Welcome to Reception!


Starting school is an exciting and important step in children’s development. Research shows that good Early Years (Nursery and Reception) provision lays solid foundations for future learning and achievement.


 At Dale Hall Community Primary School our aim is to work together with you to meet your child’s development and learning needs whilst they are in our Reception classes. We strive to provide a welcoming, safe, caring, stimulating and fun learning environment. Our activities and learning tasks are tailored to meet the needs of our youngest learners. We ensure that we provide playful opportunities that are open ended and challenge children’s thinking. We support their learning by allowing them to explore their own ideas and choose ways to do things for themselves. We encourage them to persist, take a risk, test their ideas, learn by trial and error and to enjoy a challenge when solving problems. 


 The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Guidance forms the basis of our curriculum. It is based on seven areas of learning and is broad and open-ended allowing us to follow the interests of the children. The seven areas of learning consist of Communication and language; Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. These are the prime areas. The prime areas support learning in four specific areas. They are; Literacy (reading and writing) Mathematics; Understanding the world and Expressive arts and Design.  Our aim is to provide high quality teaching and learning that enables all children to reach a good level of learning by the end of Reception.  


It is during their time in Reception that children develop self confidence and a belief in themselves. They try new things on their own and feel pride in their achievements. They become more independent and take care of their own personal needs.  They learn social skills and develop friendships. Good Reception provision prepares children for their lives ahead and enables them to take their first steps along a life-long learning journey that could lead them almost anywhere!


Mrs Kirk

Early Years Leader. Starfish Class

You’ll find lots of paint and paper and crafty bits in Mrs Kirk’s house as she loves to be creative. She also likes to cycle and cook. In the summer you’ll find her swimming in the sea, especially if the waves are big!

Mrs Morris

Assistant Headteacher (EYFS and KS1). Seahorse Class

Mrs Morris loves to be outside. You will often find her walking around the coast and countryside with her family. Mrs Morris has two little boys that keep her very busy... When at home, she is usually busy in the kitchen or playing with trains, planes and fire engines!

Miss Banks

Teaching Assistant - Starfish Class

Mrs Banks enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves being outdoors and likes anything that involves food!

Mrs Clements

Teaching Assistant - Seahorse Class

You will often find Mrs Clements in the kitchen baking delicious goodies such as brownies and cakes. She also likes to read lots and to spend time with her family and friends.

                                                         Our Story Based Curriculum

 In Reception we follow a Story Based Curriculum. Each term a range of high quality books are chosen which form our ‘termly focus stories’. Many of the activities and experiences which go on throughout the term are linked to the characters, themes and concepts which can be found within these books. Linking children’s learning to storytelling in this way provides many opportunities for children to become immersed in their play experiences having built an understanding of the accompanying book. As a parent or carer to support your children’s learning at home please see our list of books being used. You could visit the local library to borrow a copy of the book, talk about the characters and settings of the story and use the internet to search for audio stories and activities linked to the books.   


W/B 16th September

Our first story is 'One Year with Kipper' by Nick Inkpen

W/B 23rd September

This week we will be reading 'I'm Sorry' by Sam McBratney

 W/B 30th September 

Lots of our learning will be linked to 'Owl Babies'. 

W/B 7th October 

This week the children will be talking about their families. 

W/B 14th October

We will be reading the story 'Rainbow Fish' by Marcus Pfister. Lots of the children's learning will be linked to the whole school focus for eco week. 

W/B 28th October

This week we will be reading 'Aaarggghh Spider'. The children will also be using information books to help them to write some facts about spiders.  


W/B 4th November 

'Aaarggghh Spider' continued. 

The children will be talking about their pets this week.


W/B 11th November 

We will be reading the story 'MIXED'. By Arree Chung





Aaarrrggghh Spider!
The children really enjoyed the story Aarrgghh Spider which is about a spider that really wants to be a family pet. After finding out what the children already knew about spiders they watched a short programme to find out more. The children then used what they have been learning in phonics to write some of the facts they had rememebred.  Lots of our activities and learning have also been linked to spiders.
The book also lead us on to talking about pets. In maths we made a tally chart and pictogram to show who has a pet in our class and what type of pet they have. It also showed how many children do not have a pet. 
Again the children have been busy using their phonic skills to write a sentence about their pet or a pet they would like.
Lots of our activities and learning have also been linked to pets.   
The Rainbow Fish and Eco Week 
In Reception, we used the story 'The Rainbow Fish' to help us think about the ocean for Eco week. We talked about what pollution and plastic is and how this can impact on the oceans. During child initiated learning, the children recycled plastic bottle tops to make a new curtain for our stage, used tweezers to 'collect rubbish' from our ocean sensory tray, played Rainbow Fish number games and explored lots of sensory and creative play. For our adult focus activity, the children wrote a message from the Rainbow Fish about keeping the ocean clean. Finally, we did an experiment! We filled a fishbowl with clean water and put a toy whale in the bottom. Throughout the week, we added oil, dirt (cocoa powder) and small pieces of plastic and talked about what would happen to the whale in it surfaced for air.

