The Icknield Primary School

Thrive and achieve together!


Welcome to Ducklings!


Welcome to Ducklings class! Thank you for visiting our class page. On this page you will find key information about our curriculum and our classroom. We will also be sharing some of our learning with you so please come back to visit to see what is new!


Staff in Reception


Class Teacher - Mr Hinde

Teaching Assistants- Miss Marlow, Mrs Grey

Key Weekly Information


  • Mr Hinde is out of the classroom on Wednesday afternoons. Mrs Auty will be covering the class during these times
  • PE is on a Monday and a Thursday. Children will need to bring a PE kit into school to stay on their pegs (black shorts and plain white t-shirt). However initially, we will just be doing PE in bare feet in the hall. This will involve taking shoes and socks off in the hall. Can I please ask children NOT to wear tights on those days if possible. Please note that any earrings or jewelry  needs to be removed before being allowed to participate.
  • We attempt to visit the wildlife area every Thursday afternoon .
  • Please ensure that your child brings their reading book and reading record in daily. There is a blue tray outside our entrance gate to pop books in that requiring changing.We will change books every Monday and Friday.
  • Information and news will be communicated via our School DOJO. 
  • Homework will go out every Friday in your child's homework book. Please could you return by the Thursday on the following week.



Starting school is an exciting time: a time of new experiences, new friends and new places. Our school days provide a secure and anxiety-free environment where your child can play, explore, experiment, investigate and learn. We also encourage the children to acquire skills and knowledge through first-hand experience, gaining a sound understanding of the world around them.


In Reception we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage. In 2020-2021 enrolled as an Early Adopter school which means we embarked on a trial year of the new Early Years framework which was rolled out nationally in 2021-2022. More information about the framework can be found here. As a school, we also use key non-statutory dfe documents to support our planning and chart progression points during the year. These being Development Matters and Birth to 5. These and other key documents are posted below.


In Reception we use a range of approaches to suit the children in our cohort. We are led by the children's learning and when they are enthused by a topic we will embrace it and bring it into our daily learning. We will also cover key themes through the year such as those focused on the seasons, special events in the calendar or just topics to excite and enthuse such as space, fairy tales and dinosaurs! This means that the adults are always engaging meaningfully with the children, responding to their immediate needs and interest but we also introduce children to ideas and topics that will grab their attention.

We use a floor book to document some children's learning and this may include special events/ school visitors. Lots of our learning will be hands on and practical but we will document some work in our maths, writing and busy learning books. The vast majority will be in the moment work or small group/1to1 work which helps inform the class teacher where your child is at and their next step requirements.

We use Class Dojo is our main method of communicating with parents and there is also a channel of communication available through our reading records that pass between home and school.




The school signed up to a new phonics scheme in November 2021. There is still a period of transition as staff familiarize themselves with the workings and logistics of the scheme.

Please follow this link for a breakdown of how we aim to implement phonics.

The children have two short sessions a day to help imbed all the fundamental skills.

The sounds are also reflected in the learning areas as the children embark on their "busy exploring".

Characteristics of Effective Learning


Another extremely important part of our curriculum are the characteristics of effective learning. These are the ways in which children engage with others around them and their learning environment. These different characteristics underpin learning and development and support the children in becoming effective, motivated and life-long learners. 


We aim to follow a Medium term plan (MTP) and a long term plan (LTP). These are termly and yearly respectively.

Please note, these are very much open to change as we adapt and follow your child's particular interests.



Autumn 2

This term our topic was Let's Celebrate. This has included lots of literacy, discussion and work on birthday celebrations, bonfire night, Christmas and much more. We have also continued with an underlying theme of our first topic, Super Me to support the children to continue to settle into routines, understand expectations, make relationships and most of all have fun! We have been so impressed with how the children remember all the things above (with the occasional reminder required!). I think it is still so important to appreciate how young the children are and that is why we do our best to keep things moving along and not to stay still for too long! We do this via a mix of carpet time, activities at tables, Physical activity, PE sessions, creative time, lots of singing, dancing and the opportunity to follow their own interests in "busy exploring" time! We have been following our mantra of "choose it, use it, put it away" (some of us need reminding of the later but we are slowly getting there!).

A big focus this term was still on the 3 Prime areas within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). These being Communication and Language (C&L), Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) and Physical Development (PD). This has been done through a combination of the activities above as well as ways such as circle times, small group work taking turns in puzzles and lego, lots of rhymes and sharing of vocabulary, providing lots of opportunity to discuss and share ideas, construction, digging tools and much more.

