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Trotts Hill Primary School and Nursery


Welcome to Reception

Welcome to Reception, your first year of full-time school! Mrs O'Brien is your class teacher on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and Mrs Spendlove is your class teacher on a Wednesday. Your teaching assistants are Mrs Metcalfe and Mrs Cakirgoz (or Mrs C). Your MSA's are Mrs Howell and Mrs Montague.


Starting full time school in Reception can be a big change, but we try hard to make the transition as smooth as possible. In the autumn term we work with the support and guidance of an adult and we focus on developing the core areas of communication and language, physical development and personal and social education. This will be through topics children are familiar with, for example ‘family’ and ‘people who help us’.


As children get older and are more used to the routines of the day, we introduce more whole class and small group literacy and maths activities alongside topic activities. However, it is still very important that the children have time each morning and afternoon for self-initiated activities in which to play and practice their skills and to follow their own interests.


Throughout the year we maintain electronic Learning Journals for each child in which we record their achievements and interests in the form of photos, observational notes and examples of work. These Learning Journals then help us to make assessments against the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Reception year. Parents have access to these via an online app and can add their own comments and observations.


Topics vary during the year, according to the children’s interests, however we tend to cover seasonal changes and celebrations every year such as autumn, Fireworks night, Diwali, Christmas, winter, spring, Easter etc.


There’s lots to learn during Reception, but we have fun doing it!


Reception Class Curriculum Overview - Spring 2024

Reception Reading Spine

New to Reception powerpoint for September 2023

Phonics Pure Sounds

Learn how to pronounce all 44 phonics sounds, or phonemes, used in the English language with these helpful examples, from Oxford Owl.

Phonics in Reception Presentation


Week commencing 18th March 2024

LI: to learn about chickens

This week we have been learning all about chickens! We have been reading 'Where oh where is Rosie's Chick?' in Literacy and doing some fantastic writing linked to the story. We have learnt about and labelled the different parts of a chicken and drawn out the lifecycle of a chicken. On Thursday, Mrs Spendlove brought her two hens to visit the school. Reception got to ask lots of thoughtful questions about the hens and used clipboards to sketch them. Some children who always show exemplary behaviour were chosen to help feed the chickens. Well done Reception, Bessie and Goldie loved visiting you!

Week commencing 11th March 2024

LI: to come up with creative ideas

This afternoon we watched a performance of ‘The Flower Waltz’ from The Nutcracker. We discussed what we liked about the performance, and then had a go at creating our own dances using scarves as props.

‘They look just like me at my ballet, it’s easy to copy the moves.’ Amelia
‘I liked doing the leaps’ Ava
‘They were on their tiptoes’ Cooper
‘I liked it when they done their curtsies’ Emmie

Week commencing 4th March 2024

LI: to compare height

This week we have been exploring height in Maths by building taller and shorter towers. We have also been comparing the height of the children in Reception class!

Week commencing 26th February 2024

LI: To listen and follow instructions to plant a bean

This week we planted beans - linked to our book ‘Jasper’s Beanstalk’. Children watched a video of a bean plant growing, and we discussed how we would plant it and what we would do to take care of it.

Week commencing 12th February 2024

LI: To make a pancake

This week was Shrove Tuesday and we made pancakes. We measured all of the ingredients, mixed them together and then poured the batter into an oiled frying pan. We observed the batter turn from a liquid to a solid. The colour changed from yellow to brown when it cooked! The pancakes tasted delicious with orange and / or lemon squeezed on top.

Week Commencing Monday 5th February 2024

Today we spent the afternoon learning all about the Lunar New Year. We watched a video on CBeebies which followed a Chinese family as they prepared for the new year celebrations. We also learned all about why there are different animals for each year. During CIL, we had lots of activities including colouring, Chinese writing, ordering the numbers/animals, noodles in the mud kitchen, using chopsticks to find gold coins in the rice, making lanterns and dragons and performing dragon dances.

