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Letters and Information

Weekly Learning in Reception

English - Writing 

Week commencing: 26.3.24

This week we will read the story ‘Shark in the Park’  by Nick Sharratt.

We will start the week by presenting the children with some clues e.g. shark, telescope, pictures of a park and ask them to guess the story.

We call this the ‘creative hook’, which we use to introduce the story and engage the children’s interest.

We will read the story, draw parts of the story and add some actions as we re-tell the story.

All of these elements will help the children to internalise the story, in order to learn the key events in the story, learn some key phrases and sequence the story.

This will all support the development of children's vocabulary and writing.


Everything is modelled by the teacher first.

Our method of teaching is:

I do – teacher models

We do – teacher and children do together

You do – Children have a go independently


In lessons we will re-read the story.

Re-tell the story.

Choose sections of the story to write about.

In writing sessions each child has a whiteboard and pen so that he/she can have a go at writing.

We use the strategies taught in our phonics lessons to help the children develop their writing skills.

When sounding out we remind the children to use their ‘Freddie Fingers’ to sound out a word.

Freddie is a frog we use in our phonics lessons to help the children to segment and blend.


In lessons we will discuss the vocabulary in the story and check the children’s understanding.


  • testing out – to find out how something works
  • brand new – completely new
  • telescope - an optical instrument designed to make distant objects appear nearer
  • ground – the land
  • fancy that - usually said when someone is surprised to hear something
  • nasty – very bad/ unpleasant/ awful
  • terrible – extremely bad/ horrible/ serious
  • crow – a black bird
  • doubt – to feel unsure/ uncertain


We will look at the pattern of language in the story and ask the children:

  • What is a pattern?
  • Can we spot a pattern of language in the text?


In this story we will refer to the repetitive aspects of the story:


Timothy Pope, Timothy Pope

Is looking through his telescope.

He looks at the sky.

He looks at the ground.

He looks left and right.

He looks all around.

And this is what he sees…



We will look at the words that rhyme in the story:

  • boy- toy
  • Pope – telescope
  • ground – round
  • surprise – cries
  • shark  - park
  • that – cat
  • sight – might
  • oh no – crow
  • doubt – shout
  • mad – dad
  • say - today


Throughout the week we will develop the children’s comprehension skills and give them opportunities to talk about the story, give their opinion, share their favourite  part of the story and ask questions.

In several of the Early Learning Goals (ELG) there is a mention of being able to discuss a story and incorporating new vocabulary into their own dialogue with their teachers and peers.


ELG: Communication and Language – Listening, Attention & Understanding:

  • Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions.
  • Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding.
  • Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.


ELG: Communication and Language – Speaking:

  • Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary.
  • Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate.


ELG: Literacy – Comprehension:

  • Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary.
  • Anticipate (where appropriate) key events in stories.
  • Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, nonfiction, rhymes and poems and during role play.


ELG: Expressive Arts and Design  – Being Imaginative and Expressive

  • Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher.



Towards the end of the week, once the children are really familiar with the story, we will sequence the story and make a story map. Reminding the children that every story has a beginning, middle and end.


Supporting your child at home: 

Read a range of stories so children build their knowledge and familiarity with them.

Discuss the stories and remember to model answers for your child.

For example:

My favourite part of the story is    …….

The characters in the story are    ………

The story setting is  …………

I would change   …………


Try making substitutes for elements of a story your child knows well.

Remember to start small! It is important to stick to a story your child likes and knows well. This will allow them to strengthen and develop new skills.


Next week in English:

We will read Billy’s Bucket by Kes Gray and Garry Parsons.



Week commencing: 26.2.24

Over the next few weeks in maths we are learning about the composition of numbers.

Knowing numbers are made up of two or more other smaller numbers involves ‘part–whole’ understanding.

Learning to ‘see’ a whole number and its parts at the same time is a key development in children’s number understanding.

Partitioning numbers into other numbers and putting them back together again underpins understanding of addition and subtraction as inverse operations.


Children will be combining two groups to find how many there are altogether. This is addition. Children need lots of opportunities to do this in many contexts using real objects and real situations.


Children will have opportunities to explore a range of ways to partition a whole number. The emphasis here is on identifying the pairs of numbers that make a total. Children can do this in two ways – physically separating a group, or constructing a group from two kinds of things.

This is a part – whole model  


                3 + 2 = 5                                           3 + 2 = 5


We will remind and encourage children to say the whole number that the ‘parts’ make altogether e.g. 4 and 1 make 5 (4 and 1 are the parts, 5 is the whole)


We will encourage exploration of all the ways that the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 can be and look.


For instance:

‘I can see 3 and 2. There are 5 spots altogether.’

These are the addition facts up to 5:






0+1= 1



0+2= 2




0+3= 3





0+4= 4






0+5= 5







The teachers will write the addition facts as number sentences, however the children do not need to write number sentences as it is not explicitly taught in Reception.


In class we will be using number stories to support the children’s understanding of addition and how to use a part-whole model.


We will show the children a picture and make up a story about it.

Here is an example of a number story:


‘Once upon a time there were 4 frogs on a log and 1 frog in the pool.

