Welcome to Reception
Welcome to the Foundation Stage, the first steps of your child’s learning journey at St Johns Catholic Primary School.
Every child deserves the best possible start in their education and through parental and teacher support they can fulfill their potential. The Reception year will lay the foundations to enable your child to become an independent and self-motivated learner throughout their whole school career.
The teacher in Reception team are Mrs Davies, Miss Cable, Miss Huffy and Miss Prentice. The teaching assistants are Mrs Springhall, Mrs Berry, Mrs Lyonsand Mrs Shaw. The phase leader is Mrs Lambourne.
In the Foundation Stage there are seven areas of learning:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
These areas of learning are taught through different topics during the school year. This term our topic is “What a Wonderful World”
If yourself or a member of your family would like to come into school to share an element of our culture, eg, music, dance, clothes, language then please speak to your child’s class teacher.
Uniform: All children must be in their correct uniform, children are allowed to wear summer uniform until Monday 25th September, after this all children must be in winter uniform. Please ensure that ALL uniform is clearly named, including ties. All children must have a St John’s book bag which can be purchased from the school office.
PE kits and bags must also be named.
Children are allowed to wear a pair of plain stud earrings but no other jewellery must be worn.
Reading/phonics: We follow the letters and sounds phonics scheme, we begin by practising our listening skills and listen to different familiar sounds. (phase 1.)When we move to phase two we begin by learning the letters s, a, t, p, i, n.
We learn the phoneme (sound) and how to write the grapheme (written letter) we also learn the letter name.
When reading words using these graphemes, eg “sat” we encourage children to segment (sound each phoneme out) and blend (blend all the sounds together)
There are lots of great child friendly websites that can help you too, for example; www.mrthorne.com (also has apps and is on youtube)
Homework: All children should read daily with parents at home.
Children will be given reading books on a weekly basis.
Useful websites –
Voluntary fund: We kindly ask parents to donate £1 a week to our voluntary art and craft fund. This allows us to buy extra resources to enrich the curriculum.
Show and tell: On a Friday a few children from each class will be asked to bring something in from home which they can then talk about during a show and tell session, this helps to develop their confidence and speaking and listening skills.
Junk Modelling: We have an art studio in class R3 at the moment. Please could you donate the following for the children to make models:
- Buttons, cotton reels, thread, yarn and fabric scraps.
- Plastic bottles, cartons and cardboard tubes.
- Boxes/ cereal packets (no nuts), jar lids, tissue paper, sweet wrappers, foil and bubble wrap.
Important dates/ notices:
11/06/2018: Last week, the first half of children in class R4 enjoyed their first Forest Schools session. Each group made clay faces, looked for and identified mini- beasts and made a magic potion! They had lots of fun. The remaining half of the children in R1, Miss Prentice’s class, will go this week.
Our topic focus this term is Fairy tales. The children will explore Fairy tale characters, homes and castles, good and bad characters, magic and fantasy and writing and telling stories.
Our phonics focus this week is introducing phonemes “ay” and “ou.” (Phase 5.) Our Maths focus is to work on their number recognition, beyond 20, one more and less, addition and subtraction of numbers to 20.
The children are practising for Sports Day. Reception Sports Day is on 29 June.
Thank you for your support.
18/05/2018: Last week, the first half of children in class R1 enjoyed their first Forest Schools session. Each group made clay faces, looked for and identified mini- beasts and made a magic potion! They had lots of fun. The remaining half of the children in R1, Miss Huffey’s class, will go this week and next week. Forest school will continue after half term. (class R4)
Our maths focus this week is addition and subtraction. Please practise counting forward and backwards with your child at home.
Our literacy focus will be to encourage children to read and write animal riddles. Our phonics focus next week is revising phonemes “oi” and “ear.”
The children will need to bring home their PE kit this week and check that their plimsoles fit for next term, when they will be practising for Sports Day.
11/05/2018: Last week, the remainder of children in class R2 enjoyed their first Forest Schools session. Each group made clay faces, looked for and identified mini- beasts and made a magic potion! They had lots of fun. Children in R1, Miss Huffey’s class, will go this week and next week. Forest school will continue after half term.
