Meet the Reception Team!

Class teacher: Miss Douglas

Teaching assistant: Mrs Ryan

Teaching assistant: Ms Miller

Teaching assistant Ms Eva


  To our parents and new children at St James, welcome back. We hope that you are well rested and are as excited as we are to journey into this new year of exploration, discovery, imagination and play! We are in the process of doing things a little differently here in Reception with lots of changes developing within our classroom, our outdoor environment and the Early Years curriculum. Keep watching this space as the year unfolds— we’ll be posting important dates, creative and adventurous home activity ideas and showcasing the incredible learning journeys your children are beginning to embark on.


Our Classroom Manifesto: Being, Belonging, Becoming

  • Being ourselves, trusting ourselves, believing in ourselves
  • Belonging to our school, our families, our community
  • Becoming life-long learners full of curiosity, awe and wonder

Our Child Led Curriculum:

We plan our EYFS curriculum in a way that entirely reflects what the children are interested in and what they want to learn more about. Enabling children to learn in this way promotes high levels of engagement and wellbeing, sustained concentration, development and progress. Children have a right to be heard and through observation of both child initiated and adult led play activities we then provide the most effective learning opportunities. Our roles as Early Years Practitioners are to facilitate children’s learning through play, gently intervening when appropriate, involving ourselves in their play and extending their knowledge and learning through, for example: modelling behaviour, vocabulary, language or problem solving.

On Friday each week we select  focus children for the following week. Each child will be a focus child once each half-term. At the end of Friday we give each of the focus children a consultation form for their parents to complete (see below). The form is to be returned on the following Monday so that we can incorporate any news, events or celebrations into our planning for the focus children.

Focus Child Observation and Assessment Sheet

Parent Consultation Form

Parents Reader Cafe

We would like to invite our Reception Parents to join us each Friday morning to read with their children. We believe that it is important to instill in children a passion and desire to read for pleasure, which will inevitably support their reading confidence and fluency both at school and at home. The children are really excited to share their favourite books with you and their friends!

The importance of play:

  • increases their self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-respect
  • improves and maintains their physical and mental health
  • gives them the opportunity to mix with other children
  • allows them to increase their confidence through developing new skills
  • promotes their imagination, independence and creativity
  • offers opportunities for children of all abilities and backgrounds to play together
  • provides opportunities for developing social skills and learning
  • builds resilience through risk taking and challenge, problem solving, and dealing with new and novel situations
  • provides opportunities to learn about their environment and the wider community.

READ ALOUD CHALLENGE: Can you read aloud to your child for 15 minutes everyday?

Here’s why you need to:

  • DODGE THE WORD GAP. Some children will hear 30 million fewer words than their peers before age 4. Studies have shown the number of words a child knows when entering Reception is predictive of future learning success.
  • You are your child’s first and most important teacher.
  • Grow vocabulary and knowledge.
  • Bond and provide enriching engagement.
  • Foster a love of books and learning.




Important dates:

Wednesday 15th January 9:00am – 10:00am

Reception Parent Workshop on the Early Years curriculum and how you can support your child with their home learning.

Wednesday 29th January 12:00pm – 3:00pm

Southwark Cathedral Trip – God’s World Workshop (parent helpers needed). 

This terms topic: Where do we come from?

This half-term we are focusing on people and communities from around the world and would like to involve our families in exploring food, stories and music from different countries. Do you have a favourite recipe or traditional story from your childhood that you would like to come in and share with the children?

We are looking for parents who can spare an hour or two this half-term to come in and share photos, memories, traditional items (e.g. clothing or music) or to cook with the children so that we can learn more about the world around us and different cultures.

Class Charter

As a Bronze Rights Respecting school, we work together and understand the importance of having rights and looking after ourselves and those around us. We have been learning about the Rights of a Child (UNCRC) and have created a Class Charter.

We have focused on three of the articles:

Article 24. We have the right to be healthy

Article 28. We have the right to an education

Article 31. We have the right to rest and play

UNCRC Rights of the childrenUNCRC: During circle time we looked at pictures of children and families around the world (particularly of children who have been displaced due to war or natural disasters, children who have been orphaned, children who have to work to support their families and also children who currently live in extreme or moderate poverty) and discussed the important things that we all need to stay alive and grow up well.


EXCITING NEWS! Meet Ruby the Bear who has traveled all  the way from deepest, darkest Peru to stay with us in Sycamore class. She arrived by post with lots of exciting photos of Peru such as Machu Picchu, llamas, the Quechua people and the fascinating Nazca Lines! Children were excited to guess what they thought the Nazca Lines were…











Ini – “patterns”

Simon – “treasure”

Leaha – “footprints”

Inioluwa – “bones”

Nevaeh – “puzzles”

Vasche – “animal pictures”

Lennox  – “one of them looks likes an eagle”

Ruby will be going home every Friday with a different child to join in with all of their fun weekend adventures! If your child is bringing Ruby home, please help your child to write in Ruby’s weekend diary, take lots of photos to email to Miss Douglas (each child will get to show and tell what they did with Ruby) and please remember to bring Ruby back to school on Monday morning. Thank you!