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Ducklings - Reception

Summer Term


Wow! This term has come around quick! It's so lovely to see all of the trees and flowers coming back to life ready for the summer. 


Again, we have two topics this half term and below are the knowledge organisers so you know what we will be up to. The first half term we are focusing on traditional stories and fairy tales so we can really get to grips with using story language in our writing and play. The second half term we will be focussing our learning on different countries around the world and similarities and differences between different cultures. We will also preparing the Ducklings for the transition to Year 1 to ensure it goes smoothly for everyone.


What a great half term we have had! All of the Ducklings have settled back together so well, it's been lovely to see. We finished off the term with making Easter cards, Easter bonnets, Easter egg hunt and our World Book Day dress up day, which included stories virtually from Year 6. Have a fabulous Easter!

Comic Relief

Ducklings have had a fabulous day dressed as superheroes to raise money for Comic Relief. We built a superhero obstacle course to test our skills and we did a fashion parade.

Good morning!


I hope you've had a great weekend.


Please find below this week's planning. Live sessions are 9:30 this week.


I cannot tell you how excited I am about having everyone back at school and together again! Please start to prepare your child about returning to school. Some children will be excited and some might be a little nervous. Please tell your child they are coming back to school next Monday, perhaps even count down the days on a calendar together. If your child shares their concerns with you, talk about it together and answer their questions positively as this will help to relieve their worries. I have included a social story about returning to school. It will benefit all children if they are shown this a couple of times over the week. 


Can I say a massive thank you to all of you amazing parents at home for stepping up to the mark by supporting your children at home with their learning. I know it's been tough for some of you but I am truly grateful.


Take care and see you all soon.

Spring 2 - Welcome Back!


Good morning!

I do hope you've all had a great half term and have had a good rest. Fingers crossed it's not too long before everyone is allowed to come back as we miss everyone very much. I have attached this week's planning and resources below but don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Don't forget to check the EYFS page under Curriculum and take a look at this half term's knowledge organiser for our new topic, 'Wild World'.


Today is an INSET day so there are no children in school, hence there are only four days of planning. 


Phonics will be at 10:30 this week but will confirm by text later today (Monday). Ignore Friday's phonics as that will roll over to next week.


I have also attached a link to a YouTube video explaining how and why we teach maths the way we do in Reception. I know many of you are thinking, my child can count to 10 and beyond so why are we spending time on this? This video will hopefully answer your questions.

Chinese New Year


This Friday marks the start of the Chinese New Year Celebrations. The children at school will be  learning about the story and doing some activities linked to it. I am trying not to bombard you with lots of things but this week has two extra things happening and I want to offer the children at home the same as those at school. It is totally up to your discretion if you do any of these activities, which most are art based, fun and practical. I have attached the resources and please get in touch if you need me to print anything for you. 


9th February 2021


Safer Internet Day!


Today is Safer Internet Day  and we will be doing some activities linked to keeping safe on the Internet. I will attached some links and activities that you can do at home with your child. I will also attach some links/ websites for parents to provide information about keeping your child safe online. 

8th February 2021


Good morning everyone, 


You all looked fabulous on Friday to finish off our mental health week. It's so important to do things that make you happy but that can prove a challenge currently with the certain restrictions in place. However, I am sure there are plenty of things you can do, such as go for a walk, playing games with your family, speaking to family and friends using video calls, building models, colouring/ drawing and making a den. 


The observations on Tapestry have been a amazing and thank you to everyone for fully engaging and giving things a try at home even if it's been a challenge to fit things around work and other commitments. I am truly grateful and it shows how resilient your children are. 


Live phonic sessions are at 9:30 this week.


Here is this week's learning, any questions don't forget I'm here to answer them.

Little Learners is a good YouTube channel for phonics if you need another resource.

1st February 2021


Good morning,


I hope you all had a lovely weekend are now ready for another week. Don't forget our live sessions are at 10:30am this week on Teams. You continue to make me proud with the stamina you are all showing. Please don't forget to upload learning at least once a week to Tapestry. 


