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Information for Parents and Carers

Helping with Reading

Preschool Reading

Children can learn a lot about reading even before they come to school and are formally taught. Young children learn about reading when

  • they see people reading books, magazines, newspapers etc.
  • they notice print in the environment
  • they have their own books
  • they are read to regularly and can talk about the story and predict what might happen
  • they are encouraged to look at books and try to read for themselves
  • they say rhymes and poems off by heart and sing songs

Starting School

We would like children coming into school to

  • have had stories read to them
  • have enjoyed sharing books with others
  • have handled books on their own
  • have an awareness of print around them
  • have some idea of what reading and writing is
  • have had the opportunity to draw and write with various materials
  • have confidence and look forward to learning to read

Strategies used in teaching a child to read

Children use many strategies when reading. Phonics or ‘sounding’ a word out is the most important stage and we teach a scheme of work for synthetic phonics in our Reception class as recommended by the ‘Rose Report.’ Children also learn to use visual memory, that is looking at a word and remembering it. Children also learn when reading a good story. If the story makes sense and holds his/her interest the child can gather clues from the text and the pictures, making logical guesses about unknown vocabulary.

Helping your child progress with reading

Once children have started to read they will make better progress if you can help them by reading with them daily.

Helping Your Child with Maths

Activities to do at home

  • counting in 1’s, 2’s, 5’s and  10’s
  • number activities in everyday situations e.g. How many buttons are on your coat ?; Pass me 5 apples; What number is on that house?
  • traditional games like Snakes and Ladders, Ludo and Dominoes are an invaluable and fun way to learn
  • looking for relationships and patterns in numbers
  • using ‘mathematical’ words e.g. long, longer, longest, tall, short, narrow, more than, less than etc
  • recognising and naming shapes
  • using the language of position e.g. under, over, above, between, next to, below, behind, in front of etc..


Helping Your Child with Writing

Children usually experiment with their own pretend writing first and this should be encouraged. Children are making marks at this stage but often to them they are writing. Ask your child to read back their writing to you and give them lots of praise, don’t tell them it is wrong or ‘just scribble.’ Young children learn writing when:


  • they see people writing
  • people share and discuss writing with them
  • there are opportunities for children to join in writing with adults. Can they help write the shopping list?
  • the child does some writing which is praised by the adult
  • the child’s efforts (even pretend writing) are taken seriously


A young child encouraged in this way will soon be ready to form letters correctly and will develop a love of writing which will stay with them throughout their learning.


Activities to do at Home

  • colouring books, dot to dots, tracing over patterns
  • Activities which encourage a pincer grip (finger and thumb) like picking up small objects with plastic tweezers
  • large arm movements especially anti clockwise such as waving flags and swirling ribbons
  • painting
  • make a name card for your child to copy
  • as children progress write birthday cards together, shopping lists, invitations, thankyou letters, so that writing is shown to have a purpose.
  • play simple word games
  • Look at word with your child


In Reception, when children first learn their letter sounds they are taught to form their letters correctly. We will send out more information about this in the first half term.


Websites to help support your childs learning;





Recommended Books to help with Maths;

  • Dinosaur Dig! by Penny Dale – This inventive counting story manages to combine diggers, dinosaurs and counting.
  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury – Illustrated beautifully by the illustrator of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, this story is ideal for young children.
  • One Ted Falls Out of Bed by Julia Donaldson and Anna Currey – This magical story by the author of The Gruffalo has a counting theme and rhyming text. It’s all about the fun that toys have while children are fast asleep.
  • One Mole Digging A Hole by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt – Another counting, rhyming story by children’s favourite, Julia Donaldson. From moles digging holes to parrots pulling up carrots, the wacky and wonderful illustrations by Nick Sharratt are sure to make counting fun!

Books to enjoy at home include:

  • Julia Donaldson books- The Scarecrow's Wedding, Room on a Broom, The Grufffalo, A Squash and a Squeeze and many more.
  • Nick Butterworth books- " Percy the Park Keeper Stories"
  • Mike Inkpen books- Kipper, The Blue Balloon, "Penguin small","Jasper's Beanstalk"
  • Jill Murphy books - " All in one piece", " Five Minutes peace", and lots more about the elephant family.

A good website for buying books at discounted prices is www.thebookpeople.co.uk/schools




Calendar View - Monthly List
« September 2019
Half Termly Information Sheets and Letters

Find out what we are doing in class each half term. These information sheets will give you information about the topics we are covering each half term as well as the focus for maths, reading, writing, PE and ICT. You will also find a copy of letters specifically for Reception parents here.

