Week Beginning 27.4.20 Reception Home Learning Overview

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you for the fantastic learning opportunities that you are providing for your children at home. Both Mrs Gymer and I love looking at your posts on Tapestry. It’s so wonderful to see the children in photos and hear their little voices on video. We are both really missing them and find Tapestry is really helping us to get through this strange and tricky time.

Children, if you have any new interests, or you want to find out more about a topic, please ask an adult to email me with your idea for the weekly learning focus and I may choose it! yearR@popepaul.herts.sch.uk 

*Remember, you do not need to do everything on this overview- even if you just pick one or two things to do from each area over the week, you will be doing a fabulous job!

Thank you for your continued support and have a great week!

Mrs Theo


This week’s theme is ‘Food Glorious Food!’


Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

  • What can your child remember about Fairtrade Fortnight last month? How do we know when a product is Fairtrade? How has Fairtrade helped the farmers all over the world? Watch this Fairtrade video about Pablo the super banana as a reminder. https://schools.fairtrade.org.uk/resource/pablo-the-super-banana/ 
  • Draw the Fairtrade logo or Pablo the banana.
  • Talk to your child about how some people in our country and around the world don’t have enough food to eat to stay healthy. How can we help them?
  • Ask your child to think about the special times when your family have come together for a meal. What did you eat? Who was there? Why was it a special meal? Ask your child to draw or write about it as an extension activity.
  • Discuss with your child how your family can limit food waste.

Communication and Language

  • Make some simple recipes with your child and encourage them to talk about how the ingredients change as they are cooled or cooked. Some good examples include: making cakes, bread, popcorn or ice lollies.
  • Talk to your child about different food groups and how we need all of them on our plates to feel full and healthy each day. Provide paper plates and magazines with pictures of different foods.
  • Encourage your child to think about healthy foods to eat at lunchtime or as snacks.
  • Provide a feely bag with lots of different fruits inside. Ask your child to put their hand in, choose a fruit and then tell you what they can feel. Then, ask them to close their eyes and smell it. Ask them to tell you the smell, before finally looking at it and using their eyes to describe it. Introduce any new fruit names and new vocabulary too.
  • Play a listening and attention game with your child. Place a number of different foods on a tray and cover with a blanket. Ask your child to guess how many are there, and then check by counting. Remove one of the objects. Can they say which one has been removed?
  • Play ‘I went to the shop’ game with the whole family. Each family member in the group says some food that they want to buy from the shop and the next person has to add another item to the list, as well as remembering what the previous people bought too!
  • Food smells game- Use foods with distinctive smells like coffee, lemon, onions, vanilla pods, cinnamon or vinegar. Put them into plastic containers with lids and pass each food around. Ask your children to smell it and describe what it smells like. They can guess what they think it is. Then you can have a discussion about what it is and where it comes from. You can also do this activity as a blindfolded taste test


Physical Development

  •  Have some uncooked spaghetti and an upturned colander on the table and ask your child to poke the spaghetti through the holes. (This is a great fine motor activity for strengthening muscles used for writing.)
  • Provide some dried peas, seeds or bean, bowls, bottles, containers and different sized spoons. Encourage your child to scoop the peas/seeds/beans into the different bowls and containers. Can your child make up a challenge against the clock?
  • Supervise your child using a non-sharp knife/ peeler to cut and peel fruit and vegetables. They could also wash the fruits and their hands and taste some of them.
  • Allow your child to mix, roll, knead ingredients together using different kitchen utensils
  • Make a collage- Cut out food pictures from magazines and use them to make a collage. Discuss each food as your child is cutting them out. Why not try making a rainbow of pictures by ordering the pictures into different colours?
  • Thread pasta or cereal onto string to make bracelets and necklaces.


Understanding the World

  • To go with the beanstalks some of your children are growing, you could also try growing radishes, tomatoes, potatoes or lettuce in pots or grow bags. Cress, mustard or herbs are good to grow if you have limited space. Your children will love watering them and watching them grow.
  • Talk to your child about where food comes from. Eg. milk- cows
  • Cook with your child.
  • Look at food packaging- help your child to identify which country the food originally came from. Can you find the country on a map?
  • Taste food from different cultures.
  • Provide some dried foods and a small tray of water. Encourage your child to experiment with putting the dry foods into the water and watch what happens to them.


