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.



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 2020.

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.

Cody the Caterpillar

As a class we shared the story of Cody the Caterpillar. We discussed how Cody felt at different points in the story and that she didn’t like change at all even when everyone told her how good change was. Some of the questions we asked and the responses we were given are below;

 Why can change be good?

“Because you get wings.”

“It’s fun.”

“You get bigger.”

“It’s new.”


Are we happy to be together in school?

“We get to play with friends.”

“It’s fun.”

“I’m happy.”


After we had finished the story, we decided to decorate some butterfly shapes for a collective display to show we are happy to be in school and that we are going to grow and change just like Cody.

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 Runaway Pea to all Reception aged children.  It’s a fantastically funny book that’s sure to get them hooked on books and kick start a love of reading.  We hope you enjoy sharing your new book at home and please upload pictures and comments to Tapestry.



We Belong Together

As a class we talked about who we belong with (family, friends, and school). We asked the children to think about why we belong with these people (they look after us, play with us, give us a home etc). The children were excited to tell us all about their families. After we had finished our group discussions the children drew themselves on a piece of paper and added this to a leaf to make a class family tree.


Here are some of the children's response;

"I have Joshua, he’s my brother, I have Gradi and Esther, my um and my dad. I go shopping to buy stuff, we go to Tesco and I got a water bottle and I’m going to get new couches. They are black ones.” I asked what he did over the weekend and he said, “When it was night time, I went to sleep.” We discussed our school family and Jordi said, “I play with Peno and Liam and we play outside.”


“My family is my sister, my mum and my dad. My sister can crawl on me. I have dolls, I dress her up in princess clothes.” We discussed our school family and Marya said, “I like Jessica and Olivia and Phineas. I l play outside cos I like outside. I am smart. I write my name and I get a sticker.”


“I have a mummy, Riley is my brother and my nanna and granddad. I like playing with Avengers and Ninja Turtles. Riley plays toy fights with me. I watched my Hulk last night, he smashes.” We discussed our school family and he said, “I like school. I play with the space ship. I play with Jackson.”



National Recycling Week 


So, why should your children play with rubbish?

There are loads of junk modelling benefits, so here are just a few:


Junk modelling encourages their imagination and design skills

Your child has the freedom to make whatever they choose. This requires them to visualise their end product and then transform the items from ‘junk’ to alien, robot, castle, ice-cream etc. If they want to create a completely random sculpture they can do, there is no right or wrong.

It develops problem solving skills

What? How does sticking bits of rubbish together help with problem solving? Honestly, it does. Your child selects items from the pile of ‘junk’ and comes up with a plan of how they’re going to put them together to make their creation. In doing so, they discover which things stick together and frustratingly which things don’t stick together! They often work out their own way of attaching one item to another…by using copious amounts of PVA glue, wrapping wool around the objects, or mastering the art of sellotape!

Builds self confidence

It’s a way of creating an end result that is truly original, personal and unique to them. As they’re not following strict instructions it’s less frustrating, as they’re not going to get it wrong. It can suit a range of ages, with the child determining the complexity of the creation by their ability. Allowing children to create in this way gives them a real sense of achievement and builds their self-confidence.

Develops fine motor skills

Ok, so this is pretty obvious. You have to cut with scissors, do a lot of glueing, holding things together etc. It also develops the parent/carer’s fine motor skills, as they have to find the end of the sellotape! All of this is beneficial in developing the efficiency of fine motor skills to carry out tasks in everyday life. So at a very basic level, the junk modelling will help your child to get dressed more quickly in the morning!

Develops negotiation and communication skills

You may think I’m taking this a little far now, but junk modelling is very popular so your child will have to negotiate with other children to gain that neon blue fabric that they so desperately need. Hopefully they will be able to trade it for the egg carton in an amicable way!

