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A Reception Class Post

Reception – Summer 1 Week 5

Hello everyone, what a lovely week we’ve had in Reception (even with all the rain)!

This week

To start our week, we read the story of Handa’s surprise by Eileen Browne.

Handa is a little girl who lives in a small village in rural Kenya.  Handa decides to take seven pieces of delicious fruit to her friend Akeyo, who lives in the neighbouring village.  The children really enjoyed watching Handa’s journey to her friend Akeyo because on the way, a series of sneaky animals stole something from Handa’s basket.  When Handa arrived at Akeyo’s village, there was a surprise waiting for her in the basket.  The children thoroughly enjoyed the story and it gave us lots of opportunities to develop our learning throughout the rest of the week.

On Monday we thought about the fruit in the story and we asked the children whether they had tried all of the fruit in the story, and what sort of fruit do they like to eat.  The children then had the chance to write about which food we like and why using the word because to help explain.  They worked really hard in applying their phonic knowledge to help them attempt writing sentences.

On Tuesday we learnt more about where the story is set – Kenya.  The children really enjoyed learning new information about Kenya.  Some of the facts they learnt about Kenya include:

  • Kenya is in Africa,
  • The flag is black, red and green,
  • Kenya has a safari,
  • The Maasai tribe live in Kenya, and
  • School is free for everyone in Kenya.

We enjoyed looking at maps and photos of Kenya and the UK to help with our learning.  This gave the children a chance to talk about the similarities and differences between Kenya and England.

On Wednesday we thought more about the fruit that Handa took to her friend Akeyo: banana, guava, orange, mango, pineapple, avocado and passion fruit.  As we passed some of these fruits around the class, the children were encouraged to describe the way the fruit looked, felt, smelt and even sounded before we tasted them.  Some of the adjectives the children came up with included: juicy, sweet, delicious, tasty and spiky.

On Thursday and Friday our focus turned towards the food we eat.  We thought about what food might have been like in the past, where our food comes from and what the importance of food in keeping healthy. We started by looking back to our prior learning about local artist Samuel Lucas.  The children remembered that he is someone from the past.  We then learnt that he was alive in the 19th Century and so we used books and the computer to help research what food might have looked like in the past.  The children then compared pictures of food from the past to today to see what was similar and what was different.   We explained to the children that some of the food we like to eat now has come from other countries.  This is because the climate in our country isn’t great for certain food and as such, it is then transported from other countries around the world.  The children were fascinated to see how far some of the food they eat has travelled.  Our main teaching and learning ended with us playing the healthy eating game.  The idea is that whenever the children hear the name of one of the different food groups, they show the following actions:

  • Carbohydrates – give us lots of energy – run on the spot.
  • Fruit and vegetables – you need 5 a day – do a high 5
  • Fats and sugars – you only need a tiny bit – roll into a ball
  • Proteins- help to keep your muscles strong – flex muscles
  • Dairy – helps to keep your bones and teeth strong – point to teeth

The children really enjoyed this game as a way of remember the food groups and why they are important to us.

There were also lots of opportunities to be creative this week.  The children painted some of the animals from the story, they created traditional African patterns, drew and painted still life pictures of the some of the fruit from the story, create their own fruit using playdough, make their own Kenyan flag, recreate buildings from rural Kenya and urban Nairobi and create a junk model healthy plate of food.

In Maths the children continued their learning about doubling as well as developing our understanding of the composition of numbers using the part-whole model.  We learnt that double means twice as many or adding the same number to itself.  We used a prior learning of “bigger numbers are made up of smaller numbers” to further our understanding of the part-whole model.  This is where we look at how numbers are made up.  The children were learning that “whole numbers can be split into parts”.  The children used real life objects and maths equipment to help them explore the composition of numbers to 10.

In Phonics the children continued to use and apply their phonic knowledge for reading and writing words.  We used CCVC (consonant consonant vowel consonant) words as part of that learning.  Here are some examples:

Next week

  • We will be reading non-fiction information texts to find out more about dinosaurs.
  • We will be learning about famous English fossilist Mary Anning on what would have been her birthday (21st May)
  • In Phonics, we will continue to use and apply our phonic knowledge for reading and writing words including CCVC and CVCC words.
  • In Maths we will consolidate our learning on number and numerical patterns including: number bonds to 5, comparing quantities using more less and the same, odds and evens and double facts.

Supporting your child at home

  • Model talk routines through the day. For example, arriving in school: “Good morning, how are you?” This will help your child learn to develop social phrases.
  • Help your child listen to and talk about stories as a way to build familiarity and understanding. For example, make asides commenting on what is happening in a story: “That looks dangerous – I’m sure they’re all going to fall off that broom!” or practise possible conversations between characters in imaginative play as a way of interacting and negotiating with people in longer conversations.
  • Celebrate, praise and reward your as they develop and demonstrate the skills they need to manage the school day successfully. For example, patience, turn-taking and self-control when they need to line up and wait.

Any other information

  • PHONICS FLASHCARDS – We hope that those children who have already received their phonics flashcards this week are finding them useful. The remainder of the class will get their flashcards next week.  The children have been taught all of the sounds for each flashcard.  We will be asking your children to practise any sounds that they may find tricky.
  • READING BOOKS – Please could reading books and book bags be in school each day.

We hope you have a great weekend.


Mrs. Fisher and Mr. French

Willow and Lilac Class Teachers

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