Chinese Dragon Dance

Still image for this video

Week Commencing Monday 29th January 2024

LI: to make a pictogram

In Reception this week we have been thinking about different kinds of transport - linked to our book 'The Naughty Bus'. We worked together using Purple Mash to make a pictogram showing the different ways we got to school in the morning. The most common mode of transport was walking, followed by car. During CIL time some children used Purple Mash on the interactive whiteboard to make their own pictograms.

Week Commencing Monday 22nd January 2024

LI: to make a finger puppet

This week Reception have been reading 'We're going on a bear hunt' by Michael Rosen. We made finger puppets to help us retell the story ourselves. The children used felt and fabric glue to make the finger shape, then added ears, eyes and other details using a pen. We hope that when they are dry we can use our story maps and puppets to retell the story at home.

Week Commencing Monday 15th January 2024

LI: to find out about the South Pole

This week as part of our topic lessons, Reception have been finding out about the South Pole. We looked at where the South Pole was on a map and talked about what the weather is like there, and what kind of animals live there. We then made our own Emperor penguins during CIL time.

Week Commencing Monday 8th January 2024

LI: to make/design a digger

This afternoon we watched part of a 'Maddie’s how do you know' episode about diggers. We found out about how they work and what the different parts of a digger are called. We then spent time designing our own diggers either on paper or with duplo. Children were able to use their amazing phonics skills to label their designs.

Week Commencing Monday 11th December 2023

LI: to perform a nativity play

This week Reception performed their production of 'A Wriggly Nativity'. The children did a wonderful job singing the songs and remembering their lines - the whole Reception team is very proud of them!

Week commencing Monday 4th December 2023

LI: to recognise ordinal numbers

This week sees the beginning of Hanukkah and we have read The Very Hungry Caterpillars 8 nights of Chanukah. We read what happens on each of the days, in the run up to The Festival of Light, on the 8th night. The children worked well in teams to order the pictures from the story and then number them from 1 - 8. We will continue to look at ordinal numbers throughout the week.

Week commencing Monday 27th November 2023

LI: to make gingerbread men

This week Reception made gingerbread men! All of the children helped to weigh out and mix the ingredients together, roll out the dough and cut out their gingerbread men. This afternoon we decorated them using icing and raisins.

Week Commencing Monday 20th November 2023

LI: to understand safety in the dark

In PSHE this week we discussed how to stay safe outside now that it is getting dark earlier in the day. We looked at a presentation about different ways that we can stay safe and thought about what clothes we can wear that will help cars to see us when we are out walking. We looked at pictures of clothes with reflective patches on them and noticed how they made a person very easy to see when a car drove past them. We them spent time designing our own reflective coats and rucksacks.

Week Commencing Monday 13th November 2023

LI: to celebrate anti-bullying week

This week we have been completing different learning linked to anti-bullying week. We came in on Monday wearing odd socks and talked about different things that we can do to be kind to each other. We have also been completing kindness colouring and have been reading the story 'The Colour Monster' to help us identify our different feelings.

Week Commencing Monday 6th November

LI: to explore the forest area

This week in forest school we had a lovely time exploring the forest area with our friends from Nursery. Children were free to play in the woods and gather different natural resources in baskets. We found lots of different kinds of mushrooms, leaves and berries. 

WC Monday 30th October 


LI: to understand firework safety

This week we have been learning all about Bonfire Night. We watched a firework display online, and looked at a firework safety PowerPoint. We discussed all of the ways that we can stay safe around fireworks and bonfires, and the children made their own firework pictures with chalk.

WC Monday 16th October


Today we were very lucky to have a visit from Miss MacDonald, a Reception parent, who talked to us about her role as a children’s nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
She talked to us about her job looking after children and showed us some of the equipment and resources she uses. We were then allowed to play with these things during CIL. Nurse MacDonald's visit has really inspired our children - such as building an ambulance and role playing. Thank you from all of us.

WC Monday 9th October 


This week we have been celebrating World Mental Health Day - or 'Hello Yellow' day. Children came to school dressed in yellow. We made hearts and letters for a display using yellow resources. We read books about kindness and positive behaviour and then we learned all about Zones of Regulation. These are new areas in our classroom that support us to think about how we are feeling, understand those feelings and to learn strategies that aid us in regulating our emotions and behaviours. All of these things can help our overall mental health. 

WC Monday 2nd October 2023


This week we have been discussing the Harvest Festival. We talked about what the Harvest Festival is and why we celebrate it, and children bought in food to donate to our local food bank. We also created a healthy food plate and talked about what foods are healthy and unhealthy choices.

WC Monday 25th September 2023

LI: to celebrate European Day of Languages

This week we celebrated European Day of Languages. The children made posters celebrating the languages they spoke at home as part of their home learning.

WC Monday 18th September 2023

LI: to represent our family

This week in Reception we shared who was in our family and who we lived with at home. We talked about the names of different family members and if we had any brothers and sisters or pets. We then drew pictures to represent people in our family.

WC 11/9/23 - LI: To learn about our senses

This week Reception have been learning about our different senses. They have completed fun activities such as identifying different smells, guessing which items are in a feely bag by using touch and going on a sound hunt in our school grounds.

5/9/23 - LI: To paint a self portrait. The children have had a fabulous first week in Reception and we have been painting self-portraits and talking about ourselves. We used a mirror to look at our features and colouring. We have used the pictures to make a lovely display of our class.


12.7.23 - LI: To explore the world of mini-beasts. Last week we were learning all about mini-beasts and the home learning was for children to go on a minibeast hunt and to then draw and / or find out some facts about their mini-beast. Many children did an incredible and creative job of showcasing their findings.

4.7.23 - LI: To develop our understanding of spacial awareness. Today we completed out Scootability Level 2 which has helped us to navigate riding outside of school more safely. We learned to deal with crowded pavements, how to cross the road, how to take blind corners and how to keep other pavement users safe.

30.6.23 - LI: To learn about sea creatures. This week our book was Rainbow Fish and for home learning the children were challenged to create a sea creature or find out about sea creatures. We had some excellent examples of learning from home.

15.6.23 - LI: To estimate. Today we learned all about estimation and making a 'sensible guess'. We played a game, in pairs, where one child took a handful of resources and the other estimated how many there were. We then counted them to see how close (or not) we were. The children were excellent at estimating.

6.6.23 - LI: To use adjectives. This week we are reading Dear Zoo and today we ordered the animals from the story and matched the correct adjectives to the animal.

18/5/23 - LI: To write sentences. This week our story is The Scarecrows Wedding and today we used our phonic knowledge to write sentences using pictures from the story.

8/5/23 - LI: To celebrate the coronation of King Charles III. This week's home learning was to complete a task celebrating the coronation. Reception worked hard and produced some amazing crowns, pictures, diary entries and facts.

5.5.23 - To learn about the Coronation of King Charles III. Today we dressed in red, white and blue to celebrate the coronation. We learned about what will happen and we had the opportunity to make crowns, paint Union Jack, paint golden coaches and collage the portrait of King Charles.

27.4.23 - LI: To move to a stimulus. This term we are learning to dance with Mr Sapsed. This week we were moving to the beat of the music.

21.4.23 - LI: To compare habitats. Our story this week is The Tiger who Came to Tea and today we looked at tigers habitats. We learned there are 9 species of tiger and they live in a variety of habitats. We compared their habitats to our gardens and discussed why a tiger couldn’t really live in our garden. During CIL we made some different habitats.

27.3.23 - LI: To write a sentence. This week we have been learning all about Easter and, during Literacy, we wrote some sentences using our increasing phonic knowledge.

