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Elf Owls Reception

W.b. Monday 27th November 

Hello Elf Owl Families, 

We hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend!


This week we will continue to look at our focus text ‘Stick Man’ whilst really getting underway with our Key Stage One nativity ‘Lights, Camel Action!’ We gave Elf Owls the choice of being a sheep, angel or ‘disco star’ and they are all very excited! Notes were sent home last week saying which part your child is playing, so please check book bags if you haven’t yet seen this or speak to one of us. Please let us know if you need help with this costumes. 

In phonics this week we will introduce ch, sh, th and ng and we are continuing to practise segmenting and blending to read words, as well as segmenting for spelling. 

In Maths we will be focussing particularly on the numbers 4 and 5; this will include finding different ways of making the totals, one more/less and subitising (recognising an amount without having to count). Our aim is to develop the children’s ‘number fluency’ which will be key as they move through the school. 

We hope you all have a super week ahead. We look forward to meeting with you next week at parents evenings.

Best wishes 

The Elf Owl Team πŸ¦‰ 

W.b. Monday 20th November

Dear Elf Owl Families,

We hope you all had a great weekend. This week we will be introducing our core text ‘Stick Man’ by Julia Donaldson. The story is a great way of exploring the seasons and celebrations.


In phonics we will introduce y, z, zz and qu as well a revisiting previously taught phonemes in both phonics lessons and guided reading sessions. 

We will continue to focus on 2D shape, position and direction in Maths. 

Have a great week!

The Elf Owl Team πŸ¦‰

W.b. Monday 13th November

Dear Elf Owl Families,

We hope everyone has had an enjoyable weekend. The week ahead is World Nursery Rhyme Week and to celebrate we will be singing lots of rhymes and the children will take part in related activities.

In maths this week we will be learning about 2D shapes; naming, sorting and describing them. In phonics we will be introducing the sounds j, v, w and x. 

P.E will be on Monday and Thursday again this week and Forest school on Friday. 

Have a wonderful week ahead!

The Elf Owl Team πŸ¦‰ 

W.b. Monday 6th November

Dear Elf Owl Families,

We hope you all had a great weekend. It was great to see the children having a ‘boogie’ at the Monster Disco on Thursday! We hope those that came had great fun!

This week we will focus on 2 separate areas linked to our topic ‘How do we Celebrate..?’ The first is Diwali, the Hindu festival of light, and the latter is Remembrance Day. Both are significant in the children’s development in the ‘understanding of the world’ strand of our curriculum. 

P.E will take place on both Monday and Thursday with Mr Pearce. Forest school will be on Friday led by Mrs Howlett.

In phonics this week we will introduce f, ff, l, ll and ss. We have been assessing the children to see which letter-sound correspondences they can remember. We will be working with small groups to revisit any letter sounds the children need support with (in addition to the daily phonics session). 

In maths we will continue to work on subitising (instantly recognising the amount in a group/set without having to count) and reading and writing numerals to show a total.


Wishing you all a great week ahead!

Best wishes,

The Elf Owl Team πŸ¦‰ 🌳 






W.b. Monday 30th October

Welcome back to Term 2 Elf Owl Families!

We hope you all had a lovely half term break. We are very excited about the term ahead and looking forward to getting stuck into our topic 'How do we celebrate...?' In the week ahead we will be thinking about how we celebrate Bonfire Night.


Mr Pearce will be teaching Elf Owls P.E on Monday and Thursday this term. Please send your child to school wearing full kit on both days. This should include warm joggers or leggings, a t- shirt, sweater and trainers. Please also ensure your child wears a warm winter coat to school daily and has a pair of wellies to change into when they go outside. Hats, gloves and scarves are also a good ideas as the children have access to learning outside throughout the day. Forest School will continue on Fridays. Children will change in school (please ensure they have old clothes/ waterproofs at the ready!)


In Maths this week we will be learning to subitise (recognise/ say the amount without having to count) and matching amounts with numerals. In phonics we will introduce h and b, in addition to revising all previously taught sounds. Please continue to read daily with your child; 5-10 minutes provides a perfect amount of time to practise everything they have been learning in phonics.


