Home Page

Class News & Reminders

Week ending 18th January

We've had a wonderful week with our topic, Winter Wonderland.  The children have focused on the story 'Snow Bear'.  They talked about where the story was set, characters, author and illustrator.  They also thought about the setting and what it would be like to live there, using all their senses.  The children were brilliant at retelling the story and read simple sentences about the plot.  We focused on sounding out and tricky words.


In Maths the children looked at 8, including 1 more and 1 less.  The children also looked at different arrangements of 8 magnets to identify how they saw them e.g 4 and 4 or 1 and 7.  All the children played a game where they tried to get their 8 hoops in a bigger hoop.  They identified how many were in and how many were out and some children also recorded their scores.


In Phonics all children have started Phase 3 and looked at v,j,w and x.  New sounds will be stuck into sounds books over the next week or so.  Please make sure they are in book bags. All children have also read to an adult.  Some children have also participated in Guided Reading sessions.


The children looked at our new map and talked about the shape of Earth, where we are and where we have been.  We also talked about hot and cold places.  It would be great if children could bring photos into school showing where they have been.


In ICT the children used Beebots which are simple programmable toys.  They looked at telling the Beebot how to move. In RE we looked at why we need rules and in Collective Worship we focused on the parable that Jesus told about the King's banquet.  We sang familiar songs in Music and found the pulse.  We are looking forward to using instruments next week.


Your child may have mentioned about having a new teacher on Thursdays.  Miss Gallant is a first year student from Leeds Trinity and she is doing focus visits that involve small tasks in the classroom for 5 Thursdays.  The children have made her very welcome.  It was lovely to see so many parents at our parent session this week. These are every Friday straight after register until 9.20.


Have a lovely weekend!

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves

Week ending the 11th January 

Happy New Year!  Thank you again for all your gifts, cards and good wishes over Christmas.  It was lovely to see the children back this week and they have already settled back into school.


Before starting our new topic 'Winter Wonderland' next week, we have been talking about the holidays this week.  In particular we have been writing lists of presents and activities the children have done over the holidays.  We have also been working on planning a sentence and breaking it down into words. In Music we have started to look at songs the children know such as 'Wind the Bobbin Up' and we will be using instruments over the next few weeks.


The children were introduced to the idea of independent challenges this week.  They can earn green dojos by doing challenges in the classroom.  These currently ask children to read something, write about something or count. The aim is for the children to take their learning forward and this will be built on over the next few weeks. 


Given the shorter week, not all children have read with an adult this week.  We will be back to normal next week but all children who have read their books at home have had them changed.  Please practise reading at home with your child as it really does make a difference to their blending and fluency.  In phonics we have focused on sound recognition, blending and common reversals such as b and d.


In Maths we have looked at Number 7, in particular how the number can be made up from other numbers e.g. 5 and 2 make 7.  We have also looked at 3-d shapes and their properties (a continuation from before Christmas).  In Maths workshop this week the children explored the  properties of 3d shapes through building towers and models.  They also thought about problems such as why certain shapes would not balance on others.


We have begun to look at our new Collective Worship value this week - Generosity.  We talked about sharing toys and helping others.  This also links to our RE topic about being helpful.


You should all have received Learning Pool books with the new homework sheets stuck in (or just the homework sheet if the book was not in school) today.  You will also have received a newsletter this week.  The new day for the Parent Session is Friday at the same time.  Please come to the classroom when dropping off.  


Have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves

Week ending 21st December

We can hardly believe that the first term is over for our new Reception class. We are extremely proud of how the children have settled into their first year at Pool School.  They continue to wow us with the progress they are making!


This week has been brilliant!  Children have enjoyed Christmas creative activities, with a particular focus on "Stick man" by Julia Donaldson.  They have also written about their role in the Nativity.


We had a fun-filled party day with dancing and games, food and Father Christmas on Thursday.  We hope there were not too many mishaps with the fragile presents! We have put some pictures on Tapestry for you to look at. 


Our Maths this week focused on 3d shapes.  It will be the number 7 after the holidays.  Our phonics focused on words that could be presents for the fairy or in Santa's sack.


Today we are going to Church to share in a whole school singing service where Key Stage 2, Key Stage 1, Reception and Choir will sing their Christmas songs.  It is a lovely occasion for our school family.  T


Due to our Christmas activities and production we have not heard all readers this week.  This will resume in the New Year.  We have changed books so all children who have read theirs should have new ones.


