Week Commencing 4th. & 11th December

Dear Parents,

We are looking forward to our nativity. The children have found it a challenge as there is an expectation to sit quietly when it is not their turn to speak – always difficult when you are 4/5 years old. But, we hope you will enjoy their performance!

We are learning about the importance of the season of Advent and about the nativity story in class, as well as beginning our Christmas crafts. This week we are designing our Christmas cards. Next week we hope to take a walk up to the post office, which we did last year and it was very successful.  I’d like to go to the village in groups of 20, over three days (Mon, Tues, Thurs PM, week of 11th Dec.) whilst the remaining children do other activities such as cooking. If you can offer your help for the village walk or to help in class (CRB checked parents) we would be most grateful.

Christmas Cooking:

Please sign up to donate some Christmas cake ingredients in class this week.

I would like the children to make their own Christmas cake. We need to line 60 baked bean tins. I have done it before but in a light bulb moment wondered if I could ask for parent volunteers to take some home to line in time for our cooking activity the week of 11th December. Full instructions given!

We also need donations of parchment/grease-proof paper. 

Elf Creative crafts: How re your cutting skills? We are looking for volunteers to take some cutting-out home – Please let me know f you can help…


I’m getting very positive feedback about Tapestry. Please contact me with any log in issues.

Mrs. Q.


Photos from week of November 6th

A very busy week. Lots of representations of fireworks in the children’s play and talk of fire and staying safe.

Towards the end of the week we discussed Remembrance day and the children enjoyed making pictures of poppies or other types of flowers.

Next Week:

The children are looking forward to their trip to the Radlett Centre to see The Gruffalo’s Child tomorrow. Please read the story if you have it at home as we will spend time this week discussing the characters with the children.

Watch out for our new reception Challenge on Tapestry! The response so far has been great and I love having parental involvement evident n the Learning Journeys. If you can’t access your child’s account online for any reason just let me know

Cooking: We are making Gruffalo Crumble with the children over the week

P.E:  Believe it or not there are still children with unnamed items of uniform and PE kit.

The children still manage to lose items of named clothing, so please understand how difficult it is for staff to manage to return  unnamed items of clothing to  the correct child. We need your support to named everything! Thanks…



We would welcome more resources for junk modelling

FYI: We didn’t send out library books this week….


Mrs. Quinn.


Photos from Week of 30th October

A lovely week, the children were excited about Halloween and Guy Fawkes which lead to lots of creative play and representations of pumpkins etc.

We have been trying to recognise and make teen numbers in our morning box and continued to enjoy making our own patterns. Great phonics too. Many children are now confidently blending sounds to make a word. If your child can read, please use the Teddy Word book, from Teddy 1, the initial pages are for beginner blenders.









Next week we anticipate the children will be full of news about their fireworks experiences. We will encourage them to use their senses to describe the colours, sights, smells and sounds they experienced and create our own fireworks poem. We will also talk to the children about how they stay safe in the dark evenings and at fireworks displays. This will lead into talking about reflective materials. If you have anything reflective, please send

Please also send in any photographs of Halloween or fireworks celebrations for our family board.


Mrs. Quinn

Week of September 25th in Reception

We have had  lovely week in reception. It has been great to hear positive feedback from colleagues around the school as to how well the children are settling in.  Here are a few photographs from the week.


Next week: 

We are beginning phase 2 phonics. The children will be introduced to the letter sounds m.a.s.d.t. Some of the children know these sounds already and their focus will be handwriting using correct letter formation and writing simple words using these sounds.

Did you know we value and rely on the contribution you make at home:

Improvement in learning:

  • Children with parents who take an active interest in their education make greater progress than other children.
  • Parental engagement has a significant effect throughout a child’s school years, and in the primary years, family influences have a more powerful effect on children’s attainment and progress than school factors.
  • Gains in pupil achievement stemming from parental engagement initiatives tend to be permanent.

Reading books and Teddy word books are coming home soon. Some children will be given a picture book. Some will have books with simple words because they can already recognise letter sounds and orally blend them to make a word. You will also receive a reading record log. Please write a comment and date when you have listened to your child read. We really value the feedback.

If you would like some help to pronounce the letter sounds we re teaching then this video link will help.

Check out Abbotsphonics blog too.

Mrs. Quinn.

Week of September 18th in Reception

The children are continuing to settle and get used to their new surroundings and new routines. We introduced morning boxes this week, which focus on fine motor skills such as cutting, nuts and bolts, threading, name writing. The children were challenged to find their morning activity box for their  group and by the end of the week we were pleased with how they were able to quickly settle to their activity.


We did P.E. for the first time! Parents, we need your help. Getting 30 children changed is  no small challenge for the team. At one point I had one child wandering round in his pants, having lost every stitch of his uniform, which other children had either put on or put into their own P.E. bag. Lots of time was lost checking every P.E bag and thankfully the uniform was found, but it wasn’t named.  It is imperative that ALL items of clothing are named. Please also make time to let your child practise getting themselves dressed and undressed independently.

Next week we are beginning more focused phonics activities, concentrating on skills such as hearing initial sounds in words, words that rhyme and listening skills.


