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A Reception Class Post

Reception 2021 – Autumn 2 Week 5

Hello from Lilac and Willow, what a fantastic week we’ve enjoyed in Reception.

This week

We began our week by reading the story ‘Katie Morag and the Two Grandmothers’.  It tells the story of a girl who lives on a small fictitious island near Scotland.  As we read the story, the children were asked to think about where the story takes place and what it might be like to live there.  They came up with some brilliant observations and talked about the similarities and differences between Scotland and Hitchin.  This then led us to look at a map of the UK and find out more about where Scotland is, what the national flag and flower are and learn about the physical and human features of Edinburgh; the capital city of Scotland.

The following day, we used what we had learnt about Scotland to help us with our learning about St. Andrew; the patron Saint of Scotland.  The children heard that he was someone from the past that is important to the people of Scotland.  We heard the story of how Andrew and his brother Simon Peter were fishing one day when they met Jesus.  In the story, Jesus told Andrew and his brother to stop what they were doing and to follow him; becoming one of his disciples.  As one of his disciples, Andrew saw many miracles Jesus performed and so he travelled around the world telling people all about Jesus.  Andrew became the Patron Saint of Scotland because he was buried in the place where St. Andrew’s is in Scotland today.  The children saw how people today celebrate and remember St.  Andrew by having many festivities including performing a Scottish dance called a Ceilidh, playing the bagpipes and enjoying parties with food and drinks.  As part of their provision, the children had opportunities to carry out activities that gave them the chance to explain what they had learnt about Scotland and St. Andrew.  These activities included making a thistle using collage materials, a zig-zag paper Loch Ness monster using their fine motor skills to fold, building their own versions of Edinburgh Castle using construction materials, creating a St. Andrew’s Flag collage and building fishing boats using construction materials.

Wednesday was the 1st of December and as such marked the beginning of the Christian festival Advent.  Children heard that Advent is the start of the Christian year and is the countdown the Christmas; the time Christians remember the First Christmas as Jesus was born.  The children very much enjoyed hearing about all of the traditions we celebrate here in the UK to mark Advent, as well as sharing with us all of the exciting ways they were celebrating Advent at home.  On Thursday, we continued our learning about Advent by focussing on how it is celebrated around the world.  The children were very good at recognising the similarities and differences between the various countries and their respective customs.  It was really lovely to learn about some countries of particular significance to the children also.  Some of the ways in which children could show what they had learnt and remember the information taught about Advent in the UK and abroad included making paper plate Advent wreaths, drawing pictures of the Nativity story and labelling it using their phonic knowledge, making paper “ice” lanterns (a Finnish tradition), making split pin Gingerbread Men (a Polish tradition) and colouring pictures of Saint Mikuláš (a Czech tradition).

We ended our week of Main Teaching by learning about the story behind the Jewish Festival of Hanukkah.  The children learnt that Hanukkah is a festival the celebrates the rededication of a Jewish temple many years ago.  An important candle that only had enough oil to last 1 day lasted 8 days.  Jewish people remember this miracle by lighting the menorah; a special type of candle holder with room for 8 candles.  The festival lasts for 8 days as a way of remembering how long the oil burned in the temple.  As part of the festival, Jewish people visit a special place of worship called a synagogue, retell the story of the miracle of the lighting of the lamp, decorate their homes with lights and candles, play a game called Dreidel and eat food including potato latkes.  The children enjoyed creating their own paper plate menorah candle holders, giving Hanukkah cards to one another, building a synagogue using construction materials and using their fine motor skills to recreate the star of David; a Jewish symbol, with peg boards and elastic bands.

In Phonics this week we have learnt new graphemes j, v, w and x as well as revisiting all of our previously learned sounds. The children are becoming more confident at using their phonic knowledge in their writing.  We have been practising writing CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words during our Phonics sessions and the children are really working hard to do their very best writing, great job Reception!

In maths this week, the children were learning how to recognise and name 4 sided shapes based on their properties.  Children were able to recognise a square as having 4 equal sides and a rectangle as having 2 long sides and 2 short sides.  They were able to identify squares and rectangles in various real life objects and sort shapes by their properties.  Well done Reception.

Next week

  • The children will continue visiting the Library in small groups as part of our weekly local trips.
  • In Phonics, we will learn the new sounds y, z, zz and qu as well as revisiting and reviewing all of the sounds learnt so far throughout Phase 2. We will continue practising reading our tricky words as well as applying our phonic knowledge when reading and writing.
  • In Maths, we will be recapping all of our learning so far this half term as well as “digging deeper” with challenges in each area of learning.
  • We will continue to learn our songs for our Reception Nativity called “Whoops-a-Daisy Angel.’
  • We will be hearing about the First Christmas in the Nativity Story.
  • We will be learning about churches as special places of worship.
  • We will look at the various traditions people have at Christmas in the UK.
  • We will learn about a Victorian Christmas and look at traditions in the past compared to today.

Supporting your child at home

  • Share pictures, stories, artefacts and accounts that are of significance to your child from the past explaining similarities and differences between then and now e.g. family photos of holidays or baby clothes/toys. This will help your child to understand chronology and give them a perspective of how things can change over time.
  • Familiarise your child with the name of your road and where it is in relation to other key landmarks or points of interest to your child e.g. We live on XXXXXX it is near the swimming pool and past the park. By doing this, you will help your child to understand their immediate environment.
  • Encourage positive interaction with the outside world, offering your child a chance to take supported risks, appropriate to themselves and the environment within which they are in. This will support your child to learn how to describe what they see, hear and feel whilst outside.

Any other information

  • NATIVITY DRESS REHEARSAL – We are having our nativity dress rehearsal on Tuesday 7th December. Please can you ensure your child’s costume is in school by first thing Tuesday morning, thank you.
  • SCHOOL PICTURE BOOKS – We have not been able to change the picture books this week as we did not receive enough books back to swap with. Please can you return any school picture books that you have at home so that we are able to change them this week, thank you.
  • PEOPLE AND PLACES TOPIC SPRING TERM – Thank you so much to all the parents that have contacted us regarding our People and Places topic so far. If anyone else can help, please let us know by Friday 10th December. We will get back to all of those that have offered by the end of term to sort out times and dates.
  • MONSTER PHONICS – If you have not yet replied on the parent mail form regarding access to monster phonics, we would really appreciate you letting your child’s class teacher know if you have been able to log onto the site successfully and if your child has access to a device to read the books, thank you.


We hope you have a fun filled weekend.

Mrs Fisher and Mr French
Willow and Lilac Class Teachers.

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