one design and the end result!
We even made Numicon sandwiches in the Maths area; taking a 10 piece as the bread and putting two fillings on top to cover the bread as one member of Elephants suggested “pink ham” and “cheese”, that is right 7 and 3 go together to make 10! The children had fun investigating other ways too:
The children have also been very busy….shh….making Fathers’ Day cards ready for Sunday for Dads, Daddies, Grandpas, Uncles and any other special father figures. Here is a sneak preview!
It will come as no surprise to you that our Nursery rhyme this week is ‘Old MacDonald had a farm’, do sing along:https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/school-radio/nursery-rhymes-old-macdonald-had-a-farm/zn9vhbk
Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
On Friday 10th July there was a buzz in the Reception Classrooms. The children bounced in wearing red, white and blue. “Why are you wearing red, white and blue?” asked Mrs Summers. “Because they are the colours on the Union Jack!” the children answered.
The children have learned such a lot about The Queen due to this special time. I do hope they have shared with you some of the interesting facts we learned last week.
Before the register was even called the children were asking when they were going “to Ashfields,” (as they called it). We ran through the events of the day and reminded the children that when the Year 5 children arrived the Zebras and Elephants would be the teachers and showing the Ashfield children how to make their own stunning crown.
When Year 5 arrived everyone was amazed at how tall they were but the brave Elephants and Zebras were not at all phased by this and immediately started instructing their Ashfield partner on how to make a crown in order.
The Year 5s showed great patience and stayed with their partner the whole time they were making their crown. Some pairs had learned each other’s names within minutes.
After making their crowns the Ashfield children were led to the outdoor classroom and much reminiscing took place, ” I remember making pies in the mud kitchen,” “Do you remember the poem we said at the start of forest lessons?” ” Look how small everything is!”
The Year 5s loved playing in the sand pit especially. They stayed with their Reception partner the whole time.
Eventually it was time for Ashfield to leave. There were a few Reception tears shed at this point, but it was OK because we were going to see them later.
After lunch Elephants and Zebras could not wait to go down the hill to Ashfield. They met their same partner (who was still wearing the crown they had made with Reception) and played a board game about the Queen losing her crown. The Year 5 children had made the games especially for us.
Some of us even won a crown at the end.
Finally we all got together on the playground and played a game of colours. Again the partners stayed together. We had so much fun and made some great new friends.
Thank you Ashfield for a Jubilee to remember.
This week in Reception
This week has been another busy week. We were very excited to return to school with tales of our Jubilee celebrations and enjoyed catching up with our class mates. The Reception Environment had Street Party accessories adorning the different areas too.
For literacy this week we have been learning facts about The Queen. A particular highlight was learning how she eats a banana and practising this when eating our snack and lunch. It even improved our posture and manners. Please do pop any photos of your child eating their fruit like a queen onto Tapestry. We would love to see them. (Development Matters 2014, “Develop their small motor skills so that they can use a range of tools competently, safely and confidently.)
Outside we have been trying to find the best sand and water mix to make a castle like The Queen’s and we have been building models of castles in the construction area. We even had a go at making a finger print flag of The Union Jack.
We learned some facts about The Queen then had a go at writing our own:
We have also been practising our aiming skills getting ready for Sports Day. This game was lots of fun and we have big numbers to add together to work out our scores at the end. (Development Matters 2014, “Develop overall body-strength, balance, co-ordination and agility. “)
This week have learned the nursery rhyme Old King Cole. You can join in with it here:
In phonics we are continuing to work on our recognition of harder to read and spell words and have been trying to match captions to pictures and to sequence the alphabet using magnetic letters.
How you can help at home:
Practise singing the alphabet song making sure you sing “l, m, n, o, p” very slowly. Ask your child to write the capital letter to match a lower case letter. Sequence letters in the order of the alphabet using magnetic letters on the fridge or foam letters on tiles whilst in the bath. Check your child knows the letter name and the sound it makes.
Mead Open Farm
On Thursday 9th June there was a buzz in Elephant and Zebra Class because we were getting ready to go on a trip to Mead Open Farm.
The coach collected us and we bundled on with our packed lunches and put our seat belts on, then we head off to the motorway.
After what seemed like a very long time we arrived, tired and starving so we had a snack first.
Then we were taken to meet the animals. We helped to groom a pony named Bluebell.
We stroked lots of bunnies. They were so soft!
We fed lots of hungry goats.
After that we had a very exciting ride on a tractor. We bounced about and waved at the animals. It was so much fun.
Next we ate our lunch which was delicious.
Finally we got to play in the super play area. Then it was time to come home.
We boarded the bus and head back to Merry Hill Infant School. We had an amazing time. Thank you so much to all the wonderful Reception parents that came with us. We could not have done it without you.
This Week in Reception
We can barely believe that we are at the end of another half term with only one half term to go. It really has zoomed by. As we look back over the year feel extremely proud of our Reception children when we see them looking after our environment so responsibly without even needing to be asked.
Understanding the World: The children have been learning to: “Describe what they see, hear and feel whilst outside,” and, “Explore the natural world around them,” (Development Matters 2021)
Litter picking and cleaning up:
We are very lucky to have a new “Potions” area where we have been busily brewing all sorts of potions – one for tummy ache, one for good luck, one for a pet. We have to press our fingers very hard on the pipettes to control the magical solution; transfering it from the potion table to a bottle or jar.
Expressive Arts and Design: The children have been learning to: “Explore, use and refine a variety of artistic effects to express their ideas and feelings.” (Development Matters 2021)
In line with our “Summer Fun” topic we have been mixing hot colours using powder paints. We remembered that yellow and red made orange but we tried to make the orange darker or lighter by adding more of one or the other. Even though it was chilly outside the sunshine paintings made us feel hot.
We are inventing our own stories this week and are using the journey of Mr Gumpy as our inspiration. We have been investigating how we can make different objects travel down a pipe and seeing if water helped the objects to reach the bottom just like the characters in our innovated story where they fell down the waterfall.
Here we are acting out some of our story ideas:
You can help at home:
Maths – we are sorting the numbers 1 – 10 into odds and evens. We have watched a Number Blocks clip to help us recognise the shape of odd and even numbers and sorted objects into equal or odd groups. Why not practise this with objects from around the home – socks, cutlery, teddies?
We have also learned the Nursery Rhyme “I have a body…” linked to learning more about personal hygiene; regualr toothbrushing, bathing/showing, blowing noses and washing hands…keeping those germs at bay!
You join in with it here: