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Coten End Primary School


Welcome to our Reception Blog.





WB 5.6.23

It was lovely to welcome the children back after their half term break. Our first task was to release the beautiful butterflies that had emerged during half term. The children were very excited to see them fly away and we completed lots of butterfly themed activities during the rest of the day.

We have started a new topic called 'Traditional Tales' and will be reading a different tale each week. We have started with The Billy Goats Gruff and the children have been completing lots of work linked to the story, including designing their own troll in Drawing Club and making a new bridge for the goats. 

We have been learning all about doubles during maths, looking at butterflies, dominoes and lots of other ways to represent the doubles of numbers up to 6. We have been impressed by the children's knowledge and understanding of the concept. We also had our final Come and Play session of the year and it was wonderful to see so many parents come to support their children and to see the sorts of activities they get up to at school.

WB 22.5.23

The children have had a really exciting week as they have taken part in their first Sport's Day. All of the adults working in Reception and the rest of KS1 were so proud of them all as they tried cup stacking, javelin, dressing up races, egg and spoon and many more! 

We have come to the end of our learning theme 'How does your garden grow' this week. We've all really enjoyed learning about how to look after the plants and creatures in our environment. The children have loved watching the flowers bloom in our Reception garden and have learned how to look after the flowers and have treated them with lots of care. We hope you agree that they all look beautiful. We are looking forward to hearing about whether the sunflowers we planted a few weeks ago are growing.

We finished for half term today, the children deserve a well earned rest, ready to come back in June for their final half term in Reception. 

WB 15.5.23

We've been crazy about minibeasts this week! The children have been learning all about insects and spiders and have enjoyed doing lots of activities based on their learning. They have impressed us with how much they understood about the little critters and demonstrated this by writing some fact files, drawing mini beasts and then making a spider to make their parents and carers jump! There has also been lots of digging in the garden, searching for minibeasts and discussions about where they are found. 

Our text has been 'What the ladybird heard' and the children have done some follow up activities linked to the story, such as designing a trap for Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh. In Drawing Club, each class has been looking at a different book and the children continue to impress us with their creative ideas and use of the vocabulary we have taught them.

In Maths we have been starting to learn about taking away and how to recognise that is different ways. It has been a challenge, but the children have really tried their best.

Our new school value to talk about this week has been Collaboration. We chatted with the children a lot about how we collaborate all the time in Reception to make our environment safe and enjoyable. Luckily we saw lots of evidence of this throughout the week, so the children have been receiving our new special stickers when we've seen them collaborating. 

Next week, the children will experience Sports Day for the first time. We're sure that there will be lots of examples of the children showing our new school values and that they will have lots of fun too.

WB 08.05.23

This week we have been exploring 'Not Now Bernard' during our Drawing Club sessions. The children have been using their imaginations and creative ideas to produce some lovely drawings and sentences about the characters in the book. We have also read 'The Hungry Caterpillar' as our theme focus this week. We've explored the life cycle of a caterpillar talking about the process that it goes through and even have some caterpillars in the classroom to observe and discuss.

With Sports Day only a couple of weeks away, we have been practising the different races and skills involved. It has been a lot for the children to remember, but they have had lots of fun doing the javelin and sprint races! And we have still had our excellent dance session with Suzanna as well.

Our Maths learning has started to get a bit trickier too, now that we are only a few months away from year 1. However, the children have really impressed us with their problem-solving skillls and knowledge of number bonds up to 10. We have also looked at symmetry to link with 'The Hungry Caterpillar.'

The children have also started to take it in turns to take our class bears home with them for the weekend. We are looking forward to them sharing their adventures with their friends each week.

WB 01.05.23

After an extra day of rest at the weekend, we had lots to fit in this week.

We have started to introduce the children to Drawing Club, which is designed to enrich the children's vocabulary and hopefully give them a love of reading. We started by looking at "The Colour Monster" exploring our emotions and learning some awesome words to help explain how we feel, including discombobulated! The children have designed their own monster, created a map and invented traps using a variety of construction. The children have been really engaged and thoroughly enjoying the new learning.

In Maths, we have been looking at some shapes and making tangrams. We learnt a new shape, parallelogram! A very tricky, but fun word to say. The children continue to impress us with their knowledge of number and counting skills.

Finally, at the end of the week, we learnt all about the Coronation this coming weekend. We chatted about what the word Coronation means and why it is important. The children then had the chance to learn design their own King Edward's Crown and pretend to sit on a throne in our own mini Westminster Abbey. We finished off my having some yummy snacks and drinks, like our own little street party. 

WB 24.4.23

We have started to learn about a new topic this week in Reception called How Does Your Garden Grow. We've started off by thinking about how fruits, vegetables and flowers can grow and the best conditions for them. The children have enjoyed drawing different fruits and vegetables using crayons and produced some lovely observational drawings of the flowers and plants in our garden. They were also given the opportunity to plant a sunflower seed to take home.

