2020 - 2021 Reception: Miss Cantwell and Miss Houghton

Welcome to Reception!
We are very excited to start our learning journey together. If you have any questions Miss Houghton and Miss Cantwell will be happy to help. 
In Reception we follow the Read Write Inc phonics scheme. Below is a video on how to pronounce the sounds. It would be very helpful if you could watch it as it will benefit your child. 
Our first story that we will focus on is The Gruffalo! 
 
We have been very busy in Reception finding lots of different ways to create images of ourselves! During our first forest school session the children explored the wildlife area looking for anything that may be a problem and we discussed how to overcome this. We then went on a hunt for anything we thought would be useful to make our own pictures. Here are a few we wanted to share! 
We have been fantastic at showing off our cutting skills and working hard to follow the line. A very tricky task indeed but we all gave it our best go and were very proud of the end result! 
This week we have been using the laptop to drag and drop. We used the 2simple programme. 
In Reception we use the main board throughout the day to record the date, and look at the visual timetable to help us to know what is coming next. 
We created these colours by mixing the colours red, yellow, blue, black and white to see what new colours. 
Our story focus is now Owl babies! 
This week in forest school we have used the story of 'Don't hog the hedge' which is a Twinkl story. We created our own hedgehogs! 
We have tested our strength using the hole punches to create marks in the card. We discovered the single hole punches were harder to use compared to the two hole hole punches. 
This week during show and tell we had a whole range of items to talk about. We even had a visit from a dog, luckily it wasn't a real one but it's bark was very realistic! We use our show and tell time to discuss an object or topic chosen by the child. We then encourage the children to develop their communication skills by asking a question to find out something more about the topic or object. The children really enjoy this time and we also have some fantastic discussions. 
Our new story focus for the next two weeks is 'Stick man' by Julia Donaldson. Thanks to our very own Mr Atkinson Reception have two sets of stick families, one very small and delicate, one very large and robust. It has been lovely to see the children using these to re-tell the story already. 
We have been very busy already this week, continuing with our phonics and focusing on our letter formation. A tricky task but one everyone was determined to complete. 
Some fantastic creations have been made this week in Reception. The children have been very interested in making different homes. 
A tricky activity, using the stickers to make a picture. The children really enjoyed seeing what they could come up with and trying hard to peel the stickers from the sheets. Well done Team Reception! 
We went on a hunt around the classroom as some pictures appeared with what we thought were words on them HOWEVER  the initial letter was missing from each one so we had to work together to think about what they were supposed to start with. 
This week in Forest school we made links with our story focus of 'Stick man'. We went on a hunt for the best sticks we could find in our wildlife area thinking about the size we would like our stick person to be. The children then had to decide whether they would use PVA glue or masking tape. For some of us this involved a lot of trial and error to see which one worked best for what we wanted to create. Here are the final products. A fantastic amount of effort from Team Reception even when a lot of times they thought they were finished but then it fell apart and they had to start again! 
This week we have focused on the story of Elmer, there are many different versions that we have available to read in class. The children are really excited to read the different stories. 
What a fantastic time we had for our Harvest festival and Halloween day. Everyone looked magnificent in their costumes and a great time was had by all. 
A lovely Autumn day! 
The story focus is now Room on the Broom, this is a favourite of some of the children in our class. It has led to the children being very interested in making their own magic wands. Some of the teachers were transformed in to a range of different animals from frogs to elephants. The children are becoming very familiar with this book already!
This half term we have started our Commando Joe's lessons, we were all very excited to hear about how we will have to plan missions, work as a team and then see if we can complete the missions together. This week we explored all of the different equipment that we have available- the box is enormous and seems to have a never ending amount of items available. We worked together to test the equipment, look closely at what we have and think about what our missions might look like in the coming weeks. 
This week we have thought about Bonfire night, why we celebrate it, how we can stay safe and how it might be a bit different this year. The children really enjoyed using the small world figures to think about the safety aspects of having a bonfire. They were brilliant at knowing they needed to stand back and ensure that the adults were the ones who were able to light the fireworks. We completed some lovely pictures of fireworks and they are now displayed in our classroom. Everyone is looking forward to hopefully seeing some in the sky even if we can't attend our normal displays this year. Whatever you choose to do remember to stay safe! 
This week's story focus is dig, dig, digging by Margaret Mayo. A great book to look at different types of transport which links well with our current topic. 
