Reception – Mrs Hartley


Reception Teacher

In Reception class the children enjoy a range of exciting learning opportunities, both inside and outside. They have lots of fun whilst reading, writing and investigating mathematical concepts, through child initiated learning and focus activities. Pupils love to explore the world around them, developing and applying their imaginative, expressive and problem solving skills.

Please take a look at our Reception blogs to learn more!

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Children in Reception class were very proud to present their Bollywood dance in front of family, friends and teachers, on the stage at Kirk Balk Academy. The costumes were amazing and the children danced with superb confidence and energy! Well done, everybody! The evening was an exciting celebration of our school’s global links and our outward looking school ethos. After dancing, Reception children really enjoyed watching other classes performances-a wonderful community event which will be remembered for years to come! 

Thank you to everybody for your support. 

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Welcome back to a new half term in Reception!

Children in Reception have been busy estimating and measuring using non-standard and standard measures all around the EYFS setting. They have had super fun solving problems, for example Connie and Cian enjoyed measuring a wand with cubes, paper clips and counters.They then compared the different measurements. 

Izobella set about finding the length of our outdoor slide using a ruler.  Vinny, Gage and Joshua realised that the potato plant they were measuring was much taller than a 30cm ruler and needed to use a metre rule for the job instead! Fantastic thinking and practical maths!

In response to the children’s interest in super heroes and heroines, our outdoor writing hub has been transformed into a ‘SUPER DEN’ with clipboards and posters.

The children have been very excited to jot down their super hero action ideas and develop narratives with friends. They have listened to the story ‘Superworm’ by Julia Donaldson and have been very busy sticking their writing on the den. Many children have created ‘WANTED’ posters to locate ‘Superworm.’ Some children have enjoyed retelling the story both verbally and through their writing, using a narrative style. 

Well done everybody!

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A Slimy, Slithery Visit from Zoolab!

Nursery and Reception have been learning about different animals and their habitats. This week the focus is on tropical rain forests. Barry, from ‘Zoolab,’ came to visit and brought in a selection of rain forest animals for us to meet, stroke , touch and learn about. We met Deidrie the snail, Tracey the tarantula, Michelle the millipede , Gary the gheko and Sophie the snake! The children asked really good questions and found out lots of interesting information about rain forest animals.

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Children in Reception class have been learning about St George’s Day (Sunday 23rd April). They have enjoyed reading the story and re-enacting it, at the castles and knights small world area. There has been labelling of different parts of a dragon and retelling the story verbally and through narrative writing. Children have followed story maps and threaded beads on pipe cleaners (to represent the dragon’s fire).

The ‘George and the Dragon’ learning culminated in the Reception children taking part in Knight training. This involved Jousting, Balancing, Aiming, Dragon Defeating and Horse Shoe Throwing.

All of our brave knights excelled in their set of physical and mental challenges. They were extremely proud to kneel before Queen Hendry and receive their Knighthood. Each knight took their Royal certificate home with them as well as a copy of the ‘George and the Dragon’ story to read at home.


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Play Dough Disco!

We have a ‘Funky Fingers’ challenge table in both Nursery and Reception , where the children enjoy a variety of daily activities that promote their fine motor skills. The children also enjoy the play dough disco in class. The disco is a fun way to increase gross motor and fine motor skills- strengthening those shoulders, arms, wrists, hands and fingers as well as improving co-ordination. All of these activities assist children’s abilities in a range of learning areas, being of particular importance in their writing and artistic development.

This week we invited parents and carers to join in with our disco. We all enjoyed an energetic physical workout with balls of play dough and awesome music!

Afterwards, bags of play dough and play dough recipes were given out, so that everyone could continue the disco fun at home!

Please have a look at the 10 play dough disco moves on our photos and our VIMEO video!

We must say a MASSIVE thank you to Mrs Flannery for making all the play dough!

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Our enquiry topic question this half term is:


Reception children have been brainstorming their ideas about who helps to keep them safe. They have also been writing about their own family customs and routines. In our positional language learning, the children have been following instructions to place their bean bag in different positions, such as on top of or above their head, behind their back, next to their feet. They have also practised moving their own bodies in relation to the bean bag. This learning has continued outside as some children have chosen to show ‘inside’ and ‘under’ by positioning themselves. Other children have described the position of themselves and fluffy toys. Leo made super links to his interest in computer games. He created his own computer game outside, asking Mrs Hartley to give him ‘button’ instructions. He responded to the instructions as a character navigating in his own ‘computer game’ obstacle course. Fantastic learning!

William was very observant as he noticed a large dark cloud above the school and demonstrated superb understanding of the world as he described the weather changes and the rain that he forecast to follow. He notified both Nursery and Reception children of his predictions. Once the rain did arrive William and Mikey set about creating a machine that would change the weather. Wonderful predicting, problem setting and solving!

Lola, Olivia, Miley, Niamh and Erin were engaged in a teacher/community role-play, where they took turns to be the teacher and pupil or doctor and patient at the baby clinic. There was a lot of negotiating and building upon each other’s ideas in the children’s own play contexts. Well done!

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