Return to Year Group Blogs


  • World Bee Day-20th May 2022

    What is World Bee Day?

    World Bee Day is celebrated globally on May 20th. The purpose of this day is to recognise  the positive impact that bees have on our ecosystem. This year, World Bee Day highlights and confronts the negative impact that the pandemic has had on the beekeeping industry globally.

    Why are bees so important?

    One third of the world’s food production depends on bees. We know that pollination is a necessary process that needs to occur to help crops grow, but did you know that bees pollinate 75% of all leading global crops? Bees are vital in providing the balance between human beings, plants, animals, and the environment!

    Today, the United Nation says that Bees have become increasingly endangered, with one million species facing extinction. That would mean far fewer apples, soft fruits, beans, tomatoes and more.

    Mrs Bence, came to talk to Reception all about bees as she has her own hive. She wore her suit to show us and talked to us about how she cares for her bees. 

    The children loved learning lots of different fact about bees and were able to ask questions too, for example “Does the suit stop you getting stung?” – Rafe

    “Yes and I have covers for my shoes. Sometimes I have to give the bees medicine so I need to wear a special suit” – Mrs Bence

    We asked the children later in the afternoon what they had remembered. These are some of their responses:

    “The Queen Bee stays in the hive” – Liya

    “The girls kick the boy bees out of the hive- they don’t do anything, but eat!” – Seb

    “Don’t pick flowers, bees need them!” – Luna

    “The queen bee can sting without dying” – Emily

    “The queen lay eggs, then the eggs hatch and the babies come out. They fight and whoever wins becomes the next queen” – Wiola

    In Art we have been learning to use powder paint using the three d’s:

    • dip in the water
    • dab in the paint
    • doodle on the paper

    So we drew and painted bees and here are a selection of the results! 

    (Children in Reception will be learning to ‘Explore, use and refine a variety of artistic effects to express their ideas and feelings’, Development Matters, 2021)


    So how can we help?

    • Planting bee-friendly plants like daisies and red clover may help bring more bees to your area.
    • Leaving a small dish with a few pebbles and water can help out thirsty bees.
    • If you maintain a garden, lower or completely cut out the usage of pesticides as they can harm bees.
    • Support your local beekeepers by buying their honey and other hive products

    (Children in Reception will be ‘Learning to explore the natural world around them’, Development Matters 2021).

    Inspiring and educating our children about the importance of bees is the best way we can help protect this amazing creature. Happy World Bee Day! 


  • This Week in Reception

    We have had such a fun and busy week in Reception.


    The children have been learning to, “spell words by identifying the sounds and then writing the sound with letter/s,” (Development Matters 2021).

    We have been practising our writing in lots of different areas in Reception. In The Mud Kitchen we have started to write the Specials we are offering. Today curry was the dish of the day followed by crumble. We are also practising mark making on the side of the sandpit and copying the marks using different tools in the sandpit.

    Some of us have made up our own stories about our models and worked as a group to write stories too.


    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 Mindful Monday we have carried on with our representation of Edgar Degas’ Beach scene by choosing from a range of media to make umbrellas as pictured in the painting.

    Here we are mixing colours and cutting our umbrellas out:

    Understanding the World

    The children have been learning to, “explore the natural world around them,” (Development Matters 2021).

    Mr Gumpy had a boat that was filled with passengers. We have been investigating different objects to learn which ones float or sink and which ones would be good to make a boat from for Mr Gumpy.

    We learned that marbles would not be good but bark would. Next we are going to see how many of the floating items will stay afloat whilst carying objects.

    How you can help at home:

    In the sink or perhaps even at bathtime can you find something that floats and something that sinks? When you find a floating object see if it can carry an object and continue to float.


    The children have been learning to, “understand the ‘one more than/one less than’ relationship between consecutive numbers, ” (Development Matters 2021).

