Meet the Reception Team



Alex Richards 


Charlotte Hobday


Nicola Carlile 

Plum (PT) & Deputy Headteacher


Louise Dunn







Teaching Assistants


Sonia Kouser 


Gabrielle Cunningham 


Sara Adetona





Rebecca Noble  


Danielle Owen 


Bethany Whalley 








2018 - 2019

Summer 2


Our story this half-term is  the famous and much-loved classic, ‘The Gruffalo’ by Julia Donaldson.  The children are introduced to the book  through a sensory treasure hunt. They follow rhyming clues to find objects that link to the book. There are purple prickles in the water tray, terrible teeth in the maths shed, orange eyes in the sand tray and a poisonous wart in one of the tyres! We start the topic by looking at the deep, dark wood and using our senses to describe what it would be like to walk through. We then look more closely at the characters in the story, describing their looks and personalities and thinking about how they were feeling at different points in the story and why. We will continue to use and apply all our amazing phase 3 phonics skills across all areas of the curriculum and begin to look at phase 4 phonics too, starting with the consonant blends at the beginning of words, for example, ‘bl’ and ‘st’.


This half term we will be continue to look at doubling, halving  and sharing, with more of a focus on using these skills to solve problems. We will build on our work on measures by talking about and investigating the concept of weight, ordering items by weight and solving simple problems. We will spend some time re-capping the major mathematical concepts that are key in Reception and also work on improving our ability to apply our skills more independently to help us prepare for the transition to Year 1.

Our homework will continue to focus on Reasoning and children can either record their ideas on paper or photos can be sent in via Tapestry of their practical work.  We love to see the amazing work you do at home and the children are so proud when we put their photographs on the whiteboard so they can tell their friends about their home leaning.


This half term, our topic will be ‘How do I make sense of the world?’ We will focus on a different sense each week and think about what information we can get from it. Could we work out which animal was behind a door if we couldn’t see it? Could I tell the difference between a strawberry and a banana if I had a blindfold on when I was eating it?


Summer 1


Our story this half-term is called ’The Gigantic Turnip.’ We will be looking carefully at the different characters and trying to work out how they are feeling and explaining why we think this. The children will get the opportunity to plant their own bean and watch it carefully as it grows over the half term.  The children will write both fiction and non-fiction pieces. Including instructions for planting a seed and the half-term will culminate in them writing their own ’Mixed-Up’ version of ‘The Gigantic Turnip’. The children now have lots of phonics skills, and as we consolidate Phase 3 this half term, there will be lots of opportunities to apply these skills in both reading and writing contexts across the curriculum.


This half term we will be looking at, and talking about patterns and 2d and 3d shapes. We will estimate how many objects we can see and check this by counting them.  The concept of doubling and halving will be introduced and the children will to solve simple problems involving doubling, halving and    sharing. We will also look at position and direction. We will direct our friends around the learning spaces and also programme Bee Bots to move across a mat. Our homework will continue to focus on Reasoning and children can   either record their ideas on paper or photos can be sent in via Tapestry of their practical work.


This half term, our topic will be ‘Once Upon a Mixed Up Tale.’ The children will be introduced to the topic when we receive a special delivery of ‘magic beans’. The children will be asked what they think will grow from these beans and how will we plant and look after them. We will learn all about lots of traditional fairy tales but perhaps from a new perspective. For example, ’Do you feel sorry for the Big Bad Wolf? or ‘Is it better to live in a house made of straw or sweets?’ We look forward to watching the children act out familiar stories and will be interested to see how they mix them up and add their own details.


Spring 2


Our story this term is called The Bog Baby. It is a beautiful story about nature and how we should look after living things. The children will be making and describing their own versions of Bog Babies . We will continue to develop our emotional literacy by trying to understand how characters in the story are feeling and what makes them feel this way. The children will read and write for a variety of purposes, including: descriptions, instructions, fact files and letters from different perspectives. In phonics we will continue to learn and consolidate phonic phase 3, reinforcing our work on digraphs (two letters which make only one sound e.g. th, ar, ou) and begin to introduce trigraphs (three letters which make one sound e.g. igh, air, ear).


This half term we will be finding 1 more and 1 less than a number in a variety of practical ways. We will continue to use the language of addition and subtraction, finding ways to calculate and then to record our thinking. When measuring, we will be making estimations and measuring the capacity of different containers. We will also be measuring time and ordering events chronologically. Our homework will continue to focus on Reasoning and children can either record their ideas on the sheets provided or photos can be sent in via Tapestry of their practical work.


This half term, our topic will be ‘Are all minibeasts scary?’ We will launch the topic with a pond dipping experience and investigate what minibeasts live in and around the pond area. We will learn all about certain minibeasts such as spiders and butterflies, looking carefully at animal life cycles. Each class will watch eggs closely as they hatch into caterpillars before each turns itself into a chrysalis and finally emerges as a butterfly. There may also be some other live creatures for the children to study at close hand! We hope the children learn all about the changes that occur during in spring and the importance of looking after our environment and all living creatures. We plan to celebrate all our amazing learning with our very own ‘Ugly Bug Ball’ at the end of the half term!


