Reception - Sparrows
Mrs Jay and Mrs Skelding are the teachers in Reception. They work alongside Mrs Adams, Miss Billingham and Miss Hollingworth who are the teaching assistants.
Our classroom is a lovely, large room, full of exciting and ever changing areas and learning opportunities. We also have a large, newly developed, outdoor area, a nature garden and pond.
Reception is a happy, exciting and busy place to be. Independence is promoted in both self-help skills and learning development. The children are given the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in a wide variety of areas through captivating, topic themed learning opportunities (activities) in their 'Continuing On Our Learning' (COOL) time. The adults in the room support the children in extending their learning through questioning and providing further challenges. This is accompanied by high quality teaching and small group focus tasks.
We have weekly outdoor learning sessions in our on site forest school area, which is great for camp fires, tree climbing and 'cooking' in the mud kitchen! We also have outdoor PE sessions, in addition to use of the school trim trail. The fun and learning never stops!
Reception is the time when children begin their journey into the wonderful world of reading. Offmore teaches the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme. Sounds taught are embedded through a myriad of activities in school as well as home learning. Videos are send home via Class Dojo of each new sound taught to enable parents and guardians to support their child with their pronunciation and letter formation. Phonics learning moves through segmenting and blending sounds to read words alongside learning high frequency words on sight.
Reading is intrinsic to everything we do. There are, therefore, opportunities for the children to develop both their phonics skills and their love of reading in all areas of the classroom. Offmore also promotes reading at home. Children are able to choose a story book and decodable phonics books to take home and share. Reading at home supports children in becoming enthusiastic, independent readers. Our expectation is that stories should be shared at home a minimum of three times a week. Each week, children who read a a minimum of three times a week at home move one planet up our reading rocket towards the reading star. Those in the star at the end of the half term win a prize.
Spring 2 2021- Spring and Easter
When school reopened after lockdown, the children quickly settled back into school life. We used the story 'The Colour Monster' to begin discussions about feelings and emotions. The children each contributed to our class lockdown journey wall art. They each drew and talked about their memories from lockdown.
The children noticed how different the outdoor areas looked. There was snow on the ground on their last day at school before lockdown. Now there are new buds and shoots, daffodils and daisies and noticeably more birds and minibeasts around. This led to conversations and learning about the seasons and how the season is changing to spring.
The children have learned about how and why Christians celebrate Easter and the importance of the cross symbol to them. The children retold and wrote part of the Easter Story, made split pin tombs and Easter gardens. We have also talked about how spring and Easter are celebrations of new life and why the egg is used to show this. The children went on an Easter egg hunt and used patterns including repeating patterns to decorate eggs.
Autumn 2 2020 - Let's Celebrate
Tessa, our class puppet who is a Christian, introduced the children to some of her friends; Rama and Sita who are Hindu and Lukas who is Jewish. They wanted to teach the children about their religion and the special festivals that they celebrate.
Rama and Sita told the children about Diwali, the festival of light which celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness. The children made fireworks out of natural materials, created rangoli patterns using 2D shapes and a program on the iPad, made their own diva lamps and wrote Happy Diwali cards.
Lukas told the children about the Jewish festival of light, Hanukkah. The children wrote fact books and made menorahs that they then used to help them with subtraction. The children used their phonics skills to read CVC words and captions and had to ' think like a scientist' to answer the question 'what helps us to see in the dark?' they carried out an experiment in the dark den to test their ideas.
Tessa helped the children to learn about the birth of Jesus and why Christians celebrate Christmas. Using a story map and actions, the children learned the Nativity story so they could retell it for our Early Years production. The children then made Christmas decorations, decorated the classroom and the class tree and counted down the days until Christmas.
Autumn 1 2020 - Once Upon a Time
There was a lot of excitement on the first day of school. The children returned from lunch to find that a huge beanstalk had grown in the classroom. At the bottom were several giant foot prints, some traditional tale props and characters, and a book that did not have any words or pictures. The children decided that they could draw and write their own story to fill the empty book and they would learn some traditional tales to help them with their story writing.The first book was 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. The children loved the story and used story language and signs to support their oral retelling before having a go at drawing the story. Some children also managed to write some of the initial sounds they could hear. Next, the children had to help Jack to count his magic beans, find different ways to make the same amount and put beanstalks in order by their size. The children also had to 'think like a scientist' and use The Three Cs of science Consider, Collect and Conclude to carry out investigations to answer the question: 'What will happen to the beans if we plant them?'
Next came the story of Little Red Riding Hood. The children used role play to help them learn and retell the tale. We created a class story map that the children added to their own version of the story map, retelling it as they went. Little Red Riding Hood wanted to build a lookout tower for Granny. She wasn't happy with the height so the children helped her to add one more. The children used their investigation skills to explore the 5 senses and find and recreate wolf footprints using clay.
The final tale was The Three Billy Goats Gruff. The children explored building bridges using a variety of materials. They began in the forest where they had to make a bridge big and strong enough to hold their own weight. Back in class they used their 'funky fingers' to make bridges using pegs and lollypop sticks. The Three Billy goats were so impressed with their bridge building skills that they asked the children to build a bridge so that they could cross the river. They challenged the children to look at existing bridges and design, build and evaluate their own bridge. They made it even more challenging by only giving the children cocktail sticks and midget gems to use to build their bridge! The children used balancing scales to find things that were heavy and light.
By the end of the half term the children were buzzing with ideas of what our class story could be. We worked together to think about 'who', 'where' and 'what' might happen in the story. Using these ideas, a class story was written and the children drew the beginning, middle and end of the story. The children then attempted to write VC, e.g. 'in', and CVC e.g. 'bat' words. They were incredibly proud of being both illustrators and authors of their own story.
We use Class Dojo to share our wonderful learning with our parents and as a way to communicate important messages that are specifically for the Reception children. We add photos of some of the exciting things that we do in school and the children can send us pictures of things that they do at home. Our children love to earn dojo points throughout the day, and these are linked to our Offmore values.
The children can also earn points for using their learning powers. These include:
Busy Bee power- given for active learning, such as being focused.
Unicorn powers are given for playing and exploring, using a 'can do' approach.
Magnifying powers are given for creating and thinking critically, such as using learning walls independently to further own understanding.