Life in Reception

Watch this page fill up with information and photographs from our amazing learning journey in Reception. 
Autumn Second Half Term in Reception Class 
We had a brilliant and spooky first week back in Reception! We fully embraced Halloween (we even had ‘The Monster Mash’ as our ‘Wake Up Shake up’ song) and had a lot of fun investigating the origins of Halloween and how traditions have changed over the years. We very much enjoyed talking about how we celebrate Halloween with our families and how our traditions are similar and different to that of our friends. On Halloween we were so excited to receive a letter from the one and only Winnie the Witch. Winnie sent us lots of ingredients and challenged us to make the perfect potion. The perfect potion had to have 10 legs in it, no more or less! We had lots of fun exploring the ingredients (bats, frogs, lizards, ladybirds and spiders!) and counting how many legs each had. We then began to investigate how to make the perfect potion. We quickly realized we could only use the spider once and by counting on we realised we would need two more legs- it had to be the bat. Our first potion was made! We then explored how many different ways we could make the perfect potion. We recorded our work, choosing how to record individually, and sent the potions off to Winnie!

We have loved our Halloween crafts. We have developed our fine motor skills when threading wool to make spider webs, worked on our cutting skills when making light catching pumpkins, investigated changing materials when making spooky playdough, fizzing potions and slime and taken our design and art outside when making wands and broomsticks!

On Thursday we took part in our second dance session with Eve from LP Dance in Education. We had a fantastic time we rode our broomsticks all around Northumberland, made some magical potions and dance to some all-time favourite Halloween songs! Ask us all about it!


We started our second week by talking about different famous people and the talents and skills that lead them to fame. We then thought about what we are really good at and wrote some amazing sentences. We were thrilled with how confident the children were to apply their phonic skills to independent writing. We then watched lots of interviews with Julia Donaldson and read a biography all about her! We loved finding out interesting facts, like she once played a cat in a school play and her favourite book is ‘Watership Down.’ Ask us to tell you something we found out.

We then decided to read one of our favourite stories by Julia Donaldson, ‘The Gruffalo.’ We used the most amazing expression to retell the story and created actions to represent key moments and characters. We then had lots of fun sequencing key events and creating our own story maps. We even used our phonic skills to add key sounds and words to our story maps.

On Thursday we had a great time exploring measuring length in our mathematics session. We were so excited to find the Gruffalo had left a foot print in our classroom! We had a great time investigating his footprint, comparing it with our own (it was much bigger!) and we then decided to measure it using cubes. We took our learning outside and worked together to collect lots of sticks and order them from shortest to tallest. Ask us to tell you all about it!


This week we have explored another one of our favourite stories by Julia Dondalson, ‘Room on the Broom.’ We really enjoyed sharing the story and finding lots of rhyming words. When we received a letter from the witch we were very excited! She needed our help to make a list of rhyming ingredients for her potion. We had lots of fun coming up with rhyming words, using pictures and objects as prompts. We were so impressed when the children decided they wanted to write their rhyming pairs down, applying their phonic skills to their independent writing with great pride. We completed lots of fun rhyming challenges, including making rhyming soup and going on a rhyme hunt in our outdoor classroom! We then got another letter from the witch, thanking us for all our hard work and setting us one more challenge. She needed help to find the cauldron with the biggest capacity in order to make her rhyming potion. We had a great time exploring capacity in the potion station (water tray) and the witch’s kitchen (outdoor classroom.) We estimated which cauldron we thought would have the biggest capacity and then measured the capacity using cups. We also used mathematical vocabulary (full, empty, half full/empty, nearly full/empty) in our play.

Autumn First Half Term in Reception Class. 

It has been an absolute pleasure to welcome your children into Reception class this week. We are so very proud of how quickly they have settled into life at Broomley and it has been wonderful to see them coming into school with big smiles and getting to know their new classroom with interest and excitement!


During our first week, as well as learning our classroom routines and talking about what makes a happy classroom, we have taken part in ‘Take One Picture’ week. The whole school explored the painting of St George and the Dragon by Paolo Uccello. In Reception we focused on dragons and had a lot fun sharing stories about dragons (including Zog, George’s Dragon and Room on the Broom) making dragons out of playdough, painting dragons and then we decided to make shields too for the knights. We had a lot of fun working together to make a giant dragon with collage materials. 

In our second week we enjoyed talking about ourselves and what makes us special. We have looked at ourselves in the mirror and then painted self portraits, made playdough faces and even made paper plate faces! We loved looking in the mirrors so much we decide to make our own special mirrors. When we look into our special mirrors it reminds us just how special we are!


