Reception - Zebras
Mrs Davies, Mrs Oliver

5th July
This week we have begun our new topic- The Seaside. The children have shared their own experiences of visiting the seaside as well as completing observational drawings of shells, writing postcards and learning how to keep safe on the beach.
In phonics we have been learning to read words containing the ‘ure’ sound (e.g. pure, sure, treasure).
Our Maths topic this week is ordinal numbers. This was very useful when practising our races!
Today, of course, was our Sports Morning. We hope you all enjoyed. We were very proud of all the children for trying their best!


14th June
This week we began our Minibeast topic. The children have loved looking for minibeasts in our outside area. They have found ladybirds, slugs, snails, woodlice and caterpillars! We think the weather may have helped….
In phonics we have been recapping the ar and er sounds. We are focusing on using our sounds to read and spell unfamiliar words.
Our Maths topic this week has been sharing numbers into equal groups. We solved different problems, including sharing 12 minibeasts equally between different numbers of gardens.
We are really enjoying reading the replies from the Grandparents. They have sent us lots of interesting letters, telling us all about their memories from when they were children. It is giving the children a really good sense of how things have changed and how some things are the same.
Have a lovely weekend and don’t forget to look in bookbags for a little surprise on Sunday…smiley


7th June
What a lovely first week back we have had! Our Maths topic has been learning to recognise and order teen numbers. In Literacy the children recorded their half term news- it sounds like you all had a great break!
We have begun ‘Our Wonderful World’ topic with different Science investigations. We have explored floating and sinking, magnets and electricity.
Today we had a fantastic treat- Theo’s dad came in and did a drumming workshop with all the classes! We had a great time and the children learnt a lot.
Have a super weekend!


24th May
Thank you for your replies to the Grandparent’s Tea Party letters. After writing their invitations, the children went over to the post office in small groups to post their letters in the post box. We are all excited to start receiving replies!
In phonics this week we have been learning to read and write two syllable words. We began by breaking down the words into how many ‘claps’ or ‘beats’ we could here. We then used this sill to support out reading and writing of longer words.
Our Maths topic has been subtraction. We recapped the taking away symbol and solved a variety of problems, including using money.
The children have been working hard to make a form of transport using recycled materials. Please continue to bring in any small boxes (smaller than a shoebox) you have at home- thank you!
Enjoy the half term break and we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 4th June.


17th May
This week we have focused on the ‘Wings’ part of our topic. We have learnt about different flying machines including jet planes, space shuttles and hang gliders.
In Maths we have been recapping our addition skills and using them to learn our number bonds to 10. Zebras are becoming very speedy when recalling the different ways to make 10!
Our focus in phonics has been reading and writing CCVC words (consonant vowel consonant consonant), such as ‘frog’ and ‘spot’.  Perhaps you might see some of these words in your reading books over the weekend?
We have also begun our preparations for the Grandparent’s Tea Party. Thank you to everyone who has sent their reply slip in with a stamped, addressed envelope. Please return these as soon as possible as the children will be writing their invitations next week and posting them at the post office!
The children continue to enjoy looking after the school rabbits. If you are able to help feed the rabbits at the weekend, we really appreciate the support. There is a rota at the office- you don’t need to commit to both days.
Have a fantastic weekend!


10th May
Zebras had a brilliant time at Brooklands museum on Wednesday. We began the day by making peg cars, which we raced down ramps. The children are very excited to bring them home to show you. We then headed to the bus museum. We went on a double decker bus and learnt about how they have changed over the years. I was especially proud as the guide commented on what excellent listening the children did. After lunch we went to see the different race cars and toured two aeroplanes. Such a great day out and the sun even managed to peek out from behind the clouds for us!
Our Maths topics has been revisiting money. We have recapped what the different coins look like and we have used the numicon to help us add two amounts together.
In phonics we are learning to read and write words with 4 sounds. This week we have focused on CVCC (consonant vowel consonant consonant) words, e.g. went, sink.
Next week we are excited to begin swimming. Please bring swimming kits on Tuesday and Thursday. If you are able to help with changing, please sign up on the noticeboard in the Reception cloak room.
Enjoy the weekend!


