St Matthew’s C of E Primary School

“...encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God.” (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

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St Matthew’s C of E Primary School

“...encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God.” (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

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News and Updates

November 2019

Reception Newsletter Autumn half term 2

Dear Parents/Carers,

Welcome to our second half termly newsletter, we hope you find it informative and helpful.

We can’t believe a whole half term has passed by. The children have settled extremely well and as a result are ready to learn and take on the curriculum!

We have begun teaching phase 2 letters and sounds and we aim to teach 4 sounds per week saving one day for consolidation of previously learned sounds. All newly learned sounds will be sent home on a Friday in your child’s book bag, these are for you to practise and support your child with. Please ask your child the sound, letter name, action and practise the formation using the patter outlined on the sheet. The sheets are for your reference and will not need to be handed in at school. Remember your child does not need to practise their letter formation on the sheet. This can be done in a variety of ways and it may suit more children to form their letters on a larger scale, eg, chunky chalk outside, paint, on a roll of wallpaper.


All parents have now been added to our tapestry system via the email you provided. If you have not received an email to activate your account, please let a member of staff know.

It has been lovely to see many of your comments and entries onto tapestry. This provides us with an invaluable insight into what your child does at home and what interests them. As your child moves forward through reception, tapestry will be used as an assessment tool rather than a daily update of what your child has done.

Please keep tapestry for positive comments about your child and raise any concerns or queries by making an appointment with the teacher.


Your child will soon begin taking part in guided reading sessions. It is through these sessions which will take place twice a week that the teaching of reading will take place. We will also be sending home a reading book for your child to practise their reading skills with your support. This book will be changed once a week to enable your child to become very familiar, fluent and confident with the text.

Stay ‘n’ Play

We will begin our stay n play sessions this half term with a focus on how to support your child’s phonics at home. We understand that many parents work and we welcome other family members to the session in your place if you are unable to attend. Please understand it is not possible to work around every parents working patterns and we must adhere to the cap of no more than 12 parents in the unit at a time in order to enable the safeguarding of the children. Stay n Play sessions will run each half term so there will always be other opportunities to attend in the future. All information shared on the day will be available on the website.

Topics and Themes


Light and Dark

Bonfire Night



‘Peace at Last’ Jill Murphy

‘Owl Babies’

Nativity Story


Ways to help your child at home



Other areas of learning

  • Practise counting carefully using objects, spoon fulls 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


  • Share a story with your child regularly.
  • 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.
  • Practise letter formation/recognition
  • Use robot talk to sound out words, eg, put on your h-a-t
  • Practise all letters and sounds learned so far.
  • 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.


May we please ask that children do not bring any toys to school. We have had instances where things brought in have been lost or damaged causing much distress.

As you will understand, drop off and pick up times at our gates can get very busy. Can we ask that if you would like to speak to the member of staff at the door or gate, that you wait until all children have been welcomed/dismissed safely so we can ensure children are safe and give our full attention to what you would like to tell us. Your support with these matters is greatly valued.

Finally, we will be holding a Christmas raffle to raise money for resources for our Early Years department. If you are able to donate any prizes we would be very grateful. Please pass any donations to a member of staff. Anything can be donated as long as it is unopened, unused and in date. We will let you know via text once tickets are on sale. The raffle will be drawn at the Nativity itself. More details will be communicated nearer the time!


Thank you for your continued support

The Early Years Team.