Reception – Reading

Dear parents,

I have your collected your child’s reading book and reading record and will return them tomorrow.  Your child will have in their book bag their high frequency word bag and letters and sounds book. Please use these for tonight’s home reading activities.

Here are some ideas you may like to try:

High frequency word stamp

You will need:

Word bag and something to splat the words eg. wooden spoon or your child can just use their feet.

What to do:

Spread out the words from your child’s word bag on the floor.

Call out the words.

Ask your child has to stamp on the word, or hit the word with the wooden spoon.

Swap places with your child and ask your child to call out the words.


You will need:

Word bag and a timer.

What to do:

Explain to your child that the object of this game is to read as many words as possible before the timer signals ‘stop’.  I suggest perhaps 1 or 2 minutes.

Repeat the game, the objective is for your child to beat their last score.

If you feel your child needs an extra challenge, ask your child to write as many words as they can before the timer signals ‘stop’.

I hope your child enjoys playing the games.  I would love to see your child’s learning on Tapestry.  The children always enjoy sharing their home learning with the class.

Mrs Palmer

Reception – RE/Letters and Sounds

On Monday Mrs O’Connor brought into school Deacon Paul’s vestments to show us, including the different coloured stoles that are worn at different times of the church year. We especially liked the white stole that is worn at the celebration of baptism. We guessed that the pink one is worn for Mary’s feast days. We also saw the alb and the dalmatic garments. She told us that the stole represents the towel that Jesus puts over this shoulder at the Last Supper when he washed and dried his disciples’ feet.

We also held our very own baptism in our class church. We all said “I baptise you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”. We followed this with a class celebration which included singing songs. Perhaps the highlight of the afternoon was the delicious cake at the end.

Letters and Sounds

As promised in the children’s Letters and Sounds books, below is one of the games we play at school. You may like to have a go at home.

What’s the sound Mr Wolf?

You will need:

  1. Your child’s word bag.
  2. Lots of space – outside is best.

What to do:

Take out tricky words (star shapes) from the word bag. 

You will only need the other high frequency words for the game (words that can be sounded out)

  1. Stand your child several large paces away from ‘The Wolf’ (parent).
  2. Pull from the word bag a word, say the word and ask your child to sound it out.
  3. Your child will then say the sounds loudly as they take strides forward.
  4. Make sure your child takes just one stride per sound.
  5. Choose another word and repeat.
  6. Once your child is close enough to The Wolf, turn round and shout ‘dinner time!’
  7. The wolf chases your child who runs back ‘home’ and start again.  Agree where ‘home’ will be prior to beginning the game.

I normally stand with my back to the children and turn round each time I say a word.

You can also swap places with your child who becomes the wolf and reads the words out to you.

For support

  1. Check the sounds with your child by clapping them first as you say them together.
  2. Show your child how to take one step per sound for each word before he or she begins taking their paces.

Wishing you all a great weekend.

Nicola Palmer

Reception – Playing maths games

I thought it may be useful to share some games that you could play with your child whilst at home in this lockdown period.

Our current maths focus is subitising – up to the number 6.  Subitising is seeing how many are there without counting. This help develops calculation strategies when your child is older.

Many games encourage subitising so at home teaching your child to play games will support subitising. Dominoes, snap, rolling multiple dice to show the same value, are all good games to support subitising. 

Traditional board games, such as Snakes and ladders, Ludo etc. are great for counting and encourage children to rehearse the order of the numbers and match each number to an action. 

You may wish to try the following game at home :


Once your child has identified two dice that are the same value.  Put those dice to one side, roll the remaining dice and keep repeating until you have all the dice the same value.

To extend your child’s learning begin to identify ‘same’, ‘more’ or ‘less’ when subitising. 

Here is another activity you could try at home.

It would be great to see any games played at home on your child’s learning journal – Tapestry.  The children always enjoy sharing their home activities with their friends.

Wishing you a safe, wonderful weekend

Nicola Palmer

Foundation Stage Religious Education: Baptism/Confirmation – Belonging

Reception children have begun learning about Baptism/Confirmation – belonging and will continue their learning on this topic after half term.  Nursery will also begin to explore Baptism after half term. 