Thank you so much for your extremely generous gifts, cards and good wishes. We have been overwhelmed by your generosity. We wish you a wonderful, family-filled Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves

Week ending 14th December

What a lovely week in Reception.  We were so proud of all the children who took part in 'Little Blue Star'.  It is hard to believe that they are only 4 and 5!  All the children were fantastic.  We hope you all enjoyed the show and thank you for such lovely comments.  On Thursday we had another first...our first Christmas Lunch.  The children thoroughly enjoyed the meal with their buddies.  We hope you have seen all the photos from the Nativity and Christmas Lunch on Tapestry.


All the practising and Christmas preparations have left a busy timetable.  However, we have also ordered the Christmas story and we planned and wrote sentences about the Christmas story in Literacy.  We looked at 2d and 3d shapes in Maths.  Work on 3d shapes will continue next week.  In Phonics we have played games to reinforce our learning so far.  All children who have read their reading books have received a new one.


The children have had the opportunity to explore a Christmas role play area which includes a tree to decorate and they have had a role in making.  They have also made a sleigh to carry presents using the trolley and decorated the tree outside using a range of decorative materials. There have been lots of opportunities to mark make during Independent Learning Time and to reinforce knowledge (e.g. by making shape snowmen and wrapping paper where children used different Numicon pieces to make repeating patterns).  Those children who did not participate in the Maths Workshop focused on pattern last week, did so this week.


We looked at different instruments in Music this week and found the pulse in different pieces of music.  In Collective Worship we finished looking at Peace with a focus on Mother Teresa who won the Nobel Peace prize. As always we have loved looking at the Learning Pool homework that children have completed at home.


Our last week before Christmas looks equally busy.  We will be watching the Key Stage 1 Christmas play; having our Christmas Party and visit from Santa on Thursday (please remember non-uniform and to bring a covered plate of food for your child to eat) and going to Church on Friday morning to sing carols.


Have a lovely weekend...and enjoy the snow if we have what is forecast!

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves



Week ending 7th December

The main focus of this week has been our Nativity.  We have spent time practising our songs in class and our whole performance in the Hall.  The children are looking forward to showing off their singing and acting skills on Wednesday. We are very proud of them!  Please find time for a final practice with them this weekend if possible.


In Literacy, we have finished off our Space topic by looking at the job of an astronaut.  The children came up with brilliant questions for an astronaut during a hot seating activity...some of which Mrs Lowe needed to Google!  Who knew what Venus was made of?  Children have also written letters to Santa or created a speech bubble for an alien wearing underpants.


In Maths we have continued our pattern work and the children have focused on growing patterns, as well as doing a number sense activity using a tens frame where they looked at different arrangements of magnets to make 6.


All children have read with an adult and have new books. It may be that children are not heard read over the next two weeks as we have so many Christmas activities and will be out of the classroom a lot.  If this is the case, we will ensure that children have their reading books changed.  In Phonics, some children have focused on segmenting, blending and writing words.  Others have focused on some of the remaining Phase 2 sounds: h/f/ff.  


During Independent Learning Time, children have been very busy.  There has been a focus on building models, making boats, writing the Nativity story and creating patterns this week.


It looks like next week will be equally festive with our Nativity, watching Key Stage 2's practice and our Christmas Dinner on Thursday.


Have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves

Week ending 30th November 

A very busy but enjoyable week in Reception. We ended the week with an assembly where we listened to the author Andy Seed who was visiting the school to work with some of the older children.  We continued to look at Space and the children found some aliens hiding in the classroom.  Work was done to name and label aliens using phonics.  These pesky aliens were found hiding in different places throughout the week.  Practising for our Nativity was also in full swing!  We have been talking about the Christmas story in RE. The children need outfits in school by Monday 3rd December, please!


In Maths we looked at pattern.  The children have been fantastic at continuing patterns, describing them and creating their own.  We looked at colour patterns and shape patterns, as well as patterns in the environment.  Some children could even talk about A,B patterns and A,B, C patterns!  During Independent Learning Time, children had an opportunity to make patterns using natural resources, body patterns e.g. star, hop, star hop, Numicon plate and peg patterns, pegboard patterns and even decorate pants with a pattern (continuing our aliens in underpants theme).  Can you child tell about a pattern they have seen or made this week?


In ICT the children programmed Beebots to move.  In Collective Worship we talked about the Christ of the Andes statue in South America and how it represents Peace.  We also spent time looking at the amazing Learning Pool homework sent in over the last couple of days.  Thank you so much for all the effort you put into this with your children.


All children have read this week and phonics has focused on segmenting and blending.