Children do not need to keep clean uniform in their book bag or on their peg. we have extra clothes in the event of accidents.  We are finding that some bags and/ or pegs are so full that everything just ends up on the floor.

We are still asking for wellies for some children. Please send them in asap.

Thank you to parents who have sent in their family photo – keep them coming, the children are enjoying looking at them together!


Here are a few photos from the first few weeks. I have actually taken over 600 photos, so many to choose from!

Woodside Animal Farm

We had a great time on Friday at Woodside Animal Farm. A small farm but lots to see. The giant tortoise was a big hit!

We looked at the animals, and began our activity booklet, before our tractor ride. Great excitement and problem solving when the children realised that they  could work together and push the mini tractors that you normally have to pay for – That’s what we want – children working together and thinking outside the box!

A picnic lunch is always a hit with school children, it’s what they always talk about as one of the best bits… the ice-lollies went down a treat too.

I was impressed with how brave the children were, and how patiently they waited their turn to pet the rat, snake and chinchilla. Note: no pictures of the adults doing same – all were safely tucked away behind the children!!

Here are a few pcs:

Week of May 15th in Reception

What a lovely week. We had Science Week and National Outdoor Learning Day on Thursday.

We kicked off science week asking the children what they thought science was all about. They blew us away. We introduced a song that covered gravity, hibernation, migration, metamorphosis, evaporation. Many of which the children have / are experiencing through their everyday play. Here is the link to the song on You Tube from The Learning Station.

  1. Joshua knows all about gravity.

  2. Most children could explain evaporation, they just didn’t know the proper scientific term.

  3. Most children knew about hibernation. Migration was a new term to many.

  4. Metamorphosis – We are learning about this ‘in the moment’ with our class caterpillars.

Science Week photos:

Gloop: The children were exploring two type of gloop, making it,  then observing how it changed and what it felt like using their senses. They explored transporting it, putting it through funnels and sieves, trying to pick it up with their hands or utensils and trying to form it into shapes, just to see what would happen.  We heard some lovely language, describing how it felt, looked and behaved in their hands.

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Bubbles: Talking about how bubbles are made of trapped air, the colours the children can see, their shape, size and chasing them to try and pop them are all valuable learning opportunities. I sent a recipe home that we used for science week, it’s well worth it! Would love some pics if you are successful making even bigger bubbles.

STEM Challenge: The children (and many of the parents!) loved the STEM challenge. The children used toothpicks and sweets to build 3D shapes. We are taking a closer look at 3D shapes next week. Could you make a better one at home?

Child led learning at its best: How much water is needed to be added to make the perfect sandcastle? What is happening to the water when it is poured on the sand?

Jump Rope: What goes up must come down!!!

George P was amazing, gold medalist in the making. Think we’ll try double dutch next week…

Sorry, but my photos really don’t do the children justice, didn’t manage to capture many mid flight.

Imaginative Play:  Mrs. Kimber and I managed to salvage some car seats and bumbers from the Car Body Repair Shop in Breakspeare Rd (Thanks Issy!). They were so popular with the children, lots of lovely language and imaginative play. At risk of turning the garden into a salvage yard we love open ended resources like these. We’d love a steering wheel or three!

  More construction:


Next Week: We are looking at 3D shapes. Take a look at your environment, can the children spot any 3D structures, cone, cube, sphere etc.

We are collecting interesting shaped boxes. There are some hexagonal chocolate boxes if you fancy treating yourself (just in the interests of your child’s 3D education of course!).

  1. What shape is the football?

  2. What shape is a toblerone?

  3. What shape is a Swiss Roll cake?

  4. What shape is a Battenburg cake?

On Wednesday  Miss Boby and I are out of class for part fo the day each  as we have an internal moderation which is a statutory requirement, but we are on site.

Mrs. Quinn.

Week of May 1st in Reception

Our caterpillars continue to hold the children’s interest, which they have demonstrated  through their art work, creativity and their daily interest in observing change, which has also led to measuring them. Most have been given a name too, lovely writing.


Growing plants:

Last week we made observational drawings of plants and planted beans and sunflower seeds. We have been watching a bean germinate and it’s been lovely hearing the children use this new vocabulary as they talk about the changes they have observed.


We have observed some pirate play this week and will be developing this next week. I bought some lovely swash buckling swords in Tiger (what did teachers ever do before Tiger hit the high street?) and the children had already made swords for St. George’s Day play. We’d love some plastic bottles for messages in a bottle….


2D Shapes

We have been reviewing 2D shapes this week. The children were encouraged to guess the shape from its description, number of sides, curved or straight and number of corners. They also went outside to look for the shapes in their environment and used shapes to create a picture.

A few more:


Next Week: 

We have been working on the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. We are working on describing  the giant using wow words and the oral retelling of the story. We hope to see the caterpillars begin to change into chrysalides.

Do you have any (clean) plastic bottles or pirate that you could donate?

Save the date: Sports Day June 20th.

Week of April 18th in Reception

I was genuinely looking forward to seeing the children again this week, and they didn’t disappoint! Only a short week, but they packed a lot in.  The new trampoline was a big hit out in the garden, as was the new pizza role play. We need to blag some Domino pizza boxes, different sizes. Please also send in any photos of the children eating pizza. We heard lots of language of size, cost, time to cook and delivery times. The children then began making their own collage pizzas and pizza play dough, one white batch for the dough a second batch for the red tomato base which led to discussion about what they like to put on their own pizzas. Then the children wanted to make a real pizza together in class. The children are going to  order the ingredients online next week ‘like mummy does, …and a man delivers it.’