24.3.23 - LI: To consider the feelings of others. This week we have been reading The Teeny Weeny Tadpole and today we talked about how the tadpole felt. The children thought that he would be disappointed (Daniel) at the beginning, as he couldn't jump but happy (Willow H) at the end as he could. We thought about how you can tell how someone is feeling and decided that we usually know by looking at their face. We drew pictures of different types of emotions such as happy, scared, angry, excited and shocked.

7.3.23 - LI: To plant beans. Following on from learning about lifecycles, today we planted runner beans. We used language such as bean, germination, roots, shoots and soil. We also learned that the bean would need water, light and oxygen to grow. 

1.3.23 - LI: To understand the lifecycle of a bean. Our story this week is Jaspers Beanstalk and today we learned all about the lifecycle of the bean. We learned some new vocabulary, such as germinate, stem and sprout. We drew lifecycles and some of us labelled these.

23.2.23 - LI: To explore different techniques. Today we painted using forks using Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers for inspiration. We used different sized brushes to paint the vase and stems then forks to create the sunflower petals. When the paint had dried, we used glue and seeds to create the seeds in the centre of the sunflowers and to decorate the vase. We also learned a little about Van Gogh's love for bright colours and bold brushstrokes, which we think we have displayed in our artwork.

2.2.23 - LI: To find the difference. Using the language more and less, we have been practising finding the difference in Maths. Today we had fun working in pairs to choose different coloured cubes, at random, and explain to our partner what the difference is and how we know.

26.1.23 - LI: To make a finger puppet. This week we have been reading We're Going on a Bear Hunt and today we made finger puppet bears. We cut the felt and used glue to connect the pieces together and then we added eyes and ears. We will use our finger puppets to retell the story, for home learning, alongside story maps we made in Literacy.

18.1.22 - LI: To design a sea creature. This week our focus text is 'Lost and Found' by Oliver Jeffers where a little boy and a penguin sale across the ocean to the South Pole. The children used Purple Mash to design a sea creature that they think may live on the bottom of the ocean. 

15.12.22 - LI: To learn about Christingle. This week we have been learning all about Advent and Christingle. We made our own Christingles, to take home, and discussed what each part of it represents. 

8.12.22 - LI: To write a sentence. We have worked very hard on writing captions in Reception and, this week, some children had a go at successfully writing sentences.

1.12.22 - LI: To explore how ingredients change when they are mixed. This week we have been reading The Gingerbread Man and today we made gingerbread people. We weighed out the ingredients and mixed them. Next we rolled the pastry and used a cutter to cut the shape of the gingerbread person. Then it went into the oven to cook and finally we decorated them! We used designs we had created earlier in the week and tried to copy our designs.

24.11.22 - LI: To understand safety in the dark (Be Safe Be Seen). We have been focussing on how to be safe in the dark, especially as the nights have become darker earlier. After discussing which type of clothing is best at night time (light and reflective), we designed our own outfits.

17.11.22 - LI: To recognise different feelings. This week we have been reading 'The Colour Monster' and thinking about different feelings. We drew images to show different types of feelings, such as; calm, happy, love, sadness. 

10.11.22 - LI: To create poppies. This week we have learned all about Remembrance Day and why we wear poppies. We used different painting techniques to create poppies.

20.10.22 - LI: To compare weight. This week we have been comparing measure and today we explored comparing weight. We found lots of different resources from around the classroom and made predictions about which would be heavier / heaviest or lighter / lightest. We had lots of fun trying out the balance pans.

13.10.22 - LI: To engage with learning related to 'People who help us'. This week the children have had a wonderful time during child initiated learning engaged in several different activities linked to our current topic. They have enjoyed being doctors in our role play, dressing up and emergency service workers, investigating a crime scene, making 3D emergency service vehicles and lots more.

