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St Mary's Church of England Primary School Aspire, Nurture, Flourish Developing Life in all its Fullness


Welcome to Reception!

My family class display

Christmas in Reception


20.11.20                                        Let’s Celebrate


This week, we discussed how to be a good friend and what kindness in our class

looks like. We thought about how we are the same and different from each other and

ended the week with our odd socks day. The children all made friendship bracelets for each other and were able to explain why they were a good friend. We were also fortunate to have a couple of children bring in their special objects from their Diwali celebrations. We learnt how they celebrated at home and it brought our learning from last week to life.


The Nativity Story



Next week we will learn about the nativity story to support our understanding of the Christmas performance. We will be:

  • Practising saying our lines using a loud and clear voice
  • Sorting and classifying objects using Venn diagrams
  • Continuing to learn how to write letters correctly for Phase 2 sounds – ck  e  u  r
  • Writing I, no, go
  • Recognising the main events and people in The Nativity Story
  • Discussing healthy breakfast options and encouraging children to try something new


Homework packs and Tricky Words

It is very important that the homework packs are looked after if we are to be able to continue with them. This week we had 6 packs that had not been cleaned and a few with items missing. Hopefully, you all received the tricky word cards. When your child can confidently read the first 6 cards, please write a note in your child’s reading record and return the words in the envelope.


Christmas show- The Sleepy Shepherd

You should have received your child’s speaking part and what they need for their costume. We hope the costumes will be things you can find in your child’s wardrobe rather than purchasing something new. Send the costume into school in a named plastic bag by Monday 30th November.  If you have any questions about either of these, please email the admin account. It is really important that you help your child to practise their speaking part, in a loud voice. Although this year will be a virtual performance, we hope it will still create lovely Christmas memories.

Dates for the Diary:

  • Monday 30th November – deadline for nativity costumes in school
  • Tuesday 8th December – Reception class nativity. This will be a virtual show and more details to follow.  


Have a lovely weekend.


Mrs Crilly and Reception team




13.11.20                                        Let’s Celebrate


Another busy week in Reception class has flown by. We have had a lot of opportunities to demonstrate this term school value of compassion. The children sat silently at 11 o’clock on Armistice Day and have demonstrated their understanding throughout the week by drawing and painting poppies. Mrs Wilson created a beautiful wreath out of the children’s poppies and we displayed it proudly in our prayer corner. We also hope you managed to spot our poppy pebbles in the school memorial. I also hope they enjoyed dressing up today and raising money for Children in Need.


Anti-bullying Friendship Week

Next week we will explore how to be a good friend. We will base our learning around the story ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. We will be:

  • Making friendship bracelets
  • Singing our songs for the Christmas CD
  • Practising forming all the letters in our name correctly  
  • Looking at ways of sorting and classifying objects in Maths
  • Continuing to learn how to write letters correctly for Phase 2 sounds – g, o, c, k
  • Designing odd socks with patterns
  • Decorating our Diva lamps
  • Playing lots of team games
  • Wearing odd socks to school, on Friday, to show our unique personalities, the crazier the better!


Homework packs

I hope you have enjoyed completing the homework packs with your child. Most of the packs were returned and children were given a new pack on Thursday. We do ask that the packs are cleaned before returning as this makes changing them much easier. Cleaning them with hand gel works wonders!


Key words

Next week I will be sending out key words for your children to start learning. The children will keep these key words till they are confident at reading them. More details will follow next week.


Christmas CD’s:  Reminder that Christmas CD’s are still available to order on the Gateway. Reception has enjoyed learning two songs and we hope you can purchase one to enjoy our efforts.


Dates for the Diary:

  • Monday 16th November – Odd Socks Day for Anti-bullying week. Wear your school uniform with odd socks to celebrate what makes us all unique.
  • Tuesday 8th December – Reception class nativity. This will be a virtual show and more details to follow.  

Have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Crilly and Reception team


6.11.20                                        Let’s Celebrate


Welcome back to Reception! The children have enjoyed telling us about their holidays and it

sounds like everyone managed to keep busy despite the unusual circumstances. This week

we have enjoyed learning about Bonfire night, Guy Fawkes and Remembrance Day. The children really loved the story of the Gunpowder Plot.


