Welcome to St Leonard's!
Thank you for choosing St Leonard's as the place for your child to grow and blossom through their primary school years.
Reception class is called 'Blackbirds' as each of our school classes are named after different birds.
We hope you enjoy learning about all the advenures and progress we make during the year!
Please use the list below to navigate around the page, sourcing the relevant information you may find useful at this time.
- Meet the Reception staff (we are updating this section)
- Have a look around your new classrooms! (Take a look at our photos and learn about all the exciting places to play and learn.)
- Have a look around other places in your school! (Take a look at our photos and be as reassured as possible during these uncertain times.)
- A message and story times (Come and listen to us reading some familiar stories. We can't meet in person but that doesn't stop us sharing a good book together.)
- Get Involved - everyone welcome! (Scroll down and take part in some of our getting ready for school activities.
- We have arrived! (we will add photo here in September once we have started our new term together)
- Celebrating our learning - at the bottom of the page you will see photographs of our achievements.
Meet the Team
Hello, my name is Mrs Harris – Reception teacher and Early Years Phase leader at St Leonard’s.
Thank you for visiting our Blckbird's class page, I hope you find it useful.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
With best wishes,
Bringing our school to you!
Please take a look at the photographs below. They show you how our setting looks. We do make changes throughout the year that reflect the children's interests and next stages of development but these are a good starting point from which to share and talk to your child about their new school and where they will spend their time during their first year.
This our welcome area. This part of the classroom is just by the door. Here it is set up as a jungle world with lots of exciting books to read. We change this area from time to time and enjoy using our imagination and finding out about people and places all over our precious world.
This is our worship area. Father Freddie and Puddles the cat along with Cannon Riley live here. We find out all about God's big story, say prayers and retell Bible stories with story spoons and our wooden Noah's ark.
This is part of our creative space - we like to call it our creation station! Here we love to use lots of materials with scissors, glue and pens to make lots of different things. What's great about this space is that there's lots of choice and we can use our own ideas to make brilliant inventions.
Here is our music space. We love to sing, dance and move in Reception. We sing each day and like to play instruments too. We even learn to play the Ocarina by the end of Reception!
This is where we look after our wellies! You can put your wellies on the shelves and when you need to use them, just swap them for your shoes. You can see that the teachers also have wellies - we especially like to put these on when we go for wellie walks in the woods.
Next to the wellies you can see one of our wooden houses - we like to move this around the setting, sometimes we take it inside and other times it's outside.
We are very lucky in Reception class to have our own set of toilets in the classroom. There is no need to worry about having to find the toilets when you start school. We will show you where they are but above is a picture of the bathroom door. As you can see the bathroom is next to our classroom sink and creative spaces.
Here is our Reception classroom door. We are very lucky to have such a large classroom space to play and learn in. Before we had the building work done, our classroom was actually two smaller rooms! The builders were very clever and made then into one super space for us.
Here is a photograph of our school MUGA. It stands for 'Multi use games area.' All children at school have time to play on this and you will too! We also have a grassed area, playground spaces and our amazing woods for lovely learning walks.
Please read the message across the page to your child and then enjoy the stories.
We have arrived!
Please take a look at our photographs below of our exciting learning adventures and experiences in just the first four weeks. We have settled in so well and love to learn!
Lots of opportunities that support building relationships, physical play, communications, resilience and wellbeing.
Ideas for play...
Please remember that learning and development in the early years looks very different to other age groups. When children are in school, they are learning but be reassured that much of what we do is plan for learning through play opportunities. We understand that the home environment is not a classroom setting (and neither should it be) but we want to provide you with some ideas about making the most of play situations that will be happening at home. Knowing these, we hope will give you the reassurance that you are providing play and learning time too.