Getting a bit of maths into the trampoline work out:

We began reading the story of Jack and the Beanstalk and will also look at different versions or adaptations over the term. The children enjoyed exploring the magic beans, which led to some lovely sorting and counting then looking at capacity.

We observed the children trying to write their own stories.  This term we are encouraging the children to write in sentences, so please support this at home with the phonic sounds that they are learning in class.


In PE his week we practised team work and ball skills. Great fun, roll on Sports Day!

Save the date: June 20th Reception and Nursery are doing Sport day together.

Next Week:

We will be learning about St. George, and the Queen’s birthday.

  • We are collecting kitchen roll cardboard centres for castle turrets in junk modelling to go with St. George’s Day.
  • We are always collecting milk bottle tops.

We will be planting ‘magic’ beans to go with Jack’s beanstalk

We will be ordering food online and following the delivery process to then make pizza. Then eating it!

Take a photo of your child eating pizza and send it in.



We do enjoy getting email observations of home learning, keep them coming.

Keep encouraging reading and writing at home. More children are starting their second Teddy word book.

Please ensure all uniform is labelled with YOUR child’s name on it and that all children have  a PE kit and outdoor trainers.


Mrs. Quinn





Week of 27th March in Reception

I’m hoping that you didn’t wake up to terrible pranks this morning. I spoke to the children about April Fools Day and they really ‘got it.’  They thought of some great jokes to play on you – I won’t give them all away. Some said they’d talk backwards, walk backwards, have a bath with their clothes on, say goodbye instead of hello….  I await the success stories upon their return.


We set up a STEM challenge (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) this week which was really popular and led to a discussion of 3D shapes. I was blown away with how this held the children’s interest and observed them revisit this again and again, working together. It was just a few cocktail sticks and a bit of play dough. I could have used mini marshmallows/Jelly Tots –  but didn’t think they’d last the week… and that’s just the adults! This will become a regular challenge in class using different resources. If you’d like to try it at home take a look on Pinterest for ideas, but be sure to take a photo for us!

It has been a full week. We have been discussing Easter and incorporated this into our maths and literacy. The children went on an Easter egg hunt, finding two halves then ordering the eggs and looking at one less.

We have also provided resources to decorate eggs and introduced Easter traditions. Thanks for all the hard boiled eggs, the children really enjoyed colouring them.

The best bit was the egg races on Friday. We went into the hall to firstly count our loose change. My competitive streak came out and Tiggy’s challenged Cottontails to see who had the most money collected. I was feeling confident until Mrs. Davis brought out a huge box of loose change…. well done Cottontails! Then we had egg races – a little pre-Sports Day practise.

Out in the garden we explored other uses for the eggs.

Here are a few more…

After Easter we are listening to the story of Jack and The Beanstalk, maybe you could read it at home to familiarise your child with this lovely tale. It’s a nice lead into a discussion about planting and growing things.





Reception Week of March 20th

NB: Apologies for the formatting of this post. Having problems getting images and text to go where I want it to go for some reason this week.

We started Well Being week off with some yoga, which the children said they enjoyed, and finished the week discussing and sorting foods into healthy and unhealthy. Miss Boby and I were impressed with the children’s awareness of foods containing too much sugar and which foods were good for them.


Sorting healthy/unhealthy foods

We have been seeing lots of lovely imaginative play this week. Role play, creating representations of our world, and even boys drawing pictures and painting!


William wrote a lablel for his models.

Outside we also observed the children taking their learning and problem solving skills into their own hands. The boys used magnifying glasses to observe the bugs and worms they found and want to make a wormery next week. Others used various resources to explore roads, ramps and tunnels or build using large blocks.



Brilliant large scale construction.

A few more: 


Next Week: We are looking at the Easter story and Easter traditions. We have a video of traditional egg rolling and would like to offer the children the opportunity to dye eggs and build their own ‘road’ to see how far they can get it to travel, based on observations this week of road building. The children can also design and decorate their own eggs using water colours, various materials. The role play area will be ‘An Easter party.’
In maths we are working on subtraction.

NOTE: Could children please bring in a HARD boiled egg. Please ensure it is hard boiled as one child has an allergy to raw egg.
If you have any Easter themed books we could share with the children please send them in (Put child’s name on inside cover please). We have the traditional Easter story and I have just purchased The Cow That Laid an Egg, BY Andy Cutbill, but I’m a bit thin on the ground for fun Spring/Easter themed stories.

ALSO: I’m still trying to build up a stock of guttering, down pipes, planks of wood for building outdoors (ideally scaffolding type planks) and any off cuts of soft woods for the woodwork area.

Week of March 13th in Reception.

What a lovely week. As the weather was a bit better we saw more children outdoors. We have been looking at the Season of Spring and this led to creating our own garden of flowers. The children looked at books on flowers/gardens then tried to create their favourite flowers. We had lots of sunflowers, snowdrops, tulips and even a Venus Fly Trap. The children used tissue paper, water colours and scissor skills to create their flowers. They also took a closer look at Spring flowers using the magnifying glasses outside.  This is what the children knew about Spring.

























