Minibeast Madness!

What a gorgeous week of sunshine we have had to welcome everyone back after the Easter holidays! I hope you all had a lovely time off. The children were certainly bursting with stories of their adventures over the holidays which was lovely to see!

This term our topic is minibeasts, and the role play area has become a minibeast investigation zone where the children can hunt and explore to their hearts content! We have also been exploring shapes this week in maths. As the weather was so lovely we went on a shape hunt in the outside area and spotted so many different kinds of shape!

This week we were also lucky enough to go on our trip to the wonderful Ladyland Farm. We had a fantastic day, jam packed with feeding sheep, calves, goats, stroking day old chicks and ducklings, and a rather bumpy but brilliant tractor ride! The children loved being able to be so close to the animals and it really was a fabulous learning experience! Thank you very much to the kind volunteers who came along and helped make the day so wonderful.

Fun at the farm

I cannot believe it is almost time for the Easter Holiday already! In Reception we have had another week packed full of exciting learning and discovery.

The week began with a fabulous book called ‘Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type’ in which a Farmer has a little problem when the cows on his farm get hold of a type writer and decide to go on strike, sending letters with demands of electric blankets in exchange for their milk! The class were delighted when I then opened a letter addressed to them from Framer Brown himself, telling them about all the other animals and their various problems! They decided the only option was to write back to Farmer Brown with their own ideas of how to keep the animals happy!


As always in Reception, we have been exploring our creativity during our ‘Farm’ topic using a range of mediums from printing to junk modelling. It has been fabulous to see how imaginative and resourceful many of the children have become over the course of the year, demonstrating such imagination when it comes to creating models and crafts, often now working completely independently from the designing stage through to the final piece! Here are a few examples of our wonderful farm headbands and tractors!




This week we have been having a great time practising adding two groups of objects together and then writing it as a ‘number sentence’. The children have picked up this idea brilliantly and are already beginning to make connections between numbers using their mental arithmetic as well as practically counting objects.


As I have mentioned previously, we have been making great progress with our tricky words alongside learning our digraphs in phonics. I have added a link below to the tricky word song we use to help us on you tube. Just a little warning, it is very catchy! It is worth noting that the song refers to the letters as their ‘letter name’ as opposed to their ‘sound’.

Tricky word song



Reception Snow Day Activities


Well what a week we have been having! I hope everyone isn’t going too mad and you are managing to enjoy the snow without getting too chilly!

As you don’t have your homework books, I have written a range of activities for you to choose from. There are things for both inside and out as I was aware some of you may prefer to stay warm and cosy rather than braving this mad weather! Please choose two or more activities and make a note of what you do either with photographs, drawings or of course on paper and then we can share them together next week. You may have been doing lots of other exciting, creative snow based activities so of course feel free to record these too!

  1. Snow writing- Have a go at writing letters/digraphs/tricky words in the snow. You could use a stick, paintbrush or your finger if you are wearing gloves!
  2. Snow kitchen- Collect ant old pots, pans and kitchen equipment and allow your children to make a snow kitchen outside. This will hopefully encourage lots of fantastic mathematical language, half full, half empty, more than, less than etc.

3. Draw a picture of the book character you were going to dress up as and use the tricky words ‘he’ or ‘she’ to describe your character. For example, ‘She is brave. She has long hair’ etc.

4. Build the tallest snowman you can and then measure it using your hands, can you note how tall it is and maybe take a photo?

5. Outdoor Number line- Make an outdoor number line using sticks, leaves, stones etc. For example: 1 pinecone, 2 stones, 3 plant pots, 4 sticks etc.

6. Snow ball target- Either make a target or draw one in the snow, give each circle a different value and see if you can add up your score as you aim your snowballs.

7. Treasure Hunt- (Either outside or inside) Hide some ‘treasure’ and give your child either verbal or for an extra challenge, simple written clues for them to follow to find the treasure.

8. As it is World Book Day today, share a book with your child. Can you spot any digraphs or tricky words? Can your child draw a picture from their favourite book? Or perhaps write a sentence about what they like about the book or characters?

9. Make up a game that uses dice. Maybe your children could think of an action and the number they role dictates the number of times they complete this action? For example: Star jumps, skips, touch your toes, claps etc.

10. Snow Paint- fill plastic bottles (spray bottles work best but any will do) with water and a little food colouring and allow your children to experiment making pictures that will wash away in the snow


I hope you are able to have a go at some of these ideas over the next few days and I look forward to hearing about all your adventures!

See you soon and stay safe,


Reception’s farm shop open for business!

Welcome back to a new term in Reception and a new topic. Our learning this term will be based around ‘Farms and Growing’. This week the children got fully stuck in enjoying our farm shop role play area, flogging vegetables like professional market sellers shouting, “Potatoes, potatoes, get your potatoes here!!”


We have had a wonderful week of learning inspired by Eric Carle’s story ‘The Tiny Seed’. Many of the children came in after half term bursting with stories of their growing beans getting so tall over the break. For anyone who’s bean didn’t grow please don’t worry as we planted a class bean that I have been keeping alive in the classroom so everyone can see how it changes and develops over time. To link with our topic we also now have an investigation area where we are closely watch some plants and flowers as they grow.

I have been thrilled with how well everyone has been learning their tricky words. This week we have been playing lots of games to practise recognising them, singing out tricky word song and throwing bean bags in hoops with our tricky words in outside.



