St. Sebastian's R. C. Primary School



In Reception we have high expectations and challenge each child to achieve the best they can. We offer a balance of adult-led and child initiated learning to ensure children make the best progress possible.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage children learn best when they experience learning first hand, through meaningful interactions with others, through physical activity and through play. Our Early Years practise is based on on-going observation and assessment of the children within the curriculum.  The observations and assessments we make can be seen through our online journal Tapestry.


Please click on the link below to log into your personal account:


The Early Years curriculum emphasises:


Prime areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development

Specific areas of learning:

  • Maths
  • Literacy
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design


These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning activities. Children in the EYFS learn by exploring, being active and creative, both indoors and outdoors. Over the year, we will gather evidence through observations and children’s independent work, which will form a profile of your child’s learning journey.  You are welcome to come in at any point throughout the year to look at your child’s profile and we welcome contributions from home to assist us in tracking your child’s development. The education of your child is something we aim to do in partnership with you and as such parents are always welcome to discuss their child with staff.


For more information about these areas, please visit:


Our Early Years principles are based on the EYFS statutory guidance, four overarching principles of good practice:

  • Every child is a unique child
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.


EYFS outdoor and indoor learning environment 

The children enjoy exploring and learning in our newly developed indoor and outdoor areas.


What can you do to help?


Physical Development

  • To hold a pencil correctly     
  • To do jigsaws
  • To use scissors
  • To use a knife and fork


Social Development

  • To go to the toilet independently
  • To dress/undress him or herself
  • To fasten and unfasten their shoes and coat
  • To look after their own belongings
  • To mix with other children


Mathematical Development

  • To recognise and name colours, shapes, numbers.
  • To sort everyday objects into groups
  • To count sets of objects
  • To help in cooking activities


Language Development

  • To share books in a relaxed atmosphere
  • To be given time to talk

Our Class Saint


The Holy Family



In the Early Years Foundation Stage the children are learning about family and how we are part of many important families.  The feast day for The Holy Family is celebrated on 30th December 2018.

This week, we continued to celebrate International Peace Day by talking about our own feelings and knowing that some actions and words can hurt others’. We read the story Rainbow Fish and discussed feelings and sharing. Like the Rainbow Fish, we can learn to be kind and share and think about how what we say and do affects others. Our class mission this week is to share peace, love and kindness.


International Day of Peace, or Peace Day, is held on 21st September every year. In 2001 the countries of the United Nations adopted the day and declared it a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, and over the years since then it has become more widely known.

In Reception, we celebrated this special day by taking the time to think carefully about what peace meant to us by having a short reflection, looking at images and symbols of peace and by listening carefully to a short presentation by Year 5. We hope you enjoy watching our short video on our thoughts about peace. After watching our video, why not try the peace day challenge.

Let There Be Peace Shared Among Us

Our First Week In Reception!


This week, we have been getting to know each other and exploring our environment.  We love our new classroom and the learning environment outside.  Mrs O’Neill and Miss Dickinson said learning is fun and we agree.

Argh me hearties!

All hands on deck, batten down the hatches and roll-out the big guns for International Talk Like a Pirate Day today. This light-hearted holiday started 20 years ago in the USA. It’s now held worldwide and even Barack Obama has tweeted about it!

I know what you’re thinking; why would sensible people around the world want to talk like sea dogs?  It could be that they were rule-breaking rebels or we get excited by the idea of finding buried treasure.

What did we do?

This part was easy. We grabbed ourselves an eye patch, bandana, baggy shirt and a little toy parrot.  Mrs O’Neill said we could use awful grammar and use our pirate accent. We also had a pirate-themed birthday party as we have enjoyed reading the book, Captain Beastlies Pirate Party, we walked the plank and used our homemade treasure maps to find gold.  We had a jolly (roger) day. Arrr!


Here are some of the key words and phrases to help you be more pirate!

Ahoy = hello

All hands on deck = emergency

Aye = yes

Booty = stolen goods

Hearties = friends

Land ahoy = land spotted


Ahoy there!.MOV

Still image for this video

Special Visitors in Reception


This week, we had two special visitors come to our classroom for the afternoon. They were brought to use by Miss Skeffington in a tub of water. They seemed happy in the tub and were swimming around. Miss Skeffington said that Mrs O’Neill could take them out and hold them in her hands for us to see. They walked on Mrs O’Neill’s hand and one of them jumped back into the water. Can you guess who our visitors were? That’s right, it was two turtles.

After our visit from the turtles we had lots of questions we wanted answering so we made a list. Here is our list;

  • Where do they live?

  • Are they boys or girls?

  • Do they have to stay in water?

  • What are their names?

  • Do they sleep?

We used the iPads in class to find out some information and to watch videos. Here is the information we found out;

  • Turtles sleep the same as humans and at night.

  • Boy turtles have a longer and ticker tail and girl turtles have shorter tails.

  • Turtles eat earthworms, insects and small fish. Pet turtles can eat fruit and vegetables.

  • Sea turtles live in the ocean and nest on beaches.

  • Freshwater turtles live in ponds and lakes.

  • There are hundreds of types of turtles.

Physical Development

This week, we have been focusing on physical development and how we can move safely in different ways. We have lots of opportunities to be active in our learning. During PE lessons, we have been using the benches to move across in different ways. When we reach the end of the bench, we can jump off and try our best to land on our feet. Once we’ve landed, we make a shape and try and hold it for the count of three 1,2,3….

