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
To begin our learning journey, our first topic in Reception will be All About Me, where we will explore who we are, where we live, our similarities and our differences. We will learn that people in our class may come from different countries and have different family situations but that we are all human beings and we are all special in our own right. We will explore our emotions and our beliefs, learning to be accepting of all. We will also explore the world around us, looking closely at our local environment, comparing this to other places in the world and observing the seasonal changes which occur in the autumn time. After half term, we will focus on the different things we celebrate and the ways we can celebrate them, leading on to Christmas and learning the true meaning of Christmas with the Nativity story.
Within the first few weeks, we will introduce the children to formal phonics lessons and during the Autumn term we will work our way through Phase 2, introducing the most common letter sounds and how they are written. Your children will rapidly learn new sounds and learn how to use this knowledge to read simple words and phrases. By the end of this term, most children will have begun to write words independently too!
In maths we will focus on the numbers 1-5: we will learn to count reliably, recognise the numerals which represent each number, subitise (recognise these amounts without counting each object in a group), and learn the different ways in which each number can be made (composition / number bonds). We will introduce common 2D shapes and explore their properties, using them to create pictures and identifying shapes within shapes. We will also explore length, weight and capacity through practical activities.
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.
Reception Reading (Phonics)
Phase 1 Phonics
Fine Motor Skills
Art and Design
Additional Resources and Activities
Phonics Play is a website which follows the ‘Letters and Sounds’ sequence of learning which our phonics scheme of work is based around. It is a really useful website to support phonics practise at home. Lots of the games are free but to access everything there is a small annual fee. The site is organised into the different phases so it is easy to navigate and access appropriate activities based on what we have been covering in class.
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 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.
Children’s Mental Health Week
Children’s Mental Health Week 1-7th February 2021
This week marks the 2021 Children’s Mental Health awareness week. With this in mind, we would really like you all to take some extra time to promote good mental health within your families this week. Go for an extra long walk in the fresh air. Switch off all devices and PLAY together. Share a book. Sing. Dance! Do whatever you need to reset and enjoy your time together. Times are hard for us all right now. Be kind to yourselves and each other.
With this in mind, it’s worth remembering that learning comes in many forms. In the early years, PLAY IS LEARNING.
For further information, please check out our St James’ Children’s Well-Being page.
Winter and The Polar Regions
People Who Help Us
PWHU: The NHS
PWHU: Postal Workers
Art and Design
Science and Messy Play!
Additional Resources and Activities
Fine Motor Skills
Shapes and Patterns
All About Me
Art and Design
Resources and Activities