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St John the Baptist CE Primary School

A caring Christian community achieving full potential for all

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Welcome to the

Early Years Foundation Stage

Children spend the first year of school in the Foundation Stage which makes a crucial contribution to children's life-long learning and development. The ways in which a child engages with other people and their environment - playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically - underpin all learning and development. These are the Characteristics of Effective Learning and we carefully ensure that children use a variety of these characteristics as they are incredibly important to how a child learns and develops good learning behaviours.

The three Characteristics of Effective Learning are:

  • Playing and exploring - finding out, investigating and exploring things, 'having a go';
  • Active learning - being involved, concentrating and persevering, being proud of achieving what they set out to do
  • Creating and thinking critically - developing their own ideas, making links between learning and developing strategies for learning new things. 

There are seven areas of learning organised into Prime and Specific areas. Here at St John's we provide children with an engaging and exciting environment, both inside and outside, as well providing a range of teaching and learning opportunities appropriate to your child's development needs.

We follow the EYFS Statutory Framework and refer to the Development Matters and Early Years Outcomes guidance to support us in implementing the statutory requirements. These documents are availble to look at by clicking the links above. If you have any questions please do come and ask Miss Abbott. There are four themes that underpin the guidance, and the principles that inform them ensure that each unique child has opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.

Meet the Foundation Stage Team

The Teachers in Reception are Miss Abbott and Miss Casson

Mrs Rangeley and Mrs Beardwell are the Teaching Assistants


Welcome back to Term 5 at St John's.

Our next topic is 'Alien Invasion!'

We will be:

  • Investigating a crashed space ship.
  • Sharing a selection of fantasy stories and talking about the characters and settings (including Q Pootle 5).
  • Using the small world characters to act out & write stories, ensuring we have a beginning, middle and ending.
  • Learning in our new ‘space station’ role play area: writing stories and facts, reading different non-fiction books on space, counting in 2’s and 10’s, and calculating with money.
  • Estimating amounts of different items and counting to check.
  • Building rockets indoors and outdoors using 3D bricks and junk materials, and discussing the names of the 3D shapes and their properties.
  • Blow painting to make alien pictures and adding detail using different media
  • Using a ‘function machine’ to add and subtract, and solve problems.
  • Investigating magnets and making predictions.
  • Timing each other on the alien assault course with a stop watch, and recording our scores.  


 At the beginning of each new topic check your child's book bag for a curriculum information 'flyer' that explains the focus for the different curriculum areas.

It is also available on the Parents Notice Board in our outdoor learning area.


Our learning so far... 




How the Reception Unit works at St John's

Children are not put into traditional classes until much later in the year. We put the children into 4 different colour groups (also their tray and peg colours) so that the children rotate around the two teachers and teaching assistants. This way the children make lots of new friends and get to know all the adults really well. The unit is 'free flow', allowing children to learn both inside and outside, as well as being free to go between both the classrooms and into the creative area. If you have any questions about the way we work as a unit, please feel free to come and see any of the Reception staff.Check the parents notice board located on the outside wall near to the classroom door for new topics or information. All the information will also be put here on our website page.  


If you have any questions, queries or worries please see one of the Reception Team - staff are available at the beginning and end of every day. 



There is a substantial body of evidence which demonstrates that systematic synthetic phonics is the most effective method for teaching all children to read. Phonics teaches children how to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes, identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make, and blend these sounds together to make a word. Children can then use this knowledge to decode new words that they see. This is the first important step in learning to read.

We use a systematic approach for the teaching of phonics based on the Letters and Sounds document. Phonics is crucial for your child to begin to learn to read and write. We will begin phonics within the first few weeks of starting school. All graphemes as they are learnt from Phase 2 and Phase 3 will be stuck into the phonics book your child will have in their book bag. Please ensure you go through them on a regular basis at home - at least 3 times a week, and ensure that the phonics book is kept in their book bag each day so that we can help your child at school too. Phase 2 and 3 Tricky Words have also been stuck into this phonics book - remember tricky words don't sound out! Please help your child learn how to read and spell them. Use the letter names when spelling tricky words.

Please look at this video for the correct articulation of phonemes (sounds). Pronouncing sounds incorrectly can have a big impact on your child as they begin to read and spell as discussed at our phonics meeting. Please help your child to say the sounds correctly as you go through them.

There was a Phonics Information Meeting explaining the phonics system and how phonics is taught on Wednesday 28th September at 9am. It was really nice to see so many parents there, thank you for coming. If you weren't able to come we have sent a phonics infomation sheet home (it can also be found here), and please do come and ask if you have any questions as we are more than happy to support parents for phonics too! Here are the Phase 2 and Phase 3 grapheme charts.

Phonics games to play at home

You can play Buried Treasure with your child at home by clicking here.

You can download and print a Phase 2 picture and word game - have fun with your child cutting them all out. All the words and pictures are now fully decodable by your child as they contain phonemes we have taught. You can ask your child to orally segment the sounds for each picture, blend the sounds in each word to be able to read each word, and then play a match the correct picture to the word game. Have a competition, who can read the most words?! The Phase 3 version is also available here.

There is also a Phase 2 Bingo game and a Phase 3 Bingo game you can play as a whole family. Who can read the word and match it to their picture first?

The tricky words for Phase 2 and Phase 3  can also be downloaded as well as being found in the back of your child's phonics book. Remember Tricky Words don't sound out.... you just need to be able to read them by sight.You could play a game of hide and seek with them, put them on the kitchen fridge to read each morning, play a game of snap, go on a tricky word hunt outside with them.... the ideas are endless!

Pop-in information

On Tuesday 27th September at 9am and again at 3.30 pm there was a curriculum pop-in for all parents. Parent's had the opportunity to see their child's Learning Journey, and also find out more about what the year has in store for you and your child! If you were unable to come to the pop-in, please click here to find the information that we discussed. If you have any other questions, please do come and see one of Reception Teachers.

Thank you to those parents that could attend the reading workshop on Wednesday 1st February. If you missed the presentation it can be found on this link, and the handout given out to all parents can also be found here. If you have any other questions about reading please do come and see one of the teachers. we also spoke about the 'Oxford Owls' website.

On Thursday 20th April we held another pop-in for parents. During this meeting we discussed assesments at the end of the Reception year and gave an update on our curriculum. Parents also enjoyed the opportunity to look at their child's Learning Journey. If you were unable to attend the pop-in session, but would like to find out about the topics discussed, please click here to find the information.