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Welcome to Saplings Class!

Welcome to Sapling!

Welcome to our Reception class page! We are the smallest children in the school and are always "busy learning."  Miss Latimer is our teacher and Miss Ansell and Mrs Hart are our Teaching Assistants.  Throughout the year I will add links and information about ways to help your children's learning at home, as well as keeping you up to date with what we have been doing at school :)


Key information:

At school your child needs - a water bottle, sun hat, wellies in a bag, a coat, a book bag and a P.E. kit. Please ensure that all of your children's items are clearly named.


Your child will be taking part in P.E. on a Friday morning. Please can you ensure that their P.E. kit is brought in, and it will be sent home at the end of every half term for washing. If your child has earrings, please ensure that these are removed on P.E. days, as they will not be allowed to take part in P.E. with earrings in.


It is very important to us to promote British Values from an early age. This is how we do so:



  • Speaking and listening activities promote discussions
  • Making decisions together
  • Listening to each other’s opinions
  • Turn taking, sharing and collaboration

Individual Liberty:

  • Freedom for all
  • Developing a positive sense of themselves
  • We listen to every child through pupil voice
  • Through our PSHE curriculum the children’s rights are promoted
  • The children are encouraged to make the right choices about how they learn and how they behave

Mutual Respect and Tolerance:

  • The classroom rules help children to understand how to share and look after each other
  • The children learn about different cultures, faiths and religions. They are encouraged to show respect and tolerance for different people, faiths, cultures and languages
  • The children study art and listen to music which reflects multicultural Britain
  • The children celebrate special days and festivals throughout the year

Rule of Law:

  • The children learn about their rights and responsibilities. They also learn about consequences of behavior and also learn to distinguish between right and wrong.
  • The children have agreed to abide by the rules and understand that these rules apply to everyone

First 45 Key Words

This is a copy of your child's first 45 key words. Please help your child with learning to read these words at home, as many of them are very common words, and many also cannot be read phonetically. Once your child can confidently read their first 45 key words, please let a member of our Reception team know, and we can check this at school (we will let you know when). If you have any queries, please let me know :)

On 6th November I delivered an Early Reading and Phonics Workshop, and on the 13th November I delivered a Mathematics in the EYFS Workshop. I have uploaded the presentations in case you could not attend, or if you would like further information for use at home.

I have also uploaded a cursive letter formation sheet, to help you with your child's writing at home.

Week commencing 15th January

This week Reception have been looking at the story of the Gingerbread Man. We started the week by working as a whole class to bake our own gingerbread men – we talked about the ingredients used, and the ways in which we had to stir, mix, roll and cut! The children have been writing instructions about how they made their gingerbread men, thinking about finger spaces and full stops – well done. We have also been junk modelling our own gingerbread men using kitchen roll tubes, and investigating the difference between normal gingerbread men and burnt gingerbread men, using our senses! In maths we have been spending time looking at subtraction, doubling and counting on, and next week we will continue to look at doubling. We will also be looking at reading sentences next week, focussing on sentence structure. In phonics we will be learning the sounds “ar, or and ur”, and learning to spell the tricky words “no and go”. Have a great weekend, Miss Latimer.

Week commencing 8th January 2018


It’s been a fantastic week in Reception continuing our new topic of Fairytales! The children have been very busy creating a story map of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and we’ve had lots of exciting activities around the classroom based on this theme. We’ve been looking at capacity with oats, cheerios and pasta, we’ve been acting out the story in lots of different ways, and we’ve also carried out a science experiment with gummy bears! The children have had a lot of fun observing the changes that take place when the gummy bears are put in different liquids.


Next week we will be learning the story of the Gingerbread Man. On Monday we will make a small batch of gingerbread men together and talk about following a recipe and instructions. Throughout the week we will then write our own instructions about how to make gingerbread men. Very exciting! The children will also be looking at doubling and subtraction in maths, and Miss Ansell will be focussing on their fine motor skills.


