Reception 2023 - 2024

Welcome to Reception


A warm welcome to our new Reception children and families! We hope you have had a lovely summer and your children are ready to have lots of fun making new friends, learning through play and beginning your Ursuline journey. 

From Wednesday 6th September, we will welcome the children into school at 8:45am, via the Reception garden gate which can be reached through the Blundellsands Rd West entrance and the children can be collected at the end of the day, 3:10pm, via the school hall double doors. RB parents, please line up to the right and RL parents, to the left. 

Our priority will be helping the children to settle, make friends and get used to school and class routines in this first half term. Take a look at some of the learning that will take place across the 7 areas of the EYFS Framework, as well as our RE and You, Me, Everyone programmes.


  • RE 

      Topic 1 - Family.png


We will begin our Come and See learning this year with our Family theme, called 'Myself'. We will explore the importance of our names and how God knows our name and loves us. We are all precious to God.  


Our 'Other Faiths' week will enable us to explore the special days associated with the Jewish Faith, in particular, Hannukah. We will look at the significance of the Menorah lamp and create our own Menorah lamps in a number of ways.

Menorah lamp.jfif


Our  Baptism/Belonging theme, called 'Welcome' helps us to think about how we are welcomed and how we welcome others. We will learn that God welcomes us into His family when we are baptised. 

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Our Advent - Christmas topic helps us to think about how we feel as we wait for our own birthdays, before we explore the story of a very special 'birth - day', that of the birth of Jesus. We will be thinking about how we prepare for Jesus' birthday, as well as practising and performing our own  Nativity Play in December.

Topic 3 -Advent.png


  • Communication and Language

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We will have lots of opportunity to get to know each other by sharing our Chatter Bags, listening to and talking to each other about what we like to do and our families. 

We will share stories and rhymes, learning lots of new vocabulary linked to our daily routines and current themes. Our initial key text, 'Super Duper You'  will help us to think and talk  about our similarities and differences. 

We will have lots of opportunity to talk and to understand how to listen carefully to each other through our continuous provision activities, such as making tea in the Role Play Area, asking for a turn on the bikes and inviting a friend to join a game. 



  • Personal Social and Emotional Development

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The start of the year can be an exciting time for our children but can also bring about challenging emotions, which is why we develop warm and supportive relationships with the children to help them begin to express their feelings and consider the feelings of others. Through a range of books and our self-registration board, we will talk about our feelings, identify them and begin to moderate them. We will become familiar with our class sensory box which has a range of self regulation tools and toys to help us to moderate our emotions appropriately throughout the day. We will also encourage a 'have a go' attitude towards making friends and trying new activities. Staff will help children to understand the importance of taking turns and sharing through games and will also support them to become more independent in their own self-care needs, such as buttons, zips, coats and shoes.


        You, Me, Everyone

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Our No Outsiders texts this term support the themes of how families are special and unique and help us to make friends. We will also be sharing the NSPCC Pants Song, to help children to understand about our own and others right to personal space and privacy. Bonfire Night is another exciting highlight of autumn discussed during our You, Me, Everyone lessons where we focus on the importance of keeping safe.


  •   Physical Development   

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We are developing our gross and fine motor skills in lots of ways in Reception, as we make marks using various tools, mould with play dough, roll tyres, climb and balance and carry crates and much more. The range of continuous provision activities is so important in building hand and eye coordination, core strangth, stability and balance, needed for future learning.

Our weekly indoor PE lesson this term will focus on fundamental movement skills, such as finding a space, climbing, jumping and balancing.  




  • Literacy

       Super Duper You.PNG              Superworm.PNG         Pick a Pumpkin.PNG    

                                              The Leaf Thief.png          Can't you sleep little bear.PNG        



Our main texts this term are 'Super Duper You',  'Superworm', 'Pick a Pumpkin' 'The Leaf Thief' and 'Can'y You Sleep Little Bear?'. We will be delving deep into each text and will begin to retell these stories using the vocabulary we have learnt.

We are looking forward to reading and talking about our similarities and differences and looking at how we can make marks to write our name, through Super Duper You. 

Superworm gives us great inspiration for exploring the outdoor world in autumn term, looking for minibeasts and observing them in their natural habitat, as well as writing labels for them.

Pick a Pumpkin brings autumn term to a close where we will examine the shape, texture and beauty of pumpkins. It also gives us a fantastic opportunity to explore our local area and visit the local Pumpkin Patch!

The Leaf Thief is a wonderful humourous text that allows us to use prosody at its best when reading aloud, as well as lots of reading and writing opportunities using simple vc and cvc words in sentences as well as sequencing and reading activities where we match pictures to initial sounds.

Can't You Sleep Little Bear? is a great way to introduce Light and Dark, where we explore shadows and the concept that winter is drawing in. This leads us nicely into Christmas.



