Reception/Ants Class 2018-19
Miss Batty

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome to Ants Class, a mixed Reception/Year 1 classroom!

I am so pleased to welcome all the children and their families to Thriplow CofE Primary School, and am excited to be on this learning journey with them. My name is Miss Batty (known as Miss B), and I am the class teacher. In the mornings the teaching assistant is Miss Webbe, and in the afternoon it is Mrs Maloney. On Wednesday afternoons the children will be taught by Mrs Symmons. On Wednesday mornings the Reception children will be learning outdoors in the Wild Space with Mrs Symmons. On Thursday afternoons the Year 1 children will be learning in the Wild Space with Mrs Symmons.


The children have all made a wonderful start to settling in at Thriplow. Until the Reception children begin school full time, our main focuses in class are finding routines, setting goals and targets for the year ahead, getting to know each other, and exploring our classroom!


Each day, your child should have in school…

  • A blue bookbag, NOT a rucksack, as these are too bulky in the corridors.

  • A clear, reusable water bottle with water to drink (absolutely no squash/juice). Your child should take this home each day to be cleaned/to change the water.

  • A PE kit, as specified by the school uniform policy. The PE kit must be kept at school at all times.

  • Their reading record and reading book. The children will be given their first reading book when they begin school full time.

  • You may also choose to provide a spare set of clothes incl. underwear/socks/tights/shoes in case of toilet accidents etc.

  • Indoor shoes and outdoor shoes (one pair for each). The children must change into clean shoes when coming inside. This helps to keep our beautiful classroom clean.

  • Outdoor learning clothes. The children must have wellies, waterproof trousers and a waterproof coat, or a waterproof all in one suit.  The children will wear their outdoor learning clothes over their regular uniform. It is important to have these clothes so that they can be fully immersed in outdoor learning. Outdoor learning clothing can be purchased through school.



This half term, our class topic is ‘This is Me’. This topic works well with helping the children to find their feet in Ants Class, and helps them to understand more about themselves and others, and how to be part of a community. We will be exploring the topic ‘This is Me’ in all areas of our learning.


Areas of Learning

In the Reception year, there are 7 key areas of learning. These are…

  • Literacy

  • Maths

  • Physical Development 

  • Expressive Arts and Design

  • Understanding the World

  • Communication and Language

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

With our Year 1 children, we will be exploring the National Curriculum. The focus subjects are:

  • English

  • Maths

  • Science

  • History

  • Geography

  • Computing

  • Modern Foreign Language

  • Art

  • Design & Technology

  • Religious Education

  • Physical Education

  • Personal, Social, Health, and Economic Education


We will be exploring all areas of learning every day using a very cross-curricular thematic approach. This happens through teacher-led whole class carpet sessions, small group sessions, and one-to-one sessions. As well as these sessions, the children will have the opportunity to explore the ‘enhanced provision’ every day. Enhanced provision is the carefully selected resources put out in the classroom/outdoor covered area each day, which are designed to engage, support, and challenge the children in their independent learning.


Daily Reading

Once the children begin school full time, they will be given a reading record and reading book. They must bring this reading record and reading book to school with them every day, even if it does not need changing. When the children arrive at school, they must put the record and book into the book basket. Their books will be changed once they have read the book once or twice. Please try to read with your child every night, even if only for 10 minutes! It will significantly help them to develop their reading skills.

At first, the Reception children will take home books without words. This is a crucial step on their journey of learning to read. The children will be developing their understanding and comprehension of stories, as well as their ability to make predictions. This will help your child to be ready to start reading books with words! To help your child with these books without words, you can show them…

  • The title, author and illustrator of the book.

  • How to hold the book correctly.

  • How to turn the pages carefully one at a time.

You could ask your child...

  • Who are the characters?

  • What is happening in the story?

  • What is that character doing?

  • What do you think is going to happen next?

  • Why do you think that character did that?

If you have any questions about reading books, please don’t hesitate to ask me.



To track the children’s progress throughout the year, we will use the online learning journal ‘Tapestry’ at school. You can find more information about Tapestry here: and of course please speak to me at school if you have any questions.


