Welcome to Reception

Butterfly and Ladybird are our Reception classes at the Isle of Ely Primary School. From this page you will be able to read about our curriculum each half term and all the work we get up to in and out of the classroom.

The adults that work in Reception are:

Miss Charlotte Clayton              Mrs Amy Williams

Butterfly class teacher               Learning Support Assistant


Mrs Milly Mickleburgh           Mrs Anna Geraty

Ladybird class teacher         Learning Support Assistant


Our Curriculum overview

Spring A

Communication and language

The children will build up vocabulary that reflects knowledge and experience e.g., children can talk about space, what they know about it, what an astronaut does, how we know about space. We will focus on using different tenses to discuss things that are happening now and things that happened in the past; asking relevant questions to find out more information – e.g. when sharing a non-fiction text children can say ‘I wonder why…’ – as well as sharing their opinions and preferences in the context of new knowledge.

Physical Development

In everyday activities, we will focus on the gross motor skills, coordination and balance, throwing and catching skills; the pupils will enjoy outdoor physical activity as part of daily provision.

The children will continue to develop their pencil grip and greater pencil control, as well as learn to use small tools such as pipettes, tweezers, cutlery and scissors effectively.

In weekly PE lessons, we will study Gymnastics. In this unit, children will develop their basic gymnastic skills. Students will explore basic movements, creating shapes and balances, jumps and rolls. They will begin to develop an awareness of space and how to use it safely; perform basic skills on both floor and apparatus; copy, create, remember and repeat short sequences. They will also begin to understand using levels and directions when travelling and balancing.


Children will explore similarities and differences within their class, school and wider communities. We will focus on including everyone and the value of diversity. Children will continue to develop an understanding of their and other’s feeling and consequences of some actions, building their empathy and self-regulation.

In our weekly PSHE lessons, the children will explore why they are special and what makes their own individual identity. They will begin to understand how they mix with others and belong to different groups e.g. their family, class, school, clubs; neighbourhood. They will learn about some of the similarities and differences between families including the different people in families and where families live. They will consider how what they do and say can affect the needs and feelings of other people and how they and everyone else have the right to be valued and treated fairly and equally whatever their cultural background or choice of lifestyle.


The children will access a variety of high quality texts about space and space exploration, as well as following their wider interests. We will memorise abbreviated versions of familiar picture books, such as Whatever next and How to catch a star through Talk4Writing lessons. Additionally, we will continue building appreciation of non-fiction books as a source of information on studied topic.

In Phonics, we will continue to secure all of the Set 1 sounds, including the Set 1 diagraphs. The children will continue to practise blending sounds orally using Fred talk and will read ‘green words’ at increased speed. We will use segmenting to write words and children will begin writing more complex words independently, using their phonological knowledge.  To build on emergent writing, we will encourage short words or phrases in different writing contexts, e.g. in free flow or in a structured lesson. The children will also begin learning new ‘red words’ and build fluency in decoding nonsense words – ‘alien words’.


The children will recognise, represent and manipulate numbers to 10. Children will learn to recognise and count different representations of numbers up to 10 and use a ten frame to help structure their counting and reasoning. The concept of cardinality will be reinforced throughout and children will be encouraged to subitise and to see number bonds beyond 5 as an efficient counting strategy.

We will then focus on practising the skill of comparing groups of objects up to 10, using the key mathematical vocabulary of more, fewer, more than and less than. Children will be exposed to various misconceptions, including comparing groups where objects within each group are different sizes, shapes and colours. Children will represent ‘more’ or ‘fewer’ than a given number, leading into a discussion about ‘finding the difference’ between two numbers up to 10.

This half term’s learning will bring together the key skills of one more and one less and the part-whole model, to ensure confident mastery of the skill of combining two groups to find a whole up to 10. With addition of two groups, or parts, the children will learn concepts to provide a strong, structured basis from which to master addition to 10.

At the end of the half term, the children will develop their understanding of the different elements that can be measured. Children will learn the difference between measuring weight and measuring size through investigation. They will apply their skills of counting to measure objects using non-standard units.

Understanding of the word

The children will learn about our planet Earth, land and sea, plants and animals, weather, gravity, the moon, the sun, the planets in our solar system, space travel and astronauts.

We will explore people who looked at the stars, i.e. Galileo, and share traditional stories to explain the stars e.g. The hunting of the Great Bear.

The children will be introduced to what scientists and astronomers know about our Solar System now; our sun, the planets in our solar system; and learn about the Moon landings and Neil Armstrong. We will research astronauts and astronomers; including Mae Jemison, Tim Peak and Caroline Hershel.

