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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 and Mrs Bailey is your teaching assistant and midday supervisor.


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 Curriculum Maps

New to Year 1 Information

WC 8th July 2021 LI: To celebrate Arts week

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This week we have been celebrating Arts Week at Trotts Hill. Reception have been busy decorating pebbles for a whole school display, and had a wonderful time watching a performance of a traditional tale by Mr Driver! We have also been 2 songs which we performed to Nursery. We hope that you enjoy our performance of ‘Count on Me’ by Bruno Mars.

WC 28th June 2021 LI: To investigate bees

This week Reception have taken part in a whole school project to 'Get Buzzing About Bees'! We completed a survey of how many bees we saw in 10 minutes in the sensory garden, and practised drawing scientific pictures of bees. We have also been learning about the different kinds of bee that you can find in the UK and discussing how to identify them.

WC Monday 21st June 2021 LI: To write about what it means to be a good friend

This week we have been reading 'The Rainbow Fish'. We discussed that in the story, the Rainbow Fish learn how to share and in doing so becomes a good friend. The children in Reception also thought about what it means to be  good friend, and wrote down their ideas in their literacy books.

WC Monday 14th June LI: To log onto a laptop

This week in Reception we have been practising using the laptops for the first time. The children learnt how to log on, and practised using the track pad to change colours and produce drawings using Paint.

WC Monday 7th June 2021 LI: To care for our guinea pigs

This half term we will have 2 visiting guinea pigs, Rex and Ziggy, visiting every Wednesday! This week Reception learnt how to set up their hutch for them with newspaper, sawdust and hay, the things they need to stay healthy and how to handle them. Our guinea pig monitors took the guinea pigs to a shady, grassy spot so that they could spend time in their run, and showed great responsibility by cleaning out the hutch on Thursday so that it is ready for them to visit next week.

Week commencing Monday 24th May LI: To double

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This week we have been learning all about doubling. We have practise doubling in a number of different ways including using mirrors, playing snap games and using 10 grids. Our subitising superpower skills have been really useful for recognising numbers on the dice and on 10 grids without even having to count them!

Week Commencing Monday 17th May 2021 LI: To learn about The Very Hungry Caterpillar story


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This week Reception have been enjoying 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle as part of our minibeasts topic. We have been retelling the story using stick puppets in our puppet theatre, have worked as a team to make a huge paper chain caterpillar and have been experimenting with printing to make caterpillar paintings. We have also had a delivery of real caterpillars and are very excited to watch them grow and turn into butterflies! 

Week Commencing Monday 10th May 2021 LI: To learn about different minibeasts

This week we have been learning all about minibeasts! We have been reading 'The very busy spider' by Eric Carle and learning some interesting facts about spiders. Did you know that spiders have blue blood and up to 8 eyes? Children practised their writing skills by writing fact books and stories about different minibeasts, and have been painting and labelling pictures of different insects during child initiated learning time. 

Week Commencing Monday 3rd May 2021 LI: To discuss what makes us feel grumpy

This week our focus book has been 'The Bad-Tempered Ladybird' by Eric Carle. We have been discussing and writing about what things make us feel bad tempered and grumpy! We also shared what things make us feel better again if we are in a bad mood.

Week Commencing: Monday 26th April LI: To discuss which vegetables we would like to grow

This week we have been reading 'Oliver's Vegetables' in Literacy. We have discussed which vegetables we would like to grow and have been continuing to take care of our green beans that we planted a couple of weeks ago. Children practised writing which vegetables they would like to grow in their Literacy books and on magnetic whiteboards. We have also been getting excited about all of the minibeasts that we have found in our outside area, with some children choosing to make pictures (and labels!) of what they have found.

Week commencing: Monday 19th April LI: to make art inspired by Andy Goldsworthy

This week we have been learning about the artist Andy Goldsworthy. We watched a short film about how he makes his natural, transient art and discussed how we could make our own. We used the natural resources available to us in the school grounds to make our own transient art sculptures, and I was very impressed with the finished results! We all looked at each other’s work and practised giving feedback about the parts of their sculpture that we liked.

Week commencing: 12th April 2021 LI: To learn about growing

Find a Little Seed Performance

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This week we have been learning all about plants! We watched a time lapse of a bean growing and planted our own green beans. We also drew and labelled plant diagrams, read ‘The Tiny Seed’ and learnt a song called ‘Find a Little Seed.’ We hope that you enjoy our performance of it!

Week commencing: Monday 22nd March 2021 LI: To learn about and celebrate Easter

This week Reception have been learning all about Easter. We listened to a radio version of the Easter story, and looked at how and why Christians celebrate this time. During circle time we discussed how we celebrate Easter with our families. We also made Easter cards for our families and also made and decorated salt dough eggs to hang up at home! 

Week Commencing 15th March 2021 LI: to describe a story

This half term we are learning about traditional tales and our focus book this week is Jack and the Beanstalk. Reception have been writing some super sentences describing what happens in the story.

Week Commencing 8th March 2021 LI: To retell a story

This week we have been reading 'No Dinner!' - a story that is based on an Indian traditional tale. We have been retelling the story in different ways, including collaborating in a group and acting the story out, writing about the story and making masks to represent the different fierce animals in the story.