Expressive Arts and Design

  • Use a selection of dried peas or beans to make shakers. Encourage your child to explore the sounds made by different contents.
  • Look at the work of artist, Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Look at some of the portraits made using food and then provide some real or pictures of fruits and vegetables for your child to use to create faces too.
  • Encourage your child to explore colour mixing to create colours and shades to paint fruit or vegetable pictures.
  • Set up a role-play cafe or restaurant.
  • Make some salt dough with your child and encourage them to mould and shape it into different foods. Once dry, these can be painted and used as role-play food. Salt dough- Follow this very simple recipe here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-make-salt-dough-recipe
  • Choose a selection of fruit and vegetables to make prints with. (I find that celery, onions, mushrooms and apples work well.) Before cutting, take the opportunity to discuss all about the fruit or vegetable. Slice each in half. Let your child put the fruit or vegetables in some paint and make prints. You can even use the celery stalks as paintbrushes!
  • Dried pasta, pulses, rice, seeds or dried herbs can be mixed with glue or paint to make pictures. When dry, this gives wonderful textures to explore.
  • Sing about food- There is nothing better than having a good singalong to your favourite food song. There are so many as everyone loves to sing about food.  ‘Five currant buns’, ‘one potato, two potato’, ‘oats and beans and barley grow’, ‘I went to visit a farm one day’, and ‘ten fat sausages’



  • Set up a teddy bear’s picnic using some soft toys and role-play food, plates and cutlery. Encourage your child to count and share the items so that each toy has an equal number.
  • Explore sharing using a small group of cakes or biscuits. Discuss sharing the treats equally and fairly.
  • Provide a weighing scale for your child to use, along with some different vegetables. Encourage them to explore how much the vegetables weigh, to see which is the heaviest and lightest. Ask your child to record the activity in any way they like.
  • Make sandwiches with your child, filling them with different things, then use cookie cutters (if you have any) to cut the sandwiches into different shapes for your child to identify. Also, you can use this opportunity to talk about whole, half and quarters when helping your child to cut their sandwiches. 



  • Phonics- It is highly important that your child practises their letter sounds and tricky words and applies them through a reading and writing activity daily. Reading will help improve their vocabulary and a child’s academic success depends upon the ability to read and write and so this should be a priority.
  • Please do the daily Department for Education (DFE) ‘Letters and Sounds’ live phonics lesson. Please see the previous separate blog I posted at the end of last week for further information about these lessons.

Encourage your child to read and write for purpose:

  • Write a set of simple recipe instructions for your child to read and follow.
  • Encourage your child to write menus for different reasons- dinner that evening, restaurant menu for the role play area, favourite menu, party menu.
  • Write a shopping list of ingredients needed for a recipe or snack.
  • Write about their favourite dinner/ food.
  • Make information posters, signs and write food orders in the role play area.


To show that RE is a special learning time, we always light a candle to mark the beginning of lesson and ask ‘Who is with us when we light the candle?’ and ‘Who do we learn about in our RE lesson?’

We then say the school’s Mission Prayer together.

 Remind the children that our new topic is called ‘Easter to Pentecost’.

Retell the story of the Resurrection. Continue to develop your child’s understanding of the Resurrection by making and decorating some models or pictures of symbols of new life: eggs, butterflies, rabbits and plants. Explain their connection to the new life of the Resurrection.

If possible, plant some bulbs/seeds –connect to new life


 Ongoing Further Activities and Information


Ongoing Maths Activities – try at least one a day

·         Go on a walk and count how many rainbows or teddies you can see in the windows of different houses. Which road has the most?

·         Counting objects within the house-This could be anything as simple as counting the cutlery in your drawer!

·         Looking for shapes in the environment- Can you see the rectangle on the table? The square on the oven door? How many edges does the bookcase have? Can you name the 3D shape that your cereal box is?

·         Using positional and directional language- Where is the teddy? On top, under, behind, in front of, next to. inbetween etc. Use directions to get from one room to another e.g. walk two steps forward, turn left…

·         Capacity-Fill the bath and give them your child whichever containers you have at home (jugs, Tupperware). Encourage the language of full, nearly full, half full, nearly empty, empty. Will the water to fill this container fit into another container?

·         Time- Create an ‘at home’ timetable together. What shall we do first? What shall do next? What shall we do at the end of the day? Begin to recognise o’ clock times on a clock.

·         Money- Empty your purse or money box. Learn the names of the different coins. Use 1p coins to count and add with.

·         Patterns- Use every day objects around the home to create patterns e.g. pen, fork, sock, pen, fork, sock. Can the continue and copy your pattern? Can they make their own pattern.