A little outside investigation:How to send a message to Nursery, across the great divide… One child could see little sis in Nursery and decided to find a way to send her a message. The Postman wasn’t available, so she devised her own method. We then had fun seeing what else we could send, exploring the trajectory of various objects.






We have been coming to a close with our wedding play, so there was just one thing left to do, the wedding cake. The children selected 3 sized cake tins to create a tiered cake. They worked together, following the recipe instructions then later decorated the cake.  Then we ate it!

This Week in Reception, W/C March 6th.

After visiting the baby ducklings in Nursery the children painted pictures.  We will be observing and recording their growth and changes.

I was really impressed with how the children managed to complete a game involving money. We started just using pennies but very quickly extended this to other denominations.

In PE we were throwing and catching.  Jamie is a future gold medalist! Many children can catch with one hand too… Roll on Sports Day.

We completed some maths assessments, which can be discussed in Parent Consultations, but the children are making great progress generally. Keep them counting and adding groups.
W/C13th March:

Parent consultations will be in cottontails. Learning Journeys and children’s stories, as well as learning portfolios will be available to look at in Tiggys.

I am collecting kitchen roll centres, or that type of cardboard cylinder, the stronger the better.

I’m also collecting screw drivers for the woodwork area and any off cuts of soft woods.

Our literacy focus this week is writing speech bubbles for the characters in The  Three Little Pigs. Perhaps you have a copy to read at home this week.
Mrs. Quinn.

Week of February 20th in Reception

It’s been a fun week and lovely to see the children back, ready to learn. The Birthday theme was fun – did you get to hear our new Insey Wincey Spider song or The Button Factory Song?

We have been developing a role play bakery, based n children’s interests and an outside wedding role play. We have been modelling how to use the new play dough and baking area, with a view to encouraging independent baking.

I’m still trying to develop the outdoor role-play area and would love some wedding magazines for the children to look at. My mind is racing with what direction this learning could take us. Apart from the usual make a wedding invitation, making a list of people to invite, all of which is lovely, I though about discussing with the children British customs, such as something old, new, borrowed and blue. SO, we may be asking the children to bring something in. I’m also collecting (washed) tin cans to put on the rear of the brides carriage! and our baking/junk modelling could develop into making the tallest tiered wedding cake ever – which of course the children would need to design, draw and label first!

Please send in any wedding photos, especially old ones of older family members, in black and white, so the children can appreciate how times have changed or from different cultures, or exotic locations.

We had a successful week baking, which will continue next week with small groups of children if your child didn’t get to cook this week. We are still accepting donations of cake decorations

Here are a few from this week:


Next Week: Book Week – Dress up Friday!

As always, I need to see reading records signed and unnamed uniform continues to be an issue. Please label everything!

Mrs. Quinn.




Week of 31st January in Reception.

Many thanks to all the donations for the Syrian appeal, and to Madison’s mummy for taking all the items to UNICEF  this weekend. We did really well and the children got an insight to the world around them.

Whilst we don’t always do ‘themes’ of work as it never  holds the  attention of every child, and we like to be very child led in their learning, we do endeavour to cover Seasons and cultural celebrations, especially those that are relevant to the children in our care. Chinese NY has been really popular  over the last two weeks. It was great to see so many visited the CNY celebrations in London last weekend. Per Henry “I went to China with mummy and daddy and I saw dragons.” Priceless! The children have been representing their new found knowledge painting willow pattern plates, making their own red envelopes, making lanterns and painting dragons.


Elsewhere this week we continue to be amazed at the  children’s reading progress. We are introducing ‘tricky red words’ to many children for reading and writing so if your child can read the red words in their Teddy Word book, can hey spell and write them? Have a go.

Reading: Please sign reading record books every time you read their school reading booking with them. Please keep them in the school bag.

Maths: We forgot to send out the no. 12 worksheet, so this will go out on Monday.

To support your child at home, can they recognise all four basic 2D shapes. Square, rectangle, triangle, circle by name and can they tell you why they know it is that shape? Can they talk about a rectangle having long and short side, but a square’s sides are all the same. Can they explain a triangle always has 3 sides and a circle has one curved side. If not, try to point out these shapes in your environment – Can they recognise the door is a rectangle? We will continue to support this in class too. But don’t stop there – can they recognise a pentagon, hexagon, octagon?

A few more from this week:

Lots of interest about clocks this week so we have begun to talk about different times of the day and where the hands will be.

And also – Helicopter Stories

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

— Albert Einstein

I invited Make Believe Arts to visit us for some staff training for nursery and reception this week to develop story telling in class.

Helicopter Stories is based on the Storytelling and Story Acting curriculum of Vivian Gussin Paley. At its most basic, children make up stories, adults scribe them, and then the class acts them out.