As always, please come and chat to us if you have any questions or queries and we look forward to an exciting term ahead!

Best wishes

The Elf Owl Team 

Exciting visitors in class this week..!

W.b. Monday 16th October 

Dear Elf Owl Families,

We hope you have all enjoyed a lovely weekend. Thank you to those of you who made it to our reading workshop last week. If you didn’t manage it this time, there will be further opportunities to join your child in school later in the year.

This week we will be having a big focus on keeping healthy and we are very excited to welcome two special visitors into the classroom… Helen Osborne (photo above) will be visiting Monday afternoon and will be sharing her experiences of being an NHS nurse and an Aftercare Manager for Thames Valley Air Ambulance. On Wednesday we welcome Catherine Peers to tell us all about her role as a dentist. We will be picking up tips on how we can keep our bodies and teeth healthy from both of our brilliant visitors! 

In phonics this week we will be introducing the sounds e, u and r as well as revisiting all previous sounds and continuing to practice segmenting and blending. In maths we will be thinking about recognising patterns and sorting. 

P.E will be Thursday with Mr Pearce, but there will be no forest school this week due to Inset day on Friday. School finishes for half term at 3.30pm this Thursday.


We would like to say a big thank you for all your support this half term. We have really enjoyed getting to know you and your wonderful children. They have been little superstars settling into school so well and we know they will continue to build on their successes as we continue through the year. 

Have a great week ahead and a fantastic half term break! 

With warmest wishes, 

The Elf Owl Team πŸ¦‰ 

W.b. Monday 9th October 

Dear Elf Owl Families, 

We hope you have all enjoyed the sunshine over the weekend! This week we will continue to think about Autumn and seasonal changes.

We have our Reading Workshop in the school hall at 2.45pm on Wednesday 11th October. Please confirm your attendance with the office and come prepared with a favourite picture book to share with your child/ a group of children.


In Monster Phonics we will introduce o c k and ck, as well as the high frequency words into, no, go, the and to.


In maths we will start to think about measures; using language such as longer, shorter, larger, smaller, heavier and lighter.


As always, please do come and have a chat with us if you have any questions or concerns. We are very happy to help.

With our best wishes, 

The Elf Owl Team πŸ¦‰

Reception Vision Screening Information leaflet

w.b. Monday 2nd October

Dear Elf Owl Families,

We hope you have all enjoyed a lovely weekend. This week we will be thinking about Autumn and seasonal changes.

On Monday this week we have ‘Reception Vision Screening’ (please see the leaflet above for more information) and the ‘Childhood Flu Vaccination Programme’ will take place on Thursday. The children will still have P.E on Thursday (please send them in kit) and Forest School on Friday (please send them in uniform and they will change in the afternoon). 

This week in phonics we will introduce the phonemes (letter sounds)  m d and g, as well as revisiting s a t p i n. In Maths we will be matching objects and numbers. 

You will notice we have started to send home some blank ‘Independent Owl’ slips. We would like you to fill in one for your child from time to time to celebrate their blossoming independence at home. You could award them with an Independent Owl for any steps they make; big or small- perhaps making their own bed or zipping up their coat. We will read them out in class and display them for all to see! 

Remember the Phonics webinar is this Wednesday 4th October 7-8pm. There is still time to sign up if you haven’t already (see last week’s update below for the link). Also, you should have received a ParentMail inviting you in for a Reading Workshop on Wednesday 11th October at 2.45pm. Please confirm your attendance with the school office so we can plan accordingly. 

Have a wonderful week ahead!

The Elf Owl TeamπŸ¦‰ 

w.b. Monday 25th September 

Dear Elf Owl Families,

We hope you've all enjoyed a lovely weekend. Thank you to those of you who popped in last Friday to our 'open classroom'. (This was instead of the usual Friday afternoon celebration assembly which Elf Owls will attend later in the year). We will be offering another opportunity to come into school on Wednesday 11th October at 2.45p.m for a reading workshop. We will send more details in a Parentmail this week. (You can find the link to the Autumn newsletter under 'Information for parents' on this website to note down other key dates this term).


