Houghton Primary School

"Working hard to achieve our best"

Robins (YR)

Robins' Class are our Reception group. They are taught by Mrs Taylor who is assisted by Mrs Race and Miss Furness.

Please click here for information about the Spring Term 2018 curriculum for Robins.

Latest News


wb 26.02.18

We've been thinking a great deal about wheels, lately; it came up randomly in a story and has stuck. To follow this up we thought we could have a "Wheel Toy Thursday" when children can bring in any wheel toy such as  scooters, trucks, doll prams - anything with wheels, as long as they are clearly labelled.

We will also be looking at favourite stories, re-reading them to develop a memory for the written word.  Robins will be writing short messages in our card shop as well.

We continue to practise Phase 3 phonics (if you are following this on the Phonics Play website), but it's getting much trickier now so we are slowing down a bit.

In mathematics we will continue halving, sharing, doubling through baking biscuits with children.

Much of our work is outdoors, so wellie socks are a must.  As soon as children have cold feet they become unhappy.

wb 05.02.18

In the next few weeks we will be investigating capacity as well as  practising counting with reliability and accuracy to 20 and beyond, surprisingly tricky when we are all tired!  We will also be listening to stories with no pictures or props to sharpen listening skills.  This will mostly take place outdoors.  In phonics we will be learning about the trigraph - igh as in night.  This will take place all week where children will learn to spell and read words with igh.  Handwriting will be a focus too as this still needs a considerable amount of work

For P.E. we will be outdoors at least once a week in the future so it will be necessary to send in joggers, trainers, socks and a warm top to keep them warm.

wb 29.01.18

We are beginning to do P.E. indoors and outdoors now so please can you ensure your child has a pair of shorts, a T-shirt, sport socks, joggers and a warm top to wear outdoors.  Trainers are necessary now for outdoor P.E. lessons.

Thank you for supporting your child's reading at home.  We can really see the difference it makes at school;  we have children who love books, stories and reading for themselves.  Phonics is becoming quite tricky and for now Robins will stop to consolidate their new learning.  This will give them a chance to process and practise a huge amount of information.  Thank you for practising their tricky words attached to reading diaries.  This too makes a positive change.  Much of phonics takes place outdoors so suitable clothing is a must.

We love our elephants and this animal rescue theme will carry on throughout next week and until Robins have had enough.  We are continuing to look at other cultures from around the globe with a focus on creation stories.

In the coming weeks mathematics will be all about comparing masses, lengths, widths... using correct mathematical vocabulary.  Again much of this will take palce outdoors.

wb 15.01.18

The term has got off to a great start.  We have re-jigged the groups so Robins have opportunities to build new friendships and work like a team with children who are less familiar to them.  All of our work has been investigational in approach so far with some work being committed to memory such as number facts and new phonic sounds and skills.  


You will be shortly be receiving a newsletter which will outline what we are doing this term, but generally our work will be based on hot countries and elephants with an emphasis on environmental considerations.  We will continue to be outdoors as much as possible so waterproof/ weatherproof clothing is a must.


wb 18.12.17

Whew!!! What a term!  An amazing amount of learning has taken place this past term, thanks to the support we receive from home.  Robins get along with eachother.  They easily work like a team.  They know how to solve problems sensitively and as a result they are happy at school, which they have made their own.  We can see them growing and maturing from week to week.

Now they are ready for new learning in the new year all based on hot countries, just to warm us through the wintry weeks ahead.  They will continue to work outdoors as much as possible especially if the weather gets interesting, continuing our thinking on time and changes.  They will build on their problem-solving skills by working together to stave off crises in our role play.  This is a magical term where suddenly Robins begin to be more willing to give slightly more formal work a go and you will be impressed with their progress.

Learning will continue to be largely driven by children's fascinations and interests, all the while being encouraged to think more deeply and enjoy new challenges with confidence.



Robins staff wish you a very happy, peaceful(?) and safe Christmas with your families and friends.

From Mrs Race, Miss Furness and Mrs Taylor


wb 27.11.17

This week's work is based on The Jolly Postman.  We'll be writing messages and counting out money for stamps.  Robins will visit the post office to see what is needed  to make our own.

If you have any spare spades hanging around the house which are not needed we could do with a few please.  Thanks! 

A big thank you to Alex's mum for bringing in her telescope and showing us how our universe works with some fun activities!  The children asked good questions and we got great answers. 


Just "google" Phonicsplay which is a website we often use in our class. Some games are free.  A yearly membership is about £12.00.  The children love the games and  it follows the sequence of my lessons precisely.  The children are on "Phase 2" so any games within this phase are really useful if this kind of thing suits you.  It is really not a must!


