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Reception - Swifts

Welcome to Reception - Swifts!


Welcome to Swift class! We are very excited to learn and play with you this year. 

Meet our team


Mrs Mountney is the Swift class teacher. Miss Gibson, Miss Moore and Mrs Brendling are teaching assistants who all help in the Swift class. 

Mrs Arnott will be teaching in Swift class on Wednesday afternoons.


  • A reading book is sent home daily – please write a comment or sign the home school diary to show that you have read with your child each day. We change our books on Mondays and Thursdays. Please ensure that your child's book bag is in school each day.
  • We do on Wednesday afternoons and this is done outdoors whenever possible or in the school hall. Every child needs a full P.E. kit in school and a pair of trainers and /or plimsolls.

Miss Gibson and Mrs Mountney

Our Learning 21.6.21


The children have had lots of fun this week helping build a pirate ship in the role play area. We even have a plank for them to make other sailors walk along. We thought about all the facts we know about pirates and shared them with the class and then we generated lots of questions we didn’t know the answer to but wanted to find out more about.


Our story this week is ‘The Snail and the Whale’ by Julia Donaldson. We will be looking for describing words in the text and words that contain digraphs.


In literacy the children will be thinking about what they would see through a ship’s porthole and then writing a sentence about it. We will be thinking carefully about our word choices and trying to use adjectives to make our writing more interesting and give the reader a clearer picture in their head.


In maths we will be exploring tens frames to explore different ways to represent the same amount.  Number formation will be the focus in our maths sessions this week and we will be learning little rhymes to help us remember how to write them.


During the recent hot weather the children have been taking great care of our plants, remembering to water them and even digging out the weeds. Our potatoes now have flowers on the top so we will soon be able to dig them up and cook them. The children have been particularly interested in the lavender and mint, after they discovered that their leaves are scented. They have suggested that we could plant a ‘smelly,’ sensory garden and this is something we will be exploring over the coming weeks.

Our new sandpit

Under the Sea

Our Garden

Our Learning 14.6.21


This week we will be finding out more information about ‘under the sea,’ and the animals and plants that live there. Last week the children enjoyed learning lots of facts about jellyfish and we even made some to hang in our new role play area. This week we will be finding out some information about sharks and having a go at making an octopus. Our story of the week is ‘Somebody swallowed Stanley’ which will help us think carefully about pollution in the ocean and the impact it has on the animals that live there and our environment.


In literacy the children will writing facts or comments about the Rainbow Fish for our display. We will also be writing adventure stories about creatures that live in the ocean in our own small books.  


In Numberland we will be using a range of strategies to solve subtraction number sentences and then placing them in the correct garden. Our challenge this week is to have a go at counting in 5s up the Numberland path. We will also be continuing to explore 3d shapes.


In phonics we will be using the silicone mats to make words that include digraphs and then putting that word in a sentence. We will also be playing fishing for phonics and a CVC word hunt game.

Our Learning 7.6.21


We hope you had a relaxing half term and enjoyed the sunshine.


Our topic this half term is ‘all creatures great and small.’ Over the coming weeks we will be investigating a range of different animals, their habitats and thinking about their similarities and differences.


For the next 2 weeks we will be focussing on ‘under the sea,’ and our story of the week will be ‘The Rainbow fish’ by Marcus Pfister. As part of our learning we will be creating a giant rainbow fish, complete with shiny scales to display in the corridor and smaller fish to decorate the classroom. The role play area will be transformed into an undersea world with a shipwreck, a treasure chest and the children’s art work.


In literacy we will be pretending that we have been shipwrecked on a desert island and writing messages to place in bottles. We will be thinking carefully about the information we need to tell other people so that they can rescue us.


In maths we will be going on a 3d shape hunt around the environment and thinking about the properties of 3d shapes including the 2d faces on 3d shapes. In Numberland we will be reading addition and subtraction number sentences, using resources to work out the answers and then placing them in the correct garden.

