St Matthew’s C of E Primary School

‘Excellence, Happiness & Achievement’

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St Matthew’s C of E Primary School

‘Excellence, Happiness & Achievement’

Home Page


Welcome to RJM




September 2018

Reception Newsletter Autumn half term 1

Dear Parents/Carers,

Welcome to our school and we hope you find this newsletter, the first of 6 half termly newsletters, informative and helpful.

Thank you first of all for your patience during our phased start to the year, we understand that this can cause some difficulty for working families, but it has really helped us to settle the children and give our attention where it is needed most. We are amazed by how well the children have settled and it is lovely to see lots of new friendships forming!

Each newsletter will outline what your child will be learning along with any notable dates for the half term. In terms of topics, please bear in mind that while we have an idea of topics, we are flexible with these and will follow the interests and fascinations of the children wherever possible, so don’t be alarmed if, for example, the newsletter says we are learning about ‘people who help us’ and you child says we have been learning all about autumn! It may just be that there is an overwhelming fascination with autumn leaves and we have chosen to capitalise on this.


Please keep an eye on your email inbox for your tapestry login details, they should come through in the next few weeks. 

I would like to reiterate that if you have previously had experience of an online learning journal such as tapestry at your child’s nursery or pre-school, please be aware that you may not receive updates as regularly as you did previously. This is for a number of reasons, firstly school operates with significantly reduced staff numbers to that of a nursery or pre-school so there simply is not the human capacity to record and publish entries for each child every day. This would impact negatively on our ability to interact with the children, which we see as the most important of our duties, as it is through these quality interactions that learning takes place, without learning there is nothing to assess and capture. Secondly, it may be that we at school use tapestry in a slightly different way – only using it to capture what we call ‘wow’ moments rather than the ‘every day’ moments. Finally, we record learning in other places too such as in writing books, maths books and reading record books. Recently Ofsted praised our use of learning journals with the following comment “Children’s individual records clearly and comprehensively chart their progress June 2017. This is the purpose of a learning journey and we are delighted to be able to share this progress with you. Please comment on any of the entries and we would love you to add your own tapestry entries if your child has a ‘wow’ moment out of school.

Please keep tapestry for positive comments about your child and raise any concerns or queries by making an appointment with the teacher, we do not use it as a means of communication but a way to keep you informed on your child’s learning and progress.

If you have not received any log in details within the next few weeks or need help getting started please do not hesitate to see a member of the reception team. The website is tapestry You can also download the app for your tablet or smartphone.


During the first half term while the children are settling in, we will be recapping phase 1 phonics playing lots of games relating to rhyme, alliteration and oral blending. After October half term we will begin phase 2 phonics and, when we feel the children are ready, begin to give out reading books for the children to bring home and practise decoding and blending using the sounds we have learned. Please spend this first half term fostering and embedding a love of books. Read lots of books and encourage children to predict the plot, imagine what the characters might be thinking/feeling. This will give your child a firm foundation on which to build once we begin formally teaching reading skills.


As the term progresses and the children become more settled, we will begin to give out homework. This will consist of the letters and sounds we have learned over the week and a practical challenge or game related to maths. Alongside this will be tricky words (words which cannot be decoded using phonic strategies) to learn and reading books. Homework will be given on a Friday and collected back on Wednesday.

Parent Information Sessions

We will be holding parent information sessions on Phonics/Reading, writing and Maths. These will include what and how your child will acquire key skills in these areas and how you as parents and carers can support this at home. We will confirm the dates of these in a separate letter.

Outdoor Learning

As we mentioned at the New Intake evening, the children have the opportunity to play outdoors in all weather (unless we deem it unsafe due to adverse conditions!). We see this as an important part of their time in Early Years. We do supply waterproof clothing for them to wear in wet weather and aprons are available for messy activities. There will however be times when your child gets dirty. We do encourage the children to wear the protective clothing but, as I’m sure you know, sometimes little people forget! If you have not yet done so, please send a pair of named wellies for your child to keep at school.



All about Me

Autumn (seasonal changes)


‘You Choose’ Nick Sharratt

‘Pete the Cat’

‘Harry and the Dinosaurs go to school’

Special Events

  • 29th Sept – Macmillan Coffee Morning

11th Oct – Photographer in school

  • 18th Oct – Nasal Flu Vaccinations
  • 24th / 25th Oct – Parents Evening



Ways to help your child at home



Other areas of learning

  • Practise counting carefully using objects, spoonfulls of food as they eat, hops, jumps, cars as they pass, anything!
  • Expose your child to numerals 0-20, point them out at every opportunity.
  • Focus particularly on numbers 11-20 as this is where the children naturally get caught out when learning to count.
  • Look for patterns in the environment eg red car, blue car, red car, blue car
  • Help your child to notice things which are the same or different (if they are secure on similarities and differences they have a strong foundation on which to build an understanding of what ‘equals’ means)
  • Read to your child regularly.
  • Read a range of books as often as possible
  • Encourage your child to mark make for their own enjoyment without an agenda or any pressure to ‘do it right’
  • Play I spy, rhyming games and sing the alphabet song.
  • When you read, point to the words as you say them.
  • Take your child outdoors to look at environmental and seasonal changes
  • Allow your child regular opportunities to run, jump and balance as possible. Strong gross motor skills provide firm foundations for writing skills believe it or not!

Useful Websites/apps

Pocket phonics /Phonics street/Alphablocks

Useful apps for consolidating phoneme/grapheme correspondence and letter formation.

Maths (age3-5/4-6)

A good app for a variety of mathematical concepts with the facility to print off a certificate when a level is completed.

Endless Alphabet

A useful app for reinforcing letter names, plus their capital equivalents as well as explaining the meaning of words to extend vocabulary.



We look forward to a year working with you all and your lovely children.

Thank you for your support

Mrs. Moss, Mrs. Madden & Miss Horton




Do you have any ideas for this page? Why not let your Teacher know!


Have you seen the Kids’ Zone? Play games and visit some cool websites. You can vote for your favourites.




Some of the activities from the link above only works from a computer. We apologise for this inconvenience.