Reception – Overview for the Winter Terms 2019

Reception – Overview for the Winter Terms

Teaching team – Miss Mearns, Mrs Duck, Miss Lipscombe and Mrs Standfast

 ‘Snow and Ice’.

This theme gives us the chance to explore stories and facts surrounding the North and South Pole, Antarctic and Arctic animals, and the properties of snow and ice. After half term, we will Spring into Spring looking for signs of change and exploring the ways plants grow. Celebrations this term include Chinese New Year, Shrove Tuesday, Lent and Easter. As always, we adapt our themes to respond to the children’s interests.


 Phonics: Oral blending (sounding out words) remains the cornerstone for learning to read. Oral segmenting (e.g. what sounds can you hear in ‘penguin’) is how we teach children to begin writing. Accurate spelling of long words is not expected, and we give children lots of praise for attempting writing.

Handwriting: Practicing cursive letter formation in letter families e.g. c-a-d-g-o. This will involve lots of tracing and practice at school and at home.

Literacy: listening to and discussing stories and information texts linked to our topic; writing sentences linked to stories.

Numeracy: Developing our understanding of numbers up to 10 and the different ways we can make them (number bonds) e.g. all the different pairs of numbers that add to make ‘5’.


500 Book: Children can attempt some of the simpler words in these books as you share them. Please record any reading in the yellow reading record. Each week the class with the most reads wins the ‘Reading Rocket’ in Friday’s Celebration Assembly.

Apps you may like: ‘Pocket Phonics’ helps children practice their new sounds in words. ‘Singalong Handwriting’ supports children to learn cursive letter formation in a fun way. Do make sure you choose the UK option.

Sound tin: It is really helpful for the children to keep practicing the sounds in the tin, making silly words or real words. Confident children could begin to make words with four sounds (e.g. snip or mint).

Letter formation: Tracing is a successful way to help children secure the skills of cursive writing. In this way, they can concentrate on good letter formation.

Maths: Keep practicing counting backwards as well as forwards.


We continue to encourage the children to use the environment to learn as well as to ‘grow our brains’. We will encourage them to think of new ways to use things, to use their senses to explore and to try things that are tricky or new. We tell the children not to worry if they can’t do something, but to say “I’ll try” or “I will practise” for the things we don’t know how to do ….. YET!

Class Information

Reading: The most effective way to learn to read is to do it every day, so please continue to read with your child. Books are changed Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Tricky words: In reception we aim to learn 24 of these words. If you would like a list to practise at home please ask a member of the team.

Letter formation: Please practise correct letter formation, especially of your child’s own name.

Maths: Try this game!

  • Hide both hands behind your back – choose a secret number and make that number with your fingers “1-2-3 fishy fingers show!”
  • Parent and child show their fingers and talk about them – which is the bigger number? smaller number?, who has the most?, the fewest?, what is the difference?,  What if I had one more…  one less…. ? Repeat !!!
  • Making it easier – use only one hand
  • Even easier – sing “1-2-3-4-5 Once I Caught a Fish Alive” together using fingers.
  • Making it harder – try adding the fingers together. “I have 9 and you have 7, how many do we have altogether?”
  • Even harder – try adding without counting all of the fingers (counting on) – e.g. “We don’t need to start at one, we can count on from 9… 9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16”


Children should be ready for registration by 8:55am. School opens at 8:45am to give the children time to get organised. Our lessons will start promptly at 9 am from January. Please speak to a member of staff if you are having difficulties getting to school on time. Hopefully we can help.

Library: Mrs Adey will be coming to school on Monday afternoons to take the children to the school library to choose a book and enjoy a story. Please return books to class each Monday morning.

Kit in school: Children need a blue polo shirt and blue or black shorts in their PE bag. They also need trainers for the daily run and wellies.

Forest Schools: There will be no Forest School in Term 3, it will resume in term 4


We love to hear of your children’s triumphs at home – especially linked to family events or new skills they master. We have a special WOW! board in class.

We also welcome volunteer helpers, so if you would like to help the children with their reading, baking or art – or anything else! – please do let us know. We would be delighted to hear from you.