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Reception - Panda

Welcome to Panda Class!


Adults in Panda Class


Mrs Sheppard - I share teaching Panda class with Mrs Gleed. I will be in class on Mondays, Tuesday and every other Wednesday.


Mrs Gleed -  I have been a teacher at Barley Close since 2009 and although I have previously taught in KS1 and 2; the Early Years are my favourite age group. I have gained specific qualifications in Early Years and hold a Masters in Education in addition to Early Years Professional Status (EYPS).  I enjoy spending my spare time developing my creative skills and am currently attending art classes. I am very pleased to be teaching Panda Class again this year.  Please come and see me anytime if you have questions about your child or any part of school life or if you would prefer to email me, my address is:


Mrs Lines is the HLTA (higher level teaching assistant) in Panda Class and we would be lost without her!  Mrs Lines has been at Barley Close for a very long time, as her children all also attended the school, so many of you will already know her.  Mrs Lines is a school governor and has a passion for outdoor learning, she leads our weekly forest school sessions which are always popular with the children.


Mrs Collins is the reading assistant in Panda Class and works with us on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.  Mrs Collins reads with many children during the year and supports them to develop their reading skills.  Mrs Collins is also a TA (teaching assistant) and she works with Mrs Lines in Panda Class when Mrs Gleed and Mrs Sheppard have their PPA time on Wednesday afternoons.


Mrs Payne is our SENTA (Teaching assistant with experience of supporting children with Special Educational Needs). She supports one of our pupils and is in Panda Class every day.  Mrs Payne has experience of working in the Early Years and was previously the Deputy Manager of our 2 Year Old Nursery.   



What will my child need for school?


Waterproof coat


Book bag

PE kit


All children need a book bag with them in school every day.  This is important for changing reading books as well as ensuring you receive all school correspondence.

Wellies are stored on the trolley outside of the classroom, children use these regularly and need to stay in school.

PE kit is a white T-shirt, black shorts and daps.  This should be in a bag and kept on your child's peg (we will send it home each half term to be washed).


Please ensure all items of clothing (including shoes) are labelled clearly with your child's name.


When will my child do PE?


PE will be on a Monday.


Swimming will be on a Thursday afternoon in terms 1, 5 and 6.


Forest school will take place every Tuesday.



Friday 14th March - Goodnight Pirate


This week, the children have been writing messages in bottles and have been writing about their favourite part of the story. In Maths, we have been learning about doubling. In Forest school, the children made flags and made medallions. On Friday, we had lots of fun singing and dancing to Comic Relief's song - 'Put a nose on it' and playing lots of games. The children's wild hair designs looked amazing!


Next week, our story is 'The Rainbow Fish.' 


We hope you all have a great weekend.


Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Gleed,  Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins



Friday 8th March - The Troll


The week we have started a focus on Pirates with the story of 'The Troll by Julia Donaldson. In maths, the children have been adding and subtracting treasure and have been using a giant number line to work out addition and subtraction. They have created treasure maps and designed pirates. In Forest school, they enjoyed using the muddy kitchen.  On Thursday, they really enjoyed dressing up for World Book Day and created fantastic pieces of writing about their book characters. 


We are going to continue with a pirate theme over the next two weeks. Mrs Lines has built a wonderful prate ship!


Thank you to everyone who attended our parent/carer meetings this week. 


We hope you have an enjoyable weekend. 


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins

Friday 1st March - The Three Billy Goats' Gruff


Welcome back to the start of Term 4. We hope you had an enjoyable break. This week we started with the traditional tale 'The Three Billy Goats' Gruff.' The children have acted out the story, created a story map and recalled the story, creating sentences. In Maths, we have been working on one more and one less and using number lines to calculate addition and subtraction questions. In Forest schools, the children built bridges. 


On Thursday, we had a special story time with a member of South Gloucestershire road safety team. We learnt how to keep safe whilst walking around the environment and crossing the road.