Beanstalk fun


So far this term we have already learned about many classic fairy tales, inspiring our literacy, maths and many other subjects. From planting cress for the three billy goats gruff to making rope long enough to help Rapunzel escape, we have covered a range of fairy tale problems, helping a multitude of characters along the way!


This week it was the turn of ‘Jack and the beanstalk’ as our focus story, and the children were excited to receive a rather large letter from a rather large character…the giant!!

We were able to use the giant’s footprint as a great measuring tool, comparing, ordering and measuring a range of objects inside and outside the classroom. This activity helped us to practise using mathematical language to describe the size of various everyday items.


All the children have also been working incredibly hard in phonics, learning our digraphs this term. They have also been wonderfully enthusiastic about our sentence of the day, where we use a picture as inspiration and then as a class work together to write a super sentence about the image! Some children have even had a go at writing their own sentence!


We have one more week of our fairy tale topic then the last week of term is our whole school ‘Bird Week’. In this week please feel free to send in any bird related books, pictures or objects that might help or motivate our learning for the children to share with the class. Many thanks!


Once upon a time…

Firstly I just want to say a huge thank you for all your lovely cards and gifts at the end of last term, everyone was so kind and generous! I hope you have all had a super Christmas and new year.


This term our topic, ‘Once upon a time’ is based on a variety of fairy tales, therefore this is our new theme for show and tell. We have started off by focussing on the story of Goldilocks and the three bears and the children have been busy playing in our new role play area, a fairy tale cottage. We have been busy making bears, sorting bears, counting bears and many other bear related activities!


After saying a very fond farewell to lovely Reid at the end of last term, we have been thrilled to welcome a new girl into the class who has settled in brilliantly and is already making friends.

Starry starry night!

This week our learning has been particularly star themed, with our story focus ‘How to catch a star’. The children were very excited to share their ideas of how they would catch a star, designing some fabulously imaginative and ingenious contraptions! The star theme didn’t end there, with starry maths, art, reading and writing.


Then of course we had a particularly exciting evening on Wednesday when the children came back into school in their pyjamas for story time. Dressed in their lovely pyjamas with teddies in toe, the children snuggled into various cosy, twinkly dens around school and were treated to an array of stories. We then had a biscuit and drink before going through the important bedtime routine of brushing our teeth, with brand new toothbrushes! Some of the children seemed so cosy they were almost ready to curl up for the night!


I hope all of you that came to the readying and phonics talk found it helpful and if you didn’t manage to make it and would like some of the information and resources I handed out on the night, just let me know and we can send it home with your children.



To infinity and beyond!

This term in Reception we will be learning about ‘Space and Light’. We have had a brilliant first week back after half term learning about the Hindu festival of light, Diwali. The story of Rama and Sita really seemed to capture the children’s imaginations as they made masks and puppets to act out the tale. We explored the meaning behind Diwali, and even had our own quiet reflection time, lighting a diva lamp and thinking about the things we can be thankful for.


Over the term we will be covering the topic of Space, from learning about astronauts to planets and stars. If you have any space themed books, toys or artefacts, please feel free to send them in to school for show and tell.

Our role play area this term has become a highly industrial space station, complete with astronaut costumes and the ability to transport children to any planet they can imagine! I’m looking forward to seeing the stories we can conjure up together this term.

Reception’s first week of full days!


We have had a fabulous first full week in Reception. The children have coped with the full days brilliantly and even had enough energy today to earn the last few marbles to fill our class marble jar and earn an end of the week treat!!

It was lovely to see so many of you at our welcome assembly and I hope you enjoyed meeting and chatting some other parents and members of staff at St. John’s.


This week we have been learning about vets and our role play area has been incredibly popular with patients of varying size and injury, from an owl with a broken wing to a rabbit with a bad leg! The children have loved dressing up and acting out scenarios.


We embraced the rain, becoming scientists, exploring how to make the balls land in the wheelbarrow using the guttering and rainwater. A number of the children loved experimenting using a range of different sized balls and then added water they had collected in wheelbarrows. Who knew there was so much fun to be had in the rain!

Flap your wings and fly away

What a jam packed term we have had learning about mini-beasts. It has been fantastic to see the children progressing and absorbing so many wonderful texts and facts about creepy crawlies.

When the time came to finally set our butterflies free it was an emotional moment opening their net and watching and waving as their fluttered up into the sky. The children have so loved watching the caterpillars growth and development as their became chrysalises and then transformed into butterflies. We even had a completion to think of names for them before we set them free!

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The children were so sad to see them go that I thought it might cushion the blow to introduce a new temporary class companion for the last week of term. And therefore Sidney the snail joined Reception class!


This term in Reception we have really begun to embrace writing. After talking about the range of reasons to write, I introduced a writing challenge which encourages the children to write, labels, speech bubbles, sentences, lists, recipes and stories. The writing they have begun to produce is absolutely fantastic and this week, after using our story bags as inspiration many of the children chose to write an entire story independently!

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We have covered both addition and subtraction this term in maths and are currently really trying to encourage the children to investigate things with a mathematical way of thinking. Using tally’s to record scores in games, timing physical activities by counting the number of seconds aloud, as well as exploring capacity, shapes and measurements.


I really hope everyone has a fabulous half term and lets hope the sunshine continues into the break.