·         Length and height- Find three objects from around the home. Can they order them from smallest to largest? Use your feet to measure the length of items in your home (e.g the sofa). How many feet long is it? Counting objects within the house. This could be anything as simple as counting the cutlery in your drawer!

·         Addition using objects found within your home- If we have 5 spoons and 3 forks, how many do we have altogether? Include missing numbers e.g I have 5 buttons. How many more do I need to make 10?

·         Subtraction using objects found within your home- If we have 7 biscuits and I eat 2 how many biscuits are left?

·         Subitising (recognising how many without counting) the amount of objects in a set. How many candles are on the fireplace? How many plates are on the table? Etc

·         Watch a Numberblocks episode each day at: BBC ​iplayer or ​CBeebies​.

·         Practise counting up to 20. This can be done through playing hide and seek, singing number songs, chanting, board games etc.

·         Write out the digits 0 – 9.

·         Sing Number songs to practice counting, reciting numbers in order, one more, one less using number songs: Five Little Ducks, Five Little Men, Ten Green Bottles

·         Practise counting backwards from 20.

·         Look for the numbers on the doors of houses. Do the numbers get bigger or smaller as you go up and down the street?

·         Listen to a number song from the CBeebies​ website. After listening to them, watch again and sing along if you can. Talk about the maths you can see in the video clip.

·         Look out of the window and count how many houses or buildings can be seen

·         Explore weighing and measuring food on the kitchen scales. Ask, what happens as you place more on the scales?

·         Look for numerals on packaging you find around the house. Can your child recognise the numerals and count out a matching amount?



Maths Websites







White Rose Maths has prepared a series of five maths lessons for each year group from Year R-8. They will be adding five more each week for the next few weeks. Every lesson comes with a short video showing you clearly and simply how to help your child to complete the activity successfully. Click on the link to find out more.


Independent writing

Parents, please encourage your child to write as often as you can, using their phonics and tricky word knowledge. Please take a close up picture of any writing they do and upload it to Tapestry. If they are forming their letters incorrectly, the wrong way around or hold their pencil the wrong way, please correct your child immediately. Please refer to the inside cover of their original home phonics book for the handwriting phrases, if you find yourself in this position.



Please continue to practise all of Phase 2 and Phase 3 sounds and tricky words on a daily basis.

Phase 2 tricky and high frequency words

Read: is, it, in, at, and, the, to, no, go, I, on, a

Phase 3 tricky and high frequency words

Read: he, she, we, me, be, was, my, you, they, her, all, are 

Write: the, to, no, go, I 

For those children who know all of the above, please begin to teach the following words from Phase 4. (Consolidating phase) 

Phase 4 tricky words

Read: said, so, have, like, some, come, were, there, little, one, do, when, out, what

 Information about Phase 4 Phonics

During the summer term and only when the children are secure in Phase 2 and 3, Reception usually move over to the Phase 4 stage of Letters and Sounds. When children start, they will know a grapheme for each of the 42 phonemes. They will be able to blend phonemes to read CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and segment in order to spell them.

Children will also have begun reading straightforward two-syllable words and simple captions, as well as reading and spelling some tricky words.

In Phase 4, no new graphemes are introduced. The main aim of this phase is to consolidate the children’s knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and milk.

If your child knows all of the Phase 2 and 3 sounds consistently and the high frequency and tricky words, then please begin to introduce your child to the Phase 4 online games and activities.

Important- Please be aware that if you go onto this phase before they are ready, it may cause your child to have issues with spelling later on in their school life.

The following websites are fantastic for practising phonics phases, word recognition and sentence reading.















Twinkl also have some great phonics and cross curricular resources and are also currently free if you follow these instructions:

Go to https://www.twinkl.co.uk/offer  and enter the code: UKTWINKLHELPS

Phonics Play in particular is a fantastic resource for the actual teaching of the Letters and Sounds program. It is currently free to parents due to the Coronavirus situation. 


As well as Oxford Owls, Harper Collins Publishers are now giving parents free access to their Big Cat e-books and activities, which are also organised according to book band colour.

Go to Collins Connect and click on the Teacher portal and enter:

Username: parents@harpercollins.co.uk

Password: Parents20!

and then click Login.

To login to Oxford Owl please continue using the school’s login.




You must put the detail into Class Login not the general login otherwise it will not work. Once logged in, you can go into the bookshelf. Select 2 books from your child’s book band colour and practise reading them every day. There are two activities to go with each book and parent tips at the end of the book. If you click on the parents section too, you should find even more books and resources.

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