Reception Newsletter Autumn 1 - Issue 1 Friday 3 September 2021

Hello and welcome to Avondale

It has been very exciting meeting everyone over the last two days, and helping the children settle in and find their way around the Reception Unit. So much to see, do and remember! Our aim is for you and your child to experience a happy and smooth transition into school and the Reception Team are looking forward to getting to know you all. If you have any queries or questions then please don’t hesitate to ask!

There are lots of adults who work within the Reception unit; Mrs Joyce is the Lead Teacher in Gruffalo Room, Mrs Taylor and Mrs Stowe are the Lead Teachers in Elmer Room. Mrs Stowe’s teaching days are Monday and Thursday. Mrs Taylor’s teaching days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Mrs Jeal, Mrs Duckworth, Miss Braysford, Mrs Crossley and Mrs Dawson are our brilliant Teaching Assistants who also work with all children across our unit.

All the Reception staff are available at the start and end of the day should you wish to speak with us, or just say “Hello”.

Mrs Taylor is the Early Years Lead and Assistant Headteacher, and is also available should you wish to speak to her about any matter.

Home / School Communication

Starting school is a very exciting time but it can also be a time of uncertainty for both pupils and parents. Please rest assured that the Reception team aim to provide pupils with a fun, exciting and memorable first year at school. We also aim to build strong working relationships with all our parents/carers, and one way we do this is through good communication. Parents/carers will be regularly updated about whole school procedures and events via Mrs Brown’s weekly newsletter, which you will receive every Friday.

In Reception, we also have lots of systems in place to support this communication between home and school. These include;

  • Start of the day – a staff member from each class will be at the Reception gate for passing on any quick messages
  • Parents can phone / email the main office (01254 703449 / office@avondale.blackburn.sch.uk)
  • Reception webpage – this contains key EYFS information, documents, useful websites and resources for parents to use at home with their child
  • Reception blog – this will be updated daily about the learning within the Reception classes. Please try not to worry if your child tells you they have done ‘nothing’ – they really have been very busy! Log onto our Reception Blog to find out what has been going on!
  • Reception weekly newsletter – Every Monday, commencing Monday 13 September, you will also receive a Reception weekly newsletter. The aim of the newsletter is to inform you about systems and procedures within the Reception Unit, let you know what the children will be learning about that week, with handy hints and tips on how to help your child with their learning at home. We will also use it as an opportunity to keep you up to date with various events happening in Reception, and also any important messages. We hope you find it useful! Parents will receive these newsletters via text and we will upload the letter onto the school website in the ‘Reception – Newsletters’ section.

Reception Parental Drop-In Sessions

This academic year we are able to re-introduce our very successful Reception drop-in sessions. These sessions are held straight after school and are very informal. Reception staff are available should you wish to come and say hello, have a chat about your child or just look around the classroom.

We have several reception drop-in sessions planned for this term –

Tuesday 14 September 2021 (3.15-3.45pm)

Wednesday 6 October 2021 (3.15-3.45pm)

Thursday 25 November (3.15-3.45pm)

Morning and End of Day Routines (commencing Tuesday 7 September 2021)

A good routine will help your child gain confidence and quickly settle into school. We ask that you make every effort to bring your child to school every day and collect them on time. Please enter school via the Reception gate on Durham Road, where you will be greeted by a member of staff. Our Reception doors open from 8.35 am and the school day commences at 8.45 am, after this the Reception doors will be locked. If your child arrives after this time, then for safety reasons they must enter school via the main office and receive their attendance mark.

When collecting your child at the end of the school day please wait in the Reception play area (not under the shutter area). At home time all pupils wait safely in the classroom until a member of staff can see their collector and then their name is called and they are released. Pupils will only be released to people named on the pupil collection data sheet or if they can provide your collection password. If there is a change to who will be collecting your child please inform school ASAP, and ensure they know your collection password.

To support us, until we start to recognise everyone, please tell us who you are and who you are collecting. As you can appreciate home time is a very busy time so if you would like to speak to a member of the Reception staff, please wait until all children have been safely collected.

