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 Butterfly class teacher

Mrs Amy Williams Learning Support Assistant

Mrs Milly Mickleburgh Ladybird class teacher

Mrs Anna Geraty Learning Support Assistant


Our Curriculum overview

Autumn B

Communication and language

This half term, Reception will be encouraged to use vocabulary and phrases, learned from recent stories and lessons, in their conversations. We will also learn how to ask questions using what, where, when and why to find out information, e.g. when learning about things from the past, children can ask questions to find out more.

Physical Development

In P.E. lessons, the children will be introduced to Physical Education and structured movement. They will spend time learning basic principles of a P.E. lesson such as using space safely, stopping safely, using and sharing equipment and working individually, working with a partner and working in a group. They will take part in activities which will develop fundamental movement skills such as running, jumping and skipping. Children will also play simple games and begin to understand and use rules. As in all units, pupils develop physical, social, emotional and thinking whole child objectives.

In everyday activities, we will focus on the gross motor skills, coordination and balance. The children will develop their pencil grip through a variety of every day fine motor skills opportunities.

Our PE day is Friday.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

This half term we will be learning about family, friends and our emotions. Children will explore their and other’s feeling and consequences of some actions, they will learn words we can use to describe how we are feeling and what to do when feeling angry, upset or worried. We will learn about working together in pairs and groups and also consider ‘How can I help my friends?’


The children will access a variety of high quality texts, based on their interests. The children will explore fiction, non-fiction and poetry linked to the theme studied this half-term. They will develop a greater appreciation of books and learn how to look after books in school, while developing and celebrating their love of sharing stories.

The students will continue to visit the school library; this half term our library time will be Tuesday afternoons. Please bring library books in to school each Tuesday so we can exchange them for a new one.

In phonics, we are now in different groups according to our retained phonic sounds from last half term. You will receive weekly updates of what sounds your child has been learning and videos to continue their learning at home.

In writing, the children will continue to learn to write their names and begin forming graphemes correctly. We are also starting to write words and captions in writing tasks where the children will listen for initial sounds, final sounds and begin to sound out simple words to write to express their ideas.


In maths, we start by looking at 2D shape including squares, rectangles, circles and triangles and we will introduce mathematical language such as side and vertices. We will then move on to on finding one more and one less than a number within 5. It lays the foundation for addition and subtraction although, at this stage, we are not expecting the children to use the addition or subtraction signs.

Understanding of the word

This half term we will be learning about Transport: Past and Present.

From a history perspective, we will be learning about how transport has changed over time. We will learn about George Stevenson and the invention of the steam train. We will learn about transport of the past including horse and carriage, penny farthings and omnibuses to modern transport including the Japanese bullet train and hovercrafts. We will also learn about the explorer Ernest Shackleton and the challenges of his journey to the South Pole.

We will also learn about transport in our local area and the children’s experiences of transport as well as road safety. Reception will learn about how other cultures travel including the Tuk Tuk in Bangkok, gondolas in Venice, felucca in Egypt and dog sleds in Norway.

In science we will investigate forces such as push and pull in relation to water and air travel. We will also learn about how the weather affects transport such as frost and ice and the need for gritting roads, snow ploughs and snow tyres. We will also explore ice and frost and the changing state of matter as is melts as well as exploring why we can see our breath when it is cold.

Expressive Arts and Design

We will begin the half term by learning how we can explore and express the seasons in different colours. We will focus on our cutting skills by making snowflakes and explore clay techniques by making diva lamps in our Diwali celebrations.

Our artist focus will be Pissarro and a study of the season paintings to explore how colours have been used to portray the different seasons.

Our music for this half term is focussing on singing together in a group, which will be our Christmas songs. We will perform the songs learnt at the end of term in our Christmas Performance. Our composer to study will be Sergei Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf where we will explore how different elements and characters in the story are shown through music.


Knowledge Organiser:


Weekly newsflash

Week beginning 27th November 2023

This week, we have continued our transport topic in PKC. Our learning this week has been focused around the North Pole and the South Pole. We started the week by looking at the Arctic and Antarctica on a globe and we then thought about what the weather is like in these places. We then learned about the explorer Ernest Shackleton and his challenging and dangerous expedition to the South Pole. After learning about this adventure, we thought about what we would pack in our suitcase if we were going to go on a long journey to the South Pole. Later in the week, we continued our learning by thinking about what types of transport would be good in very cold places. The children thought carefully and realised most types of transport we have already learnt about would not be good in the snow and ice because the engines may freeze. We then introduced the children to icebreaker ships, dog sleds and reindeer sleds which they were fascinated by. We then learnt about explorers Matthew Henson and Robert Peary who tried many times to reach the North Pole. They tried many times and failed but they did not give up and after many attempts they made it to the North Pole. We discussed with the children how Robert Peary received recognition and a medal for this but Matthew Henson did not receive any recognition because of his skin colour. The children were very shocked by this and this sparked lots of discussion around different skin colour and how many years ago this could mean somebody was treated unfairly.  