Next week we will be moving onto the story 'Troll' by Julia Donaldson. We will be taking part in World Book Day on Thursday so please come dressed as your favourite book character.


Enjoy the weekend.


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Shepard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins  

Friday 15th February - Farm Visit


We have come to the end of Term Three and have finished off this term's learning with a focus on non-fiction writing. We have produced a class book on Farm Animals, do have a look it. We really enjoyed our trip to Windmill Hill City Farm and we were so proud of the children. They demonstrated excellent behaviour and listening skills and it was a pleasure to take you out and spend the day with you. 😀 The children enjoyed looking at photos from the trip and have produced some super writing, recalling their favourite part. We finished off the week with a combined class party and birthday party for Mrs Lines. 


There are still slots available for the parent/career meetings so please come and sign up if you haven't already booked a slot.


All the Panda Class team would like to wish all our children and their families a very enjoyable half term break. 


We hope the children feel refreshed and ready to learn. Term Four starts on Monday 25th February.


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins 

Friday 8th February - Chinese New Year


This week we have been learning about how Chinese communities celebrate Chinese New Year. In Forest school we did a dragon dance and we have tasted noodles and tried using chopsticks. We have learnt about the story of the Chinese Zodiac and have found out that this is the Year of the Pig. We have been learning to use ordinal numbers to describe the positions of the animals in the race. In Maths we have also been learning how to describe 2D shapes referring to the numbers of sides and corners.   


Next week, we will be learning information about farms in readiness for our trip on Thursday. We are getting excited and hope the weather will be kind to us.


We hope you all have a relaxing weekend.


Mrs Shepard, Mrs Gleed, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins



Friday 1st February - The Three Little Pigs


This week we have been using the traditional tale of 'The Three Little Pigs' as a focus for our learning. We have been constructing and writing sentences, recalling events form the story. We have created sensory story maps and in maths, we have been developing our number skills with a focus on counting and addition. We also went on a walk, looking for shapes in the environment linked with our focus on houses. In Forest school we had lots of fun making dens.


We hope you enjoy your extra long weekend and have fun in the snow!


Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Gleed, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins 



We thought it would be useful to share with you the keywords we are working on in school. These are the words the children will frequently come across in their reading and will begin to use in their writing. Some of the words can be sounded out, others cannot. It is important for the children to recognise these words. 


To support the children learning these keywords in school, we have a keyword of the day and also play games with the keywords so the children become familiar with them. Short and frequent repetition of these keywords will enable the children to build their confidence and recognition of them.


You could play games at home by writing the words on pieces of paper and playing snap or a treasure hunt with them or the children really enjoy splat, where they have to splat the word. You could ask your child to touch the word with a wooden spoon as quickly as they can or maybe you could write them on big paper and the children could jump on them. They could practice writing the words with water in the garden or spelling the words with foam letters in the bath. These are a few suggestions. We're sure you can think of lots more ideas!


If you want to ask any questions about keywords, please ask any member of the Panda team.


Please see the list of keywords below:-


I, the, you, your, said, Mum, was, want, are, of, do, my, her, no, be, go, Mum, Dad, and, A, can, cat, it, at, dog, on, is, in.


He, me, she, we, like, look, by, saw, come, for, they, what, to, day, see, yes, get, big, am.


All, away, play, going, school, over, down, how, watch, who, there, where, this.


Learning Powers


Over the past couple of terms, we have the introduced learning powers used in the school to support the development of children's skills within Panda class. We have linked these to animals to make it easier for the children to identify and we have knitted characters to reinforce the ideas. We would like to share these with our parents and careers so you are able to talk to your child about these skills and to praise them when you see your child using them at home.


Emerald - Emerald the snail keeps on going and doesn't give up.


Diamond - Diamond the Owl uses her independence skills to do things for herself and she can solve little problems independently.