Linking with our topic of transport we were able to have a look at a real car engine, we checked the oil, filled up the water and discussed what all of the different parts were for. We then tried the horn and discovered it was very loud! 
We have been working on those tricky digraphs this week, being able to recognise them on their own and in words. A great hunt took place in Reception! 
We have started our new story, it is We're going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen. The children have really enjoyed the story and knew it very well already. We have so far had a Carol hunt and a power ranger hunt. This has led to us having to think about the different settings, characters and what we might come across on our journey. 
There has been some magnificent independent letter and writing work taking place this week. The children have been making books, writing lists and even testing each other with the sounds we know so far. This is fantastic to see in Reception! 
Commando Joe's this week saw us have to continue our team work. We had to do lots of listening to our partner to safely cross the obstacle course, we also had to do lots of watching as some parts required no talking just movement! 
We have focused on art work by Kandinsky, we looked at the colours and shapes used and tried our best to recreate it using similar techniques. 
Christmas has without a doubt arrived in Reception! The children have had a great time working as a team to decorate the classroom and we have even been lucky enough to receive a letter from Santa himself! 
This week our story focus has been on the Christmas story we have looked at the traditional version but have also enjoyed reading lots of alternative versions too. We have also engaged with a range of different Christmas books. 
A big problem occurred on Monday when we were packing away the 'We're going on a bear hunt' story, the mud Miss Cantwell had made was missing. The children quickly got to work making posters, writing and drawing in the hope it would appear. Then one child decided to make some new mud to be used, what a great problem solver! Here are some of the posters we created. 
A lot of craft activities have taken place in Reception this week, the children are very excited to take their pack home to share with their family. 
What a great time we have all had for our Christmas party. There was dancing, party games of pass the parcel, musical statues, musical chairs and a special video from the elves! We received a  special letter telling us to look at the board at 2 o'clock and as if by magic a video appeared. It told us all about the elf visiting our school and seeing how hard we have worked and it even checked who was on the nice or naughty list. Luckily we were all on the nice list. We then had to go on a hunt to find the presents that were left behind! What a great time we had! We finished off with some party food our home grown ups had provided for us followed by some more dancing! What a fantastic party! 
What a lot of Christmas crafts have been made this year in Reception! Thanks to a special delivery from Rudolph we had more than we had originally anticipated. Merry Christmas everyone and all the best for 2021! 
The story focus this week has been Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Everyone had a good knowledge of the story already but we have worked to ensure we are even more familiar with the story. 
Commando Joe's was all about listening and following instructions this week, here we are trying our best! 
We had the best day ever on Thursday, there was so much snow at school and we played out in it for a long time. We made snowmen, enjoyed some sledging and even had a big snow ball fight! 
This weeks story focus is The Three Billy Goats Gruff, a great opportunity to use our story stones made by our very own Mrs Hewitt! 
We have been thinking about symmetry and how we can remember this as being 'the same on both sides'. We made our own butterflies by painting one half of the butterfly, folding the paper over the top and then opening to reveal a symmetrical butterfly! 
Commando Joe's was magnificent this week! We made our very own jungle! 
This week we have focused on the story of the Little Red Hen. We have practiced re-telling the story, read different versions of the story and also made our very own bread. Luckily we had lots of willing helpers unlike in our story. 
This week's story focus has been Jack and the Beanstalk. On Monday a beanstalk appeared in our classroom, we have spent much of the week wondering where it might have came from. The children then discovered in the reading area some magic beans had been left for us to plant! We have been brilliant at creating our own giants and then labelling them. 
Another snowy day at Belsay happened this week! Everyone had a great time, we even worked on some PE skills throwing and catching snow balls. It was magnificent! We have then watched all week as the field becomes more and more filled with rain water!
This week's story focus has been the Enormous Turnip, we have thought about times when we have needed help and times when we have helped each other. We also made a magnificent list of the characters in the story! 
We had a great time making our own crumble. There was enough for everyone to take some home to enjoy a delicious treat! 
This week's story focus has been the Ugly Duckling, while the story often begins on a negative, it ends with a positive. It also links very well with our Dansi work 'We are all the same, we are all different, we are all unique!' 
This week we focused on many different skills in PE, we thought about throwing balls at a target to work on our coordination. We also then thought about our movement to get safely back to our team without being caught out! 
In forest school this week we have thought about identifying shapes in the environment, we also created some of our own using the natural materials from the wildlife area. 