Mrs Drake

25th January 2021.


Good morning, I hope you enjoyed the snow yesterday. I actually didn't have very much where I live. 


First of all I want to say a massive well done to all parents and children in Ducklings, you all rock. 


A couple of you have commented saying that your child is struggling to work at home. Please do not worry as you are not alone, so I have put together some ideas to help:

Set a timetable and stick to it if possible, children like routine.

Use a reward system, either use stickers or something that impacts immediately. 

Let them know what they need to do before they can go and play, "When you have done.... then you can go and play." 

Put them in their school jumper/ uniform so they know that when they are wearing this they are doing school work.

In class I do not expect a child to sit longer than 10-12 minutes (as a general rule it should be double their age in minutes) 

Remember Reception is a play-based curriculum so wherever possible use games and toys to support learning.

Actually play with your child, they will learn a lot from you.


I hope this helps but please contact me if you need advice.


On the Early Years Curriculum page on the website it has our curriculum we follow so this might give you some ideas.


The Gingerbread  Man story is now on Tapestry as the file is too big to add on the class page, sorry.

18th January 


Good morning! I hope you've all had a fabulous weekend and ready for another week of learning. Hopefully I will be in touch this week by phone to you all. I am so impressed with how the live sessions are going and the children seem so engaged. I am amazed at how well and quickly you have adapted, I am so proud. Don't forget I'm at the end of an email if required. Most of you have now uploaded learning to Tapestry, if you haven't please do as I would love to see any home learning that has been going on. 


Please find attached this week's learning. 


Take care

Mrs Drake



Due to a clash with siblings and their live sessions, Ducklings live sessions are changing for next week. Please check your Teams calendar. All lessons are recorded which are available to access after the session.

Good morning,

Some of your children might not understand what is going on at the moment. This story of Small Paul is perfect for younger children.

Week beginning 11th January


Good morning!


I hope you've had a great weekend and have been enjoying spending time together. 


I have attached the learning for the whole week (see below). Please remember our live phonic sessions are daily at 9:30am. If you go to Teams and click on the calendar this should give you the option to join the meeting. Please ensure your child is dressed and in a main part of the house (not a bedroom). These sessions will be recorded and available for you to access if you cannot make the live session. I will teach the main part of the lesson and the writing part you can do in your own time following the phonics plan attached. Fingers crossed this will work and be beneficial to your child. 


Don't forget the Oxford Owl link in last week's plan to support reading at home.


I am so impressed with all the observations that are on Tapestry, thank you. I know for many of you this is the first time home schooling your child but I am here to support you. If you are feeling pressured, anxious or stressed about it please get in touch and I can phone you. 


I miss having everyone in class and seeing their smiling faces. Please take care and stay safe.

Mrs Drake



Good morning!


It's Friday!!


It was so good to see so many of you yesterday. Thank you for supporting your child with getting onto Teams. As it went so well from next week I intend to do 'live' phonic lessons at 9:30 everyday. I think this will be more successful than using Tapestry. I will set this up on Teams so your child can join the session. I will also record the session so if you can't get to it live (it may clash with other class sessions) then you can watch it when it suits you. 


Have a great weekend.

Mrs Drake




Good morning!

Hopefully I will get to see most of you today in our live session at 9:30am. Thank you so much for all the wonderful observations on Tapestry, I love looking at all the different things you are doing at home. 

Please take a look at the phonics plan for today's phonics. I have tried to upload my phonics lessons onto Tapestry but I think they are struggling with the amount of people using it countrywide, fingers crossed this improves. Hopefully there is enough on the planning I supplied on Tuesday. All documents are on this page further down. 

Next week I will put up plans for the whole week at once. Please do not forget to get in touch if you have any worries or questions, I am here to help.  

Take care

** I would like to run a 'practise' teams live lesson tomorrow (7/1/20) morning at 9:30am.** 

This will just be a quick call to ensure that everyone is able to log on and to check that everything runs smoothly. I will send you an invitation to this lesson later on today. You will then need to accept the invitation. 