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The children will begin phonics as soon as they start school, through our Read Write Inc phonics programme.  We teach phonics systematically through short, daily lessons which are taught in a fun way using Fred the frog. Fred will be helping us to blend sounds into words, such as s-a-t, sat, m-a-t, mat. The children will be playing Fred Talk games and learning how to read using Fred Talk. Working in partnership with parents is crucial to their reading journey, so we will keep parents informed of how best to support children at home with phonics at our Meet the Teacher session on 20th September and then again in the second half of autumn term as the children start to bring texts home. Following our Read Write Inc programme, at the appropriate time, we will send books and other texts home containing sounds that the children have learnt to date. This will enable them to succeed in reading their book bag book and therefore hopefully develop a love of reading.  

Some useful videos for parents, to help your child at home with phonics.

What is Read Write Inc phonics?

How to say the sounds

Why read to your child?


  • Maths

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Maths is literally everywhere in Reception from how many people have had snack at one time, how many ways we can show the number 3 to the different shapes, lengths and weights in the environment. We count at every opportunity counting up to and down from 10 initially and then beyond.

We will use five frames, manipulatives from our environment (pebbles, pencils, sticks, cubes, buttons and anything else that can be moved!) to have a solid understanding of numbers to 3. This includes being able to spot a number without needing to count each item individually (subitising). 

We will also be singing lots of number rhymes/songs, especially finger rhymes and would encourage the children to sing these with you at home too (1,2,3,4,5 Once I caught a fish alive and 5 Little Ducks went swimming are some Reception favourites).


  • Understanding the world



Our  first topic, Myself, will encourage children to make sense of their world, including people who are familiar to them. They will be asked to name and describe their family through their chatter bags and in their role play. 

As we go through autumn, we explore our local environment from home to school and a little further afield to the local Pumpkin Patch.

We will begin to understand that people have different befliefs and celebrate special times in different ways through our learning about Diwali, Harvest Festival and Christmas. 

We are extremely lucky to have the wonderful outdoor space that we have at Ursuline. Children will love exploring our natural world, looking for minibeasts and other natural collections and will consider what is similar/different about them. 




We will be learning how to greet each other in Spanish as well as counting to 5 in Spanish. We will explore similarities and differences between life in the United Kingdom and Spain. 


  • Expressive Arts and Design



We look forward to seeing the children's self -portraits as they examine photographs of themselves and see how they can create their own portrait using a range of different media. They will then build on their learning about observational drawings as they observe minibeasts, plants and pumpkins in our outdoor area, again choosing their media to create a painting,  drawing or model. We will observe Menorah lamps and creating our own using paints, oil crayons and pencils. We will also be doing some transient art to commemorate Remembrance Day (Poppy Day) and prapare for Christmas. We will give them plenty of inspiration to draw out their imagination in our Small World play too.




We will be singing in a group with our daily rhyme time, as well as learning a song to perform at our Harvest Festival and Christmas Nativity. We will be increasingly matching the pitch of the song and following a melody as part of our learning in our weekly music lessons, following the Kapow scheme of work.


A few reminders:

  • Children will be provided with a water bottle in the first half term which will be kept in school and filled with fresh water each day 
  • Please ensure that your child has a pair of wellies and a pair of socks/underwear, to be kept in school
  • We also ask that every item of clothing and footwear is labelled with your child's name

Dates for your diary:

  • Meet the Teacher - Wednesday 20th September - 9am - Here is a short video for those who can't attend this meeting: 
  • Parents meetings - 17th and 18th October - (You will be sent a link closer to the time to book an appointment)
  • Read Write Inc parents meeting - Thursday 2nd November - 5pm
  • Book Look for families - Wednesday 6th December - 3.30 - 5pm
  • Reception Nativity Play - Wednesday 13th December - 1.30pm

If you need to speak to your child's teacher, please approach us on the playground and we can arrange a time. We would ask that you kindly wait until we have seen all of the children safely to their parent or carer before speaking to your teacher and we will be happy to chat. Alternatively, you may wish to ring the school office.

We thank Miss Parsons for helping the children to settle so well in Autumn 1 and welcome Miss Anderson who joins us from Autumn 2.

Here's to a great year, full of special memories and learning!

Reception team

Mrs Bryce, Mrs O'Brien (Class RB)

Mrs Long, Miss Parsons (Autumn 1), Miss Anderson (wef Autumn 2) (Class RL) 

Mrs Walmsley (RB,RL)


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Following in Jesus' footsteps we love, learn and grow together
UrsulineCatholic Primary School
Nicholas Road, Blundellsands,
Merseyside, L23 6TT
Office Manager | Anthony Hampson
0151 924 1704