My name is Miss Sikopoulis

Welcome to Einstein Class! 

The Reception class at St James’ has adopted the name of ‘Einstein Class’ as we believe that each child is a genius in their own way, be it academically, socially, creatively, physically or in a way we have yet to discover!

Albert Einstein himself was slow to talk, some say he did not start speaking until he was 4 years old, and a teacher once said “He will never amount to anything.” Yet his genius shone through and he is known to be one of the most brilliant minds of all time.

Thankfully, education has moved forward since Einstein’s time and we nurture and celebrate all aspects of a child’s development. Here at St James’, we believe in treating each child as an individual and helping them to grow and flourish in their own, beautiful way, learning from their mistakes as they go.

Here’s to our ‘little Einsteins’ and a fantastic start to their school careers!

Reception Class Mission Statement

In Reception we do our best to follow Jesus’ teaching to “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Mark 12:31) We view everyone within the school as our friend.

We promise to be polite to our friends, play nicely together and share. We will support our friends in times of need. “Two are better than one, because they have good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” (Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10)

Important Letters / Information

Our Curriculum

EYFS Curriculum Skills and Vocabulary Progression

We start our Spring term by observing the seasonal changes of winter. During the first few weeks we will spend time comparing winter to other seasons we know and conducting lots of wintery science experiments as well as engaging in imaginative play based around snow and ice. Our main topic this term will be People Who Help Us and we look forward to finding out about the people who help us in our local communities and hopefully meeting some of these wonderful people too. We will finish our Spring term by observing the seasonal changes of the spring time.

In phonics we will move on to Phase 3 where the children will learn sounds for the remaining letters of the alphabet before learning the consonant digraphs then moving on to learning the remaining vowel sounds and how these are commonly written. The children will continue to apply the skills they acquire to reading and writing. They should begin to read words and sentences with greater fluency as they secure and continue to practise all the sounds taught.

In maths we will introduce the numbers up to 10, looking at their composition and learning addition and subtraction facts for each. We will count by rote beyond 10. We will introduce and explore common 3D shapes and look closely at how these relate to 2D shapes. We will continue to explore repeating patterns and investigate measuring things.

This section has been developed to give you more information about the specific curriculum areas of Literacy and Mathematics which are covered in the Reception Curriculum, and to provide you with additional ideas, resources and things to have a go at at home if you should wish to do so.

What to Expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage: A Guide for Parents

Home Learning in Reception

There are lots of ways in which you can support your child’s learning journey at home.

1 – Practise the phonics we teach daily. When your child is taught a new sound or tricky word, they will come home with a sticker to remind them. Ask them what it says. Practise previously taught sounds (see the ‘Reception Progression Grid’ and termly grapheme information sheets provided in the phonics area) and, when they have enough sounds, help them to blend these sounds to read simple words. Further support can be found on our phonics page, including links to useful videos.

2 – Read with your child. At first this will include sharing wordless books with your child, discussing what is happening in the book, creating stories and developing vocabulary. Your child will also get a library book for you to read to them. Reading to your child is a vital part of your child learning how to read for themselves.

3 – Practise recognising numbers and counting. Practise naming and describing shapes. Practise comparing things by size and using simple, mathematical vocabulary. Examples will be provided.

From time to time we will set additional tasks to enhance the topics we are covering or practise a specific skill we are working on. We appreciate your support with these things.

Useful Websites

Phonics Play is a website which may be used by parents to support their children to practise the phonics they are taught in school. Lots of the games are free but to access everything there is a small annual fee.

Vine Passport

Vine Passport:

Every child, who attends one of our Vine schools, will receive a Vine Passport. This Vine Passport will
give every child the opportunity to challenge themselves, to broaden their horizons and to increase
their life experiences. There is a total of 40 challenges as you travel around your Vine Schools
Passport. There is no rush to complete it all at once; indulge yourself in the challenges and enjoy!

Vine Passport

Letter to parents

Vine Reading List

Vine Reading list

In the Vine Trust, we want to promote a love of reading in all of our pupils no matter what their age, gender or reading ability. Exposing children to a wide variety of good quality stories and texts helps to improve their vocabulary and comprehension skills whilst also introducing them to a whole host of experiences, both imaginary and real, that they might otherwise never experience.

At the Vine, we feel that parents and carers play a vital role in supporting pupils with their reading. Research into reading supports this belief and one finding in 2006 states that:

Parents and the home environment are essential to the early teaching of reading and fostering a love of reading; children are more likely to continue to be readers in homes where books and reading are valued (Clark and Rumbold, 2006).

We understand that it can be difficult to motivate children to read, especially now that technology is so appealing and accessible. It can also be challenging to get children to read different types of books. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Tom Gates, Harry Potter and books written by David Walliams are extremely popular and are great pieces of literature. However, it is important that children read a range of stories and books to support them in developing their own imagination and writing skills.

In light of this, we have produced a selection of lists to aid you at home in guiding and encouraging children to read a range of books. Each list contains good-quality, age relevant books that have stood the test of time and proven to be very popular with pupils that staff have taught over the years.

How to use the lists:

  • The book lists are split into EYFS, KS1, lower KS2 and upper KS2. If your child is in Year 5 or 6 but is a reluctant reader, why not have a look at the lower KS2 list. Likewise, if you have a very able reader in KS1 who is in need of a challenge, explore the lower KS2 list.
  • Share the list with your child. Put a mark against which books they think sound interesting. Then, visit your local library or book shop and see which books you can find.
  • Encourage your child to look for these books in the school or class library.
  • Reading to your child is vitally important, even in Year 6. So why not choose a more challenging book that you can share and read together.
  • Each list starts off with easier to read suggestions then the books grow in complexity as the list continues. Some of the content of the books towards the end of the upper KS2 list is a little more mature and sensitive (war, refugees, loss etc) but are all age-relevant. As the parent/carer, you will need to decide on whether these are suitable for your child.

These lists are extensive but not exhaustive. There are so many wonderful options and choices.

EYFS Reading List

Virtual School