Reception Autumn 2021

W/c 6th Sept 2021

There are so many wonderful stories just waiting for us to solve any problems the characters may have. These will provide many exciting learning opportunities for the children in context, and will cover all aspects of the early years curriculum.

This  letter  is  where  our  story  begins….

W/c 13th September 2021

This week Storyland Problem Solvers received a letter from Winnie the Witch, along with her broken wand, asking for our help.

Everyone decided that we should help Winnie and Wilbur.




We worked together to write a letter to Winnie, offering her our help.

W/c 20th September 2021

From last week’s discussion we decided that
“Maybe we could try and fix the wand with a magic potion”
“We could make a rainbow un-doing potion”
and ” We could sprinkle a bit of each colour of the rainbow in the potion and make a spell to make Wilbur black again”
Great fun was had experimenting with the ingredients to find the perfect potion. Some children noticed that… “it is getting bigger. It is exploding. It is magic. It is erupting!”
“I felt so excited it was like there was a weird explosion in my tummy”
Storyland Problem Solvers also thought they should make some wands to use with the potion and a spell to mend Winnie’s wand. The children used their fine motor skills to wrap wool carefully around their chosen wand.
We collaboratively created a spell to leave with the potions.
The potion worked its magic overnight and the children came in the next morning to discover Winnie’s wand had been mended.Winnie was delighted to be reunited with her wand.
W/c 27 September 2021
Some amazingly colourful wands have been made which we will use in many activities, including this week sorting them by length
Meanwhile, Winnie has another problem! After returning home to prepare for her birthday party, Winnie discovered that her internet connection is down meaning that she can’t send her birthday invitations. As we solved her problem so successfully last time, Winnie has sent us a letter asking if we can help again.
Storyland Problem Solvers held a meeting to discuss their ideas
We have spent this week writing Winnie’s invitations for her and making some bunting to help with her birthday preparations.
W/c 4th October 2021
There was more fun this week as we continued to help Winnie prepare for her birthday celebrations. Following on from the children’s ideas last week, we have been busy decorating a broomstick for Winnie’s birthday present
and decorating her birthday cake. Having read the book ‘Winnie the witch’s birthday’ and seen the amazingly imaginative cake, there was lots of discussion about the different flavours for each layer. From these ideas the children each drew a cake and then created a layer for a collaborative birthday cake to be given to Winnie.
This has provided lots of opportunities for counting the layers of the cake and the candles on top. Measuring the ingredients to make the icing and decorating individual cupcakes also encouraged the children to count and discuss different units, such as tablespoon, teaspoon, pinch and drops.
Our last idea was to  create and write birthday cards to Winnie.
Happy Birthday Winnie!
W/c 11th October 2021

The children were excited to arrive and find another letter from Winnie.

Storyland Problem Solvers decided that it would be a good idea to first make a spell to make the carpet safe to fly.
Once they were sure that the flying carpet was safe to use, they all decided that they would like to have a go.

