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.


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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 2019.

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, Miss Dickinson and Miss Cade said learning is fun and we agree.

The Lost Sheep

This week we learnt about a parable.  What is a parable?  It's a story Jesus told to teach a lesson.  The story should be easy to remember and will have a special meaning for us to learn from.  The parable we shared this week was The Lost Sheep.


Below is the scripture we shared,

Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

(Luke 15:3-7)


In the Early Years Foundation Stage, Mathematics is broken down into two aspects:

  • Numbers
  • Shape, Space and Measures
    Mathematics is all about understanding and using shape, space, measures and numbers to solve everyday problems like how much sticky tape to use to wrap a parcel or the number of red balloons that would need to be bought so that there were enough for all the children attending a party. Helping children to enjoy Mathematics is probably one of the most important things that we as adults can do so that children realise that mathematics is a way of finding things out and solving problems. When something has real meaning for a child they will learn about it – so even two year olds will recognise the number 2 after looking at and talking about their birthday cards. Children often say ‘that’s my number’ when they see numbers two, three, four or five – because their age (which they are referring to) is special for them. Similarly when a child recognises they have the same number of raisins as another child they are beginning to apply their knowledge of quantity.

Writing it down

Young children need fun ways to develop their fine motor skills, strengthening their fingers and encouraging them to make marks, before learning to form the basic letter shapes. Don’t forget that children also learn by watching you modelling the writing process. Opportunities for experimental and freely produced early writing demonstrate the changes, from random marks and symbols to groups of letters or even words, as the children’s understanding of letter formation and phonics develops.


Luke 16:19-31

During our collective worship session today we shared the Gospel from Sunday 29th September. 

Jesus told a story about a rich man who had fine clothes and good food and a poor man who had no food.  Both men died and the poor man, who was called Lazarus went to heaven and was with Abraham. 

As a class, we discussed the importance of sharing what we have and thinking of others who have less then we do.  Our mission for our collective worship session today is to play our part so everyone has a fair share of food to eat.

Time sharing stories is time well spent

Research shows that a child who reads for fun will do better in all subjects, even maths. Not only is shared reading a brilliant way to bond with children and support their learning, it can also hugely benefit their mental health and wellbeing. Reading together provides important one-to-one time, helps develop empathy, and allows parents to explore new situations, emotions and perspectives with their children, even at a very young age.


As Cressida Cowell says, “Books have such a transformative power because of their unique ability to develop three key magical powers in children – intelligence, creativity and empathy.  By reading with children, you’re sharing the joy of stories and sending the message of how important books are, setting them to become a reader for life.”


The BookTrust have given a copy of The Cave by Rob Hodgson to all Reception aged children.  It’s a fantastically funny book that’s sure to get them hooked on books and kickstart a love of reading.  We hope you enjoy sharing your new book at home and put upload pictures and comments to Tapestry.


We enjoyed looking at the book together in class, building some caves with our small world construction pieces and drawing pictures of the bear in the cave.

The importance of handwashing

New guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that all children from the age of preschool should be taught how to wash and dry their hands properly. The reasons for this is to prevent the spread of infections and reduce the need for antibiotics. 

Today in class, we had a visit from the school nurse who taught us when we should wash our hands and how we should wash our hands.  It was very interesting to see our hands with pretend germs on in the special viewing machine and what they looked like after we had washed them.

11th November 2019

Armistice Day is on 11 November and is also known as Remembrance Day.  It marks the day World War One ended, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, back in 1918.

Nowadays, people remember those who were lost in the war by holding a two-minute silence and by wearing a red poppy.  As a class, we looked at poppies and watched a beautiful animation about a field which grew poppies.  We decided to draw, paint and make poppies to remember those people who lost their lives.


The Importance of Play

Play underpins the EYFS. It also underpins learning and all aspects of children’s development. Through play, children develop language skills, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills. For most children their play is natural and spontaneous although some children may need extra help from adults. Play takes place indoors and outdoors and it is in these different environments that children explore and discover their immediate world. It is here they practise new ideas and skills, they take risks, show imagination and solve problems on their own or with others.

In Reception, the role of the adults is crucial. Adults provide time and space and appropriate resources. These might include clothes, boxes, buckets, old blankets that will inspire play and fire children’s imaginations. They observe play and join in when invited, watching and listening before intervening. They value play and provide safe but challenging environments that support and extend learning and development.


Over the last few weeks we have been learning all about Autumn.  We have learnt how to keep warm by zipping our coats up.  We have also explored the changes in our outside environment and collected autumn treasures to use in our creative sessions.  It has been lots of fun.

Blessing each other



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.

Christmas is coming

It's nearly Christmas, and we decided to write a letter to Santa Claus. We've just received the message below from Father Christmas himself - he's as excited about Christmas as we are!


Dear boys and girls,

Christmas is a very exciting but busy time for me: the elves are making toys, the reindeer are practising their sleigh runs, and I'm busy preparing my list of who's been good this year.

I will be getting my sleigh ready for the long journey on Christmas Eve and inbetween I will try to reply to as many of you as possible. Please send your letters to:

Santa/Father Christmas,
Santa's Grotto,

Health and Self-Care

Through Health and Self-care children find out about the effects of a healthy life style on their bodies. This includes all the factors that affect healthy development including making healthy choices in relation to food. It also includes managing their personal needs, such as dressing, when it is appropriate.

Ready for the Post Office

Today, we bought our stamps from the office ready to visit the post office tomorrow with our letters to Father Christmas.  Mrs Cooper sold us our stamp and we had to give her 61p.  We are very excited to go. 

Post Office Trip

At the beginning  of December, the children in Reception wrote some very lengthy letter to Father Christmas asking for just a few, reasonably priced toys! As part of our Knowledge and Understanding of the World work, we decided to take a trip to our local post office to post our very important letters. We loved exploring our local environment and discussing what we could see around us as we walked.

The Sleepy Shepherd

Today, pupils and parents alike were treated to an excellent re-telling of The Christmas Story through our nativity play, The Sleepy Shepherd.  Children from our Nursery and Reception classes led superb performances which included many wonderful songs, clear confident speaking and of course lots of sleeping and snoring!  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. 

Below are photos from the performance and a short video. See if you can watch the highlights below without feeling sleepy!

Why is music important?

As children explore music through play, they make discoveries about themselves and the world around them, develop a larger vocabulary and important pre-reading and math skills, and strengthen their social and emotional skills, as well as their actual musical development and appreciation.

From enhancing hand-eye coordination, to practicing fine and gross motor skills and much more, see below for five reasons why music is important for early childhood development.

  1. Develops Fine & Large Motor Control

Making music, especially if it includes tapping, clapping, bouncing and dancing can help enhance fine and large motor skills! Simple songs along with back-and-forth play can help build brain and body coordination, too!

2. Music Builds Intimacy

Close relationships have a significant impact on children’s development and music can support these intimate relationships.

3.Expands Communication & Imagination

Children can easily and quickly mimic music and sounds they hear as an additional way to understand and make sense of the world around them.

4. Creates a Sense of Belonging

Music has the ability to create community and a sense of belonging. When teachers incorporate the music and sounds of several cultures or homelands, the children can experience an inclusive and connected world early on.
It Makes them Happy!

Live music is exciting for us adults, but it’s even more exciting for little ones! Live music is known for creating delight and excitement in those experiencing it, lifting our mood and protecting us from sadness and even illness.