St James' Catholic Primary School

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2022 - 2023

Welcome to Reception Class page with Mrs Varley! 

Here I will share with you a little insight into what we get up to in Reception Class. 

Autumn Term

Welcome to Reception class. This half term we have enjoyed settling into our new classroom, learning new routines, exploring our new space and getting to know each other. We have enjoyed activities both outside and inside the classroom, making autumn pictures, building with large equipment and playing in our role play areas. We have been reading the story 'The Colour Monster' we have enjoyed exploring emotions and creating our own colour monsters and jars. We have spent lots of time exploring all areas of the classroom and learning about each other. 

In Maths we have been looking at sorting and finding things that are the same and different and looking at pairs. We have started learning our first few sounds following the Read Write Inc scheme and have enjoyed meeting Fred the frog and playing games with him. 

We have been exploring Chinese New Year traditions, customs and beliefs. 

In the home corner we have had Chinese spices, prawn crackers, rice, chop sticks, dishes and spoons to explore. It has been lots of fun trying to use the chop sticks. We weren't too sure on the spices! They were very strong! 

We have enjoyed dressing up in traditional Chinese clothes, following some traditions e.g filling the red lucky envelopes with money and giving them as a gift. Reading lots of different stories and learning about the great race! 

As part of our Dance sessions we have been learning a Chinese Dragon dance. This was lots of fun and we enjoyed creating our own Dragon line and travelling around the hall. 

We have also had a little taste of some Chinese food. This was delicious and lots of children had a good try of some new foods and we chatted about whether we liked it / disliked it etc. 

We have been enjoying our prayer and liturgy  times recently! 

The children are getting very good at making a circle when the quiet music plays. They enjoy taking it in turns to set the focus in the middle and are getting very reflective on the stories and messages they hear. 

Here we are recently listening to the story of Jesus and the Fishermen; after our prayer and liturgy time the children acted out the story! Well done. 

This weeks it’s children’s mental health week!

We have been enjoying our ‘happy mind’ lessons and this week we sorted what things are good for our brain. We also learnt that sometimes certain feelings can make parts of your brain go to sleep. 
the children really enjoyed this lesson and could relate to lots of different experiences they have had where they have had different feelings. We also practised our happy breathing. 
The theme for mental health week is let’s stay connected so we talked about different people who can help us when we are feeling a little bit funny and sometimes have yucky feelings in our tummy. We also talked about how important our friends are. 
We made a whole school paper chain to promote staying connected and talking to people about how we are feeling! 

Today we had our first stay and play afternoon session! 
it was lovely to have some many parents / grandparents come in and join us for an afternoon of fun! 
We read the story Elmer and had a think about what makes Elmer special and different to the other elephants! We thought about different things that make us unique … kindness, funny, helpful etc. 

Everyone created their own patch to make a class Elmer (adults included!) it was lots of fun designing our own patch! We can’t wait to see what our Elmer will look like! 
We then spent time exploring the classroom together and taking part in two different Elmer themed activities - crafty time to make own Elmer using different media. We also decorated a biscuit using different colour toppings! Yum yum! 
A lovely afternoon! 

On Friday we had our very first gymnastic session at the sports hall. 
It was lots of fun. 
We learnt tuck, straight, pike and star positions. We also learnt how to prepare for any element of gymnastics by making our body ready pose and arm ready pose.

We then got to explore the equipment this week we went on the beams and bars! 
Such fun learning how to balance and swing on the equipment. 

We have been looking at the season ‘Spring’ we chatted about weather changes, things we had noticed in our environment and changes we see happening in the world. We enjoyed reading a few different stories all about exploring ‘Spring’. 
We had a lovely visit from the chicks at St George’s care home. It was lovely to listen to how they’ve changed, grown and what they eat, where they sleep etc. the children loved stroking and holding the chicks as well as watching them move around the room. 
They were very cute! 

We have started preparing for the King's Coronation on Saturday. We have enjoyed reading some new books all about King Charles and completing some lovely activities. We have an afternoon tea set up in the classroom with coronation accessories, small world suitcase set up with London landmarks and guards, crown jewels, design a crown and the knights and castle set up. 

We have been creating a collage of London landmarks and important things linked to the King and his coronation we then cut them all out and stuck them inside the Kings face. What lovely collage art work. 

We have read the story 'The Kings Pants' and designed some new pants for King Charles. 

We have really enjoyed using the clay to make caterpillars. We pinched, squeezed, rolled, pressed and twisted the clay into different shapes to make our caterpillars. We can not wait to paint them. 

As part of All Saints Day on Tuesday 1st November we celebrated the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. 

Saint Francis was the patron saint of animals. He is also the Saint for our Parish. 

The children enjoyed making an animal mask, joining in with a very quiet and respectful prayer and liturgy session where we thought about how we can behave more like Saint Francis. Lots of lovely ideas; well done. 


As part of our Talk for Writing unit of work we have been learning the Twinkle twinkle nursery rhyme, sequencing, looking at stars and describing them, exploring what we would see if we went into space and creating our own stars. 

We have boxed up the nursery rhyme, gathered some new ideas and created a brand new nursery rhyme. We have put together a new one as a class and then we created our own unique individual nursery rhymes! 

Enjoy our new version of Twinkle twinkle! 

Do you like our water paint art work based on our T4W text we’re going on a bear hunt …

We have really enjoyed our unit of work on 'We're going on a bear hunt' the children have enjoyed lots of different activities. 

In the small world area they explored hunting for bears with the explorers kit, hiding in a bear cave and recording what they could see etc, drawing a bear, researching the first teddy bear, building a cave for the bear using different materials. 

We have also been boxing up the story, thinking of new ideas for a hunt and creating our own new versions! 

We can't wait to share the finished pieces. 

What a wonderful end to our bear hunt topic! We made our binoculars to go on a bear hunt! 
Today we have been out and about looking for bears! 

We splashed in the biggest puddles, got our welly boots stuck in thick oozy mud and got lost in the swishy swishy grass! What fun! 
The most exciting part was when we reached the forest we found … a bear! 
What a wonderful morning outdoors! 

World book day 

Can you guess who we have dressed up as …

We went to the local bookshop to spend our book tokens! 

We have been learning all about number 7 we created a 7 colour rainbow; what is your favourite colour? 

Today we enjoyed a visit from the police as part of our transport topic! 
it was good fun looking inside the car and at the equipment, asking questions, finding out what their job involves and listening to the siren! 
The children loved this visit! 

We have had an exciting couple of weeks in the classroom with the arrival of our caterpillars. We have loved watching them grow, move, wriggle and spin their cocoon. We can not wait to watch them turn into butterflies. 

As part of this we have been working on the story of 'The Hungry Caterpillar' we have drawn each stage of the life cycle, written about each stage, explored the garden area for different mini beasts, hole punched leaves to look like the caterpillar had been munching, made pipe cleaner caterpillars by winding them around a pencil, made bead string caterpillars,  explored different foods he eats, sorted into healthy and unhealthy foods, tasted different foods and had daily conversations about the changes to our caterpillars. 

We explored making different shades of green to paint our own caterpillar paintings. We enjoyed using the poster paint in the squeezy bottles and exploring using more yellow and less blue and more blue but less yellow. We were quite surprised with the different shades we could make.