3rd May
Zebras are continuing to enjoy our ‘Wheels, Wings and Other Things’ topic. This week we have learnt about lots of vehicles with wheels- fire engines, ambulances, police cars, motorbikes, bikes and buses! We especially enjoyed having Gracie’s dad come and visit us. He told us all about being a firefighter and what it like to drive the fire engine!
In Maths we have been learning to name and describe 3D shapes. Zebras went on a 3D shape hunt and took photographs to record their findings using the LearnPads, our school tablets.
In phonics we have continued to learn about trigraphs (3 letters working as a team to make 1 sound). We have learnt air and igh this week. Maybe you will spot these sounds in your reading books this weekend?
We are very excited about our upcoming trip to Brooklands on Wednesday. If you have any questions, please do ask a member of the Reception team.
Enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend and we will see you on Tuesday!


26th April
We hope that you had a lovely Easter break. It has been great to see how the children have come back rested and ready to learn.
We have begun our ‘Wheel, Wings and Other Things’ topic. This week we have learnt about vehicles with big wheels, with a focus on monster trucks and cement mixer trucks (based on the children’s choice of learning).
In Maths we have been learning about 2D shapes. We have been recapping the shape names and using the correct vocabulary to describe their properties (e.g. sides and corners).
This week in phonics we have been learning the ‘ear’ sound. We have practised reading and writing words containing the sound- perhaps you might see some in your reading book over the weekend?
We will soon be starting outdoor PE sessions. Please can you ensure your child has trainers or plimsolls at school? Thank you!


5th April
This week our topic has been Easter. We have learnt why Easter is a special celebration for Christians and we have shared ways in which our own families celebrate. Zebras have written some lovely stories about chicks and bunnies.
In Maths we have been learning about length and height. The children measured their learning partner to find out how many bricks tall they are and they used cubes to measure how long different objects are. We also had a class investigation- who has the longest foot in Zebras? Who do you think it might be?
In phonics we have been revising the new sounds we have learnt and practised using our sounds to write words, captions and sentences.
We have collected all the Maths games in so they can be checked and replenished. We are still missing some so please can you have a check at home and return them after the holidays.
All the children have brought 3 reading books home. 10 minutes of reading everyday can make a huge difference!
We hope that you have a lovely Easter break and we look forward to seeing you in the Summer term!


22nd March
This week our topic has been Healthy Eating. Zebras have learnt about the importance of having a balanced diet and eating a variety of foods. They have all designed a healthy meal and described how some foods keep us healthy, some food give us energy and some foods help us grow and keep us strong.
In phonics we made a turtle to help us remember our new sound ‘ur’. We also found out about owls and painted an owl as part of our learning on the ‘ow’ sound.
Our Maths topic has been subtraction. We have learnt to take away amounts from sets of objects, focusing on using the vocabulary ‘take away’ and ‘how many left’. We played subtraction smash with the play dough and learnt about the – symbol.
What a busy week we have had!
Enjoy the weekend!


8th March
Our ‘Green Fingers’ topic is now in full swing and this week the children have planted their own cress seeds. We are going to make observations as the plants grow, watching for changes, and learn about the jobs of the different parts of the plant.
Zebras then wrote instructions to explain how you could plant your own cress seeds. The children were encouraged to use their phonic knowledge to support their spelling and find and copy teddy words from a word mat for those trickier words.
Our Maths focus has been addition. The children have been learning to solve a number sentence (e.g. 7 + 4 =) using different strategies to support their calculations. These have included drawing a picture, using blocks and using numicon.
We have been reading stories about growing at home time and the children are welcome to bring in a book linked to our topic to share with their friends.
Have a great weekend!


