Starlings - Reception & Year 1


Welcome to Starlings Class!

We are the youngest children at Leedstown School. We are a class of Reception and Year 1 children. Our class teacher is Mrs. Wheeler and our teaching assistants are Miss. Stockle and Miss Marles.

We are very lucky to have a lovely, big classroom as well as our own outside space. We have a garden area as well as a sheltered hard playground to play on. 

Letters and Sounds

Reception begin by learning the sounds in Phase 2. The Autumn term is all about learning those single letter sounds and learning how to blend them (read) and segment them (write). We normally progress to Phase 3 sounds after the Christmas holiday and here the children will learn digraphs (2 letters 1 sound). This opens up more reading and writing opportunities. By the end of Reception children are often working within Phase 4 and reading words such as swim, cheep, snail and flight. Children will also be working on reading and writing sentences.

At the beginning of Year 1 we revise Phase 4 and work through Phase 5. Phase 5 of Letters and Sounds is all about alternative digraphs. Children will learn different ways to read and write sounds they already know for example they will learn ee as in see in Phase 3 and ea as in pea in Phase 5. Children in Year 1 may progress onto Phase 6 which is more to do with spelling rules.

Throughout Reception and Year 1 children are taught tricky words (words they can’t sound out) such as the, what, was and were.

Phonics is taught in small groups and each session incorporates revisiting known sounds and words, learning something new, practise and applying their new knowledge.

Our Outdoor Learning

Children in Reception have access to our outdoor area during learning through play. Year 1’s have access to the continuous provision also. We have a lovely space outdoors where children make obstacle courses, play in the sand/water, build, use the bikes/scooters, feed the birds, paint, use small world toys and perform to name a few things! Please watch the video on our website 'Prospective Parents' page to see what our outdoor space offers.

Please watch the video below to see inside our reception classroom

We love learning stories by heart in Starlings Class. Mrs. Wheeler is passionate about storytelling and incorporates a story/poem/information text into each topic. Storytelling helps build children’s language and vocabulary as well as develops their understanding of a text. Children in Starlings enjoy learning a new story and then rehearsing it and acting it out outside in their play. Here are a few examples of stories we have learnt.

Our Story maps
Our preschool are very much a part of our school joining in at lunchtimes with the whole school and in other activities through the year so we find children who begin with us from 3 years of age have seamless transitions. We do however have children start with us in Reception, which is lovely too! We love new faces! We will help children transition into our class as much as we can. You know your child best so we would begin by chatting with you. Often by just finding out what your child enjoys we can make the classroom appealing and welcoming. Some children may need their parents/carers to stay and play for a little while which is fine too. We are happy to do what feels comfortable for everyone.
Topics we cover

We follow a two year rolling programme. Our topics are always interesting, engaging and lend themselves to many curriculum subjects. Topics include: The Great Fire of London, Around the World in 80 Days, The Big Build, Food and Farming, Moon and Space and Pirates.

Trips and Visits

We like to plan trips around our topics as well make good use of our local environment. We have had trips to both Trink and Trevaskis Farm, Hall for Cornwall, the beach and Godolphin woods. During our annual Enrichment Week we have visited the Minack Theatre and Flicka Donkey Sanctuary. 

How to support at home

Children will bring home flashcards of the sounds they are being taught. You could practise saying, reading and writing these sounds. Daily reading is so beneficial in a number of ways. It’s great practise for your child to read regularly but bedtime stories are super too. Year 1 children receive daily homework tasks. Although these are based on the learning that has taken part in school, children made need some support completing it. It is helpful to let your child explain what they remember, they often talk themselves into the answer!

Flip Books

Top 50 books to read in Starlings.

Books are so important in the early years and developing that love of reading can last a lifetime. Therefore, reading books that children love really is the key.

  1.   The Gruffalo
  2.   The Gruffalo’s Child
  3.   Room on the Broom
  4.   A Squash and a Squeeze
  5.   The Ugly Five
  6.   Stickman
  7.   Highway Rat
  8.   Monkey Puzzle
  9.   The Snail and the Whale
  10.   The Scarecrows Wedding
  11.   We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
  12.   The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  13.   The Bad Tempered Ladybird
  14.   Beegu
  15.   Where the Wild Things Are
  16.   Little Red Hen
  17.   Three Little Pigs
  18.   Goldilocks
  19.   Jack and the Beanstalk
  20.   Little Red Riding Hood
  21.   Detective Dog Nell
  22.   Hairy Maclarey
  23.   Spinderella
  24.   Owl Babies
  25.   Handa’s Surprise
  26.   All Pigs are Beautiful
  27.   Whatever Next!
  28.   Five Minutes Peace
  29.   The Queen’s Knickers
  30.   Aliens love Underpants
  31.   How to Catch a Dragon
  32.   Mr. Wolf’s Pancakes
  33.   Rainbow Fish
  34.   I am too absolutely small for school
  35.   I will not ever never eat a tomato
  36.   Hedgehugs
  37.   The Very Helpful Hedgehog
  38.   What the Ladybird heard
  39.   Families, Families, Families
  40.   Dear Greenpeace
  41.   Rosie’s Walk
  42.   Winnie the Witch
  43.   The Bears in the Bed and the Great Big Storm
  44.   The Mermaid of Zennor
  45.   Giraffe’s Can’t Dance
  46.   Noah’s Ark
  47.   We’re Going on an Egg Hut
  48.   The Bunny who found Easter
  49.   The Night Before Christmas
  50.   The Littlest Christmas Tree