Maths game of the week:

This week try playing Dotzi. You will need 5 dice and the aim is get all 5 dice to match. Ask your child to roll all the dice and see if any of the numbers match. For example, you may get two 2’s. Your child then keeps the 2’s and rolls the other 3 trying to get all the dice as 2’s. You could challenge your child to roll the dice to match a run in numbers e.g. 1,2,3,4,5 or 2,3,4,5,6. Have fun! 



Next week we will learn about the Hindu celebration of Diwali.  We will be:

  • Making a clay Diva lamp
  • Learning the story of Rama and Sita
  • Learning about Rangoli patterns
  • Continuing to learn how to write letters correctly for Phase 2 sounds
  • Creating a poppy pebble for Remembrance Day display


Homework packs

Homework packs have gone out today and have an explanation inside. The packs need to be returned every Wednesday and a new one given out each Friday. Homework packs enable children to master the fundamental skills that underpin reading and writing. Please note they are not given out to match ability. Any questions, please email admin@stmarys698,


Poppy pebbles

As part of a whole school project we will be painting poppies on pebbles to create a thoughtful memorial in school. Please send your child in with a flat stone to allow them to take part. We would also appreciate any spare pebbles that you are able to collect.


Christmas CD’s:  Reminder that Christmas CD’s are still available to order on the Gateway. Reception have enjoyed learning two songs and we look forward to you being able to listen.


Dates for the Diary:

  • Friday 13th November – Non uniform day for Children in Need. Wear your spots and Pudsey ears!
  • Monday 16th November – Odd Socks Day for Anti-bullying week. Wear your school uniform with odd socks to celebrate what makes us all unique.

Thank you for the continued support. Reception team



23.10.20                                        Marvellous Me


So we have made it to half term! Thank you all for attending the parents’ evening consultations. It was

lovely to get to meet you all ‘face to face’ and discuss how your child is progressing. If you need any further information, please send an email to the office and they will forward it on to me. The children have all settled in extremely well and are now brilliant at following the class routines. We are looking forward to introducing the children to their new topic Let’s Celebrate. Today they will be coming home with their rainbow hearts for you to display in your window. All the children in school will be displaying them so I do hope you manage to spot some around Rickmansworth.


Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night

On our return we will learn about different celebrations that happen within this term. This week we will think about Bonfire Night.   We will be:

  • Reading about Guy Fawkes
  • Practising letter formation of our name, forming each letter correctly.  
  • Making fireworks pictures using glitter and glue
  • Learning letter sounds – ff, l, ll.
  • Learning about Remembrance Sunday and the meaning of poppies
  • Telling our classmates about our holiday from our holiday homework


Maths game of the week

This weekend play a game of hide and seek. You could do this with a toy or the whole family! When you find each other make sure you explain where you found the person or toy. For example, you were hiding inside the cupboard. Before your child hides challenge them to find a different position such as, under, on top, behind, next to, above, in between. How many different positional words can your child use? For an extra challenge ask your child to draw a picture using some of the positional words e.g. A dinosaur in between a mountain and a river. Have fun!


Evidence Me

I hope you have enjoyed looking at your children’s observations at school. We would love to see your comments on their learning, although if you have any queries then please email the admin account rather than communicate through Evidence Me. If you would like to add any parent postcards on the portal we would love to see the children learning at home.



At St Mary’s we use the Read Write Inc rhymes and picture cards to support learning our sounds. I have put a sound mat on the class web page to support writing at home. This week the children have enjoyed practising their blending playing picture match ( at This website is excellent for fun phonics games. Choose Phase 2 to practise. 



Virtual classroom tour: The video is ready and will be uploaded very soon!

Have a lovely holiday and see you after half term!

Mrs  Crilly and the Reception team


16.10.20                                        Marvellous Me


We have been busy this week creating our Christmas cards. The children worked on their painting skills and all enjoyed creating their card. We hope you like them! You can order by returning the completed form to school. The children loved FunnyBones and singing DemBones. You may like to sing along at home .