Mystery Readers 

I love to have parents and carers come and visit our classroom, and I know the children love it too! As part of this, I am looking for volunteer mystery readers to come and read a story of your choice at school to the children. The children love the surprise, and it really helps to develop their excitement and love for books! Once a week, I will tell the children we are having a mystery reader. The children will all close their eyes, and excitedly wait for the mystery reader to arrive. If you would love to be a mystery reader, do come and speak to me in school, and we can arrange a time for you to visit.


Proud Clouds

It is so important to be proud of the things we learn at school and at home, and to celebrate them! If your child does something you are proud of at home, I would love to hear about it, and share the achievement with the other children. This can be anything from a certificate from a club, to helping to lay the table for dinner. Take a ‘proud cloud’ from the folder by our classroom gate, and write all about your child’s achievement on it. The please return it to me, and we will then celebrate the achievement in class and display the cloud on our proud clouds board in our classroom. Come into our classroom to see our clouds and why we are proud!


If you have any further queries, do not hesitate to come and speak to me in school. I look forward to getting to know you and the children this year!


Miss B

If you have any questions about any aspect of our class, please do not hesitate to come and speak to me at the beginning or end of school at our class gate.
What are we learning about in Ants Class?
Term: Autumn 1
Topic: This is Me

This term in Ants Class our topic is 'This is Me'! This topic will explore what makes us special and unique, as well us helping us to understand the amazing workings of the human body! We will also be investigating Autumn and celebrating Harvest.

In Literacy the Year 1 children will be developing their writing stamina and their use of full stops, finger spaces, and capital letters. Reception children will be working on their pencil control, name writing, and initial sounds.

For Phonics, the whole Year 1 cohort will be taught in the Butterflies classroom. They will first revisit the phonemes and tricky words they learnt last year, and then we will begin to introduce new ones. The Reception children will begin by becoming more 'phonemically aware', and then we will introduce the first few letter sounds to them, beginning with 's, a, t, p, i, and n'.

In Maths, Reception will be exploring numbers 0-10, and learning how to count objects very carefully. We will also be looking at 2D shapes, capacity, and talking about the days and months of the year. Year 1  children will be developing their knowledge of numbers 0-100, and becoming familiar with the 100 square. They will also begin to learn how to write and read the days of the week, as well as writing and reading numbers 0-20 in words. Year 1 will also explore 2D shape in depth, as well as developing their understanding of directions and capacity.

In PE the children will be taught by Mrs Symmons every Wednesday afternoon, and this term we will be focussing on dance and movement.

In RE we are looking at the Christian understanding of God and Creation, as well as the Christian celebration of Harvest.

In Wild Space we ...

In Art, in-keeping with our 'This is Me' topic, we will be looking closely at self-portraits. We will do this through exploring famous artists' self-portraits, as well as creating our own for our 'We Are Ants Class' classroom display.

In Music we will begin exploring our school's amazing musical instrument collection, and learn how to correctly look after and play the instruments. We will also be doing lots of singing!

We are centering our Science learning around humans, and are developing our knowledge the human body. This will include investigating human body parts (both inside and out!), teeth, and our five senses. of jungle animals, jungle plants, and what the habitat of the jungle is like. We are also thinking about how we can look after our jungle environments.

In Geography we will be thinking about the environment and place in which we live, as well as a map of Thriplow and where we go to school.

In Computing, the Year 1 children will begin using the Purple Mash website and developing their mouse control. Reception children will begin by exploring a painting program on the iPads.

In PSHE, as part of our 'This is Me' topic, we will be thinking about how we can be kind friends, and how we can 'live' our Thriplow school vision (particularly the part about 'clothing ourselves in kindness'). We will also be exploring how we can recognise, understand, and manage the emotions we experience. 






Term: Summer
Topic: Jungles

This term in Ants Class our topic is Jungles!

We are focussing our Literacy learning around two key texts. These are Grandad’s Island by Benji Davies, and Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson. This term we are concentrating on developing our sentence writing skills, and trying especially hard to use finger spaces independently.

In Maths, we are exploring number concepts such as doubling, halving, and sharing. We are also looking at 2D and 3D shape as well as patterns and symmetry.

In PE we are lucky to be being taught by Miss Jackson, and she is helping us to develop our movement and spatial awareness skills.

In RE we are looking at love and Christian marriage, and we will soon be planning our own play wedding!

In Wild Space we are developing our knowledge and understanding of our immediate environment, and are working on our upper body strength through creating rope swings.

In Art, we are using a range of media to create works of art, including charcoal drawings of animals, oil pastel drawings of plants, and even using the iPads to draw too! We have also used our creative skills to turn our whole classroom into an amazing jungle!

We are centering our Science learning around jungles, and are developing our knowledge of jungle animals, jungle plants, and what the habitat of the jungle is like. We are also thinking about how we can look after our jungle environments.

Term: Spring  
Topic: All Around the World
This term we are exploring the world we live in! Each week we are focussing on a different country, beginning with our country, the United Kingdom. We will also be looking at India, New Zealand, Singapore, and more!
In Literacy we are focussing on reading longer sentences, understanding adjectives, understanding story structure, and writing a whole sentence without support.
In Maths we are focussing on developing our number sense, beginning to perform addition and subtraction problems, telling o'clock times, exploring patterns, measuring using cubes, and comparing the weight of two objects.
In Physical Development we are still working on developing our finger strength, fine motor movement and gross motor movement. We are particularly focussing on ensuring we are using the correct letter formation and holding our pens and pencils correctly in the tripod grip. We are also exploring dance and experimenting with different ways of moving our bodies.
In Expressive Art and Design we are looking at using colour to achieve a planned effect, as well as exploring new media and techniques.
In Understanding the World we will be developing our comparing and understanding skills through the lens of imagined exploration of the world.
In Personal Social and Emotional Development we will continue to develop our ability to self-regulate our emotions.
In Communication and Language we will develop our speaking skills, working particularly on always answering questions in full sentences, and developing our confidence to speak in large groups or to unfamiliar children and adults.














































Previous teacher page: 

Summer Term in Ants Class 2018

Welcome to a new and sunny term in Ant’s Class. The Children are back into the class regime and working hard.


This half term our topic is ‘From bean to beanstalk’.  We have already planted potatoes, peas and beans and are eagerly watching them sprout roots in the classroom and poke shoots out of the planters outside. 

After half term our topic is ‘Minibeasts’.  We shall look closely at small creatures and find out as much as we can about where they love and how they survive.  We are hoping to raise some butterflies from caterpillars and visit Shepreth Wildlife Park for a Minibeast Education session (more information to follow in a separate letter). 


Our Outdoor Learning sessions will continue to be on Tuesday mornings.  This term we will be learning how to use tools safely and whittling wooden sticks with potato peelers.  We will also continue to cook safely on the camp fire and investigate the plants and Minibeasts living in the Wild space. 

The sessions will take place whatever the weather so waterproof clothes and sun protection are essential.  


We will continue to send home reading books for you to share with your child and to help support their reading.   Please sign and/or comment in their Reading Record book when they have read with you, even if it is just a few pages. The children will put their reading books in a box at the beginning of the day so that new books can be sent home at the end of the day.  


We will be having P.E. every Wednesday morning. Please ensure that the children have PE kit which includes suitable outdoor footwear. Also please make sure all items are clearly labelled so that lost and mislaid items are quickly returned. 


 Things to Remember


  • All children must have a named sunhat in school every day, even if it is overcast. They will wear a hat at all times when they are outside at school.

  • All children are encouraged to drink water regularly. Please ensure your child has a

    water bottle or a plastic cup with their name on in school.

  • All children need indoor and outdoor shoes.

  • Please keep us informed of any changes to your child’s regular going home routine.

  • Please could you ensure all of your child’s clothes are clearly named, including P.E. kits.


Finally if you have any worries, concerns or questions, please do come in and discuss them, you are most welcome.


Mrs Symmons, Ms Meakin, Miss Webbe and Mrs Maloney