The children will also learn about the International Space Station (ISS) and why it was built and launched.

Towards the end of the half term, we will study the seasons of the year with a focus on Spring – the first signs of spring; snowdrops, cherry blossom, buds and flowers, birds nesting, bees, lighter evenings.

Expressive Arts and Design

The children will deepen their understanding of line as an element of art and will be taking a line for ‘a walk’ while exploring and naming different types of lines. We will have a go at creating drip paintings like Jackson Pollock, experimenting with large scale art and new techniques.

The children will design and make Lunar New Year puppets.

In music, we will explore the Bloom app on iPads to create repeating patterns of music. The children will listen and respond to Holst’s Planet Suite.


Knowledge Organiser:


Weekly newsflash


Week beginning 12th February 2024

This week, we had a chance to try Space Rock cakes from planet Kloom. The children enjoyed baking the cakes, following a recipe left for us by our friendly alien. To our surprise, Al the alien took the cakes by mistake – we had to use our Fred fingers and phonological knowledge to reclaim the cakes! The children worked hard and were able to enjoy the treats in the end.

We had lots of fun learning about Lunar New Year, discovering how it’s celebrated and admiring beautiful decorations, dances, clothes and delicious looking food. We re-told the story of the animal race and were delighted to discover this year is the year of the dragon! The students made their own dragon puppets, using their cutting and sticking skills and following instructions carefully.

In maths, we had lots of fun with repeating patterns. The children practised their patterning skills by analysing, completing and making their own patterns. We read Pattern Fish by Trudy Harris and designed our own page for this beautifully illustrated book. You can support this learning by encouraging your child to make and identify patterns, naming the core (repeating part) of the pattern and creating patterns using sounds and body percussion. We even tried to record action patterns with mark making, agreeing on symbols that can represent the actions we used. The children really pushed themselves and did very well with this abstract and new to them type of mathematical thinking.

In phonics, we continued to practise each group’s sounds learnt this half term. The children have all been assessed and will start working in their new groups after the half-term holiday. More information will be sent out at the start of the new half-term but if you have any questions please let us know!

Lastly, just a quick reminder to name all of your child’s belongings. Please avoid using initials – children often leave their jumpers in other areas of the school and it can be difficult to reunite them with their lost property when not labelled with names.

We wish you a fun and restful holiday and look forward to seeing all the children back on Monday, 26th February

Week beginning 5th February 2024

The weeks seem to be flying by! We can’t believe there is only one more week until half term! We have had another super week in Reception this week. We have continued our learning about Space and this week we have focused on the moon landings. In our first PKC session this week, we learned about Apollo 11 and how Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon. The children enjoyed watching some video clips of Neil walking on the moon and we saw how he put a flag on the moon.  The children thought it was funny that he bounced along the moon saying “hippety hoppity” and loved re-enacting this in their play. The children then imagined they were astronauts going on an adventure to the moon and thought about how they would feel and things they might see on their adventure to the moon. The children then had a go at drawing a picture of them as an astronaut on the moon and writing a sentence to caption this picture. The children have been working really hard to use their fred fingers and sound mats to support them when writing. Well done Reception!

In maths this week, we have started a new unit around measurement. Our focus this week has been on length. The children this week have been learning the concept of 'long' and 'short' and comparing items to see which is the longest or shortest. The children have spent lots of the week having a go at comparing and measuring objects ensuring that the objects are lined up against a baseline to ensure it is a fair comparison. We have also looked at non-standard units to measure using things like  cubes. We have also introduced the concept of height to the children. Next week, we will continue to consolidate our learning about length and height.

This week, our focus text has been Aliens Love Underpants! We have spent the week learning the story carefully and focusing on some key vocabulary from the text words such as: daring, squeeze, lurks, blame and delight. We have thought about what these words mean and used some role play to pretend to be the aliens and use some of these words in context.

In music this week, we have been experimenting with Chrome Music lab and using the song maker feature. We had lots of fun as a class investigating different rhythms and beats and introducing a range of different instruments to create songs. The children really enjoyed experimenting with different rhythms and using their bodies to try to keep the beat. The children really enjoyed using this as a class and we thought we would share the link in case they would like to have a go at home: https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Song-Maker

In Phonics this week, the children have continued to learn and consolidate sounds in their groups. We would encourage you to check the links that Mrs Harrison sends out so your child can consolidate their learning. The children are becoming more confident to use the sounds that they know to write simple words or phrases and we would encourage you to really encourage your child to have a go at this using their 'Fred Fingers' to help them to segment words before writing them down. Next week, Mrs Harrison will re assess the children to check their progress. There may be some slight changes to the Phonics groups after half term based on these assessments.