Our literacy focus will be to encourage children to find information, on animals, using the I-Pads and computers. They can tell their friends, before they record some amazing animal facts. Our phonics focus next week is revising phonemes “ur” and “ow.”
04/05/2018: Last week, the children in class R2 enjoyed their first Forest Schools session. Each group made clay faces, looked for and identified mini- beasts and made a magic potion! They had lots of fun. Thank you parents for your support and help with the children with all Reception trips. The remainder of Class R2 will be visiting the Forest School this Friday.
27/04/2018: Last week the children in Reception visited Kent Life to look at animals in their environment, Despite the erratic weather, the children enjoyed cuddling the animals, having a tractor ride, looking at the owls and meerkats and meeting the baby animals. Look out for information on Leeds Castle Fairy Tale Workshop next term!
Thank you for your support.
20/04/2018: Last week was Sikh Week. Mrs Kaur spoke to the children and showed them pictures of the Sikh Temple (Gudwhara) There were special Bangla dancers performing at Friday’s Assembly, which included Miss Sekhon!
16/04/2018: Our topic this term is “,‘Do cows drink Milk?”
09/04/2018: Our focus last week in numeracy was adding and subtracting numbers up to 20. The children were reading and writing about the Easter Story and retelling the story of Easter. We had an exciting time hunting for chocolate eggs and made an Easter nest for all the children, using shredded wheat!
09/03/2018: This week we took advantage of the dry weather and did some planting. This will continue next week when the children will be planting cress and beans. The children were exploring the different stages of the caterpillar’s growth. They were investigating time and capacity in maths and revising the sounds “ar” and “or.”
Our topic this term is “What is growing inside and outside our classroom?”
02/02/2018: Last week , the children in Reception were visiting Morrisons. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the staff at Morrisons for allowing us to visit their store and helping the children to answer questions and pay for their fruit. We would also like to thank our parent helpers and staff at St. John’s Primary who also helped us. The children thoroughly enjoyed their adventure.
29/01/2018: Last week, the children in Reception were reading “Handa’s Surprise” by Eileen Browne. They took the opportunity to taste some of the fruit that Handa had in her basket and describe the fruit using our senses.
Throughout this week, we encouraged the children to recognise coins and their value and made totals using coins.
Our focus next week in Literacy, is to be able to write their own describing words and simple sentences. Please continue to encourage your child to write their letters and numbers, as well as learning phase 2 and phase 3 sounds.
Classes R1 and R4 will be doing Balancability sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Each session is a thoroughly enjoyable way of learning to ride a bike! We will also be taking the children to a local supermarket. They will be asked to look at the variety of food available, including fruit, vegetables, cereals, fish, meat, bread, tinned and packaged products. Also, they will be encouraged to read any labels or signs and find out about the different jobs that people do in the store. The children will be taking photos of the different types of healthy food and weighing and purchasing fruit. Each class will visit the supermarket in the mornings. We will be going on Wednesday 31 January (classes R2/ R3) and Friday 2 February (classes R1/ R4.)
08/01/2018: Happy New Year and welcome back to all the children in Reception. Thank you for attending your child’s progress meeting and encouraging your child to learn at home in partnership with the school.
The topic for this term is ‘. Are carrots orange?” The children will be exploring and eating healthy food. We will be encouraging the children to follow a healthy lifestyle, with your assistance.
This week , the children in Reception were reading “Oliver’s vegetables” by Vivian French. They took the opportunity to talk about the vegetables that Oliver tasted, matched the vegetable to the day of the week and used their senses to look at, touch, smell and taste the vegetables that Oliver tasted.
Throughout this week, we encouraged the children to use mathematical language eg heavier than , lighter than. Next week we will be focusing on counting, shape and making amounts using coins.
Our focus next term in Literacy, is to be able to recognise signs and labels and write their own words and simple sentences.Please continue to encourage your child to write their name and numbers, as well as learning phase 2 and phase 3 sounds.
15/12/2017: What a great end to this year! Thank you for bringing in costumes and accessories for the play. Those parents who did not receive a costume letter will have a Nativity costume provided for their child.
Please could we continue to request a donation of £1.00 to go towards the cost of additional resources in our art fund next term.
