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.

Minibeast mania!

We have leapt into our learning this term with our new topic ‘mini-beasts’ and the children have already been so excited to learn about all sorts of different creepy crawlies. Our mini-beast investigation zone as provoked many discussions about what sorts of creatures the children have found in their gardens and whether they have been brave enough to touch one!


The highlight of the term so far as been the arrival of our ten class caterpillars. Every morning when the children come into the classroom they are desperate to check up on how much they have grown overnight and whether they have begun to form their chrysalises’ yet.

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This week we were lucky enough to have a visit from ‘Zoolab’ to give a workshop on mini-beasts. We learnt about and met some fascinating and rather unusual mini-beasts, including  a giant African land snail,  a Madagascan cockroach and even a scorpion!  I was amazed at how brave Reception were, having a go at holding and stroking the various critters. All that is apart from the scorpion of course, which was to my relief in the safety of a tank! This then inspired some brilliant descriptive writing where the class had a go at sounding out such words as ginormous and massive!


In R.E this term we have begun thinking about all sorts of special places. So far we have thought of our very own ‘special place’ ranging from hidden dens to tree houses and cosy beds. The children then created some beautiful watercolour pictures of their own special place to put up in the classroom.

Reception’s farm shop is open for business!

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Reception have had a wonderful start to the term showing great enthusiasm and interest in our new topic ‘Farms and Growing’. The farm shop has been extremely busy with customers writing their shopping lists and queuing to buy their fruit and vegetables! We began the term with real things but used our crafty skills to make our own fruit and vegetables to sell that will hopefully last a little longer than fresh ones!


We have also thoroughly enjoyed watching the changes in our investigation area, where we are growing some bulbs. The children have been looking every morning when they come into class to see if any more daffodils have opened up and counting how many have appeared overnight.

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As we have been learning about money this term we have turned snack time into an opportunity to practise using money by opening a Reception snack shop. Each day the ‘busy bee’s’ have a turn at being the shopkeepers as children have to look at the price of the fruit and find the right coins to buy their snack. We were particularly lucky this week as we had a wonderful array of exotic fruits and vegetables sent in (as part of the homework) from Reception parents. The children had such a great choice I fear they may be disappointed next week going back to apples and pears!

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Book Week

We have had a fantastic end to the term with book week. Reception have joined in with the ‘Write a book in a week’ challenge, continuing our topic writing our very own fairy tale character. I was absolutely delighted with the ideas the children came up with, inventing their own goodies and baddies and adventures!

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We were also treated to a fabulous workshop with the author and illustrator duo ‘Knife and Packer’. They talked to us about some of their stories and showed us how they create some of their cartoon like illustrations. The whole of the hall joined in, creating some brilliant pictures.

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Once upon a time…

This term our learning is based around many different fairy tales. From Goldilocks and the three bears to Rapunzel, Reception have loved hearing and joining in with these traditional stories. This term as their confidence has grown I have seen may of the children more keen than ever to stand up in front of the class and act out these stories either with masks or puppets.

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In literacy we have been practising becoming more independent writers, using our phonic knowledge to label fairy tale pictures and even make our own books.

In maths we have been sorting objects based on their size and length, we have learned about the terms to describe capacity as well as exploring the different ways to make ten.


This term we have also been getting a little green fingered, growing cress for the three billy goats gruff, and planting beans like Jack and the beanstalk!


As always in Reception we love to make and create many arts and crafts. Already this term we have made pig masks, bear puppets, paper plate goat faces, princess and the pea collages, model castles to name just a few!

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