1st March
We hope you all had a lovely half term. The week before half term we enjoyed taking part in a variety of Book Week activities including sharing books with children in others classes, listening to stories read by different adults and, of course, dressing up as animals! It was an extra special week for Reception because it was also our Pet Week. We loved having visits from Jackson the pony, Spot the hamster, Tommy the tortoise, Isla the dog and Gatsby the kitten.
This week Zebras completed some super writing about the fun they had during half term. In phonics we learnt the sounds ‘ng’ and ‘ou’. We practised reading and writing words containing these sounds and even made a very cute mouse!
Our Maths topic has been number bonds to 5 and the children have learnt to find the different combinations of numbers that total 5.
Please make sure you have signed up for a Parent Consultation and that you have made a note of your time.
Enjoy the weekend!


8th February
This week our topic has been farm animals. We have learnt about the different animals that live on a farm, finding out facts such as what they eat and the useful things they give us.
We have also celebrated Chinese New Year. The children all had the opportunity to make a drum and a dragon- they all looked super! Zebras also had a go at writing some Chinese numbers and writing Happy New Year…. in Chinese!
In phonics we have been learning both the short ‘oo’ sound (as in foot) and the long ‘oo’ sound (as in spoon). Zebras made a ‘moon mobile’ with oo words- they had to read the words and match them to the correct picture.
Our Maths topic has been capacity with a focus on using the correct vocabulary to describe containers e.g. empty, full and half full. The children have all explored filling containers with different amounts of rice.
Today we really enjoyed taking part in the clay workshop. The children had the opportunity to make a bee and then paint them. The models are going to be fired in a kiln and returned to school. We can’t wait to see them!
Next week is both Book Week and Pet Week. We are looking forward to having some furry, four-legged visitors!
Please see the letter in book bags with more details about Book Week. REMINDER- Monday the children are allowed to come to school dressed as an animal and can bring in a fact linked to that animal.
Enjoy the weekend!


1st February
This week we have completed our ‘Under the Sea Animals’ topic by learning about jellyfish, mermaids and keeping our ocean clean. All the children agreed that they could help keep the sea plastic-free by putting rubbish in the correct bin and recycling where they can.
In phonics we learnt the ‘ee’ and ‘or’ sound.  The children especially enjoyed eating some popcorn to help them remember their learning.
Our Maths topic has been doubles. The children are becoming confident doubling numbers to 5 using their fingers and pictures for support.
The sign-up sheet for Pet Week is now available. Please sign up if you and your pet would like to visit us!
Have a fantastic weekend!


25th January
This week we have continued our ‘Amazing Animals’ topic. We began the week by learning about polar bears and penguins and then moved to animals that live in the sea with a focus on sharks and dolphins. The children all thought about what they imagine it to look like under the sea and created beautiful watercolour paintings.
In phonics we have learnt the ‘oa’ and ‘ie’ sounds. Zebras designed a coat to help them to remember the ‘oa’ sound and have been reading and writing words containing these sounds.
Our Maths topic this week has been money. We have learnt to recognise all the different coins and put our learning to practise by playing shops.
Maths games
It has been great to see so many of you enjoying the Maths games. Please use the game card to give us feedback. We ask that you only keep games for a maximum of 2 weeks.
Regular reading is extremely valuable and supports children’s progress. Please use the reading diaries to make a note when you hear your child read as this is a useful contribution towards our assessment of their reading skills, alongside 1:1 reading and activities at school.
Have a great weekend!


18th January
What a busy week we have had! At the end of last week Zebras filled up our ball in a jar (they earn a ball for whole class achievements) and voted on the treat they would like. Extra playtime was the most popular and so on Monday Zebras enjoyed having the whole playground to themselves!
On Tuesday we watched the Road Safety Magic Show. It gave the children the really important message of keeping safe when crossing the road whilst also entertaining us with some great magic tricks.
In Maths we have been learning to name and describe 3D shapes. We have played games and made models using the shapes.
In phonics we have learnt the digraphs ‘ck’ and ‘ai’. The children particularly enjoyed matching ck words that had been loCKed in! They had to read the word on the key to unlock the word!
We have continued our wild animal topic by learning about lions, tigers and leopards. Our animal topic continues next week with animals Under the Sea!
Enjoy the weekend!