Core Vocabulary:  Welcome, Baptism, baptise, water, candle, In the name of ……

Additional vocabulary in Reception:  priest, white garment, godparents, font

Baptism makes us members of the Body of Christ.  For Foundation Stage children, this means being welcomed into the Church Family.

Children will explore what it means to be ‘welcomed’ and draw on their own experiences.  For example, how do we welcome each other when we arrive at school?  They will also be talking about how we welcome a new baby into God’s family through Baptism.  Activities will involve arts and crafts eg. making welcome cards, welcome poster.  The children will also role play and learn a simple sequence of the Baptismal rite alongside how the priest helps us when we celebrate.  There will be a focus on the words “I baptise you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy-Spirit.’

Home Learning:

Look at photos or other reminders of your child’s own or other family members’ baptisms.  Please send into school with your child a reminder for your child to share in class.  This could be a photo, memory book, candle or item of clothing.

Thank you once again for your continued support.

Mrs Palmer and Mrs Solakova

Reception – Home Learning

This week the children brought home a learning pack developed by Herts for Learning.

The packs include fun activities and ideas for parents/carers to enjoy with their child.  The activity ideas, alongside the time you spend with your child, will help develop many skills your child needs to prepare them for the next step in their education.

Today, with much excitement, the children received a library sticker specially created to link in with the Time to Read book,  The Runaway Pea, which your child brought home a couple of weeks ago.   You will find a leaflet inside your child’s book bag promoting the benefits of using the library.  All Hertfordshire libraries, except the smaller community libraries, are now open. 

Below is a short video produced by Hertfordshire Library Service providing tips on how you can help your child develop a love of reading.

Now that the children have settled into Reception, I plan to hold a ‘curriculum information’ session after half term to provide you with more information on what you child will be learning over this next academic year.  This session will be via Zoom – more details to follow.

Many thanks for supporting your children and helping them to settle into Reception. 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Nicola Palmer

Reception – Learning to read and write

Letters and Sounds

Today I collected your child’s Letters and Sounds book.  I will collect the books every Thursday and return them on Friday with our new Letters and Sounds learning and sounds added.

I hope you are finding the books useful at home.   This week we have started using magnetic letters to begin to read and spell simple words eg. as, it, is, an, at, map, pat, tap, tip, pip, sat, sit.  All words that use the sounds we have learnt so far.  Thank you for all your support helping your child learn to read at home, I was so impressed at the children’s progress.

For those children who may already be aware of our new sounds, please concentrate on learning to form the letter using the school cursive script.  We call it our ‘whoosh’ writing.  Details are in the Letters and Sounds book. This will really support your child’s future writing skills. 

If your child is not quite ready to hold a pen and write yet, concentrate on lots of hand/ finger skills to develop the small muscles in your child’s hands and fingers.  For example, cooking, gardening, getting dressed/undressed (especially buttons) or doing up their coat zip.

This week I introduced a game on a website called Phonics Play

The Phonics Play website has some fantastic phonics games.   Whilst there is a subscription charge, this is currently being halved and some games are free. Reception children are currently working on Phase 2 so just click on the Phase 2 games.

Precautionary note:   Remember e-safety supervision. St. Adrian’s  website includes a useful e-safety advice  link.

Here is another game we have played in class today.  You may wish to have a go at home.

Which One?

Lay out a selection of familiar objects with names that contain three sounds (e.g. bus, pig, pen, cup, dog).

Check your child can recognise each object.

Ask your child to listen carefully while you sound talk the name of one of the objects, leaving a short gap between each sound eg. b-u-s

Help your child to put the sounds together and say the word and identify the object.

Once your child can confidently listen to your ‘sound talking’ and blend the sounds together, perhaps your child may like to have a go at ‘sound talking’ each object.  This will help your child learn to spell words using their knowledge of phonics.

I am currently organising my routine to set a weekly ‘changing reading books’ day.  Next week I will change the reading books and words strips on Monday.  Books and other reading materials will then be changed on Tuesdays.   Please do let me know if you feel your child needs new books at any other time.   However, ensure you read each book with your child at least three times before requesting a new book This will help build confidence, fluency and comprehension. Spend 10 minutes each day if possible, frequent and short is best. 

