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 Summer Term 2018 curriculum for Robins.

Latest News


Mrs Race, Mrs Mead, Miss Furness and I would all like to thank the Robins and their parents for a wonderful year of learning together.  Many times Robins made us smile and amazed us with their huge capacity for taking on new knowledge, often well beyond that which is expected for such young children.

We would also like to thank you for your belief in what we were doing, not to mention the many cards, best wishes and presents at the end of the year.  Your children will be missed next school year but we all look forward to seeing them grow again - always a fascinating phenomenon to observe!

Enjoy a safe and happy summer with your families!

Mrs Mead, Mrs Race, Miss Furness and Mrs Taylor



A letter will come out on Tuesday 26.06.18 clarifying what your child needs to wear.

wb 25.06.18

A Midsummer Night's Dream

This coming week Robins will be celebrating Midsummer by re-enacting Shakespeare's play.  Much emphasis will be placed on fairy shenanigans in both mathematics and English.  It's all going on in our woodland!


wb June 4, 2018

We cannot believe we are in our last term of the school year with our Robins.  They have grown such a lot and have become very knowledgeable on all fronts.  Our next chunk of work will involve islands, holidays and a bit of paradise found in our woodland.  We will be "camping out" (by day only!) so we will be cooking things over a fire.  If anyone has a little tent or shelter that is easy to pop up that would be wonderful.  We have tarpaulins but we could do with a few bungee cords too.

Mid-summer will soon be with us so what better time to act out Midsummer's Night Dream?  Much of our work will centre around fairies and imps and creating a wedding scene in our woodland.

We will continue to monitor the progress of our tadpoles and caterpillars over time.  Also, we will be building a few mini-habitats in the woodland to attract wildlife.

Mathematical work will be largely based on doubling, halving and symmetry.  Phonics continues in Phase 4.  We will be writing messages in a bottle, warnings to pirates and letters to fairies. It's great to b e 5 (or very nearly 5).


April, 2018

We have had an absolutely wonderful cruise on The River Ouse!  We couldn't believe how observant Robins were.  They asked excellent questions too.  You can be proud of your off-spring; they were all extremely polite and so well behaved!

To follow on from this trip, we will be thinking about boats, so we will need some good "junk" from home which might make a good boat.  If you have any bits of duct tape around the house which can be donated, it would be much appreciated!  To go with the theme we will be exploring sinking, floating, weight, flow and many other experiments with water.

Robins are nearly ready to go on to Phase 4 Phonics, if you are following this on "PhonicsPlay" which is an on-line resource we use.  Many games are free but you can subscribe for £12/year.  




WB 16.04.18

This week we will begin our work on water.  On Wednesday, 18th April ,with your permission, we would like to take the children on a river cruise on The Ladybird River Boat, which is a charity organisation (Ladybird Boat Trust) manned by fully qualified volunteers.  We will be leaving from Houghton Lock and returning to Houghton Lock.  It would be lovely if you could make a donation which will be clarified in a coming  email from Mrs Young.  If you do not wish your child to take part please indicate by reply to Mrs Young's email which should be out by Tuesday, 17th April.

 We will take half of the class from 10.00 a.m. until 11.00 a.m. and then the second half of the class will cruise at 11.00 a.m. until 12.00. I apologise for the short notice of this trip but this was the only morning slot we could get for this term. The trip is supervised by Mrs Mead, Mrs Race, Miss Furness, Mrs Taylor and qualified volunteer staff on The Ladybird.

The sun will have its hat on and so should we, so please ensure your child has a sun hat, a bottle of water and comes to school with sun cream already applied.

The link below will give you more detail about the organisation:


Many thanks!


wb 19.03.18

Robins have been celebrating Science Week and this will continue because  WE LOVE SCIENCE!!

This week will be spent thinking about growth and our families, so if you have any baby/family photos that can be shared please send them in for the week.  We will be talking about careful measuring in mathematics and we will be writing diaries to track growth and changes in plants, weather...  Robins have been making some real strides in both reading and writing so all of this should be a breeze!  Thank you so much for supporting at home.  It really shows!

As a reward for all of their hard work we would like to invite Robins to bring in their scooters on Friday with a helmet.  Please don't worry if your child doesn't have one.  We have already discussed sharing scooters.  

And now for a spot of begging....

We would like to  plant a Friendship Garden this week so if anyone could donate a pack of seeds or a bag of potting soil it would be grealy appreciated.  Any old pots to plant seeds in would be helpful too.

Many thanks!




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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