If you are at Otley Victorian Fayre at around 3.30 to 4 on Sunday, you may see Mrs Lowe who is there will Pool's choir.  Choir performs at 3.45.  


Have a wonderful weekend.

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves





Week ending 22nd November 

We continued our Space theme this week by focusing on the book "Aliens Love Underpants."  The children talked about the story and also looked at rhyming.  They made aliens and rockets and spent time exploring the home corner that had been turned into a Space station.  They have also learnt about Tim Peake.  Children have also spent time moving to Space-themed Music such as 'The Planets Suite' by Holst and music by David Bowie.  There was even a moonwalk today!


In Maths we have focused on the number 6, particularly how 6 is composed.  Children played a beanbag game to work on simple addition e.g. 3 beanbags in the hoop and 3 beanbags out of the hoop makes 6 beanbags.  Some children have also made up problems about aliens during Maths Workshop (those who did not do it last week).


Our focus in Phonics has been blending sounds for all children.  All children have also read with an adult.  The children have also looked at the book 'The Happiness Bucket' with Mrs Morris on Tuesday pm and talked about the concept of filling someone's bucket to make them happy. In ICT the children used Beebots and programmed them to move. We have also spent some time looking at problem solving as a Characteristic of Effective Learning. In Collective Worship we talked about Lot and Abraham and their family squabble!


Our other major focus of the week has been our Nativity.  In RE the children looked at the Christmas story as it is written in the Bible.  We practised our songs and we will be in the Hall practising for much of next week and the week after.  All children received a slip today with their part and costume.  Please could costumes be in school for Monday 3rd December at the latest.  Please do talk to us if you need help with costumes.  

Have a lovely weekend and hope to see you at the school Christmas fair.


Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves


Week ending 16th November

It has been a wonderful week in Reception.  Thank you for all your donations for Children in Need and Raffle money for the Christmas Fair.  The children were very excited to meet Pudsey and Blush both outside and inside school today.  


On Monday we started the week with a very exciting discovery in the Peace Garden! Mrs Fox came to tell us that a rocket had been found in the Peace Garden.  Children explored the rocket and talked about who might have landed and what they might look like.  Throughout the week we discussed information books and how they are structured (e.g. with a contents page) and how they can be read.  The children have also created rockets using box modelling and outdoor materials; written about planets and Space and moved like astronauts.  During our session in the Peace Garden this week, the children looked for evidence of aliens and thought about what they could put out for them/build for them if they are still here.


In Maths we have continued looking at the number 5, especially how 5 is made/numbers inside 5.  We acted out 5 friends wearing hats from the video 'Five Friends Counting' and used lots of language around adding e.g. altogether.  We also looked at more than/less than, different representations of 5 and developing number stories e.g. there are 2 spiders on the tree and 3 spiders on the floor; 2 is a part, 3 is a part, 5 is the whole.


In RE we looked at the Nativity story and began to talk about the play.  The children have been learning the songs in Music and parts will be sorted soon.  


Throughout the week we talked about friendship and bullying as part of Anti-Bullying week.  This is something we do regularly and not just for a single week but our work this week involved talking about bullying and respect; ensuring children understood that it was more than a one-off fall out and watching 'Topsy and Tim Help a Friend' to develop a class poster of how we should treat other children/how to help if they are upset/being bullied. The children showed a brilliant understanding and were so thoughtful in their responses.


In ICT we looked at using a mouse for other reasons e.g. to navigate a website.  In Collective Worship we talked about what Peace means and listened to the story 'Peace At Last!' about Mr Large and his sleepless night.


I wonder what will happen in Reception next week!!!!

Have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves


Week ending 9th November

Our first week back has been a week focused on festivals and celebrations.  The children started the week by focusing on Bonfire Night.  They have created bonfire pictures, bonfires using natural resources and designed and written bonfire posters in their writing books.  Children have also focused on Diwali, designing their own Rangoli patterns.  On Thursday, we started to look at Remembrance Day, and why people wear poppies.  We looked at a poem called 'Poppy, Poppy' and also watched and discussed the cbeebies video 'Poppies' which is available on iplayer if you would like to share it with your child.  Children have created poppies using all sorts of resources: playdough, stones and paint, paper, felt and straws.  It has been lovely to see the variety in their creations.  This work has also linked to our new Collective Worship value for the half-term: Peace.


In Maths we have focused on the number 5.  In particular we have looked at composition: how 5 is made up/the numbers inside 5 e.g. 4 and 1, 2 and 2 and 1.  Our group maths activity has asked children to investigate and record different ways of making 5.  


