Birchwood Avenue

Primary School

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Curriculum letter

Reception Class

Autumn Newsletter


A very warm welcome to all the families of our Reception children. We are really looking forward to a fantastic start to your journey with us at Birchwood Avenue.  Our learning superpower this half term will be ‘resilience’ where children will begin to understand the importance of continuing to try hard and put in effort. We feel as a school that our values underpin our learning behaviour, and this is reflected in our work.



Our PE day this term is on Thursday. Please ensure your child has their PE kit in school on this day, for them to change into. Your child’s PE kit should include their house colour t-shirt that has been provided by the school. All items (including the bag) must be clearly named.

We advise that, rather than plimsolls, trainers are better at supporting children’s ankle development. We will be working to develop the children’s gross motor skills, moving in a variety of ways such as hopping or jumping. We will also be spending a lot of time working on awareness of space around us.



We teach phonics every day in Reception. At first, these lessons will be whole class and then, as we start to assess progress, we may split the children into smaller groups, which will allow us to better target their specific needs. At Birchwood Avenue, we use a scheme called Read Write Inc. The children meet a different sound each day, practice forming it correctly and find words that start with that sound. As the children meet more sounds, we will start to blend them together into words of increasing length and complexity. Each week we will send home a copy of the sounds we have taught, along with the handwriting rhyme used to form it, so that you can reinforce this at home. It is important that we focus on the sound of a letter, not the name.



Reading is one of the most important aspects of our Reception curriculum. We will be reading at least one story to the children every day and we encourage you to do the same. We model the way that we read with expression and enthusiasm and talk about the things that we see and hear. As we develop our phonics, we will be asking the children to read simple words and sentences with us. A Reception reader should be able to read a book that matches their phonic ability by the end of the year. Once they can blend sounds, they will be bringing words home and, as they progress, they will be bringing books home, which are linked to their phonics. We will meet new stories and revisit old friends as we move through the year. The children have access to puppets and a stage area to support them in acting out the stories and changing them to make stories of their own.

We will be sending home reading books and reading diaries shortly, with more information following soon. We expect them to read for at least 15 minutes each evening. Please continue to support your child, to encourage a love of reading.



Chances for Reception children to develop their writing can be found everywhere in our classroom and in our curriculum. A Reception child should be able to write simple phrases and sentences with recognisable letters by the end of the year. We support them to reach this point with activities linked to the stories we read and with a variety of writing tools available to them throughout their play. We encourage the children to begin with simple labels for their pictures and their name. We celebrate writing in all areas of the classroom and in all aspects of their play so that it becomes a regular part of their routine. You could support this at home by helping them to practice writing their name and by encouraging them to include writing in their play at home. An example could be to write a shopping list before playing shops or make a ticket before playing with trains.



Number will be our main focus in maths this term. Children are taught to recognise and use numbers up to 20 with confidence. They learn to subitise numbers up to five and you can support this at home by asking them to spot numbers in the world around them. For example, wheels on their bike or rolls left in a packet. We will compare numbers and make them in different ways using concrete resources, images, and verbal counting. As we become more confident, we will start to add and subtract numbers. Again, there will be an emphasis on using concrete resources to support us.


Themed learning

Each half term we will have an overarching theme to our learning. In the first half of this term, we will be learning about our world and our place in it. We will think about our families and things that make us special and unique before moving on to looking at the natural world around us. We will make natural art and hunt for minibeasts. In the second half of the term, our theme will be celebrations. We will focus on celebrations across several religions including Christmas, Diwali and Hanukkah. If there is an important celebration that your family will be participating in, please feel free to let me know or even consider coming in to talk to us about it. We will be making comparisons between the different celebrations and use them in our art, role-play and construction.



During our PSHE lessons, the children will have the opportunity to think about and discuss ‘What it is to be me in my world’. We will discuss why it is important to be kind and care for others as well as reflect on why everyone has the right to learn and play.



Please come and speak to me or any other member of the Reception team, if you have any questions. We are here to help and support you as we work together to help your children succeed in their first year of primary school.


Thank you for your support,


Miss Evans and the Reception team