- Jigsaws - doing jigsaws at home provides endless opportunities for development. Talk about the shapes of the pieces and how they fit together. Count the pieces of the jigsaw and sort them out - all great maths skills. Do any of the pieces look similar or different? How? Why? Jigsaws can take some time and your child develops concentration skills throughout the experience and a real sense of achievement afterwards. Once complete, you can discuss what the jigsaw shows, why your child chose it and what they know about the picture they have made. TRY MAKING YOUR OWN JIGSAW - draw a picture on card, cut it up into different shapes and try putting it back together again.
- GAMES - the possibilities for learning through games are endless. Whether they be literacy or maths based or simply for fun - there is something to be gained from these experiences. Talking, communicating and turn-taking are developing here. Understanding and waiting patiently and managing feeling of happiness of disappointment are all real learning points for children - the more games you can play...the better!
- TOYS - many toys provoke children's imaginations and allow them to re-enact scenarios and develop their own story telling ideas. Encourage this kind of play. Watch and observe (or if you are busy - let them get on with it themselves) and then ask them questions about their story and what they are doing. Who are they being? What has/is going to happen? Toys that involve an element of building are great for planning, designing and making - children learn to evaluate their models - looking to find the right pieces that they need and changing them to make them better. These are brilliant skills to see in young children - praise all their efforts. ENCOURAGE SOME EARLY WRITING - if your child makes a model or retells a story - ask them to draw a picture of it and write a sentence about it.
- BAKING - cooking and baking (as long as closely supervised by a responsible adult) is a fantastic way for children to learn. Measuring ingredients, mixing and talking about the changes. Simple science - can you put a cracked egg back together? What did our baking look like before and after it had been in the oven? Numbers for temperatures, timing to see when things are ready are brilliant ways for children to understand how time passes.
- WALKS - whilst we are allowed our daily exercise, make the most of any outdoor opportunities that come your way. Talk about the world around you, what is in our environment/community? Why do we need shops? Post offices? Railways and roads? How far are places to reach? What did you see on your travels? Seasonal changes... the list goes on. DRAW A MAP - when you have been outside, draw a map of the places you went to on a walk and the things you saw.
- CRAFT - children often like to cut and stick and make their own creations. This is a wonderful skill to develop at home. Cutting skills, fine motor control and understanding what really interests your child through seeing them make their own ideas is a great thing to do at home and promotes learning across many areas.
- COLOURING - brilliant to sit and have time to relax, talk and be calm together. Put some music on in the background and talk about how the music makes you feel as you colour together.
SUMMER TERM - LEARNING ADVENTURES!
This is where we hang our coats at school. You will also notice our slippers too! We like to wear slippers at school as this helps our wellbeing and makes us feel comfortable. We can swap our shoes and slippers when we like during each day. Even the teachers have slippers at St Leonard's!
This is our construction space. It has natural pieces to build with alongside favourites such as Lego and Kid K'Nex. We also have lots of block play and when we put all these things together we can make some amazing builds.
We love to read at school! We do so much reading and this is our reading corner. We like to place books all around our setting and change our space as and when we want to. We have so many books - story books, finding out book and poetry books and books we can read by ourselves. It's a really cosy and comfy place to be.
During your time in Reception you will get to play in many different role-play spaces. This is our home corner which we change regularly. Other role-play spaces we have had are shops, vets, police station, space station, garden centres, the nativity and plenty of free space with props and materials for you to make up and tell your own stories and use your imaginations! What fun!
The photo to the left side and the one above show one end of our fabulous outdoor classroom! This is our garden kitchen and provides us with lots of space to put on our wellies and get making and creating. This is definitely one of our favourite play spaces - there is such a lot to do and explore with our friends.
Just next door to our garden kitchen we have an area for lots of physical play. This trolley has bats, balls, hoops, shakers, quoits, skipping ropes and parachutes to name just a few. We create team games and learn new skills using all the items from the trolley. We throw, catch, jump, hop, skips, kick, dribble and bounce... all these things help us develop our gross motor skills.
