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Learning and caring together


Whilst in Reception, staff will be getting to know your child really well. This will help them to plan specifically for individual children and address all specific needs.  Teachers will set a routine that children will follow every day and support any child who finds this difficult.  It is absolutely normal for all children to feel a little afraid and scared of the changes in their life.  We will do everything to make sure we help your child to feel secure and safe.  Children are very resilient and with a consistent approach every day children very quickly adapt and feel like they belong with us in our Reception class.  Teachers will also record learning and progress through our planning and assessment. We document successful learning, linked to our curriculum in our Early Years Books. These are shared with you regularly but are also available to see on request should you wish. We encourage that you as the parent/carer add to your children’s Early Years Books. 

Staff in the Reception Class:

  • Miss Stone (Teacher)
  • Miss Sweeney (Teaching Assistant)

What Does a Typical Day in Reception Look Like?

  • Reception children will be split into two key person groups.  Each group will spend time with both members of staff across the school day.  On their first day in school children will spend time in their key person group and with the whole class.  This is because we want children to get to know the children in their group initially, plus to understand that they are part of something bigger and, over time, get to know all the children in their class. 
  • During their first day children will have opportunities to: play together in their groups; play with friends from across the class; play inside or outside; visit nursery to catch up with their nursery friends and teachers; have a range of stories; have time to talk in small groups.
  • Children will take part in ‘mathematics’ activities across the day.  We do this in a ‘playful’ way and children are not expected to sit down at tables for these activities.  We will do lots of counting out loud, counting sets of objects and singing number rhymes and songs.
  • When we feel that children are following our routine, have the ability to listen and follow instructions we begin to plan for a more ‘formal’ phonics activity.  Phonics is the ‘tool’ we use to teach children how to read and write.  You will receive a ‘homework’ pack when we begin phonics and we ask that you go over the new sounds that we cover with your child every night. Within the pack there will also be weekly words. We ask that you encourage the children to sound out the words, read and write them.  Children will also receive a reading book. To start with this will be a picture book to look through at home. You can use this book to discuss what is happening, what your child thinks etc. When teachers believe that your child has enough phonic knowledge we will give them a school reading book with words in.  We only do this when children know a ‘bank’ of sounds and can successfully ‘use’ these sound to read words. Click on the link below to see ways in which you can support this at home:
  • Lunchtime Arrangements:  Children in Reception go into the dining hall first before the whole school have their lunch.  We have two dedicated lunchtime supervisors that will be with the children at all times.  Reception staff will have lunch with the children for the first few weeks.  If we need to do this longer we will.  The Reception teacher will not leave the dining hall until all the children have finished their lunch.  After lunch children will be taken to play in the ‘Early Years’ outdoor play area.  This is a space that is very familiar to the children and it also means that teachers are on hand for any issues that may arise.
  • In Reception we have a weekly ‘Lending Library’ for children.  Your child can choose a book to share at home and this book needs to be kept in their school bag. 
  • Toothbrushing: We are lucky to be part of a toothbrushing scheme. Once we begin this scheme (usually partway through the Autumn term) children brush their teeth daily. All toothbrushes and toothpaste are provided.

If you have any questions or worries that you would like to discuss please contact:

Miss Stone at cstone@handale.rac.sch.uk (Reception Teacher)

Mrs Lister at clister@handale.rac.sch.uk (Early Years Lead and Nursery Teacher)

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