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Reception - Cygnus

Welcome to Cygnus Class! We are the Foundation Stage. Mrs Hulbert is our teacher and Mrs Sturgeon is our teaching assistant.

We hope you enjoy reading about all the exciting learning we do and looking at the photos of our exploits.

We have put some documents below which you might find useful - Our topic forecast for the term will let you know what we are learning about so that you can talk to your children about it at home or share books etc, maybe put something in the blue scrap book which relates to the topic e.g an Autumn leaf that you have found on a walk.

I have also added a document which lists the Early Learning Goals - this is what the children will be expected to achieve by the end of their Reception year. All our learning is planned to meet those expectations.

You will be informed as the year progresses, how your child is progressing towards them at Parents' evening etc. There is also a document which will support you in helping your child with their reading at home, giving you some ideas of the types of questions you can ask them, but always remember to ensure the reading is fun AND NOT A CHORE!  

I hope you find this useful in supporting your children at home towards their goals.

Welcome to the new Reception and Nursery children of Cygnus class.

We have had a very busy first half term and the children have settled in beautifully. They already seem so much more grown up.

We have spent the first half term getting to know each other and getting to know the routines and the environment. The children have had such fun exploring their new setting and all the lovely resources we have. 

Our topic for the first half term was Nursery rhymes and the children enjoyed singing all the rhymes they know and learning some that were new to them. Some of our activities included making Humpty Dumpty who kept falling off his wall and carrying out an investigation using eggs as Humpty. We wanted to find out how we could protect Humpty and stop him from breaking. We tested lots of different materials to see which would be the most effective. We found out that cotton wool was really good.

The weather was really kind to us so we have had lots of opportunities to play outside and even had our first outdoor learning day. We took everything outside and even took the tables with us so that we could make Hickory Dickory Dock.

One of the things we love doing the most is playing in the Mud Kitchen!   We have made all sorts of lovely concoctions and lots of mess!


We are experiencing our first P.E. lessons and getting used to following instructions and using space safely. One of our favourite games is Stuck in the Mud.

During our Nursery Rhyme topic we had to become detectives and go on the hunt for Little Bo Peep's sheep as she had lost them in our garden!  Luckily we managed to find them all and as they had numbers on them we were able to make sure we had them all and line them all up in the right order for Bo Peep. She was very happy to have them all back safely.


During October we celebrated Harvest by going to church for our first service and in the classroom we learned all about why we celebrate Harvest. One of the activities we did was to learn the names of lots of fruit and vegetables, find out where they came from, then we used them to complete some artwork in the style of Guiseppe Archimboldo. The work we produced was stunning and blew Mrs Hulbert's socks off!


Now we have completed our first half term and it is down to the hardwork!   We are learning lots of new sounds through our new phonics scheme Read Write Inc and we have started our new topic Autumn and autumn celebrations. We have been on an autumn walk and collected some beautiful autumn treasure. We even brought lots in from home and have created a wonderful tray of autumn treasure for us to explore and investigate. Our observational drawings of autumn finds have been lovely. 

One of the autumn festivals we have celebrated is Diwali. We found out all about the story of Rama and Sita and the way that Diwali is celebrated. We took part in Mendhi painting on our hands and made beautiful Rangoli patterns with powder paint and chalk. Our diva lamps were lit and we sang a song about the festival of lights.

We are looking forward to an open morning on Saturday November 17th so that people can come and see all the exciting things we do in Cygnus class. Please come and have a look.

Owlets have now completed two whole terms at school now and have learned so much! Through our topics on Fairy tales and dinosaurs, the children have been doing lots of fact finding, reading and writing.  They have become real experts! We have measured dinosaurs on the playground, played in dinosaur swamps, retold fairy tales, made cakes and porridge and had all sorts of adventures. When we first came to school we didn't know our sounds, we couldn't write our names and we certainly couldn't write sentences. Well we have worked so hard on our phonics and our reading, we are stunning Mrs Hulbert everyday! We have been shape detectives and gone on shape hunts around the school finding shapes in all areas that we visited. Through bible stories and collective worship, we learned lots about the story of creation and the story of Noah. We made wonderful displays to tell the stories. Throughout the year we have been welcoming the Nursery children into our class and have love having them. They have settled in so well and we are looking forward to lots more joining our lovely class. We are always happy to make new friends.