Ruby - Ruby the smiling Bee helps her friends and says 'well done' when they have completed a challenge. Ruby listens when others are talking. 


Friday 25th January - The Enormous Turnip 


This week we have been learning about building (constructing) sentences and have continued to work on learning key words. In Maths we have introduced weight and have been using balancing scales to find out which objects were the heaviest. In Forest school, we made bird feeders which was really fun!


We have introduced Challenge Super Heroes for Maths and Writing and the children who have completed the most amount of challenge over the course of the week,  will be awarded a hero cape and mask to wear for the day on Friday. We have also introduced a raffle ticket system (similar to the rest of the school)  to further encourage children to use their diamond powers of working independently. Each time they are able to use their independence skills to complete a task or solve small problems by themselves, they will be given a raffle ticket. At the end of the week, the winning ticket will be drawn and the children will receive a small prize.      


We have finalised arrangements for our next school trip and you will receive all the details via Parent Mail. We are very much looking forward to our class visit to Windmill Hill City Farm on Thursday 14th February. 


Enjoy your weekend.


Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Gleed, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins  



Friday 18th January - Little Red Riding Hood


This week our story has been Little Red Riding Hood, in English we have produced some fantastic work, describing the wolf and creating a wanted poster. In Maths, we have been developing our number skills and learning about time. We have been developing skills to work independently and have been responding to challenges in our learning. 


Next week our story will be The Enormous Turnip and we will be introducing another learning power- Diamond.


We hope you have an enjoyable weekend.


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins. 

Friday 11th January- Happy New Year!


Welcome back to school as we start a New Year. We hope you all had an enjoyable break and that the children are feeling refreshed and ready to begin a new term of exciting learning. We started off our term with the story of 'Jack and the beanstalk.' We have been recalling the story and writing about it using the questions who? where? and what? We have been measuring beanstalks and finding objects that ware longer or shorter than the Giant's footprints. We have planted our own beans. I wonder how tall they were grow?


Next week, we will be moving on to another traditional tale - Little Red Riding Hood and will be learning skills to help develop our independence and how we approach challenge. We will be starting our P.E. lessons on Monday, so please ensure you child has their kit in school . On Tuesday, we will re-start Forest School, so please ensure your child has a warm coat, wellies, a hat and gloves. 


We hope you have an enjoyable weekend.


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne, Mrs Collins

Friday 21st December - Christmas


We have reached the end of Term 2 and the children have been working hard all term. We finished the term learning about rhyme and describing characters using the traditional poem 'Twas the night before Christmas.'  We have been learning about creating narratives, beginning with telling stories about things we have done. In maths we have been practising our counting skills and numeral recognition and have been doing more learning on 3D shape.


We enjoyed a class party on Friday afternoon, which was lots of fun and we watched animated story of 'The Snowman.'  


We would like to thank all our parents and carers for our gifts and cards and good wishes for Christmas. We hope you all have an enjoyable break and if you are celebrating Christmas, that you have a happy time with your family.


We would like to wish everyone a happy New Year and all the best for 2019!   


We will see you for the start of Term 3 on Tuesday  8th January 2019.


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins




Friday 14th December - The Christmas Story


This week, we have been learning about the Christian story of the birth of Jesus which lies at the centre of the festival of Christmas. In English we have been learning how to build sentences and in maths, we have been doing careful counting and representing our answers in picture and number form. The children have also been enjoying independent learning in Santa's workshop.


We would like to say a huge well done to Panda Class and all the children who were involved in the performances this week of 'Santa Claus Coming to Town.' We were really proud of the way you put lots of energy into learning the lines, lyrics, dances and actions. We hope you all really enjoyed yourselves. The audience certainly seemed to enjoy the show.  


Panda Class enjoyed their Christmas lunch on Wednesday and were really proud seeing their work exhibited at their first art exhibition today.



Next week is our final week of term, we know the children are getting tired and excited but we hope they will all enjoy our last week together before the holidays. We will be using the old poem 'Twas the Night before Christmas' as a starting point to our English work. 


