Reception Newsletter Autumn 1 - Issue 4, Monday 27 September 2021


This week, we will commence with Phase 2 teaching of letters and sounds. Our focused letters this week are - s, a, t, p. We will learn the phoneme and grapheme for each letter, and practise orally blending and segmenting words containing these sounds.

In Maths, we are developing our awareness of numbers through songs, and will be singing 5 Little Pirates on a Pirate boat. We will learn key vocabulary – same / not the same / different, and use these words to talk about pictures.

Our key texts in Literacy this week are Tough Boris and Where’s the Green Parrot? We will extend our vocabulary by creating a word bank to describe Boris the Pirate, and will use positional words to describe - Where’s the Green Parrot?

As part of our Pirate theme, we will learn about different materials. In our investigation area pupils will be encouraged to sort and classify materials according to metal / not metal. We will learn some interesting facts about parrots and use our creative skills to create our own parrots to display in the classroom. During circle time we will continue our Jigsaw Unit - Being Me in the World. We will reflect on being a member of Reception and how it is important that we all work together to look after each other. During our PE session on Friday we will be playing games to help develop our spatial awareness.

Please login to our Purple Mash blog to access resources to reinforce this learning.

Have a lovely week.

The Reception Team


What is Phonics?

  • Phonics is a method of learning to read.
  • Phonics works by breaking each word up into individual sounds before blending those sounds back together to make the word. Children learn to 'decode' words by breaking it down into sounds
  • Children are taught to first listen very carefully for sounds, then read letters or groups of letters by saying the sound(s) they represent.
  • Phonics teaching follows a six phase systematic programme. The aim in Reception is that pupils will be working securely within Phase 3.

What key skills do they learn in phonics?

  • Oral blending and segmenting
  • Learning the letter sounds
  • Letter formation
  • Blending and segmenting words
  • Tricky words

At Avondale Primary School, we follow the DfE programme Letters and Sounds to deliver systematic phonics which enables your child to learn to read, write and spell. Letters are not introduced in alphabetical order. The document can be downloaded from the following website

What is PHASE 1?

Phase 1 is incredibly important and creates the foundations for all phonics learning. Please don’t underestimate the importance of Phase 1 skills as whilst they appear simple, they are vital to being able to access Phase 2 phonics. It is essential the children are secure in these in order to access Phase 2.

What is Oral Blending and Segmenting?

Oral blending involves putting together individual sounds within words. Oral segmenting is breaking words down into individual sounds.

These skills are essential in order for your child to read and write simple words. It takes a lot of practise to master blending and segmenting both orally and with written words. When learning to blend and segment a lot of modelling from the adult is required. For example, when blending you as the adult would clearly say aloud the individual sounds s-a-t. Then repeat again a little quicker, and again even quicker until the sounds become merged and a word can be heard. With segmenting you do the opposite. For example, say the cvc words such as ‘man’ aloud, then say the word very slowly as if you are stretching out and continue to do this until the individual sounds are clear. Both blending and segmenting take a lot of practise but the great thing is that you can do it anywhere – at home or when you are out taking a walk.

What is PHASE 2?

What is PHASE 3?

What can parents do at home to support?

As with any new skill, pupils make the greatest progress when they practise it regularly. The most important thing to remember is to make whatever activities you do with your child fun, engaging and as hands-on as possible – you don’t need to sit at a table and complete worksheets to learn. Play games that you may have at home, use online resources and talk lots in whatever you do! Most activities in Phase 1 rely on developing good talking and listening skills.

Don’t forget to use the Letters and Sounds document which you can use to help your child’s phonic learning at home. The document looks wordy – please don’t be put off by this! When you get to the activities these are broken down into small easy-to-read paragraphs. You can also adapt these ideas or use them to develop your own, but it is a great way to get started.

Please take a look at the ways in which we teach letter sounds to our children. It is a very common mistake that parents and caregivers teach children the letter names and capital letters, when in fact it must be the letter sounds and lowercase letters. The pronunciation is also an extremely common error, with many children also adding an -uh sound onto lots of letter sounds. As teachers we review our pronunciation throughout the year to ensure we don’t slip into bad phonic habits as it is so easily done. Take a look…we are sure some of the sounds may surprise you!

Useful websites:

School Lunches

Please see below a copy of our school lunch menu. This week (week commencing 27.09.21) will be Menu 3.

Please note menus are subject to change. A file is kept onsite of all ingredients used in the production of our food. This is to comply with the regulations regarding allergens. If your child has an allergy and you would like to see this file, please contact the main office.

Reception Library Books

Last week, your child should have brought home their first library book. This book they have selected to read and share with family members. These books are a great opportunity to discuss any new words and knowledge. Children will choose a library book to take home every Friday – these must then be returned the following Friday, when they will be able to select a new one.

Celebration Assembly

This week we will join Mrs Brown for our Friday Celebration Assembly. During this assembly there is an opportunity for pupils to celebrate their out of school achievements e.g. swimming, dance, football, gymnastic certificates & awards. If your child has any recent awards or certificates that they would like to share please send these to school on Friday.

  • 06.10.21 - Reception Drop-In Session (3.15 – 3.45 pm)
  • 08.10.21 – Reception Dress Up as a Pirate Day!
  • 21.10.21 – 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 week.

The Reception Team


Created with images by Unknown - "Boxes of Blueberries image - Free stock photo - Public ..." • WokinghamLibraries - "picture books subject"