Reception – Superhero Learning

I really enjoyed the Mercy Mass picnic this afternoon. The children were so excited this morning and thoroughly embraced being part of the school community. It was fantastic to see that so many of you were able to join us.

This week in Reception we’ve been focusing on learning behaviours and developing the language of ‘how I am learning’.  The three main characteristics of learning taught in early years are:

  • Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things and “have a go”.
  • Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy their achievements.
  • Creativity and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas and make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

Our learning super heroes help us talk about how we are learning:

Encouraging and praising your child at home will really support their attitude to learning in the future. Comments such as ‘I like the way you had a go’, ‘Fantastic to see you keep on trying’, ‘That’s a great idea, let’s see if your plan works’. An opportunity for a magic moment or Tapestry entry!

You may also be interested in this lovely book we have been reading in class “It’s ok to make mistakes” by Todd Parr.

Todd Parr embraces life’s happy accidents and has a passion for making readers feel good about themselves, encouraging them to try new things, experiment, and dare to explore new paths.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and looking forward to welcoming the children back to school on Monday.

Nicola Palmer

Reception – our first week

This week we have concentrated on learning how to use our classroom environment and the class routine.

Whilst many of you have met Mrs Reid and myself, I would like to introduce two other members of staff who also work with your children in the class.

Miss Cox supports the children full time from Monday to Friday.

On Fridays, Mrs Reid supports our Nursery class. Therefore, Mrs McConnell works with your children on Friday.

I have been so impressed by the children and how well they are settling into Reception. They have been very busy exploring all our resources and getting to know each other.

I have really enjoyed my first week getting to know your children and look forward to meeting with you all on Thursday morning, 16 September at 9.00 am.

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend

Nicola Palmer

Foundation Stage Religious Education: Myself – Family

Our new RE topic for the beginning of this term is:    Myself – Family.   This topic will be explored over the next four weeks.

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

The 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.

Psalm 131

I trust you God. Just like a baby, safe and snug,
being carried in a mum’s arms. So I can rest in your love.
So gently held. So lovingly held.
So good to be in your care.
I will rest in your love for me.

Home Learning

Please send your child into school with a family photo.  A photo which shows your child being cuddled 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 23 September 2021.

Relationships and Health Education (RHE)

At St. Adrian’s, RHE education links closely with our religious teaching. At the beginning of the Autumn term,  the children will learn that we are created and loved by God.  The aim of the teaching is to help children develop an understanding of the importance of valuing themselves as the basis for personal relationships.  They will learn about how God created the world and people, including our bodies, and aims to celebrate differences as well as individual gifts, talents and abilities.

Mrs Palmer and Mrs Solakova

Reception – Getting Ready

Hello Reception children and parents,

We hope you had a fantastic summer and are looking forward to joining Reception soon.

As promised, please see the link below for a video of our classroom.

Our first few days we be all about playing together and getting to know the classroom.

Mrs Palmer

Reception Sports Day

Reception had a brilliant time participating in the school’s sports day on the field.  They ran relay races and a bean bag shopping game.  

Well done, Reception for learning how to run along a racing track and work as a team.  We had to take the photos quickly, you were so fast!

A well-deserved lolly was gratefully received to cool down and take a breath!  Thank you to the PTA for supplying the lollies.

Many thanks to parents for sending the children into school looking so smart and ready for action in their PE kits.

Mrs Palmer

Reception – maths and being responsible


Reception have been learning to understand the numbers eleven to twenty and what they mean. This is an introduction to place value and a little different to being able to recite the numbers names to twenty in order and count sets of up to twenty objects.  It also builds on our learning so far which has focused on numbers up to 10 and regrouping single digits in different ways. 

The children were introduced to the mathematical vocabulary of ‘ten and some more’.  For example, 12 is 10 and 2 more etc.  Activities have included using tens frames, threading 10 and some more onto beads and playing number line games.

How can you help at home

Ask your child to show all of their fingers. Clarify that there are ten. Next to your child’s hands, show more fingers.  The picture below illustrates 11 – 10 and 1 more. 

Look at numbers together and spot the patterns.  Spend some time talking about number names and saying them aloud, listening carefully to how they are pronounced. There is no expectation that the children can read all the number names but they can look for similarities and differences between the words. 