11th January
This week we have begun our ‘Amazing Animals’ topic by learning about wild animals, with a focus on zebras, elephants and giraffes. We have learnt new facts about the animals and we especially liked learning that some zoo keepers are more scared of zebras than of lions! Our outside area has been turned into a safari and the children have enjoyed cycling the bikes around and spotting different animals.
In phonics we have been learning the ‘wh’ and ‘zz’ sounds. We have been reading and writing words with these sounds. We have also practised reading and writing CVC words. Please keep sharing the reading books at home- it makes a great impact on the children’s reading and we love to see your comments in their diaries.
Our Maths topic this week has been adding 3 more. We looked at lots of problems involving animals e.g. there are 5 zebras and 3 more come along. How many are there now? We have learnt to solve these problems using cubes and numicon. We also learnt how to record it as a number sentence using the + and = symbols.
In a few weeks we will be having a Pet Week as part of our ‘Amazing Animals’ topic. We would love for you to bring your pet in to share with the children. Please keep an eye out for the sign up sheet!
Maths Games
The children have bought a maths game home with them today. Please fill in the game card and return by Wednesday so that a new game can be sent home the following Friday. Any questions, please do ask a member of the Reception team.
Enjoy your weekend!

4th January
Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and would like to thank you again for your generous presents.
The children have come back to school confidently and ready to learn. They have been excited to share their holiday news with their friends. 
The newsletter is in bookbags today, along with a list of events and dates for the coming term.
Please remind children to place their reading books in the red box in the classroom when they need to be changed. 

Have a lovely weekend!

7th December
Thank you to everyone who supported the Christmas fair. We hope you enjoyed looking at all the decorations we made!
We have continued our Christmas celebrations this week. We listened to the Christmas story and discussed why Christian’s celebrate.
In Maths we have been learning to weigh objects using cubes. We have investigated how many cubes heavy different classroom objects are and even helped Santa’s elves- they can only carry objects that weigh less than 20 cubes!
In phonics we have begun to learn about digraphs- 2 letters that work together as a team to make one sound. This week we learnt ‘sh’ and made sheep and we learnt ‘qu’ and made a queen in a quilt.
Have a great weekend!


23rd November
Our Dinosaur topic is continuing to be a huge success with Zebras! This week we have learnt about the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Diplodocus. The children then picked their favourite dinosaur to write about.
In Maths we have been learning to measure length and height. We ordered dinosaur bones from shortest to longest and have begin to use non-standard units of measure (cubes) to find out how long an object is.
Our sounds this week have been b, j and z. We bounced bats and balls, tasted jelly and painted zebras to help us remember the sounds.
Thank you to all the parents who have signed up to help on Art and DT day (Wednesday 28th November). There are still slots if you are available to help. Please keep collecting magazines for us – we need them for one of our crafts.
On Monday the children will say goodbye to their grown-ups in the cloak room. A member of the Reception team will be available in the cloakroom and can take messages.
Enjoy the weekend!


16th November
Zebras have really enjoyed their first week learning about dinosaurs. We have found out about the stegosaurus, pterodactyl and triceratops and the children are looking forward to learning about even more dinosaurs next week!
We also went on a dinosaur hunt. We had to travel through tunnels, cross over rivers and climb over hills to seek the dinosaur!
In phonics we hae learnt the sounds h, l and e and have been practising our blending skills by saying all the sounds quickly to hear the word.
Our Maths topic has been positional language. We have used the words 'next to' 'in front of' behind' and 'under' to play dinosaur hide and seek, describing where the dinosaurs were hiding.
Have a great weekend!

