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Princes Risborough Primary School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust


Reception Class Blog 2023-24

8th March 2024

In Reception we have been exploring the properties of materials in play as well as the interesting way that some natural resources combine with others. As we’ve been reading The Three Little Pigs, the children have been wondering about wood, straw, sticks and other building materials. Some questions they have asked are: Which one is stronger? Could the wind blow them down easily? How could we make them even stronger?


Some of the children thought that a wood or stick house would be best, until one child stated: “If it rains, the wood and sticks will get wet, smelly and mouldy!” Another friend added that a stick house might have gaps in it and might attract worms and bugs. The children decided they wouldn’t want to live in a stick house covered in worms and bugs after all.


Once we decided that a brick house would be best, some of the children started discussing the best way to construct the house. “You need cement!” one child shared with us. During play, lots of children worked together to make their own cement using sand, water and dirt. They mixed, stirred, checked and added more water and then more sand until they had the perfect consistency. A little sticky but not too wet-enough to hold the bricks together well. We will keep exploring materials and their properties as we learn.


Our writing has improved so much recently! As we engage in our literacy and story writing, we are increasing our writing to encourage independent activities and imaginative opportunities. As a class, the children are showing great strengths in their understanding of capital letters, finger spaces and full stops and can explain why these are so important. Additionally, they are trying so hard to crocodile snap their pens and pencils when they write because this makes it much easier to move their pen and control their letters formation. Maybe you’d like to teach the Crocodile Snap song to someone in your family! Good work, Reception!

2nd February 2024

Did you know one small satsuma weighs the same as one pebble and two pine-cones? The Reception children have transitioned from discovering numbers within 5, to exploring how to balance scales and explore mass practically. We have asked questions and made predictions throughout this learning process such as: how can we create the same weight on both sides of the scale? Is it easier to do using lots of small things, or a few bigger things? How can we tell if the weight is equal? What happens if one side is heavier? What happens if one side is lighter?


The children have taken this learning to outside play, where they’ve been weighing ingredients for mud kitchen cooking. “I have corn flakes and cheerios, but it’s not equal” one pupil noticed. “You have to put more in the lighter side!” suggested another child. “You can take some out of the heavy one” noticed another child. The predictions, discussions and practical experiments have contributed to excellent peer collaboration as well as some new vocabulary!


Some children began to explore mass and weight on a larger scale (pun intended!) and discovered they could balance on an elevated piece of wood and find the perfect spot to keep the wood balanced. We discussed what happens if they change positions, which led to connections to the text we had read Who Sunk the Boat where keeping the boat balanced was all about careful positioning of weight. We will keep exploring!


We have been continuing our journey through the text Handa’s Surprise and through this, the children have practised appropriate use of adjectives for description of fruit and have also begun to understand the logic of narrative structure. This analysis has extended to their own story writing which has become a large part of our continuous provision. Our class Circle Story Time book features the hard work of all the children as they continue to plan and illustrate their own short stories with adult support. One child wrote a story featuring a baby dragon and an asteroid. After sharing her story with the class, she expressed: “I forgot how the baby dragon broke the asteroid! Maybe he broke it with his tail?”. This metacognitive awareness and reflection during story telling has become more evident in the classroom and is a wonderful milestone to reach.

12th January 2024

17th November 2023

3rd November 2023

6th October 2023

22nd September 2023