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Reception: RSH (Rainbow Star), RNF (Rainbow Moon), RJC (Rainbow Sun)

                               Welcome tReception 



Friday 5th June

What a week! It's felt extraordinarily long for the Rainbow Gang but we've absolutely loved having children back to work with rather than our full days with our laptops, Zoom meetings and phone calls!  How are you doing? 

We teachers have tried to spend some 1:1 time with all the children in our bubbles, generally seeing how their reading is. It is very noticeable  how brilliant you have been in trying to do some reading most days - the difference it makes is incredible. But it is not easy, particularly when you don't have our school choosing books, we understand. Hopefully you are still using our videos to promote learning- more are coming. 

We have also spent a lot of time outside - how grateful are we for the weather! and the mud pies/cowpats/moats are coming along nicely, as are our minibeast hunts. The children have really grown and seem so much stronger than before so we are loving our climbing equipment and using our bikes- and so many without stabilisers!

Next week we will be looking at caterpillars and butterflies. We will be reading...can you guess...The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Mrs Chapman has recorded this for you at home.

We will be looking at symmetry in maths. Next week's learning plan is already in week 2 for you, but feel free to get in touch if you have any questions. (

We miss you.

The Rainbow Gang

p.s. The 'Is it lunchtime yet?' questions started at 10am and they were all shattered by 1.30!


Are you ready for school next week? Here is a quick checklist of things to remember. Please read Mrs Fenby's emails for more info.


Re: June 1st

  • Your child is either in bubble 1 (Mon/Tues) or bubble 2 (Thurs/Fri). See letter for details.
  • School gates will be open 8.30-9am.   2.45-3.15pm. 
  • Please try not come into the playground/to the classroom door at drop off time.
  • children must be collected from their door/exit not their sibling's
  • They come to school in uniform (but trainers can be worn instead of school shoes if necessary IF they can tie their own laces as we won’t be able to help them)


Things to bring each day:

  • A named bag
  • A named lunchbox (if not having Chef Kev’s packed lunch)
  • A named pencil case (writing pencil, colouring pencils, sharpener, glue stick, ruler)
  • A named snack pot with a portion of fruit/veg 
  • A named water bottle



  • A layer of suncream before school (we cannot help them put on suncream so please teach them how to do it independently if you want them to bring in their own suncream)
  • A waterproof coat if rain is forecast – we will be spending lots of time outside.
  • One adult to come to school to drop off/pick up
  • Strictly abiding by social distancing when in school grounds
  • We are encouraging your own bikes/scooters. A named helmet is essential.
  • Any notes to be given to the TA on the gate rather than coming into the playground.


Tuesday 26th May

Normally teachers would be busily writing, editing and proof-reading annual reports this week but here we are planning a revised curriculum for our new half term that will ensure good learning for everyone- wherever you decide to do it. We are also currently sorting out the classrooms so that they are safe and easy to clean and have as much social distancing as is realistic. Photos and a video will follow so you can be reassured that although different, we are trying to make our classrooms as recognisable as possible for our gorgeous children. There will also be a reminder of what you need to know and bring if you are choosing to come to school over the next few weeks from Mrs Fenby's letter.

We hope that you are being safe in the sun (teaching them how to apply their own suncream!), reading and noticing digraphs and trigraphs around the home and considering why that bottle of sauce/shampoo/water is the 3D shape that it is!

Doodle Champions remain Rainbow Star. smiley 

We are around to help you with next week if you need us. Use your Tapestry account or

The Rainbow gang

Can you spot your classroom?

Rainbow Star have just beaten Rmoon in Doodle this week with 68% of you in the 'green zone'.

RSH= 2939 stars

RNF= 2457

RJC= 1932

That's a lot of stars between you all. Well done.

Special mention to:






































































Rainbow Moon are doodle champions this week! 77% of children in the green zone, well done my little superstars! Also well done to the children who are now on over a 100 day streak: Ryan, Ellie, Amelia and Inez! Fantastic work!
Rainbow Star won the Doodle Trophy this week for the greatest accuracy in questions answered. Well done Starlets!

Monday 20th April 2020

I was asked what the day and date was today. Needed to phone a friend. And they needed a 50-50. I do know that we should be doing our Magical Starter today for our new topic: Who do you want to be? We had so much planned and had hoped to inspire to aspire! Still, over to you lovely parents and carers now. We have endeavoured to put as much detail as possible in the topic overview to give you some ideas about what you could do and particularly talk about over the next 5 weeks and we will add some more ideas as the weeks go on. If you haven't yet arranged for a learning pack, feel free to phone the office (9am-3pm) on Monday or Tuesday to get a slot to come and pick it up. In the pack are some ideas of activities that you can do then adapt, make (your own daily calendar- remembering to ask your child what song goes with it!), learn. 

As before there is no pressure on you to be doing our job but we all know that maintaining a routine and being able to retrieve what they already know will be hugely beneficial when we get back together. We are around for you so please do get in touch via Tapestry or our Stay in touch email and we will reply as soon as we can. When we are in school we can phone you back if you prefer a call, just ring and leave a message for us to do so.

There are 2 videos ready for you now (for parents/carers- how to help with 2+syllable words) and children (phonics). Mrs Flynn is preparing a maths input and is hoping to do a maths story every day this week. Mrs Chapman is getting a new trick for us. Then we will all do a new trigraph (3 letters = 1 sound). 