In phonics we will be learning the sounds “igh, oa and ar”, and continuing to practise reading small sentences. If you have a moment over the weekend, please spend a few moments having a look at the sounds ready for next week!

Have a great weekend, Miss Latimer

Thursday 4th and Friday 5th January


Our first two days back at school after the Christmas holidays have been lovely. The children are refreshed and it's been great to hear all about the magical things they have been up to over the past two weeks. This week we have been refreshing our memory with sounds we had previously been learning in phonics, and practising counting on using a number line.

We have started our new Fairytales topic based on the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The children have enjoyed helping to make three different sized bears for our display, and thinking about the key parts of the story to build into a story map. Well done!

The children have also loved role-playing in our new car wash outside! They have enjoyed washing all of the vehicles and paying for their services.

Next week we will continue to use our story map of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to act out the story and join in with repeated refrains. Miss Ansell and I will also be looking at their ability to re-tell a story, and talking a lot about capacity.

In phonics we will be re-learning the sounds "ng, ee, and ai" and learning two new tricky words, "was" and "my".

Today I will be sending home a phonics pack. It will incude all of the sounds we have learnt so far (Phase 2) and sounds from Phase 3, some of which we have learnt, and some which we have not. It would be great if you could use these at home to ensure your child is recognising the different sounds, and see if they can build words with them.
I will also be sending home flash cards including all of the Phase 2 and Phase 3 tricky words, and the high frequency words your children will be learning at school this year. These will help your children become more familiar with these words.
The pack will also include a copy of your child's first 45 key words. When your child can confidently read these words, please let me know and I can check, and they can get a sticker for their diamond at school.

Thanks and have a great weekend, Miss Latimer

Week commencing 18th December 


We had a lovely final two days at school this week before breaking up for Christmas. The children loved our Christmas party on Monday with Year 1 and Year 2, and enjoyed taking part in some fun party games! They also enjoyed a visit from a special visitor on Tuesday, and I hope they all liked their present.


Thank you for your lovely Christmas cards and gifts, and I wish you all a lovely Christmas and happy New Year. Have a good rest, ready to start the new term. Miss Latimer :)

Week commencing 4th December


What an exciting week we have had in Reception. We have been very busy learning all about Christmas and why it is celebrated, how we celebrate it, and how it is celebrated in different countries. There's been a lot of magic and sparkle in the classroom as we wished the lights on last Friday, and the children have loved taking parts in lots of Christmas related activities, including decorating their own baubles, and writing Christmas dinner invitations! We have also had lots of fun in our new Santa's Grotto, where we have been busy wrapping presents for Father Christmas.

This week we have been writing letters to Father Christmas about what we would like. I have been blown away by the children's beautiful writing, and we've even started using full stops! Well done. We have also been playing games to practise segmenting and blending CVC words, and reading them in small sentences.

This week in phonics we have learnt the sounds "sh, ch and th". Next week we will be learning "ng, ai and ee" see if your child can spot any words with these sounds! Such as "sing, rain, and feet". 

The children have also continued to practise for their Nativity. Please remember their performance will be on Monday 11th December at 2pm, and Tuesday 12th December at 10am.

If your child would like to bring in a Christmas story book from home, please feel free to let them bring one in, and we will read it at school. Thank you, Miss Latimer.