We hope you have a restful weekend,


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins





Friday 7th December - Stickman


Wow! What a busy week we have had! We have been rehearsing our Christmas performance and have had a couple of dress rehearsals. If you have not already done so, please send in your child's costume. You do not have to buy an expensive ready-made reindeer outfit, dark clothes (brown or black) and some antlers will be perfect.


We enjoyed watching the pantomime on Tuesday and on Thursday afternoon, we were very impressed with the Year 4 Ukulele concert, it made us want to move to the rhythm! 


In English, we have been responding to 'who, where, what' questions to help us recall and sequence the story of 'Stickman' and in maths we have been developing our careful counting and learning about 3D shapes. Mrs Lines turned our classroom into a wonderful Santa's workshop, we have been writing cards and creating letters to Father Christmas. We have also been learning Makaton signs for our Advent calendar. 

Next week our story will be 'The Christmas Story' when we will be finding out about the Christian beliefs behind the Christmas celebrations. 


We hope you  have a lovely weekend.


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins



Friday 30th November - Zog and the flying doctors


Our dragon themed continued with the sequel to Zog, 'Zog and the flying doctors.' This week in English we have been using questions to help us recall information about the story - who? (the characters), where? (the setting) and what? ( recalling an event from the story.) In Maths we have been developing our number skills and have been adding two groups of dragons eggs and  writing numerals and number sentences to represent the answer. We have also been developing our understanding of shape and space and this week we have been learning about the 3D shapes - cone and cube. In Forest school the children really enjoyed whittling wood and making stick people in preparation for our story next week 'Stickman.' In Phonics we have been practising blending and segmenting our single sounds and have been building and writing cvc words.  


We hope you all have an enjoyable weekend.



Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs.Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins



Friday 23rd November - Zog


This week we have been recalling the story 'Zog' and have been using ordinal numbers to help sequence to the story. In maths we have continued to build our addition skills and have been building castles using a variety of shapes. We have started to practise the songs for our Christmas performance. In forest school, the children really enjoyed making animals and mini-beasts using air drying clay, come and see the display of their work in our classroom.

Next week our story will be 'Zog and the flying doctors.'


We hope you all have an enjoyable weekend.


Mrs Gleed. Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins    

Friday 17th November - What the Ladybird Heard


This week we have been recalling the story 'What the Ladybird heard', creating a map from the story and a list of characters. We have also been looking for rhyme and alliteration within the text. We have moved on to digraphs in phonics, two special friends (letters) that make one sound. In maths, we have been working on addition and have introduced the children to two 3D shapes - the sphere and cylinder. The children were very good having their photographs taken on Wednesday. The children enjoyed making mini-beasts using clay in Forest School. We had lots of fun on Friday for Children in Need - decorating cakes, dancing and colouring Pudsey pictures. The children also enjoyed playing a Pudsey phonic game. Thank you for all your donations.


Thank you to everyone who attended our parent/carer meetings this week. Do remember, you can speak to any of the Reception team regarding your child's progress or experience at school or if you have any questions; we are here to support you. 


We hope you have a good weekend, Next week our story is about 'Zog,' the flying dragon.


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins 





Friday 9th November - The Gruffalo's Child 


Welcome back to the start of Term 2. We hope you all had an enjoyable half term break. 


This week our story has been 'The Gruffalo's child,' culminating in our trip to Westonbirt Arboretum on Thursday. The children were so well behaved, we were really proud of them. It was a pleasure to take them on a trip and we all have a wonderful time. The children really enjoyed observing different types of trees with their various colours, bark and leaves and finding a variety of woodland materials, which they excitedly gathered together. They challenged themselves on the natural woodland climbing equipment and the highlight was definitely the Gruffalo trail.