In maths, we have been consolidating our learning around number bonds to 5. We have been playing lots of games to consolidate understanding and worked systematically to find all the bonds. You can support your child’s understanding of this by practising number bonds to 5. You could do this by playing games with concrete manipulatives such as sweets or cubes to find all the possible bonds to make a number. We have continued using the language of parts and whole.

We have also been spending time together learning Christmas songs for our Christmas performance on the 14th December which the children are very excited about.


Red group will bring home a new book every 3 days. There is no set day for these to be returned. They will receive a new book regardless of whether or not the previous one has been returned. Please return these when your child has finished reading them.

As the weather continues to be cold, please ensure your child has appropriate clothing to keep them warm and dry that is named everyday.

Have a lovely weekend!

Reception Team

Week beginning 20th November 2023:

This week, we had fun exploring transport in the past in our PKC  lessons. The children enjoyed learning about the steam trains and found it fascinating that the fire in the fire box makes the water boil, which turns into steam and pushes the pistons, which turn the wheels. We also linked this learning to our previous discussions of the children’s past, laying foundations for understanding timelines and future study of history. You can support this learning by exploring transport from the past on old family photographs, books or the internet. If your child has travelled on a steam train and would like to share that experience with others, please feel free to send any photographs or souvenirs to school and let us know.

In phonics, some of the children are now bringing red books home to share with you. The children have read the books at school and should be familiar with them. However, please read these as much as you can to build fluency and practise any skills that they might need more support with. Please watch out for your child trying to sound out and blend ‘red words’ – these words are not phonetically decodable and have to be memorised. If your child is trying to apply Fred Talk, remind them that ‘if it’s red we can’t use Fred’ and look for these words in other books you read together. If your child brought home a blending book, help them read the words without looking at the picture first. They can then check if they got it right by turning the page to see the image.

All phonics books should be returned when you have finished reading them together, new red books are given out every 3 days.

In maths, we started to explore number bonds to 5. This week, we focused on number bonds to 5 in the context of a part-whole model. This was the first time children have been introduced to the part-whole model and the idea that there are a limited number of bonds to a given number (5 in this case) and that if 2 and 3, for example, make 5, then so must 3 and 2. This will form the basis of understanding addition and subtraction. You can support this learning at home by using objects to explore number bonds to 5. Use concrete manipulatives, such as real or toy cakes, crayons, balls and ropes or cubes to find all the possible bonds to make a given umber, i.e. the parts of 4 can be 1 and 3, 2 and 2, 4 and 0. The children are learning the language of parts and the whole. When using the vocabulary whole, some children may confuse the meaning with the word hole, as in ‘a hole in the ground’. You can help your child understand this by asking What is the ‘whole’ of our family? [All of us.] What are the parts of our family? [Each person or groups, such as adults and children, people with long hair and people with short hair, etc.]

Earlier this week every child was given their Numbots login and parents have been sent more information about the platform. Please let your child’s class teacher know if your need any support with this or have lost your login details. Some of the children also enjoyed playing the number bonds game: Number Bonds for 5 - Whack-a-mole (wordwall.net)

Many thanks for your support and we wish you all a lovely weekend!

Week beginning 13th November 2023:

This week, we have continued to explore our new PKC topic transport. This week, we have focused on transport around the world. We started the week by recapping different types of transport we talked about last week and reminding the children what transport means. We then zoomed into Thailand on a globe and looked at tuk-tuks in Thailand and what they are used for. We then travelled across to Japan and learned about the bullet trains in Japan. We also thought about how both of these types of transport travel and that one travels on the road and one travels on tracks. In our second lesson of the week, we focused on transport in water. We again used google earth to travel to Italy, specifically looking at gondolas in Venice. We then compared gondolas in Venice to somewhere a little closer to home looking at punting in Cambridge. The children have loved learning about different types of transport around the world!

In Maths, we have continued our learning around “Change within 5”. This week, we have focused on one less. We have again used role play and story to support us with our story and we have used the story structures First, Then and Now when telling stories. E.g. First, there were 5 cars. Then, 2 drove away. Now, there are 3 cars. We have also used songs to support our learning of one less such as 5 green bottles and 5 little speckled frogs. The children used a 5 frame and cubes to represent each of the bottles or frogs and physically took one away each time. You can support your child at home with their understanding of one less and one more by telling these types of stories or thinking about one more and less in real life contexts when out and about.