Have a lovely weekend!

Reception Team


Week beginning 29th January 2024

Our alien adventure continued this week, with sightings of Al (the children are very good at spotting him in various places, even on the roof!) and yucky discoveries. As it turned out, Al is allergic to human biscuits and felt poorly after stealing some form the staff room... The children decided to write him lots of notes, warning him not to eat any of the human food in school, asking him for recipes from planet Kloom and telling him more about themselves. Some of the pupils suspect the unidentified object that crashed in the classroom might be a part of the International Space Station. Perhaps AL was trying to set up his home on ISS before crashing on Earth. We worked hard investigating and used our best writing to communicate with the unexpected visitor. 

In PKC, we enjoyed learning about stars, constellations and galaxies. The children were fascinated by the size of the Milky Way galaxy and the number of planets and stars within it. We created beautiful galaxies using paint and a variety of resources. We then looked at constellations and made constellations using stickers and mark making. The children had a go at representing the Cygnus, Orion, Cassiopeia and their own, imaginary constellations. 

In maths, we went back to addition represented on a part-whole model, this time working with numbers up to 10. The students became very good at combining two groups to find the whole, identifying the parts and the whole on models presented in different orientations, as well as partitioning numbers in all the possible ways. You can support this learning at home by providing a variety of sets of items for children to sort into two parts. Encourage your child to count how many in each part, then recount to find how many altogether. 

In phonics, we carried on learning and securing Set 1 or set 2 sounds in small groups. To support your child's learning, you can encourage them to write as many sounds, words and phrases as they can independently when having a go at writing tasks at home. Ask them to use the 'Fred fingers' and say all the sounds (syllables for long words) before writing the word. You will be sent sound mats used in school, you can print them and have them handy to help your child check letter formation and build their independence in writing. 

Lastly, we had lots of fun in art this week, learning about Jackson Pollock and creating our own large scale drip and splash painting masterpiece. It was fun to use gravity to help us produce art and the children really enjoyed having a (messy) go at dripping, splattering and flicking the paint like Pollock!

Have a lovely, relaxing weekend.

Week beginning 22nd January 2024

Wow, what a busy week in Reception! Miss Clayton and Mrs Mickleburgh had a surprise this week when they arrived at school on Monday we saw that an alien spaceship had crash landed through the ceiling! The children investigated what had happened and saw the ceiling tiles had been broken. They couldn’t see any sign of an alien but they did find a letter… this letter explained that Al the alien had crash landed and he had no idea where he was or if we were kind. The children have spent the week writing letters back to Al to reassure him we are kind and we can help him!

This week in PKC, we have continued our topic of Space. This week we have focused on the solar system and we have been learning more about each of the planets. We learnt that Jupiter is the biggest planet and it has a huge swirling storm which has been raging for many years! The children also learned the order of the planets from the planet closest to the sun (Mercury) to the furthest planet from the sun (Neptune). The children have really enjoyed learning about the features of each planet and we particularly enjoyed listening to this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQrlgH97v94 . We would encourage you to ask your children about the planets as we are sure they would love to share some of the facts they have learned with you.

In Phonics, the children have continued to work hard in their groups. We would encourage you to check your emails where you will find the information and links relevant to your child’s group.

In Maths this week, we have been focusing on comparing numbers within 10. We have built on our understanding from previous units of the meaning of more and fewer. This week we have had a particular focus on comparing groups of objects where the objects differ in size. This can be quite a tricky concept but the children have really enjoyed using their verbal reasoning to explain how they know which group has more.

In Music this week, the children listened to Holst’s The Planets and responded with movement to how they think each of the planets would move. They really enjoyed this activity and this built on our prior learning in the week where we had learned lots of the features of each planet!

We look forward to welcoming you on Monday for our parent share. Have a lovely weekend.

Reception Team

Week beginning 15th January 2024

We had a week full of new learning and explorations. The children really enjoyed finding out about life on the International Space Station and learning about achievements of famous astronauts, such as Tim Peake and Mae Jamison. If you would like to share some of this learning with your child, there’s a wealth of interesting resources online. We shares some of the videos from ISS, such as this lesson with Tim Peake or this tour of the ISS.

In Art, we looked at how F. Hundertwasser used line in his artwork and tried to recreate some of his famous ‘lollipop trees’ using straight and curved lines and exploring watercolours and oil pastels. The children spent a long time representing their take on Hundertwasser’s artwork and we are looking forward to displaying their imaginative creations in the classroom.  