Next week on Friday we will be raising money for Children in Need, we will be playing games and decorating cakes in a spotty theme. It will be great if we can raise money for this cause.  Our story will be 'What the ladybird heard.'


We still have appointments for our parent/carer meetings next week on Tuesday and Thursday evening next week so please sign up for a slot on the sheets on the white board in our classroom.


Have a lovely weekend,


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins    

Reception trip to Westonbirt Aboretum


We are looking forward to our trip to Westonbirt Arboretum on Thursday 8th November. We will be exploring the natural environment through a variety of activities. We will be looking for the Gruffalo sculpture and the children will also have the opportunity to play in the Woodland play area and go on the tree top walkway through the forest canopy.


We will leave at 9.30 a.m. and return to school by the end of the day for collection at 3.15 pm.


Please remember that your child will need a waterproof coat and wellies.


If you are able to help, please let us know.


Cost for the trip is £7.50.


More details are on parentmail; please ask if you prefer a paper copy of the letter.   


Friday 26th October - Room on the Broom


Wow! We have come to the end of our first term at school and what a busy and fun filled term it has been! The children have dome amazingly well - settling into new routines, making friendships and getting used to the demands of school. The children have learnt lots of sounds in Speed Set 1 in Phonics and we are starting to see them apply their newly found skills in their writing and reading. The children have loved Forest school and swimming and P.E.


Just to remind you that this was our last swimming as the pool is closed over the Winter. We will advise you when swimming recommences in the Spring.


The children are really tired and are ready for a well earned rest over half term.


We hope you all have an enjoyable break and we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 6th November as there is an INSET day on Monday 5th November.  


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins

Friday 19th November - The Gruffalo


This week in English, we created a story map of 'The Gruffalo' and learnt about 'adjectives' - describing words, which we started to use as we described our favourite characters from the story. We have also started learning keywords, frequently used words that we will see in our reading and want to use in our writing. Every fortnight, we will send home the words we have learnt in class so you can carry on practising these at home and look out for them in the reading books. We have been making progress with our phonics and have already learnt so many sounds! This week we learnt four new sounds - l,h, sh,r. In maths we have been developing our number skills as well as going on a shape hunt, looking for 2D shapes in the environment.  We have been gaining confidence in swimming and always look forward to our lessons. Next week -Thursday 25th October will be our last swimming lesson until the pool is reopened in the Spring.


Our final story for Term 1 will be 'Room on the Broom.'


Enjoy your weekend


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins



Friday 12th October - We're going on a bear hunt!


We have had lots of fun this week with the story 'We're going on a bear hunt.' We really enjoyed a lyrical version of the story with lots of actions and rhythm. We created our first story maps, recalling the events of the story and putting them in order. We went on a bear hunt in Forest school, it was very exciting! In Maths we have been learning about the properties of 2D shapes - circle, squares, rectangles and shapes and went on a shape hunt outside.  


In phonics, we have learnt 4 new sounds - u,b,f,e. 


We have been developing our confidence and skills in swimming, it is so much fun!


Our story next week will be 'The Gruffalo.'


We hope you enjoy your weekend.


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins 



Friday 5th October- Run, run as fast as you can!

Our story this week was 'The Gingerbread Man,' we did some fantastic writing as we recalled the story. We have been hunting for gingerbread men at Forest school and on Friday, we baked Gingerbread Men. Luckily they all stayed in the oven otherwise we would have had to have chased after them, just like in the story! We enjoyed building a bridge using the large scale resources in the outside area so the gingerbread man could cross over the river.


We really enjoyed our first swimming lesson on Thursday and our swimming teacher was so pleased with us, we got a special sticker. smiley


Next week our story will be 'We're going on a bear hunt.'


Have a great weekend


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins 




Friday 28th September - Goldilocks and the three bears


This week we introduced a main story as a focus for our learning. This week our story was the traditional tale 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears.' We have been recalling and sequencing the story and talking about our favourite characters and events from the story and then drawing these in our books. We have been ordering objects according to their size and working out how we can find out which bed would fit one of the bears.