Parental involvement strategies used in Foundation Stage 2.

Here are some of the strategies we use in our Reception class to involve our parents in their children's learning. Any further suggestions are welcome. Please contact Mrs Robinson.

Reception Graduation Ceremony 2019

A big thank you to all the parents who came to our 2nd ever graduation ceremony. It takes as lot of effort and preparation to organise but the children were thrilled to see so many of their parents. We were delighterd that so many of you could join us. Please check out the video too!

Reception Graduation Ceremony 2019

All the children were very excited to see themselves on the presentation screen dressed up in a cap and gown. Lots of parents, grandparents and family turned up to see the children receive their "Little Miss and Mr Men" certificates. What a lovely event!

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Legoland and Sealife Centre

On Wednesday 26th June Reception class travelled to Manchester on a coach to visit Legoland Discovery Centre and Sealife Centre. We had an amazing day. We spent time building with the lego, we went on some rides and we did a workshop learning about the seasons. After lunch we went next door to visit Sealife. We saw jelly fish, clown fish, sting rays, turtles, baby sharks and lots more. We had the opportunity to feel a starfish using the back of our finger. We want to say 'Thankyou' to our parents who came to help on the day. Please look at our photos to see what a good time we had.

Preparation for International Evening 2019

The children all had fun decorating buns for our themed area of "England". The icing was red, white and blue to match the colours on the Union Jack flag.

Storyteller visits Reception class

On Wednesday 6th June Catherine from Tiny Tales and Tunes visited our class again. She read us the story 'What Pirates Really Do.' We all wore an eye patch so we looked like real pirates. We had to shake the fish from the parachute. It was great fun. We danced and sang songs. At the end Catherine let us meet the pirates crocodile. Was he friendly? Of course! Look at the photos to see the fun we had.

Wriggly Roadshow

Today (19.6.19) the Wriggly Roadshow came into school. We met a giant african snail called Slick, a lizard called Bruce, a snake called Prince, three tree frogs called Newton, Einstein and Darwin and a tenrec . James gave us lots of information about all the animals and we got to hold them if we wanted to. look at our photos you can see how confident we were.

From caterpillar to butterfly

We have watched five tiny caterpillars firstly change into a chrysalis and then become butterflies. This happened in our very own classroom over a period of a few weeks. We then took the butterflies to the nature garden and let them fly free. Take a look at our photos.

Learning outdoors

Have a look at some of the learning we have been doing in phonics and number outdoors.

World of Work Week 15.4.19

This week we have many visitors in school to talk to the children about the jobs they do. In Reception Green Watch came to visit us from Kirkstall Fire Station. They showed us their uniform and talked to us about their job. We then went outside to look at the fire engine but guess what happened. The firefighters received a real emergency call and had to leave school quickly to attend. It was very exciting. We also had a visit from a parent who talked to us about her job as a paediatrician. She looks after new babies that are poorly when they are born. She showed us how she checks a new baby using one of our dolls and our role play doctors kit. This enthused the children with some of them saying they wanted to become doctors because they wanted to care for people . Please look at our photos to see what we have been doing.

Thornton Hall Farm Videos

Some of the activities we enjoyed.

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Thornton Hall Park Farm Trip-March 2019

Reception class visited Thornton Hall Park Farm. We had a fantastic day out learning about all the different animals and finding out about them. There was loads of things to see, smell, touch, hear and do We had a tour around the farm with Farmer Donna saw cows, Marshall the Bull, donkeys, sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas. We got to bottle feed the baby lambs and kid goats and 2 calves. We stroked a rabbit and guinea pig, as well as a chicken and a pony. It was great fun and we especially enjoyed the playground, bumpy slide and the caterpillar tractor ride- even some of the adults had a go! All of the children were very well behaved and Donna said she had really enjoyed talking them around and getting to know them all. It was such a lovely day and most of the children fell asleep on the way home as they were so tired! Can't wait for next year!

World Book Day 2019

The children and staff dressed up as different book characters. Can you guess who we are ? Which books are we from ? Some children dressed as superheroes from comics and films. Other children had characters on their t-shirts. We all enjoyed looking at each other's costumes and trying to guess who they were.

Number work

We have been adding numbers within 10. We have had fun playing post it maths.

Some of the work we have been doing

This half term we have been reading the story Jack and the Beanstalk. We have pretended to be characters from the story in our role play. We have sequenced some pictures from the story and talked to an adult about what happens in the story. Some of us have painted beanstalks which you can see in our classroom. We have used playdough to make representations of beanstalks. You can see some photos of them. We have been developing our fine motor skills by using tweezers to put the correct amount of beans onto the numbered leaves. We have been learning about what a plant needs to grow and have planted our own sunflower seeds. We cannot wait to see the shoots coming through the soil.