The children enjoyed listening to the story 'Oliver's Vegetables' this week. We hope it might have encouraged them to try some different vegetables at home! In the garden, they used the mud kitchen to make a vegetable stew. Delicious!

In Maths we have been learning about recognising the teen numbers and started to understand how they are made from 1 ten and ones.

As well as all this, there has been some super work for our Challenge Mountain activities, a chance to explore some musical instruments to compose some tunes and lots of opportunities for the children to play with each other.

WB 17.4.23

Seeing all the children back at school after the Easter break was lovely. They were well rested and very keen to come back! 

We had a bust week finishing off our topic 'Super Space.' This week's focus text was 'Superworm', and the children did many activities inspired by the story. Many of them made comic strips of their own superhero story, along with designing their own superhero with super powers. We made wool worms, carefully wrapping strands of wool around a cardboard worm to practice those fine motor and coordination skills, and then they had a fabulous time experimenting with magnets to make superheroes fly across a city scene. 

The weather has been a bit mixed, but the children have enjoyed getting outside to enjoy the garden and act out their own superhero stories. We have started to learn about subtraction too and played some games linked with this to help the children identify that subtraction means taking away.

WB 27.3.23

It's been a very busy week as we approached the end of term. Reception had a fabulous day dressing up as a superhero or space character on Wednesday. As we have been learning all about Super Space, we had a 'WOW' learning day and fully immersed ourselves in all things space. We flew to the moon in the hall with a real rocket launch countdown, made rocket fruit kebabs and created our own moon buggies from the junk modelling. All the children and staff thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Our other learning this week was based on 'Supertato' and his adventures with the Evil Pea. We had lots of fun freeing trapped vegetables from ice and hunting down tricky words stolen by the Evil Pea's accomplices. The children also had a go at writing some messages from kidnapped vegetables as they begged to be rescued.

We ended the week by getting ready for Easter. The children independently made some beautiful Easter cards and we finished off with an Easter Egg hunt in the classroom!

WB 20.3.23

In Reception this week, we have been learning all about astronauts. We read the brilliant book "Man on the Moon" which is all about an astronaut with a very important job. The children then found out about some real-life astronauts and what their jobs might be in space. They even had a go at ordering pictures from the story and writing their own sentences about what was happening. We were very impressed!

In Phonics, we finished learning our Phase 3 sounds with /er/ and /ure/. The children are very proud of all of their Phonics knowledge and love to show us when they spot new sounds around their environment.

In Maths, we have been looking at some units of measure, especially things that are taller or shorter. We had lots of fun measuring with cubes, which also practised counting skills.

The children have also been busy finding alien words around the garden, creating their own alien and enjoying their PE lesson in the hall.

WB 13.3.23 - British Science Week

Reception have had so much fun this week doing lots of experiments. We started off by making wax crayon underpants, then tried to make craters on the moon, enjoyed growing a balloon alien, making bath bombs and trying to understand how to make a paper helicopter fall to the ground at different speeds. All the adults were really impressed with the amount of questions and predictions that the children made.

We were also very lucky to be visited by Hannah Webber, a doctor (and parent at Coten End) who helped the children to understand about their bodies and how to keep germs away.

As well as all that we've learned our new sounds /oi/ /ear/ and /air/, plus the tricky word 'all' and in maths we've been consolidating ways to make 10. 

Week Beginning 27.2.23

In Reception, we've had a lovely week taking part in lots of activities to celebrate Book Week as part of 'Coten End's Big Year of Reading'. The children have enjoyed dressing up, meeting a poet, enjoying hearing stories read by other teachers in school, taking part in a book swap and our very own Poetry Slam! Each class wrote about how we should protect Pandas as our theme was all about sustainability.

This really encouraged the children to get excited about books, characters and poetry. They were all very excited to tell us about their costumes on World Book Day.

In Maths, we have been learning all about 9 and 10. The children have enjoyed creating pictures using 9 or 10 dots, sharing 9 strawberries in different ways and playing bingo. 

Week Beginning 23.01.23

We have had a very exciting week learning all about the celebration of Chinese New Year. We had a go at making lanterns, decorating red envelopes and wrote our names in Chinese symbols. The most exciting part of our week has been our cooking day - we made the most delicious noodles and stir fry (have a look at the pictures below, but be prepared for your mouth the start watering). We even had a go at using chopsticks to eat it!

In maths, we have been playing lots of games and listening to different maths stories to learn all of the number bonds for 5. We are beginning to be able to recall all of them and write the corresponding number sentences.

In phonics, we have been learning 'qu', 'sh', 'ch' and 'ng' and practising our writing by sounding out and labelling our favourite meal.