Ok so ... ask the audience?


Top Doodlers of more than 80 stars total in the last 7 days:


Rainbow Star

















Rainbow Moon


















Rainbow Sun










And technically you are on Easter holiday so I'm sure you're astound us with your learning even more next week when we get back to it! 

Rainbow Moon have won the Doodle trophy for most stars - again- this week. That means you have a winning streak of 3 weeks! Well done Moonies!

Next week we will be looking at your streak rather than your stars.

So here we are Good Friday. We actually have lost all track of the days and could do with our Rainbows to be singing our days of the week song so we can understand! It's not felt like the first week of our Easter hols for teachers at all this week although we are taking it in turns to try to have a day off. We hope you are also taking the time for each other and entering the community spirit with our home learning. We have certainly noticed some rainbows around the estate.smiley

We miss you all lots and take only a little comfort from the idea that staying 2m away from our gorgeous Rainbow children would be very difficult  impossible if we were back! in the meantime, read and read a bit more, re-watch the videos, take a look at the BBC bitesize, play a board game, look again at the ideas below for our creativity spots and we'll be back with more ideas for home learning at the end of next week. 



Learning at Home: Easter Challenge

Share the Spirit of Muscliff


During this challenging period, our community is drawing on and demonstrating our Muscliff Values more than ever and this provides the theme for our Easter activity.


It would be normal for each year group to set some form of home learning activity for the children to complete over the Easter break... And we are trying to hold on to some normality! There are some suggested activities to keep your children busy over the holiday period in the Easter Folder (above).


But alongside the specific year group activities, we thought that our children would enjoy a joint whole-school challenge and we invite all families to take part and ‘show’ the spirit of Muscliff.


Many families are showing their solidarity by displaying rainbows in their windows. We think that this is a wonderful idea and we would like to develop this and add a pinch of ‘Muscliff-ness’ to it!

Your Easter challenge is to create some art to display in your front window or to place on your window sill so that everyone in our community can see what Muscliff means to us.

Your art must include 3 things:

  • A rainbow
  • A mouse
  • A single word that summarises the ‘spirit of Muscliff.’


Useful words:

hope, resilience, solidarity, unity, community, responsibility, respect, care, humility, understanding, empathy


Some ideas:

With limited resources lying around the house, we aren’t expecting Easter baskets full to the brim with ‘bits’ from the Pound Shop! A simple poster would be great. Make that key word as large as possible for all to see.  If your felt-tip pens are running out, cut up old magazines. A mouse made from a blown and painted egg would be marvellous. There is also some picture instructions below for a lovely mouse made from an egg box. The final product, however, is not what matters the most: we want families to make their art together and as you make, talk about our community. Discuss how important the key word that you’ve chosen is to you and your family and what it means and looks like.


Stay in Touch:

Community is what our school is built on. Muscliff will continue to be contactable during the holiday period; our phones will be manned and the ‘stayintouch’ email addresses will continue to be checked daily throughout the holiday period. We cannot over-emphasis the fact that we are here if you need us. Please do send us photos of your family’s Easter activity and we will put as many as we can on our WebPages.


Beyond Easter: Working at Home

Thank you for feedback regarding homework that has been set on each year group’s class page. We understand that some parents do not have access to some resources, such as a printer (and as mentioned above, the felt-tip pens might be running out by now) and we also recognise that children respond in different ways to learning in a different environment. After the Easter break, teachers will renew the activities and learning ideas that are currently on the class pages. We will endeavour to provide what we can to support our children during this time but we are aiming for the work that we suggest to be a little more linked to a topic theme. At some point over the next few weeks, you’ll see a Summer 1 folder appear in the Working at Home part of your year group page ready for April 20th. You will find some resources for the different subjects linked to the topic theme that would have been taught at school.


Again, we are not expecting parents to become teachers – but we ask you to support your children by encouraging their curiosity.


All of our Muscliff families are AMAZING!

Picture 1

Home Learning 27th March


Good morning lovely Rainbows.


For your home learning why not be a virtual zoo keeper for the day. Chester Zoo have now opened their 'virtual gates' live on their Facebook page. Log on to see...

Giraffes- 11:00

Elephants- 12:00

Butterflies- 1:00

Sun bears- 2:00

Sumatran Tigers- 2:30

Humboldt penguins- 3:00

Aquarium- 4:00


I wonder what your favourite animal is? Did you spot it at the zoo? Keep us updated with any interesting facts that you learn.


Have a wonderful day.

Mrs Chapman, Mrs Harrison and Mrs Flynn.






Friday 27th March

NEW phonics sound coming soon featuring Mrs H, Mrs Flynn AND Mrs Chapman!  Watch this space (well go to Home learning page for You Tube link).

Working from Home new maths link


Check out the once a day section on the working from home page for some exciting maths ideas at home from the White Rose Maths website.

Tuesday 24th

Fancy a bit of phonics fun tomorrow?  Tune in (technology withstanding!) 9.30 am. I will aim to inspire you to read and learn with the strangest of resources!

Mrs H

Saturday 21st

Thank you.

Thank you for supporting and understanding that schools have been asked to completely change the way they work, put themselves on the frontline and in harm's way and do that with no notice and little governmental help or resources (sometimes quite the opposite). But  Muscliff Primary has pulled together in a way that makes us so proud in these extraordinary times.