Celebrating is fun and we found lots to celebrate over the term including Chinese New year, Mother's day and Easter, with lots of craft activities, baking and eating.

One of our classmates brought in his giant African land snails for us to meet. We couldn't believe how big they were, but we loved holding them and hearing all about them. We have had some nice weather so we have enjoyed being outside and using the balance bikes and scooters. Our balancing and scooting has really improved. We will soon be practising for sports day!   

It's now the beginning of our last term in Reception and we have lots to look forward to. Our topics are Space and the Seaside, so if you have anything at home we could use at school to help with our topics we would love to hear about it.

Our Stay and Play sessions have started which means that our new friends who will be starting in September are coming to play on Friday afternoons. It's very busy! After half term they will also have the opportunity to come for Tuneful Tuesday afternoons too. An afternoon full of music and singing. 

Mrs Hulbert and Mrs Sturgeon have taken lots of pictures of our adventures so please take some time to enjoy them and see what enormous fun we have been having.

Owlets have completed their first half term at school! What a jam packed half term it has been.

We have had a lovely time settling in and getting to know each other.

This past two weeks we have come to the end of our topic about ‘Ourselves’ and have been learning about our senses. We can now name them and say which part of our body we use for each one. We know that for many activities we use more than one of our senses. We have used our senses to explore and investigate the world around us, including going on a sound walk, looking closely at our environment to see what we can see and using all our senses to make an autumn soup, which also helped us to celebrate harvest. To test our sense of smell we used our noses to identify what was in the covered pots. We weren’t allowed to look in them, it was very tricky! Our sense of touch was used to explore and describe lots of different materials and textures and we had lots of fun with porridge and gloop!

This week we have been celebrating Divali by making Divas, Rangoli patterns, Indian sweets which were delicious and painting our hands with Mendhi designs. We sang a divali song and lit our divas.

Now we are looking forward to half term and recharging our batteries ready for all our new learning about ‘People who help us’ next half term! Phew! Well done everyone!

Have a lovely half term and stay safe. 


Welcome to our brand new Owlets, both Reception and Nursery.   The children have had a very successful start to their school career and have settled in beautifully, lots of happy smiles and joining in with the activities.  They have found their way around the classroom and even know where to put things when we are tidying up!   Everyone is joining in with our songs and squeezing, rolling and patting to Dough Disco!

We look forward to sharing all our learning fun with you over the coming year. Have a look at the fun we have had during our first full week.


The Owlets have come to the end of their first year in school and are ready to spread their wings and fly the nest!

I am so proud of the way the children have embraced school and settled into their learning journey with so much enthusiasm. They have worked really hard this year and achieved so much. Well done Owlets! Here are a few photos to remember and celebrate their time in Reception.

Have a fun summer, stay safe and gets lots of rest so that you are raring to go in Year one!

Owlets returned to school after half term and a week of lovely weather to a day of torrential rain which was very appropriate as we started work on the story of Noah's Ark! The children met different versions of the story and learned some songs too. We practiced counting in two's as the animals went on to the ark and painted some lovely pictures of the ark remembering the importance of the rainbow.

In the classroom and outside we used the water tray to put pairs of animals in and then made arks out of Duplo for them to see if they would float.

To use our writing skills, we retold the story in our own words, making a book with illustrations. 

 We have been enjoying our seaside topic and finding out about sea creatures such as whales and dolphins. We listened to the haunting sounds that these creatures make and pretended to be dolphins swimming, leaping and spinning. We read some wonderful stories about whales and dolphins too and imagined where we would ask a dolphin to take us if we could ride on it’s back. After reading The Whales’ Song by Dyan Sheldon, we thought about what we would take for the whales to see them dance and hear them sing.