Week Beginning 09.01.23

This week in Reception, we started our ‘Panda-Monium’ topic where we will learn all about pandas and the country where they are from, China. We started by learning all about where pandas live and their habitats and then had a go at building our own panda den out of junk modelling.

We made some binoculars out of old cardboard tubes to use in our observation hut and once we’d finished observing the pandas, we made some paper plate pandas using all of the features that we spotted they had.

After discovering that pandas eat a lot of bamboo, in maths, we had a look at some real bamboo and compared the sticks of it using lots of mathematical language like ‘bigger’, ‘smaller’, ‘short’, ‘tall’, ‘long’ etc.

In phonics, we used all our sound knowledge to label a picture of a panda. We also learnt the new tricky words ‘he’ and me’.

We are really excited to carry this topic on next week!

Week Beginning 02.01.23

This week, we have enjoyed welcoming the children back to school after the holidays and hearing all about their Christmases. We have been very busy writing ‘Thank You’ letters to Santa whilst practising using our sounds to write.

To celebrate the new year, we made some ‘New Year Wishing Wands’ where we included something that we hope to learn or try in 2023.

In Maths, we played a really fun game called ‘A Minute to Win It’ where we were set different challenges like building a Lego tower, or putting marbles in a jar with just a minute to complete it.

Week Beginning 05.12.22

This week, we had a brilliant time performing our Christmas Nativities. We are sure that everybody who came to see them will agree that they were absolutely fantastic. We were so proud of the children for learning all of their lines and all of the actions to the songs and really enjoyed seeing the wonderful costumes that they all wore.

We also started off the Christmas celebrations by having our Christmas lunch and the children really enjoyed the Story Time with Santa event.

In Maths, we have been practising writing number sentences for different numbers that make 10.

In phonics, we have been practising all of the sounds that we have learnt so far and been having a go at blending them together to read and write words. We especially enjoyed writing our Christmas lists to Santa.

We also investigated some ice balloons and as we watched them melt over the course of the day, we discussed why things melt and how we could make them melt even faster.

Week Beginning 28.11.22

This week, we have been busy making Christmas decorations and decorating our classrooms. Each class has worked together to create a whole class Christmas tree.

In maths, we have been learning all about the number 10 and had a great time playing games outside to help us recognise which number is represented by which numeral.

In phonics, we have been learning the f, ff, l and ll sounds. These are quite tricky sounds to say, but the children did a superb job and were even able to start recognising some words that begin with the sounds.

We are still practising our Nativities and cannot wait to perform them for everybody next week!

Week Beginning 21.11.22

This week, we really enjoyed visiting the Christmas Fair where we played lots of different games and completed some Christmas crafts using old CDs and DVDs.

We have also been very busy practising for our Nativity and are very grateful for all the children’s hard work learning their lines at home. We cannot wait to perform it for you all.

In maths, we have been learning about the number 9 and even used Numicon to find different number bonds that make 9.

Our Tricky Word that we have been practising in phonics is ‘the’ and we were so impressed by how many children were able to recognise it when we listened to them read - well done Reception!

Week Beginning 07.11.22 

This week, we went on a wonderful Autumn walk to discover the seasonal changes that are happening now. We collected lots of different objects to bring back to class to investigate further including leaves, pine cones, acorns, sticks and many more. On Thursday, we had a go at writing our own poem as a class about Autumn and describing the different colours that we had seen. Even though it was a little chilly, we really enjoyed our walk – we have shared some photos below.

We also had a great time welcoming all of our adults from home into the classroom for our ‘Come and Learn’ sessions and hope that they enjoyed all of the activities with their children.

At the end of the week, we started to practise the songs for our nativity which we are really excited about. We even had time to learn the actions to a couple and give each child their part. We can’t wait to continue practising next week!

Week Beginning 31.10.22 

This week, we have been doing lots of interesting Halloween and Diwali inspired learning including hammering pumpkins, creating rangoli patterns, listening to the story of Diwali and designing our own pumpkin faces. In preparation for Bonfire Night, we have also been learning about firework safety and devised lots of tips for keeping safe around them.

In phonics, we have been revising all of the sounds that we have previously learnt and have started our first reading books.

In maths, we introduced the ten frame this week and have been exploring different ways the numbers 1 to 5 can be represented. We even had a giant ten frame on the floor that we played with.

Week Beginning 17.10.22 

We have been continuing our learning this week about 'People Who Help Us' and we had a very exciting visit from the police. Jess, the PCSO who visited, told us all about her job and let us have a go at wearing some of the uniform. After, she gave us a tour of her car and she even let us turn on the blue lights and the siren! The children really enjoyed it!

We have also been continuing our phonics learning journey by learning a new tricky word - no - and some new sounds – m, d and g. In the classrooms, we even had some ‘Sound Detectives’ hunting for our sounds in tuff trays and recording them on their sound boards - we were so impressed with how many sounds the children could recognise and their superb recording of the sounds which included some tricky letter formations. Like last week, we have also enjoyed looking at the children’s phonics folder and seeing the brilliant work they are also doing at home!

