End of Reception

An Early Harvest

Back in April (blog post 23rd), we planted our potatoes. Over the last three months, the children have cared for the plants by taking it in turns to water them. We noticed last Friday a little potato peeping through the soil. So on Tuesday, even though the plants have not yet flowered, we decided to harvest the potatoes. What a haul we had!

After spending some time being intrigued by the worms and slugs in the soil, we then counted the potatoes, noticed their colours and shapes and grouped them into sizes.  After a thorough washing of hands, we cleaned and boiled them so the children could enjoy the fruits of their labour. Interestingly, many said and wrote that they tasted like popcorn!

Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak to our families, who celebrated Eid ul-Adha this week: the festival where Muslims remember the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son for Allah.

The children were excited to share their experiences and we learnt how they prayed at the mosque before sharing time, food and gifts with their friends and families. Parents also explained the importance of giving to charity as part of the festival.

Thank you to Riaab for showing us a photo of his smart clothes.

Happy birthday

We sang Happy Birthday to Emaan, Ysabella and Matthew, who will celebrate being 5 during the holidays. They are all hoping for chocolate birthday cakes. Have lots of fun!

Thank you

Finally, a big thank you from me to all of the children. You have been such a wonderful class and have coped so well with all that this year has thrown at you. I have been blessed to learn alongside you and will miss you very much. Luckily, it’s only a few steps for me to look in on you next year with Mr Cosgrove. Thank you too to parents for all of your support in what I know has been the most challenging of years for many families and thank you for your kind messages over the last few days – they are very much appreciated.

Have a brilliant summer.

Mrs Shipley

RS visit to Harlow Carr

Thank you, RS, for making me very proud today. You all behaved so well and were super ambassadors for Allerton CE Primary. We enjoyed exploring the beautiful gardens and had fun in all of the play areas. Thank you as well to the parents, who were able to join us – we really appreciated your support. I think we will all need an early night!

Mrs Shipley

Get Your Groove On!

Last week, we went on a story walk and heard that, in India, there was once a beautiful but vain peacock. He was given ugly feet as a punishment for being unkind to the other animals. Because the peacock continued to be unkind, he was condemned to dance only in the rainy monsoon season.

So, this week we have been practising our new weather song and the actions the children came up with. We fan our face when it is sunny. We stamp our feet when it hails. We shiver if it snows. And, just like the peacock, we ‘get our groove on’ when it rains. Please ask the children to sing the song and show you their moves.

‘Crocodile Rock’

The school’s musician of the month is Elton John. So, this week, our groove hasn’t just been on when discussing the weather but also when we have been hopping and bopping along to ‘Crocodile Rock’ at the end of the day.

Rocking crocodiles

Moving on up

On Tuesday, the children spent their second morning with Mr Cosgrove in their new classroom. They were very excited when they came back. Please encourage them to share with you how they are feeling about the move into Year 1 and all of the things they are looking forward to doing in September.

It’s coming home

Some of the children have been very excited about England’s football success this week. If Gareth Southgate finds himself short of players on Sunday, we have a few athletes in RS who would be happy to receive the call up.

Have a lovely weekend. Enjoy the tennis and football if you are watching!

Mrs Shipley


We had such a lovely afternoon and wished that you could have been here to share in the children’s enthusiasm and enjoyment. The children tried their best, listened to instructions, encouraged their house mates and won (or didn’t win) graciously. We had talked about endurance – our value of the fortnight – earlier in the week and the children displayed this quality in spades today. They continued to run when they were tired. They scooped up the eggs when they fell off spoons. They wriggled through the hoops when their arms and legs became entangled. They worked hard to balance the coits on their heads. I was very proud of them all. 

Here’s a short video of our coit race, taken by our year 5 students. Thank you to the Year 5s for all of their support with the photos, judging and equipment.

Thank you to our House Sports Day Captains:

Ava (Sunningdale)

Emma (Turnberry)

Eli (Birkdale)

Isaac (Wentworth)

for demonstrating super leadership qualities today. 

Thank you to Olivia for being a brilliant race starter and scorer.

Well done to William and Luna for cheering their team mates on with so much passion.

In RS, Sunningdale were the winners and, across all of the Reception classes, it was Turnberry who were victorious today. Well done all!

Thank you to the very generous (but anonymous) donor, who gave us money to buy treats for everyone involved in the Sports Day. That was very kind.

Enjoy the weekend. Let’s hope England are as successful tomorrow as Turnberry were today. 

Mrs Shipley

Developing Resilience

This week, we have had a focus on developing resilience, which we explained to the children as finding ways to work through the difficulties and challenges we may face. We shared the story, “The Dinosaur who Lost her Voice” (by Julie Ballard and Francesca Gambatesa), and we were in admiration of how Milly responded to the challenge of losing her beautiful singing voice.