Schools are full of amazing professionals who care deeply about the community. Thank you  to so many of you who we know appreciate that.

Did you also appreciate the update we gave you about your child? Ok so we got carried away with whether to use pink or green to show the target vs achieving goal. This is not the time nor the place to place blame (but it wasn't mewink. Much.) and I hope we were able to speak to all of you that needed the clarification and again, thank you for not making a big deal of it and just appreciating the effort and time that went into that document. We can't tell you how much we look forward to adding to it, building on existing skills and knowledge, 'educating'! as soon as possible.

In the meantime, all staff are expected to be working from now until the 'situation' is over and it would be lovely if we could find some time to speak to you all over the next few weeks to say hello, check if you accessing some work because we are going to miss you and our jobs very much. Check out this page as we'll try to add something a couple of times a week to keep you part of the Rainbow link.

Tuesday 24th: Where is Tortuga and his Star of the day friends? 

p.s. RSH won the Doodle maths trophy this week. Whoop! Whoop!


Week 10th March

It's been quite a week! Garrison Harrison, Chapman Castle and Fort Flynn have needed some fortifying against the onslaught of illness, absence and weather but we Rainbows remain sunny in our disposition and 'wellied up' in our playground to fight off invading forces!


Parent craft- making a beanstalk for Jack

  • Monday 2nd March
  • 2.45
  • classrooms
  • bring a small (yoghurt) pot
  • hens and harps absolutely not necessary

We've got the bean, the 'stalk', the giant's castle for you to put together.

Let's hope you've got the green fingers!

Week 24th Feb

Welcome back! Are we on the 2nd half of this academic year already?!surprise

We are happy to be back and with our new topic of Castles and Caves writing is our focus. The children are learning about sentences and what a sentence (generally) needs: 

Capital letter, subject, verb, finish the idea, full stop

They really should be chanting it!

​​​​​​​This week we also launched Share a Million Reads which we hope you are helping us with at home by reading as much as possible to and with your child and recording it on the sheet we gave you on Monday. In just 2 days the whole of Rainbows have done approximately 700 shares in school already but I think we need about 10 000 by the end of each week so keeeeeeeep reading Rainbows!

We are looking forward to having you in next week to grow a beanstalk to go with this week's story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Just bring in a small (yoghurt) pot please. Feel free to copy the idea at home to keep an even closer eye on the growth. And do not be surprised if they want to create a moat, a den, a cave or go on a bear hunt - being a Rainbow is just the best thing!

Now to work out the difference between a garrison, a fort, and a castle... 

Well done Rainbow Moon - this week you are the top Doodlers based on your success rate AND your stars.

R Sun: 1645

R Star: 1019

R Moon: 2599

​​​​​​​Today's a new week!

Week 10th Feb

Cheerio dinosaurs, you've been good to us but extinction is inevitable! Time to move onto our new exciting topic of Castles and Caves where we aim to encourage more sentence writing, maybe even a story???! We will be creating story maps for all our books to provide a visual stimulus to remember a story off by heart and then maybe even change it a little. See the topic overview for more information about next half term. The Rainbow team, in the meantime, will be nervously awaiting the arrival of our dragon eggs for our ceiling display (they may look quite similar to our dinosaur eggs) and will be turning our classrooms into:

Harrison Garrison, Chapman Castle and Fort Flynn.

It seems unbelievable that we are over half way through our academic year although we see so much progress that it should not be a surprise really. Our Rainbows are showing positive growth mindset about all aspects of their learning and becoming more and more resilient towards challenges in and out of the classroom. We think they're brill!

Here's to a revitalising week and onwards and upwards with our learning! Keeeeeeeeep reading to your child, spotting known digraphs, asking lots of comprehension questions and enjoying the moment.

See you 8.30 Monday 24th (with wellies if you took them home over the break).


Why teaching your child to read is so important...

Why teaching your child to read is so important... 1

week 3rd Feb

We've been measured and weighed by Nurse Amy and loved it! We now want a height chart in the classroom so we can keep an eye on our growth- real maths in school! We have also been looking at 8 this week. We have sung a 2D shape song and learnt about 8-sided octagons and that diamonds are precious stones not shapes (that would be a rhombus). We are learning about all the different parts of 8 with special focus on using 2p coins to make 8p. A challenge but great job is to help them count out your cash; it's harder than you think!

And is Doodle Maths a challenge? We will reduce the Extras a bit (Mrs H's mistake thinking that the Extras were optional and wouldn't affect your 5-a-day. Sorry!) but just let your child get it wrong because otherwise the programme will keep upgrading the difficulty which may be demoralising and we definitely don't want that! Rainbow Moon are still powering ahead of the other 2 classes again this week, in fact they had the best accuracy rates across the whole school on Monday!  Go Moons!

We've come to the end of our Andy's dinosaur adventures which have taught us so much and some of us are now mini Andys at playtime. Fab! But we have not finished yet. We have another whole week of stuff to learn and practise so here we go...! 

Also: a special mention of thanks to our wonderful Reading Rangers that are having a very positive impact across the year group by reading with children to aid their progress and/or confidence. We thank you so much for your time and loveliness. Anyone else want to join?


