The newest children at school have had a terrific start to their school journey at Boughton Monchelsea Primary School. This term we have loved getting to know each other and making many new friendships. There is a lot to remember in these early days but Reception class are doing so well to keep it all in, with the help of their year 6 buddies too.
This term, we found that the children adore role play and stories. By following their interests we immersed ourselves in a world of witches and wizards, pumpkins and shows performed on stage! The class amazed us with their creative ideas and we explored so many things – conker rolling, colour mixing, musical instruments, songs, obstacle courses, listening to magical words, making magical sounds, designing potions, building broomsticks – the list could continue! The children have also been working really hard whilst working with number and developing good listening skills to support their communication and language skills.
To finish our first term in school, the children baked some delicious pumpkin scones to share with someone special from our families. We were so lucky to enjoy a performance of a pumpkin song and eat our goodies altogether. The children received a certificate to congratulate them on their fantastic hard work this term before they had a well earned rest over half term!
This term has been a very exciting one for Reception class as were eagerly awaiting the arrival of Christmas! There were so many things to be proud of this term but we were amazed at the children’s performances in both nativity shows. They learnt all the songs and actions really well and it led to some fantastic child initiated sessions in class – particularly use of our stage! It has been a joy to watch the children’s confidence grow as they continue to settle into school life.
To start the term we had a visit from the lovely children’s author, Nichola Parkhouse. She led a great storytelling session which supported the children in using props for storytelling, drawing and using story maps and building upon their story comprehension; Why did he decide to do that? What should he do next? What would you do in that situation? There has been lots of opportunity for role play and retelling stories via these methods. The class has also explored making their own props showing us fantastic skills in their junk modelling design.
In December, we had a cheeky little elf visit our classroom who got up to mischief each day – what a funny start to each day! Many children sent him pictures and have started to label their drawings. Our role play area was transformed into a wrapping station for elves and we thought about language related to size, prediction and measuring which was a perfect way to hone these skills. Fine motor skills have also developed rapidly thanks to these opportunities.
We put a life size post box in the classroom to give children real meaning to the children’s early writing. It has been wonderful to see their confidence grow and begin to use their phonic skills to address and write Christmas cards independently.
We look forward to building on these skills next term and continue to follow the class’ wonderful ideas for our topic.
For this term we followed the children’s interest in stars from Christmas time to see where it lead us! We called this term, ‘Second star on the right’ and had some amazing learning opportunities suggested.
After a failed attempt at star gazing together to start the topic, we had a pretend session in the classroom using glow in the dark stars and torches! Following this activity, the children showed most interest in anything space related. They loved learning about our solar system and explored the library to collect as many facts as possible, which was a lovely way to introduce non-fiction texts and teach how they are used. At the end of term the children sang a song we had learnt about space and shared their learning about space with their buddies.
We looked at several stories including The Way Back Home and How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers. There were some fantastic ideas for how we could catch a star of our own! The children’s phonic skills continue to grow enabling some children to annotate their designs and write simple plans. There was also strong interest in nocturnal animals which we explored. We found which tracks these animals might leave and learnt how they spend their days and nights! Some children tried to make some hedgehog homes in our outdoor classroom – and even a trap for the Big Bad Wolf (from term two’s topic based learning!)
There was plenty of wonderful storytelling going on using puppets – both manmade and Reception made! After looking into light and dark, the class created their own shadow puppets. The idea of light and dark continued throughout the term. Whilst studying these scientific ideas, there were fantastic examples of the children’s own investigation skills. We observed some wonderful questioning skills and the ability to answer their own questions with simple experiments and using non-fiction books.
Channelling these aptitudes, we began to start ‘Prove-it’ maths sessions. We offered the class lots of statements within Maths sessions and then gave them time to choose their own manipulatives to check whether we were correct. We saw that many children’s reasoning skills have developed during this term.
Phew! We are all ready for half term! What a fantastic term of learning, well done Reception class.