In Phonics, different groups worked at specific skills the children need to improve to make the next step in their phonics journey. Please remember to check the weekly links and share them with your child. Most children are developing their oral blending skills – you can support this at home by incorporating lots of fun blending practice into your routines.

Phonics books:

If your child is in Group C, they will be bringing home a blending book each Friday. This needs to be returned the following Friday.

If your child is now in Red group, they will bring home a reading book next week. These are to stay at home for three days and then returned to school to be changed for the next book.

Christmas Performance:

We will be doing a Christmas performance on Thursday 14th December in the afternoon (exact time TBC). The children will be singing various Christmas songs, we have started learning the songs for this performance and below are links to the first songs we have started to learn if your child would like to listen to/practice them at home. The children will not need costumes for this, it will be Christmas clothes/jumpers but we will send out some more information about this in the coming weeks.



Thank you for your continued support.

Have a relaxing weekend!

Reception Team

Week beginning 6th November 2023

This week in Reception, we have started the new unit of learning in our PKC lessons. The children were introduced to different types of transport, shared their previous experiences of using transport and learnt the definition of transport – moving things from one place to another. This can be over a very short distance, or across mountains and seas – we discussed how some modes of transport are not suitable to for all jobs, for example most of us aren’t able to travel to school on a boat or a hot air balloon, although it would be a lot of fun! We also shared the story of Mrs Armitage on wheels by Quentin Blake and the children designed new fabulous bakes for Mrs Armitage and her dog.

We then looked at basic road safety and learnt the safe road crossing rules, if you would like to share this learning at home, you can listen to the song and access other useful resources on the Think! website. Reception pupils enjoyed discussing the road safety poster, spotting unsafe behaviours and thinking of better choices for the discussed scenarios. You can continue the discussions about safety and the poster at home.

In Talk4Writing, we consolidated the first part of the Bonfire night poem and introduced the second stanza – your child might be able to join in with the poem if you read it out for them. We especially had fun with the onomatopoeic boom and bang sounds!

In phonics, different groups worked at specific skills the children need to improve to make the next step in their phonics journey. Please remember to check the weekly links and share them with your child. Most children are developing their oral blending skills – you can support this at home by incorporating lots of fun blending practice into your routines, i.e. put your gloves on your f-ee-t! or take a p-e-n and brush your teeth.

In maths, we started exploring Change within 5 - this unit focuses on finding one more and one less than a number within 5. It lays the foundation for addition and subtraction although, at this stage, children are not taught to use the addition or subtraction signs. This week, the children learnt about one more within 5. They used role play and first, then, now story structures to explore adding one more. We introduced this concept in a real life contexts, i.e. First, there were 3 cars in the car park; then another one arrived; how many cars are in the car park now?

Next week is also Anti-Bullying week. Please explore the parents and carers page here for more information and resources. The BBC’s Own It page also has a whole suite of links and clips to support your child with online behaviours.

Thank you for your support and remembering to send in a named coat every day!

Have lovely weekend,

Reception Team

Week beginning 30th October 2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

What a busy first week back it has been! It has been lovely to have the children back at school and hear all about their half term adventures and fun. The children have settled back into school really well.

This week, the children have moved into groups for Phonics based on the assessments that were completed before half term. The children have really enjoyed being in these new groups. Please check the email from Mrs Harrison to access the relevant links for your child’s learning as each group is working at a slightly different pace.

In Maths this week, we have been learning all about 2D shapes we have focused on the properties of a circle, square, rectangle and triangle. We have taught the children that sometimes you will see common 2D shapes in different orientations and we have encouraged them to look for examples of 2D shapes in the world around them by being shape detectives and going on a shape hunt.

This week, we have been thinking about different celebrations and festivals that fall at this time of year. On Tuesday, we taught the children all about Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot and the children had a go at making puppets and re telling the story with a partner. We discussed that this is why we celebrate and have fireworks on the 5th of November. On Thursday, we then learned about Diwali known as the festival of lights. The children heard the story of Rama and Sita and how the villagers created a row of lamps to light the way home. We then made Diva lamps out of clay and the children added patterns, next week we will paint them before the children bring them home.

Here are some videos that we have watched to support our learning this week:




Other notes:

We are happy for children to bring things in to school if they link into our current learning e.g. a book to share but please can we ensure toys and valuable items stay at home.

