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, Ms Durrance

A guided tour of our Reception area for current or prospective adults and children!

Still image for this video
Please follow this link for a tour of our indoor and outdoor areas

Key Weekly Information


  • Mr Hinde is out of the classroom on Tuesday afternoons. Mrs Auty will be covering the class during these times
  • PE is on a Tuesday and a Thursday. Children will need to come to school in their PE kits.
  • Visits to the wildlife area are weekly and we will inform you of the day shortly.
  • 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.
  • Information and news will be communicated via our School DOJO. 



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.


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 are looking into using Tapestry to share key learning points during the year but Class Dojo is our main method of communicating with parents.




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.


Spring 2

This term our topic was Growing. The children have very much enjoyed learning about plants and getting hands on with seeds, water and plenty of soil! The children planted their own sunflower seeds, we have cress growing in our 'curiousty cube', have plenty of growing items in our outdoor environment and we even made our own garden centre in our role-play area. The children have enjoyed learning about plants and produced some lovely labelling of the parts of plants. 

In English, we enjoyed reading and discussing books that covered areas related to growing. These included, The Growing Story, Titch, Christopher Nibble, Billy's Sunflower and Oliver's vegetables. We have also covered non-fiction books about Spring and chicks.

Lots of our topic tied in nicely with Science week, where the theme was Growth. The children enjoyed measuring themselves in chalk in the playground and then cutting the same length of string. We then made lots of comparisons and also found different units to measure the length of the string in (wooden blocks, cones, etc).

In Maths, we have covered lots of work of amounts within 10. We have represent groups of amounts with various resources and have also looked at these on ten frames. We have then used our ten frames to work out how many more we need to get to 10. Good old number bonds! The children have also liked working on 2d and 3d shapes. We have taken part in various activities such as shape hunts, colouring in, printing, repeated patterns, drawing, building and much more!

In Phonics, we continue to recap on all our sounds and have challenged ourselves by beginning to read longer words. We have also worked on our tricky words. We continue to read as much as possible and continue to aim to read 3 times a week in our guided reading groups.

We have continued our fine motor activities and the children practise their letter formation daily.

In PE, we continue our Ball Skills unit while being very fortunate to have Premier Sports running two sessions on top of this, covering Gymnastics and fundamental skills.

Well done for all your hard work, Ducklings.

Spring 1

This terms topic was Fairies and Dragons! The children were very excited to see a fairy door appear in our classroom and enjoyed reading messages from our resident pixie, Pippety! We were also very excited to see some fairies and dragons in our curiosity box and to find that they have moved to different parts of our learning areas during the night!

Pippety directed us to lots of books and we enjoyed reading Backyard Fairies, Pippety Pixie Tale and How to catch a dragon. We have used talk for writing which involves acting out stories, drawing story maps and listing keywords. Lots of lovely vocabulary that led to lots of lovely language and writing.

In Phonics, we continue to follow our letters and sounds scheme, Little Wandle and have learnt lots of phase 3 sounds and tricky words. This is as well as recapping on our previous  phase 2 sounds and words. The children are getting more consistent in blending sounds to read (c_a_t - cat) and recalling some words by sight. Our 3 weekly group reading sessions are really helping to plug any gaps in their learning.

In Maths, we continue to really focus on individual numbers and how they are represented. It is so important that your child can see and touch amounts to help build the foundations for moving forward. Counting is great but without realising what each amount is, this can cause misconceptions moving forward. We have have also done a lot of subitizing where we look to recognise amounts by sight straight away without counting. 

In other areas we have enjoyed PE units in gymnastics and ball control. In Science (Understanding the World), we have discussed seasons and changes in the weather. In ART, we enjoyed lots of Chinese New Year activities (making dragons and lanterns, etc). In PHSE, we discussed our bodies and the changes in ourselves as we grow up.

We also have lots of busy exploring where the children enjoy following their own interests in areas such as construction, sand, water, drawing, Lego and much more.

A great term and well done Ducklings!

Autumn 2

We have continued with our topic, Super Me to support the children to continue to settle into routines, under stand 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 blip!). 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 done 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 also made our own little production with KS1 but we are so sorry that for obvious reasons, adults were not allowed to attend.

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!