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Galley Hill Primary School, Hemel Hempstead. Galley Hill rated GOOD by Ofsted. 'Value of the Month - 'RESPECT' OUT OF HOURS POSITIVE COVID TEST REPORTING: Email


Welcome to Reception


Ms Handel and Miss Edmonds

Ms Prince, Mrs Smyth, and Mrs Swaine


A huge welcome to all of the new Reception children. It has been lovely to welcome you all into our school so that you can begin your Galley Hill adventure.


Last week and this week are mainly about allowing the children to settle into the setting and build new friendships as this is very important for their development. It has been lovely to see them enjoying our new classrooms whilst making new friends.

We have been learning all about the rules and routines around our classrooms, school and on the playground. In groups we discussed the rules that we should have displayed within our classroom to keep everyone safe and happy. The children also talked about our Three Galley Hill expectations: Be safe, Be your best, Be respectful. This seems to be really paying off as our ‘Beehives’ charts are full of bees and that is what we like to see. Lots of stickers were given out to the children as well. Well done everyone.


Also this week we have been looking at the ‘Owl babies story’ that helps them to settle and to understand that the grown-ups will be back to pick them up at the end of the school day, just like the Mother Owl did.


We now have staggered starting and finishing times within EYFS to ease the congestion within KS1 playground. The times from Monday (14th September) are as follows:


Turquoise team

Start at 8.45 am

Finish at 3.05 pm


Garnet team

Start at 8.55 am

Finish at 3.15 pm


Can you please make sure that all items of clothing and water bottles etc are clearly labelled with your child’s name.

Reception Teams



Wb 5th October 2020

This week's topic will be based on 'Oliver's vegetables' story, linking to Harvest festival and celebrations.

We will look at how the fruit and vegetables grow and where they come from. 


Maths- It is all about numbers. This week we will look at number 3, the meaning of it and how to write it correctly.


Phonics: So far we learnt s a t p i n m d. We talked about the letters names, the sounds they make, the actions that go with each letter and the words that have that sounds in.

This week we will look at new sounds: g, o, c, k. 


Follow the link to this week Nursery Rhyme:

Self Isolation – Learning from home


Every child in Reception has a daily phonics lesson. Children in Reception have begun to learn Phase 2 sounds. At Galley Hill we follow letters and sounds and learn the sounds in this order: s a t p i n m d g o c k ck e u r h b f ff l ll ss.

We learn a sound a day focussing on correct pronunciation, how the letter (grapheme) looks when we write it, and hearing the sound in words. For example a for apple.

The sounds in Phase 2 are initially taught at a quick pace to ensure all children are exposed to all sounds. Once all Phase 2 sounds have been taught we ensure opportunities for recapping sounds and support all children with their ability in phonics. 

Watch this Phase 2 sounds video on Youtube to ensure correct pronunciation.




At Galley Hill we also use Jolly Phonics to teach phonics. Your child may enjoy watching and singing along to the songs for each letter on Youtube.

To support your child with formation of the letter you can have a go at the following game: sky writer. This can even be downloaded as a mobile app. Sky Writer is a simple animation which we use to demonstrate the correct formation of the letters in our daily phonics lessons. Your child can follow the formation in the air/floor/knee/hand using their finger.

Here are some ideas of phase 2 phonics games to play without using the internet:

  • Initial sound game. Show a letter or say the sound of a letter to your child and ask them to go and get you something starting with that letter. For example: b for book. Tip ensure the object they bring you starts with the sound of the letter not just the correct spelling, for example if you ask your child to bring you something beginning with sound s and they bring you a shoe. It does begin with an s as a spelling but the sound at the beginning of the word is sh.
  • Hide the letter: write a letter on a small piece of paper/post it note and hide it around the room. You can hide more than one at a time. Then allow your child to go and find it, when they find it they need to look at the letter and tell you the sound it makes.
  • Letter spotting: it’s a great idea to get your child to notice letters all around them. In our reception classrooms we have alphabets that the children have made with their teachers with advertising logos including shop signs or famous children characters e.g.TESCO/PJ Masks. Where ever you are there will always be letters, continue to encourage your child to spot letters and words around them and support them to say the sound the letter they have found makes.





At the beginning of Reception our main focus for Maths is counting, subsidization, matching numeral to quantity and beginning recognition of numbers. At school we count all day with the children, not just in our maths lessons. We count the children when they line up outside, at lunch and at home time. We sing number songs and encourage them to count in all types of ways e.g. when they have their snack, how many raisins do you have?

Continuing using mathematical language at home is vital to continue deepening their understanding of number and extending their number vocabulary.

We have a particular number we focus on each week, so far we have covered just number 1. Over the week we look at how we can represent the number e.g. on fingers/dice/as marks on paper/objects/jumps/claps. We focus on the formation of the number and recognising it in the environment and the children have opportunities in their child initiated learning to explore the number of the week in their play. Our number of the week began with number 1 on the week beginning 21st September. We go up in ones every week, so next week is number 2.

Below is a matching game which involves counting using numbers 1-10 and subsidization (when a child recognises how many there are without counting.)

You can print and cut out these cards and use this as a resource with your child at home. Focussing on matching, counting and recognising numbers in a range of ways.

Here are some links to online games to support your child with counting and matching numeral to quantity.




Every week in Reception we have a topic that follows the children’s interests or needs. This often also links to a book, for example: owl babies (story) was our focus topic on week 2 to support children with settling into school and moving into our topic of families.

Reading and sharing books is so important in all children’s development which is why we link our weekly topics to books. Every day the children have adults read to them multiple times, as a whole class and in CHIL.

In literacy the teachers share books with the class related to the weekly topic to develop and extend the children’s speech and language skills along with their topic and reading/writing knowledge.

Luckily nowadays most books we use for our literacy lessons have been put up as either animation or someone reading it on youtube. This is a great resource if you do not have the book at home.

As we have a different topic and book in literacy each week you will need to access the weekly timetable to see what we are covering within our literacy to do any home learning.



In our Foundation Unit we have Reception, and Nursery.


All children have the use of a large well resourced setting which includes 2 outside areas, one of which is covered.

The times of the sessions are as follows-:

Reception  8.50 – 3.10 pm

Morning Nursery  8.30 – 11.30 am

Afternoon Nursery 12.30 - 3.30 pm

30 hour funded pupils 8.30am-2.30pm. The additional hour from 2.30pm-3.30pm at £4 per hour.


The Foundation Unit is staffed by Teachers, Early Years Practitioners and Teaching Assistants. All of our staff are happy to help parents at any time.


What is the Foundation Stage Unit?
The Foundation Stage Unit is a learning environment for children who are in the Foundation Stage phase of their education which is between the ages of 3 and 5 years.
The Foundation Stage is a distinct stage which is important in its own right and we believe it is crucial in preparing children for later schooling.
The Foundation Stage Unit includes children from the September after their third birthday until the end of their Reception Year. We recognise it as a crucial in education, both in its own right and in preparing children for learning in Key Stage one. We believe that all children should be given the best possible start to their education. Great value is placed on the quality of our provision in the Foundation Stage by providing all of the children with stimulating activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development. It is recognised that when children join us, they will already have had a range of experiences and they will also have a range of skills and interests; therefore the curriculum is carefully planned so that their learning is always moving forward.

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