Welcome to Ysgol Bryn
Collen’s Foundation Phase
Cyfnod Sylfaen Ysgol Bryn
Collen Croeso i Dosbarth
Starting School Information Booklet
Llawlyfr Dechrau’r Ysgol
Information for Parents
Gwybodaeth i Rieni
This booklet is intended to help your 4-year-old child settle down into full
time education. We hope that you will use it to discuss the routines of
the school day with your child.
This booklet also offers information for you, as a parent, about how your
child learns in the Foundation Phase.
We hope that you find the information useful. If having read the
booklet, you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to speak
to your child’s teacher.
The Early Years Team
Cyfeiriad yr Ysgol
Ysgol Bryn Collen
School telephone number
Rhif ffôn yr Ysgol
Mr D. Coffey
Class Staff / Staff y dosbarth
Mrs Kathryn Rowlands (Reception Class Teacher)
Miss Sioned Davies (Classroom Assistant)
Mrs Annabel Lawton (Classroom Assistant)
Mrs Sian Prothero (Nursery Class Teacher and Teacher for Reception –
Wednesday and Friday afternoons)
Mrs Bethan Williams (HLTA teaching Reception on Tuesday afternoon)
The School Day / Diwrnod Ysgol
(At Early Years’ Staff discretion, the doors may be opened at 8:35am)
Starts / Cychwyn: 8:45 a.m.
‘Over to you Time’: 10:15 – 10:30 a.m.
Lunch / Cinio: 12:00 a.m.
Tooth Brushing 2:00 p.m.
Juice 2:30 p.m.
Finishes at / Gorffen am: 3:00 p.m.
Please refer all concerns to the Class Teacher:
Nursery – Mrs Sian Prothero
Reception – Mrs Kathryn Rowlands or Mrs Sian Prothero when covering
for Mrs Rowlands
Class Teachers are available to discuss any issues you may have before
school begins and after school when you collect your child.
Things needed for school / Pethau sydd eu hangen ar gyfer yr ysgol
Black shorts / trowsus cwta – all shorts will be kept in the
child’s drawer to encourage independence
Labels in all clothes / labelu pob dilledyn
Lunch box if not having school dinner / bocs bwyd os yn
Dinner money £9.50 per week to be paid into the office on
a Monday / Dylid talu arian cinio i’r swyddfa ar Dydd Llun.
Medicines / Moddion
All medicines to be handed into the Headteacher / Dylid rhoi moddion i’r
If your child is absent from school, you should inform the
school office by phone.
Healthy Snack & Juice
In the Reception class, your child will continue to have mid-morning milk.
We will provide a healthy snack for £1.00 per week or the children are
welcome to bring their own, preferably of the ‘healthy’ variety! We will
also provide a mid-afternoon drink for your child for a small charge of
50p per week, to be paid to the class teacher on a Monday in a labelled
envelope. (There is no need to send flasks etc. – only if you child is having
Reception children will continue to follow the ‘Foundation Phase’
curriculum, both indoors and outdoors. Young children learn through
purposeful play. The activities within the class are planned with this in
mind, with structured sessions and opportunities for the children
themselves to develop activities. Themes and topics will be based on the
children’s thoughts and ideas. We feel it is important that the children
take part in the planning.
There will be ‘continuous provision’ activities in all areas of learning within
the setting. Adults will be providing the ‘enhanced provision’ and the
Enhanced Provision: Introducing new ideas and resources, role modelling
possibilities, providing time for exploration
Focused Task: Leading discussion, shaping ideas, direct teaching of
concepts, skills or knowledge
Continuous Provision: Adults will be playing alongside to observe, identify
learning, respond to and suggest ideas
A booklet containing Welsh language used in class will be provided so that
you can help your child at home.
Planning is displayed for you as parents to share and contribute to your
child’s education. Your ideas and views are always welcome! Look under
the ‘What will your child be doing today?’ heading.
Home/School Link – Talking Tree
We invite you as parents to take part in our ‘Talking Tree’ project. You
may wish to inform us of a happy event/celebration/achievement your
child has attained. Pick up a leaf and jot down the details which your
child can share with the class. We can also discuss sad events which have
impacted on your child, e.g. the death of a pet etc.