    We have been learning that when we count on in order the next number in the sequence will always be one more. We played hiccups a. Why not play at home? You count to 10 but hiccup on the way so you go back to the number before and then continue for example, 0,1,2,3, hiccup, 2, 3, 4, 5, hiccup, 4, 5, 6 and so on. You can count this way going forwards and backwards.

    Nursery Rhymes

    This week we have been learning the nursery rhyme Wiggly Woo. You can sing it at home too:


  • This Week in Reception

    Ramadan and Eid
    We are learning to, “Recognise that people have different beliefs and celebrate special times in different ways.” (Development Matters 2021) Mrs Shaz came to speak to us about Ramadan and Eid. We learnt that during Ramadan, Muslims fast during the hours of daylight and are able to eat before the sun comes up and at nightfall. We thought it would feel like a long time! We were interested to hear that children, the elderly and sick people are not expected to fast. Mrs Shaz explained that when she felt hungry, it made her feel thankful for all that she usually has. She told us that the fruit dates were a really good source of energy after not eating for a long time and that these are often the first things that Muslims eat at the end of the day. Mrs Shaz explained that Muslims have an extra prayer time during Ramadan and she showed us a prayer mat.

    Mrs Shaz told us about the celebration of Eid at the end of Ramadan and that it was a time for family and friends to get together and eat a delicious meal together.

    If you would like to know more please see the following clip. .
    We hope all our Muslim families had a wonderful time celebrating Eid!

    We have started to learn our new story this week ‘Mr Gumpy’s Outing’ by….in the Talk For Writing style. We are learning to, “Listen to and talk about stories to build familiarity and understanding.” (Development Matters 2021) Here we meet Mr Gumpy, his boat, some children and lots of animals…and a soggy ending!
    You can hear the story here:

    We are using key vocabulary and actions to help us. Our activities have included the children drawing a journey they have been on; including the transport they travelled on, the place where they were going and the people they were with. The children were encouraged to write the name of the transport, the place and the people on their map. (DM,2021) Another activity involved sequencing the animals as they got onto the boat by cutting and sticking onto paper:

    Child Initiated Learning

    We have continued this boat theme in our Child Initiated Learning where the children are learning to, “Explore the natural world around them.” (Development Matters 2021) The children have created plasticine boats to flat in the water tray. They had to investigate the best shape and amount to use to make them float.

    Some children made boats using bottle tops blue-tac and straws with paper sails. We are also creating a Merry ‘Hill Surf Shack’ role play area. Any buckets, spades, beach towels, Bermuda shorts would be gratefully received!

    How you can help at home:

    This week our nursery rhyme is Miss Molly had a Dolly. Please sing along at home:

  • This Week in Reception


    Mindfulness Mondays

    Continuing with our theme of Summer Fun we have started to learn about the artist Edgar Degas. We have looked at some of his work and considered the similarities and differences of the beach and seaside views he painted.

    The children are learning to, “explore, use and refine a variety of artistic effects to express their ideas and feelings,” (Development Matters 2021) We made a section of the sea using different shades of blue paper and will combine our smaller works of art to make a large scale sea back ground.

    We have been learning to mix powder paints in preparation for the next stage of our creations.

    We also discovered, quite by accident, what happens when we mix blue and red paint and had lots of fun painting and printing leaves we found on the floor with the purple shades we had made.

    How you can help at home:

    Let your child experiment with different coloured pastels, paints, shampoos, food colours and see if they can find out the magical ingredients of orange and green too.


    In Understanding the World we have been thinking about Sun Safety as it is Sun Awareness Week.

    We have learned about the power of the sun and the importance of staying safe when playing in the sun. We also learned some top safety tips:

    Please remember to put sun cream on your child and send them in with a sun hat when the weather begins to warm up.

    Nursery Rhyme of the week:

    This week we have learned “Animal Fair.”

    If you would like to sing it at home here is the link:

  • World Penguin Day

    World Penguin Day is celebrated on the 25th April each year and we have enjoyed learning about Penguins this week.  ( Begin to understand the need to respect and care for the natural environment and all living things Development Matters, 2021).