Thank you for your co-operation with this.

The New EYFS Framework

The Early Years' Foundation Stage (EYFS) has been reformed and there is a new EYFS framework that all schools and settings have to follow from September 2021. These national changes have been made to better support all young children’s learning and development. It is also the aim that the new framework will better prepare children for the transition into Key Stage 1.

Please click on the link for more information –

The Reception Baseline Assessment

Over the next 6 weeks, we will be completing our on-entry observations and assessments which will help practitioners plan a curriculum which is tailored to your child’s next steps. This year all children starting Reception will also take part in a Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA). This is a new national assessment that is a short, interactive and practical assessment of your child’s early literacy, communication, language and mathematics skills when they begin school, using materials that most children of your child’s age will be familiar with. It is statutory for all schools from September 2021. This forms the baseline for primary progress measures, allowing schools to receive credit for the progress their pupils make throughout their time in primary school.

Please click on the links for more information about the Reception Baseline Assessment –

The privacy notice for parents of Reception children is available here:

What we are studying

Our first topic this half term is Pirates in School! First, we will be exploring the question - Where Am I? The children will explore and learn about their new school environment, and the location of different rooms. They will learn about who works in our school, where they work and how they help us in school. They will follow a map and go on a tour of the school, visiting the different rooms and meeting members of staff. Our focused text will be - We’re Going on a Treasure Hunt. The pupils will learn to sequence and re-tell this story using words and actions. On Friday 8 October, to celebrate the end of our topic, we will have a “Dress Up as a Pirate Day” – the pupils can come to school dressed as pirates. We will have lots of fun pirate games and activities, and we will follow a special trail around school to find the hidden treasure!

The diagram below provides more information about this topic.

Water Bottles

Please would all pupils bring to school a water bottle, which they can access freely throughout the day. Water bottles should only contain water, not juice or fizzy pop, and please ensure your child can easily open and close their bottle. The bottle will be brought home at the end of every day for it to be washed out and fresh water replaced ready for the next day. Please ensure your child’s name is written clearly on their bottle.


As part of the Government’s free fruit for schools scheme children in Reception have a piece of fruit as part of our snack time – if your child only likes certain fruit then please feel free to send in a piece of fruit or raw vegetable for them to eat. FOR SAFETY - PLEASE ENSURE ANY GRAPES ARE CUT UP.


Your child will need to wear full school uniform as detailed in the induction pack. All clothing and items worn to school must be clearly labelled with your child’s full name (including shoes, lunch boxes, water bottles etc). Please ensure they always bring a coat as they will have access to outdoor play every day.

If your child is unable to put on or take off their coat, or get dressed / undressed by themselves please practise this as much as possible at home.

Physical Development - PE

In EYFS, Physical Development is one of the Prime Areas of Learning. This area supports pupils in developing both their gross and fine motor skills. Sometimes, to support in this area, we have a timetabled PE session in the school gym or hall.

Our PE session will be every Friday, so please ensure your child comes dressed in their PE kit on this day. For safety reasons, earrings must be removed on PE days. Children will be unable to take part in this session if they are wearing earrings or do not have their kit or pumps.

Phonics, Reading and Homework

Phonics and reading are a key priority in school, and in Reception these areas are our main focus for our home learning. We will commence with our Reception reading programme in the coming weeks and will send you more information about the Reception procedures when we do so.

Dates for your Diary

  • 14.09.21 - Reception Drop-In Session (3.15-3.45 pm)
  • 06.10.21 - Reception Drop-In Session (3.15 – 3.45 pm)
  • 08.10.21 – Reception Dress Up as a Pirate Day!
  • 21.010.21 – Individual & Family Photos
  • 21.10.21 - Parents’ Evening (further information to follow)
  • 22.10.21 -School finishes for Half Term
  • 03.11.21 - School re-opens for Autumn term 2
  • 25.11.21 - Reception Drop-In Session (3.15 - 3.45 pm)
  • 17.12.21 - School finishes for Christmas

More dates for the Autumn term will be sent out to you as and when they are confirmed.

Have a lovely weekend.

The Reception Team


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