Learning in the Foundation Phase
The foundation phase is about enhancing the learning experiences which
enables children to be creative, imaginative and to have fun whilst
The Early Years curriculum is divided into seven areas of learning,
covered during the Nursery and Reception years:
Language, literacy and communication skills
Personal and Social development, well being and cultural diversity
Knowledge and Understanding of the world
Welsh Language development
Children will learn both in the indoor and outdoor classrooms.
Opportunities will be given to explore, investigate and reflect upon all
activities undertaken. Topics are selected and planned by the children.
Staff are then able to provide stimulating activities in order to enhance
the provision within the setting. Children and staff then reflect upon the
learning that has taken place. We find that parents also become involved
with the planning as the children become enthused and want to bring
items from home to enhance and further develop the topic. Parents can
contribute by using our home/school link – ‘The Talking Tree’. Parents and
staff can keep track of our planning and learning through our notice
board and early years planning wall.
Language, Literacy and Communication in the Early Years
We attach great importance to the development of spoken language,
reading and written work. The early years’ staff encourage and help
stimulate a child’s language. We endeavour to provide a rich environment
where children are engaged in interesting activities which invite questions
and a wider understanding of the spoken word, which is most important in
early language development.
We encourage communication through extended language in various
Children are encouraged to have fun with language through stories,
rhymes, poems and songs. Encouraging the children to talk about everyday
experiences at home and at school develops communication skills.
The children are introduced to basic reading and writing skills and are
encouraged to develop a love of books through a wide selection of books
in the classroom library. Children are introduced to a structured reading
scheme alongside the range of books available in school.
Literacy in Reception
In our school, letter sounds are taught through the Jolly Phonics scheme.
It teaches the letter sounds in an enjoyable, multi sensory way and
enables children to use them to read and write words.
Each sound has an action that helps children to remember the letter
Children will learn each letter by its sound, not its name. This will help
with word building.
Jolly Phonics – Information for Parents
Learning the Letter Sounds
In Jolly Phonics the 42 main sounds of English are taught, not just the
alphabet sounds. For each sound there is an action which helps the
children remember the sound the letter makes. As the letters are
taught, they are stuck into a sound book, which is brought home. If
possible, go through the sound book with your child every day.
The letters are not introduced in alphabetical order. The first group ~ s a
t i p n ~ has been chosen because they make more three letter words
than any other six letters. Sounds with more than one way of being
written are first taught in one form only. For instance, the sound ‘ai’
(rain) is on the sound sheet. The alternatives ‘a-e’ (cake) and ‘ay’ will be
It is very important that your child holds the pencil correctly. If the hold
starts incorrectly it is very difficult to get it right later on. The correct
formation for each letter can be seen on the bottom of each sound sheet.
Many of the letters have a joining tail at the end to make it easier to
transfer into joined up writing.
Blending is a process of saying sounds in a word and then running them
together to make the word, e.g. c-a-t is cat. It is a technique your child
will need to learn, and it improves with practice. Some children take
longer to do this than others. To start with you should sound out the word
and see if your child can hear it. The sounds must be said quickly to hear
the word. It is easier if the first sound is said slightly louder e.g. b-u-s.
Identifying Sounds in Words
If your child is going to be able to write independently he/she will need
to be able to hear the sounds in words and to write the letters for those
When your child is able to hear the sounds in words he/she may bring
home words with which to practice their new writing skill. These words
are for you to call out. He/she has to listen for the sounds, and write
down the letters for those sounds. This is the first step towards your
child becoming an independent writer.
Some words cannot be sounded out or spelt correctly by listening for the
sounds in them. These are called the ‘tricky words’ and have to be learnt.
As your child becomes more fluent at reading and writing, he/she will be
taught how to cope with the ‘tricky words’.
This all sounds a great deal of work, but it goes in stages and is spread
over a considerable period of time. Little and often is best. Your child
may be tired after school but don’t worry. It is better to leave it than
push too hard. There is no doubt that the effort on your part, at this
stage, is well worth it.
Across the curriculum, opportunities will be created for purposeful talk in
class, group or paired activities. Confidence and independence in spoken
language develops through selected stories and poems associated with the
class topic to help stimulate the imagination and enrich the vocabulary.
Opportunities will be created for purposeful listening in class, group or
paired activities. Listening is vitally important for the children to
understand and communicate.
Literacy in Reception
Our main aim is that all children read to the best of their ability
and that they enjoy reading!
We have made a huge investment in reading and are very proud of
the quality and range of our resources in the reading scheme, group
readers, library and class book boxes.