The Gingerbread Man

Over the next two weeks we will be learning all about The Gingerbread Man. We will read a range of versions of the story and discuss our favourites.  We will be:

  • Learning to retell the story by heart
  • Learning positional language – on top, above, next to, in between etc.
  • Hunting for the Gingerbread Man in our playground and using all the above positional language correctly
  • Learning letter sounds – h, b, f
  • Planting our donated herb seeds


Maths game of the week

This weekend we would like you to practise playing a dice game with your child. This will help with their counting and automatic recognition of small numbers (subitising). Find 6 objects such as cars, conkers or Lego bricks. Take it in turns to roll the dice and then use the objects to make the same shape as the spots on the dice. Some children may need to count the spots before saying the number. Others may be able to subitise (automatically recognise) the numbers already. You can then ask them ‘how do you know it is 5?’ ‘what numbers did you see to help you?’ e.g. I saw 2 and 2 so I know it’s 4. Have fun!


Reading books

Thank you to all the parents who have read with their child and sent them in to be changed on the right day. This week we are hoping for 100%. Each time you read a book please write the comment in a new box. Days to change reading books are written on the front of their reading record.


Parents evening

In preparation for parents evening I have sent home copies of your child’s phonics and maths assessments. We will discuss these at parents evening but I am aware it is easier to have a copy rather than see them through the screen. I will also be releasing your child’s observations on Evidence Me today so that you can see some of the learning they have been doing in class. I’m looking forward to the meetings and working in partnership with you all.  


Dates for diary:

Rainbow dress up day: Whole school dress up day in rainbow colours to celebrate reaching half term, Friday 23rd.

Parents evening: Monday 19th and Wednesday 21st.

Virtual classroom tour: I will be creating a virtual classroom tour and am just waiting for confirmation of which platform to use. Fingers crossed I can complete before the half term holidays.

Have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Crilly and the Reception team


2.10.20                                        Marvellous Me


Bear Hunt

This week we have sequenced the story of the bear hunt. We also thought about what type of bear may have been in the story and enjoyed learning the names of different types of bears. The spectacled bear really made the children laugh!  The children have enjoyed their busy fingers activities which they complete when they first come into school. The children cut out 2D shapes to show us their cutting skills.  We have noticed the children are now more independent in putting on their own coats and shoes and we have given them a big marshmallow clap for this. 


Next week will be thinking about Harvest and will read the book Oliver’s Vegetables by Vivian French.  We will be:

  • Writing lists of our favourite vegetables
  • Tasting and exploring lots of different vegetables 
  • Planting herb seeds in our garden area
  • Learning letter sounds – g, o, c, k
  • Learning about Harvest festival
  • Baselining the children’s math understanding


This is the technique we are using to help the children learn to zip their coats Please practise at home too. 


Hopefully you are getting into the rhythm of reading at home. Each book needs to be read twice and then on your child’s given day their books will be changed. Days to change reading books are as follows:








Grasshopper and Bumblebee




Butterfly and Caterpillar


Children need to bring their book bag everyday. This gives children a place to put jumpers, letters and pictures that are given out.


You will shortly receive an email from Evidence Me to create an account. This is the online journal that we use at St Mary’s. We will be releasing the journals once a half term.


Donations: packets of herb seeds and bulbs to plant in our garden ready for spring.

Thank you for all your support.

Mrs Crilly and Reception team.


25.9.20                                        Marvellous Me


Bear Hunt


Another busy week! The children are coping very well with all the new experiences and most are confidently coming into school. This week the children have come into class and gone straight to their busy fingers activities. These activities are planned to develop the children’s finger and arm strength to support their writing in future. They also had their first PE lesson with Coach Jack and Daryl on the KS1 playground. They were very impressed with their listening skills. We had fun looking round the school grounds on our Autumn Hunt. Feel free to send in any interesting autumn items you find this weekend.


We will continue to read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. We will be:

  • discussing ways to keep healthy, especially by hand washing  
  • baselining understanding of 2D and 3D shapes
  • sorting objects that are magnetic or not
  • learning phonics sounds – m, d, g, o
  • learning which day we are allowed to use the Interactive Whiteboard


Reading books

There were a few questions regarding reading books at the Q&A. For this week only send all reading books and reading records in on Monday. I will then write your child’s insect group and the day their books will be changed onto their reading record. I will also add more information regarding what we expect to see in reading records and the books band colours.