Monday, December 11 at 2.30 p.m.

You should have received your costume letter in your child's book bag by now.  If not, please let me know.  Many thanks!



wb 20.11.17

Our theme for this week  is "a thumping good read" or what makes a great story great, so if your child has a favourite story book they are welcome to bring it to school so we can share it.  Good literture forms the basis for children's story writing in the future.

Also we will be working on patterns in both mathematics and during language work.  Any book with repeating parts and speech patterns will be part of our work this week. Children will be hopefully be connecting patterns of the day/year with how the earth moves.  They may have told you about this already.

Outdoors we will be collecting kindling and digging a fire pit for our next venture into the woods just before Christmas (to keep us all sane).  Children will be practising making their own campfires (without matches!!) which will mean they will be a bit muddy.  They'll need waterproofs to keep the muck off.

Many, many , many thanks for all the donations of marshmallows, kindling and firewood!  We'll need them all. As a special treat closer to Christmas I'll teach the children how to make "s'mores"  using our campfire and marshmallows.

In P.E. we are dancing!  We will change fully for P.E. now but Robins don't need to worry about bringing trainers to school yet.  We do dance barefoot in the hall.  



November 15

A message from Robins:

 We want to make rockest. We need:

-tin foil

-cardboard boxes all sizes


-squash bottles

-kitchen roll tubes

Thank you

from Robins



wb 30.10.17

Some shameless begging requests: 

We had a great day building a bonfire and roasting marshmallows today (Monday, November 6).  Robins have learnt a great deal about safety, what a fire needs, how to put a fire out and many new words like "embers".  They have made connections between the fire we built and what they saw when a hot air balloon  happened to drift by at the same time.  Robins are desperate to build more fires and even roast more marshmallows.  If you can donate a bag of marshmallows or a bag of firewood or a bag of kindling that would be great.  I really don't need much of this! 




Wow! What a difference a rest makes!  Robins have come back full of a will to learn new things.  We start this half term with looking up.  We laid on the ground looking up for a spell and realised there is a whole fascinating world up there and beyond, we think!  So we have started exploring some ideas like space and how our universe works to make day/night, darkness/light and seasons.  The bigger the ideas, the more they enjoy their learning, it seems.

Robins have listened so well and have been adding their new learning to our work wall.  They are beginning to know that asking questions is a way to learn.  They know that sometimes we have to ask an expert or look in books or look on the internet for answers.  They are learning to learn.

In mathematics we will be continuing to work on time for the next two weeks or so.  Robins are beginning to connect time to the movements of the earth and can explain this quite nicely for such young children.  In the next few weeks we will also be building bonfires, roasting marshmallows and handling sparklers in the woodland, all the while learning how to manage the risks safely with an adult.  

We will be thinking  about, and hopefully,  looking at stars at home with mums and dads.  It would be great if you could support us in this way.  They will begin their foray into written work by making signs to ward off baddies in their role play; anything goes at the moment!  All marks are acceptable.

In other news, you will notice a list of words attached to your child's reading diary.  These are words which are impossible to sound out so they just need to be remembered.  Thanks for your support in engaging with the reading diaries and book bags.   I can see the impact at school.

Also we will be looking at non-fiction texts about our learning so any books on space, rockets day, night ... would be fantastic.

Many thanks for your continued support!  Please remember to send in waterproofs and wellies if you haven't already.


wb 09.10.17


  Friday, 13.10.17  Robins' class assembly in the hall at 9.00 a.m.

Friday, 04.11.17  Raptor Center will visit our Robins class. 

In the coming week we will be practising for our assembly which will be about owls and autumn in general but we will continue with shapes and number work.  We don't shy away from correct mathematical language for shapes and number.  As a matter of fact Robins love their "posh words" in mathematics.

You will notice that your child is beginning to bring home books to support their phonic knowledge.  It's best to read the notes to parents to get the most out of these.  Please write a comment in the diary about any reading done at home, including these books.  

Weekend homework:

Look out for autumnal changes as you are driving/walking to and from school.  Keep on practising any new sounds and have a go at  story telling for any wordless books which appear in your child's book bags.


Robins are getting extremely tired so we will begin a brief quiet rest time in the afternoons where they will lie down for ten minutes.  It would be great if you could send in a named towel for this purpose.

  Please continue to send in healthy snacks ie no sweets.  

Also, please keep children, including younger siblings, off the playground equipment after school.

Many thanks!




wb 25.09.17

Bears' Week!

It's our first week as a whole group.  We are staying all day now and we will be having lots of fun.  Mrs Taylor says we can bring our teddy bears to school to celebrate Bears' Week.  

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