In phonics children have been learning new sounds or reinforcing sounds they already know.  All sound books have been updated to reflect the complete list of Phase 2 sounds so please practise at home.  This helps in all sorts of ways: reading and writing.  


Children have also been using a mouse to draw a picture on the computer; exploring houses and homes in RE and we will be singing and using instruments again this afternoon in Music. Learning Pool homework books are being returned tonight with activities for this half-term.


The children have done brilliantly at lining up in the morning! Thank you for your support with this!


Have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves



Week ending 25th October

We have had a lovely last week of this half term.  We are so impressed with how the children have settled into school and all the independent learning that they have undertaken in their first half-term.  We are so proud of them, and their perseverance!


We continued to look at Owl Babies this week.  The class worked on a story map together and then created their own to retell the story during group sessions.  We have also looked at the habitat of owls, including in the Peace Garden.  We have also read other stories about owls and acted as owls outside.


All children have read to an adult and will have a new reading book for the holidays.  In phonics some children have consolidated sounds learnt and others have learnt 'h' and 'b'.  The sounds learnt so far, and some extra ones that will be covered early next half term, should be in your child's red sound book.  If your child's book has not been returned, this is because we need to make sure the book has all the sounds covered.  Our Phase 2 phonics sounds are on the sound mat sent home after the reading workshop also.


In Maths we have looked at number 4, including the composition of 4 (4 and 0, 3 and 1, 2 and 2 etc.).  We will look at 5 after half term and spend lots more time on composition.  We have also done a lot of daily counting, including votes for reading books when the children come to school each day.


As it is Black History Month, we talked about Martin Luther King during Collective Worship.  This was inspired by the children's interest in Stevie Wonder in Music last week when we ended up talking about black famous people.


We hope you have a wonderful half-term holiday and we look forward to lots more funfilled learning next half-term.

Best wishes

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves





Week ending 19th October

It has been a fantastic week in Reception and a pleasure to talk about your wonderful children at Parents' Evening this week.  Thank you so much for all your support!


Our focus this week has been on the story 'Owl Babies'.  This will continue next week as the children have been so engaged in the topic.  They have listened to the story, retold it and acted it out.  The children have also created their own owls and nests using a wide range of resources (both inside and outside) and used puppet owls to perform a puppet show of the story.  Some children have also created their own 'Owl Babies' books which have been a pleasure to share with the children.


In Maths we have continued with the number 3 and specifically looked at repeating patterns (also our teacher led activity for the week), and how numbers are made up e.g. 3 has a 2 and a 1 in it.  We have also used 'Owl Babies' to begin to look at parts and wholes e.g. I can see 2 owls sitting and 1 owl standing.  There are 3 altogether. Two is a part and one is a part; three is the whole.'


In Phonics some children have been revisiting sounds learnt so far and others have moved onto 'ck', 'e', 'u' and 'r'.  All children who have been here will have read with an adult by the end of the week. In RE we talked about people who were special to us and in Collective Worship we talked about Simon Peter and how Jesus forgave him when he said he didn't know him.  


Following our training last Friday, we introduced our indoor Movement Area to the children.  Here we will work with a couple of children at a time on freeflow movement activities that are so important as part of their physical development.  It proved very popular!


Have a wonderful weekend and see you next week for the last week of the half term!

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves


Week ending 11th October

It has been a short but lovely week in Reception!  The children have well and truly embraced the spirit of Autumn, and Harvest in particular.  We have read 'The Scarecrow's Wedding' and 'Up, Down and Around' (about vegetables), created a large scarecrow and smaller ones and printed with vegetables!  Today we went to the school Harvest Festival and showed off our vegetable printing.  The children were fantastic. We are very proud of them and cannot believe they have only been at school for a few weeks.  We hope you liked seeing the Harvest work the children had done if you were able to pop into school.


We have continued with our phonics and you will have received the new sounds in your child's sounds book if they have been sent into school (g,o,c,k).  All children now have a reading book and it has been a pleasure to share these books with them this week.  Please try and share these books at home - it really makes a difference!  We have started looking at the number 3 in Maths and children have drawn their version of 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'.  Children have also had the opportunity to balance, estimate and compare Autumn resources in class.  Children may mention that they have been using numbered pots to tidy up.  This is to encourage practical counting.


We hope you have a lovely weekend and enjoy the extra day with your children!

