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Jackson Class

At Reed First School, Jackson Class covers the period of time the children spend in Nursery and Reception. The class teachers are Mrs Arnott and Mrs Cottenden.

We operate a flexible induction programme so that the needs of each individual child can be met.

In our Early Years unit we have created an environment which supports, encourages and stimulates the children to become independent learners.

Please view the class letter for news from Jackson Class.

Autumn Term 2023

We have had a super start to the school year with all our new children settling in really well, making friends and becoming familiar with our routines and expectations.

Jackson class children love sharing stories, we have a cosy reading area with three ‘star stories’ each half term selected so children can become really familiar with them and enjoy sharing with their friends without being dependent on adults. Our star stories this half term are Peace at Last by Jill Murphy, Elmer by David McKee and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen.

We have also based some of our activities around some other favourite books including Owl Babies and Wow said the Owl as we were settling in. We had a couple of weeks where our theme was ‘All about me!’. The children painted self-portraits and drew beautiful pictures of who lives at home with them…even including stubbly beards!

The children loved sharing their ‘All about me’ boxes with their new class. It was so lovely to hear them talk about their favourite and most special things!

We read The Colour Monster which is a wonderful book to help children explore their emotions and give names, and more simply colours, to help express their feelings. We introduced our regulation station as a comfortable, quiet place to go if they feel they want to be calm.

With the temperature dropping we are now exploring autumn as our theme enjoying books including Little Acorn, After the storm, Leaf Man and The Very Helpful Hedgehog. We are learning new songs about autumn too including ‘Autumn leaves are falling’, ‘I go walking in the trees’ and ‘It’s apple time!’. Children have already started bringing in autumn treasures they have found and collected to share with the class. We have them on display and will continue to add to these and use them in discussions, art, maths, writing etc.

We have been harvesting our own delicious class tomatoes and enjoying them for snack time. We even discovered a marrow which we then had a go at drawing with pastels! We have another bumper crop of rhubarb which has been giving us some extra pennies to spend on resources when the children open a stall to parents. 

 In Reception maths, we have been subitising 1-3, this means ‘seeing’ the number without the need to count. We have played lots of games including the ladybird game and flower pot game which are great to make ‘seeing’ the number quick and automatic. Please play lots of games at home too as they are so beneficial for all areas of learning from recognising number of dots on a dice, to taking turns and coping with not always winning!  We explore the composition of numbers, the cardinality and ordinality up to 5 and comparison of number and quantity. 

In Nursery maths, we have been practising counting 1-5 learning to line up and touch count each item as they say a number, recognising numerals 1-3, subitising (seeing) numbers 1-3 and representing a number on their fingers. We sing lots of songs to help with their mathematical understanding too.

We love to keep the activities fun and active and think of ways to incorporate our learning objectives into their play!

In phonics, we follow the Little Wandle synthetic phonics programme and this half term Reception will be introduced to these sounds:

Week 1:  s a t p

Week 2:  i n m d

Week 3:  g o c k           Tricky words: is

Week 4: ck e u r          Tricky words: I

Week 5: h b f l              Tricky words: the

We are encouraging the children to write their name and have name cards to support them with this. As they learn a new letter sound, we also demonstrate how to form the letter correctly and send them home with a sheet so parents can support their children at home too. 

This half term, Nursery children are enjoying playing with sounds in active games including sound discrimination listening to environmental sounds and instruments, exploring body percussion and enjoying rhythm and rhymes.  

Child initiated learning is a big part of our timetable and the adults value time with the children observing first their interests and chosen activities then providing questions, suggestions or prompts to scaffold and extend their learning. 

For example, when one child decided to build a hovercraft, she explained to her friends what a hovercraft was, having seen one on holiday. She had built the craft, but the adults extended the learning by suggesting they could make some propellers. Another child decided they were going to be the driver and would need a walkie-talkie. This prompted others to craft their own walkie-talkies too! The adult asked where they would take their passengers, and explained that to go abroad they would need a passport and tickets. This then led to making passports and tickets! We had fun role playing going on a hovercraft trip and exploring all the different jobs that would be involved. To further their play for the future we watched a clip about a hovercraft to bring it to life and aid understanding for others.

Meanwhile, other children were at the water table pouring water from various shaped receptacles and creating a truly wonderful rich vocabulary experience for all involved. Some knew how to describe how their container was ‘so full it’s overflowing’ or ‘mine is totally empty now’ modelling language to others who may be less sure. But not only maths, we saw great friendship and beautiful manners with children supporting each other, working out it’s easier to pour using a funnel with another pair of hands! 

Here are some more photos of our Autumn Term!

We slipped on our wellies and coats for a beautiful Autumn walk where we were looking out for signs of autumn and collecting leaves to match with the colours on a sticky swatch.

The children also collected Autumn treasure which then became our art resources to get creative with, inspired by the story Leaf Man and the naturalistic artist Andy Goldsworthy.

We enjoyed reading the story The Very Helpful Hedgehog and learnt all sorts of facts about hedgehogs from the book and then even more when we had a visit from the local hedgehog hospital. We baked hedgehog shaped bread rolls and created our own pumpkin hedgehog using sticks which we banged into the pumpkin using a mallet being careful not to bash our fingers…or Mrs Arnott’s!

What a busy second half of the Autumn term we have enjoyed, covering lots of celebrations and festivals including Halloween, fireworks night, remembrance, Diwali, Hanukkah and Christmas!

We continue to choose books to influence our themes and also reflect the changing seasons. These have included Room on the Broom, Whatever Next? Day Monkey Night Monkey, information books about light and dark, the story of Hanukkah and had a novel countdown to Christmas with an advent Christmas story to unwrap and share each day in December.

Jackson class children and their parents were invited to come dressed ready for bed for a relaxing bedtime story! The evening was complete with fairy lights, a roaring fire and hot chocolate with marshmallows as we shared some favourite bedtime stories before bed!

December is always a month full of Christmas joy! Reception and Nursery each performed a dance as part of the school Nativity. The Reception children were convincing shepherds looking for their lost sheep and the nursery children were super stars!

Whatever the weather we ensure we get outside every day with a variety of activities on offer. Our Christmas activities included making a festive (pretend!) drink, making reindeer soup and snowy shaving foam scenes presenting opportunities to squeeze oranges, press tea bags, sprinkle hot chocolate power, stir, swirl, mix, peel, chop and pour to develop fine motor muscles whilst using their imagination and having fun with their friends too!

Spring Term 2024

We started the new year with a super pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk performed for us in our school hall…oh yes it was! This then inspired our play, crafts and writing.

We had some very chilly weather which resulted in some interesting discoveries…
An enormous icicle from our drippy tap, creating tracks on the icy floor and the effects of warm water
on ice!


We have also learnt about how Chinese New Year is celebrated and decorated our own classroom making lanterns, tried some Chinese food using chops sticks, looked at traditional Chinese clothes and created a whole class Chinese dragon which we used to perform a dance accompanied by children drumming inspired by videos we had seen.