Welcome to Reception Class S


Welcome to Reception Class S at Allerton CE Primary School in Leeds. Here, under the careful guidance of Mrs Shipley, we will blog to the Big Wide World.

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Happy Blogging!

No Pens Wednesday

No Pens Wednesday is dedicated to speaking and understanding language. Speaking and understanding skills are fundamental for everything we do – learning, reading and writing, managing emotions and developing friendships.

Miss Noble read ‘The Colour Monster’ to the children. Here is a link to a reading of the story if you want to watch it at home.

The children tried to display various emotions on their faces. We had a jar for each colour and the children decided how they were feeling in the moment. They then went to find classroom objects in the same colour and started to fill the jars. They discussed which emotions were being experienced by the most children and reflected on why no one was feeling fear. Then the children collaborated to created wonderful Colour Monster collages.

What’s a gruffalo? by RS

We used pictures to prompt our recital of a gruffalo poem. Please ask the children to recite it for you at home and show you their actions.

Fact or fiction?

Some of the children recalled that ‘The Gruffalo’ is a fiction book; Julia Donaldson used her wonderful imagination when she wrote the story. We then came up with our own statements and the class decided if they were fact or fiction. Please do try this at home!

We chose one of our favourite Story Time books – ‘What!’ – and realised that, when we start the story part way through, it is muddled and does not make sense. By contrast, our new information book about ‘Owls’ does not have to be read from start to finish. The contents page helps us to read the book in any order. The beautiful photography inspired us to make our own owls with moving wings (now that we have learned how to use split pins). The children worked in small groups and drew on each other’s strengths to produce this wonderful parliament of owls.

We can’t wait to have a go at creating our own information books about owls!

Making kind choices

Our focus in anti-bullying week has been kindness. We wore odd socks to symbolise that we are all different and we should all be ourselves, accepting one another and celebrating those differences. We loved how Annabel gave her unicorn odd socks.

During the week, we have recorded acts of kindness on our tree. It has been wonderful to see the children holding doors, drawing pictures for each other, ensuring their classmates always had a friend to play with, sharing, helping each other with zips and learning. Thank you RS! I wonder how much our tree will grow.

Children in Need

We started the day by talking about why we were wearing our own clothes – to help children less fortunate than ourselves, who may be hungry, poorly or sad. We sorted and counted the money that we had raised and thought about what it could be used to buy. Thank you for your donations. Then Joe Wicks led our PE session.

Number cards

Learning to use a hole punch, secure ribbon with tape, thread ribbon through holes, find groups of 1, 2 or 3 objects and then attach them were among the the many skills we developed during our challenge. The children were so proud of their completed pictures.

Happy Diwali!

Our focus this week has been learning about Diwali – the Hindu festival of light. Mrs Ajith very kindly talked to us about how her family celebrate at home. The children then explored our Diwali area, dressing up and using role play to enjoy their own celebrations.

The children listened to, watched and then acted out the story of Rama and Sita. Warrior Prince Rama went to the rescue of Princess Sita after she was captured by the evil King Ravana. As you can see from the pictures, it didn’t end well for Ravana, who was hit by Rama’s arrow. Super drama!

The children will take home the beautiful diva lamps they made from clay as soon as they are dry. I hope they burn brightly at home and bring you good fortune.

We also learnt a Diwali dance. Here is the link if the children want the whole family to have a go!


We have been thinking about the characters in the story and the sequence in which they appear. The children should be very proud of their illustrated and labelled zig-zag books.

Remembrance Day

We introduced Remembrance Day by watching this moving animation from CBeebies. The children then made poppies to wear.

Wishing you a happy weekend.

Mrs Shipley

“A gruffalo? What’s a gruffalo?”

On Wednesday morning, we received a letter from The Gruffalo, inviting us to join him and his friends in the deep dark wood. So, we boarded a bus and spent a wonderful day outdoors at Skelton Grange Environmental Centre.

We all listened to and watched the story of The Gruffalo.

