Festive Artwork

Reception children have been busily making cards and calendars to share with their families…

The children have made a card using twigs that they collected at Forest School. Each child ordered their twigs in size order from shortest to longest and decided upon the best way to attach them to the lolly stick and card to make them look like a tree. Inside the card each child chose who in their family they would like to write the card to (writing for a purpose). We were amazed at how many family pets will be receiving cards this year! The children used their Kinetic Letters to write in the cards and signed their card with their name.

In art we have been learning how to use tools appropriately to mix paint. This is a very important skill for artists as it’s very difficult to mix powder paint with water to get the right consistency (like creamy yoghurt). (This is an important skill that the children will use further up the school when they use water colours). We then practised our colour mixing and blending skills by representing the seasons and things we may see. (Spring = green buds and pink blossom dabbed onto the paper, Summer = the warm sunny colours painted in Kandinsky style concentric circles, Autumn = browns, oranges and yellows to represent the leaves on the ground and Winter = the cold colours in zigzags to represent the ice). These have been framed in a window to symbolise looking out at the changing seasons.


Reception trip to West Lodge

Reception had a fantastic day at West Lodge! The weather was dry, sunny and mild; the children were fantastically well behaved and the activities were amazing!

First we saw the farm animals and then participated in a ‘live’ Nativity play where the farmer chose 24 children to dress up and act out the scenes whilst the rest of the children played instruments and sang the Christmas songs between each scene.

After lunch we split into three groups and rotated around three activities.
1) The children were able to design their own Christmas card. I’m still brushing glitter out of my hair now!
2) We had a lovely stroll through a twinkling wonderland of lights. Whilst in there we paused to read a set of instructions and each child made a little bag of magic reindeer food to sprinkle outside their house on Christmas Eve to give the reindeer the energy to fly to the next house.
3) A visit to Santa who checked his list on more than one occasion to check that the children were on his ‘nice’ list. I reassured him that all of the children work very hard at school and that we’re proud of them! He then spoke to each child and asked what they would like as a gift for Christmas. The children spoke clearly and were very polite and remembered to say “Thank you” when he gave each of them a small gift. As we left Santa’s workshop he called me back and complimented the children on their behaviour and listening skills. Another proud moment as a teacher of children from Simon de Senlis!

The day was rounded off with a visit to the outside play equipment before getting onto the coach and school minibus to get back to school. The children (and staff and parent helpers) were all exhausted after a busy day in the fresh air. Quite a few children fell asleep on the coach on the way home and I’m sure the adults will sleep well tonight and will probably dream of counting children and making sure that everyone was safe.

Thank you to the parent helpers who gave up their day to help make the day a success and thank you to Mrs Read who organised the whole trip.

Well done Reception children, we’re proud of how you behaved on your very first school trip!



Reception adventure … Staying for lunch

We were so proud of our Reception children today as they took two more leaps into independent learning. First they started the day by entering the Reception setting without the help of parents… Many thanks mums, dads, childminders / carers for developing your child’s confidence. We know it’s often difficult as parents to stand back and enable your child to grow as an individual, but the pride of the children in the classrooms this morning spoke volumes about their journey of independence.

Secondly, all of the Reception children stayed at school for lunches today. They followed instructions beautifully and were a credit to you all as their behaviour in the dinner hall was outstanding! All of this week the Reception staff will stay in the hall with the children whilst they get used to the routines and will assist with helping the lovely Lunchtime supervisors as they get to know the children. You could help at home by talking to your child about what foods to eat first and also by helping your child to learn to cut up foods and to spread butter. We will also be focussing on these skills during Reception snack time as we will encourage the children to use plastic knives to spread butter / jam / cream cheese and also cut soft fruits such as bananas into portions before eating – fun, but practical too!

Looking forward to seeing all the children again for another great day tomorrow.



Reception phonics

The final few children joined Reception today. We have had a lovely morning and have started to learn the routines of our phonic lessons. Today we learnt the pure sound ‘s’, the Jolly Phonics song and action to go with the sound. We then thought of some words / objects that begin with the ‘s’ sound.

Can you think of any more words that begin with a ‘s’ sound? Tell me tomorrow and we can add them to our list.


Home visits are finished and first new Reception children start tomorrow…

Thought there are probably many nervous parents tonight (soon, as more children join us). Saw this and the teacher’s response shares our feelings…

Dear Teacher,

I know you’re rather busy, first day back, there’s just no time, a whole new class of little ones and this one here is mine.

I’m sure you have things covered and have done this lots before, but my boy is very little, he hasn’t long turned four.

In his uniform this morning, he looked so tall and steady, but now beside your great big school I’m not quite sure he’s ready.

Do you help them eat their lunch? Are you quick to soothe their fears? And if he falls and hurts his knee will someone dry his tears?

And what if no-one plays with him? What if someone’s mean? What if two kids have a fight and he’s caught in between?

You’re right, I have to leave now it’s time for him to go I’m sure he’ll learn so much from you, things that I don’t know.

Yes, I’m sure they settle quickly, that he’s fine now without me, I know he has to go to school, it’s just so fast.

You see, it seems like just a blink ago I first held him in my arms, it’s been my job to love, to teach, to keep him safe from harm.

So, when I wave goodbye in a moment and he turns to walk inside, forgive me if I crumple into tears of loss and pride.

I know as I give him one more kiss and watch him walk away, that he’ll never again be wholly mine as he was before today.

Dear Parent,

We understand that you are scared to wave your child goodbye and leave him in a teacher’s hands – don’t worry if you cry!

We’re used to weeping parents, it’s hard to leave we know. But it’s time to share him (just a bit) to help him learn and grow.

Let us reassure you that we’ll give your child our best, we’ll wipe his tears, soothe his fears and change his dirty vest!

If your darling child is full of cold we’ll blow their nose all day, just like you, we’ll care for them in a special way.

We’ll treat him like we would our own we’lll catch him from a fall and if there is ANY problem we’ll be sure to tell you all.

It’s true he’ll grow to love us, they’ll talk of school a lot, it doesn’t mean they hate you and that you should lose the plot!

We’ll tell you a secret… That when your child is here, they talk to us as much of you of this please have no fear.

You’ll always be their mother, whilst teachers come and go, to them you are their number one, this I truly know.

Soon you’ll see some changes, in your little girl or boy, they’ll become more independent and to see this, it’s a joy!

We’ll teach them all I have to give, to share, climb and to write, but to you they safely will return to tuck them in at night.

With love from The Reception Team…

Looking forward to seeing you all, we will have tissues to hand.