Thomas Willingale School and Nursery

Spring Term 2024

Farm animals and their young

Week 4

18.3.24 - 22.3.24

This week in Reception, we have been learning the names of farm animals and their young. We have worked in groups to match farm animals to their baby and played games to help remember new topic vocabulary.



In our Literacy lessons we read the story; 'Farmer Duck' and used our letter sounds to complete animal speech bubbles based on the story.



In our mathematics lessons we have been learning about addition and writing our own addition number sentences using lots of different practical methods and counting resources.




As part of our sensory curriculum we have been exploring sounds with the instruments.


During our P.E. lesson with Coach Adam from Super Star Sports we had so much fun moving around different balancing stations in the hall.




We learnt about young carers during the whole school assembly on Monday morning and why we were wearing our 'funky socks' to school.  What a great selection of socks to support awareness of fair futures for young carers.


Next week, we will be learning about Easter and practising our phonics, drawing patterns and counting and sequencing numbers through a variety of Easter based activities. 

Our story next week will be an Easter themed book called, 'Saving Easter.'




Spring Time in Reception

The children in Beech and Elm class have been enjoying playtimes in the Reception garden and exploring the main school playground and daily mile track around the school field.






They have noticed blossom trees and daffodils and painted and printed their own beautiful Spring pictures.





Farm Animals

Week 3

11.3.24 - 15.3.24

In Reception this week we have been learning about farm animals and reading the story,

'Mr Gumpy's Outing' by John Burningham.

We used our handprints and paper shapes to create our own farm animals.





We practised our reading of some tricky words and our handwriting, writing some of the phase 3 tricky words; 'by, my and you.'


We also used our letter sounds and tricky words to write sentences about a farm



In our maths lessons we used shapes to create different boats and other shape arrangements, then we took our own photographs of our work using an ipad.



We have had lots of fun in our P.E. lessons with Coach Adam from Super Star Sports and are learning gymnastics skills.



Next week, we will be learning the names of about adult and baby farm animals and reading the story, 'Farmer Duck' by Martin Waddell and Helen Oxenbury.

More Wild Animals

                                                                    Week 2 

                                                             4.3.24 - 8.3.24

This week in Reception we have been reading an e-book called, 'The Zoo Vet.'

The children answered questions about the story demonstrating good comprehension skills.  They learnt the days of the week and retold the story while working in groups of four to sequence pictures. They were able to name all of the animal characters in the book.




In our maths lessons we have been doing lots of counting and recognising numbers to ten and twenty.






We celebrated World Book Day on Thursday. Everyone had fun coming to school in their pyjamas and making dens to share and read books with their friends.


Beech and Elm classes also enjoyed sharing books and stories with the Year Four children.


On Friday, the girls celebrated the International Day of Women and Girls and played football on the school field during their lunch break.

Both Reception classes have made wonderful wild animal displays with all of their creative animal artwork.

                             Beech Class                                                  Elm Class



Next week we will be learning about farm animals and reading 'Mr Gumpy's Outing'

by John Burningham.

Wild Animals

Week 1

26.2.24 - 1.3.24


The children in Beech and Elm classes have settled back after half-term and are enjoying their new termly topic, 'All About Animals.'

Our topic book this week has been 'Handa's Surprise' by Eileen Brown and we learnt the names of some wild animals and different fruits. 

We wrote about our favourite animal from the story and which fruit it took.



Other writing we have done this week has included writing about our half-term week and using our phase 3 letter sounds to write the sentence; 'A fox and a zebra.'



In our mathematics lessons we have been learning to count on from ten as we begin to recognise the teen numbers.  We also played a pairs game and snap using fruit cards based on Handa's Surprise.

We painted some paper plates to look like wild animals, choosing either a tiger, giraffe, elephant or lion.





On Friday, we all made a rainbow fruit salad and enjoyed tasting the different fruits and vegetables.

We could choose from blueberries, grapes, cucumber, pineapple, carrot and strawberries.