Then tomorrow you will need to log into your teams account (the same one used for the parents evening last term) and click to join the meeting (which will appear on your calendar). 


A couple of safeguarding tips for using TEAMS:

  • The child is in a public area of the house.
  • The child should be appropriately dressed.
  • The child is not alone in a bedroom.


If you are unsure about how this works, please get in touch before tomorrow.  

I look forward to seeing all of your lovely smiling faces and I'm sure the children who are in class are excited to see you all as well :) 

Spring Term 1


Good Morning Ducklings and parents. Happy New Year! I know it is not the start to the year that we were hoping for. I miss you all and would love nothing better than to have our wonderful Ducklings all together in our classroom. However, we know that everyone's health is the most important thing to prioritise right now. I know this is a new situation for some parents and I want to confirm that I am here to support you and your children through this so please do not hesitate to get in touch, there is no such thing as a silly question.


Please see the document below for some home-learning to start the week. It will hopefully get you started. I will be teaching the children of key-workers and vulnerable children full-time so I will be in touch as soon as it is possible.


Once the Motcombe staff team have had a couple of days to make adaptations to our lessons and our timetables etc, I will put more information on here for you as I hope to do some live video lessons with you all on our MicrosoftTeams later in the week. 


If you need your logins for mathletics, please look on your Tapestry page as I put them all on there.

I am thinking of all of you and look forward to seeing your amazing faces via video lessons soon - watch this space!


Take care

Mrs Drake

Our topic this term is 'Healthy Me!', please take a look at our knowledge organiser.
Reading and writing at home with your child: I have found a couple useful YouTube videos that are really useful for parents with supporting their child at home. Please take a look.


We had super day learning all about Diwali, the Hindu festival of light. We read the story of Rama and Sita. We also created our own Rangoli patterns using paint or playdough. 

Why do We Celebrate Firework Night? 


We learnt about who Guy Fawkes was and that he tried to hurt the king at that time. We looked at pictures from Guy Fawkes’s time and compared the difference to photos taken now. We spotted that their clothes were different and that most of the pictures were paintings because they didn’t have cameras then. We then went on to create our own fireworks display using tin foil and paint.

Harvest Festival 

In R.E we have been learning about the ‘creation’. This week we looked at the harvest festival and what it is. We got our hands stuck into a pumpkin to understand what it felt like. We also talked about the seeds and the things seeds need to grow. Then we looked closely at some different squashes and smaller pumpkins to create our own masterpieces. The children were shown how to draw the vegetables first and then painted them using the correct colours.

We Wrote a Book!


Ducklings have been thinking about what we like doing. We shared the ebook, Do You Like? And talked about all things we like and dislike. Then as part of our literacy we drew a picture of things we liked and wrote our names. Then Mrs Easby laminated each page and collated them to create our very own book, which we absolutely love!

Maths is fun and practical 

We love learning about numbers and patterns in numbers. We also love been challenged to think more deeply about our answers and explain how we know.

Virtual Author Visit


Ducklings were invited by the Dorset library service to join them in a virtual visit from the author, Teresa Heapey. They listened carefully to the stories she told which included Teresa’s book, Very Little Red Riding Hood. We would like to thank the library service for the invite.

We are learning to read and write.

Ducklings are having great fun learning to read and write. We get very excited when we learn a new sound.

Welly Walk

We were very lucky with the weather for our welly walk this week. The Ducklings discovered new areas of the field and an array of bugs. We talked about keeping safe and not eating berries from the hedgerows and checking with an adult first. We learnt that birds love to eat many of the red berries this time of year. We worked out where the acorns were coming from - the oak tree. Did you know that a tree’s roots are the same size as the branches above the ground? 

First Days at School 

The new Ducklings have settled in very well and have amazed me with their resilience after many had not been away from their parents since March. They are enjoying making new friends and learning new skills.