Please can you also ensure your child is bringing a named coat into school each day now that the weather is becoming colder. Thank you.

Monday 6th November is school photo day.

Please make a parents evening appointment for next week (Monday/Thursday) if you have not already made one.

Thank you and have a lovely weekend!

Reception Team

Week beginning 16th October 2023

We have arrived at the end of a very busy but successful half-term. We enjoyed getting to know each other and the children have impressed us with how quickly they became familiar with the wider school, our rules, values and expectations. Thank you to all the parents and carers for your support this half-term, we appreciate your time and involvement. 

In phonics this week, we practised some of the sounds most children find a little tricky and played lots of blending games. We started using Fred Fingers for segmenting words into sound and most pupils are beginning to write CVC words independently, such as mum, dad, cat or dog. The children are very keen to keep practising their letter formation and most have now mastered their names. Please look out for any capital letters in the middle of your child's name. In school, we learn to write names using lower cases and only the first letter should be capitalised. 

All the children have been assessed and grouped based on their current needs. At the end of the week, all the children will have been given a note, letting your know your child's phonics group. Please make sure you access the relevant videos after the half term to help your child continue to progress. 

The children finished the week making Christmas cards for you to purchase soon, as well as a colourful card for the 103 year old resident of The Orchards care home. 

Have a fun and restful half-term holiday and see you all back on Tuesday, 31st October. 

Reception Team


Week beginning 9th October 2023

Wow! What a busy week we have had in Reception. We started the week off with our first parent share. The children loved sharing their Phonics lesson with their grown-ups and we hope you found it a useful and valuable experience. Thank you to those who were able to join us for this session. If you were unable to make this session, please don’t worry there will be another parent share session before Christmas.

In Phonics this week, we have continued learning a new sound each day and this week we have covered: v, y, w, z and x. Please check your emails for the links to this week’s videos and share them with your children. We have now taught the children all of the single letter sounds, next week the children will be assessed on these sounds and to see whether they are able to blend sounds into simple words such as c-a-t into cat. They will then be placed into phonics groups which will start after half term.

Last week, we had a focus on people who help us and on Tuesday we were very lucky to have some special visitors. We had a visit from some firefighters and they brought their fire engine! The children were very excited and they learned all about the fire engine and its features. All of the children got to sit in the fire engine and they all had a go at spraying the hose. The children were very respectful and listened beautifully we were very proud of them.

This week in maths, we have been learning all about 3D shapes. We have been looking specifically at the features and looking carefully at which shapes have curved or flat faces. We have been experimenting with different shapes such as a sphere and a cube to see whether they roll or slide when pushed down a ramp. We have also been investigating which shapes can stack and which shapes are best to build towers with. We have been encouraging children to use mathematical vocabulary to explain their thoughts e.g. the sphere would not be a good shape to put at the bottom of the tower because it has a curved face and it will roll away. The children have really enjoyed this unit of learning and I am sure they would love to share their knowledge with you.

In PKC, our focus this week has been around seasons and seasonal changes throughout the year. On Monday, we read the story Tree by Britta Teckentrup which shows a tree changing throughout the seasons. We then created our own paintings showing a tree in each season. The children used their fingers to print onto the paper creating a snowy tree in winter, a tree starting to blossom in the spring, a tree full of green leaves in the summer time and finally an autumnal tree using shades of orange, brown and yellow. We are going to continue this learning next week now that the weather is starting to become more autumnal.

We hope you have a relaxing weekend and we will see you on Monday.

Reception Team

Week beginning 2nd October 2023

In our theme of All About Me, we built on last week’s learning by thinking about people who help within our local communities. Children will focused on people who help in our every-day lives such as shopkeepers, doctors, teachers, delivery drivers etc. Then children knew that some people help us if there is an emergency such as police officers, firefighters and paramedics. We introduced new or less familiar vocabulary, such as stethoscope, hose or emergency.  


In art, we explored new techniques while making autumn themed pictures. We printed leaves and added colours we can see in the autumn. Reception students did very well following multi-step instructions and carefully adding more autumnal colours to their artwork. Thank you for collecting and sending beautiful leaves, the children enjoyed choosing their leaves and exploring the variety of colours, textures and shapes.


In maths, we compared two groups of non-identical objects saying which group of objects has more, fewer or the same. Children built on learning from the previous week, matching objects to compare quantities, but focusing on matching non-identical objects to draw out the misconception that objects must be the same to compare them.


In phonics, we have continued learning our single letter sounds and this week we have introduced the sounds e, l, h, r, j. Please share the links we send in the weekly phonics email with your child, they will love to show you their blending skills and new knowledge.


Have a relaxing weekend!

Reception Team


Week beginning 25th September 2023

This week, the children in Reception have been learning all about “Where we live”. We have looked at our local area and looked at how Ely is shown on different maps including road maps and aerial photographs. We have discussed where our school is and have discussed what is near our classroom and what is further away from this we created a map of our school as a class. We then built on this learning by discussing how we travel to school and what the children see on their way to school and also what is located near to our school in Ely. The children then used this to draw a map of their journey to school! The children have created some fabulous maps!

This week, we have also been rehearsing a song for the harvest festival which was celebrated in assembly today. The children have learned an autumn song all about squirrels which they have performed to the rest of the school! The children used their fantastic scissor skills to cut out a squirrel and create a squirrel headband to wear at the harvest festival.

In maths this week, we have started a new unit and we have focused comparing two groups of objects and correctly identifying which group has more, fewer or whether they have the same amount. The children have been doing this using matching, representing and subitising strategies. The children have been maths detectives spotting similarities and differences between groups of objects and using the vocabulary more and fewer.


In phonics, we have continued learning our single letter sounds and this week we have introduced the sounds c, k, u, b and f. We would really encourage you to share these with your children via the links you should receive in an email to help them develop their understanding of these sounds. We have also been practising blending skills using fred talk as you will see in the videos. You can support this learning at home by sounding out words during your daily routines, i.e. put your h-a-t on as mentioned last week this practise really helps children to blend sounds together into words.

This week, we also had our first fire drill. The children did a great job at lining up and ensuring we all got out of the building safely and quickly. We have discussed why we have fire drills and the children now know the procedures used at school. Well done Butterflies and Ladybirds!

Next week, we will be creating some Autumn art in our lesson on Thursday. Please could your child bring in some dry leaves on Wednesday or Thursday next week for use in the lesson.

Please remember to bring a named coat every day – we play outside in all weathers.

Have a relaxing weekend!

Reception Team

Week beginning 18th September 2023

This week, the children in Reception enjoyed discussing their families and sharing pictures of the important people in their lives. We learned that families look differently and can come in many sizes but all share a common characteristic – it’s a group of people who are connected or joined to each other. Families sometimes live together, but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes people are connected, or joined, by marriage, by birth, by adoption, or just because they love each other.

We also talked about stages of our lives as we grow and change. When we are adults, we might have a job, drive a car and learn other new skills; the children imagined themselves as adults and made pictures of the jobs they might want to do in the future – we had quite a selection of responses, even a fairy who will do my daddy’s job.

In art, we continued to study primary colours and what happens when we mix them. We looked at the work of Jean Miró, who is famous for his dream-like shapes and use of primary and secondary colours. The students enjoyed creating their own drawings in the style of Miró and really impressed us with their skills and attention to detail. Children had fun watching Miró's artwork come to life in short animations, such as The Garden https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDWPOkrJ0B8 or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pU3pMuMq1bw.

In maths, we finished our first unit of learning by consolidating knowledge of numbers up to 5. Pupils counted to 5 using the counting principles they developed in Week 1 and Week 2. We practised representing represent numbers up to 5 in concrete and pictorial ways, linking amount to the numerals 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and we played games exploring composition of numbers up to 5.

 In phonics, we continued learning single letter sounds – this week we studied i, n, p, g, o. Please watch the links sent in the weekly phonics email, the children have lots of fun practising their new sounds and will love to show you how much they can remember! We are also practising blending skills – you can support this learning at home by sounding out words during your daily routines, i.e. put your h-a-t on. You can make this fun by giving your child a silly instruction, such as brush your z-i-p instead of teeth or put your socks on your h-e-d (head).

Please remember to bring a named coat every day – we play outside in all weathers.

Have a relaxing weekend!

Week beginning 11th September 2023

We have had a fantastic week in Reception. The children have continued to settle in well and have been working really hard to remember the school rules and remembering the routines. We are so proud of them!

In PKC this week, our focus has been 'All about me'. We started the week talking about our bodies and the names of different body parts. We then developed this later in the week by talking about how our bodies can do amazing things and our bones, muscles, skin and brain all help us to move, think and play. We also talked about how some people have a physical or sensory impairment and this means their body works differently and it can mean their bodies move or behave in a different way. We then worked as a team to put together a skeleton and the children had a go at doing this in pairs.

In art this week, we have been looking at what the primary colours are. We also taught the children how we can mix the primary colours and make secondary colours orange, green and purple. The children then had a go at using the primary colours and making the