In PSHE, we enjoyed our second lesson of Jigsaw’s Dreams and Goals unit. We discussed our experiences of trying hard when working towards a planned outcome and the pupils had a chance to tell us about a time they didn’t give up until they achieved their goal. You can support this important learning at home by providing children with age appropriate problems to overcome in play (i.e. construction) and in everyday tasks.

In phonics, each group continued to work on securing next sounds and reading the books. You can find the information and links relevant to your child’s group in the weekly phonics update emailed on Fridays.

In maths, we secured counting up to 10 objects and pictures, we practised representing numbers up to 10 in a variety of ways, including on 10-frames, and we explored composition of numbers 9 and 10. The children were building their reasoning and problem solving skills when working out the number on the 10-frame without counting each object. We practised explaining our thinking verbally, i.e. I know there are 9 counters on the ten frame because I can see one gap and 9 is one less than 10. You can help your child count fluently by counting forwards and backwards from 10, as well as counting to 10 from a given number (4,5,6…etc).

We finished the week by watching the amazing talent show planned and organised by the Red House captains to raise money for charity. Well done Red house, it was a fun afternoon.

Have a lovely weekend!

Week beginning 8th January 2024

Wow what a busy start to the half term! This week, we have started our new topic all about Space and we have kicked off our topic by learning about the Earth. The children have learnt that the Earth is one of the planets and is where we live, we have talked about how the Earth has land and sea and air for us to breathe. We have looked briefly at the solar system and particularly looked at the sun and how the earth orbits the sun which in turn means we get day time and night time. . The children found it really interesting that in some places on earth it is night time when we are at school! We will look at the solar system in more detail in week 3. In our second PKC session this week, we learned all about astronomers and how they use telescopes to look at the stars and space. We learned about two astronomers from the past: Galileo and Caroline Herschel and learned all about how they made amazing discoveries. The children thought of questions they would like to ask an astronomer and had some fabulous ideas! Next week, we will be learning all about Astronauts.


Before Christmas, the children were re-assessed by Mrs Harrison. Therefore, your child’s phonics group may have changed slightly. The children should know which group they are in. If you are unsure listed below are the groups with the adult that teaches the group. Please check the email from Mrs Harrison each week to watch the videos of the sounds and reinforce the learning from the previous week. Ditty/Red and Green group will bring home a new book every 3 days. These can be returned when your child has read the book a few times and you are finished with it. If you have any further questions about Phonics please ask us.


Group B-Miss Clayton

Group C-Miss Geraty

Ditty/Red-Mrs Mickleburgh

Green-Mrs Williams


In Maths this week, we have been learn to count up to 8 objects and show numbers up to 8 using concrete representations, including the ten frame. We have spent lots of time exploring a ten frame understanding there are 10 spaces and particularly consolidating it doesn’t matter if we move the counters to a different place in our ten frame it will still be the same amount. Next week, we will move onto consolidating our understanding of 9 and 10.


In PSHE this week, we have started a new whole school approach to PSHE with a new scheme called Jigsaw. Each year group has a puzzle piece friend and we met our friend this week named Jigsaw Jenie who you may hear the children talking about. This half term, every year group across the school will be focusing on Dreams and Goals. We started our first lesson exploring challenge and how we can overcome barriers when we find things tricky. As part of each lesson, we have a focus on mindfulness and have ‘calm me time’ where we spent time practising deep breaths and listen to a chime. The children really enjoyed our first session and we are looking forward to our next lesson!


In Art this week, we looked at line. We looked at different types of line: straight, curved, dashed and dotted. We listened to the story… and then we had a go at using different types of line to create our own piece of art work. We then challenged the children to colour in each section a different colour without crossing over the lines. The children did a great job and we have some lovely art work to display!


Have a lovely weekend and we look forward to another busy and fun filled week next week!


Reception Team

Week Commencing 1st January 2024

We were very pleased to welcome the children back after the much needed break. They all settled well and approached new learning with excitement and positivity. The students had lots of fun playing together and spending time with their friends, telling each other about their experiences from the holiday and the gifts they received. 

Although a very short week, it has been a busy one - we did lots of letter formation and writing practice, we joined two assemblies, shared stories and non-fiction books and enjoyed physical activities such as yoga and jogging as part of daily mile. 

We look forward to starting our new topic on Monday - we will be learning about Space!

Please note, our PE and library days remain unchanged with library on Tuesdays and PE on Fridays. 

Have a fun weekend!