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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 

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. 


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. Any concerns or queries can also be directed to


As the weather turns warmer please ensure that children come to school with a sunhat and water bottle. Sun cream should be applied at home on hot days. Please note drinks bottles should be names and only be filled with water. This is primarily to promote a healthy lifestyle but also we now have quite a few stains on our classroom carpet where children have spilt squash so we would appreciate bottles just containing water.


Please continue to ensure your child brings minimal possessions into school. Children must not bring any toys from home. 


Nightingales have PE on Wednesday and Thursdays. Jays have PE on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


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. 


As the year progresses and the phonics and reading knowledge becomes increasingly challenging, we would ask you to take the time to support your child with their learning. When children are consistently reading at home, progress is good. Please ensure that you are reading 5 times a week, practising common exception words and also support your child to practise correct letter formation. 


Please continue to practice common exception words at home. There are many words to learn, so it is important for you to support your child's progress. 



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. Our PE day is a Thursday.


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.


When the weather turns warmer please ensure that children come to school with a sunhat and a water bottle. Sun cream should be applied at home on hot days. Please note drinks bottles should be names and only be filled with water.  We have noticed that more children are bringing squash but we want to encourage the healthier option of water, especially for young children's teeth. In addition we find that squash stains the carpet when it spills- a common occurrence in Reception!


Please continue to ensure your child brings minimal possessions into school. We also request that children no longer bring any toys to school. 


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 'Little People, Big Dreams... Let's Travel'.



  • We will continue with Phase 4 of ‘Unlocking Letters and Sounds’ in which the main aim will be to help children to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants such as trip, vest and strong.




Counting and number patterns beyond 20.

Understand position and pattern.

Sharing and grouping.

                     Explore shape.




Our key literacy texts will be ‘Amelia Earhart Little People Big Dreams’ ‘What the Ladybird heard’ and ‘What the ladybird heard goes on holiday’  by  Julia Donaldson, ‘Bringing the rain to Kapiti Plain’ by Verna Aardema and  ‘Meerkat Mail’ by Emily Gravett.

We will enjoy reading and retelling, making predictions and developing our comprehension skills.

We will be writing fact files, letters and postcards.




We will be singing West African call and response songs.

We will learn to clap a rhythm before playing one on the drums.




We will be developing our observational drawing skills.





Physical Development

We will be playing cricket. We will learn how to pass the ball under arm and use our new skills to play caterpillar cricket.

We will also be practising the skills needed for our sports day!




Our PSHE topic this term is ‘’Changing Me. We will be exploring our feelings around change. We will be talking about our bodies and how we grow from babies to adults, reminding ourselves of how to make healthy choices.

 We will be discussing how we are feeling as we get ready for Year 1; things we may be worried about or looking forward to. Later in the term children will visit their new classroom and spend a morning with their new teacher.

We will share our favourite memories of Reception



Understanding the World

Activities will include

  • Understanding that there are four seasons and looking at the differences between them,
  • Exploring features of different environments such as mountains, deserts, urban landscapes.
  • Looking at the life of Amelia Earhart, a significant person from the past.
  • Making a timeline of our lives.
  • Making comparisons between vehicles - the first aeroplane compared with an aeroplane nowadays.
  • Learning about the lives of children in different countries and communities.


Previous Class Newsletters