Owl Babies

The children really enjoyed the story ‘Owl Babies’ written by Martin Waddell. We talked about the setting of the story and the characters, and encouraged the children to think about how the owls were feeling. They were very good at joining in with the repeated refrain of ’I want my Mummy!’

Some of the activities and resources in our classrooms were linked to the story. The children enjoyed creating their own owl nests using a variety of resources including playdough, sticks and feathers. They practised using tools and scissors while cutting out owls, making patterns and creating their own pictures. They also enjoyed retelling the story and playing an owl counting game too. What a lot of learning!    


Our Book of Birthdays

As you are aware we follow a story based curriculum. Our first book of the year was ‘One Year with Kipper’ by Nick Inkpen. This led the children into a discussion about birthdays and how they celebrate. The children talked about a cake they had had, a present they had received and party games they had played. It was lovely to hear so many children speak confidently in front of a small group.   They then helped to make a birthday book which is displayed in our maths area.


The Rope Swing
What a brilliant example of our oldest learners at Dale Hall helping our youngest learners.
The children in Year 6 were inspired by our long piece of rope and decided to make a swing.  They made sure that the swing was safe, creating knots and placed blocks underneath so that the children in Reception were able to climb on and off the swing independently. They provided help to the children if needed and encouraged them to line up to wait for their turn. The swing has been so popular! All of the children were definitely following the 4 bees, being safe, being respectful, being caring and being responsible.    



During maths the children have been busy demonstrating their knowledge of numbers and counting.


For two weeks we will be focusing on  number recognition and counting. The children will be taught one number each day. Our aim is to make sure that children have a solid understanding of number and that they understand the number rather than just recognising the numeral.  Lots of our activities will be based on this concept.


Be a Growth Hero and Challenge Yourself! 


Each week we will be setting the children a learning challenge to do over the weekend.
It would be lovely to hear all about the weekly learning challenge along with any other learning your child has been doing, or experiences they have had. Tapestry is a great way of telling us about your child's home learning. If you have any problems uploading onto Tapestry or need a little help, please do come and speak to a member of the Reception team. 
Please do not feel pressured to complete the challenges if you have a busy weekend planned. You could keep them as a bank of ideas to dip in and out of to support your child's learning at home.


This weeks home learning challenge is...

Do you have anything at home that uses technology? It could be an app on an tablet, a simple computer programme or a camera. Could you tell us how it works? What other technology do you have at home?

You could ask your adult to film you telling us about it or they could help you to write it down. You could take a photo or your writing or upload your video on Tapestry. 


Previous home learning challenges

This week to continue your reading journey we are challenging you to find words and logos you recognise. Please cut them out or print them off. You might find them on food packaging, leaflets or magazines.
We hope to make a display or a class book using the words you know.

It is also the end of a very busy half term! We would therefore like you to spend some time over the holidays having a rest and enjoy spending time with your family and friends. We shall look forward to hearing about what you have been doing when we return to school.


Next week we are going to be learning about 2D shapes. The shapes will include a triangle, circle, rectangle and square. We will also be learning how to describe the shapes using the words corner and side.
Can you become a shape detective?
Can you go on a shape hunt around your house. What shapes can you find? Can you describe them? Can you draw and label the shapes you have found? Can you make a pattern with them?

We look forward to seeing this on Tapestry!


Can you practise counting up to 10? Can you find 10 objects from around your house? 
You could ask your adult to write the numbers 1-10 on paper and cut them out. You could then muddle them up and try to put them back in order. What other numbers do you know? What else can you count? We would love to hear all about your learning on Tapestry!


Our Literacy Workshop and Share


Our fabulous Literacy workshop and share was really well attended. The workshop detailed the way in which literacy is taught in the Early Years at Dale Hall. We shared our handwriting policy and talked about how this impacts on the learning of the children. We also gave information about how we teach phonics and provided parents and carers with an interactive insight into how a typical phonics lesson is taught. Finally we talked about how we teach children to read. This included information regarding books that are sent home to read and also how we read with the children at school. The parents  also learnt about how they can support their child at home. After our workshop there was an opportunity for parents and carers to spend time with their child in their classroom sharing their learning. The classrooms were set up with lots of activities that gave parents and carers an insight into the types of things the children are doing at school, and  provided them with some ideas for what they could do at home. 


Playdough is Brilliant!


Playdough is amazing for so many reasons. Not only is it a great way to develop the muscles in children's fingers as they squash, squeeze, roll, flatten, pinch, chop and pull it has so many other benefits too! Here is a really interesting article from the imagination tree, describing all of the benefits of playing with playdough.


And here is a tried and tested recipe that must have been used hundreds of times over the last 34 years. So many little hands have enjoyed playing with the playdough from this recipe. Why don’t you give it a try?


Cooked dough (long lasting)


2 cups flour

2 cups water

2 tsp cream of tartar

2 tbs oil

1 cup salt

Food colouring


Cook all of the ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat. Keep mixing until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Sprinkle a little flour onto a board and knead well to finish.