This part of our outdoor classroom we leave up to your imagination. You might like to use the big building blocks in the red trolley, the wooden house or the imagination table for small world play. We change this space to whatever suits our learning at the time. It has also been a quieter place for natural artwork and story telling. It has nice soft carpet for lots of comfy play.
These last three photographs show the middle and end parts of our sheltered outdoor classroom. We play out whatever the weather but are very lucky to have this extra sheltered space. You can see our sand tray and our small kitchen space. We change these areas regularly depending upon what we all want to learn and know more about.
Just behind the photograph to the left is our construction space where we have lots of loose part play. We enjoy building vehicles, moving water and creating dens here.
What do you think?
Did you like looking at our photographs and finding out all about your new classroom spaces?
We can't wait for you to come and visit them but only when it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, you can keep looking at these with your family as often as you like.
We had some building work done at school a couple of years ago and Reception class got a brand new classroom, including a bathroom. Here is a photograph of the bathroom sinks. Can you see the soap dispensers? They are easy to press so you can wash your hands well with soap after you have used the toilets and throughout the day. To make the water flow, you just press the top of the tap - it is really easy so please don't worry.
This is a photograph of our Infant Door entrance. When you walk through this door you will be facing our classroom door. (just as you can see in the photo across the page) So please do not worry about finding your new classroom, we will be here to help you.
A note for parents and carers... we have written these explanations in the hope that by September we will be using the same doors and facilities as we have described. You will appreciate that no one can say with absolute certainty how school life will look by then but we will work with you and explain any new safety systems that are employed in school in the future should this be the case.
Please use these photographs as a guide to how the classroom might look - talk to your child about how things may look different too and how the most important thing is that we all keep safe.
Arrangements would be communicated by school nearer the time. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.
Dear parents and carers,
Please read this short message to your child before watching the story clips.
Normally when children start school at St Leonard's we get to meet each other three times during the summer before school closes. However, this year sadly things have been very different for all of us haven't they?
In the past, when children have visited us at school we have shared stories together. We couldn't do that together this year so instead we are sharing stories with you on this special page.
We hope you enjoy listening to the stories and have a lovely summer.
See you soon.
Get Involved - Everyone Welcome!
No doubt during the summer break your child will get to try on their new school uniform which is a very special time for them and starts to help them understand their new adventure and the new school family they are soon to belong to.
If you would like to take part, we are inviting the children to draw a picture of themselves in their new uniform. This is not compulsory but if you can take part, we would love to see the children's creations. They can draw, paint or collage - anything that they enjoy.
Towards the time when we re-open school in September - please send us your pictures and we will upload them to this page so your child can see their work on the computer alongside all the new friends they will soon meet.
Have a lovely summer!
We always have such an amazing time in the woods - here are some photographs for you to see how well the children achieve, develop resilience, problem solve and have such fun in the outdoors!
Blackbirds Nativity 2020
One of the highlights, at the end of Autumn term is performing a Nativity to our families and the rest of the school. However, due to the Covid 19 restrictions we had to do things a little differently this year.
In our wonderful woodland, we performed the story of the first Christmas, which we filmed and have shared below for everyone to enjoy.
The First Christmas Part 1
The First Christmas Part 2
Reception Graduation -
the class of 2021!
We made it to the end of a difficult but successful year! Well done everyone - you have been amaazing!
Thanks to our friends at Fischy Music for their super songs and to the children for being such super stars!
SUMMER TERM - ONE IS A SNAIL, 10 IS A CRAB
We have enjoyed reading the counting story called 'One is a snail, 10 is a crab.' This helped us with our addition fluency. We also became snail artists - using a range of media to create our own beautiful snails. Each of us decided on the background for our snail artwork, taking a photograph of where we wanted our snails to live!
SUMMER TERM - WHATEVER NEXT!
This week's story got us thinking about our planet and space knowledge. We wanted to fly to the moon like bear did in the story but instead we opted for making our own space craft.