Reception 2020 - 2021

Mrs Jepson

Mrs Jepson

EYFS & Key Stage One Coordinator

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Early Years Foundation Stage.

A huge warm welcome to Gawsworth Primary School.  One of the highlights for myself and my team here in the Early Years Department, is getting to know the children over a series of transition visits into school, seeing the children in their nursery environment and teddy bear’s picnic over the summer term.  Unfortunately, under the current circumstances with covid-19 and the extra precautions that schools have been advised to take, these have not been able to take place this year.  As well as hosting virtual transition meetings for you as parents, I have been contacting the nurseries and preschools that the children have attended – there have been eleven in total this year.  It has been lovely touching base with keyworkers and they have been able to provide lots of valuable information on a detailed transition document.

With many children’s pre-school and nursery experiences being cut short, we really do appreciate that some parents may have concerns about their child starting school.  Please do be assured that we will take the autumn term step by step, spending lots of time settling in and getting to know each other.  A child’s happiness and welfare is of the highest importance and myself and my team are looking forward to working in partnership with you to ensure that starting BIG school is a positive experience for everyone.

As a senior leadership team, we have decided to phase the children’s transition into school in a way which will compensate for the lack of visits to nursery settings and visits into school this term.  All of this information along with links to the virtual lessons were sent out prior to the summer to all parents.  Here is a reminder...

Wednesday 2nd September – Year groups 1-6 will commence school, following the staggered start outlined in the mitigation risk assessment which has been shared with you . Reception children will take part in a virtual half an hour session with myself and Mrs Poole along with their transition group peers. Over the course of the day, four virtual sessions have been planned in allowing the children to see one another on the screen. You will receive an invitation in due course.

Group 1 – Wednesday 10:00-10:30

Group 2 – Wednesday 11:00-11:30

Group 3 – Wednesday 12:30-13:00

Group 4 – Wednesday 13:30-14:00 

*Your child will need a small pot of playdough available to them during the session. *

Thursday 3rd September/ Friday 4th September - The children have been split into four groups. The groups will attend one half day session over the two days. Whilst parents will not be permitted entry into the building due to the current restrictions, gazebos will be in place in our EYFS grass area to enable one parent to settle your child before leaving if required.  On arrival you will be greeted at the little top gate.

 Group 1 – Thursday 0930-1130

 Group 2 – Thursday 1320-1520

 Group 3 – Friday 0930-1130

 Group 4 – Friday 1320-1520


W/b Monday 7th September -

Groups 1 and 2 attending each morning 0930-1130.

Groups 3 and 4 attending each afternoon 1320-1520


Friday 11th September Whole class will have lunch together. Groups 1 and 2 to be collected at 1300. Groups 3 and 4 to arrive at 1200. A free school hot lunch goody bag will be provided or alternatively, children can bring a packed lunch should you wish.  We will confirm who would like school lunches in September.

From Monday 14th September, all Reception children will be in our EYFS bubble arriving at school at 9:10am and going home at 3:20pm as stated in the Covid-19 mitigation plan that has been shared with families.  We will notify you if this alters in the future.

We are looking forward to getting to know each and every child & helping them to settle into BIG SCHOOL life and to embrace the exciting opportunities that are readily available each and everyday.  We embrace positive behaviour management techniques through;

  • Self registration - signing in each morning on our 'Welcome Wall'.
  • Weekly monitor jobs ranging from line leaders, bag monitors to snack buddies. 

  • Rainbow Challenges - children can develop a love for learning and embark upon exciting self initiated learning challenges - collecting rainbow award sticks which feed into a rainbow award ceremony each Friday.  

  • Helping their very own little alien characters to collect 'Magic points' for jobs well done, using manners, showing persistence, as well as being a good friend to others.

This term, the children will be taking part each morning in a series of 'Warm-up' challenges which enable them to warm up their brains during registration and lunch choice, these include dough disco and phonic aerobics!!!!

We have lots of exciting things planned over the course of this half term linked to our topic 'Magical Me!'  As part of transition, we will be embarking upon a whole school project, focusing on a book called 'Here We Are' by Oliver Jeffers.

See related image detail     Oliver wrote this book especially for his son, Harland, when he was born to try and help him make sense of the world he has become part of.  We are looking forward to showcasing some creative art work and drama, as well as musical opportunities and a chance to explore the world around us, to name just a few!!!!!


It is very important to help the children develop a love of books and an interest in reading both at home and in school. We share lots of stories and rhymes in class, as well as non fiction books. We have a quiet reading time throughout the week, as well as a ‘Cosy Reading Area’ within the classroom & a ‘Once upon a time story tree’ in the outside area.

Children will be introduced to their first reading books within the first three weeks.  In some cases these books may have no words. Please help your child to make up their own story to go with the pictures. Talk with them about the characters and help them to predict what will happen next. Alongside the reading books is a reading diary.  The diary gives us an insight into how your child is reading at home.  Please sign the diary and add any comments of your own when you read with your child. We do value these comments and it reassures us that the children are reading at home. From time to time we may also send home letter sounds or words to practice. Reading books will be changed once a week.  We will notify you of your child’s book change day in due course. (** Books will only be changed if they have been signed to say they have been read at home!)  Please do not see reading as a race.  Each child is an individual & will progress through the scheme at their own pace.  When you child progresses onto books with words, it is crucial that they are supported in sounding out the words a sound at a time e.g. c-a-t – cat,  rather than simply repeating aloud a simple sentence that you have read aloud.