7.10.22 - LI: To understand the role of the police. As part of our topic, People who help us, we were lucky enough to have a visit from PCSO Harry and PCSO Siannah. The children were very excited and asked questions about how they keep us safe, how they arrest people, how they use their walkie-talkie and what they write in their notepads! We got to see a police car and heard the siren.

29.9.22 - LI: To recognise features of our environment. Today we looked at our school on Google Earth and then went for a walk around our school grounds to identify some of the main features.

22.9.22 - LI: To talk about our families. This week we have been reading Full, Full, Full of Love and discussed who we love and who loves us. We discussed families, immediate and extended, and drew pictures of our families.

14.9.22 - LI: To talk about likes and dislikes. This week we have been learning all about our senses and today our focus was smell. The children enjoyed smelling different items and discussing what they liked and disliked about them. We used adjectives, such as sweet, to describe the smells. The favourite smell was the jam!

6.9.22 - LI: To paint a self-portrait. This week we have been thinking about ourselves. We used a mirror to look at the features on our faces and then painted self-portraits. 


12.7.22 LI: to take part in team and individual competitions. This week we took part in Sports Day with children from KS1. We all took part in individual races then joined our teammates to score as many points as we could for our houses. 

5.7.22 - LI: To double. This week we have been recapping on doubling in Reception. The children played a game where they set out some objects behind a screen, lifted the screen for a few seconds for their partner to see, then the partner had to double the number. This was lots of fun and was more tricky when the numbers got higher!

1.7.22 - LI: To recognise that all families are different. Today during circle time, we talked about family members, how different families are and how we help one another in our own families. The children drew pictures of families. This could be their own family or any family they chose to draw. We talked about how we help each other such as washing up, tidying, giving cuddles and cleaning the garden.

21.6.22 - LI: To weave. This week our topic is Under the Sea and today the children have been weaving fish for our role play zoo and aquarium. We practised as a whole class by weaving border role between us! Then we had a go independently. The children showed good fine motor control and some children were able to make patterns.

14.6.22 - LI: To write in sentences. This week we wrote our own version of the book  'Dear Zoo'. The children used their phonic knowledge to write. In DT, the children made lift the flap pictures and evaluated them. We then stuck them all in a book together.

10.6.22 - LI: To compare animal habitats. Today we learned all about different animal habitats as part of our topic this half term on animals. We worked in groups to sort the animals into their correct habitat and we also discussed what a predator is!

23.5.22 - LI: To make distinctions between the past and the present. Today we learned all about Queen Elizabeth II and why we are celebrating the Platinum Jubilee. We ordered some photos of the queen based on whether we thought they were from the past or the present. 

20.5.22 - LI: To explore water colours. Today the children used water colours to paint Little Red Riding Hood inspired pictures. They used water on the paint pallet and mixed colours to create the colours they needed.

13/5/22 - LI: To understand equal parts. This week, our focus in Maths has been on doubling and halving. Today we were exploring part and whole where the parts are equal. The children sorted objects equally into parts using a part / whole model for support.

3.5.22 LI: To sequence a story. This week we have been reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Today we had a go at drawing story maps independently and then using them to retell the story to our friends. 

29.4.22 - LI: To explore different media. This week we have been focussing on the book The Three Little Pigs. Today we made the three bears houses using a variety of materials - straw, sticks, glue, plastic bricks with paint. 

20.4.22 LI: To recognise Springtime changes. This afternoon in Forest School we noticed many springtime changes in our Forest School such as Bluebells, many more leaves and blossom on the trees. We observed the tadpoles, who have grown much bigger over the Easter break.

31.3.22 LI: To talk about how we celebrate Easter. This week we have been learning all about The Easter Story and why Christians celebrate Easter. Today we talked about the different ways in which we celebrate in our own families. The children drew pictures and described what they like to do.

22.3.22 LI: To identify the parts of a butterfly. This week we have been reading 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'. Today we carefully drew representations of butterflies, identified each part and labelled them.

