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Bitham Brook Primary School

In a community of kindness where all belong: be positive, be resilient, be creative


We have two Reception classes - Mrs Kennedy/Mrs Keay and Mrs Barnett/Mrs Gillard

Support Staff - Ms Tkacova, Miss Burt and Mrs Player 

Firstly we would like to welcome you and your children to Bitham Brook! We hope you enjoyed coming into school and getting to see our classroom environment. This newsletter aims to inform you of some of the routines, expectations and key learning areas so that you can continue to support your children at home. We’ve had an excellent first day and we are all impressed with the way children came into class so independently.


This year we are pleased to be able to work again as a Reception Base. This means the two Reception classes are working together in one large space. The children will be interacting with all of the adults. Within the base, the teachers are Mrs Sophie Barnett, Mrs Ruth Kennedy, Mrs Laura Keay and Mrs Jocelyn Gillard . We are supported by our fantastic teaching assistants - Ms Martina Tkacova,  Miss Tasha Burt and Mrs Gemma Player. The classes are called ‘Nightingales’ and ‘Jays’. In Nightingales Mrs Barnett teaches Monday to Thursday and Mrs Gillard teaches on a Friday. In Jays class Mrs Kennedy teaches Monday to Wednesday and Mrs Keay teaches on Thursdays and Fridays.


As you will appreciate, the mornings are a busy time and staff are not always available to speak with each parent directly. If you need to pass on information about changes to collection arrangements, future appointments etc please email by 1.30 pm rather than informing teachers at classroom doors.


Please ensure children bring a water bottle to school every day. Please note drinks bottles should be named and only be filled with water, not squash please.


Can we please remind you that children need a pair of welly boots which will remain in school for the year.

Supporting your child at home


We expect you will want to support your children to achieve the very best that they are capable of and to this end we encourage even our youngest children to continue their learning at home. This might include:

  • Sharing a reading book
  • Learning phonemes (letter sounds)
  • Learning a rhyme
  • Practising name writing, letter formation or number formation
  • Practising common exception words (more on this to follow)


Your child will bring home a sharing book in their reading folder. This is for an adult to read to them and we change these twice a week.

From time to time there may be a task or activity to complete which is topic related.


We would like to take this opportunity to remind you to please write in your child’s reading log book each time you read with them, as this is helpful for us to know how the children are progressing at home.  Children will be rewarded with gold stars for their reading at home. If your child does any writing at home please bring it in to show us so the children can be celebrated in class.


The children will need to come to school on P.E. days wearing their P.E. kit. We would ask that they wear a white t-shirt, black shorts or jogging bottoms and trainers on their P.E. days. Children will need to wear their kit on Thursdays, starting on Thursday 28th September.


Please, please, please could you make sure your children’s belongings and uniform are named. It is difficult to dismiss the children at the end of the day when so much uniform is unnamed. Despite our best efforts to keep all uniform in one place, they do get mixed up. If there is no name, it is very difficult to know which clothes belong to which child, especially as they are so similar. Frequently washed biro does fade so it is not sufficient to label clothing with this. In order to help the children become independent and responsible for their own uniform they do need to be able to recognise their name. In conjunction with this, we would like to ask parents to support us in developing your children’s independence. This may take the form of encouraging them to take off their jumper independently or showing them how to turn things the right way out. Now your children are at school we will be encouraging them to be as independent as possible, so anything you can do to support this at home would be great! Here are a few ideas:

Can they take their shoes on and off? (laced shoes are not appropriate and are not to be worn in Reception please) Can they take their jumper off on their own? Can they peel a banana? Can they zip up their bags or coats? Can they put their coat on themselves? Can they eat with a knife and fork? We’re sure you can think of many more.


Jewellery is not permitted except for watches and stud type earrings and if these cannot be removed children will have to wear micropore tape across their ears for PE.

This term our topic is 'Once upon a time', much of our learning will be linked to traditional tales.



  • We will continue with Phase 3. We will continue to practise CVC blending and segmenting and will apply the children’s knowledge of blending and segmenting to read and spell simple words and captions.




Our Maths work will focus on numbers, with particular focus on 6,7 and 8. We will begin to combine numbers.

We will be exploring capacity, length, height and time. 




We will be using ‘Pie Corbett’ style story-telling, whereby we use actions and story maps to retell familiar stories. 

We will write simple recounts.

                      Three Little pigs – creating and labelling story maps, labelling a story setting,

                       Speech bubble and caption writing.

                       We will continue to focus on correct letter formation.



 We will be exploring the sounds of percussion instruments and creating sound effects   for some of our favourite traditional tales.



We will be developing ‘joining’ techniques in junk modelling and in addition learning to use a hole punch. Explorations will involve testing adhesives with different materials. We also will explore collage materials in order to create different textures and then create story characters. We will be looking closely at the work of the artist Bridget

                     Riley and really beginning to refine our painting skills. Any donations of boxes, tubes or

                     any junk modelling items are always greatly received.



Physical Development

In PE we will be doing Gymnastics. We will be exploring the concepts of high, low, over and under. We will be moving our bodies in different shapes and using a variety of apparatus.



Our lessons will focus around our dreams and goals including learning to persevere, goal setting,  and feeling proud of our achievements.



Understanding the World

We will learn about materials and their properties. We will widen our vocabulary when describing materials and conduct experiments to work out how to make the best waterproof shelter for the Three Little Pigs.

We will explore the winter weather.

                     We will find out about differences in the past and look at how toys have changed over


                     We will be developing our knowledge of place - learning about cities, towns and villages.

                     We will also learn that people have different beliefs and celebrate special times in

                     different ways.

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