Reading is the main home:learning challenge and we recommend spending a little time – about 10 minutes each night reading one of the books issued at school.  As the term progresses your child will come home with a practical phonics & maths investigation pack.  It contains items such as; whitebaord, whiteboard pen & duster, phonic flashcards, sound mats & maths mats, 100 square.  Encourage your child to play schools at home & use the pack – building words with the phonic flashcards etc.


We have 2 designated PE sessions each week.  During the first half term of the Autumn Term, this will take place on a Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon.  In an effort to minimise risk, as a school we have decided that children must arrive in school wearing their PE kits on their PE days.  This should consist of a green Gawsworth PE t-shirt, warm hoodie/jogging top, as well as jogging bottoms/black shorts.  Please note that children should also wear trainers rather than the usual indoor black pumps, as they will be accessing both indoor & outdoor learning throughout the day and need good grip in the outdoor area & playground.  If and when children are required to bring separate PE kits into school, we will notify you accordingly.  I cannot stress the importance of labeling all items of uniform.  


The children are provided with a piece of fruit or vegetable for a mid morning snack. We encourage the children to have their own (named) water bottle in school which should be taken home each night and returned the next day with fresh water (not juice, please).


The children will have their lunch at the first sitting at 12.00.  Until further notice, as part of our mitigation plan and risk assessment in light of the Covid-19 situation, lunches will be consumed within the classroom.  After lunch the children go outside for a playtime – this is fully supervised by our team of midday assistants.


Our special Reception friend William Bear loves getting to know the children and finding out about what we get up to with our families at the weekend.  Unfortunately, William Bear is unable to go home with the children this year, instead we have some very exciting news!!!!!!  William Bear will be sending one of his teddy bear cousins to be adopted by each of our lovely new children and their family.  At the end of each week, William will choose a child to ‘Adopt a Bear’.  Back at school, we would love to know what you decide to name your new fluffy friend, as well as some of the lovely adventures that you get up to.  We ask that you upload photos/video message onto your child’s online learning journey.  The following week, we can share his adventures with the rest of the class.  Perhaps, your child could have a go at mark making and writing or drawing a picture, giving meaning to the marks that they have written and uploading that.


Our primary aim during the first few weeks is to settle the children into the beginning of their BIG school adventure.  We have lots of lovely settling in activities planned, to enable us as a staff to get to know each and every child as an individual, but also for the children themselves to get to know eachother.  In light of the current climate with Covid-19 & the staggard start and finish times for each year group, we are unable at this moment in time to have parents in the classrooms.  Please support us by making the morning ‘Goodbye’ as calm as possible & encouraging your child to come skipping in, full of enthusiasm for the exciting day ahead.

Much of the learning in Early Years Foundation Stage is done through carefully planned play and teacher directed challenges and activities.  Such activities follow the 7 areas of learning which make up the Foundation stage curriculum.  Since our virtual new starter parents meeting in the summer term, we are delighted to announce that we have taken the exciting decision, to be one of a number of schools nationally leading the way in Early Years Practice, by becoming ‘Early Adopters’  of the new Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which will be statutory from September 2021.  The curriculum is broken down as follows;

Prime Areas:

Personal, Social & Emotional Development


Managing Self

Building Relationships

Communication & Language

Listening, Attention & Understanding


Physical Development

Gross Motor Skills

Fine motor Skills

Specific Areas:



Word Reading




Numerical Patterns

Understanding the World

Past & Present

People, Culture & Communities

The Natural World

Expressive Arts & Design

Creating with Materials

Being Imaginative & Expressive

Attached as downloadable documents to this class page are;

  • A summary of the new Development Matters framework.  This is used to identify possible areas in which to challenge and extend children's current learning and development during their time in the Early Years Foundation Stage, (Nursery through to the end of Reception)
  • An overview of the new Early Learning Goals under the new EYFS Framework.  As an Early Adopter school, your child will be assessed against these specifically at the end of this academic year 2020-2021.

As a class, we have a half termly theme which provides the stimulus for many of these activities; for the first half term the theme is ‘Magical Me!!!’  For the last few years we have been involved in leading the way with Literacy consultants in implementing daily phonics sessions as well as ‘Talk for Writing’ sessions and sharing our good practice with other schools as part of the Primary Writing Project.  Such sessions are designed to help children to learn to read and write more effectively.  This has proved very successful and will continue to be an important part of the day. 

Your child’s safety & happiness is our top priority.  To support this, please could you ensure that you notify school as soon as possible if your child will be collected by another person. 

At the new parent induction evening, I touched upon the success of our online learning journeys.  Later on in the Autumn term, you will be invited to a virtual session where I will run through the online learning journeys & show how you can engage with us at home via the web.  

If you have any concerns or questions we are always willing to try and help. The best time to speak to me is before school or ideally at the end of the school day, but do not hesitate to raise any issue that concern your child’s progress or happiness at school.  My school email is:  I will do my best to get back to you asap.

Thank you for your support & cooperation, together we can make a positive impact on your child’s development and learning.

Mrs H Jepson

Early Years Foundation Stage/Key Stage One Leader.




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