Week 20th January

Mrs H went on a day's safeguarding course this week and wishes all parents could have heard what she did from the Safe School's officer. She talked about various apps and games and the obvious need for parent controls set high, particularly on You Tube Kids that is still age-appropriate for up to 13 year olds; we don't want our 4-5 year olds seeing that kind of content! The main conclusion we got from the talk was how dangerous any form of live-streaming within an app or game can be because it can only be regulated by the adult in charge of the device rather than the game-maker. Scarey! Mrs H went on a '7+' app and within 2 minutes of scrolling through was greeted with some very inappropriate material (for her, let alone one of our precious Rainbows!). Please ask for help from a staff member if you are not sure how to keep your child safe when they are on their tablet/your phone etc. Mrs Harvey in the office is brilliant at this as well. 

Other news: did you know that all dinosaurs are either bird-hipped or lizard-hipped? We are also learning lots from Andy and Hattie ( although a highlight was seeing Macy and Delyse standing right next to the actual real clock in the London museum! Shame they didn't have Hattie's backpack and go on a real adventure back in time!

​​​​​​​Our next step with dinosaurs is trying to put together a list of dinosaurs that roamed the earth at around the same time so we can try to understand that some were already extinct when others came along. We have so far been to Spain, Australia and the Atlantic Ocean with Andy and enjoyed looking at a map to see how far away from the museum he had to travel.

We hope you are getting into the Doodle Maths habit of a little and often. RSH won this week's Doodle Challenge of earning the most stars in a week. Next week could be about how many children went on each night or the most children with the longest streak or the most improved.

​​​​​​​So keeeeeeep Doodling and reading!


Parent Craft

  • Thursday 16th.  2.30
  • classrooms (entry from green gate as usual)
  • bring: some newspaper and a small balloon
  • we will provide the glue and receptacle for creating papier mache. And the soapy water for afterwards!

We will wait for them to dry and send them home for decorating and then we'd love to have them back to display our dinosaur eggs please!

Many thanks 

10th January 2020

If we can have such Ready, Respectful, Safe Rainbows for the rest of the term as we had this week, we'll get lots of learning done! They have come back and embraced the routine and the love of friends and school in general - as indeed have the adults. We all got a bit tired by Friday but we worked our way through it and had a great day.

Dinosaurs have meteored their way into the base and the children loved giving themselves a new name and then writing it. We are really noticing an improvement in their fine motor control already this term - was it all that present unwrapping?? We have a bigger emphasis on writing over the next few weeks as we start putting words together to make sentences. Copy writing can be very powerful as a tool for helping to understand print and for reading so we will model how to write a sentence and the children will copy until they are ready to start putting their own versions together. Exciting times!

You will have noticed that we are now sending word bags home to practise key words. The enclosed letter will hopefully explain everything but feel free to ask if you are not sure.

We have also launched Doodle Maths homework. The aim is a little and daily and as independent as possible (with the answers). Some of the questions will relate to parts of the curriculum we haven't taught yet, don't worry, let them work it out/get it wrong. We still have a lot of learning to do! Pop in Friday 17th with your device loaded with the app and their username/password if you are having trouble and members of staff will be available to help from 3.20 (ish) to 4pm.

Mrs Harrisonosaurus, Mrs Flynnodon, Mrs C-Rex

Sunday 5th

We're all looking forward to seeing you at 8.30 (please!) on Tuesday. The teachers have been working hard today and will be tomorrow on school work. Have you got anything you could put on Tapestry?

Don't forget to bring your choosing book and PE kit on Tuesday and your Get-Busy brain! 



IF the school needs to close due to extreme weather, we will send families a message via MySchoolApp and post on this page and our Facebook page. WAVE radio will also give regular updates. Please do not ring school as the telephone lines will be overloaded and we may not get to you. Thank you.

Thursday 19th: party day

  • (sensible) mufti (no laces please unless they can tie them!)
  • party lunch (already ordered)
  • normal school time (3.15 pick up)
  • normal rain (not already ordered)

We'll be diverting from our normal learning routine for the first time this week and will be doing lovely stuff like: making cards for our Y5 buddies, making party hats with our Y5 buddies, playing party games (if we get the hall/no wet play), singing Christmas songs and bringing home some presents from the Rainbow team.


Friday 20th: end of term

On the agenda:

  • Guided reading as usual
  • Celebration assembly with Y1 and Y2 - first time ever!
  • Let's choose across the year group
  • early lunch 
  • early finish (1.30 pick up)

Happy, happy Christmas and thank you for your generosity and kind words. They are very appreciated.

The Rainbow Team

Monday 16th. Stories and all that jazz:

We read at least one story a day to our class. But we don't just read to them because the benefits of listening and interacting with a decent story book are H-U-G-E  but also that they will have long term educational benefits.



  1. Learning new words is a key area in increasing your child's potential to do well at school, particular long term down the line at GCSEs. Honestly! Here are some words from one of the Y2 assessment texts:  gathering up/beneath/demanding/jumble sale/acrobats/stetson/fade.  How many of these would come up in everyday life except through a wide range of reading material or general conversation? So at school when we read a story, we try never to assume each child understands every word; we are building a culture of asking "What does .... mean?"  so that it is encouraged, praised and solved.
  2. Tackling understanding of the text.  This is so much more than typical questions like Where is the cat now? But more about: Why did the cat choose to run out at that moment and not before/after? Why did the Big, Bad wolf want to eat the pigs? Why didn't he stop after the first one? Goldilocks was hungry and tired - why? These inference questions need to be practised and practised until the guess work becomes more about finding reasons in the text to answer the question.
  3. Using more than just the text.  The pictures can tell us so much, from extending our vocabulary (today we learnt 'oar' which had little to do with the story but turned into a discussion about oar vs paddle, kayak vs rowing boat vs ship vs ferry). Consider why the author has chosen certain words eg: screeched Parrot - what is screeching? can a person screech? When? Why? How is screeching different to screaming/shouting? Can you think of any other words similar to screeching? 

