Welcome to Reception
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On behalf of the team, I would like to welcome you to Reception. We are so glad you have chosen to become part of the St. Mary’s family. I am the Early Years Lead which covers both Nursery and Reception. We have two Reception classes, one taught by Miss Wells and the other taught by myself. We also have wonderful teaching assistants (Mrs Brown, Mrs Brookes and Mrs Long). We have a team approach and although the children are in two classes, the classrooms and outdoor area are shared so all the adults work with all the children across both classes. Your child will continue to work within the Early Years Curriculum which is for children from Birth to 5. This year they will be working towards meeting the 17 Early Learning Goals.
It is vital that children are settled and feel safe and happy in school. Our initial aim is to ensure this is the case for your child. We have a strong ethos for children developing skills and independence through play and real-life experiences.
We want your child to learn to become independent as this leads into self-confidence and believing that they can achieve even if it takes effort. This independence in Reception involves self-care (e.g. toileting, washing hands, putting shoes/wellingtons on) but also responsibility (e.g. tidying away after they play with something, taking turns or sharing toys with others, trying hard even if they don’t succeed at first). As a team we are always rooting for your child and celebrate when they make progress and don’t give up.
Each day, children will have a Phonics (to help them with their reading and writing), Literacy, Maths and Let’s Read (which is a story time) lesson. On top of this children do Music, R.E., P.E. and Topic each week.
Your child will bring home a reading book each week. These begin with story books (for you to read to your child) and picture books with the focus being on handling the book, turning the pages and using story language. When they are ready, they will then progress onto Sound Blending books. These contain single words with sounds they are familiar with. Once ready they will move onto books with captions and sentences. They will also begin to receive ‘red words’ in their book bags. These need to be learnt to be read on sight as they cannot be decoded using phonics, e.g. “I”, “was”, “the”. Please write in your child’s reading diary every time you read with them and if you have any comments or concerns.
Reception is a really exciting year where children often move through lots of developmental stages of writing. We want to celebrate each stage and support your child to progress from emergent writing to writing in words and then sentences by the end of the year. We want your child to see themselves as a writer and so we give lots of praise for effort and progress. We show them the power of writing as they write for purposes, e.g. write letters (and get responses), make signs, write lists, make posters and a whole host of other real-life purposeful reasons to write. We also focus on the mechanics of writing. We ensure your child learns the correct pencil grip and accurate letter formation as this helps their fluency and stamina for writing as they go through school.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you are concerned about your child's learning or would like to know how to support your child at home more and help them to progress further. We do hold Parents' Pupil Progress Meetings three times a year (October, February, July) to invite you in to look at your child's work and discuss their learning and attitude to learning with their class teachers, but if you need to speak in between, please do not hesitate to get in touch via the school office. We also hold regular meetings to show parents how to support your child’s learning at home and the Tapestry app provides a constant line of contact for parents.
Mr A Young, Early Years Lead
Beech Class - Thursdays
Chestnut Class - Tuesdays
Children do NOT need to bring a P.E. kit whilst in Reception. However, hair must be tied back, suitable footwear worn and earrings MUST be removed.
Both classes have Music on Tuesday morning.
Reading, Reading, Reading!
The main thing we would like you to do set aside time for to do at home with your child is reading. Reading to your child daily and listening to them reading the books they bring home.
We also send out weekly Home Challenges through Tapestry on a Friday.
Bookbags, reading books and reading diaries should be brought to school every day.
Useful Websites to Support your Child's Learning
Remember, the best way to support your child with reading is to listen to them read and to read to them as often as possible. Below are links to some useful websites that can also support your child's learning. For further suggestions and support, please don't hesitate to speak to one of our team.
Phonics and reading
We use Read Write Inc to teach phonics. By clicking on the link below you'll find a series of videos explaining the basics of Read Write Inc. These videos will help you to support your child to continue their phonics learning at home.
Speaking and Listening
We also recommend you download the 'Talk Share Learn Leeds' App which will give you some practical tips for ways to develop your child's speaking and listening.
Please download the Tapestry app. Fill in the Tapestry agreement and give it to the staff in Reception and they will quickly get you set up with an account so that you can access your child's learning journey and contribute from home.