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  • Maths – subitising

    We are continuing to learn to subitise (Development Matters 2021.) The children have already had lots of experience with perceptual subitising (seeing the quantity without counting) and with making collections of small amounts.

    This week, the children have been encouraged to continue representing quantities in different ways, including by showing amounts on 1 hand ‘all at once’. There was also a new focus on the symbolic representation of number and the children have worked on their recognition of numerals to 5, matching numerals to correct quantities in various games.

    Here are some pictures of us practising subitising by playing a number track game using dice, creating our own representations of 5 and matching subising patterns with objects from the environment.

    How you can help at home:

    Ask your child to say how many of an object they have and see if they can do it without counting – for example, sausages on their plate, buttons on their T-shirt, laces on their trainers. Continuing playing board games that use dice and praise your child when they identify how many to move without counting the dots.




  • This week in Reception

    This week we have been learning a Talk for Writing version of Harry and his Bucketful of Dinosaurs. We have been learning to sequence pictures from the story in order and labelling key words in the text. We are working very hard to, ‘Spell words by identifying the sounds and then writing the sound with letter/s,’ (Development Matters 2021). Next week we will start to innovate our own ideas thinking about different places Harry could take his dinosaurs to.


    After sequencing the pictures we had a go at retelling the story using key story language and actions:


    This is the action for ‘once upon a time‘.

    Once upon a time there was a little boy called Harry…





    This is the action for, ‘who‘.

    who spent lots of time with his Nan.






    This is the action for, ‘first‘.

    First he carried the box downstairs.







    How you can help at home:

    Ask us to tell you the story and see which actions we can remember.

    Read a story about Harry and his dinosaurs:


    The sounds we have been learning in phonics this week are:

  • Dig a Little Deeper

    This term our Topic is “Dig a little Deeper.”

    Why “Dig a little deeper?”

    We are thinking about Spring and the growing that takes place under the soil. We are also finding out about dinosaurs whose fossils were found in the ground. Later in the term we will be learning about seeds and minibeasts and their role in the ecosystem.

    As this is the second term the children have been in Reception it is time to assess their learning and consider how we can support the children making deeper connections across the curriculum.

    This week we have begun by asking the children what they already know about dinosaurs and what they would like to find out.

    Here are some photos of our dinosaur activites from the week. We have been making our own dinosaur adventures in the small world, cleaning dinosaurs in the tuff trays, painting dinosaurs and making dinosaur tracks in the sand.

    If you have any dinosaur books at home that you would like to share with us please send them in with your name inside.

  • The Snowman

    This week we have been focusing on our story telling skills, since we did such an amazing job telling the Nativity!  Listen to and talk about stories to build familiarity and understandingDevelopment Matters (2021)

    We have been learning to retell the story using the Talk for Writing actions we have been practising. Here are the actions that we have been learning.

    You can watch the video here:

    Have a look at some of the activities we have been up to this week related to the story.

    How you can support your child at home: 

    Ask us to retell The Snowman and keep an eye out for us using the Talk for Writing actions!

    Have a lovely relaxing break and who knows, maybe we will see some snow!

  • Reading in Reception

    Feedback is such an important part of the learning process.

    “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” Bill Gates

    We have been working very hard in Reception to foster a love of reading. We have been learning to  “Blend sounds into words, so that they can read short words made up of known letter– sound
    correspondences.,” Development Matters 2021.
    In each of our areas there are key texts linking to the children’s learning or familiar texts that they know and can perform to their friends. Each week we listen to each child read and we really value the comments you put in the reading records. The reading records are important to us for many reasons.

    They tell us:

    • how frequently the child is reading,
    • whether they are enjoying the texts we send home,
    • if they are applying their phonics away from the classroom.

    Here are some examples of super feedback taken from our own reading records:


    How you can help at home:

    • Try to listen to your child read every night – flash cards are reading, cooking instructions on a pizza is reading. Reading does not just take place in a school reading book.
    • Sign the Reading Record to show they have read. A description of what they have read is really helpful too.
    • Comment on their use of phonics – did they recognise the first/ middle/ last sound in the word.
    • Comment on their use of contextual cues such as using pictures to help guess a word or using the context of the sentence to make a plausible guess.
    • Make time to read to your child in a nice cosy space in your home – comment on this in the Reading Record too. We love to learn which books the children enjoy.