4  and 1 makes 5 altogether.’

The children can record the story on a part-whole model.



We will use the ‘I do, We do, You do’ model in class and encourage the children to make up their own number stories to demonstrate their understanding of addition, how to use a part-whole model and to help them learn the addition facts up to 5.


I do – Teacher makes up a number story and records it using a part-whole model.

We do – Teacher and children make up a story together and record on part-whole model together.

You do – Children make own number story. Children record on part-whole model independently.


We will also be exploring the numbers 6 and 7.

We will look at this numbers and discuss where we might see it in our environment.


We will practise writing the number 6  and 7 correctly.

Children often find writing numbers tricky, reversing them is very common at this age. Number 6 is often written as the letter ‘b’.



In lessons we will reinforce counting strategies, to help with their one to one correspondence and accuracy when counting.

We will remind children to:

  • touch the object as they count
  • move objects from one side to another
  • line objects up
  • cross out - if it is picture


All these strategies help a child to avoid counting an object twice.


We will look at ways of making 6 using the part-whole model and introduce them to a ten frame.

This is a ten frame:

In lessons we will talk to the children about using their ‘fast eyes’ to look at different amounts, this is to encourage and remind the children to use their subitising skills to count small amounts and add them together to work out a larger amount. This skill will help children to learn basic number facts.


For example:

We will talk about the ‘hidden numbers’ in 6.

How do you see 6? Use your fast eyes to subitise smaller groups of dots.

The teachers will model some examples:

  • I can see 3 and 3. I know 3 and 3 equals 6.
  • I can see 4 spots and 2 spots, that makes 6


Supporting your child at home:

Examples of activities to help children find ways of making 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5:


  • Playing skittles and looking at how many are standing. How many have fallen over? How many are there altogether?


  • Putting things into two containers in different ways


  • Making a number with two different kinds of things. For example, make a fruit skewer with five pieces of fruit, using bowls of bananas/strawberries to choose from; then ask the children to describe how they have made theirs. They should compare it with a partner's: ‘What is the same about your skewers? What is different?’


  • Bunny Ears: using your fingers like bunny ears. ‘With two hands, show me five fingers. Can you do it in a different way?’


Let your child record their findings in their own ways by drawing how they made 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. They can use a five frame or the part-whole model to record their findings as well.


Some children will already be able to do this mentally and reel off different ways of making 1,2,3,4 and 5.


Other children will be at a different stage in their number fluency and need to physically find ways of making 5 using objects.


Both of these stages are fine, as children progress at different rates.


The aim is to get all the children to see that numbers are made up of two or more smaller numbers and then to learn the number bonds up to 5.


By the end of Reception the maths Early Learning Goal for Number states:

  • Children must be able to automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5

Next week in maths:

We will be looking at the composition of numbers 8 and 9, adding two numbers together and using the part-whole model.


Developing Fine Motor Skills 


Preparing for writing in EYFS


Pre-writing activities are a great place to start a child's handwriting journey.

They can help build confidence creating shapes, and be really valuable for helping to develop pencil control and steadiness of hand.

Pre-writing activities are the building blocks that develop fine motor skills in young children which lead to good pencil control when they begin letter formation.

Here are some activities you can set up at home that will help your child with fine motor strength and control.

Tearing, scrunching and gluing tissue paper helps children with dexterity, strength and pinching skills.

You can make a sun, a tree or whatever they are interested in together.



Using plastic or wooden knives to cut playdough, pinching playdough and rolling it into balls is another great way to improve children’s hand strength and control.


Using tongs or large tweezers to pick up ANY objects big or small with one hand  this helps with the skills needed to use scissors as well as firmly grip a pencil.

Start big like a cotton wool ball and build up to bigger heavier objects.




Reading and Book Bags


At Fielding we follow the Read Write Inc programme.

This assessment has provided us with your child’s reading level.


Your child will receive a reading book.

The type of ‘book’ your child receives will depend on their phonics knowledge.


Some children will focus on learning the sounds of the alphabet.

Some children will receive a sound blending book to help develop their blending skills.

Some children will receive a book called ‘My Phonics Book’. A letter will be sent home with information of how this works.

Some children will receive a reading book.

In addition to this, your child will choose their own picture book.

Your child is not expected to read this book, this book is to be shared with an adult for enjoyment.


All books will be changed once a week.

Please make sure your child brings their book bag to school every day.

Please make sure that you always have the following inside your child’s book bag:

  • picture book
  • reading book
  • reading record

Please look through the reading record, there is lots of useful information inside.

Please sign the reading record every week and write a comment about how your child is progressing with their reading.

Key words

On page 18 there is the list of key words that the children need to learn to read over the year. Every two weeks we will check how your child is progressing with the reading of these words and let you know in their reading record. Please help your child to learn these words.

We will write what key word list your child is on in their reading record.

Home Learning 

Every Friday, your child will receive some phonics home learning from their phonics teacher. This must be done at home and does not need to be returned to school.

If you have any further questions please talk to your class teacher.


The Reception Team


Parent Workshops

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