    Tied in with our learning about sleep we learnt some very interesting facts about penguins. Did you know, penguins take short naps during the day and evening instead of sleeping for many hours at night? They have the unique ability to sleep while standing up or while in the water! Sometimes they sleep with their bills tucked under their wings.

    We watched a programme all about Penguins in the Falkland Islands and what is being done to help them thrive.

     Planet defenders Erin and The penguins CBBC. Series 1:2 via @

    Can you answer these questions having watched the programme?
    Penguin Quiz:
    1. How many types of penguin are in the Falkland Islands?
    2. What do penguins eat?
    3. Usually how many eggs do they lay?
    4. Where do they lay their eggs?
    5. What do they build their nests with?
    6. How do the penguins in the film get up cliffs?
    7. What type of penguin are they?
    8. What can be very harmful for penguins? Why?

    The children have also enjoyed drawing and making penguins this week:


     Lastly here is a fun song all about why penguins don’t get cold feet:


    Maybe sing it together at home!

  • This Week in Reception

    Pushing and pulling has been our theme of the week.

    Last week we shared with you the story of “Stuck in the Mud,” by Pie Corbett. This week we have started to innovate the story by changing the animals who are pulling Daisy out.

    In our Child Initiated Learning we have been pushing and pulling a variety of objects to make patterns. We are learning to, “Combine different movements with ease and fluency.” (Development Matters 2021.)

    We have pushed and pulled pattern wheels in paint. Look at the patterns we made.

    We have been driving cars around paper after dipping their wheels in paint and seeing the different tracks we make when we push and pull them.

    We put some farm animals in the sand and worked with friends to pull them free, just like Farmer Tom in our story.

    In the Mud Kitchen we have pulled up some weeds to make attractive decorations on our mud cupcakes.


    We are reviewing our learning in phonics. This week we have learned to read and write the words:

    some, come, there.

    These are harder to read and spell words as phonics does not help us when reading these. We have to learn these words by sight.

    How you can help at home:

    Pick these words out in our reading books. Practise saying sentences that contain these words too.


    We have learned the Nursery Rhyme “Ten in the Bed.” Please do sing this at home:

    In maths this week we have been proving, “When counting in 1s the sequence of numbers always stays the same. ” We worked in groups to prove the next number in sequence was always one more by making a staircase of cubes to match number cards from 0 to 10.

    How you can help at home:

    Ask us to tell you the number that comes before or after a number up to 10. We used our fingers to help us with this.

  • This week in Reception

    We have had  a very busy start to the Summer Term. We have been enjoying the sunshine this week and making the most of going outside during our Child Initiated Learning.

    In our Forest lessons this week we celebrated Earth Day by talking about the process of foods coming from farms to forks.

    Earth Day 2021 - 'Restore Our Earth' - Earth Science Partnership

    We also found out about the Patron Saint of England, St George. We learned the legend of St George slaying a dragon and re-enacted the story using masks and props.

    Here are some of our dragon pictures:

    In Understanding the World we learned facts about Nocturnal animals and have begun to think about the importance of sleep for humans. Have a look at the Powerpoint we have been using in our lessons.

    Nocturnal-wildlife.pptx (8 downloads)


    We have learned a new story by Pie Corbett called “Stuck in the Mud.” The children have brought home their picture sequencing.

    How you can help at home:

    Please ask your child to retell the story using the picture as a prompt.  Does it remind them of any other stories?

    Maths/ Nursery Rhyme of the week.

    We have learned “This Old Man..” and this links to our maths learning this week where we are practising counting to 20.


  • Understanding pronouns: ‘they’ and ‘their’.

    This year as a school we are working on supporting pupils ability to communicate effectively with one another. One of the ways in which we are addressing this is through the use of the Wellcomm® Screening Tool. This tool provides us with useful teaching strategies and tips for scaffolding pupil talk, language use and comprehension. Here we have the next of our talking tips for you to use with your child. “Step Up” refers to how you can extend this skill and “Step down” suggests ways to simplify the skill if your child is not quite there yet.