Next week, we will continue to learn more about some wild animals and will be reading an ebook called 'The Zoo Vet.'

Welcome to Spring 2

This term the Reception children will be learning all about different animals.


Space - Aliens

Week 7

12th - 16th February

This week in Reception we have been using our imaginations to learn about aliens.

We read alien stories; 'Aliens Love Underpants', 'But Martin' and 'Alien Tea on Planet Zum Zee'.


Beech and Elm class have been doing lots of work based on these stories.

They have enjoyed making their own aliens using construction, paper, collage materials and paint. 

Take a look at some of our creations, including our alien hand puppets which we enjoyed playing with and making up our own alien languages.





We made aliens and alien houses from construction toys.


We also painted some pictures of aliens and added sticky eyes.



In our Literacy lessons we have been practising writing captions and sentences using the phase three digraphs and trigraphs.





We also drew our own aliens and wrote a description.



In our mathematics lesson we have been ordering ourselves and our friends by height and pictures of aliens by size and using size language to make comparisons. Our size language has included the words;

'tall, taller, tallest, short, shorter, shortest' and big, bigger, biggest, small, smaller, smallest'.

The children also used their own size words including; ' teeny, tiny, little, medium'.




We wish all our families and friends a very happy, safe and enjoyable half-term.


Next term the Reception children will be learning all about animals including wild animals, farm animals and minibeasts. We will start our new topic by reading,

'Handa's Surprise' by Eileen Browne.

Space - More Planets

Week 6

5th - 9th February

In Reception this week the children have continued to learn about the eight planets in our solar system and used the tricky words, 'we', 'all' and 'live' to write the sentence;

'We all live on Earth.'



The children have created their own planets using paper plates and cellophane and enjoyed looking through their planets to see all the different colours.




In our Literacy lessons the children have been using descriptive language to describe planets. The children drew their own planets and wrote a description of their own planet.



In our mathematics lessons the children have been exploring weight using the balance scales and comparing the weight of objects and weighing objects with cubes. They worked in pairs to sort pictures into heavy and light objects.




This week was Children's Mental Health Week.

As part of the week, all of the children made a postcard for someone else in the class to show appreciation for someone else and to help them learn about how it feels to give to others and also to receive a gift.


Both classes also had a visit from Mabel our school therapy dog and Mrs Hinton showed the children some of the tricks that Mabel can do. 


We have also been having lots of fun playing with our friends in the Reception garden.




Next Week, we will be talking about aliens and reading 'Aliens Love Underpants'

by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort.


NSPCC Number Day 2024


On Friday 2nd February the whole school participated in the NSPCC Number Day.

It was a fantastic day full of number and shape learning activities. 

The children in Beech and Elm Class enjoyed wearing their clothes with numbers on and a variety of mathematical activities including; making numbers from Duplo bricks, sequencing number stickers and writing numbers, making number sentences with magnetic numbers, building 3d shapes from 2d magnetic shapes, riding the numbered bikes in the garden and using the playground chalks to write numbers and draw shapes. 











Thank you for all your generous donations to the NSPCC charity!

Space Week 5

29th Jan. - 2nd Feb. 2024

Rockets and Planets

This week in Reception we have been finishing our rocket work and learning about the planets in our solar system. 

On Monday, everyone made a name rocket, by writing the letters of their name on small coloured pieces of paper and putting them in order to make their own name, this was for the body of the rocket. They added a triangle for the nose of the rocket and some flames.

Here are a few examples of our name rockets.




Beech class have been developing their fine motor skills by sewing and threading laces around some planets. 



Elm class painted their own imaginary planets using toothbrushes.



In our mathematics lessons we have been counting and using the Numicon to help us learn how to add two groups together to find a total. 



In our P.E. lessons with Coach Adam from Super Star Sports we have been practising our tennis skills. We learned more ball control skills using a racquet to balance the ball whilst moving around the hall and tapped the ball gently around the floor to skilfully control the ball.