Week commencing 20th November

Wow, another fantastic week in Reception! We have continued our Food topic, with a focus on healthy eating and healthy living. We have been learning a lot about how eating well, getting plenty of sleep, and lots of exercise makes us nice and healthy. We have also been talking a lot about sugar, and how sugary treats should not be eaten too often! To help the children understand how much sugar is in our food, we measured the different teaspoons of sugar in various popular cereals, and were able to tell me which ones had more and which had less, and in turn which cereals would be better for us! We decided to make some porridge today with yummy toppings, and I was so pleased with the number of children who were excited to taste porridge or honey for the very first time, and really enjoyed it! Well done everyone. We have also been sorting foods into healthy and unhealthy, and conducting an experiment to see what happens when we add water to sugar. In maths, we have been looking at repeating patterns and time. In phonics we have learnt the sounds w, x, y, and z. Next week we will be learning the sounds “qu” and “sh”, as well as the tricky words “he” and “she”. Please practise reading these words at home. We are also learning to spell the words “the” and “to”.
Next week I will be carrying out assessments on your child’s reading. If you have any queries, please do let me know. Please make sure you are reading with your child for at least 5-10 minutes every day, as this will make such a big difference.
Thank you, Miss Latimer

Week commencing 13th November

This week Reception have been very busy learning about their new Food topic! We started with the story Handa's Surprise. We talked about the interesting fruits in the story and the lovely describing words used. We decided to write shopping lists of different fruit that we would like to eat, as I told the children that we would be making a fruit salad on Thursday. I was so impressed with their beautiful writing! Well done. Today we made our fruit salad, and I was so pleased that a lot of children tasted fruit they never had before, and told me they liked it! We talked about how good fruit is for us, and came up with our own lovely describing words for the fruit, including "juicy, squishy, delicious, tasty and sweet". 
In phonics we finished off Phase 2 and started Phase 3. Next week we will be learning the new sounds "w, x, y and z". We will continue to practise our tricky words "the, to, I, go, no and into", please practise these at home, as well as your child's first 45 key words.
In maths we have been doing our own fruit surveys to find out which fruit our friends like, and which is most and least popular! We have also been very busy estimating and counting to check.
Tomorrow (Friday 17th) your child is allowed to wear a spotty accessory to school along with their school uniform. Please donate £1 for a great cause! They can also bring in any copper change to place on our giant Pudsey Bear.
Tomorrow is also slipper Friday, so please feel free to let your child bring their slippers into school along with their school shoes and a very small donation (10/20p). The money raised so far helped pay for our delicious fruit salads today, so thank you very much!
Thank you, Miss Latimer

Week commencing 6th November

It was another lovely week in Reception. We have continued thinking about bonfire night, writing lots of “firework words”, such as “bang, whoosh, crackle”, and the children enjoyed talking about their experiences of Bonfire Night. They have also learnt about Remembrance Day, and have used their fingers to paint beautiful poppy pictures for our lovely canopy outside of the school. Well done!
Miss Ansell and I have been focussing on the children’s ability to recognise coins and pay for items. Lots of children have been able to add coins together to create a new amount – very tricky stuff! We also focussed on children’s abilities to follow complex instructions, and comment on stories. They have done a great job.
Next week we are introducing a new topic of Food. We will be focussing on children’s writing, as well as their estimating skills in maths!
Thank you to everyone who attended the Early Phonics and reading Workshop on Monday. If you were unable to attend, I have uploaded the PowerPoint on my Class Page on the Middlefield Primary Academy website. I have also uploaded a cursive letter formation sheet that you can use at home. In phonics next week we will be finishing off Phase 2 of our sounds with the “ss” sound and beginning Phase 3 with the sounds “j, and v”. We are also learning the tricky words “no” and “into”. The tricky words we have learnt so far are “I, no, to” and “the”. Please practise reading these words at home. To help out with practising the Phase 2 sounds that we have learnt, you can access free resources and flash cards from 

Please let me know if there is anything else you feel would be helpful. Thanks! Miss Latimer.