Next time you read that bedtime story (every night hopefully), consider stopping and asking a few different (harder) questions, looking a little more intently at the picture to find new words or meaning and make them think about the author's choice of words. Then see their love of reading grow, their progress astound you and their future aspirations develop...smiley


Friday 13th 

Have you seen the moon??! We know a few things about it apart from the different names for it- we know about the 1969 moon landing and the 3 astronauts who got there first; we loved hearing about stories that people used to believe that it was made of cheese and we considered what our grandchildren might learn about our solar system (or others?) that we don't know yet. 

But of course our week has been dominated by our Christmas play, our excitement that followed by pride. We teachers really appreciated your kind words after the performances- we take the event seriously and want you to impressed. Now to attempt to wash the costumes and hope there are a few in the sales!

So we have one week left and plenty packed in to it. We are learning about verbs. We are working with all the children 1:1 to check their maths, sound recognition and blending. We are doing art work that could decorate your fridge next year. We are meeting our buddies to make hats and cards. And we are reading, reading, reading! (And trying to cope with the tears, tiredness, increased bumping accidents, wetness in general - and that's just the adults in the base!!)

​​​​​​​Keep writing in the Reading Record, have fun and early nights and we'll see you next week.

week of 9th December

Thank you so much to all of you who came and spent some money at our Christmas Fayre on Saturday. This much-needed fundraising event means that we can put as much as possible into your child's education opportunities. Just in Reception alone we have needed MPA financial help to cut back the overgrown bushes and overhanging trees in our Secret Garden so the children can go back out there to play, extend the outdoor learning opportunities and develop their physical strength. In January we launch Doodle Maths for the Rainbows which is funded by the MPA and is an invaluable learning tool for their maths. 

Please let Mrs H know if you are able to be a part of the MPA, however small that may be, as they are getting desperate for members. The Fayre prep was done by just 5 people and relied on staff members to man stalls to fill in parent volunteer gaps. There are over 600 children in Muscliff, please help them; if might be just a couple of hours twice a year but your contribution will be a lifeline.


This week we will be putting a postbox /postbag outside classrooms for our Rainbows to put their Christmas cards in. (There is a bigger one outside the hall but is fraught with possible issues of Rainbows getting lost there or back, illegible names...) If you wish to send any cards in, your child can 'post' them and then every other day we will empty the box and hand them out. Please remember to add the class name to the front of the envelope so we get them to the right Alfie/Lillie/Jack etc. And even more importantly, encourage your child to be writing their own cards (in cursive obvs!) as practice makes perfect!


Our dress rehearsals went well last week. We had various children from other year groups come and watch us. Thank you to our Y5 buddies who altered their end of term assessments to be part of the audience and be so encouraging. We have taken some photos of the dress rehearsal performance and will add these to Tapestry this week for you to take a look. We will also send them to the Echo who have asked for some Nativity pictures - let's see if we get published!


So camera, action...and see you this week for our plays. Your new Reading Record has last minute details for you. Please bring some loose change to help teachers keep the costumes clean and up-to-date (those tea-towels don't buy themselves!!laugh). Oh and apologies now if you're trying to do Whamageddon!

Wednesday 27th

We had our first run through of our nativity this morning. Teachers came out of their session somewhat less 'merry' than the songs they've been teaching!  But give us another 5 practices plus a dress rehearsal in front of select children invited from the rest of the school and we'll be all over it. And yes we know that the cuteness, the mistakes, the wriggling off the benches or stamping on the stage 'makes it' for you; for the staff we put our heart and soul into it and we have high expectations- that and a sense of humour and love!

We are excited to have our Secret Garden undergo some gardening work on tomorrow so we can get back into it. The wasps, the overgrown branches and the prickly weeds will hopefully be a thing of the past. Now to dry out the equipment, get playing and find some hours to handle the nature! Please remember that we cannot allow any children in the secret garden or on any equipment after or before school- thank you for your support with this.

to be continued...


Christmas Day BBC1: 8:55am Stick Man

                                    9:25: Zog

                                    2.30: Snail and the Whale

After that, no doubt you'll be encouraging good old-fashioned, but oh so polite Thank You letter writing. smiley

Friday 15th November

So the cake sale went well!  Thank you for your patience. We have tried to do this in so many different ways but this one seems to work the best. We appreciated your mufti and cake donations and all the cakes you bought. I say 'we', I mean Pudsey of course.


After a few comments in this week's parent conferences, we hope to upload the Nativity songs to the Nativity folder next week and will try to upload some of our regular learning songs on here as well. Our favourite at the moment is: kids tv solar system song. They love it. It is not only informative, tuneful but also almost hypnotic! Give it a whirl.


Next week we start a new kind of phonics - digraphs! These are single sounds that have 2 letter representations eg /s/= ss, /l/ = ll etc. We will practise saying them (l not "l-l"), writing them in cursive - joined up so that they see that the letters are not singular but very much together. Then we have the last few remaining single sounds to take us to an end of autumn term check of all the sounds taught so far. Thank you for helping your child to read- you make such a difference.