You may find your child has been asking you to write their stories. Please encourage this at home and send in their stories. Children can’t write it if they can’t think it. From past experience I have taught some exceptionally bright children, who when asked, are crippled with anxiety about ‘getting it wrong’ and find it difficult to put their ideas down on paper. We want children to allow their imagination to flourish and be able to put these ideas into words verbally, then develop into writing them. We put no pressure on the children to write at this stage. We scribe for them as thinking and writing at the same time is a challenge at 4, and I don’t want a child to thin of a great story but not tell it because of anxiety due to writing aspect.

Class rule: Each child can write a story which the adult scribes, but its maximum length is A5. Half a full page.

This form of holistic approach to education enables children to discover the world around them in their own, very personal way and explore vocabulary. We can quickly assess which children understand how stories are structures with characters, setting, a beginning, middle and an end.

Stages of Story Telling:

Children will internalise and imitate stories and you may well spot familiar plots creeping into their own story telling. Common characters and settings, good over evil. This is to be encouraged. Some of our children are at this stage.

Innovate: Children may follow a recognisable story pattern but characters and setting are changed. There is a boy and he goes into the house of three ninja’s and eats their food, tries out their swords and sleep in their beds…. Some of our children are at this stage.

Invention – They create their own new story.

The Benefits: Taken from Make Believe Arts homepage.

  • An inclusive, whole-class approach which values every child’s contribution;
  • Facilitates high levels of engagement;
  • Creates confidence and self-assurance;
  • Supports the development of speaking skills as children express and share their ideas;
  • Helps to develop accurate, active listening skills and understanding;
  • Supports co-operative and collaborative and creative learning;
  • Develops positive relationships within a shared storytelling experience;
  • Allows children to explore the power of words as they see their stories come to life, and develop their ability to use and adapt language to communicate;
  • Offers children a bridge into the world of story writing as they begin to see the links between the oral stories they compose and the words on a page.
  • Acting out our stories…

Week of January 23rd in Reception.

We have been learning all about Chinese New Year this week. I hope some of the children got the opportunity to venture into London to see the lovely Chinese celebrations this weekend. We explored Chinese culture, made our own drums, dragons and even had a go at Chinese writing. We also tried to solve Chinese Tangram puzzles and built the Great Wall of China outside.

Next week we will continue to explore Chinese culture, making our own lanterns, Willow pattern plates and panda’s. We will also make lucky red money envelopes and try to make ice-cream, which originated in China.

If you have any spare chop-sticks/woks we are collecting please.


Please be sure to check out the post on our Syrian appeal, which I am coordinating with Madison’s mummy.


Out this week: Most children are continuing to learn new speed sounds in phonics and sheets will go home weekly. If you were given a zip wallet of pictures and words to assist word blending then please try to do this daily, but do keep them in your child’s bag. so we can work on them in school too. The aim is for your child to identify the picture from the word, blended orally, then quickly progress to reading the words at speed.

Are you practising Teddy Words at home? Well done to Holly Shaw, who can read all 100 Teddy words and is onto the next 100 words.

We also sent home a worksheet for the number 11. We are really working hard on number recognition of teen numbers and understanding that it is ten, plus one. These sheets are for you to help your child at home. They are not compulusory and do not need to be returned to us in school, unless your child particularly wants to show us what they can do.



A few more from this week.

Week of January 16th in reception

This week we managed to fit in a bit of ice exploration, observing change. We used stop watches to see how long the ice took to melt.

We wondered how long this ice would take to melt.
Long after the ice melted we continued to have fun, scooping, pouring, squeezing, transporting the water.

What have we learned about Winter?


Others enjoyed exploring building and making ramps. Outside we introduced the screwdriver and the saw.

We continue to be impressed with the children’s reading and writing development.

Writing with adult support to sound out words.
Finding the missing vowel.

Blending CVC words.
Helping each other to spell words.


We also made our own play dough – We’re getting good at this.

Too sticky or too dry?


Next Week:

Next week we will be learning about Chinese New Year. This is one of my favourite celebrations to explore with the children as there are so many rich learning possibilities. I lived in Hong Kong for two years so I can hopefully bring this celebration alive for the children. This year is the year of the rooster. If your child was born 2011 they were born in the year of the rabbit, 2012 they were born in the year of the dragon. China is famous for lots of things. Did you know they invented paper money and ice-cream among other things. The children will explore making their own ice-cream, writing vertically and using chop sticks.  We might even get to make our own dragon dance. Perhaps you could visit a Chinese restaurant with your child or have a take-away Chinese meal. I thoroughly recommend a trip into London next weekend to see the Chinese celebrations – take lots of photos for us please!

Reading books: Please sign the reading record book and add comments. Books are changed on Tuesday and Friday.

Uniform: I am still noticing uniform that has been previously worn by another child in an older year group, which hasn’t been renamed, which makes it impossible to find out who it belongs to.  Please label everything and we will endeavour to return lost items asap.

Mrs. Quinn

Week of January 9th in Reception.

We began the week with hopes of snow. We read the story of The Mitten which led to some good discussion about estimating in adult led maths. We introduced estimating as a ‘clever guess.’ Try it at home. Can your child estimate how many pieces of fruit in the fruit bowl; how many shoes there are. This was a tricky concept for many.


In anticipation of the snow to come we have also looked at non-fiction books about Winter and talked about the changing seasons. We looked back at our class Seasons book together. The children love seeing their own photographs in the class book so please send in any photographs of you and your family out and about enjoying the Winter weather. Additionally, magazine clippings depicting Winter are also welcome as the children enjoy sticking them in.