School PE Kit- How smart are we ?

Our school has a PE kit as part of the school uniform. It consists of : * navy blue, royal blue or white t-shirt * navy or black pair of shorts, leggings or tracksuit bottoms. *a pair of black pumps or trainers. They do not need to have a school logo on them. They should be named to avoid confusion. It is important that all children should change for PE and that they should have their kits I school every day until the next holidays or it needs washing. It is not appropriate to wear pyjamas or skirts or items with zips and fastenings on them for health and safety reasons. No jewellery including earrings and religious items should be worn during PE. They will need to be removed for the lesson or better still be left at home for safe keeping. Here are some examples of a PE kit, modelled by our Reception class.

Storyteller for Reception class

On 16.1.19 Catherine from Tiny Tales and Tunes visited us to tell us the story of 'The Gruffalo's Child' by Julia Donaldson. We acted out the story with the puppets. We danced with scarves pretending to be snowflakes and the owl flying and swooping. We had pretend snowballs on the parachute and together as a class we had to shake them off but the adults kept putting them back on! At the end of the story Gruffalo's Child goes back to the cave and snuggles for a sleep with daddy. We laid down on the floor looking at the lights on the ceiling and sang 'Twinkle twinkle little star.' We had a lot of fun today and we now know the story really well.

Storyteller Visits Reception

The Leeds library service sent a storyteller to school. She shared her love for reading with us. We listened to some good stories and talked about the books.

Tiny Tales and Tunes

On Wednesday 14th of November Catherine from Tiny Tales and Tunes came to visit us in school. She told us the story of 'The Three Little Pigs.' We had lots of fun. We used puppets to bring the story to life and real straw, bricks and sticks. We danced and sang songs as part of the story. We used the parachute, scarves, pom poms and shakers. Catherine said we were 'Superstars'

Bonfire Night

Today in school we have been learning about Bonfire Night. We talked about the history of Bonfire Night and why we celebrate on 5th November. We have made some fantastic pictures of fireworks which are displayed in our classroom. Together we scooped out two pumpkins. We passed them around and decided if we thought they were heavy or light, we talked about their shape, colour and smell. We felt the texture of the seeds from inside the pumpkin. In the afternoon we went in the nature garden and snuggled under a blanket and had jacket potatoes to eat and hot chocolate to drink. We put a tea light in our pumpkins but it wasn't quite dark enough to glow!. We really enjoyed our learning today it was great fun!.

Autumn in the Nature Garden

We have been learning about the changes that Autumn brings. We went into the nature garden in small groups. We worked with a partner to find the things on our list. We found different coloured leaves, acorns, pine cones, twigs and lots more. This led to lots of talk about Autumn.

Reception Class Pictures-September 2018

We would like to say a big 'Thank you' to all our Reception parents and children for welcoming us into your homes when we undertook home visits. We were made to feel welcome and it was a pleasure to meet the children in their home environment. The children are now settling well into school and we would like to share some photos of some of the activities we have been doing in the first two weeks. We have spent time in our outdoor classroom. We have enjoyed the shop and mud kitchen. Inside the classroom we have been exploring the different areas of provision.

Trip to Sundown 27.6.18

On Wednesday 27th June Reception class went on a trip to a magical adventure land called Sundown. We had so many new experiences. We went into storybook village where we could try the chairs in the seven Dwarf’s house and play the piano in the Three Little Pigs House. We saw the big bad wolf in Grandma’s house and stirred the porridge in the Three Bears House. We enjoyed lots of wonderful rides. We had a tractor ride taking a trip around the English countryside, a Jolly Pirate ride where we were splashed with a little water. We travelled through Sherwood forest aboard the Robin Hood Ride. We went into Lollipoppet castle with all it’s wonderful smells of candy. In the Angry Birds activity park we took a spin on Okie Yolkie ride and bounced along on the Giddy Piggies ride. We explored Fort Apache where we could swing, climb, slide and explore, great for our physical development. We had such a wonderful day with fun, laughter and smiles. Many of us fell fast asleep on the coach coming home, exhausted but happy!

Graduation Ceremony July 2016

This is the first graduation ceremony to be held at Quarry Mount and what a lovely event it was. The children made their own mortar board hat, sang songs "In our Class we're Superstars" and "Finishing Reception", received certificates and celebrated with juice, cake and biscuits. Thank you to all the parents who turned up to watch. Here is the video presentation of the children in their mortar board and gown. What a beautiful class- how grown up do they look?

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