Thank you again for all your support.

Nicola Palmer

Reception – We are enthusiastic learners

Some of the children were fascinated by insects we discovered in the garden. This generated many enquiries about all the different types of bugs, what they eat, where they live etc. The children played with our ‘big bug’ set and we used a bug chart to find out the name of each bug. This was a good opportunity for the children to make comparisons and look at differences and similarities.

We have been exploring many messy play opportunities such as ‘gloop’ (cornflour, water and food colouring). This inspired the children’s inquisitive minds and they decided to add bubbly water and recreate a volcano. Watch this space for more scientific experiments!

Our creativity table has been very popular and the children have been learning many basic techniques such as joining, sticking and decorating. We have been encouraging the children to plan with a purpose in mind. Treasure boxes being a popular choice this week.

Today the children experienced a fun rainy day. We used powder paints and washing up liquid in the puddles to mix bubbly colours. A good opportunity to develop the children’s fine motor skills (small muscles in hands and fingers). Not to mention the finger skills required when changing into dry clothes.

May I take this opportunity to remind parents to send in a pair of named wellington boots that we can keep at school.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Nicola Palmer

Reception – Maths Challenge

The class are settling in really well with everyone arriving at school happy and ready to start the day. This week we have concentrated on securing our daily routine including our handwashing, prayers, register, group circle time, singing, stories and lots of learning through play. Not forgetting snack and lunch time!

We particularly concentrated on making friends and learning everyone’s names during our group time.

Maths Challenge

Below is a maths challenge for the weekend. This will give the children an opportunity to bring something in from home:

• Find a small plastic container (a container small enough to fit inside your child’s book bag).
• Talk to your child about the sorts of things which will fit in the container.
• Make a collection of tiny things together and see how many will fit inside the container – 1, 2, 3 or more?
• Talk about things that are the same about the objects – for example, they are all small.
• Talk about the things that are different – the colour, what they are used for, are they soft or hard?
• Bring the container and some of the items that fit inside it to school so we can all share and talk about them.

Make sure your child’s name is on the container.

I shall look forward to some interesting conversations next week! Enjoy your weekend.

Nicola Palmer

Reception – looking forward to our first day

Hello Reception parents and children,

I hope you are all well and looking forward to your child’s first day at school.

I have posted two new videos on the Memo section of Tapestry. A hello from Mrs O’Connor and Mrs Reid and also a video tour of the classroom and outside area. I hope both these videos will help your child prepare for their first day.

You may also wish to watch this hand washing video with your child. We will be learning the song at school.

Rub the palms, one two
Rub the knuckles, one, two
Rub the insides of the fingers
And the back of them too
Rub the thumbs one, two
And the nails one, two
Now it’s time to rinse them
Happy clean hands for you

I am conscious that some children may find separating from their parents a little challenging.  If your child is at all anxious, please prepare your child as much as possible with lots of positive encouragement.  Reassure your child that we will have fun playing together and making friends.  When you say good bye to your child, a little tip would be to wave briefly and say “See you soon”.

Best wishes
Mrs Palmer

Reception – Hello from Mrs Palmer

I am very much looking forward to meeting all my new Reception class children and getting to know their families. I’m also very excited and have been busy at school making sure the classroom is ready.

Many thanks to those parents who activated their child’s Tapestry on-line learning journey and completed the ‘All about Me’ section . I enjoyed reading about all the fun activities the children enjoy at home and also finding out what is important to you and your child. If you haven’t already activated your account, it would be great if you could find the time to do this in the near future. I often send information and messages to parents through Tapestry. Please do not hesitate to email the School Office if you are encountering any difficulties. Emails are checked periodically and queries can be forwarded to me. I am also happy to re-send a Tapestry activation email if you wish.

School Office email:

I’ve created a short video for you all to help you get to know me a little better.

I hope you enjoy the video and the story of the The Colour Monster. I will be in touch again with more videos next week.

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend.

Nicola Palmer