Next week we will continue to look at Winter. We talked about how icicles form, so if it’s cold enough we will have a go at making our own outside.


Reading Books: Please remember to sign your child’s reading record book. If not signed the reading book won’t be changed.

Please ensure you read a little every night and keep up with Teddy words which I regularly listen to. Quite a few children are now recognising some red tricky words in the book which is brilliant!


We had a blast in P.E. We got out the equipment and after a few bits of training on being safe, they were off exploring different ways of travelling.

Now I know the children can behave appropriately on the equipment, next week we’ll get out the ropes for climbing. Did you know that being able to lift and support your body weight is a sign of readiness for writing!

Upper body strength.

new ways of moving.

Here are a few photographs from this week.

Exploring Numicon.

Exploring shapes.

Who knew a garlic press could be so much fun!


Making an igloo

Programming the Bee-Bots to go forwards, back, left, right.
Making repeating patterns

Playing teacher. A little phonics assessment between friends.

Number ordering.

Still enjoying the ‘secret writing’ pens.

Forest School




There are still too many items of clothing without names inside. If your child takes home someone else’s uniform in error please return it as soon as possible.


Week of December 5th December

Phew! didn’t the children still standing do well in their nativity this week.  Some of the children managed a few extra lines and some even took on additional parts to cover those hit with Chicken Pox.. I’m afraid Miss Boby and I were so busy organising the play I didn’t stop to take any photographs! So if any parents want to email me some that would be great and I’ll add them to the blog.

We hope to welcome many children back into class next week, so we can all enjoy our many exciting Christmas activities over the next two weeks.


A few from this week:


PARENTS AS PARTNERS: Sending in observations from home:

Just a reminder that we love to receive examples of home learning, or WOW! moments, on paper or via email. If you’re not sure how to do this read on. Once I have set up your email on the ‘2Build a Profile’ system and you have responded to the confirmation email it’s very simple to share your child’s achievements with us.

A gold star to Stevie’s mum and Emily’s mum who send in brilliant examples of their achievements to share with the staff. This really helps us to build up a true picture of your child’s learning and development.

If you have a photograph or video to share with us, just select the ”mail’ option, and send to the email address: ‘inbox@2buildaprofile.com’ (Your email account will remember the address once you have written it once)

Select the mail option

If you are emailing from a PC, create a new email and upload the file as an attachment.

Put the child’s name in the email subject (this will send the video directly into the child’s portfolio), and any notes in the body of the email (you can add these later if you’re in a rush).

If you didn’t enter your child’s name, the file will be stored in ‘All experiences not allocated to a class/learner’ (from the drop down list) which staff can still pick up.


Next Week: We would welcome a contribution of wrapping paper, labels, boxes to wrap, Christmas cards to write in.

Wednesday: A sing-a long of songs from the nativity for the children and parents who missed the play last week.

We will be sending home another copy of all the sound sheets covered to date.


Mrs. Quinn

Week of November 14th in Reception.



We’ve been finishing off our diva lamps and making bread rolls this week, just like the little red Hen. A big thank you to Mrs. Nolan for helping with the baking. The children enjoyed using all their senses to observe changes as the yeast was addded, and how the dough changed  before and after baked. We also finished our diva lamps, which we had moulded by hand.

We also observed lots of transporting and problem solving at the water tray, and even the rain provided interest and challenge. Here are just a few from the week.

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Just look at the skill of these boys, we even got them recording their scores.


Timetable Changes:

Please note we have changed our PE and library day to TUESDAY. Please send in library books to be changed on Tuesday next week and going forward.


We are practising our nativity play every day. It’s success depends in no small part on the children rehearsing their lines at home with you. Please give us your support and rehearse with your child. It only take a few minutes.


Mrs. Quinn

Week of November 7th in Reception

What a busy week. The children were full of chatter about their firework experiences from last week, which led to some lovely representations of fireworks at the creative table. We also set off on a fireworks hunt round the garden, recording by making marks when we found them.

We ended the week learning about Remembrance Day. It was lovely to note that a few of the children had obviously talked about it with their parents and knew a little about the meaning of the poppy. We were really proud of the children staying quiet for the 2 minutes silence.

Next Week:

We have been learning to retell the story of The Little Red Hen. To finish off this topic we are making bread rolls with the children all week. If you think you would like to help in the afternoons with this activity then let us know.

Children in Need on Friday. Children can dress up. THINK SPOTS!

Listening to readers etc. I now have three amazing parents from Tiggy’s who have freely given their time to come in once a week to listen to readers or help with additional number/phonics support. I haven’t had any parents from Cottontails volunteer. Please contact a member of staff to if you can offer support, so we can arrange the paperwork with the office for references etc.

I did a quick parents phonics session on Thursday after school and I am available to repeat this on Thursdays at 3:15pm. It’s important that parents can keep up with their child’s rapid progress and feel confident helping them at home. If you want to attend this week then just let me know by Wednesday. If your child is on picture books, or just starting out on books with words I’d like to see you.