Teaches children about recycling

Junk modelling materials can come from waste in your own house. You could use: cereal boxes, egg boxes, bottle tops, foil trays, product packaging, food nets, pipe off-cuts, fabric remnants, buttons etc. So, junk modelling teaches children that things that they would normally throw away can be turned into something else, with a little bit of imagination.


How we show respect to each other and the adults in Reception:

  • Listen to the teacher / adult.
  • Listen to others.
  • Put your hand up if you want to speak / answer.
  • We keep our hands / feet to ourselves.
  • Respect each other.
  • Take care of our equipment.
  • Smiling at others
  • Holding doors open
  • Letting others go first

Well Being Week 

On Saturday, it was World Mental Health Day so this week in school we focused on the general well-being of everyone. Each day in school, we completed different activities to help with our well-being. 

It is important to explore what well-being means for children and how this can impact on the way that they develop. The Children’s Society recognises well-being in its simplest term as the quality of life, how we perceive ourselves to be coping with situations and how well our lives are going. Given the recent pandemic, it is very important that we constantly monitor our children to ensure that they are coping.

Mindful Colouring

Outdoor Play

Time spent playing outdoors is thought to help relieve stress and anxiety for children by reducing levels of the hormone cortisol in the brain. A recent study in the UK found that even just five minutes of exercise in a natural outdoor environment can rapidly improve self-esteem and mental health and wellbeing in young people.

Our Juice and Biscuit Morning


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.

Celebrating Black History Month

For Black History Month, this week, we have listened to Chuck Berry! The children loved expressing their emotions through movement and dancing.

In October we are celebrating Black History Month. This week our celebrations have included reading "I Love My Hair", where we have explored and celebrated all hair. We then looked at the photographic artist Tawny Chatmon who inspired the children in creating fabulous, abstract "hair collages" over their own photographs. We are continuing to learn about ourselves and our emotions, and this week we listened to Bob Marley's Three Little Birds. Some children independently made the super link that they are from Jamaica, like Bob Marley - what great understanding of the world!  The children have been enjoying listening to different types of music.

 World Space Week 2020  


World Space Week will be held from October 4-10, 2020. It is an annual event that celebrates science and technology and their impact on the development of the human condition. The event begins on the 4th to commemorate the launch of the first human-made satellite (Sputnik 1) on October 4th 1957. It ends on the 10th to honour the signing of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies on 10th October 1967. World Space Week aims to educate people on the benefits they receive from space, gain public support for space programmes and encourage the use of space for sustainable economic development. 


This week in Reception we have enjoyed exploring and investigating Space!

Seasons, Growth and Change

What is National Tree Week?

National Tree Week is the UK’s biggest annual tree celebration.

It was originally called Plant A Tree in ‘73, and started in (you guessed it!) 1973 in response to Dutch Elm Disease - a tree disease that stops them from getting water properly. It’s all about getting lots of communities to do more to help their local environment by planting as many trees as they can. 


How did National Tree Week start?

In 1973, there was a big problem with a disease called Dutch elm disease, which was killing lots of elm trees around the UK. In response, a campaign was started by Sydney Chapman and Peter Walker, two members of parliament who thought something needed to be done. It was originally a year-long campaign called “Plant a Tree in ‘73” which encouraged people in the UK to plant as many trees as they could across the year.

It starts in November because this is when the tree planting season starts, it’s best for them to be planted as it’s starting to get cold. Even though the event only lasts for one week, tree planting season lasts right up until March.


In Reception we have celebrated this by exploring the seasons, growth and change.  We couldn't plant our own tree but we decided it would be nice to plant a blub and give this to our families for Christmas. 


Nativity Ready

Today we met Father Christmas. It was very exciting to meet Father Christmas and to tell him what we want for Christmas. He told us if we were on the naughty or nice list.  We were very lucky and received a gift from him too. As predicted, we are all on the nice list including the teachers. We also got to met the reindeers. It was amazing to see them and how beautiful they were. It was a very special day in school today. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!