The children arrived back from delivering the register with a special surprise. A box had been delivered with the message 'For Reception class' on it! We played a game of guess what is in the box and then guess what is in the bag. No one was able to guess that 3 Billy Goats and a Troll were hiding inside the bag. The children had a great time testing the hammers too.
Today we completed our reading on the IPAD having access to the online Read Write Inc books makes this possible. We hope you are enjoying reading them at home too! 
A lot of different ways of building have been attempted this week in Reception! I am sure you will agree they look magnificent! 
We had a great time for science day, we were lucky enough to be able to go in the invention shed to experiment with different materials. The children really enjoyed making some new creations! Then in the afternoon we completed two different science experiments, the first was to make a flitter jar to investigate what happens when you add different objects such as glitter and what happens when you look at it closely through a torch. We have also created our own ice gardens to allow us to see the change from a liquid to a solid. The children are very much looking forward to seeing if they are successful.
A few quotes from today:
"It made a reflection,"
"Will it be frozen?"
"Is it cold enough to freeze it?"
"This has been the best day ever,"
What a range of magnificent characters we had in Reception today and everyone remembered to bring their book in too! 
The children have had a lot of space missions to complete this week using our very own rocket ship. Some children have been to mars while others have been to the moon. We have also sent our class name virtually to mars it will arrive in 2026. 
This weeks Commando Joe's mission involved working as a team to create an obstacle course that all members of the team could cross together without leaving anyone behind. They then had to rescue their animal and bring it back safely without letting go of each other! Some great team work and perseverance was shown by the children. 
What a great time everyone has had in their red clothing to support a fantastic cause! 
Reception have been very busy with their writing this week, the children have been very independent with this. 
We have finished our story of the Gingerbread Man by decorating our very own Gingerbread man luckily it didn't come to life otherwise that would have been chaos in Reception! 
After the most magnificent egg hunt with two types of eggs to collect, we decided to use the eggs to make our own Easter nests. Everyone was brilliant at helping to mix the chocolate to get it to melt, scoop the chocolate covered Rice Krispies to make the nest and remember to put their special chick on the top. Have a lovely Easter half term! 
Our current story focus is The Ugly Five by Julia Donaldson, this half term our topic is 'The World' this book fits perfectly! We have really enjoyed reading this book and the children have been brilliant at joining in with the repeated refrains! 
This week we have made some beautiful sunset paintings, the children really worked hard on this over the two days and have really enjoyed seeing them on display in the classroom. Can you find which one is yours? 
We had a great time in Forest school starting our journey with tools. The children really impressed me with how safe they stayed throughout! It was hard work for some of us to keep going even when we were tired but everyone gave it their best go! 
What a great team we have in Reception, everyone worked very hard in their group to build a shelter. They had to be quick getting back to ensure the precious bag of goods were not stolen from them! 
The weather has been amazing all week allowing us to get outside and have a great time. In Forest school this week we focused a lot of our attention to the gardening area. We planted the potatoes that Mrs Etherington had prepared, moved the shelves, water the plants and flower beds, filled up the watering cans and then even topped up the bird feeders! Everyone had to work as a great team to get the job done! Well done Team Reception! 
We have had a fantastic dance lesson this week. We have worked hard on our movement! 
 
As part of our Science big question 'How clean are your hands?' we looked at how germs travel. We completed this experiment using glitter as the germs and baby oil to allow the glitter to have the desired effect. One child covered their hands in glitter and then shook the next child's hand and we did this until everyone had done this. We were able to see how quickly germs can spread in such a short amount of time. Everyone was very surprised. We then had two children wash their hands, one with hot water and soap, the other with just hot water. We were able to see that the child who had used hot water and soap had washed off most of the germs. We all agreed we will be using hot water and soap to wash our hands for at least 20 seconds! 
A very busy week in Reception this week, the children have been very creative with their play. 
Lots of the children have transformed in to teachers this week, there has been registers to take, numeracy to complete and castle points given out! I think we have a few future teachers in the making. 
Commando Joe's involved working as a full class team this week, the children had to think about what items they would like to use, write it down and then work together to make their den. It had to be big enough for everyone to fit in. Well done Team Reception! 
Continuing with our big question 'How clean are your hands?' we have completed another germ experiment this time using bread to see how it reacts. We have one untouched piece, one that has been touched by unwashed hands and one that has been touched by hands washed with soap and water. We have made our predictions and can not wait to see the end result! 
Lots of games of Handa's surprise bingo have taking place this week! Everyone has enjoyed playing it!