Our Owlet class gallery looks wonderful with the beautiful dolphins and whales we have painted and the Rainbow fish. We practised our fine motor skills cutting and tearing paper for his scales and had fun mixing colours to get different shades of blue for the sea.

The sun has been shining so we have made the most of being in the outside area and we have even been paddling!



Owlets have been very busy looking after our Caterpillars. When they first arrived, they were tiny specks about the size of a staple, then they ate and ate and grew and grew. then one day we came to school and they had  made their chrysalis. We have been waiting for them to emerge. So far one has emerged and we have a beautiful butterfly which we are going to release. We enjoyed the process so much, especially as The Hungry Caterpillar story has been our focus for lots of investigations and lots of fun.  We even had a Hungry Caterpillar tea party where we tasted lots of the food that the Hungry Caterpillar ate. We didn't get as big and fat as him though!    Have a look at the wonderful display that we made and the beautiful paintings we did.   As we had read the story and knew it so well, we became authors and illustrators and made our very own book of the story. 


We are making good use of our outside area now that the weather is improving and we have been taking lots of our learning outside, including reading, writing and Maths.  Our writing den has everything we need to become writers and we also enjoy sitting down with a good book to share with our friends.

In the sunshine we drew round each other's shadows and investigated how they change over the day.  Lots of fun was had using the rulers and metre sticks to measure lots of different things in the garden.  Mrs Hulbert had muddled up all the number cards so we had the job of ordering all the numbers to 20 to sort them out. We were really good at it.  The Hungry Caterpillar thought it would be a good idea for us to learn all about sharing equally so that we knew how to divide up some food for him and us so that it was fair.  He was very happy with how we worked it out, we remembered the one  for you, one for me rule.

Because we are so clever, Mrs Hulbert has shown us a way to count more quickly if we have a big group of objects to count, we are counting in 2's.

Outside, we have been getting lots of exercise outside and practising our climbing, balancing and moving skills. We are becoming athletes and gymnasts, improving all the time.

Have a look at the photos and see how much fun we have and how clever we are!

Take care in Owlets class! There is a dinosaur or two on the loose!.

Dina the dinosaur lost her egg and wrote to the children to ask them to look out for it. We went on a hunt and managed to find it in a tyre in our garden!   We took good care of it making signs to ask people not to touch it and to be quiet around it.  We collected leaves and twigs to make a nest and put it safely in our classroom to wait for it to hatch.     Eventually we came in to school one morning to find it on the floor and it was cracked open and empty!   There was another letter from Dina saying that she was so happy with how well we had looked after it and that she had come back to get her baby, Tulip. We saw big footprints in the classroom but we had no idea where they had gone, we decided to go on another hunt all around the school and the grounds. We still haven't found them :( 

During our dinosaur topic we had learned all about what dinosaurs eat so we knew lots of places to look. We had even tried some of the foods ourselves having a food tasting sessions where we pretended to be herbivores, tasting leaves and vegetables and carnivores tasting different kinds of meat.    Most of us preferred the carnivore diet!!!

We learned about the size of some of the dinosaurs we had looked at by going out on to the playground and measuring the length of a Diplodocus and a T Rex. The Diplodocus was so long it was bigger than the playground! In the classroom we measured dinosaur footprints using our own feet. 

We learned a little about the environments that dinosaurs lived in and that some lived near volcanoes. We learned about volcanoes erupting and even made some ourselves.

We have been very lucky recently to have had the use of some balance bikes to get us used to riding and balancing, strengthening our core and our legs. We were very good by the time we had finished with them and were whizzing around all over the place!


Mrs Sturgeon's son has made us a fantastic new mud kitchen which we are having great fun with, making all sorts of amazing dishes for our friends and teachers!  

During our Easter activities we learned about the true meaning of Easter and why we have Easter eggs. We painted our own eggs and rolled them down our hill to represent the stone being rolled away from the tomb, we had an Easter egg hunt with Year 1, looking for words from the Easter story and we carried out some scientific experiments using eggs. 

What a busy half term!

We are now looking forward to our last term in Owlets Class before we move up to Year 1. We have some busy times ahead and lots of new and exciting learning to do.  This half term we are going to be learning all about Life Cycles.