The topic for next term is ‘. Are carrots orange?” The children will explore and eat healthy food.
- Use their senses to investigate different types of food.
- Read labels, signs and prices at a local supermarket.
- Take photographs of amazing or favourite foods.
- Talk to stallholders or staff about the food on display.
- Think about which food is healthy.
- Taste and handle food that they haven’t tried before.
- Collect brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables.
- Draw pictures of food that interest them.
language. We will be focusing on counting, number recognition, ordering numbers,measuring and shape and making amounts using coins.
Our focus next term in Literacy, is to be able to recognise signs and labels and write their own words and simple sentences.Please continue to encourage your child to name, as well as learn. the sounds for the letters of the alphabet.We like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Mrs Davies, Miss Cable, Miss Prentice and Miss Huffey and the Early Years Team
08/12/2017: Last week, Freddie’s dad came to talk to the children about his role as a pilot on the River Thames. He talked about importance of working at night and showed the children his life jacket and special luminous jacket. We want to forward a special thank you to Mr.Howard and PC Barry for visiting our children this term.
01/12/2017: Last week, our children had been exploring space and the solar system in the Astrodome. The children had a virtual tour of the Space Station by Tim Peak, followed by an exciting visual in-depth exploration of the constellations and planets.
24/11/2017: Last week, our children have been investigating the appearance and behaviour of nocturnal animals eg the fox, badger and owl. Their challenge was to sort out diurnal and nocturnal animal pictures.
17/11/2017: Our children have been investigating the appearance and behaviour of nocturnal animals eg the fox, badger and owl. Their challenge was to sort out diurnal and nocturnal animal pictures.
10/11/2017: Last week, our Reception children visited the Gudwhara in Gravesend as part of “Understanding the World”. Their awareness of the World around them was extended by visiting the Sikh Temple and finding out about different elements of the Sikh culture. Their visit also focused on helping the children to learn about how other people are different from them, yet share some of the same characteristics and ideas. The children were amazed at the splendour of the Sikh Temple and how generous our hosts were. They had a wonderful time and were great ambassadors for St. John’s School.
13/10/2017: Last week, Reception children were busy having fun finding rhyming words. They learnt the “Gruffalo Song” with actions!! They continued to learn phase 2 sounds (s, a, t, p, i, n, m, d, g, o, c, k.)
We have added a new water play area in the sensory garden. This will teach the children about maths and science in play. Some of the children were busy decorating recycled materials to make a “sound” area. Your child’s class photograph appeared in the Gravesend Messenger on Thursday. It was exciting for the children to spot themselves in the photograph.
This week, we would like you to encourage your child to use mathematical language to describe and compare quantities or size eg I am taller than you. This book is heavier than the pencil. The pencil is longer than the sharpener etc.
We will be segmenting and blending CVC words and matching them to the correct picture or object. The children will be finding totals by counting two groups together.
This week will be the last week before half term. Enjoy your break together and have lots of rest before term two begins.
Thank you for your support.
29/09/2017: Last week, Reception were busy learning about themselves and painting their portraits. They were introduced to “Ollie Organisation” and a lucky child received a postcard from Ollie for being prepared to learn at school each day by themselves.
This week, the children are going to continue to learn phase 2 sounds (s, a, t, p, i, n, m and d) and segment and blend letters and sounds in their reading. We would like you to encourage your child to make CVC words with letter magnets, or spell their own name using a pencil, tracing in sand or using play dough to spell the letters.
The children will begin planting flower bulbs in the sensory garden. A lovely sight for the children to see in Spring!
Please continue to read with your child and sign their Reading Records.
Thank you for your support.
18/09/2017: Last week, Reception was busy enjoying their first full week at school. The children are enjoying settling into routine and learning during child initiated time. They were made feel special at our special “Welcome Assembly.” They also modelled their best smiles, as their picture was taken for the “Gravesend Messenger.”
This week, the children are going to learn phase 2 sounds and begin their reading. They are very excited. The children will receive two books to bring home. Please read them with your child and sign the reading record. Homework will be given out on Monday. Please return it on Thursday and allow your child to complete their own work, using a pencil to write.
Thank you for supporting your child.
Check out the children the children learning through child initiated activities below.