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The Grove Infant and Nursery School

Achieving our potential in our creative learning community


Reception Parent Information Meeting Notes - September 2017

Welcome to Reception!

We have 3 Reception classes at The Grove; Chestnut, Lime and Sycamore. The teachers are Miss George, Miss McDermid, and Mrs Norton.

Welcome to the Reception blog.  Each week we will update our page to share with you some of our learning and remind you of upcoming events.  The children help write the blog and we often share photos too.



This week we have been looking at the book 'Can't you sleep, Little Bear?' by Martin Waddell.  We have been using 'talk for writing' to learn the story by heart and making story maps to help us order and retell it.  We have been exploring light sources; sorting different objects using a Venn diagram and creating shadow pictures with torches.  We talked about what 'dark' is and why little bear might be afraid of it. 


I wonder what dark is...


'It's something that is when you go to sleep.' - Rose

'It's black in the sky or in the house.' - Eleni

'It's when something you can't see very well in.' - Charlie K


I wonder why people are afraid of the dark...


'I'm afraid of the dark.  I hear really spooky sounds in the night.  One night I was really scared, but it was just the wind.' - Megan F

'When it's dark some animals are still awake when it's night and move about.  My cousin thought there was a ghost! But I turned the turtle on and it glows and we could see a bit.'- Helena

'I'm scared of the dark.  Monsters might eat me and I won't see them.  And in the day I can see.' - James


What could we do if we are afraid of the dark?


'Get a torch, then you'll see better.' - Toby

'Tell your Mum.' - Megan F


It is 'Anti-bullying' week this week and we have been talking about what makes a good friend. 


In Maths we have been sorting objects and explaining how we have sorted them.  We have been recording our working pictorially in ways which we can explain.


Tomorrow is 'Children in Need' day and we hope to see lots of spotty people!


Next week we will continue to explore 'Can't you sleep, little bear?', focussing on drama and speech bubbles.  In Maths we will be looking at subtraction and solving problems with objects. Don't forget it is INSET day next week (Friday 24th), so enjoy the long weekend!


Finally, a big 'thank you' to all the volunteers who have been supporting us in class so far this term.  It is really making a difference to the children's reading and they are coming on leaps and bounds.  If you would like to volunteer, as a one off or on a regular basis, then please speak to your child's class teacher.  The more the merrier! 

Picture 1 Creating shadow pictures
Picture 2 Creating shadow pictures



This week we have been learning about special buildings and enjoyed our trip to St.Albans Cathedral.  The children looked for shapes, patterns and symbols of Christianity around the cathedral before making a clay tile.  We will be painting them next week and taking them home soon.  We wrote recounts about our trip and had a go at writing sentences. 


'I made a stained glass window, it's a cross because that's what we saw at the Abbey,' said Toby.


'I saw candles,' commented Sophia. 


'I coloured in Mary, she's blues 'cause she wears blue at the Abbey,' said Isla.


In Maths we have been learning about addition, and that you need to combine two groups and count the total.  We have been exploring how we can represent this pictorially and used a 'part, part, whole' method. 


We learnt about Remembrance Sunday and made poppies.  Thank you to everyone who bought a poppy this week, all monies will be sent to support the soldiers. 


'Chestnut group two' enjoyed their forest school visit.  We printed natural objects into clay discs and later will be turning them into our Christmas decorations.  We had fun going up and down the slopes and used sticks to help us.  It was a lot more slippery this week than previous visits.


Next week we will be learning about light sources.  If you have a torch please could you bring it in next week, named, so that we can use them as part of our lesson.  We will also be looking at the story 'Can't you sleep little bear' and learning it by heart using 'Talk for Writing'. 

Picture 1 Part, part, whole - addition
Picture 2 St.Albans Cathedral
Picture 3 Forest schools clay tiles
Picture 4 Forest schools slopes



Welcome back! We hope you are feeling fully rested and ready to start our new topic 'Festivals of light'.  We have already enjoyed learning about Diwali and this week we focussed on Fireworks, and how they are often used as part of celebrations.  We made some fantastic firework art, using pastels, paints, sequins and glitter to create our own firework display.  We learnt a firework poem, and changed the words to make it our own, thinking carefully about the sounds fireworks make.  We thought about how to stay safe around fireworks, especially sparklers, and made posters to inform others.  Afterwards we had the choice to use a sparkler safely.  Here's what some of the children said...


'I seen a white one, it looks like snow,' said Andreea (Chest)

'I saw an eight firework.  It was shaped like an eight,' commented James (Chest)

'Fireworks go bang, bang, KABOOM!' shouted Hari, excitedly. 


In Maths we have been learning about more and less/fewer, and how to find one less than an object by taking one away. 


This week we have started to stream our phonic group.  Your child may be going to a different class for phonics four times a week.  They will go to the group most suitable for their current phonic level, focussing on the skills they need to learn.  These groups are very fluid and often children move around when we think it appropriate.  If you have any queries please speak to your class teacher. 


We will also be giving out maths homework this week.  You'll find a maths homework book in your child's book bag.  It will have a practical activity linked to our learning focus that week.  Please initial on the page if it is complete, that's all the feedback we need, unless you want to write down something amazing they did to go in their learning journals.  Any questions, again please speak to your class teacher.


Next week...


  • School trip to St.Albans Cathedral on Tuesday morning.  We aim to leave at 9.15 and be back by 12pm.  If you can help please speak to your class teacher.
  • Chestnut Forest Schools Group 2 on Friday 10th.
  • We will be learning about Cathedrals and Christian signs and symbols, Remembrance Sunday and adding two groups together to find the total. 



Picture 1 Pumpkin painting
Picture 2 L and i formation in glitter
Picture 3 Sparkler safety
Picture 4 Maths one less
Picture 5 Maths one less
Picture 6 Mud Kitchen Fun
Picture 7 Water tray
Picture 8 Maths number ordering



This week we have been exploring rhyme.  We learnt a rhyming poem, 'Fox in a Box in My Little Bed', and were learning to continue a rhyming string.  In Maths we have been learning to order numerals and begin to form our numerals correctly.  We have also been learning about Diwali.  We made divas, created rangoli patterns and made mehndi patterns.  We enjoyed a traditional Indian dance workshop to finish off our celebrations.  


On Wednesday afternoon you were all invited to look at all the lovely work we have been doing during Multi-cultural week.  The children have worked very hard creating some fantastic art pieces.  We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! 


After half-term we will be starting our 'Festivals of Light' topic.  We will be learning about Bonfire night and creating some beautiful firework art.  Forest School groups will be up in the class windows soon - please check so you know which date your child will be going.  We still need volunteers to come with us, so please speak to your child's class teacher if you can help.  Without your help it just won't be possible!


We've had a great half-term - the children have worked very hard.  Have a restful week off and we will see you on Monday 30th October. 



Multi-cultural week this week and we've been having great fun!


Chestnut class has chosen country is Italy.  We have made flags, pizza, models of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and will be creating some art tomorrow inspired by an Italian artist.  We've been very lucky and had lots of parents come in to talk about Italy, Thailand and Mexico.  Thank you all for your support - the children have loved it!


Lime class has chosen Brazil.  They have been busy making carnival masks and created a dance to Carnival music. 


Sycamore class have chosen Bangladesh.  They have been busy creating art and making sculptures - the giant lotus lily is a particular highlight.  By next week it will be complete for us all to marvel at!


Don't forget tomorrow is Sycamore's forest school morning.  Next Friday (20th), Lime will be going to Forest Schools.  Please speak to your child's class teacher if you can help. 


Next week...

  • School photos on Monday,
  • The children have a Diwali workshop on Wednesday (18th).  Photos to follow next week,
  • We will be learning about rhyming words, Diwali and ordering numbers 1-10 and beyond, 
  • Our Multicultural week expo is on Wednesday after school.  Please come and see all the lovely work we have been doing. 


Week 5 has been another busy one.  This week we have been learning about hibernating animals and their habitats.  We drew pictures of hibernating animals and then labelled them.  We focussed on hedgehogs, finding out that hedgehogs hibernate in leaves.  We made our own hedgehogs out of clay and we had to take care rolling clay into a ball and pinching it to make the 'snout'.  In Maths this week we have been finding out about Numicon - learning about the different shapes, sizes and colours and which number they represent. 