The children were encouraged to talk about some of the problems that they have faced. They shared a range of experiences – from falling off bikes to finding skipping hard to landing in some nettles!

We then discussed how we feel when facing difficulties and that we can choose how we react to our feelings. You can see some of their responses in the photos. I am very proud of how, as a class, the children have supported each other over the year and how they have grown in maturity to understand that even if they can’t do something right now, they will – with effort – achieve their goals. And so, “I can’t yet” is a better response to challenges than “I can’t”.

Please encourage the children to develop their resilience at home by talking through mistakes and helping them to identify what they might do differently next time. Encourage them to feel very proud when they try hard at something they find tricky.

Re-telling ‘Mr Gumpy’

The children are starting to know this story very well now and they can recall the order in which the characters appear and the conditions under which Mr Gumpy will allow them to board his boat. I wonder if they can talk you through how the characters should have – but didn’t – behave, causing the boat to tip. Here are some of the little books that the children made to capture their favourite parts of the story.

Wishing you a fun weekend. The weather forecast is a good one for sports day practice!

Mrs Shipley

We are sailing.

We have really missed our friends in RWC and RW this week and send them lots of love – we can’t wait to see you back in school on Monday.

Making the most of the fine weather, we imitated the story, ‘Mr Gumpy’s Outing’, in our amphitheatre. Daniel made a fine Mr Gumpy and did very well at steering our punt with his pole. The children recalled the order in which the characters came onto the boat and how Mr Gumpy expected them to behave. To start with, the characters sailed along happily until they started to misbehave and then….. ‘SPLASH!’. Luckily, we dried off quickly. I wonder if the children can retell the story for you at home.

Inspired by Mr Gumpy, we wanted to build some boats but, first, we needed to test out what type of materials float and sink. The children loved being scientists and recorded their predictions for and findings of our experiment.

Then it was off to the workshop to explore the materials we could choose from to create our boats. We discovered that plastic was a much better material than cardboard for staying afloat but only when the plastic did not contain holes!

Healthy Eating Week

Thank you for taking the time to talk to the children about healthy eating at home. We were very impressed that they could sort the healthy foods, which we should eat lots of, from those which we should have only as treats.

Refugee Week

After reading ‘I am not a Refugee’ by Kate Milner, we discussed how we might feel if we had to flee from our homes. We considered those people, experiences and objects that we might miss. Some of the children then chose to draw on a suitcase what they might take with them. We were delighted to note that many of the suitcases contained fruit and vegetables.

Sharing in Maths

The children have considered how to share fairly: cookies among visitors, dog biscuits among dogs and treasure amongst the characters in Mr Gumpy’s story. I wonder if they are good at sharing their treats at home?

Sports Day Practice

More events have been introduced into our sports day practices and the children have continued to show good listening, focus and a wonderful inter-house spirit. I have heard that some children are practising at home – one “using a toilet roll middle thing” as a baton!

Happy Father’s Day

Wishing all the dads, uncles and grandads a ‘Happy Father’s Day’. I hope you like the cards the children have made for you.

Happy weekend.

Mrs Shipley

Bye-bye Butterflies

It has been lovely to hear about the children’s adventures over half term.

When we returned to the classroom, the children noticed that the chrysalides in the butterfly habitat were empty. A letter from Betty explained that her butterflies – Beatrice, Bryan and Bertie – had emerged last week so had been released. Luckily, she sent us some beautiful photos.

We were invited to the release of one of the butterflies from the other Reception classroom. We sang a fun song about caterpillars and butterflies – I wonder if the children can sing it for you? – before Mrs Willis very gently lifted the butterfly out of the habitat. We all waved the butterfly on its way. Mrs Willis then pointed out the moth cocoons in the tree, which we may have mistaken for spiders’ webs or stray candy floss. Thank you, Mrs Willis.

Tiny Apples

A visit to our class tree revealed that tiny apples have started to form. The children demonstrated their learning from last half term when they suggested that the apples would need more sunshine and water to grow bigger.

Frog Life Cycle

We also visited our very clean (thank you, Mr Amblin) school pond. The children were excited to observe the tadpoles swimming up to the surface of the water. We compared the life cycle of our butterflies with that of frogs. Most agreed that being a froglet would be the most fun part of the cycle!

Sports Day Practice

On Thursday, we had our first Sports Day practice. The children were excited to sit with their fellow house mates and we started to think about what we need to do to have an enjoyable and successful sports day: listen to instructions, support each other and try our best! We had lots of fun.