9th November
We began this week by sharing our firework experiences from the weekend and created firework pictures as part of our learning on our new sound ‘f’. We have also learnt ‘u’, painting umbrellas, and ‘r’, colouring in a rainbow.
Our theme for the week has been Diwali and we have learnt a lot about the festival. Zebras all designed their own mehndi pattern and enjoyed colouring in Rangoli patterns. They also write about the celebration in their writing books.
In Maths the children have been learning to add 2 more to a number. We began with a set of objects and then added 2 more, counting to find the total.
It was great to see you at Parent Consultations and sharing your child’s achievements with you. You should all be very proud!
Designs for Christmas cards are in book bags today. These can be ordered on line (see the letter for details). Examples are kept in the office if you would like to see some.
Have a great weekend!


2nd November
We hope you had a lovely half term- we have been very impressed with how well the children have come back into school after having a break.
This week we have been very busy. In phonics we have learnt 'o' 'c' and 'k' and created an octopus, caterpillar and kite craft to support our learning. 
In Maths we have been learning to say 1 more than a given number. The children rolled a dice to find out how many bricks to use in their tower and then added one more brick. They counted all the bricks to find the answer. 
We have been travelling in in different ways across the benches in PE, as well as learning how to jump and land safely from equipment. Zebras also continue to enjoy their yoga sessions. 
Zebras have managed to fill their ball jar! The children earn a ball for whole class achievements. This could be doing excellent listening in assembly, all getting ready on the carpet quickly and quietly or practising all their sounds. We had a vote and Zebras have chosen to watch a short film and eat popcorn, which we will do on Monday!
I am looking forward to seeing you all at Parent's Consultations next week. Please check your appointment time (on the classroom door) and arrive 10 minutes before to allow yourself time to look at your children's work.
Have a great weekend and stay safe whilst watching fireworks- the children have learnt lots of different ways they can keep themselves safe during firework displays. 

19th October
What a fantastic first half term the children have had at school! We are all very proud of how well they have settled into school.
This week our topic was Autumn and we began the week with an autumn walk around school, looking for signs of autumn. Zebras then completed their first piece of writing in their writing books about what they had seen.
In Maths we have been using the balance scales to compare the weight of two objects. The children have used the language ‘heavier’ and ‘lighter’ to describe the objects.
The teddy words this week are ‘a’ and ‘go’ and we have learnt the sounds ‘d’ and ‘g’. Please take the opportunity over half to practise these words and sounds, as well as sharing their reading books.
Our Harvest Assembly at St George’s Church was a super way to end the half term. All the children sang beautifully and we were very pleased with how well they sat and listened to each other.
Thank you for all your support settling the children into school and we wish you a very happy half term!


28th September
This week Zebras have been sharing what they would like to learn about this year. It has been lovely to hear their ideas and we are all looking forward to learning about lots of exciting things!
Our sounds this week have been 'a' and 't'. We have practised forming the letters correctly and created ants and tigers to help us remember our new learning!
In Maths we have learnt the numbers 6-10 and revised numbers 0-5. 
All the children have bought home reading books this week. Please read the books twice before putting them in the red box in the classroom to be changed. Please can we ask that water bottles are not put in bookbags to avoid the books getting wet- thank you!
Have a great weekend!

20th September
What a great start to school the children have had! They are all making lots of new friends and have been busy learning our school routines.
This week we have been practising the 's' sound. We have practised writing it, listened for it in words and even made a snake!
In Maths, Zebras have been learning to recognise and count with numbers 1-5. We have also been singing lots of number songs to help practise our counting.
The children have enjoyed eating their hot lunches at the servery for the first time this week and have tried lots of food, including burgers, sausages and roast dinner. Please remember the children are allowed to bring in a fruit or vegetable snack in from home for morning playtime and there is always something for the children to help themselves to.
This afternoon the children took home their first library book. Please return next Thursday for a new book. The children also have their teddy books in their bookbags so they can practise the teddy words and sound learnt this week. If you have any questions, please do come and ask a member of the Reception team.
Have a great weekend!