Week commencing 30th October 

Reception have had a lovely first week back after the half term. There has been a lot of excitement in air as we have been very busy getting ready for Halloween and Bonfire Night! We spent the first half of the week talking about our week off, as well as our plans for Halloween - it's been great hearing about all of the lovely things they have been up to. We have been de-seeding our pumpkins ready to carve, which has been a lot of fun! In the classroom, we have been using magnets to count spiders, threading spider webs, and writing about Halloween. Over the second half of the week we have been focussing on Bonfire Night and why it is celebrated. We have used lots of different materials to make firework pictures- sequins, match sticks, and paint! We have also been using laptops to create our own firework pictures which look great. In phonics, we have continued to learn new sounds for reading, and have also been learning the words "the, I, to" and "go". We really enjoyed playing a game of "splat!" on my whiteboard, using a fly swatter to swat the tricky words! You can do this as home. In maths we have been looking at one more and one less by pretending to be passengers on a bus - the children extended this and decided to write their own bus tickets! Great work.


next week on Monday is the parent workshop on Early Reading and Phonics. The first session is in the hall at 10am, and this will be repeated again at 4pm in the Reception classroom. If you have any particular questions or queries, feel free to comment on this post and I will include it in my presentation. Or, if you prefer, please feel free to ask on the day :)


side note - if you have any kitchen roll tubes, please donate them to our classroom on Monday to help with an activity! Thank you.


Have a great weekend, Miss Latimer

Week commencing 16th October 


Well done Reception children, you have completed your first half term at school. I'm sure they are all very tired, as they've been working so hard these past few weeks. This week we have been reading the story "Funnybones" in preparation for Halloween. We have been making our own skeletons using cotton buds, which are now proudly displayed in the classroom! We have also been turning ourselves into skeletons, and talking about the different bones in our bodies and where they are. The children have also found it very interesting learning about day and night, and how the sun is on our side of the world in the day time, and the other side of the world at night time. 
The children have been practising reading small CVC words this week using a game of Buried Treasure. We have been practising segmenting and blending the sounds we can see, such as "c-a-p" for cap. They did a great job.
We have also been learning about capacity, size, and one more and one less in their maths lessons. It's been a busy week!

Over the half term, it would be fantastic to keep practising zipping and unzipping coats, as the colder weather is coming and children will need to do this very often throughout the day :)

Have a lovely, restful half term, and stay safe. Well done Saplings! Miss Latimer :)

Week commencing 9th October

What an exciting week we have had in Reception! On Monday morning, the children found out that something had left their footprints in the classroom and the playground over the weekend... who did they think did it? A dinosaur of course! We decided to write a list of everything we should take on a dinosaur hunt, such as "climbing shoes" in case we need to climb, "snacks" to feed it, and a "torch" to help us see if it is dark! Well done everyone. Today we went on our long awaited dinosaur hunt, where we stumbled across a real life dinosaur egg, along with a letter from our dinosaur. The children loved exploring the outdoor area and singing along to, "We're going on a dinosaur hunt"! At snack time, the egg cracked and out popped a... triceratops! We named it "Daisy with Sharpy Claws the Triceratops"...very creative! The children really enjoyed writing letters back to the dinosaur, and going on their very own dinosaur hunt in the outdoor area. This week we have also been working out how to add two groups of items together to find a total, and practising our counting skills. On windy Wednesday, the children did a fabulous job making kites, it was so much fun!


Next week we will be focussing on the story "Funny Bones" in preparation for Halloween. Miss Ansell and I will be focussing on their ability to segment and blend CVC words, and we will be looking at using different materials to make skeleton pictures.


Just a reminder that next week on Tuesday and Wednesday are the parent consultations. I look forward to seeing you all, and if you have any questions about anything, please feel free to ask me when I see you.

Have a great weekend, Miss Latimer

Week commencing 2nd October

What a busy week we have had! This week Reception have started learning the story "We're Going on a Bear Hunt". We have been putting a story map together to help us sequence the story, and putting actions with each part! We have also had a lot of fun re-enacting it in the classroom and outdoors. In phonics, we have been really getting the hang of writing on whiteboards to practise our letter formation. Please continue to practise at home, in pre-cursive lettering, as this can be very tricky!


In maths we have been learning about 2D and 3D shapes - the children loved seeing what happens when we put a 2D shape into the "magic 3D bag"! We have also really enjoyed practising counting accurately using a track game. This is a very simple game you can play at home with your child and they can help you make it! Write numbers to 10 or 20 in boxes, roll the dice, see who gets to the end the quickest! This can also be played outside using chalk on the ground.