Then we split into groups and listened out for owl, went on a word hunt and matched the words to objects, found snacks for Mouse’s belly, searched for minibeasts and sequenced the story.

After our delicious packed lunch (thank you to our Lunchtime Team), we returned to the deep dark wood and enjoyed the rope swing, mud kitchen and ball run.

Thank you to: GSAL Transport for our safe journeys; to the staff at Skelton Grange for leading our learning during the day and to all of the parent volunteers – without whom we would not have been able to enjoy a day out. Above all, thank you to the children, who were a credit to themselves in how they behaved throughout the day.

Have a super weekend.

Mrs Shipley


Thank you very much to everyone, who was able to join us for the inaugural ‘All about me’ box exhibition on Tuesday. It was delightful to see how proud the children were to host their parents in school. And, I was very proud of them for their confidence and enthusiasm in talking to other parents about their boxes. We were also very grateful to the buddies for giving up their time and for offering their support once again.

Height chart, height chart on the wall, who’s the tallest of us all?

In maths this week, we have been comparing size. One way we have done this is by considering whether our friends are taller or shorter. We dispelled misconceptions about older children always being taller than younger children and also, that boys are always taller than girls! I wonder if the children can make a chart to compare the heights of everyone in their family?

It’s only 64 days until Christmas….

…..so the children have been making cards that will be available to purchase in a few weeks time. They look fantastic! Please support if you can and help raise funds for Friends of Allerton.

Talk for Writing – Innovation

After the children’s brilliant imitation of ‘Little Rabbit Foo Foo’ last week, this week we innovated and changed parts of the story to create our own version of the story. Little Rabbit Foo Foo hopped through the farmyard, scooping up the smelly sheep, stinky pigs, horned bulls and barking dogs and bopping them on the heads. The Bad Farmer came along and gave Little Rabbit Foo Foo three chances until the point came where he turned him into a bogey!

I wonder if any of the children can innovate and come up with another version at home? I would love to hear about them.

Well, the half-term break has finally arrived and I want to thank you, once again, for sharing your wonderful children with us. It has been a pleasure getting to know them over the last seven weeks. Enjoy the break!

Mrs Shipley

Repeating Patterns

We have been exploring repeating patterns all of this week. We started by noticing and verbalising patterns. Then we challenged the children to explain how we could extend a pattern. They had fun creating their own repeating patterns indoors and out, using a variety if materials. Some were impressively complex. We encouraged the children to spot and correct errors that we or they had made in patterns. Sometimes, it took a few attempts to repair the error, which led to even deeper levels of satisfaction!

Here is a repeating pattern song which the children enjoyed adding verses to. I wonder if they can add different actions at home to show you?

Little Rabbit Foo Foo by Michael Rosen

We have been thinking about the characters in the story and the order in which they appear this week. Can your child tell you who they are? In particular, we have focussed on the ‘wild, wicked, bad-boy’ Little Rabbit Foo Foo. Here we are – imitating the story.

Have a fun weekend. Just one more week until the half term holiday.

Mrs Shipley

‘The Terrible Tickle’

In celebration of National Poetry Day,  we adapted and shared a poem by Julia Donaldson. We hope you enjoy watching it at home. Here is a link to some Poetry Time films from Ruth Miskin, which are just lovely and very appropriate for Reception children.

Signs of Autumn

We have brought some of the early signs of Autumn into the classroom. The children have enjoyed counting conkers and examining their spiky shells. We have noticed the details on twigs, leaves and conkers through our magnifying glasses. Crayons have been used to make some lovely leaf rubbings. And, some of Mrs Willis’s homegrown crop of pumpkins have made their way into RS. How did that happen…..?

Was it that cheeky Little Rabbit Foo Foo?

After sharing the story, we think that scooping up pumpkins is just the sort of mischief Little Rabbit Foo Foo might get up to! Earlier in the week, it seemed that Little Rabbit Foo Foo had taken our Story Time Bag into the library and hidden it in the Rabbit Hole. Luckily, Jaimey and Alex managed to find it and we were excited to discover some clues in the bag, which helped us to think about and discuss the character of Little Rabbit Foo Foo. We are looking forward to extending our learning with this wonderful story next week.