Play ‘finding one more/one less’.  This is a number line game I suggested during lockdown.  Here’s a reminder.

Play track games, such as snakes and ladders, where a player moves along a track with a counter. When your child’s counter is within the teen decade, talk to them about the next number, identify what number they would be on if they had to go back one space or what number would be needed to reach a goal eg. go up the ladder.

Any Tapestry photos that you can add to your child’s learning journal would be a great opportunity for your child to feel super proud of themselves when they show their friends at school.

Relationships and Health Education

The children have been learning that they belong to various communities, such as home, school, God’s family, swimming clubs, the wider local area and the global community.  

We talked about the fact that sometimes we go out of our way to be loving and kind to others, that’s great and is how God wants us to behave!  However, we also have ‘responsibilities’ which are special jobs or expected ways we should behave in different places.   It’s all about thinking of and respecting the other people who share spaces with us.

The children offered suggestions about how they can be helpful when at home or out and about.  For example, taking shoes off when visiting someone’s house, saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, tidying up toys, washing up, helping to cook, not dropping litter, not picking wildflowers. 

Photo request!

I have encouraged the children to ask parents to send me a photo of them helping out around the house or looking after God’s world.   I would love to see some Tapestry photos of your child being responsible so I can celebrate this with their friends at school.

As always, many thanks for your support. Have a great weekend everyone!

Nicola Palmer

Reception – Happy Birthday to the Church

Reception children took part in a Pentecost party on Thursday.  Many thanks for all the vibrant outfits. Pentecost marks the end of the Easter season.   This feast, sometimes referred to as the birthday of the Church, will be celebrated this Sunday.

The children learnt that at Pentecost Christians come together to share their happiness and joy because Jesus had kept his promise and sent the Holy Spirit to be their friend.  We can all share in this happiness and tell everyone.

As mentioned before, the coming of the Holy Spirit can be difficult for young children to understand.  We explored such things as air, wind and fire to help explain the power of the Holy Spirit.  The children made ‘tell the good news’ streamers and fiery hats.  

They also decorated the classroom with red paper chains and enjoyed healthy red snack foods; strawberries, tomatoes and red peppers.  We were blessed with an extremely blustery day and the children were so excited chasing bubbles in the wind calling out ‘Share the good news, the Holy Spirit is here!’

The children listened to the following scripture story Acts 2: 1-4

We sang ‘Happy Birthday to the Church’ and the following song is one of their favourites:

Below is our Pentecost prayer:

Thank you, God! For the Good News of Easter.
Thank you, God! For the new life of Jesus.
Thank you, God! For the Good News of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you, God! For the Good News of your love.

Lastly, they have also made ‘Happy Pentecost’ cards to share with their families.  Look in your child’s book bag if you haven’t already been presented with your card.

Nicola Palmer

Reception – Saint Joseph’s Day

Dear parents,

Thank you for all the amazing Mary and Joseph outfits today.  The children enjoyed immersing themselves in our RE Curriculum Day dedicated to Saint Joseph.

We began with a virtual whole school assembly where the children learned about Saint Joseph.  They discovered five key facts:

  • Saint Joseph listened to God.
  • Saint Joseph looked after Jesus and Mary.
  • Saint Joseph trusted God.
  • Saint Joseph shared his faith with Jesus.
  • Today Saint Joseph is the patron of God’s worldwide family – the Church.

The children listened to a reading from the Gospel of Saint Matthew 1:18-25 (adapted)

Image result for gabriel visits joseph in a dream"

Joseph loved Mary and was engaged to marry her.  When Joseph found out that Mary was going to be the mother of a baby, he was not sure what to do.  He wondered ‘Should I still marry her or perhaps I can quietly break off our engagement?

They also listened to the story of  The Day Jesus was Lost in the Temple and how Mary and Joseph looked for him.

We composed our own prayers to St. Joseph and the children wrote a prayer asking Saint Joseph to look after their family.

You may wish to say the following prayer at home:

We learned that Saint Joseph worked hard as a carpenter and had our own woodwork hut.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Nicola Palmer

Reception – learning about calculation

Dear parents,

Over the past few weeks Reception children have been introduced to the fact that numbers are made up of other numbers.   The children’s understanding has been developed through a sequence of 3 steps.