And onto maths. We have looked at Zero Pond and King One from Ten Town and watched NumberBlocks so we will be considering what does '2' mean? How do we write it accurately? How many parts are there in 2? What does 'pair' mean? 


See you next Thursday for our rocket-building parent craft. Mrs Flynn has sent a few apps recently but any questions, feel free to ask us.


Have a lovely weekend.

The Rainbow Team.

Friday 8th November


Some information about Parent conferences for those who haven't done it before:

  • You have chosen a 10minute slot. Please arrive on time so that you don't miss any of your minutes. We are unable to go over the time slot as we're sure you appreciate because other parents will be waiting.
  • If the meeting isn't quite finished within the 10mins then we will aim to find another time to speak about any leftover business.
  • Your children can come and we will leave some duplo outside the classroom for them to play with while you chat to the teacher.
  • We will put out their learning book for you to peruse (it won't take you long as we are only just starting to work in them) while you are waiting for your appointment.
  • ​​​​​​​Teachers have prepared notes about how your child settled into school and their social/emotional and academic progress so far with some ideas of how you can help with their next steps. Feel free to come with questions. We'll answer as many as we can in your 10mins slot.
  • We will love talking about your Rainbow so come prepared to enjoy the experience! 
  • The next parent conferences are scheduled for March although our 'open door' remains (just try to catch us before we go to our 3.30 meetings) and we will always endeavour to talk whenever we can.

​​​​​​​See you next week!

Friday 25th Oct

Here's hoping you have a lovely week with your Rainbow, not too many late nights or Hallowe'en sweets! It's been a really successful first half term where the children are fully settled into routine and expectations; shame that some of them have been too tired to stand this week! We are also looking forward to some rest and recuperation (and some homework to do) as there are only so many coughs and sneezes we can fight!

There will be some changes to the next half term - Let's Learn will overtake Let's Explore in the mornings (more on that next blog) and our topic of Space will be massive! Get thinking about what kind of bottle space ship you could make in our parent craft session and then we'll be starting to think about nativity...

Thank you for all your kind smiles when we open the door at 3.15 and your support with reading and the settling process- you must be where our Rainbows get their 'fab-ness'!

See you with PE kit on Tuesday 5th. (PE is changing to Wednesdays & Fridays for the half term).

Have a wonderful Diwali to all our celebrating families.

The Rainbow Team


Have you booked your parent conference time yet?


Friday 18th October

You know your children are tired when they seem unable to stop themselves from falling over!  We've had more than our fair share of bumps, bruises, crashes, slips this week but we're still smiling and doing ok! 

There are a few school notices for your attention:

  1. No jewellery allowed in school except a plain stud in an ear.
  2. No nail varnish.
  3. Please make sure you bring a coat as we have spent a fair bit of time in the rain this week (thanks for the wellies!).
  4. Our gate needs to close at 8.45 and staff are not around after 3.25 (teacher meetings most days require us to be somewhere from 3.30). We appreciate your cooperation with swift drop off and 3.15 pick up.
  5. water only in water bottles (not flavoured water/juice/squash).
  6. PE kits will come home next week for a wash. Please return them on first day back as we might be able to squeeze in a PE on that Tuesday.
  7. Anyone fancy being a Reading Ranger?
  8. Parent conferences:
  • ​​​​​​​a 10 minute appointment to discuss how your child has settled into school. It is a chance for you to ask any questions. If we feel the meeting requires longer than 10mins, we will re-schedule for the following week but as far as we are concerned, there should be no (unpleasant!) surprises for you. Please let us know in advance if you may have one for us!!
  • the online booking system goes live on Monday. You will be able to select a 10minute slot on one of 2 evenings (see dates for your diary). Feel free to bring your child. We will set up some lego for them outside the classroom while we chat.

Next week:

We'll post some ideas for encouraging your Rainbow to complete their homework handwriting/pencil control practice.


Friday 11th- READING

We're not going to talk about how tired they are this week because you probably know all that already- that 3.30-dinnertime can be a beast! But let's consider how reading is going instead:

This week we started our Guided Reading carousel of activities from 9 to about 9.25 each morning. The teacher and TA has a different group every day whilst the others rotate around a set job at a table in their book bag group. The activities are all fine-motor control ones such as threading numbers onto a string, making a specific pattern on a peg board, using a peg to pick up counters and put them in the corresponding colour pot and so on. This week the teacher and TA focus has been to teach the expectations of these sessions in that they are expected to be incredibly quiet to silent. It has been a very promising start! The TA group have been working on the phonics sounds taught so far and making sure each child can recognise the cursive version of the letter sound. Next week we'll be looking for a faster recall of these sounds.

Teachers have been using our wonderful Project X books (updated from good old Biff, Chip and Kipper to Max, Molly, Ben, Ant and Tiger) to teach finger spaces. Finding finger spaces sounds so simple doesn't it? See how your child gets on. The process is:

1. count the finger spaces in the title of a book (any book)

2. go the beginning of the title and slide your finger across the word, jump over the finger space, slide over the next word, jump over the finger space etc etc. (sometimes we actually say 'slide, jump, slide, jump...')

3. read out the title, showing how you jump over each finger space.