    Here is teaching tip 3.

  • This week in Reception

    We have had another busy couple of weeks in Reception!

    In Literacy, we have been innovating the story Handa’s Surprise. We thought of our own fruit that Edgar and Zippy could put in their baskets.  We created a bar chart using our ideas to decide on the most popular fruits.

    We spent time rehearsing the story using puppets and props and then this week we have been inventing our own version of the story using our friends and teacher’s names! We have been trying really hard to use our phonic knowledge when writing – look how brilliantly we have done!

    “Retell the story, once they have developed a deep familiarity with the text, some as exact repetition and some in their own words.” (Development Matters 2021)

    We have been learning to, “Compare numbers,” (Development Matters 2021)

    In maths we have been sorting using simple criteria, for example red and not red. The children then came up with their own ideas of ways to sort different items.

    We moved onto thinking about odd and even numbers, using our knowledge of doubles from last week! We spoke about noticing the differences between the numberblocks that have an ‘odd block’ or ‘even top’.

    We have also been working really hard on practising our number formation – making sure our numerals are the correct way around.  We have been using number rhymes to help us remember how to form them – ask us what they are! We also took on the challenge to represent each number with our own Easter pictures.


    How you can support your child at home:

    • Talk about different fruit
    • Observe changes to fruit over time – watch how they ripen
    • Ask us to retell our new version of Handa’s Surprise
    • Practise finding doubles of items around the house
    • Talk about numbers in the environment – house numbers, bus numbers etc.
    • Practise forming numbers correctly
  • April, Month of the Military Child

    April is the Month of the Military Child and each year we love taking the time to celebrate our military children here at Merry Hill. Service children can face challenges with parents in the armed forces. Yet these children are also an amazing asset to families, schools and the local community. The Month of the Military Child helps us remember this and helps us celebrate their achievements.


    Did you know the official flower of the military child is the dandelion because its seeds are blown far and wide by the wind but it will always plant roots and blossom wherever it lands?


    This year we will be celebrating ‘Purple Up Day’ on Tuesday 26th April; purple is a colour used to represent all military services and shows unity with each other. This day is to celebrate the wonderful contributions our military children make to our community, bringing experiences from around the world. We celebrate our military children and thank them for their service.

  • Global Green Citizens

    The children in Reception have been working hard to, “Explore the natural world around them,” (Development Matters 2021). We have been learning about the importance of looking after the environment and the part we can play  in caring for our planet.

    This week we have taken time to observe birds in our environment.

    In our Mini Explorer sessions we have been listening to birdsong and trying to note the similarities and differences between common garden birds.

    This week we have made bird feeders using cheerios, twigs and wool.

    We cannot wait to try out our bird watching skills in our new bird watching shed too.

    How you can help at home:

    Why not have a look in your garden and see if you can spot any of the birds on this tick sheet. Good luck.

  • Our first Pen Disco!

    We are learning to “Develop the foundations of a handwriting style which is fast, accurate and efficient,” (Development Matters 2021). On Friday the Reception children were very excited to have a pen disco! Doing this encourages the development of fine motor skills and pencil grip. Each week we will choose a different pattern to aid letter formation; spirals, zig zags and circles. We started with a simple line!

    The children worked in their class colour groups and were given a large piece of sugar paper to write on. Each group had different media; felt-tip pens, wax crayons, higlighters and pencil crayons.

    We chose some groovy tunes, switched on the disco light and got going with much excitement! After 30 seconds the music stopped and the children rotated round to the next station.

    How you can help at home:

    Choose a variety of writing implements, choose some upbeat music and model writing different patterns for your child to copy in time to the music. Practice the correct pencil grip by holding a 2p coin in the palm of your hand leaving your thumb and first finger free.