We started our thrid week by reading ‘Elmer’ and talked about celebrating all the things that make us special. We enjoyed finding leaves, sticks and stones in our outdoor classroom and using these materials to make smiley faces. We then had lots of fun talking about our families. We have talked about all the things that make our families special and all the lovely things we enjoy doing together. We read the story ‘The Rainbow Fish’ and talked about what makes a good friend. We then had lots of fun making our own rainbow fish puppets and we made friendship bracelets for our friends in the class. On Wednesday and Thursday we learnt the names of some of our body parts (head, arm, legs, hand, foot). We really enjoyed drawing around our friends and working together to label the different parts of our body. We also had fun singing ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’, ask us to sing it for you!


In our fourth week we began exploring autumn. We went on a walk around the school grounds and discovered lots of signs of autumn. We discovered lots of conkers and apples that had fallen from the trees, and lots of beautiful yellow and orange leaves. We have enjoyed talking about some of the seasonal changes that occur in autumn and how they make us feel. We all agreed that although it is starting to get colder we like getting wrapped up and drinking hot chocolate!

 In our mathematics sessions we have explored 2D shapes. We have focused on naming and describing rectangles, squares, triangles and circles. We have used the mathematical vocabulary ‘sides’ and ‘corners’ to describe the shapes. We had so much fun going on shape hunts around school and found lots of shapes in the environment. We made shape monsters out of playdough and shape aliens with ‘gummed’ shapes. 


We can’t quite believe it is October and almost the end of week 5. We have been very busy this week learning all about hibernation. On Monday we were very excited to receive another letter from Percy. He asked us to find out about hibernation and use our knowledge to help the animals in our garden. Ask us…what is hibernation? Why do some animals hibernate? How do animals get ready for hibernation? What animals hibernate? We really enjoyed using our knowledge to make amazing (and cosy!) homes for hedgehogs and dormice in our outdoor classroom. We have also been busy making playdough hedgehogs, leaf hedgehogs and painting hedgehogs. Ask us all about it!  When you are out and about at the weekend you may like to look out for signs of animals beginning to hibernate or help make a house for a mouse in your garden!

In our mathematics sessions we have enjoyed exploring repeating patterns. We had lots of fun continuing patterns and even making our own repeating patterns by printing with vegetables. We took our learning outside and made repeating patterns using leaves and sticks. We also made amazing repeating pattern paper chains, which you can see hanging in our classroom windows.


We started our 6th week by reading the story ‘Leaf Man’ by Lois Ehlert. We loved the pictures and discovering all the different places he travelled to. We made our own leaf puppets and had lots of fun using our imaginations to plan their adventures. We then began to write our own stories, using pictures, letters and some words. Some of our leaf puppets travelled as far as space to meet aliens, over to North America to see bears and across to Candyland…to eat lots of sweets! We had a great time collecting leaves to make pictures which are hanging in our art gallery.

On Wednesday we had a great time in our outdoor classroom making the most of the rain! We loved making puddle paintings and seeing all the different patterns we could make. We put food colouring in a puddle and then added oil. We talked about how the oil separated the food colouring and water and then when we lay our paper in the puddle it made amazing patterns. You might like to try it at home! We also loved jumping in the puddles and making water traps. 

On Thursday we had our first curriculum visit from LP Dance in Education. We had a brilliant time finding out about Diwali and learning a Bollywood dance routine. We will add the photographs and videos to our blog on the school website. Ask us to teach you the routine at home!

This week we also took part in the national  'Coding' week by exploring the programmable toys 'beebots.' We learnt how to program the toys and had lots of fun navigating them around cones and around our car mats. 


 We can’t quite believe we have completed our first half term already! We are very proud of the progress each and every child has made, they are fantastic!

This week we have loved sharing the story ‘Pumpkin Soup’ by Helen Cooper. We told the story using props and the most amazing expressions and actions. We then used our knowledge of the story to sequence pictures (key events.) We decided to add key words to our story maps and applied our phonics skills to our independent writing. We were so excited to receive a letter from the main characters in the story (Cat, Duck and Squirrel.) They sent us our very own pumpkin to explore! We had so much fun opening it up and investigating the inside, we talked about the skin, flesh and seeds. We used the most amazing language to describe how it felt, “googey”, “slimey” and “squishy” were some of our favourites. We then received another letter from the characters asking for help to write a shopping list. We used our phonics skills to sound out words and wrote the sounds we could hear. Ask us to help write a shopping list at home. In our outdoor classroom we had a great time retelling the story by making ‘mud soup.’ We talked about how important it is to take turns and all work together, just like the characters in the story.

  • Whittonstall First School, Main Road,
    Whittonstall, Northumberland DH8 9JN
  • 01207 560325
  • Broomley First School, Main Road, Stocksfield
    Northumberland NE43 7NN
  • 01661 842271