Chestnut class went to Forest schools and had a fantastic time.  We were learning the rules as we went and had fun making hedgehog homes with the leaves and sticks.  Thanks to the grown ups who came to help, we hope you enjoyed it.  If you'd like to come next time, please speak to Miss George.


Next week is 'Multi-cultural' week.  Each class in the school will be focussing on a different country and experiencing lots of interesting activities around their country.  On Wednesday 18th October we will be showing our work after school for you to see.  Thank you to all the parents who have volunteered to come and tell us about their own culture - it's set to me a really interesting week. 



In Reception this week we have been learning...


  • To build up our arm strength to help us become good writers.  We used brushes, soap flakes, warm water and powder paint to create suds and colours on our playground. 
  • To explore the initial sounds in words, noticing when words start with the same sound (alliteration).  We read 'A slippery snake', acted it out, and thought of lots words which started with a 's'.  Afterwards we thought about our own name and came up with words which started with the same sound.
  • To know how to represent numbers and quantities in different ways.  We looked at numbers 1-10 and then explored how we could show that number, by using objects, pictures and marks we can explain.  We used dice, dominoes, cars, counters, our hands and Numicon to show our workings.
  • To know what a tens frame is and how to represent a number on it using a tens frame.  We found out there were lots of ways to represent number five and talked about the patterns we could see.
  • To orally blend cvc words and begin to read vc words through phonics teaching. 


Thanks to all who attended our Open classrooms today - we hoped you enjoyed looking at the children's work and celebrating their achievements. 

Tomorrow (Friday 29th) is McMillian coffee morning. 


Next week -

Chestnut will be going to Forest Schools on Friday 6th October in the morning.  Please come dressed in your forest school clothes, with school uniform in a plastic bag.  If wellies are not already at school, please bring them.  We will be back by lunchtime.  We have a couple of volunteers, but if you'd like to come too then please speak to Miss George. 


Next week we will be exploring habitats and finding out about hibernating animals.  In Maths we will be learning how to find one more than a number. 



We have had a busy few days!  Last Friday was our first full time day, and despite some tired bodies, everyone left smiling.  Often the children are hungry at pick up and it would be useful if you could have a healthy snack to give them at the end of the school day.  You might find your child is quite tired after a full day at school.  We try really hard to be flexible around the children's needs but the day is long for some children. If they are a bit tired and grumbly, it helps to maintain a smile and help them focus on the positive parts of the day - there is always something (Lunch for example!).  If you have any concerns at all then please speak to your child's class teacher to arrange an appointment.  We are happy to help and support if we can. 


Over the last seven days we have been learning about the classroom rules.  Each class created their 'Classroom Charter', and a copy was also sent home.  We have been encouraging children to be independent - washing up their snack plate, putting on their shoes, going to the toilet independently.  Please encourage them to be as independent as possible at home. 


We have been learning about the importance of hand washing.  We made posters for our cloakroom area and talked about when and how we wash our hands.  Below is a link to a song about hand washing.  Why not watch it with your child and remind them how to wash their hands at home?


In phonics we have now covered the sounds s,a,t,p,i,n,m,d.  We have been playing lots of oral blending and segmenting games and using magnetic letters to make these words.  There are lots of games you can play at home, such as I spy or 'Can you find a...'  (In this game you say 'Can you find a c-u-p?' and the child has to run and find that object before you count to twenty).  


Next week we will be practising writing our name and forming our letters correctly.  We will also be looking at numbers 1-10, ordering, counting and representing numbers using a tens frame.  We will also be learning how to use a simple paint programme on the computer to create a picture.  We will continue to learn the class rules and routines and support the children to develop friendships. 


Don't forget...


  • Thursday 28th September - Open classrooms (Come in after school and look around the classroom and see your child's work)
  • Friday 29th September - McMillian Coffee Morning

Welcome!  We have all enjoyed our first week at school and have been busy learning the class routines and making new friends.  It's lovely to see so many smiley faces in the morning!  If you have any concerns or need a quick chat then please sign up to see your child's teacher on the sign up sheet in the class window. 


Next week...


  • Thursday 14th - Parent Information Morning at 9.05.  Try and come along, it's useful to hear about our topics and find out about general 'house keeping'. 
  • Thursday 14th - All children stay for lunch.
  • Friday 15th - Reception ALL DAY smiley