Healthy Me

Thursday - Mindful Me

Wednesday - Creative Me

Tuesday- Active Me

Feeling Good Week - Monday - Friendly/Kind Me

Our Learning 24.5.21


Next week is Feeling Good Week and there will be a different theme each day. These are,

Friendly/kind Me

Active Me

Creative Me

Mindful Me

Healthy Me


Throughout the week the children will be taking part in a range of different activities. We will be decorating a pebble, writing a kind message on it and then hiding them in the school grounds for a friend to find.


As part of our creative theme we will be all painting together as a class on a long piece of paper whilst listening to the piece of music ‘Aquarium’ by Camille Saint-Saëns. There will also be lots of outdoor creative activities using lots of natural materials.


Reception will also be taking part in a school wide, active challenge. The children will wear our new activity trackers and record how many steps they take in a 30 minute period. They will be challenged to be as active as possible. The class that accumulates the most steps will be awarded the active challenge trophy. Swift class are determined to win the trophy!


Throughout the week we will also be doing lots of calming and mindfulness activities such as yoga, breathing techniques and listening to calming music. We will be telling stories using yoga poses to represent different animals or settings.


As part of the healthy me theme we will be discussing the importance of sleep and the children will be designing their own pyjamas. We will also be thinking about different types of food and if they are healthy and we can eat lots of them or if they are less healthy and we can only eat a small amount of them.


We will be uploading lots of photographs of our learning throughout the week so please remember to keep checking the website.

Look at our learning this week!

Our Learning


Next week we will be continuing with our learning based on the story ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears.’ At the end of the week we will be making sandwiches and having a teddy bear’s picnic on the field.


In literacy the children will be making wanted posters to help the bears look for goldilocks, to speak to her about the broken chair in their cottage. We will be thinking carefully about a range of adjectives that we could use to describe her eg golden hair, mischievous or happy. We will be displaying the posters around reception in the hope that someone spots her.


In maths we will be exploring and making 3d shapes. New vocabulary will include the terms faces, and vertices and the children will be challenged to spot 2d shapes on the face of 3d shapes. As a challenge the children could have a go at spotting 3D shapes at home or in the environment. I wonder how many they will be able to find?


In phonics the children will be developing their phonics knowledge, revising phonemes and learning new ones. We will continue to focus on letter formation and sight words to support their reading and writing.

Running a Marathon

Our Learning 10.5.21


Next week our learning will be based on the story ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears.’ We will making and tasting porridge and discussing other items that are hot or cold. After listening to the story we will be discussing Goldilocks, her actions and thinking about how she made each of the bears feel.

In literacy the children will be making story maps to represent each part of the story and then using them to re-tell the story to a friend. We will be using our developing phonic knowledge to spell and write the words we need to label different parts of our map and trying really hard to spell some of the tricky words correctly. As a challenge perhaps the children could draw a map at home that shows their journey to school, the park or even a friend’s house.

In maths we will be comparing and ordering different sized objects including some of those from the story, using the vocabulary bigger than and smaller than. As a challenge the children could have a go at ordering some of their toys at home from the smallest to the biggest.

In phonics the children will be developing their phonics knowledge, revising phonemes and learning new ones. We will continue to focus on letter formation and sight words to support their reading and writing.

Our Learning 4.5.21


Next week we will be continuing with our learning based on the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. We really enjoying planting our beans and the children have loved watering them every day and checking to see if they have grown. This week will be planting sunflower seeds as part of our maths work on measuring.


In literacy the children will be thinking carefully about the story, the setting and the characters and using this information to make a lift the flap book. We will be using our developing phonic knowledge to spell and write the words we need and trying really hard to spell some of the tricky words correctly.


In maths we will be measuring lots of different sized cubes using a range of resources including cubes, tape measures and ruler. The children will be using the vocabulary longer than or shorter than and trying to find objects in the environment that are longer or shorter than his footprints. Maybe you could have a go at measuring different objects at home.


The role play area has been transformed into a garden centre and next week will be continuing to support the children when they are buying items, adding the prices together and finding the correct coins.

In phonics the children will be developing their phonics knowledge, revising phonemes and learning new ones. We will continue to focus on letter formation and sight words to support their reading and writing.