4. They copy - at this point using memory to 'read' the words.

5. Point out beginning letters of words so they are placing their finger correctly on the right word as they say it.

We might not get past pg3 in 20 mins but it is this ground work that will accelerate their reading in a couple of months time and will make writing phrases and sentences so much more logical.

We spend time looking through the story and answering questions about what is going on and what could be going on and might come next as well as looking at the difference between a speech bubble and a thought bubble, front and back covers, author and illustrator. Sometimes we wish we could just teach reading all day long with 6 children as there is so much to do!

​​​​​​​This is one of the reasons we appreciate your support with reading at home. We have had a few of you say that you have not had a choosing book in the book bag. Each child knows that they come in and put their snack box, water bottle away and change their choosing book, then put their book bag away. If you could see the detritus of book bags in those first 15mins of school, no child should ever forget to get a book! But we do remind them all the time as this habit needs forming. We have 125 books in circulation at the moment, most are still no-word books until we have learnt a few more sounds. We did notice on Thursday that some children are 'stockpiling' so we took them out and left them with one. Maybe you could check at home and make sure the book keeps getting changed - preferably every day so that their reading progresses on a daily basis between you and us. 

We hope you can use the words we sent home yesterday to practise their blending and that they enjoy making it into a game with you. If you need any help, let us know.

In the meantime, have a wonderfully wet weekend and we'll look forward to seeing you on Monday morning for a bit of 'kicking k' and soft play PE.

p.s. Anyone fancy being one of our Reading Rangers? If you can spare 9-9.25 one day a week to read 1:1 with a few children across the base, we'd love the help. We'll give you the materials and there'd be a meeting to discuss exactly what it entails at the start of next half term- please let your teacher know if you're interested. Got one so far from RSH.(many thanks!)


Friday 4th October

The confidence of so many of the children astounds us! They are asking questions, making decisions and acting very independently- for 4-5year olds! You can almost see their disdain when they come across older children who look at them and say "oh Receptions are so cute" ! (Just wait until they are the 'cute' ones again!)

We have managed to get outside a lot in our own play area this week exploring the trikes, scooters, weeding the garden plots to within an inch of their life, washing and experimenting with floating and sinking and generally being fascinated with acorns! 

We have read Elmer and thought about how we are unique and learnt a bit about the elephant species. From this we have been processing the language of big/bigger/small/smaller and of course 'pinch n prop' has featured everywhere from holding a paintbrush to writing this week's sounds- m d o.

Next week we will hopefully do some more sounds but it is crucial that every child is keeping up and can identify the sounds in print and cursive not just with the picture /action. Your support at home is definitely helping with this - thank you.

Look out for Cats in hats next week and talking about 'parts and wholes'...

Friday 27th

First full-time week done! Things to discuss with your child this weekend:

playtime in the muga

Chef Kev's lunches


cursive writing (start on the line!)

big number song

who Inky is

saying cheese again and again and again


Each day is a carefully thought-out plan so that we add a little bit more of learning in some form or another. Yesterday we did PE for the first time. All teachers thought that their class got changed well and apart from the odd button and sock (*dry heave), no child needed help to get dressed/undressed. WOW!  If we can work in this kind of partnership for the rest of their Muscliff life, your child will be a high academic attainer, beautifully mannered and socially-aware and a great friend. Ok so there may be some who came home with trousers or t-shirts  inside out, maybe even back to front but they did it by themselves and practice makes perfect. We were proud of that. And it only took 40mins to get all them ready laugh

PE itself was glorious!  The soft play obstacle course had been designed to engage them, challenge them and make them smile. PE on Monday will be playground games such as Hot Chocolate, What's the time Mr Wolf?, stuck in the mud. Maybe they could practise those socks/tights over the weekend??

We also had our very first assembly today. All the Rainbows came into Mrs Harrison's room. We said Good Afternoon Mrs Harrison. Well, chanted it really. Then we had some reflection about what good choices are in school and how being safe is one of the biggest rules we have, how your choices can make people safe or unsafe. Then we practised by trying to go back to our own classrooms without treading on anyone or bumping into anything.yes

So next week... onwards from the resilience and determination of Muscliff Mouse to the celebration of being unique with Elmer. We look forward to welcoming you into the classroom at 6pm on Tuesday to hear about how we/you will teach your child to read/write/do maths; school info and a chance to ask questions to your teacher. (Sadly there is not time to do a mini parent evening conference!  Be reassured that if there were any issues, you'd already know about them.)

Have a great weekend and see how many s, p, n, i, a, t you can spot around! 

Our first assembly

Our first assembly 1
Our first assembly 2

Friday 20th

What a great week of cementing our relationships with your fabulous children! The routine is in place and a lot of expectations are being adhered to already!  Get them to tell you about:  

hands up for silence

whistles at playtime

when and how to speak to a grown up when it's carpet time

wonderful walking

Oh there's so much more!

​​​​​​​But are you ready for full-time??? We are. We have a lot to teach and a lot to play. If the forecast is anything to go by, we will need wellies and waterproofs for Monday frown. Our day is busy because there is generally a limit to how long anything can hold their attention (and ultimately their behaviour). We will tell you more about our timetable at our Curriculum Evening (see Dates for your Diary). We start at 6pm in your child's classroom. We will give you some information about life as a Rainbow and then some insight into how we will teach your child to read, write and do maths (with your help!). There will be some activities for you to look at and a chance to ask questions. We expect to finish at 6.45. It is not an appropriate evening for children to attend. Please talk to your teacher if you have any questions.