In maths, children have been learning all about numbers 1 to 5 and this week, our focus was to recognise the numerals. We played lots of games to practise this and children became quicker and quicker.

We hope all the children have a lovely half term and look forward to welcoming them back.

Week Beginning 10.10.22

As our 'People Who Help Us' topic continued this week, we had a very exciting visit from the fire service on Monday morning. Not only did we meet some real firefighters, but they also brought a real fire engine for us to see! We got a fascinating tour of all their important equipment – we saw hoses, breathing masks, enormous cutters and were even lucky enough to have a sit in the back of the fire engine. The children were absolutely thrilled with the experience and really enjoyed all of our activities back in class learning about fire fighters.

This week, we also continued our phonics learning journey by learning a new tricky word - go - and some new sounds – p, i, n. It is wonderful to see the children becoming more and more confident recognising the sounds and we have even had a go at blending them to read different words. We were really impressed with all the practise at home that we saw when the phonics folders were returned on Thursday and have now added the next set of sounds.

Week Beginning 03.10.22

As our 'People Who Help Us' topic continues, we have been lucky enough to have another visitor to Reception this week. On Tuesday, Simon came to talk to the children about being a paramedic. He let some of them try on his special reflective coat and safety helmet and even checked some heart rates using a very clever machine. After that, we were lucky enough to go outside and see his ambulance! The children absolutely loved looking inside and it was very exciting when he turned on the blue lights and even sounded the loud horn and siren! It was a fantastic experience for everyone!

This week has also marked the beginning of our phonics learning journey. We began the week by learning our first tricky word - I - and then followed it with learning the sounds s, a and t. All of the children did brilliantly; learning the sound, action and the letter formation rhyme. They even impressed us all by having a go at writing the letters on whiteboards! On Thursday, phonics folders went home in bookbags and we hope you have enjoyed using these to help your child continue to practise at home. Please return them next Thursday and we will add in the next set of sounds that we have learnt.

Week Beginning 26.09.22

As part of our topic ‘People Who Help Us’, we have been learning about the importance of oral health. This week the Reception children had a visit from a dentist called Jack from Space Healthcare in Leamington, who talked to the children about teeth and how to look after them. They learnt how many teeth they have, which kinds of food and drinks are good or bad for our teeth, how to clean their teeth and what to expect when visiting a dentist. The children all listened brilliantly and some were even able to share their own experiences of going to the dentist and how they clean their teeth at home. We set up a 'Dentist Station' which all the children loved accessing; we practiced brushing teeth (not their own!) with toothbrushes and toothpaste. All of Reception were also given an amazing dental ‘goodie bag’ each. These were all kindly donated by House of Dental in Birmingham and we would like to say a big thank you to them, Jack and Space Healthcare for their tremendous support!

Week Beginning 19.9.22

It was so lovely to have all of the children in school full time week! During our carpet time sessions, we have learnt about Coten End's Golden Rules and the children are really beginning to understand what they mean and have been earning special stickers for following them. We have also spent a lot of time encouraging the children to develop friendships, learn each other's names and explore all of the different areas both inside and outside. Everyone has settled in brilliantly and we are so proud of them all! Although it has only been four days, everyone is quite tired so some early nights might be needed this weekend!

Week Beginning 12.9.22

What a wonderful first week in Reception! The children have settled in brilliantly and have learnt all about our daily routines. It has been lovely to see them playing together, making new friends and exploring their new classrooms. They enjoyed staying for their first school lunch and even had a short playtime on the 'big playground'! Please see Tapestry for a selection of photos of their first few days. 

We are really looking forward to all of the children being in full time from next Tuesday! 

Week Beginning 13.6.22

This week we have started our new half-termly theme of 'Traditional Tales'. The children have loved hearing some of these stories so far so it is worth having a read of some traditional tales that you might find in a library or having a look at some animated versions on the internet. We have started with the tale of 'The Three Billy Goat's Gruff' and we have been very creative with lots of construction! We have looked at making boats for the goats to travel under the bridge, discussing the difference between waterproof and absorbent materials when deciding what to use to make our boats. We have also used junk modelling to create strong bridges. This has led to lots of conversations about how we can make the bridge strong, such as how we can join parts together and what materials we can use that are strong enough for the goats to walk over. Some children have also enjoyed retelling the story, using storyboards.

In maths, we have been focusing on taking away and have played lots of games to help us to practise. One game we have played is called 'Race to Zero'. You and a friend/partner each make a Lego/Duplo tower of 10 cubes and take it in turns to roll a dice and take the number that has been rolled away from your tower. The person to get to 0 the fastest is the winner! Maybe you could try this at home, as we have had lots of fun playing it.