Reading Books:

Please ensure that the yellow reading record book is signed , or comments added, to help staff to know that the children are reading every night at home. Aren’t the children progressing well!


New Entrance for Tiggy’s

The Tiggywinkle children will enter the classroom via their cloakroom entrance at the back of the class this week – just as the Cottontail children  already do.  This is to free up a member of staff to work more closely with the children on the carpet. This will need everyone’s support to encourage the children of both classrooms to enter through their respective doors in an orderly fashion and for us all to avoid the entrances becoming congested.



Christmas Fayre: Nov 29th. If your new to the school then it is good to get involved in the school community as these events directly impact what I can do in class. I’ll see you all there.

Christmas Play December 8th, PM session. Parts/costume details have been sent out.

Christmas Theatre trip December 13th: Five parents from each class have volunteered to accompany us. Many thanks.


Mrs. Quinn


Reception Week of October 10th

What a busy week! We have been talking about the changes in the seasons. The children knew lots about the leaves changing colour, some knew why, some didn’t. So, off we went to investigate. We talked about the different colours of leaves and their shapes, finding examples of each. The children noted that some were crunchy under their feet.

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Once back in class we provided resources so children could represent what they knew. We even got a bit of maths in there too.

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We have begun to learn the story of The Little Red Hen, and children have been accessing resources to retell the story using props.


As our phonics programme gets into full swing I have been really pleased at the children’s willingness to have a go at mark making and blending sounds to make words. This also linked to our Funky Finger challenge this week, to unlock images by selecting the correct key, labelled with the initial sound. The children were then encouraged to write the sound or full word, depending on their phonics abilities and confidence.

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The construction area continues to be extremely popular, but we are also getting lots of really good discussion.

One child noticed The Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty in or Wonders of The World class book and this led to building the Eiffel Tower. The Small World area was changed into an airport following discussion about how we would get there. One child then created a large aeroplane using appropriate shaped blocks.

Big Ben
This is Big Ben
Daisy’s Castle
My mummy and daddy have been there.
The Eiffel Tower.
Using appropriate shapes to build on a large scale.
I think I might be an architect or engineer when I grow up.

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A few more:

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Next Week: 

We are continuing to introduce phonic sounds to the children with a focus on correct letter formation and blending to read words. We will send sound sheets home again, but they do not need to be returned to school. Just use them as a resource if your child wants to share with you what they have been doing in school.

Please always keep reading books and Teddy words in book bags. Books can be changed on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Last week of term: How did that come round so fast! We are still looking at Autumn. If you could encourage your child to bring in conkers, pine cones, acorns, interesting leaves that they find on the ground we will be using them in our art work. We are using a lovely book called Leafman, by Lois Ehlert to encourage the children’s imagination to create a leaf family.  We have a count the conker challenge and we are looking at size language, big, bigger, biggest using images on autumnal objects.

Please send in pumpkins this week. The children love investigating the insides, carving them, measuring and weighing them.

Our Funky Finger challenge is to make a rock tower using problem solving skills. I noticed last year  in nursery when balancing Christmas presents that not all children knew to put the bigger presents on the bottom, so this will be interesting to see how their problem solving skills have progressed.

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I now have three regular parent volunteers listening to readers/supporting phonics. A very big thank you to those parents. Could you help?

Don’t forget to send in your tea-towel order.

Mrs. Quinn



Week of October 3rd in Reception

We began a new exciting activity this week across reception: Helicopter stories. The name is taken from the work of Vivian Gussin Paley, who promotes a story telling curriculum. The children  use their imagination, before they become too self-conscious about their thinking, to tell their own stories, which the adult then scribes and the class acts out the story together. This has been shown to have a significant impact on their language, communication and literacy skills. An easier read, should you wish to learn more is ‘Princesses, Dragons and Helicopter stories: Storytelling and story acting in the early years’ by Trisha Lee.

We saw a surge in children at the writing table making their own books, some needed an adult to scribe, others had a go at writing some words themselves. Please encourage this at home and send in the children’s stories.

Here are a few stories and action shots:

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Our phonics programme, RWI started in earnest this week. Some children are being introduced to letters for the first time, others, especially those who attended Gruffalo nursery are reviewing letter sounds, with a greater emphasis on correct letter formation. Some children have spent time using sensory resources to trace letters, boosting their confidence to just have a go.  We have sent some home learning sheets home this week. These do not have to be returned to school. They are to support parents to be able to help their child consolidate learning, should they wish to use them. We will not give out formal homework in reception. Some parents have indicated that they would welcome guidance on how best to support their child at home.

We also had some visual discrimination challenges*, which will help with letter recognition.

A few photos from this week.

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  • Idea taken from StimulatingLearning.co.uk


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We love to learn about different family celebrations and ways of life. This week we learned about Navratri, Navaratri (nine nights)  one of the greatest Hindu festivals.  Navratri takes place at the beginning of October around harvest time and, as the name implies, this festival is celebrated for nine days.

If you have any special family celebrations that you could share with us, please advise. Perhaps you could share special foods, clothes, stories that are important within your culture, that the children would enjoy learning about.


Next Week:

We will be going on our first Welly Walk, looking for signs of autumn. We are encouraging the children to ponder why leaves fall? What colours they change into? What happens to the leaves that fall? then to sort, count, order leaves by size. We will be encouraging colour mixing to create their own representation of autumn.

