Summer 2: Journeys
During our final half term in Reception our topic is journeys. We will be thinking about real journeys, and also the learning journey we have made during our time in Reception and journeys we may make in the future. Staff from Reception and Year 1 will meet together to discuss children’s learning and next steps. The children will also spend time with their new teachers in their new classes. Look out for more information about these transitions as the term continues. There is also information about our end of year assessments, a copy of which you will receive with your child’s report, on the Reception pages of our website.
Our Key Focus this term is writing. We are working towards the Early Learning Goal ‘Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.’
When we are working on a writing task, we always encourage our children to think and talk about what they want to write. They then say the sentence they want to write, and count the number of words in the sentence. We would then recap the features that make good writing (where the writing starts, using finger spaces, starting with a capital letter, ending with a full stop). The children have access to sound mats and Tricky Word posters at appropriate levels for their development.
The children then write their sentence, one word at a time. Some words they use their phonic knowledge to spell, some they can remember and some they use the supporting resources. We encourage the children to keep reading through their writing to work out which word comes next. When their writing is finished, we ask them to read it through, initially to themselves but also to a friend, to check for missing words, and that it makes sense. This is also a good opportunity for children to tell each other what they like about others’ work.
As children become confident writing single, simple sentences we start to develop their style. We encourage them to extend the sentence, using conjunctions, joining words such as ‘and’, ‘but’ or ‘because’. The can add more sentences to add detail and interest, or to sequence events, using time conjunctions, words such as ‘first’, ‘next’, then’. They can also add description to their sentence, using both adjectives and adverbs, and make more adventurous word choices.
Children will also write in different styles and genres and for different purposes. They will write lists, instructions, explanations, reports and explanations as well as stories. Many children find this fact writing easier than imagining something fictional. We encourage them to ‘magpie’ ideas from books they like, changing the setting, characters or events slightly to develop their own writing.
There are more ideas for supporting young writers and developing writing here:
The glossary of technical terms used in English reading and writing through primary school can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/335190/English_Appendix_2_-_Vocabulary_grammar_and_punctuation.pdf
If you are worried about your child’s progress, please do talk to any of the Reception staff and we will do our best to help, or point you in the direction of someone who can. More ideas and support for reluctant or struggling readers at
It is important to keep reading with your child, even as their own skills increases. You can read children books that they would not be able to read themselves. You can also enjoy old favourites, creating that cosy bedtime feeling. You are showing that reading is something important and that you value and enjoy it. Audio books are a great way of passing a long journey, and are better than the blue light emitted from tv / computers if your child needs something to help them to drop off to sleep.
All our school families are invited to our book-swap events, and in Reception we are trialling moving the day and time of our Reading Cafes around, to make it possible for as many families as possible to attend at least one.
Information about Liverpool libraries and reading projects can be found at
Finally if you would like to improve your own English skills, the Adult Learning Service run a variety of courses at their Park Road centre:
We hope from all the information we’ve given, you can see how important we think reading is, and how much we value it.