In the meantime, get ready for a tired, tired child this time next week! We will be learning the Muscliff Mouse story and some more sounds. We will start to bring home reading books. They won't have any words so the focus is on telling a story using the context of the pictures and expanding vocabulary knowledge. They will be shown where to change their reading book (every morning hopefully) and how to look after it. Don't forget to write in the Reading Record when they have shared a book with you.

There are some questions in the Q&A folder  here about full time so check them out. 

Happy weekend from all the Rainbow Team

Friday 13th

So how are we all doing? The first week of school done already! We are super proud of all the children- the way they are coming in by themselves now, the way they are organising their own bag, snack pot and water bottle, jumpers and coats at the beginning and end of the day, the way they are learning to use 'Super 6' (ask them!), the way they are playing alongside new children and some are playing with new children...big stuff for 4 year-olds week1. 

Next week we will be starting our Baseline Assessments as we have been chosen to trial the new government initiative. This means that your child will spend some 1:1 time with their teacher and a laptop being asked some maths and comprehension questions based on some pictures and objects as well as some language items. Although the format is a bit different for the teachers, the content is on the same lines as we would do anyway to see where your child's starting point is so we can do our very best for them. It will be very low key and will involve stickers and much love! As usual, get in touch if you have any questions.

Also next week we will be starting our phonics sounds and sending home a Reading Record in the red folder for you to get in the practice of recording each time you read to your Rainbow. This is a good habit to cultivate ready for writing when they read to you in a few weeks.

​​​​​​​Otherwise our timetable will be something like...

  • ​​​​​​​Come in (by ourselves - and from the gate?????)
  • Play with stuff on the tables/carpet
  • Tidy up, register, toilet
  • Outside playtime
  • toilet, hands, snack
  • learning time
  • let's explore (playing)
  • story and * of the day (morning pupils)

Routine is key! We hope your routine of checking this class page and Tapestry once a week is becoming established. Don't forget our curriculum evening in October (more info next week).



Baseline guidance

Friday 6th

We've had a great time meeting you all this week. We loved how excited you were to come in but we loved even more how you didn't particularly want to leave - job done!

Mummies and Daddies- thank you for coming along. We are stronger together! I hope that message came across and that you will now feel confident and comfortable coming to discuss any questions you may have with the right people - us. 

​​​​​​​Whether you are starting as you mean to go on and will say goodbye to your Rainbow at the door or you are coming inside the classroom for 2 minutes, try to walk swiftly away and be kind to yourself. We promise we will be very kind to your precious child! 

Fingers crossed for dry weather!

#rollonMonday #bigschoolboysandgirls

​​​​​​​The Rainbow Team

Spot the classroom!

Spot the classroom! 1
Spot the classroom! 2
Spot the classroom! 3

Friday 6th Sept

Can't remember everything? You won't be alone! In case you haven't signed up for the Muscliff App yet...


Part time schedules:

group 1:   9-11.30 am

group 2:  12.45-3pm


Rainbow Star: Mrs Harrison (teacher), Mrs Elliot (M-T-W) TA, Mrs Doidge (Th-F) TA

Rainbow Moon: Mrs Flynn (teacher), Mrs Graham TA

Rainbow Sun: Mrs Chapman (teacher), Mrs Watson TA


Check out the Questions & Answers for everything else.

Wednesday 4th

We're really enjoying meeting our new Rainbows. 

A lot have been quite quiet and some have been clingy but that's absolutely fine. We bet they will be different by this time next week!

One thing that came up today- no plimsolls or trainers needed until Easter.  PE days will be Mondays and Fridays. PE kits can come in next week or you can wait until they are full-time.






Teachers and teaching assistants are working hard to get the classrooms and base ready for you. I wonder if you will be able to spot:

  • your peg with your name near it?
  • somewhere you could make us a piece of toast?
  • a load of numbers?
  • how many toilets there are in your classroom?
  • where you could get yourself a book to read?

See you later this week!

The Rainbow team

23rd August 2019


Almost time for us to welcome you to your new school! We are all excited and have been working hard to get the classrooms and base ready for this new year. The weather looks like we might have a great September so we can really explore the outside areas and get to know each other really well.

Until then, keep happy and healthy!

The Rainbow Team

Worth considering...

Worth considering... 1
How is your 'pinch n prop' going? Are those 'froggy legs' starting to appear in your child's preferred writing hand yet? Here is a visual of the 'pencil grip journey'. 

Getting to those froggy legs

Getting to those froggy legs 1

Welcome to Muscliff Primary School!


We are really pleased that you have chosen to accept a place for your child at Muscliff Primary. 

I am sure you will have lots of questions about what happens next.


You will receive a welcome letter in the post soon.  The letter will invite you to a Parents information meeting where you will receive valuable information and meet key members of staff - including the Reception teaching team for September.  The date of this meeting will be Wed 26th or Thurs 27th June, both meetings will be held at 6pm, in the Small Hall and the Reception classrooms.  


Please visit this page regularly over the next few months as we will add more information to prepare you - and your child - for starting school.


In the meantime if you have any questions, please email ( or telephone the school to speak to someone 01202 549654.


We look forward to meeting you and your child very soon.

Thank you,


Mrs Sarah Fenby

Head teacher