    Thank you for all your help – the children are making great strides in their reading.


    “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” Ken Blanchard

  • Early Years Nativity

    This years Nativity has been written using the Talk for Writing approach used at Merry Hill.  Nursery make a starring role in Twinkle Twinkle.

    Thank you to our wonderful team…..

    • Our creative Mrs Summers for writing the Nativity;
    • Mrs Nicoll, Miss Will, Mrs Barnes, Mrs Oldfield and our wonderful Nursery team for all their hard work and of course our super children;
    • and special thanks to Mrs Taylor who taught Little Donkey to Reception using Makaton.
  • Using Question words

    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 2.

  • This week in Reception

    We have had a very eventful week….we have had our first visit to Bushey Library! We are so lucky to have the library right on our doorstep and we loved walking there with our friends. Some of us have been to a public library before, but for some of us, it was our very first experience.

    ‘Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters’ Development Matters 2021

    At the library, we learnt lots of important skills: we now know how to ‘borrow’ and ‘return’ our own books, we spoke about fiction and non-fiction books, and we know where we can find different books. We were also lucky enough to have a story time session too!

    Did you know we can borrow up to 30 books at a time! That’s so many adventures we can have! Look at the fun we’ve had!

    How you can help at home:

    • Join the library (if you don’t already have a membership)
    • Share books and stories everyday
    • Talk about what you have read or heard
    • Read anything and everything that your child is interested in – comics, magazines, recipe cards, sports pages, information books, read in the environment – street names, maps, logos, menus, bus timetables
    • Ask your child questions – what did they enjoy about the book? Who was their favourite character? Why? What do you think might happen next? How was the character feeling when….?
    • Practise your keyring sounds regularly
  • Maths this week

    This week the children have built on their understanding of the composition of numbers by investigating the composition of 3,4 and 5.  Composing and de-composing numbers involves the children investigating part-part-whole relations, e.g seeing that 3 can be composed of 1 and 2.  Through practical experiences and activities they have consolidated their understanding of the whole being made up of smaller parts.  A key focus this week has been the spatial  arrangements that can be made with different combinations of the same number of objects.

    How you can help at home:

    • Provide squares of card and up to 5 different coloured buttons, jewels, pom  poms or similar small objects for your child to use to make collections of different amounts.
    • Create potato or cork prints with paint.  Ask your child, how many ways can you print 4 dots?  You could also vary this activity by exploring 4 dot patterns using 2 different colours.

    Enjoy your week

    The Reception team


  • Understanding and using prepositions

    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 will share talking tips with 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 1.

  • This week in Reception

    It has been another busy week for us in Reception this week. We have started learning the Christmas story in preparation for our Nativity and we are doing a very good job of learning the words to some of our Christmas songs.

    Here is the link to Little Donkey if you would like to help us practise at home.

    We have been enjoying our new construction area in the classroom and it has inspired us to design and build some models of our own. The children have been learning to, “Develop their small motor skills so that they can: use a range of tools competently, safely and confidently,” Development Matters 2021.
    We have chosen our joining materials carefully and made our structures stronger by adding supports.

    Here we are in the designing and making stage:


    Sounds of the week

    These are the sounds we have learned this week. We have practised writing 3 letter words using the sounds we have learned so far. We are getting very good at blending the sounds together when we read, for example v-e-t makes vet.

    How you can help at home:

    It has been fantastic to see some of the words the children have been making at home with their sound cards. Please keep sending the photos in. You should now be able to make lots of 3 letter words using those. For a challenge try asking your child what the initial (first) and final (last) sound is in the word they have made.

    Have fun!

  • Maths this week

    The comparison of quantities is something that children begin to do as babies.  When  comparing, children notice attributes and begin to understand similarities and differences.  This week we have focused on further developing these innate skills.  The children have been encouraged to compare the number of objects in 2 sets by matching them 1:1.  We have reinforced the language of ‘more than’ , ‘fewer than’ and ‘an equal number’ to describe how many objects there are in each set.


    How you can help at home:

    Set up a picnic area with teddy bears, plates, cups, food etc.  Ask your child to share it out equally.  Then ask  –

    • Do we have enough?
    • Does each teddy have equal amounts?
    • Who has fewer?
    • Who has more?

    Enjoy your week

    The Reception Team