We continue to imbed our new phonics scheme, Little Wandle and the children have learnt lots of new sounds. Please follow the parent page on the website to keep up to date:

As well as constantly going over these sounds, we continue phase 1 sounds to help us identify sounds to support our reading of words by blending our sounds together (c_a_t = cat).

In English, we have looked at and discussed lots of books such as Chocolate Cake by M.Rosen, The Jolly Postman and good old, Stickman!

In maths, we have immersed ourselves in numbers within 10 with lots of counting and visual activities where we hold and touch the items that we count.This is fundamental in those early years of school to help reinforce what a number. W e have also enjoyed learning about 2d shapes and the children enjoyed going on a shape hunt and making shape drawings.

In other areas, we have continued to enjoy PE covering all the fundamentals such as spacial awareness, balance, different movements, throwing, catching and much more.

In Understanding the world, we have discussed the different seasons and also where we live. We also learnt about Remembrance day and its significance. In art, we have produced lots of junk modelling, collages and painting of the different coloured leaves in Autumn. In RE, we have discussed who is special, celebrations and the nativity story. We were also so pleased to be able to put on our nativity with KS1 and KS2. It was such a joy to see all the parents and family watching their children again.

Overall, it has been a very busy but enjoyable term with the children making great progress in their own ways.

Keep up the hard work, Ducklings.


Autumn 1

This term has been very much about helping the children settle into their new environment and to be as smooth a transition for the children as possible. We appreciate how much of a step it can be for your child and work hard to make it the safest, funniest and most engaging environment as possible. We have focused heavily on the 3 prime areas within EYFS. These being: Communication and Language, Physical Development and PSED (personal, social and emotional development). It is important that these are firmly in place in order to support the other four areas of your child's learning journey ( Numeracy, Literacy, Expressive arts and Understanding the World).

It has been hugely rewarding seeing the children come into school happily and get used to new routines such as carpet spaces, group work, rules, putting our resources away, "Busy Exploring",etc.

The children have worked hard in daily grouped fine motor sessions, doing activities such as transferring rice and pom poms with tweezers, using scissors to cut patterns, squiggle time where we experiment with different mark marking patterns, scrunching paper to make collages, etc. Alongside these, the children have loved our daily Dough Disco where we manipulate playdough (pinching, rolling, slapping, squeezing, prodding, etc) to music. It can be a bit sticky when the consistency is not quite right!. All these activities are fundamental to building your child's hand and body strength to support pencil grips and letter formation (fine as well as gross motor skills).

We have also practised daily hand and name writing with regular work on letter formation. It has been really pleasing seeing the improvements that the children have made.

To further support your child's physical development, we have been very active following our Getset4PE program, learning the fundamentals through an introduction to PE unit.There has been lots of jumping, skipping, balancing, throwing, catching and reinforcing an awareness of personal space.

The children are also very active in other areas and our outdoor learning provides lot of opportunity to explore, play and learn. Our "Busy Exploring" time is a chance to let your child follow their interests, build friendships, learn to work and share together, and lots of other skills. We as adults have enjoyed playing alongside your child and supporting their learning as they follow their own interests. We have lots of activities such as a chalk table, slides, mud kitchen, water table, tuff spot for various resources such as foam, flour and gloop, maths area, balancing equipment and much more. I have really relished watching the children busily play (while learning) across lots of different sections in our outdoor learning area.

Back in (and wherever possible, out), we take part in daily phonics lessons. The children have learnt lots of sounds and we work hard to practise our "blending" of these sounds to support our reading (c_a_t + cat). We have tended to recap and teach a sound in the morning (as well as some high frequency words). We will then recap on this new sound in the afternoon. This can be done through various activities such as chalking, mark making outside, puzzles, finding and making letters in foam, etc). An important area that we also cover daily is Phase 1 phonics. This is where we listen to rhymes and different sounds and do various other activities that support your child being able to recognise different sounds and develop blending skills.

We also do a daily maths session and have practised letter formation, counting and general appreciation of what an actual number is and means. This means physically finding an amount (or making) to represent a number. A fundamental aspect within early maths is known as Cardinality. Further information can be found here:

Alongside all the above, we have managed lots of Oracy tasks where we support talking and listening, PSED sessions where we have discussed feelings, our interests and any similarities and differences we may have. We have also talked about (and drawn) our families, talked about where we live and much more (especially lots of songs and dancing!).

All in all it has been a busy and very enjoyable first term. Well done you Ducklings, you have been amazing!

Keep up the great work next term!