16.3.22 LI: To use observational drawing skills. After studying daffodils in Forest School, the children used their observational skills to draw daffodils, selecting the correct colours and paying attention to detail.

10.3.22 - LI: To order numbers on a number line. This week in Reception we have been learning how to plot numbers on a number line. We have ordered the numbers, estimated where numbers should go and reasoned why, as well as using the number to help us see one more and one less. 

1.3.22 - LI: To observe changes to food when cooking. This week we learned all about why Pancake Day is celebrated. We made pancakes by measuring out ingredients and mixing them into a batter. We then observed what happened to the batter as it cooked. 

24.2.22 - LI: To learn about the lifecycle of a bean. This term our topic is 'Growing' and this week we learned all about the lifecycle of a bean. During CIL, we planted some green bean seeds. Over the coming weeks, we will care for them and observe their growth. 

8.2.22 - LI: To begin to understand E-Safety. Today was E-Safety Day and we talked about keeping safe online, being kind and respectful and telling an adult if anything makes us feel uncomfortable or worried. We drew pictures of what we like to do online.

3.2.22 - LI: To talk about vehicles past and present. To link in with our topic of Transport this half term, we looked at vehicles from the past and the present. We then looked at some toy vehicles. There were some toy trains that are 70 years old which we compared to a toy train from the present. We also looked at a hot wheels car from 40 years ago compared to a hot wheels car from today.

27.1.22 - LI: To make a finger puppet. As part of our learning on We're Going on a Bear Hunt this week, we made bear finger puppets. We used cutting and sticking skills to do this.

20.1.22 - LI: To create a sea creature. This week the children designed sea creatures linked to our book of the week 'Lost and 'Found' where the boy and the penguin sail across the ocean. First, they designed their creature on paper and then referred to their paper plans when drawing it onto the laptop using Purple Mash.

10.1.22 - LI: To draw a map of the school grounds. On Thursday this week, we went outside with Mrs Magdeburg to draw maps of the school grounds. We were thinking about how vehicles and people travel around the school site. 

6.1.22 - LI: To use positional language. This week we had a Maths and Science challenge called 'Flap the Fish'. We had to see which fish would go the furthest when flapped with a book. We used the mathematical vocabulary of first and last.

15.12.21 - LI: to use cutting and joining skills. This week we have been making Christmas cards. We also had a visit from Father Christmas who read us a story.

8.12.21 - LI: To learn about common British birds. For Forest School this week the children learned all about common British birds. They listened to their songs, named and identified them as well as discussing what they eat. The children then made bird feeders using lard, seed and pine cones for the birds in our school grounds.

30.11.21 - LI: To explore how ingredients change when they are mixed together. Today we made gingerbread people and the children enjoyed weighing and mixing the ingredients together to create the biscuit dough. 

23.11.21 - LI: To write an invite. This week we have been focussing on family celebrations and writing party invites. We used some of the high frequency words we have been learning and focussed on using our phonics to sound out decodable words. 

19.11.21 - LI: To show empathy towards others. Today was Children in Need and the children came into school in non-uniform or pyjamas. We discussed why we need to raise money and help other children within our community and the UK. We had fun doing Joe Wicks, colouring and reflecting on how fortunate we are compared to some.

12.11.21 - LI: To move our bodies in a variety of ways. Today we were very lucky to have a visit from Julia, Stevenage Sporting Futures, who came along to run 'Full of Beans' which was a PE session for Children in Need. We pretended to be all kinds of beans and then we balanced beanbags on various parts of our body.

6.11.21 - LI: To understand the benefits of exercise. In PSHE this week, we have been discussing the benefits of exercise and why it is so important for our bodies. We went to the top playground and set up some fitness challenges.

22.10.21 - LI: To make vegetable soup. This week at school was 'Grow to eat, eat to grow' week and, after learning all about where our food comes from, we made a vegetable soup. The children used cutting and peeling skills and we all enjoyed trying the soup.