Perhaps your child could bring in leaves that they find on the ground on their way to school. A fat leaf, a long leaf, a big leaf (who can find the biggest?) a small leaf, a brown, red, yellow, purple leaf.



  • Tiggywinkles are moving to a weekly  rotation of What’s in the Box?’ We will start with Rabbits this week and I will post a timetable on our door.
  • Please continue to leave reading books in book bags, and Teddy words. Reading books are changed on Tuesdays and Fridays, so long as parents have indicated that they have listened to their child read the book at home.
  • Does your child have wellies in school?
  • Is ALL uniform named? I have noticed garments named with older pupils names, but I can’t always match to a reception child if the family name is not the same…
  • If you could come in to help on a regular basis, please let us know…
  • Have you sent in your Settling In review forms?
  • Have you book a parent consultation slot?

Mrs. Quinn & Miss Boby.


Week of September 26th September in Reception

A few photos from this week. We have a bit of a crocodile swamp and dragon stew theme going on within the two classrooms. Lots of lovely imaginative play, using the mud kitchen and creative areas. Both classes drew their self portraits this week and continued to explore transient art to create images of themselves. Cottontails portraits are on a separate post, I’ll post Tiggy’s too later, I am just waiting a few more to be completed.



I was very excited to hear the children read this week.  We endeavour to listen to your child read every week. If you could help to listen to readers on a regular basis then please let me know.


Family Photos: We would like to set up a gallery of family photos in each room. Could you send in a family photo for the wall. I noted in nursery how much the children enjoyed spotting their own family on the wall. Please feel free to include anyone who is important to your child.

Junk Modelling: I’m trying to set up a tinkering/woodwork/junk model area. I’d love bits and bobs to add to it. Old springs, wires, small tubes… it might turn into the button on a space ship, the steering wheel of a car, a propeller, the lid of a Bisto pot might be the wheel of a tractor.  … find your inner child and take a look at things from that perspective.  Small pots and boxes, corks, string, wires, cable reels… all are handy to a four year old.


Mrs. Quinn








Mrs. Quinn

Reception Week of September 12th

It has been a brilliant week! The children are settling into new routines and establishing new friendships.

A few housekeeping issues to help everyone.

Electronic Learning Journeys: If you have requested to be set up to be able to send observations direct to your child’s electronic Learning Journey you will get an email once I have set you up online which you will need to reply to. Just as you get a confirm for password resets etc.  It is just 2Build-a-Profiles way to ensure you did request it.

Library: We sent out library books this week. These should be returned each Friday. Your child will be encouraged to take a book home weekly, but they may not want to. The book out on loan must be returned the following week to allow another book to be taken home.

Wellies: Not all children have wellies in school yet. Please provide them asap.

PE/Games: We had our first PE lesson today. Please ensure you have provided a PE kit, which will stay on their peg until half term. This should consist of NAMED t-shirt, shorts, socks, plimsols. I noticed today that some children have been given clothes from another family, but the previous childs name is in the clothes still, which makes finding out who it belongs to difficult. Please check.

Outdoors: Remember we are out in all weathers so as the weather begins to change please make sure the children have a suitable coat in school.

Returning letters etc: Please remember that we would prefer the TAs to send their time with the children rather than checking bags, so anything important, give to the adult at the door at drop off, or put in the trays provided.

We have been introducing the children to their house teams and small groups.

House teams are red, yellow, blue and green, The children are awarded ‘gold coins’ as house points for their colour team. Its a nice way to practice our counting to see which team has the most coins.

Our groups for morning activities are foxes, mice, owls, rabbits, kittens. Ask your child which group they are in.

Photos from this week:

Next Week:

We are still at that important stage of settling and observing the children as part of our baseline assessment to help inform future planning. We will be observing and assessing the children’s phonic knowledge next week with a view to sending home reading books and Teddy words.

There is a Phonics presentation on Wednesday during which I will explain what you can do to support your child at home and explain how we teach your child to read. I will also have handouts available.  I urge your attendance if possible.

There is a bit of a magnetic theme brewing so we are offering resources to the children to investigate which materials are magnetic and which are not.

We will be encouraging the children to draw self portraits, so we have other resources ready to encourage discussion about how we are the same, but different, and to use different media to create faces.



Mrs Quinn.

Our First Week

Far to many photos to comment on, other than to say Miss Boby and I, and the team, have been so impressed with your children this week. They have done so well! Next week our focus is to continue to settle the children into new routines, familiarise them with new resources and how to use them independently, and to support developing friendships.

Reception Redevelopment – It takes a Village to Raise a Child

If you don’t already know, the move of the reception classrooms has involved practically rebuilding the outdoor area and much work indoors too. This is a real opportunity for you to get involved in your child’s reception experience. We have a Facebook page for parents  who are interested in volunteering time and skills.

Abbots Reception Helpers – Please only join if you are someone who is willing to get involved and give your time. There is another Facebook general parents group for reception.

Many parents have already worked flat-out for two days in their Summer hols, or came in during last half term. They achieved amazing results. The outdoors area has been transformed. The classrooms have been repainted and look clean and fresh