Floating and Sinking

As an introduction to the story, ‘Mr Gumpy’s Outing’, we have been exploring floating and sinking. As scientists responding to Mr Gumpy’s letter, we predicted how many animals we thought that our boat could hold before it sank. We then conducted an experiment to test our predictions and replied to Mr Gumpy with our findings. He very kindly sent us a copy of the book to enjoy.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend – I hope the children can explore floating and sinking with you at home.

Mrs Shipley


Thank you to everyone who talked about snails with their children last weekend. They were buzzing to share their knowledge when they arrived at school on Monday. We admired ‘The Snail’ by Henri Matisse – please ask the children how the French say snail – before working collaboratively in pairs to create our own fabulous collages. The children then presented their work to their peers, who posed as visitors to our Art Gallery.

We have also had snails in the classroom. Much to the delight of the children, this cheeky snail escaped from its habitat onto the table, enabling us to have a really close look at its features (and slime!). Some of the children chose to make pencil crayon drawings of snails. Some made super fact books. I wonder how many facts they are able to recall for you.


Because our chrysalides had hardened over the weekend, Betty Butterfly sent us instructions on how to rehouse them from their cosy cup to a butterfly habitat. We learned that it is very important to remove the silk web and fross surrounding chrysalides so that butterflies do not become entangled when they emerge. Entangled was a new word for us. We became entangled in rope so we might better understand how any webbing might prevent a delicate butterfly from opening its wings. We patiently await the emergence of our butterflies.

Thank you to all of the children for their kindness, sense of adventure and hard work this half term and to you for all of your support. I hope you all have a super break. Please encourage the children to read their reading books a few times (to develop fluency and comprehension), share their library book and practise their letter and number formation. 

Have fun.

Mrs Shipley


Past and present

Thank you very much for sending in the baby photos and for taking the time to talk to the children about when they were younger. They have been so excited trying to guess who was in each picture. They also enjoyed matching the teaching team to their baby photos. We discussed the similarities and differences between the children now and when they were babies.

Bean plant

I’m unsure what was in the air last weekend but our bean plant experienced an impressive growth spurt. We have started to use string to help us measure its height against the cubes. Sadly, the bean plant isn’t as strong as it is tall and the top broke off on Wednesday, teaching us that we need to be more gentle (our value of the fortnight).


When we arrived at school on Monday and took the caterpillars out of their warm bed, we noticed that they too had grown. We wrote to Betty with the good news that her caterpillars were attaching themselves to the lid of the pot and had started their metamorphosis into chrysalides. On Wednesday morning, we discovered that, unfortunately, two of the five caterpillars had not survived. Betty took the news well and wants us to remain focussed on caring for the remaining three.

Eid al-Fitr

On Monday, we learned about Eid al-Fitr – the festival of sacrifice, which marks the end of Ramadan. The children discovered that Ramadan is a holy month, where adult Muslims fast between dawn and sunset. The day which follows the first new moon after the month of Ramadan is Eid al-Fitr. The festival lasts for three days. During this time, children accept gifts and wear new clothes. They also eat lots of delicious food. Thank you to parents who sent in pictures of the celebrations. Riaab looks very smart here;  he was so proud to go to the mosque with his daddy and pray to Allah – “He protects me”. Taim celebrated by going to the fair with his family. He received a gift from his grandma and “had so much fun”.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend. If you bump into any snails, please take the time to observe them closely as we will be learning all about them next week. Thank you

Mrs Shipley

Observing plants and animals

Our Caterpillars

We were all very excited to arrive at school on Monday morning and discover that Betty Butterfly had asked us to look after her caterpillars, which had recently hatched from their eggs. Betty had left them with some food and asked us to keep her informed of their progress. We have noticed that the caterpillars grow longer and fatter each day. They are very active during the day and we tuck them into their bed at night because we know that being warm is important for their growth. Written and illustrated reports have been sent to Betty about the silk webs that the caterpillars have spun. We learned that the webbing would prevent the caterpillars from being blown off leaves if they were in a more natural environment. Please ask the children to talk to you about the caterpillars’ exoskeletons. Caterpillar models were also created for Betty in our DT workshop. It is very exciting to arrive at school each morning and discover that Betty appreciates our updates and writes back to us. We await the next phase of their life cycle in the coming week or two.

Our Bean Plant

Every morning, we measure the growth of our bean plant using multilink cubes. The children predict how many cubes higher it will be than the previous day. We also notice how the leaves are developing and how many more are emerging.

Mousey’s Apple Tree

After our successful imitation of ‘Jasper’s Beanstalk’ last week, we have spent the last few days innovating. The children collaborated with enthusiasm to create and illustrate their own book – ‘Mousey’s Apple Tree’. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as they enjoyed developing their wonderful tale.

Have a lovely weekend. Eid Mubarak to all of our families who are celebrating. We look forward to seeing any photos and talking about Eid on Monday.

Mrs Shipley