Have a fun weekend. If you have the opportunity, please explore the Autumnal changes wherever you find yourself.

Mrs Shipley


This week, we shared two books, which helped us to explore the concept of generosity – the ‘Smartest Giant in Town’ by Julia Donaldson and ‘It’s Great to be Kind’. Both stories had messages about the positive impact we have on others when we are kind. Whilst the children recalled being very happy beneficiaries of generosity on their birthdays, they also talked about how they can be generous to others. Sam made his best friend’s day when he gave him one of his stickers so ‘He could have two too’. What a lovely, generous gesture, Sam! we are recording our acts of kindness on our ‘generosity board’.

Sorting and matching

In maths, we have been matching and sorting buttons, lids, wellies and people! The children have taken care to notice similarities and differences. And, of course, every time we tidy up the classroom, we practise our sorting and matching skills. Next time you do the laundry, please encourage your child to sort and match the socks for the whole family!

Our class tree

We visited our class tree this week – a Ribston Pippin. The children observed that there was only one apple left on the tree after an early harvest but we did enjoy cutting the apple up, looking at it and feeling the skin and flesh. We will visit the tree throughout the year to track its seasonal changes.

I look forward to hearing about the kind deeds the children do over the weekend!

Mrs Shipley

A week of ‘firsts’

Our first trip to the amazing new ACE library

Just like Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy in ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’, we stepped through a wardrobe into a wonderful new landscape. In our case, we discovered the fabulous new library, filled with enticing books, exciting places in which to read and, of course, Aslan – the lion. Some of the children shared that they already visit the local library out of school. Here are the opening hours for Moor Allerton Library if you don’t already know them as they, too, have a super range of books.

Our first phonics lessons

We have had our first week of phonics lessons. The children enjoyed meeting Fred – our beanie frog – who only uses F-r-e-d talk! We have been practising m a s d t and have started blending those sounds into words. If you haven’t already seen the parent video, which covers how we teach phonics, please take a look here.

Our first ‘Story Time’ box books

In our classroom, we have a ‘Story Time’ box, which we fill over the course of the year. It contains picture books, specifically chosen to engage the children. We try to make the introduction of each new story book exciting by revealing it only after we have talked about a few relevant objects. As the collection of books grows, children take turns to select which of their favourite stories they would like to hear. Before long, they know the books very well and it is a joy to hear them all joining in with increasing confidence. This week, we shared our first Story time book – ‘The Little Princess – I want my Tooth’ by Tony Ross. ‘Tyrannosaurus Drip’ by Julia Donaldson was the second entry into our box.

Our first celebration of a ‘Musician of the Month’

Each month, we celebrate the work of a different musician. This week, we enjoyed two very different performances by Aretha Franklin: ‘Respect’ to which the children jumped up and danced and the slower, more emotional ‘(You make me feel like a) Natural Woman’. We talked about how songs can affect our mood. One of the children explained how ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams ‘makes me happy’ so we all danced to that!

Have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Shipley

Getting to know you…

We almost have our full class in RS now and this week has been about getting to know each other.

Thank you again for helping the children to make their ‘All about me’ boxes, which the children have loved sharing with the whole class, in small groups and, even, with their new friends in the other Reception classes.

The children have been spending time with their buddies at lunchtime as well as in the classroom and we are very grateful for their enthusiastic support.

We have had some super efforts with our self-portraits – well done, RS!

We joined with RWC and RW to sing in the sunshine this afternoon. We enjoyed some familiar songs and learnt some new verses from Mrs Connelly (thank you!). Perhaps the children can sing the songs for you at home.

It’s a big deal starting Reception, learning many new routines and meeting so many new faces but you have all done brilliantly. You should be very proud of yourselves. Have a good rest this weekend.

Mrs Shipley