Learning Hub




Welcome to the Reception page. 

The Reception Classes this year are Sunshine, Rainbow and Moonbeam.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, we focus on the following areas of learning: Communication and Language, Physical Development, PSED (Personal, Social and Emotional Development), Literacy (Reading and Writing), Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design. The children have had a memorable year so far - we have been busy playing, exploring and building friendships. We are lucky to have our own Early Years playground where much of our learning takes place.



Reading is a huge part of life at Bessemer. We thread a variety of high quality texts into every part of the curriculum, and read one-to-one in school with all our children. 

We also teach Phonics daily in Reception, and the environment is full opportunities for the children to recognise the sounds and common exception words they are learning.

Each classroom has an inviting Reading Area, full of a diverse range of texts. We also read a story at Goodbye Time every day and visit the local library regularly, encouraging Reading for Pleasure in the children.

Communication and language 


The children have developed their listening skills through carpet games and story time. We also began to use talk partners during carpet time to further develop the children's listening and speaking skills. Opportunities to develop speech and language are woven into the day, and the children are exposed to high quality language and vocabulary in the environment. Each class has a Role Play Area which is refreshed regularly. Children are able to dress up and use their imaginations in their play. This is an important part of their development as it encourages turn-taking, listening to each other and understanding and respecting different perspectives.

We have been exploring storytelling by learning and retelling familiar stories. This is through the use of puppets and masks as well as memorising high quality texts with actions to support them.

Physical Development


In Reception, we always enjoy being active, whether it is on a bike, climbing around the playground or just running around with our friends. We have also been developing our Fine and Gross motor skills - each classroom has a Finger Gym set up with different activities every day!

Everyone has enjoyed our weekly PE sessions in the top hall where we have been focussing on Multi Skills. The children have enjoyed practising new skills such as hopping, skipping and jumping. 



The children have enjoyed settling into their routines and making new friends. We have been reading 'The Colour Monster' by Anna Llenas to help children understand their emotions. In each classroom, we have set up an area for children to identify their feelings using the different colours in the book, for example yellow when they are feeling happy and green when they are feeling calm.

We have also discussed different strategies to help us keep calm, creating toolkits to enable us to manage our feelings. We have incorporated mindfulness into the classroom, offering opportunities to engage in mindful breathing and mindful colouring in the 'Calm Corner'. A favourite book which helps us with our mindfulness is 'The Worry Tiger' by Alexandra Page, a story teaching us strategies to manage feelings of anxiety.

We have also read the book 'Have you filled your bucket today' by Carol McCloud and talked about how acts of kindness can keep everyone's buckets full. Each class also created a friendship potion, identifying the key ingredients needed when making new friends.

Understanding of the World


For this area of learning we have been exploring and working on our exploration and observational skills.  We have particularly enjoyed playing with the dinosaurs in the small world areas and thinking about the past. Outside, the soil digging area has proved very popular and we have found a variety of invertebrates hiding under the logs, including a stag beetle! 

We have used a variety of containers and measuring jugs to explore in the water.  The bench on our outside obstacle course has provided a great ramp to race cars down. The changing seasons have provided us with many opportunities for noticing and discussing change.

We are fortunate to have access to both the school's Nature Garden and our own flowerbeds in the playground, and were able to plant bulbs in the Autumn term. The children have really enjoyed seeing the bulbs we planted develop into flowers, noticing how they started off hidden in the soil before growing leaves and stems.

Summer 1

We kicked off this half term by planting some beans just like Jack from the 'Jack and the Beanstalk' story.  We have been developing our observational skills by noticing the changes. We have been watering them and making sure they have lots of light, now we can see roots, a long stem and some leaves.  In addition to this, each class has their very own caterpillars.  We have observed them grow over time, make a chrysalis and now we can't wait to see them change into a butterfly.  The story 'Tadpole's Promise' has encouraged us to find out about the life cycle of a frog and butterfly. 

SPring 2

This half term's topic has been all about storytelling.  We have delved deep into the story 'Were going on a Lion Hunt' by David Axtell and compared Africa to our local area.  We discussed a variety of similarities and differences in these two environments and compared the wildlife.  Reading the book 'Major Glad, Major Dizzy' by Jan Oke has developed our understanding of London in the past.


Our topic in Spring 1 was 'Under the Sea'. Each week, we learnt about new sea creatures living in the ocean, researching and sharing facts about them. Did you know that some jellyfish glow in the dark? We used what we learnt to create our very own sea creatures.