We have also been junk modelling bear caves, writing about the story, travelling through our "obstacle course" outside. It's been a lot of fun.


Next week we will be changing the Bear Hunt story, and putting new actions and settings together. Miss Ansell and I will be focussing on children's writing to write lists, as well checking their 1:1 correspondence when counting, and their ability to segment and blend CVC words.

Have a fantastic weekend, Miss Latimer

Week commencing 25th September

It's been another really lovely week in Reception, and the children are really settling in. This week we have been talking about the changes that are taking place now that we are moving from Summer into Autumn. On Tuesday we all enjoyed a walk to the wooded area outside, picking up different coloured leaves! We have also been learning about weighing, measuring length, and repeating patterns! Yesterday the children took part in their first P.E. lessons - they did a fantastic j...ob and worked really hard to dress and undress independently.
Today we have been busy making our own peg people using dolly pegs and lots of different materials. I was really pleased with how well the children were able to use sellotape to attach their materials!
We hope you have enjoyed reading with your child at home. Although there are no words, it is really important for children to talk about the story and develop their abilities in speaking, talking about the characters and setting.
Next week we will be starting our new topic based around the story, "We're Going on a Bear Hunt". Miss Ansell and I will be focussing on the children's abilities to recall and re-tell the story to create a story map. We will also be looking focussing on children's imaginative role-play, as well as their physical development.
If you have the Bear Hunt story at home, feel free to read it again over the weekend to familiarise your child with it! Another fantastic resource we will be using is Michael Rosen's video version, which really helps the children recall the story, and uses lots of actions! Here is the link via youtube

Have a great weekend, Miss Latimer

Week commencing 18th September

Wow, what a fantastic week we have had! Reception have been very busy this week taking parts in lots of different activities including cutting and labelling bodies, ordering and counting, drawing our families, mark making with feathers, and playing ball games outside! They have worked so hard, well done.

Next week on Thursday will be your child's first P.E. lesson. If they do not have it in school already, please ensure that their P.E. kit is brought in on Monday. They will need black shorts and a white t-shirt.

Next week we will also be giving out home reading books. They will have story books without words, to encourage book talk and talking about the characters. We encourage reading with your child every night, and we ask if you could leave a little note in their reading record when you have read with them, just so that we know. Please ensure that your child has their reading book and record at school every day, as we will also be reading with them at school during the week.


Next week Miss Ansell and I will be focussing on children's turn-taking skills, and building their confidence in initiating play with others. We will also be learning about weight, and comparing various items against one another in terms of how much they weigh. A fun idea for home - tying two plastic containers/bowls to a coat hanger, and dangling it from a fence in the garden or on a door, and testing lots of household items to see which ones are heavier!

Thank you for all of your beautiful baby pictures that you have sent in, they look wonderful on our display, and the children have really enjoyed talking about them and guessing who is who!

Have a lovely, restful weekend, Miss Latimer

Photos from w/c 11th September

Week commencing 11th September

It's been a wonderful first week for our Reception children! We have been very busy getting to know our routines, and learning each other's names. The children have made lots of new friends, and I have been so pleased with how confident, funny and happy all of the children are! Well done.

Today I wanted to see how many children could write their name. They all did a fantastic job and worked really hard! It would be great if you could carry on practising name writing at home with them too. Next week on Friday I will be sending home letter formation sheets, as at our school, children learn cursive letters from Reception. These should help you and them practise writing cursive letters.

Next week Miss Ansell and I will be seeing if children can recognise and order their numbers to 10 or to 20. We will also be seeing how well children can hear sounds in words, and recognise some letters for writing.

Have a lovely, restful weekend, ready for your children to be full-time next week! Just to remind you that they will start at 8.45 and finish at 3.10. See you then!