In Owlets we are still enjoying working on Fairy Tales. Our latest story has been Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We listened to lots of versions of the story and talked about the differences. We thought Goldilocks was very naughty! We were a bit envious of all the porridge she ate so we made our own porridge and tasted it. Most of us didn't like it! We know that because after we had tasted it we made a pictogram to show who liked it and who didn't. We could tell by looking at the columns in our pictogram that most people didn't like it.   We did like playing with it though. We put lots of oats in the water tray and slowly added water to see the changes in the consistency. We talked about what it looked like and what it felt like.   We did lots of mixing with wooden spoons and then we used our hands!!!!!!   It was really gloopy, wet and cold!!!!!    Lovely!


We checked on the beans we planted while we were thinking about Jack and the Beanstalk. They have started to grow and we can see the shoots and the roots!    We have taken them home for half term so that we can look after them. Eve's was the tallest.


We have been very busy celebrating Chinese New Year. We practiced our Chinese writing in red powder paint and on paper. We had some symbols to copy. We had noodles in the water tray and loved playing with them. They felt cold, sticky, slimy and squishy.  We love squeezing them in our hands. At snack time we tasted prawn crackers, they were like crisps, delicious! We learned about the story of the animals that raced and how the Chinese zodiac came about. We enjoyed retelling the story with masks.   We were very lucky to have a sports specialist who came in and helped us to make up a Chinese dragon dance.   We made dragons to make up our own dances in the outside area. 

To end our very busy half term, we made hearts for Valentine's day to give to the special people in our lives.

Phew we have been busy! We hope you all have a peaceful and restful half term full of fun and laughter. Mrs Hulbert is looking forward to us all coming back safely, ready to start all over again.

We have been learning about Fairy Tales. Last week we did lots of work on The Three Little Pigs and this week we have been thinking about The Gingerbread Man. We have tasted them, made them and experimented with them!!! We tried them for our snack and we all thought they were delicious! Then we made some and we talked about how the ingredients looked and felt and how they changed when we put them together and baked them. We thought about the story and why the Gingerbread man didn’t want to go in the water. We thought we would do an experiment to find out what would happen if he went in the water. Mrs Hulbert gave us all a gingerbread man and we thought about how he felt and looked before he went in the water. We found he was dry and hard. Then we put him in the water – Oh dear!!!! Poor Gingerbread man!!!! He fell apart and became soggy and squishy, then he disappeared completely and just became coloured water!!!!! 

In Maths we have been learning to use the words heavier and lighter. We carried out some investigations using the balances and lots of objects we found in the classroom. We had to make some predictions and then check our predictions by putting the objects in the balances. We chose the correct word (heavier or lighter) to put with our objects. We explained how we knew which object was heavier or lighter.

In the outside area we found some ice. We knew how it got there and what would happen if we brought it inside.


Snow at last!!!!!!   We have been waiting for the snow and at last we were able to go and play in it.   Not enough to build a snowman but we had fun anyway.


We have been learning all about 3d shapes and building models with them.   

We are still working with the story of The Three Little pigs and we used the wooden blocks to make houses for them. We also made a straw house with straw and paper, a stick house with lolly sticks and a brick house with sponges and paint. 

At snack time we ate some sticks!!!!!!   They were twiglets really but we pretended they were sticks!!! 

We retold the story of The Three Little Pigs using the Beebot, we thought very carefully about the directions and steps we needed to tell the beebot to do. It was great fun!

Christmas was an exciting time for the Owlets.  We made lots of lovely Christmas crafts like wooden spoon reindeer, footprint snowmen, Christmas cards for our families, calendars for the new year and lots, lots more! Our sand tray was turned into a winter wonderland and filled with 'snow'for us to play in. It felt just like flour!!! We wowed our families by sharing the story of Christmas through our Nativity. All our families came to watch and they were amazed at how wonderful we looked dressed for our parts and how well we remembered our words and the songs and poems. After our Nativity performance we shared a little party with our families with mince pies, fruit punch and cakes! 