The children have a reading session every day. This is timetabled to
ensure that children have a variety of reading experiences –
reading texts, listening to stories, computer work and practical
Children are taught reading skills in groups –
The children begin to read together in groups using a Rigby
Star Story book, led by an adult.
Groups are organised according to where the child is in their
development of reading skills. This is so each child in a group
will have similar needs.
When groups read, there are multiple copies of texts so
each child has a book.
Each week the children will read a book from our reading scheme.
The scheme books are those which are colour-coded in different
levels and with which you will become familiar through home
readers. These are the tools through which we are able to identify
vocabulary and monitor progression.
Each child brings home a book file on a Friday containing a reading
book and a reading record book, plus flash card sheets when
appropriate. This needs to be returned by Monday to give the class
teacher time to change the book. These books are chosen for you
and your child to share at home together.
Reading at home should be an enjoyable experience not only for
your child but also for you.
Give as much help as your child requires – reading is not only about
getting words right but about fostering a love of books which will
continue through life.
Literacy in Reception
These are the key words that your child will be learning to recognise and
spell throughout the Reception year:
I go come went up you day was look are
the of we this dog me like going big she
and they my see on away mum if at play
no yes for a dad can he am all is
cat get said to in five four for got have
took three six one his put two want
In Reception class, the children need to learn correct posture and the
‘tripod’ grip for holding a pencil between the thumb and first two fingers.
The children learn how to write lower case letters in the same order as
taught in Jolly Phonics. They begin to recognise capital letters when
learning to write their own name and through environmental print.
Areas of work covered in Reception
Introduce big books, reading Learn to use a pencil using ‘tripod’
together and repeating simple grip (froggy fingers) and correct
phrases. Retell familiar stories in posture.
own words. Trace left to right patterns.
Act out familiar stories using Recognise, trace over, copy then
costumes and props. write own name.
Begin to recognise own name. Begin to write letters introduced
Introduce reading scheme books, through Jolly Phonics scheme.
characters and flash card words. Become aware that words are
Begin to use Jolly Phonics scheme written and read from left to
to introduce letter sounds. right.
Share stories and talk about main Begin to write simple, common
characters and events. words used in reading scheme.
Sequence a story from the Begin to use familiar sounds to
beginning, through the middle, to build simple 3 letter words.
the end. Begin to recognise word families.
Continue to work through reading Begin to put words together to
scheme books. make a sentence.
Introduce non-fiction books. Play word matching games.
Increase range of books. Look at Begin to write about personal
names of authors and illustrators. experiences (news) using flash
Introduce features of information cards and sentence makers. Use
books. correct letter formation for all
Develop awareness of print in the letters. Write and retell simple
environment. stories using zigzag books. Become
Continue to work through reading aware of writing for different
scheme. purposes e.g., stories, diaries,
Awareness of punctuation letters, invitations, lists, recipes.
Begin to join letters.
Numeracy, its understanding and usage, forms an integral part of our
daily lives and it is essential that firm foundations are laid. Numeracy
must be introduced in an interesting and enjoyable way so as to stimulate
and challenge children to experiment, investigate and begin to understand
numerical and spatial relationships.
Children will experiment and investigate the nature of numbers, patterns
and sequences during numeracy sessions.
The numeracy lesson includes mental maths, direct whole class teaching,
group work, practical activities, individual recording and a plenary
conclusion to assess understanding and the work covered.
Areas of numeracy and topic work in Reception
Ordering and using numbers 1 – 10
Introducing weight and capacity.
Beginning to understand addition/subtraction in practical situations.
Investigating shape and pattern.
Become aware of numbers larger than 20 in everyday life.
Begin to record addition/subtraction to 10.
Become aware of place value.
Length and data handling
Child Profile Assessment for Reception Class
Children are assessed within the first 7 weeks of their reception year.
The purpose of the Child Profile assessment is:
To assess and record aspects of individual children’s
development and skills on entry to full time education.
To support curriculum planning based on individual needs of
To provide an individual baseline against which later
achievement can be compared
Assist in the identification of children with additional learning
needs, including those who are more able
To celebrate children’s achievement
The children are assessed on language development, mathematical
development, personal & social development, physical and thinking &
reasoning. After the initial assessment, written feedback will be
provided for parents.
Child profile assessment is ongoing throughout the early years and is used
in planning and enriching the learning environment. We celebrate the
child’s strengths and encourage and support areas that need further
development. We offer an open-door policy for any information you wish
to share with us.