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

                               Welcome tReception 



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