Some of us also took part in our Carols in the Car Park family event and performed our poem A Chubby Little Snowman. We were very brave and got up on to the stage in front of quite a crowd!


Since coming back to school we have started our new topic on Traditional tales. We have been working on The Three Little Pigs and retelling and acting out the story. Our outside role play area has become the Three Bears' House and our construction yard has become a builders' yard for the Three Little Pigs. We are looking forward to learning about lots more stories and having lots of fun with our new topics. We have been practicing our writing sounding out our words and writing them on our phoneme frames. We have even been learning about doubles!!!!

What a busy time we have had lately and so much learning!    it was Divali recently and we found out all about the story of Rama and Sita and why Divali is celebrated. We made divas to light and sang a song  when we lit them.  We were also thinking about patterns so we made some Rangoli patterns and Mrs Hulbert and Mrs Stephenson painted Mendhi patterns on our hands. We talked about all the shapes we could see in them.

To remember the people who have fought in the wars for us, we learned about why we remember the soldiers and why we wear poppies. We made poppies and held a 2 minute silence as a whole school.

We became shape detectives and showed what we had learned about shapes in an investigation to see what we could do with some straws. 

W have been using our imaginations and dressing up as scarecrows. doctors, princesses and lots of other exciting characters, even Santa's little helper!   Never too soon!

Mrs Hulbert is always keen to get us writing, even in shaving foam! It felt warm and gloopy and made a marvellous mess!!!¬     We are starting to try writing words by ourselves because we are so good at our sounds now.

It will soon be Christmas and we are getting ready for our Nativity on 7th December.   We look forward to sharing our pictures after our performance. 

We have learned so much already and had so much fun. We have been very lucky with the weather and been able to do lots of learning in our Owlets garden. You would not believe how much learning goes on outside as well as inside!  We have our lovely house which our teachers change each time we start a new topic. We recently had a Doctor's surgery and now we are going to have an Autumn scene to explore and investigate. We will be making leaf pictures and searching for sounds and numbers and lots more things in our new area.   We especially love our mud kitchen where we learn about how materials change when you mix them, we practice gross and fine motor skills when we are making mud pies which helps us with our writing and cutting. 


Have a look at some of the pictures of all the learning we have been doing both inside and outside. 

Week beg 3.10.16


We have now been at school for four weeks and we have settled in to our new learning journey really well, although we are a bit tired now!   We have learned so much already and are looking forward to learning even more. During our phonics lessons we have been practicing our listening skills through games and sound walks. We are really good at listening to hidden sounds and identifying them.  We are sound detectives!   In our Owlets science lab, we have the opportunity to measure our hands and feet with cubes or tape measures, we can count our teeth, look at our eye colour and hair colour and talk to each other about what we look like.  

The school nurse visited us this week and talked to us about the importance of eating healthy food, getting lots of exercise and sleep and of the importance of washing our hands properly. She brought some green, glitter germs with her and we carried out an experiment to show how germs are spread from hand to hand and on our classroom equipment. We then found out how to wash our hands properly to get them all off.

Later in the week we visited the church to share our harvest collection and we sang our Sammy Scarecrow song. Mrs Hulbert was very proud of how beautifully we sang and how well we all sat.

We are very excited to have started learning some sounds and some songs and actions to go with them.   Some of our mummies came along to a Reading Workshop to see how we learn to read and how they can help us. Mrs Hulbert showed them some of the games we play and the songs we sing. 

Week beg: 12.9.16 

We have just finished our very first week in school!!!!   We have been learning all about our new classroom and the exciting things we are going to be doing while we are at school.   

Our first topic is 'All About Me'. We have already had fun showing Mrs Hulbert that we know the names for parts of our body and we have been learning to write our names.   We have had a lovely time getting to know the outside area and playing in the sunshine. We even went in to our very first assembly!  Some children in our class got up in front of the whole school and told all the children what we had been doing in class.  Mrs Hulbert was so proud!  We have all settled in really well and Mrs Hulbert and Mrs Beldam are very happy and can't wait for next week to do it all again!