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves

Week ending 5th October 

What a lovely week we have had!  The children have well and truly embraced the spirit of Autumn.  The children have had the opportunity to explore Autumn objects such as leaves, conkers and other nuts!  Our Literacy text this week, 'Little Acorns', focused on seasons, changes and asked the children to focus on how particular words were written in the text e.g. 'stretching' was spread out and 'crinkly' was orange and bumpy.  Thank you to those parents/carers who accompanied us on the Autumn walk.  We had a lovely time and have followed up in class.  On Thursday, a number of the children created a huge transient art tree with Autumn resources and then role played being squirrels burying nuts...there were also a few foxes!  It was wonderful to see the children working together in this way.


We have continued with our phonics and learnt new sounds.  We have now looked at s,a,t,p,i,n,m,d.  All children now have a reading book and it has been a pleasure to share these books with them this week.  Please try and share these books at home - it really makes a difference!  When you share the books, please write a short comment in the record so we know how it has gone at home.  Our number teaching has continued to focus on the the 'twoness' of two, looking at where 2 is on a numberline, pattern and composition (that 2 is made up of 2 ones.  Next week we will move onto number 3.  We have also focused on number in the areas of provision e.g. encouraging children to estimate Autumn objects and dots on leaves, playing games where children have to subitise, count and add and making tidy up time more mathematical.  More on this on Thurs 11th October at our Maths Parent session at 3.40 and 5.30.  Hope you can join us!  Next Thursday is also our Harvest drop-in.  Please come and see what the children have created in the Hall between 2.30 and 3.30.


The children have also enjoyed talking about what makes them special in RE; finding out the parts of the computer in Technology; listening to the story of Jonathan and David in Collective Worship; learning songs and playing instruments in Music and feeling calm with Mindfulness activities.  It has been a busy week!



We hope you have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves

Week ending 28th September

As part of our 'Ourselves' topic last week, we focused on our families and made lollipop stick family portraits.  Children also made collages of themselves.  This week we have looked at rhyming, with a particular focus on the book 'My cat likes to hide in boxes' by Lindley Dodd.  The children have also matched rhyming pictures and filled in rhyming words in nursery rhymes that had been snipped out by a naughty crab!


This week, we also started our Phonics sessions that focused on sounds (s,a,t, p) and have started to blend them to make words.  Children have also practised writing the sounds using precursive writing.  Children brought home their sound books today (Thursday). It really shows when children have been practising at home so thank you for your support with this.  By the end of Friday, all children will have a reading book and journal.  Please return the sound book and reading book and journal everyday.  Books will be changed once a week. 


In Maths, children have been focusing on the number 2 with lots of work about where we find two of things, subitising (more on this at our maths session for parents) and counting lots.  In Collective Worship we read 'Puff the Magic Dragon' and talked about Friendship.  We also did our first daily run on Thursday....we are building up to a mile...and practised our listening skills through guided meditation!  


Thank you to those parents who have been looking at Tapestry.  We love hearing about what your child has been doing so please add your own activities too.  Please do come to our parent sessions that you received a letter about this week so that we can share what and how your child/ren will be learning this year. 


Have a lovely weekend!

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves

Week ending 14th September

We have had a brilliant week getting to know the children, their interests and what they can do. The children have impressed us with their ability to find their carpet spaces and listen and contribute on the carpet.  We started the week by looking at the book 'Once there were giants' and talked about growing up.  We will continue looking at this next week - focusing on ourselves and our bodies. We have also started a new music topic called 'Me!' and introduced our whole school Christian Value 'Friendship' by talking about what makes a good friend.  Rev Wheeler visited Reception and introduced mediation to the class - the children were amazingly still and quiet.


Children have also done some mark making of their choice and visited the Peace Garden with their buddies.  In Maths we have been looking at comparison e.g. which has more or the same.  We have also been singing number songs.  


We are looking forward to seeing the Learning Pool homework next week.  Please send any homework in with your child on Thursday 20th September (Learning Pool books will go out today).  Also please send in named wellies and PE kits if you have not already done so.


It has been a very busy week!  Have a super weekend!

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves.

This page is updated on a weekly basis to provide parents/carers with information about what has been happening in Reception.

Our First Week!

We have had a super first week, playing and making new friends.  All the children have settled brilliantly and we are very proud of them!  They have spent a lot of time exploring the indoor and outdoor areas; played games; listened to stories and done lots of singing.  The children have also enjoyed getting to know their buddies.  If you have any boxes, tubes or other items that could be used for box modelling, we would be grateful to receive them!  

Have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Lowe, Mrs Worsnop, Mrs Morris and Mrs Stoves