The children really enjoyed their first Forest school on Tuesday.


In phonics we have learn the sound t,i,n,p. and have been practising our handwriting.  


Next week our story will be 'The Gingerbread Man' and we will be cooking of Friday. Swimming starts on Thursday.


We hope you have an enjoyable weekend.


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins








21st September - End of the third week


This week we have introduced the first 4 sounds in our phonics programme - m,a,s,d. We have learnt a rhyme that helps us to form each of the letters correctly and we have also learnt the Jolly Phonics action to help us remember the sound the letter makes. Your child has been given a home learning folder, containing a sheet of these sounds and a space is provided for them to practise writing their letters. Please practise these sounds with your child, you could also encourage your child to be a 'letter detective' and look for these letters when they see writing in books and on packaging.  If you have any questions about Phonics, please speak to one of the Reception members of staff.


The children enjoyed their first P.E. lesson, please can you help your child gain independence by teaching them the skills needed to be able to change their clothes e.g. undo buttons, fasten zips and buckles, turn their clothes in the right way and fold their clothes neatly and put them in their bag. It would help if they wear clothes on Mondays and Thursdays which are manageable for them. 


Next week we will be starting Forest School on Tuesday. Please make sure you child has a pair of wellies in school. 


Our story next week will be 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' 


We hope you have a good weekend.


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins 





Friday 14th September  - End of second week


The children have done really well this week, having completed their first full week at school. The children are gaining familiarity with the routines and expectations. Understandably, there has been some tiredness so hopefully all the children will have a good rest over the weekend, ready for another week of learning.


 Today we went on a walk around the school field and visited our Forest school. The children are very excited to be able to use the wonderful area. Forest school will start on Tuesday 25th September.


We will be starting P.E. on Monday so please can everyone make sure that their child has a kit in school. There seemed to be a little bit of confusion over dates regarding swimming with some children expecting to be swimming this week. We will be starting swimming on 4th October, we will give another reminder nearer the time.


 Could we kindly ask all parents/carers to ensure the children have their names written on all their clothes as we have already had un-named clothing in our class and it is difficult to return to their owners quickly. Thank you. 


The children have enjoyed choosing their sharing stories, please ensure you read with your child and write a comment. Reading is an essential and enjoyable part of the children's learning and we will be expecting children to be supported with their reading at home to ensure that they make the expected progress over the coming year.


We hope you have a lovely weekend


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins 



Friday 7th September - First week at school



The children have spent the first few days of school getting to know each other, exploring the school and learning some of the school routines. They managed their first lunch and lunch time play on the field really well on Thursday. We are really proud of how they are settling and we are looking forward to an exciting and happy year of learning.


As explained in the parent/carer meeting today, the children will be full time as from Monday 10th September.  Remember you can speak to any member of the Reception staff if you have any questions or if you want to speak to us about how your child is getting on.


Next week we will be sending home a sharing book for you to read to your child along with some suggested activities you can do. Sharing books will be changed on a Monday and Thursday so please ensure your child has a book bag to keep the book flat and dry. You will also receive a laminated sheet with book characters from the Oxford Reading Tree range, which forms part of our school's reading scheme. The children will be getting to know these characters over the coming weeks.  It would be useful if you can talk to your child about the characters so they become familiar with the characters' names.  


We hope you enjoy your weekend


Mrs Gleed, Mrs Sheppard, Mrs Lines, Mrs Payne and Mrs Collins 



Induction Information

We Need Your Help!


We are always looking for people to help in Panda class.  If you could help us with swimming, or come in to listen to readers, please come and see me and we can put the arrangements in place.

Early Years Vision

  • Barley Close Community Primary School
  • Barley Close, Mangotsfield, Bristol
  • United Kingdom, BS16 9DL
  • Tel: 01454 867090
  • Email: