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Swans - Reception


We are so glad that you have chosen The Gateway to start your child's education and we look forward to working with you in the future. We very much hope that your child enjoys their time at The Gateway and we know that the first year of your child’s education is very important in making sure that they enjoy school to the fullest.


Our Reception is staffed by one teacher, Mrs Rafter, and two Teaching Assistants, Mrs Mahoney and Mrs Taylor.  These members of staff are responsible for your children when they are in school.  We work closely together to ensure all children are happy, safe and secure and plan activities which engage and excite all the children at appropriate levels.



The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development.  Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.


Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:

  • Communication and language;
  • Physical development; and
  • Personal, social and emotional development.


These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.  As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the world; and expressive arts and design.


These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it’s suitable for very young children, and it’s designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child’s unique needs and interests.


Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.

Term 1 - All About Me and My Community!

These are our main topic books for this term that we focus on for activities.  We have a story time every day with stories chosen by us from our book corner too!

Our first term in Swans!

We have really enjoyed our first term at school and have made lots of friends.  We have had fun working together and playing inside and outside.  We can't wait for next term!

Term 2 - Transport!

These are the books that we have used for our focused activities.  We really enjoyed The Naughty Bus and going to the moon with Baby Bear in Whatever Next.

Term 2 - Transport!

The second half of autumn term is our 'Transport' topic.  We brought in pictures from home of different journeys we have taken and drew pictures of how we got to school.  If you hover over the pictures you can see a description of what is happening.  

Term 3 - Traditional Tales

This term we have been reading some traditional tales.  We have been making story maps and learning parts of the stories.

Home Learning - Jack and the Beanstalk

We have been working really hard at home!  Our topic this term has been Traditional Tales and we have been busy planting beans, making puppets, drawing story maps as well as making castles and measuring beanstalks and everything in between.  Well done everyone!  We are Super Swans!

Home Learning - The Three Little Pigs

This last fortnight we have been looking at The Three Little Pigs.  We have drawn pictures, made masks, experimented with making our own houses and having a wolf (or a hairdryer!) blow them down!

Home Learning - The Gingerbread Man

Nia's Gingerbread Man trap

Still image for this video
For the last two weeks of term we looked at the story of The Gingerbread Man.  We made biscuits, decorated paper gingerbread men and made story maps.  Then we found out that the Gingerbread Man had escaped!  We thought about where he might be hiding and made missing posters.  Then we decided that he needed to be caught so designed and made some traps to catch him!

Term 4 - Food and Celebrations!

This term we have been learning about different food and celebrations.  These are the books we have looked at together!
We hope you enjoy the PowerPoint we made about our Mummies!

The children really enjoyed our Easter Egg hunt where they had to find the letters to spell out a secret Easter message.

Term 5 - Animals

This term we have been learning about animals and have also been very excited to see the Blue Tits lay their eggs in our school bird house!  We have done lots of work around this and have been researching using information books and the internet.

Blue Tit work

We have planted different fruits and vegetables!  Now we need to keep an eye on them and make sure that we water them so they grow.  We planted carrots, lettuce, radishes, potatoes, cress and strawberries. 

Knowing Me, Knowing You Week

During our whole-school 'Knowing Me, Knowing You' week, Swans class did lots of fun activities to help the children to take care of themselves and those around them.  We did yoga, cooking and lots of craft activities.  One activity was to make 'calm bottles' to take home.  We made a couple of them for our calm corner in the classroom too.

The children really enjoyed their trip to Godstone Farm.  They saw lots of different animals and got to search for minibeasts too, which links to our next topic.

Term 6 - Gardens and Minibeasts

Swans in the past!


Below are some photos of children in Swans class from previous years so you can see what they have been up to!

We are builders!

The children really loved using the chalks outside to make marks and write some of the letters they knew. They talked about what they were drawing and writing with their friends.

Mark making!

Our First Week!

The children have enjoyed their first week at school and are making friends and learning all about life at The Gateway.