In the outside learning environment, we have been using the scooters and playing throwing and catching with a large ball. We also have the opportunity to use the large construction equipment and to climb on it.


Why Physical Development is a Prime Area?

  • There has been considerable concern over the last few years about an increase in children’s sedentary behaviour and a reduction in their physical activity.

  • Physical development has been described as ‘experience-expectant’ learning which means that the brain is wired in expectation of this development. If it doesn’t happen early it is more difficult to establish later on.

  • Babies and young children undergo rapid and wide-ranging physical and psychological developments in their early years which contribute to their future health and well-being.

  • Physical development contributes to cognitive development – as children move and explore the world they learn about the properties of objects and their own capabilities.

  • In the early years children are establishing patterns of activity which will affect their whole future. If activity and healthy eating are established early on good habits tend to remain.

  • Physical development can help with the maintenance of a healthy weight and the development of strong bones, muscles and heart.

  • It is widely believed that physical development can also help with the development of personal and social skills such as self-confidence, interaction, taking turns, getting along with others and so o



    How Can We Support this Area?
  • Encourage children to engage in and talk about the things they enjoy doing such as walking, skipping, climbing, rolling and jumping (gross motor activities).

  • Encourage children to engage in and talk about the things they enjoy doing such as threading, cutting, pressing, grasping, pinching (fine motor activities).

  • Use words in context which allow children to consider their physical movements – eg: ‘you are lifting one foot and hopping on the other’ or ‘I saw you bending from your waist to lift up the watering can’. Focus on each child’s strengths and identify next steps for their physical development.

    Below is a link for information;


Library Visit


This week, we went on our first Reception trip. It was all very exciting. Our class trip was to our local library in Lower Kersal. The trip began with a ride on the school minibus. It was so much fun riding in the minibus and singing the wheels on the bus to Mr Thompson. Once we arrived, we met a lovely lady called Pat who showed us around the library, explained how to borrow a book, let us look at and read all the lovely books and read us some funny stories. We had a great time and we look forward to going again.


Our School Family


This week, we were given the opportunity to contribute towards whole school displays within our school. The first display we helped to change, was the large board located next to the fish tank, near the entrance to Early Years. We were asked to paint a self-portrait onto a tile. Every child in the school did this and they have been stuck together on a board so everyone can see our school family. We are very proud of the tiles we painted.

Firework Explosion


This week, it was Bonfire night so we decided to look carefully at fireworks. We discussed the colours, the size and the shapes of the fireworks. In the Creative Area, we used a variety of bright coloured paints and glitter to recreate a night’s sky on Bonfire night. It was great fun. We’re not sure Miss Dickinson agreed as she had to tidy up the area once we had finished.

Remembrance Day


We were asked to make a poppy to remember the soldiers who died at war as part of our Remembrance Day work. All the poppies will be stuck together to create a tribute to those who died. We remember how brave the soldiers were.

World Kindness Day brings a little light to a dark world


World Kindness Day is celebrated annually on 13th November. On this day, participants attempt to make the world a better place by celebrating and promoting good deeds and pledging acts of kindness.

The mission of the World Kindness Movement and World Kindness Day is to create a kinder world by inspiring individuals and nations towards greater kindness.

“The goal is that we hope kindness is spread every day of the year, but World Kindness Day is a day we can be a little bit louder about our kindness,” said Brooke Jones, vice president of the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation.



“Happy #WorldKindnessDay! Don't forget that something as small as a smile or saying hello to a friend can make a big difference to others”


"This #WorldKindnessDay, remember that when we're good to one another, the world is a little bit brighter."




Our Mission Of Kindness



This week, we re-enacted the following story of Matthew’s baptism.


Philip’s mum, dad and little brother, Tom went to church with baby Matthew. It was baby Matthew’s Baptism. Auntie Sarah and Uncle Dave were going to be Matthew’s godparents. Godparents are people who promise to help parents to teach the baby all about Jesus and how to be his friend. Father Devine welcomed them to church and asked them, “What name have you given your child?” Mum and dad answered, “Matthew.”


The family gathered round the baptismal font and watched Father Devine pick up a little shell and dip it into the water. Mum held Matthew over the font and Father Devine poured water over Matthew’s head saying, “Matthew, I baptise you, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Auntie Sarah put a white shawl around Matthew and Father Devine said, “Receive this white garment.”


After church all the family gathered together for a party to celebrate Matthew’s baptism – his welcome into God’s family.


The children really enjoyed taking on the roles of the priest, godparents and the family.

Matthew's Baptism

Nativity Play

Last week, pupils and parents alike were treated to an excellent re-telling of The Christmas Story through our nativity play, Shine Star Shine. Children from our Nursery and Reception classes led superb performances which included many wonderful songs, clear confident speaking and of course lots of shining stars! The first performance was so good that a lot of the parents came back to watch it again. The children were delighted to see so many happy, familiar faces in the audience, thank you for your support. The Early Years staff would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


This week, we celebrated Christmas. We’ve had so much fun in school. It was lovely to have Christmas dinner all together. We ate turkey, potatoes, carrots and gravy. It was delicious. The best part was the dessert where we were given ice cream, covered in chocolate shaped like a Christmas tree. It was fun being served by our teachers. After lunch, we got to meet Father Christmas. He asked us if we had been good and our teacher said we had so he gave us a special present to take home. It was the best day!