Through this imaginary journey all children discussed how they felt while flying on the carpet, and what they saw on their journey, with plenty of opportunities to explore mathematical language. Please come into the classroom to see everyone’s responses. Here are just a few:
“I can see amazing things and I am feeling very adventurous” and “My journey goes under the bridge near a little stream then high up into the sky where I can see the moon and stars”
“I am happy and excited to fly and I am holding on tight” and “I am going over a waterfall and over the fields then under a bridge near the school. I will land in a magic forest”
“I am feeling afraid because it is very high up and I might fall off” and “I am flying over a bridge and under a rainbow. I can see a field where the rainbow ends and there is a treasure chest in it”
Some carefully drawn ‘film strips’ of the journeys were then created.
Finally, the children decided that they would like to design a new flying carpet for Winnie in case she had further problems with the original one! These designs allowed the children to investigate and use repeating patterns.
Another problem solved!
W/c 18th October 2021
The week started with a lovely surprise gift from Winnie as a thank you for all of our help with solving her many problems; a pile of pumpkins and gourds grown in her garden. How kind!
We decided to investigate these pumpkins and gourds, and started by looking closely at all the colours and textures. There was lots of chat, here are some examples
‘The gourds have lots of repeating patterns on them’ 
‘The pumpkins feel cold when you touch them’ 
‘The gourd is yellow and green and has patterns on it’ 
‘The biggest pumpkin is the heaviest’ 
‘When you tap them I think you can make music with them’ 
followed by observational drawings and a class autumn poem.
From this discussion, there followed an investigation of the weight and sizes of the gourds and pumpkins
We ended the week by putting this generous gift to good use and made pumpkin soup. Yum!
And finally we transformed a pumpkin into a beautiful carriage, just like Winnie did in the book ‘Winnie’s Amazing Pumpkin’
Happy half-term!
W/c 1st November 2021
Poor Winnie and Wilbur had an unexpected house guest arrive, and so sent a letter to Storyland Problem Solvers asking for our help again.
After sharing the book ‘Winnie’s Midnight Dragon’, Storyland Problem Solvers gathered together to discuss potential ideas. There were two main concerns – helping the baby dragon to find it’s Mummy, and finding somewhere more suitable for the dragons to live.
Initially it was thought that “we could try calling for the mummy dragon and see if she can hear us”, but no matter how loud we all called, Mummy did not appear. The next idea was that we should “make posters and put them up to try and find her.” “We could put a picture of Flash on the poster so the mummy dragon sees it”, “and hang them in trees and caves”. So posters were made and displayed
The second problem also generated lots of discussion, and was a good opportunity for us to think about different materials used to construct homes – and how suitable these would be for a fire breathing dragon.
“Not a tent because it would melt and burn”.
“I have a caravan. They could live in the caravan”. “But that would get very hot  and it would be dangerous”.
“A house made of wood would burn  down if the dragon breathed fire on it”. “There would be nothing left after the fire”, “Just ash”.
“I think stone would be best”. “A cave is made of stone and it won’t break ever”
And so it was decided.
We then had to find a suitable cave, and one was discovered on the Storyland map just like Puff the Magic Dragon’s home. The cave is positioned away from other homes, and is near the sea, so just in case the dragons accidentally start a fire it will be easy to extinguish. The children have enjoyed singing ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’, and using various body parts to explore rhythm.
We also took this opportunity to talk about fire safety at school, and what the children need to remember for a fire practice
W/c 8 November 2021
It’s getting to that time of year when the postal service begins to be incredibly busy. Luckily for the Jolly Postman, the Storyland Problem Solvers are here to help. Their first job was to set up a new Storyland Post Office, ready to open soon.
We gathered all of our knowledge about the postal service and a post office:
“They sort the letters into piles to deliver them”;
“They measure the letters and parcels and put stamps on the big ones”;
“They weigh the parcels to see how much it will cost to send them”;
“They give you a receipt to say that you have posted your parcel”;
“The postman looks at the number and address so he knows where to deliver it”
“There is a sign so you know when it is open and you can post a parcel”.
and have started to organise the resources we will need to open the new post office. We have already seen a lot of independent writing as the children post letters.
The Jolly Postmas visits many people on his rounds, including lots of well known characters, and so over the coming weeks we will be sharing many of the popular traditional stories. We started off by sharing ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, and Storyland Problem Solvers have been such a help with sorting out the muddle in the Three Bears Cottage. They organised their cottage so the appropriate sized bear had the best sized equipment, using comparative language such as “This bowl is bigger than the small bowl”.
There have also been some lengthy pieces of writing this week, as the traditional tale has been retold
And we ended the week by making some of the bears favourite food, counting and measuring the ingredients, and using fine motor control to stir the mixture.
Splendiferous was the verdict!
W/c 15 November 2021
Work setting up the Storyland Post Office has continued this week, and it is now open. This area is providing many opportunities for maths and independent writing including writing the opening and closed sign, postbox collection times, writing letters and addresses. There has been much discussion about the days of the week, time and writing numbers for the safe.
We shared more of the traditional tales mentioned in ‘The Jolly Postman’ – Jack and the Beanstalk, and Hansel and Gretel. We also revisited Goldilocks and the Three Bears with letters being written to either the three bears or the giant, and talked about the importance of writing an address on the envelope so the post office know where to deliver them.
After watching a short video about post offices and the journey of a letter, we decided to design sets of stamps.
Next week we shall investigate money as we work in the post office, and will add the price of the stamp to our designs.
W/c 22nd November 2021
Storyland Post Office has been very busy these past days as a date has been set for a Royal Ball in Storyland and the invitations have been written and sent out.
We had to make sure that a name and address were added carefully to the envelope, with a stamp, to help the delivery person.
Following on from reading Hansel and Gretel last week, and Little Red Riding Hood this week, we talked and plotted routes.
This was extended to studying an aerial view of the local environment, which was used to plot delivery routes. We also took this opportunity to investigate the odd and even numbers of house numbers.
Opportunities for mark-making, writing and maths are always available as the children design and make cards to sell in the Post Office, make stamps with a clear price written on them, and write letters and envelopes to post. The people working in the post office are very keen to start work each day, and customers have commented how polite and helpful they are.
Festive preparations have begun to creep in, in readiness for the beginning of December next week. You may have noticed the beautiful wreaths which were kindly donated to us, ready for the children to decorate. Adding the slices of orange, cinnamon sticks and other decorations encouraged fine motor control as the wires were attached and wound around.