Our Learning

Our Learning


Our learning next week will focus on the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs.’ We will be listening to different versions of the story and discussing each of the characters, their actions and their emotions. The children will be using masks and stick puppets to act out the story with their friends.

As part of our literacy work we will be looking carefully at each of the characters and describing how they look and their personality to help us write a character description. We will also be joining in with the repeated refrain, “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.”


In maths we will be visiting our new Numberland area which the children are very excited about. To enter Numberland the children need to count forwards along the numbered path and to leave they count backwards. This week the children will be counting the number of sides on each garden and matching it to the correct house before adding the correct number of objects into each garden.

We will also be planting some potatoes and watching them grow over the coming months before finally harvesting and cooking them. We will be continuing to plant a range of fruit and vegetables over the next few weeks.


In phonics the children will be developing their phonics knowledge, revising phonemes and learning new ones. We will continue to focus on letter formation and sight words to support their reading and writing.

Our Learning

The reception team

Christmas Performance

Phonics Parent Workshop

A day in Reception


To begin our day, the children will come into the classroom hang up their coat and bag and wash their hands. Next, they find their name card and place it inside a post-box to show they have arrived at school for the day. They will then independently find and start a busy-finger activity. These activities are designed to help develop fine motor strength which is important for good pencil grip and control. Then, the children take part in a whole class phonics session followed by a child-initiated learning time.  After snack the children listen to the story of the week being read, join in with repeated refrains and discuss the story. This is followed by a short maths session and opportunities to consolidate this new learning are provided during child-initiated learning.

 During the lunch hour, the children will be supported by mid-day supervisors who help them with their lunch and encourage them to try new foods. After lunch, the children play in the outdoor learning environment and particularly enjoy using the climbing equipment. The afternoon starts with a reading session, small groups of children will be heard read individually and the others will take part in a larger group guided reading session. This is followed by another period of child-initiated learning. At the end of the day, the children have a circle time session or a story before getting ready for home.

What are we learning about?

This half term, our topic is 'All about me.' We will be thinking about ourselves and what makes us unique and special. As part of our PSED work will be talking about our families and the activities we like to do together when we are at home. We will also be exploring the reception environment and finding out all about our new friends.


In phonics lessons, we follow the 'Letters and Sounds' scheme of work and introduce the Jolly Phonics' actions for each sound. Watch out for the children singing the songs at home and doing the actions, they are quite catchy!  We will be learning new Phase 2 phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (written letters). We will also be encouraging the children to have a go at reading and writing simple words and captions independently. For more information about phases 2 and 3 phonics, please visit the link at the bottom of this section.


In maths lessons, we will be exploring and recognising numerals to 10 and placing them in order as well as developing our understanding of place value.


Our learning- 20.10.20

Our new outdoor investigation area

Our learning 21.9.20

Our Learning



Your child will have an online learning journal through the Tapestry app. For guidance on how to use the app, please speak to Mrs Mountney, who can support you with: signing up, viewing observations and uploading observations from home. We would love for parents to contribute to the journals by uploading learning achievements from home! This could be from a club, new experiences or a skill that has been mastered at home!   


At Hillshott Infant and Nursery school we follow the PenPals handwriting scheme. Our younger children are introduced to four main characters which help them to memorise the sequence for writing each letter correctly. The key thing to remember is that all letters start from the top
(apart from d and e).


Pattern practice and ‘play’ writing are an important part of handwriting development. Your child will be practicing letter formation in a number of exciting ways: in sand, using paint, in the air, on the interactive television screens and iPads, as well as on paper with a pencil!

Parent messages

Use the websites below to help your child with their home learning.

For lots of great ideas, games and practical activities in all areas of learning (including e-books) 

For phonics games (they have a free login which will be valid for a short period of time)

For phonics games (phase 2 and 3 games)

For practical maths activities

For some great practical Literacy activities

For activities and different topic games


For practising sciences skills and engaging children in conversations (free to sign up)


For filtering results on any of these websites children in Reception are working at ‘EYFS’ stage or ‘Early Years