Spring 1


Our story this term is called Emily Brown and the Thing. It is an exciting adventure story with lots of surprises.  We will explore a range of settings through this book and invent our own adventure stories set in a winter wonderland.  Feelings and emotions is a strong theme throughout the story as we get to understand what makes the characters scared, excited, anxious and happy. We will role play adventures, describe settings and relate the characters emotions to our own everyday experiences. The children will read and write for a variety of purposes. In phonics we will learn all about phonic phase 3 and in particular,  we will introduce the children to diagraphs (two letters which make only one sound e.g. th, ar, ou).


We will continue to explore numbers to 20 and solve a wide variety of problems linked to real life contexts.  This half term we will be using the language of addition and subtraction, finding ways to calculate and recording our number stories sequentially. When measuring, we will be making estimations and measuring the capacity of different containers.  During role play activities, we will use real coins, make amounts, pay and give change.  Our homework will continue to focus on Reasoning and children can either record their ideas on the sheets provided or photos can be sent in via Tapestry of their practical work.



This half term, our topic will be ’Why is it always cold in winter?’ We will explore the environmental changes that occur during winter and think about what happens to frost, ice and snow. This will then be compared to the environment at different stages of the year as we take a look at all of the seasons.  Hibernation will be explored as we think about what happens to animals in winter. We will look at feelings and emotions as we consider how Elsa felt as she left her home in Arundel to live alone in her ice palace. Finally we will create our own fantasy snow adventures.




Summer 2

Topic entry point - Sensory treasure hunt

The children had great fun following the rhyming clues to find objects related to our new book. They found leaves and branches, orange eyes, purple prickles, a poisonous wart and some giant teeth. I wonder what our new book will be?

One Little Word

The M6 theatre group visited and the children in Reception watched a short performance called, 'One Little Word' about how to be kind and share with your friends.


Summer 1

Topic entry point - Magic beans

We had a special delivery of magic beans in Reception. The children are looking forward to planting and looking after them. What do you think will grow? How can we look after them?

Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken

Some eggs arrived at school in a special incubator. We watched and listened carefully as they began to crack. We predicted what would hatch out and were thrilled to have our very own class chicks. We looked after them; keeping them fed and clean. The best part was getting a baby-chick-cuddle.

Freddy Fit

We love it when Freddy Fit comes to school. He teaches us why it is important to stay healthy and how we can look after ourselves. We have loads of fun exercising to music. See you soon Freddy Fit!


Spring 2

Topic entry point - Pond dipping

We are so lucky at Woodland School because we have our very own pond! We were fascinated when we looked in the water and under the rocks and stones. We saw lots of minibeasts and even a couple of frogs.

Creatures in class

Each Reception class has been watching some caterpillars carefully. It has been fascinating to watch them each form a chrysalis and then emerge later as a beautiful butterfly. When our butterflies had dried out their wings and were strong enough, we released them outside. There has also been a wormery where our resident worm, 'Cecili', has been living happily for a couple of weeks! The children have been captivated by the creatures and have watched them carefully as they grown and change.

British Science Week

We have celebrated British Science week at Woodland and the Reception classes had the pleasure of looking at the work of David Attenborough. We looked at some of his amazing videos about animals, the environment and how to look after them. We looked carefully at how important bees are to the world and what things we could do to help protect them. We also talked about the use of plastic and how pollution is affecting the oceans and the creatures that live there.

Ugly Bug Ball

 To celebrate all our hard work this half term we held an Ugly Bug Ball. The children made masks and we danced to our favourite songs. Apple class even wrote to Cecilia the worm to invite her along!

Easter Craft

We love it when we get to work with our parents. We invited them in to help us with some Easter crafts. There are some real artists amongst our parents and we are not sure who had the most fun - children, parents or staff! Happy Easter.


Spring 1

Topic entry point - finding a melted snowman

When we came back to school after the Christmas holidays we found a hat, a scarf, a carrot, 2 sticks and 2 pine cones. The children decided that a snowman had melted. But what happen? Where did the snowman come from? Where did he go? Why didn't he stay with us?

Hot chocolate

During our 'Why is it always cold in winter?' topic, we talked about ways in which we could keep ourselves warm. The children suggested drinking hot chocolate. It was such a good idea that we decided to have hot chocolate in class to warm us up after playing in the outdoor area. 

Autumn 2 

Our Autumn 'Window to the world' event focused on India.  In Reception, the children looked at where India was located in the world and how life in India is different or similiar to life in the UK. We then looked at the festival 'Diwali' and how this is celebrated. The children created their own mendhi hand designs, created a class footprint path, made paper lanterns, Diwali cards and Rangoli patterns.  Together we learnt a traditional Indian dance.

To launch our new topic, we had a special visit from our local PCSO's Gemma and Phil. The children prepared and asked questions about the role of a PCSO. Gemma and Phil talked to us about how they help to keep the Heywood community safe, the vehicles that the Police use and what a typical day might look like.


Autumn 1

As an exit point for our topic, we invited our parents and carers in to school to help us to create dens. After making a den design, we used a range of different materials including construction blocks, paper, straws and cardboard to make different enclosures. The children had to work hard to join materials together so that the dens were stable and included walls and a roof.