Step 1 – we began by exploring regrouping a whole into different parts and identifying what values are hidden within numbers. 

Children are encouraged to use subitising (recognising a small group of numbers at a glance without counting) when looking at groups of objects.  For example, in the photo below rows of 3 and 4 were identified.

Step 2 –  we talked about combining parts to create a whole. This is the start of calculating – addition. 

The children were encouraged to notice and find different parts that can be combined to make the same whole; concluding that there are lots of different ways to make a total.  The photo below illustrates how we used a 10 egg box carton to look at multiple ways of making number 10.

Step 3 –  calculating the part of a whole that is missing.  This is the introduction of subtraction.

In the photo below the children played a game finding the missing number from a total amount of carrots.

In the photo below the children were given a starting  amount (the part), a target to reach (the whole) and they found ‘how many  more…?’ (the missing part) when building towers with Duplo.

How to can help at home

Talk about how a collection of toys can be regrouped eg. farm animals, all the animals are part of the whole farm but they could be regrouped into sheep, cows, horses, pigs and farmers (humans). Each group is part of the whole farm.  Or 7 vehicles could be regrouped as 4 cars and 3 trucks.

Give your child a target number and, using dominoes, can they try to find all the dominoes that have that number of dots altogether where either side of the domino would become a part. Talk about what they notice if one side of the domino shows 0 dots.

At meal/snack time find the total two groups of items.  For example, pears and bananas. Ask your child to find the total initially starting with the pears and then adding the bananas, then starting with the bananas and then adding the pears. Talk about how the order of the fruit doesn’t matter when adding.

Introduce a range of different problems that require your child to calculate a missing part.

  • How many more…? If we need a snack for four people and there are two bananas, how many more do we need?
  • How many left…? How many cakes left now that Mummy and Daddy have taken their cake?
  • What is the difference…? You have three sweets and Mummy has two sweets. What is the difference between the numbers of sweets you have?

Play Kim’s game. Show your child a small collection of different objects on a tray and identify the whole (the total number of items). Hide them all and remove some objects. Reveal the objects left. Can your child calculate how many have been taken – the missing part.

The vocabulary of parts and whole has been emphasised throughout our learning.  The children’s understanding of equal, more and less and ‘altogether’ has also been developed to describe the whole.

Maths Challenge

Your child may wish to have a go at the following maths challenge:

  • Collect a small amount of items outside eg. sticks, leaves, stones (10 items to begin and extend to 20 for extra challenge)
  • Once there are a few items, explore how they might be grouped. 
  • Create groups and then use subitising to say how many are in each group (if the amounts are small enough). 
  • Talk about the parts and the whole and then count to find the total.

I would love to hear about your child’s mathematical discoveries on Tapestry.  We always have fun sharing the children’s home learning in class. This also often inspires their friends to also ‘have a go’!

Wishing you all a great bank holiday weekend.

Nicola Palmer

Reception – amazing me!

Dear parents,

As part of our Relationships and Health teaching the children discovered how God created the world and why the Bible is so special.

Last week we read the story of creation and talked about how our bodies were created by God.  We are all God’s children and part of his special plan.

The children learnt the following song ‘If I were a Butterfly’

You may wish to share the following class prayer at home:

Dear God,
You made our amazing world and all the amazing things in it.
Thank you for making me and loving me.
Help us to take care of ourselves and the world.

This week the children began to understand that the Bible is special because we are all in it and part of God’s family.  In the Bible we hear stories about Jesus and that still has meaning for us today.  

We acted out a story from the Bible, Jesus and his disciples during the Last Supper.  I washed the children’s feet to show the children how Jesus is our role model.  Jesus is showing us a way of behaving, he showed love to his disciples and he wants us to show that love to others.

The children made some great suggestions about how they can show love to others “You can take turns”, “You help tidy up”, “Look after someone who is sad”.  I made a suggestion that you can give someone a smile.

You may wish to share the following class prayer at home:

Dear Jesus,
Thank you for being my perfect role model.
Thank you for loving me.
Help me to share that love with others.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend in God’s amazing world.

Nicola Palmer