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

Foundation Stage Religious Education: Myself – Family

Our RE topic for the beginning of this term is:    Myself – Family 

Core Vocabulary:   myself, name, Christian, first name, family name, class name, precious, God, love, prayer

This topic fits nicely into our first few weeks in Reception or Nursery.  We will be learning to make friends and know everyone’s name through circle games and craft activities.  The children will also learn that we are all God’s children; God knows and loves each person by name.   

Isaiah 43 1:2

God says:

You are precious to me.
I love you.
I know your name.
I call you by your name.
You are my child.

Home Learning

Send a photo into school showing your child with their family. If the photo shows your child being cuddled, this would be great although not essential.  We will be talking about how children feel safe and snug when they are with their family and relating this to God’s love for us all.

Copies that do not need to be returned would be appreciated.  We plan to use the photos for a class displays. An electronic copy can be emailed to the School Office for printing at school if you prefer.

Photos are required by Thursday 24 September 2020.

Thank you for your support.

Mrs Palmer – Foundation Stage Leader

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

Reception celebrate together

Dear parents and Reception children,

On behalf of Mrs Sallis, Mrs O’Connor, Mrs Reid, Mrs Heffernan, Mrs Ruffell and myself, I would like to say a big thank you for the kind and generous gifts. We were overwhelmed by your generosity.

This week both Reception groups continued to protect their ‘bubbles’ but also enjoyed celebrating together.

On Tuesday, we watched the Year 6 End of Year Leavers’ Mass together.

Today, we held a joint ‘Sports Day’. The children competed against each other in relay teams. Races included running through hoops, pass the bean bag and a sack race. The children also enjoyed a well deserved lolly and enthusiastically participated several fun dance games.

May I take this opportunity to thank you all for your support throughout the year. It has been an honour and pleasure teaching your children. They have been a credit to you all and adapted so well to the recent changing circumstances.

Wishing all the children a continued happy and successful school life at St. Adrian’s.

Mrs Palmer

Reception Group 2 – Week 6

Hello everyone,

It’s hard to believe that we have just completed our last full week in Reception already! 

Letters and Sounds

This week in Letters and Sounds we have been consolidating spelling of tricky words and high frequency words.  We also revisited the following sounds:

oi, ear, air, ure, er   

Words you may wish to try at home:

 oi – oil, coin, join, boil, soil, foil, soil
ear – hear, year, fear, beard, spear, near
air – air, fair, hair, pair, lair, stairs, chair
ure – sure, pure, cure, manure, mature
er – fern, flower, dinner, summer, hammer, boxer, herb, winter

To help the children remember those trigraphs (3 letters/1 sound) we watched the antics of Geraldine the Giraffe (Mr Thorne Does Phonics).   Just Google ‘Geraldine the Giraffe’ followed by the sound you wish to find.  Below are the videos we watched in class this week.

Meet the Teacher

The children made an ‘All About Me’ wheel on a paper plate to share with Miss Perry, our Year 1 Class Teacher.  Each member of the class had the opportunity to chat with Miss Perry and tell her all about their family, favourite hobby, animal etc.

Miss Perry set the children a challenge for over the summer holidays. She asked them to create a portrait of themselves to bring into school on their first day into Year 1. This can be a painting, drawing or collage creation. The portrait will form the basis of their first topic ‘All About Me’.

The children have also been writing a book about themselves in Reception. The aim being to develop confident, independent sentence writing.  They wrote about likes/dislikes and described their features such as hair and eye colour.  We are aiming to finish the books next week to take home.  They are very proud of their books and looking forward to showing off their writing skills.


This week the children have been writing numerals 0 – 20 in sequence.  They used a number line to self-assess their numerals, looking out for reversals of numbers (eg. 3, 7, 9) and making corrections as necessary.

Religious Education

We have been talking about God’s wonderful world and thinking about we can take care of God’s world.  We read the creation story from the Bible and discussed the basic concept of ‘fair trade’ and sharing the world’s resources such as food and water.   We shared a plate of biscuits and the children immediately exclaimed “That’s not fair!” when Mrs Palmer had the most biscuits on her plate.

Below is a video you may wish to watch at home – God’s Creation according to Genesis.

Wishing you all a super weekend.

Nicola Palmer

Reception Group 1 – Week 6


This week we have looked at the phase 3 sounds ‘ear’, ‘ure’ and then revisited the other sounds from this half term through playing phonics bingo. Words include:

ear, hear, dear, year, fear, beard

manure, secure, cure, mature

Each day the children applied their phonics learning over the half term to a short writing task. It has been a real pleasure seeing how much they have all improved.


We have continued to explore 2-D and 3-D shapes with Polydron as well as becoming familiar with calculators, with children learning to check their answers when adding and subtracting two single-digit numbers. This also helps to reinforce the abstract symbols used for adding, subtracting and equals.

We have also been counting with one-to-one correspondence which is when the person counting touches each object and says the numeral name aloud. This is a far more complex skill than rote counting. Giving your child as much practice as you can counting one-to-one will really support them to develop this very important skill.

We also sang ‘Ten Green Bottles’. We began to think about how we would write what happens when we takeaway 1 from a set. We learnt the symbol we use to indicate that we are ‘taking-away’ and the symbol that tells us what that is the same as – or ‘equals’.

Modal making and speaking and listening

Children have been encouraged to plan what they want to make and think carefully about how they can improve each modal that they complete. Children were given the opportunity to explain their creations each day focusing on using past, present and future forms correctly, thinking about how they sequenced what they were saying (Today I … First … Then … Next … Finally) as well as trying to be as clear as possible using sensible language. The children listening were then given the chance to ask questions.

Meet the Teacher

On Tuesday, the children met with their teacher for next year, Miss Perry. They created an ‘all about me plate’ which they used to let Miss Perry know a little bit more about them.

Physical Development

Some boys got creative and used the largest Polydron pieces to create a Hop Scotch track. We also continued to complete a run outside to help keep our fitness levels up. We played a few rounds of musical statues and enjoyed creating our own climbing frame using the tyres in our outdoor area. Despite the rain and strong winds, we still managed to enjoy our snack outside each day in our make-shift gazebo.

Have a lovely weekend!

Reception Group 2 – Week 5

Hello everyone,

Once again, an enjoyable week in Reception 2.


Double the Number

This week we have been looking at doubling.  We used multi-link cubes, Numicon and our fingers to visualise numbers doubled.  We also played a ‘Double the Number’ game.  Below is variation of the game which you can try at home.

You will need:

  • Dice.
  • Counters – two different colours eg. 10 red and 10 yellow. If you do not have counters at home, use two different coloured pens.  The idea is that each player will be marking off their numbers with the same colour counter or pen.
  • Draw a simple number grid – an example is shown below.

What to do:

  • Each player chooses one colour counter/pen.
  • Take it in turns to roll a dice – double the number – put your counter on the number.
  • If the number has already been covered you miss a go.
  • The winner is the player with the most counters (or marked off numbers with a pen) on the board.


Create two grids with different numbers on each grid.  Each player has a different grid.  Play a ‘bingo’ version of the game.

Further challenge

  • What numbers do we have left? 
  • What number do you need to roll on the dice to mark off that number?


If your child needs a little support, use objects to show your child what the numbers look like when doubled.

Board games

Board games, such as Snakes and Ladders, support your child’s mathematical understanding enormously.  Once your child is confidently playing a board game, introduce two dice to develop doubling numbers.

Letters and Sounds

This week we have been revisiting the following digraphs (two letters/one sound).

ar – car, bark, hard, shark, park, market
or – for, fork, sort, born, cork, cornet, storm
ur – fur, burn, hurt, surf, turn, burp
ow – cow, now, down, how, town

We have also been writing sentences to include tricky words and some of the sounds revisited so far.

The teeth of sharks are sharp.
Come and see the storm.
The cat has a fur coat.
I like to go to the town.

To encourage independent writing we made books together.  We used card, hole punch and split pins to create the outside cover.  The children provided me with their ideas, I made the front cover and they began writing their own simple stories.  A challenging time for Mrs Palmer drawing and creating alien, horse, dog, castle and rocket front covers.


Invisible Ink

The children are still really interested in science experiments.  This week, our story time inspired a discussion regarding the concept of visible and invisible.  We decided to make invisible ink.  Here is a short video of the experiment we tried at school:

Physical Development

Obstacle Course

The children collaborated together to create an obstacle course.  Throughout the process, I observed excellent team work with the children listening to ideas and agreeing how the course can be used.  In particular, I was impressed by the discussions and adaptations to ensure the course was safe and not wobbly.

Expressive Arts and Design

Stick puppet story art

It is always wonderful to see the children motivate and teach each other.  One member of the class created a story show.  The process involved drawing a background scene, sticking a strip of paper across the scene and creating cut out characters on lolly sticks.  The characters moved along the strip of paper acting out a story within the scene.  The children were excited to learn a new skill from their friend.

Mrs Palmer

Reception Group 1 – week 5


It has been amazing to see how much progress the children have been making in phonics – both reading and spelling words with the sounds we have been learning. The link below has some great resources to help children practice reading and spelling further.


This week we have spent 15 minutes each morning reinforcing phonics work through writing simple sentences following some brief taught input. We watched a video read by Oliver Jeffers about a boy who threw things at a problem only for them to get stuck. We thought about what we might throw up a tree and made a lovely display for our classroom with our ideas.

Another day, we realised that we weren’t too sure about what the word ‘future’ meant, so we talked about some of the jobs we might want to do in the when we are older in the ‘future’ and made a class book with beautiful illustrations and simple sentences about what we had decided on. We enjoyed reading it together as a class at the end of the day

Yesterday, we watched a video about our solar system from ‘Storybots’ (I’ve learnt so much from this programme!) and then chose our favourite planet and wrote one interesting fact about it.

Today we watched an animated film called ‘Something Fishy’ and wrote a sentence about what we saw.

The children are getting very good at counting the sounds in words and choosing from the ‘special friends’ (phonemes, digraphs and trigraphs) they have learnt this year.


We have been busy in maths this week too. We have continued to run a snack shop each day where children have to identify the correct coin in order to take their snack and explored these coins through a busy fingers activity too. Children also made and described shapes with lolly sticks as well as 3D shapes using polydron, created their own patters using peg boards and made (some quite creative) patterns with numicon. Some children enjoyed a game of Snakes and Ladders in our outdoor area too.

Physical Development

We also continued to get lots of exercise including running with Mrs O’Conner, regular ‘brain breaks’ through the ‘Penguins Attention’ song and an increasingly challenging obstacle course to develop our balancing and coordination. PE sessions with Ms Bowen, including learning how to travel in different ways and working with a partner to pass a quoit for a relay race. We’re certainly ready for our lunch each day!

We’ve got lots to look forward to next week too – including the children meeting their new teacher for next year – I can say confidently that she’s a very lucky teacher because I for one have been having fantastic time with this hardworking, creative and lovely group of children.

Mr Sallis

Reception Group 2 – Week 4

Another busy week at school with the children eagerly embracing all opportunities to learn.


We read the story of Zog by Julia Donaldson and explored mathematical ideas based on the dragon flying lesson.   For example:  The dragons are practising their flying.  First there were 7 dragons, 2 flew away, how many left?  This progressed to the children making up their own subtraction problems.

During our busy finger sessions, the children also began looking at number bonds to 10.  They used tweezers to pick up pompoms and placed them into the holes of Numicon pieces.   We are planning to continue to investigate number bonds next week.  At home, parents can challenge their child to separate objects into pairs of numbers that, when added together, give the number 10.  Perhaps use 10 favourite toys or 10 pieces of fruit. 

We also played the ‘Compare the Number’ game suggested in my blog on Monday.  I was impressed at how well the children listened to each other’s ideas.

Letters and Sounds

This week we revisited the following sounds: 

ee – see, feet, meet, deep, week
igh – tight, light, fight, might, high, right, tonight
oa – coat, goat, soap, road, boatman
oo (short) – look, good, foot, cook
oo (long) – zoom, moon, food

All these sounds can be found in children’s Letters and Sounds books.  Watch the following short video to hear how each sound is pronounced.

Now that the children are familiar with the sound of each letter, we are also learning the letter names.  One way of explaining this to children is that a dog makes the sound ‘woof’ but its name is ‘dog’.   We played ‘Alphabet Bingo’ in our Letters and Sounds lesson and the children enjoyed playing the game independently during learning through play.

We are scientists!

As you are probably aware, Reception 2 are particularly fascinated by colour mixing and enjoy experimenting with different materials in the water tray.  It was lovely to hear the children declaring that they were ‘scientists’ and we decided to create our own science experiment. 

The children were very keen for me to share this experiment with you at home.  I have a feeling they would like to try it again!

You will need:

Milk (whole or 2%)
Dinner plate
Food colouring (red, yellow, green, blue)
Washing up liquid
Cotton buds

What to do:

Pour enough milk in the dinner plate to completely cover the bottom to the depth of about 1/4″. Allow the milk to settle.

Add one drop of each of the four colours of food colouring — red, yellow, blue, and green — to the milk. Keep the drops close together in the centre of the plate of milk.

Use a clean cotton bud for the next part of the experiment. Encourage your child to predict what will happen when you touch the tip of the cotton swab to the centre of the milk. It’s important not to stir the mix. Just touch it with the tip of the cotton swab.

Now place a drop of liquid dish soap on the other end of the cotton bud. Place the soapy end of the cotton bud back in the middle of the milk and hold it there for 10 to 15 seconds. Look at that burst of colour!  It’s like fireworks night!

Add another drop of soap to the tip of the cotton swab and try it again. Experiment with placing the cotton bud at different places in the milk. Notice that the colours in the milk continue to move even when the cotton bud is removed.

Story Telling

The children have been adapting the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff this week.  Each day we retold the story with different characters.  Ideas suggested were unicorns, dinosaurs, knights, kings and princesses. 

My favourite suggestion was The Three Trolls who stamped and stomped across the bridge instead of trip, trap.  Guess who popped up from under the bridge shouting ‘Who goes stamp, stomping over my bridge’?  Yes, it was The Big Billy Goat Gruff!

Handwashing Station

Finally, I thought I would share this picture of a super ‘handwashing station’ created by the children using the building blocks.  We did, of course, ensure that the children understood we must use clean, fresh water when washing our hands for real.  However, I thought it was a lovely example of how the children have embraced the way the world has changed in recent months.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Mrs Palmer