Space Week 4

22nd - 26th January 2024


This week in Reception the children have been using design and technology skills and mathematical shapes to create their own rockets.

First they rolled a rectangular piece of card into a cylinder to make the body of their rocket. Next they turned a circle into a cone shape and stuck it onto one end of their rocket to make the nose of the rocket.  They added some circles to represent the windows and some crepe paper flames.




Our number work this week was all about the numbers 6,7,and 8 and recognising different ways to represent these numbers.




During our phonics and literacy lessons, we have been continuing to learn and practise writing the phase 3 letter sounds and some tricky words.

Our sounds this week have been 'oi', and 'ear.'

We practised these sounds in our group and class writing lessons by writing the caption; 'digging in the soil' and the sentence; 'I hear with my ears.'



After listening to our topic story of 'Whatever Next' by Jill Murphy, we wrote our own list of items we would choose to take with us in a rocket to the moon. Our ideas included friends and family, food, drinks, clothes, toys and games.




Next week, we will continue our Space theme with more rockets and learning about the planets.

Our topic books will be non-fiction books and help us to learn some facts about the planets in our solar system. 


We're also looking forward to having a day full of numbers and mathematical activities to celebrate the NSPCC Number Day 2024

Don't forget to dress up in your numbered clothing!



Space week 3

15th - 19th January


This week in Reception the children have been learning about astronauts. They watched a video of the moon landing and learnt about the astronaut Neil Armstrong. 

In our Literacy lessons we read a story about Neil Armstrong called, One Giant Leap.



Everyone wrote about being an astronaut and where they would go and what they would see.




During our phonics lessons we learnt the phase 3 diagraphs; 'ur' and 'ow.'

We wrote words, captions and sentences featuring these sounds.



In our Monday P.E. lesson with Mrs Johnson and Mrs Piper we watched a Power-point about a journey into Space then used our imaginations to visit lots of planets. We worked individually, in pairs and in groups of four, zooming into Space in our rockets and spinning like a planet, walking with big slow steps and landing safely back to Earth.



In our mathematics lessons this week, we have been subitising numbers0000 4 and 5 and finding lots of different ways of making four and five. We have been learning to add two groups of numbers together and to write addition number sentences.




We have had lots of fun in our expressive arts and design lessons, decorating our own space helmets and adding glue and foil to an astronaut template so our photographs can be added to turn us into astronauts!






Next week we will be reading Whatever Next! by Jill Murphy and learning about rockets.


Space - The Moon

Week 2

8.1.24 - 12.1.24

Communication and Language / PSED

This week the children have worked together in groups to draw and write about Space. They talked together about what they already know and what they would like to find out.




Our topic book this week was, 'Man on the Moon' by Simon Bartram.

The story is about an astronaut called Bob who works on the moon. The story leads the children to talk about whether aliens are real or not. The character Bob doesn't think there are any aliens but the pictures show lots of aliens on the moon that Bob doesn't see. The children wrote some sentences about Bob's work on the moon.






This week the Reception children have been exploring the balance scales and learning how they can be used to compare the weight of different objects. The children used cubes to find out which objects were heavier and lighter. They counted the cubes as they weighed each object.



Expressive Arts and Design Understanding the World

Both classes have had lots of fun during our creative work this week. It started with some splatter painting to create a backdrop for our classroom Space displays.


Everyone enjoyed making a moon collage, exploring different textures and sticking them on to a grey circle to represent the moon.


Exploring Modroc to create a Space scene.


The children had a wonderful time creating moon craters on the dusty surface of the moon using moon rocks. Our moon rocks were made by wrapping objects in foil and we created the surface of the moon with flour. It was so much fun but very messy!!


We used the dry flour to investigate what happens when you add water to flour.

The children loved mixing the water into the flour to create their own play dough. 


Next week the children will be learning about astronauts and Neil Armstrong.



Spring Term 2024


This term the Reception children will be learning about Space.