Reception Weekly News

Thursday 23rd November 2017

This Week

We have had a fantastic week beginning to think about our Christmas play in more detail. The children have loved being given their parts and are doing really well learning the songs. We will be focusing on their lines more next week. If you have any questions about their costumes then please ask.

In our big maths the children learnt how to from the number 7, so now they should be able to show you how to form their numbers 1-7 correctly!

In our handwriting we have finished all the phase 2 sounds so we finished with ‘ll’ and ‘ss’ this week. We will not be moving on to Phase 3 just yet as we want to take a couple of weeks to review all that we have learnt so far.


Our Sixth Form link students Clara and Philippa came on our welly walk with us this week. The children had a wonderful time collecting different natural materials for their collage competition. They would like the children to create a collage picture using the leaves etc they brought home from school yesterday. Please make sure all their NAMED entries are sent back to school by Wednesday 29th November so they can be judged by the Sixth Formers. The winners should be announced during next Friday’s assembly.

Tapestry Task

This week lots of the children have been making maps of their journey to school. We would like you to make a map of a journey you make. It doesn’t need to be far but think about the things that you see on the journey. We would love to see you out and about, following your maps!

Next Week

Enjoy your long weekend and we will see you on Tuesday next week. We will continue rehearsing our play next week as well as learning the story of Christmas and the birth of Jesus. We will be making a whole class advent calendar whilst learning about what we are counting down to.

Have a nice long weekend!


Friday 17th November 2017

This Week

This week we have had a fantastic book week and really enjoyed meeting the author Alice Hemming. The children loved listening to her story ‘Bibble and the Bubbles’ and then thought of what they would do with a magic bubble that doesn’t burst. They came up with some very imaginative ideas of a pony, a bicycle and even flowers! We have loved sharing the children’s favourite books and hear all about why they like the characters. On Monday we explored the story ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ in detail and all went off on a bear hunt adventure of our own. This has inspired lots of story telling in child initiated learning and got our book week off to a great start!

On our Welly Wednesday Walk we went into Balls Park and played some team games in the big open space.

Over the last two weeks we have learnt the sounds ‘e, u, r, h, b,f, ff, l’ . The children are doing really well with their segmenting and blending and its been lovely to see things fall into place and the children want to read more, please keep encouraging this at home.

Next Week

Next week is a short week as we will not be in school on Friday! We will be introducing the children to the Christmas play and beginning rehearsals. Please look out for your child’s part and what costume they will need, when we send the slips out next week.

Welly Wednesday

Our link students from the Sixth Formers are Year 13’s Clara and Philippa. They have devised a competition for the Reception children to participate in, which we know will be a huge success as was the Year 2 pumpkin carving competition. They would like the children to create a collage using natural resources. On Wednesday the children will collect their resources during our Welly Walk which Clara and Philippa will be joining us on. The children will then bring home their items to make their collage with you at home. Please send your child to school on Wednesday with a named small bag in which they can collect their items. and they will have information about the competition introduced to them next week.

Tapestry Task

We have been thinking a lot about number this week. Can your child choose a number between 1-10 and think about all of the different ways they can represent it? This could be through making marks e.g. drawing lines, circles, smiley faces. Or they could collect objects to show their number e.g. bottle tops, leaves or toys.

Have a lovely weekend!


Friday 10th November 2017

This Week

On Monday we listened to the story behind Diwali, as we are thinking about different festivals and celebrations this term. This prompted lots of lovely learning, including making Diwali cards, lanterns and even our own clay Diva lamps. The children have enjoyed learning about Rama and Sita and all of the Hindu traditions about Diwali.

On our Welly Walk we had fun exploring Balls Park, and we were very impressed by the size of some of the trees we saw!

On Thursday we had a busy afternoon, with a visit to the library, handwriting with Mrs Oakenfull and a play on the Trim Trail. We also did Big Maths, which is where we practice our numbers. Can you have a go at home too? So far we have been thinking about how to form the numbers 1-5.

On Friday we had some reflection time to think about Remembrance Sunday, and talked with the children about why people wear poppies at this time of year.

Next Week

Next week it is book week, and we have lots of super activities planned, including our author Visit! Can your child please bring in a favourite book of theirs next week, so we can share these with the class. They may be at school for a while, as it may take a while to read them all! Please remember to name your books.

On Tuesday and Thursday after school there will be a bookshop in the Larch Building – feel free to come along and buy some lovely books.

Remember that Friday is non-uniform day to support Children In Need.

Tapestry Task

To celebrate Book Week, we thought that for the Tapestry Task it would be nice to see some photographs or videos of your child sharing a book with somebody – perhaps you could think of an unusual place to read a book too!

Can you help?

Do you have any old magazines that would be appropriate for the children to use for collage making? For example wildlife magazines, old shopping catalogues or food magazines. Thank you in advance!

Friday 3rd November 2017

This Week

This we have had a great week back after a lovely half term. Thank you to those who helped your children with their half term diaries and tapestry journals. We have loved looking through these and will continue to do so, don’t worry if you haven’t uploaded yours yet!

On Tuesday we had a fantastic Volcano Day and really enjoyed going to see the Year Eights models. It was interesting to learn about the volcanoes and see the imaginative range of models, cakes and drawings. Please see the Tapestry post for more pictures!

On Wednesday we had a wonderful bonfire and hot chocolate drink during our Welly Walk with Mrs Miller. Please see the school website front page to hear all about it.

On Wednesday the Squirrels and Hedgehogs had a fun time during their lunchbreak playing lots of games with Mr Greene who has come to coach the children and teach them to play different games together.

In Maths this week we have been learning to find one more or one less than a given number. We have been looking at 100 squares and noticing patterns in numbers.

In Phonics this week we have learnt c, k, and ck, which although they all look different, they all make the same sound and have the same action!

We have also been thinking about bonfire night this week and have been discussing ways to keep safe around bonfires and fireworks. We hope you enjoy the fireworks, ask the children what to do to stay safe!

Next Week

Although it has already been celebrated this year, we will be learning about the Hindu festival of Diwali next week. We will also be thinking about Remembrance Sunday and why we wear poppies at this time of year.

Can you help us?

Do you have of the following at home that you would not mind donating to us in Reception? We need old newspapers for art and craft and any spare writing materials that you no longer need e.g. envelopes, cards, notebooks etc.

Parent Conversations

We are very much looking forward to seeing you all for the ‘settling in’ conversations next week. Please arrive shortly before your appointment to look at their books and remember your appointment time is 10 minutes. This is an appointment for you to discuss your child with us so please make alternative childcare arrangements for them during your appointment.


Our new value is Patience and we have been thinking about being more patient in school. How can you show patience?

Tapestry Task

We would like the children to go on a 2D shape hunt this week for their Tapestry task. Can you find shapes in the environment or at home? Can you use objects to make your own shapes?

Have a lovely weekend!


Friday 20th October 2017

This Week

On Monday, as part of our Healthy Heart Day, we thought about what our hearts need to keep healthy, for example a good diet and exercise. We also thought about how to fill our hearts with love and happiness – we had a lot of laughs discussing our favourite jokes!

On Tuesday the children enjoyed learning some new Spanish words with Mrs Southall, can you ask your child to tell you their name in Spanish?

We also had our Welly Walk on Tuesday, where we collected lots of lovely Autumn leaves to create some autumn collages on Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday, Safeguarding lead for Simon Balle, Mr Brown, held an assembly for the children all about how to be happy and safe at school and at home.

We finished our first half term at school by thinking about all that we have learnt so far.

This week in phonics we have learnt the sounds m, d, g, o. The children have been beginning to apply the sounds they have learnt so far by saying and writing simple CVC words such as sit, mat, pin, pig etc. Perhaps you could try some of these at home?

After Half Term

We will be beginning our new topic of Festivals and Celebrations. We will start by thinking about Bonfire Night and Diwali.

Tapestry Task/ Half Term Diary

The children are always so excited to share what adventures they have been on during half term, so we thought it would be nice for the children to make a half term diary. This can be in the form of a scrap book – perhaps you could keep tickets or photographs of things you have been doing. Alternatively you could upload some photographs to Tapestry for the children to share with the class.

During the half term could you please continue to encourage name writing and counting.

Have a lovely and relaxing half term!


Friday 13th October 2017

This Week

This week the children had a wonderful visit to Hertford library on Tuesday. They had a lovely time walking there and back. Whilst they were in library they all got to experience checking out a book and then David the librarian read them a story! The children were very excited to find the library was closed to the public so they were free to explore to their hearts desire!

We have been exploring our senses and had a wonderful welly walk where we found objects with different textures and were describing how they felt. We sat in a circle and took turns smelling different herbs and spices and then had a class vote on which one was our favourite. We also went on a listening walk around school and discussed what we could hear, from children’s voices to footsteps and Mrs Oakenfull typing on her computer!

This week in phonics we have learnt the sounds ‘t, p, i, n’ so please ask the children to sing you their songs and see if you can do some sound spotting of objects with these initial sounds.

We have also been learning how to form our numbers correctly, focusing particularly on the number 2 this week.

Next week

Next week we are going to be thinking all about signs of Autumn. We will be making Autumn collages and thinking about how things change throughout the the year.

Also, on Monday it is our Healthy Heart day, so we will be thinking about all of the ways we can keep our hearts and bodies nice and healthy.

Tapestry Task

This week we would like the children to see what numbers they can spot out and about. For example on number plates, signs, front doors etc. Perhaps your child could have a go at writing the numbers they see too!

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday 6th October 2017

This Week 

We have had a really exciting and busy week this week. The children have enjoyed learning all about Harvest, and impressed us all with their super singing and listening in the church service on Tuesday. The children all walked so sensibly down to church – thank you to the parents who walked with us, we appreciate your help. The children have all been learning about where some of our food comes from this week, which prompted our day of bread making on Wednesday. The children loved having a go at mixing and rolling the dough into balls, before Lisa kindly cooked them for us which made the school smell wonderful!

During our Welly Walk we focused on name writing, the children all had a really good go and enjoyed using sticks to write their names in the mud. Please continue to practise name writing at home too.

This week we have started learning some of our sounds, so far we have learnt s and a. Please ask your children if they can show you the songs and actions, and if they can think of any words beginning with the sounds.

Next Week 

Next week we will be continuing to learn more sounds, including t,p,i and n.

On Tuesday we will be walking down to Hertford Library for the morning, please make sure all children have coats if it is cold.

We will be thinking about our senses next week as part of our All About Me topic, and will be exploring each of our 5 senses throughout the week.

Tapestry Task

Thank you to those of you who have uploaded some of your examples of home learning, we really enjoy looking through them and talking to your children about them at school.

This week we would like to see how creatively your child can write their name. Perhaps in the mud like we did on our Welly Walk, or with their food or toys!  Please upload your photographs to Tapestry along with a short description if possible.

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday 29th September 2017

This Week 

We started our week in style, when the Hedgehogs and Squirrels all came to school dressed in their best European themed outfits for our Fun Run. All of the children had a great day and we were really impressed with their great running and fantastic cheering on of their class mates!

On Wednesday the children enjoyed our Welly Wednesday walk, where we had fun making self portraits out of things we found on our walk, like leaves and sticks.

On Thursday we got into the Christmas spirit and made our Christmas cards! If you would like to order some please fill in the relevant details on the back of the children’s design and return as soon as possible (deadline for payment is Friday).

Thank you to those of you who attended the phonics and reading sessions on Thursday. We hope you found them very informative. Any questions please feel free to email or ask for further clarification.

Next Week 

Next Week we are looking forward to our Harvest Festival. It would be great to see you all at All Saints Church on Tuesday morning where you will hear the song we have been busy practising, don’t forget your harvest contribution for the Hertford food bank.

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday 22nd September 2017

This Week

This week we have had a wonderful time looking at ourselves in more depth. We started by looking at our baby photos and have been having lots of fun looking at how much we’ve grown and changed. We then started to think about how we look now and the children have all painted a self portrait. It was interesting to watch the children chose a skin tone and then the correct colours for their features after they had looked in a mirror. We then had great fun looking at the portraits and guessing who it was!

We have also continued learning about 2D shapes and on our welly walk this week the children had to collect two sticks which they then used to make a shape in groups. We had some fantastic squares, rectangles and then we even made a huge circle with all our sticks put together!

Reading Books

Thank you to everyone who has been sharing their reading book with their child. Please remember to comment in the orange reading record once you have read so we know you have looked at the book with your child and we can give them a new one. Your child will have also brought home their new library book. This is always the one with the stamp in the front. This is to be shared with your child but there is no expectation that your child should read that one independently.

Next Week

Don’t forget Monday is our INSET day so we won’t be seeing the children until Tuesday, when they will be coming to school dressed in the style of a European country ready for our Fun Run in the afternoon.

We are looking forward to seeing you all on Thursday at either 2.30pm or 7pm for our Tapestry and Phonics workshop. It is important that you attend one of these sessions as you will be finding out vital information about your child’s year ahead.

We are also having a non-uniform day on Friday so uniform need only be worn on Wednesday and Thursday next week.

Have a lovely long weekend.

Friday 15th September 2017

This week 

What a great week we have had! The children have all impressed us with how well they have settled in to our first full week of school.

On Monday we had a PE lesson, where we enjoyed learning some new games. On Tuesday the children had their first Music lesson with Mrs Iles and they loved learning some songs to greet people and say goodbye, they also enjoyed their first Spanish lesson with Mrs Southall! On Wednesday the children all looked super in their Dahlicious Day costumes. It was great hearing the children telling each other which character they were dressed as, and we had lots of fun thinking about the Enormous Crocodile, which has been our focus book this week. On Wednesday afternoon we went on our Welly Walk, where the children enjoyed finding leaves and conkers that had blown off the trees in all of the wind. On Thursday the children had their first trip to the Library (please make sure books are in bags next Thursday so they can be changed), as well as having a go on the Trim Trail. If you have not sent in trainers yet please do so as soon as possible, your child will not be able to go on the trim train without them.

This week we have also sent out reading books, have fun looking through these with your child and don’t forget to write a comment in their reading records. They will be changed at some point next week if you have read at home.

Thank you to those of you who attended the information evening, the slides will be available on the website for future reference if needed.

Next Week

Next week we will continue with our topic of “All About Me”, please can your child bring in a baby picture of themselves for our circle time. We will also be thinking about the 2D shapes we know, and seeing if we can spot them in our environment. We will also be painting a self portrait so we will be talking to the children about using appropriate colours and thinking about our facial features.

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday 8th September 2017

This Week

The children have had a super first week at Simon Balle! They have all settled well and are starting to make some lovely new friendships already! We have had a busy week learning lots of new routines and expectations. On Wednesday afternoon we had our first Welly Walk through the school woods which the children loved. Today we had our first values assembly where we thought about our value of the week ‘Respect’ and one child from each class was awarded a certificate. We also had our first Golden Time where the children are awarded for their super behaviour and reaching the sunshine. We have started to share the children’s treasure boxes which will be brought home once your child has told their class about their box. Thank you for all the hard work you have put into them over the summer, they have been lovely to look at so far!

The children seem to be enjoying their school dinners and are beginning to try new food. Please continue to encourage your child to use a knife and fork at home!

If you have not sent in a named pair of welly boots then please do as soon as possible so they can participate in our weekly welly walks.

Next Week

We have another busy week ahead of us, where we will be starting our daily phonics sessions. We will start by thinking about the sounds that the children know already and what sounds we can hear in our environment. On Monday we have our first PE session which we are very much looking forward to!

We look forward to seeing all of you at our Parents Information Evening on Monday night at 7pm. It is vital you attend this event as you will be finding out key information about the year ahead and the expectations we have for the children in Reception.

Don’t forget Wednesday is our Dahlicious Day to celebrate Roald Dahl’s birthday. Remember the children can come to school in a Roald Dahl character costume or wearing yellow (his favourite colour) with a £1 donation.

Learning Journals

Please can we have your child’s Learning Journal from their Nursery setting. We would like to keep them for a couple of weeks so the children can share their previous learning with us.