Week commencing 15th December 2020 LI: To write Christmas cards

This week we have been making Christmas cards! We started by writing the message inside the card and talked about who we would like to give it to. We then decorated the outside with festive drawings. We have also been talking about Christmas, enjoying taking part in Christmas yoga and have made 3 different kinds of Christmas decorations! 

Week Commencing 7th December 2020 LI: To perform our Christmas Play

This week Reception have had a very exciting week performing our Christmas play 'Whoopsy Daisy Angel' and having it recorded for their parents to watch. They have worked hard to learn all of their lines, songs and actions and had a wonderful time. We have also been feeling festive in Literacy and have been writing about The Christmas Story and have made letters to send to Father Christmas.

Week commencing 30th November 2020 LI: To discuss Christmas traditions

This week in Reception we have been very busy preparing for our Christmas play and have been feeling very festive! We have been discussing our Christmas traditions and our favourite things to do with our families. We have produced some amazing writing using our developing phonics knowledge and have created some beautiful Christmas drawings to illustrate our sentences. 

Week commencing 23rd November 2020 LI: To learn about a different country

This week Reception celebrated Around the World Day with the rest of the school. The country that we were learning about was Zimbabwe. The children were invited to come into school dressed in the colours of the Zimbabwe flag. During the day we listened to music from Zimbabwe and made up dances to the different rhythms, coloured the Zimbabwe flag and used Google Earth to travel from our school in Stevenage all the way to Zimbabwe! We also watched a video about a little girl who lives in Zimbabwe and discussed the similarities and differences between her life and ours.

Week commencing 16th November 2020 LI: To celebrate anti-bullying week

This week we have been celebrating anti-bullying week and thinking about our feelings. We have been reading 'The Colour Monster' and have identified the different emotions in the story and discussed how we are feeling. We have also made our own colour monsters and have used our writing skills to write a sentence about how they are feeling.

Week commencing 9th November 2020 LI: To learn about Remembrance Day

This week we have been learning about Remembrance Day and why we wear poppies. Some children wanted to make their own poppies after learning about why we celebrate Remembrance Day. The children were able to carefully draw and cut out their designs on red paper to represent the flowers and added them onto green lolly sticks to represent the stems.

Week commencing 2nd November 2020 LI: To learn about Bonfire Night

Our Bonfire Night Poem

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This week in Reception we have been getting excited about Bonfire Night! We have been doing lots of firework themed literacy activities including making firework rockets using the letters in our name and labelling firework paintings with the sounds that fireworks make. During CIL time we have been using mixed media to produce big fireworks painting. We have learned about Guy Fawkes and firework safety during our topic lessons, and even worked together to write our own poem about Bonfire Night!

Week commencing 19th October 2020 LI: To learn about Autumn

This week we have been learning about Autumn! We went on a leaf hunt outside and collected the best leaves to do leaf rubbings with. We explored pumpkins and had a great time scooping out the insides and making 'pumpkin soup' in the mud kitchen! We discussed the changing seasons and read a story about animals that hibernate. We have also been reading 'Room on the Broom' in literacy, and have really enjoyed drawing and labelling the characters, as well as making our own wands.

Week commencing 12th October 2020 LI: To learn about people who help us

This week there was a 'break in' in Reception! We have been learning all about the police and other people who help us. We started the week by making wanted posters showing the thief who broke into our home area, and thinking about how to write a description of them. We had a visit from Mr Freeman who answered our questions about what it's like to be a police officer and showed us his police car. We learnt about what to do in an emergency and practised calling 999 - some of us even made our own phones so that we could practise on our own! We finished the week by discussing what the fire service do and we learnt some fire safety tips.

Week commencing Monday 5th October LI: To learn about where our food comes from

This week we have been learning all about food! We started the week  by discussing what food is healthy and unhealthy and sorted it into categories. Then, we made a healthy shopping list and bought some ingredients to make tomato and basil soup! We made the soup together and everyone had a chance to peel or chop the ingredients, it tasted delicious! We also discussed farm animals and had lots of fun 'milking' using rubber gloves and watery white paint, as well as making our own farm animals with a combination of resources.

Week commencing Monday 28th September. LI: To explore our nature area

This week Reception went to the nature area for the first time. We explored the different trees and insects that we could see, and collected leaves and acorns. We had a lovely time despite the rainy weather!

Week commencing Monday 21st September. LI: To discuss our families

This week in Reception we have been talking about our families. We shared photos of our families and discussed them with our friends. We made pictures and books about our families and worked hard to label our drawings. We also talked about how families are all different from each other.

Week commencing Monday 14th September. LI: To learn about our senses

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This week in Reception we have been learning about our senses! We have learnt a poem about looking in the mirror and worked hard to remember the words and actions. We hope that you enjoy our performance!

Week commencing Monday 7th September. LI: To paint a self portrait

This week Reception have been very busy settling into their new classroom and making new friends! One of our activities this week has been painting self portraits. We looked carefully at our reflections and worked hard to make the paintings look like us!