Children’s belongings

Children need to have a coat at school everyday, this allows them to access the activities on offer outdoors. Do not send children into school with laces or buckles if they cannot put on their own shoes. Many children were sent to school on PE day with laces. This takes a substantial amount of time away from teaching. We also noticed many of the new PE hoodies did not have names on.



1.We are looking for big boxes and tubes. The bigger the box the better, e.g. if you buy a new fridge or TV. 

2. We would also like donations of kitchen roll tubes as we are hoping to make binoculars this week.   

Have a lovely weekend! 

Reception team

Meet The Teacher Presentation - 18th September 2020


21.9.2020                                        Marvellous Me


From Monday please send your child in with a school book bag, thank you.


Owl Babies

What a fabulous week we have had in Reception. The children loved reading the story of Owl Babies and really empathised with the character, Bill, who missed his Mummy. Each child painted a self-portrait, and we will be putting these on our Welcome to Reception display board. I will take a picture of it when it is done and put it on the blog, as classroom visits aren’t possible at the minute. Thank you so much to everyone who has sent in a family picture with their child. We will be using them this week to draw a picture of our families. Please send your child with a family photo if you haven’t yet been able to.


Our story for the next week will be We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen.

We will be:

  • Acting out the story
  • Making bear hunt treasure maps
  • Drawing a black and white picture of our family
  • Playing phonics games focused on blending and segmenting. For example, hearing the sounds in cat =  c-a-t and matching to pictures.
  • Beginning to learn our letter sounds – s,a,t,p


Children will need to wear their PE kit on Thursday as they will be having their first PE session with Coach Jack and Daryl.


We well begin sending reading books home this week. The books are picture books with no words. Please ask your child to talk about what is happening in the story.


Dates for the diary:

24th September: Question and answer session following on from meet the teacher PowerPoint at 1.00 pm.  


Donations: We are looking for milk bottle lids and empty plastic bottles to add to our creative area.

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Crilly and Reception team




11.9.2020                                        Marvellous Me


Welcome to Reception! The children have all settled into class well and we have enjoyed getting to know them. They have been busy getting to know our classroom, practicing being independent and learning our carpet rules. The children are becoming more confident in changing their shoes for wellies when going on the grass in the garden.  The children have all been positive about school and we are very proud them. Next week children will be in school 9.00 – 2.50.

Next week our story of the week will be Owl Babies by Martin Waddell. We will be:

  • Painting a picture of ourselves to put on our welcome display board
  • Playing lots of listening games
  • Playing games to learn each other’s names
  • Teachers will complete a baseline to find out children’s starting points in phonics
  • Learning the class golden rules and our behaviour system (sunshine, rainbow and rain cloud system)
  • Putting our shoes on independently – please practice at home
  • Learning to take off, turn our jumpers the correct way round and put on our jumpers – please practice at home

Thank you to parents who have sent in a photo of the children with their family to share with the class. Please send this in by Friday 18th September so we can draw a picture of our family the week after next.


Next week we will start our ‘Star of the day’. Children will get chosen randomly by pulling a lolly stick out of a pot and not by merit. They get to wear a special badge, go first in our line and complete jobs for the teacher. A certificate will go home at the end of the day with compliments on the back. These compliments are given to them by classmates and teachers. Please reassure children that they will all get a turn.

Children have been put into insect groupings that they will use throughout this year. We have Bumblebee, Ladybird, Grasshopper, Caterpillar and Butterfly. These are random groupings.

Dates for the diary:

17th September at 2.00pm Reception Praying In Service: This will take place in the hall with the vicar welcoming the children by giving them a book and a homemade PE bag. The vicar, Deborah Snowball, will remain socially distanced throughout. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions parents cannot attend in person so we are setting up a Zoom meeting that parents can watch. Zoom details to follow.

24th September at 1.00pm: Meet the Teacher Q&A. I will send a PowerPoint presentation about the Reception year, including phonics and reading. This will be with you by 18th September.  The Q&A will then offer a chance to ask any questions that were not answered.


Reminders: Please send wellies and spare clothes, if you have not already.

Have a lovely weekend and fingers crossed for some sunshine.

Mrs Crilly

Useful weblinks:


Web links: 



Phonics sound mats to support your child's writing