This half term's topic was 'Space'. The children absolutely loved learning about the different planets in the solar system, and have learnt a variety of songs to help them remember their facts. We made our very own planets using balloons and paper mache, and designed and built our own rockets which even took us to 'The Moon'!


This half term's topic was 'All About Me'. This was the perfect topic to start the year as we were all getting to know one another. We talked about different celebrations we all enjoy, and even hosted a birthday party for our class puppets. This topic developed the children's understanding that we all have similarities and differences, teaching them to voice their interests and discover new things. 



Summer 1

For our 'Growing' topic we have been exploring a variety of stories including Jack and the Beanstalk, Oliver's Vegetables, A Tadpoles Promise and a Tiny Seed.  We have also enjoyed reading non-fiction texts and finding out facts about frogs and caterpillars.  We have been developing our independent writing skills by writing about a new setting for Jack and the Beanstalk, describing some fruit and veg we have taste tested and by writing about how we have grown and changed. 

Spring 2

Following a trip to The Unicorn Theatre where we watched 'The Three Billy Goats Gruff', we have also been thinking about story telling. We have been learning and retelling familiar tales, acting them out, sequencing and innovating with our own versions of the stories.

Spring 1

In line with our topic in the Spring term, we have been reading 'Barry the Fish with Fingers' and 'Snail and the Whale'. We have used our imaginations to create our very own sea creatures, and thought about what the snail and the whale might be feeling at various points of the story and predicted what might happen next. 

This term, we have also developed our writing toolboxes. We are using the sounds we have learnt in phonics to help us with our writing, and are starting to write sentences, using finger spaces between our words and full stops at the end.

Autumn 2

Our topic this term was 'Space', so it was only right that we explored space in our texts in literacy! Our first text is a favourite of the children - 'Look Up' by Nathan Bryon is all about a girl called Rocket who loves space and is always trying to encourage her brother Jamal to look up from his phone and at the sky. The children really enjoyed creating a factfile about the moon, the sun, Earth and other planets to teach Jamal some of what they had learnt. We also studied Julia Donaldson's 'The Smeds and The Smoos', inventing and describing our own planets in the process.

Autumn 1

We started the year with some of our favourite texts, including 'Who Are You', 'Postie Bear' and 'Family and Me!'

We have been developing our skills in listening and response, sequencing, writing lists and drawing representations of ourselves and our families.

Each classroom and the outdoor area have plenty of opportunities for mark making and early writing, such as making shopping lists in our role play area, and writing sounds and words in chalk in the playground. In the Autumn term, we mastered recognising and writing our own names, and began writing words and captions.


Summer term

To kick off the Summer term we have been looking at and noticing patterns with numbers up to 20.  We have been thinking deeply about the composition of each number up to 10 including 'doubles.'  The children have used these number facts to explore addition and subtraction by thinking about 'how many more' and 'how many did I take.'  For shape, we have been rotating, manipulating, composing and decomposing 2D flat shapes.  

Spring Term

In Spring term, we have been mastering numbers 1-5 and then 1-8. The children have developed a deep understanding of these numbers including their composition. We have also introduced the concepts of weight and capacity, discussing key vocabulary such as lighter, heavier, empty, half full and full.

Autumn Term

We started the year by exploring matching and sorting by amounts, colour and shape. The children enjoyed matching different objects such as socks! We then moved on to mastering numbers 1-3. We also learnt about repeating patterns and made some of our own. We finished the term learning about different shapes. We learnt to recognise circles, triangles, squares, oblongs and rectangles, identifying how many sides and corners they had and whether they had straight or round sides.


Expressive Arts and Design 


We have been looking closely at our features and making our own self-portraits. Our classroom role play areas have been very popular with children acting out different scenarios based on their own experiences.

Outside, the children have enjoyed acting out stories at the puppet show.  Some reception children have created their own racing car using the large construction materials. 

Our under the sea topic has brought with it lots of creative activities. We have designed and created our very own sea creatures using recyclable materials. We also explored using clay to make snails, whales and sharks.

The children have taken a keen interest in pirates and have been using our construction resources outside to build pirate ships and hunt for hidden treasure. 

While celebrating Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas and the Lunar New Year, we created our own cards and decorations, such as Diwa Lamps made from clay and paper lanterns.