The children really enjoyed starting Monster Phonics last week! This week we will introduce the letter sounds i and n as well as revisiting s a t p. Please continue to share the books we are sending home with your child for 10 minutes daily. We will shortly start to send Monster Phonics books home and until then you can access the ebooks (see last week's update below with a link to register for free if you haven't already).


There is a free webinar on Wednesday 4th October 7-8p.m; Monster Phonics: A guide for parents. This is a really helpful, informative session which many of our Elf Owl parents really valued last year. We highly recommend you attend if at all possible as it will really help you understand how children start on the journey of early reading and writing and how you can help at home. Please follow the link above to book on.


This week we will be starting White Rose Maths. The children are already used to coming together for a short Maths session before lunch, but the programme will provide both structure and progression and links in with what the rest of the school are learning.


Lastly, we will be having individual school photos this Thursday and Friday. P.E will be Thursday morning and Forest school is on Friday afternoon. Due to the photos, please send children in uniform on both days this week and bring kit to change into.


Have a great week ahead!

The Elf Owl Team


22/9/23 We investigated, explored, observed, created and tested in Forest School today. Thank you Mrs Howlett for being such an inspirational Forest school Lead!

W.b. Monday 18th September


Dear Elf Owl Families,

We hope you had a lovely weekend! 


We are so pleased with how well the class have settled over the last couple of weeks! They have been learning the routines of the day well and last week they really enjoyed 'Toast Cafe' with Mrs Stevens. They also had an introductory P.E lesson with Mr Pearce. P.E will now take place every Thursday morning until October half term. Please send your child dressed in their P.E kit on Thursdays (white t shirt, dark sweater/ bottoms and trainers).


We will be starting Forest School this Friday, led by Mrs Howlett and Miss Taylor. On Fridays the children should come to school in uniform and change in the afternoon into their forest school kit (old t shirt, sweater, bottoms, socks, waterproof suit and wellies). We keep the kit in school on your child's peg and will send home when it needs a wash!


We have now completed the Reception Baseline Assessment with every child in the class which means we can start Monster Phonics this week! (see video link above). The first 4 phonemes (letter sounds) will be s a t p. The children will read individually with adults in school using the linked books and we will start to send home Monster Phonics books for practise at home. 


We also encourage you to use the online Monster Phonics ebooks with your child at home. In order to access the ebooks, you will need to set up a personal account linked to the school subscription. Please follow the link above and complete the form. Only the school information should be inserted where the form asks for an address (Great Milton C.E Primary School, The Green, Great Milton, Oxfordshire OX44 7NT). Please let us know if you have any difficulties with this and we will be happy to help.


The children have all been doing really well in the lunch hall and we are staying with them to support them and monitor what they are eating. We also encourage them to eat a little more when needed and will speak to you if we are concerned they aren't eating enough. As the children eat at 12 midday and it is a long afternoon, we are finding that those who are bringing in snacks are benefitting from the energy boost! We have a fridge in the classroom, so we can store any chilled items. Below is a list of healthy snack suggestions:

Fresh or dried fruit

Vegetable crudites (red pepper, cucumber, carrot sticks, celery)

Bread sticks

Rice cakes

Cottage cheese and oatcakes

Cheese- e.g. a Babybel

Houmous and carrot sticks

Squeezable yoghurt or smoothie

Hard boiled egg

2 little squares of a sandwich

(Please make sure snacks are clearly labelled with your child' name).


Finally, the children all now have a Year 6 buddy! The older children have been great at getting to know and play with the Elf Owls and having a buddy means that the children will continue to develop these friendships. The children will enjoy planned 'Buddy Time' together and we find that the older children really look out and support the younger children out on the playground. If you're not sure who your child's buddy is, then please ask.


Have a great week ahead!

The Elf owl Team 








Thank you to FOGMS for our lovely new mud kitchens!

W.b. Monday 11th September 

Dear Elf Owl families,

We hope you’ve all enjoyed the sunny weekend! We were so proud of the children last week; they settled in brilliantly and are already learning the rules and routines of the school day. We are all very excited for the year ahead with such a fantastic bunch of children!


This week will be the children’s first full week in school and we will continue to support them in getting to know each other and the adults working with them. This week they will go out on to the playground with the rest of the school for lunch time play after eating. Here they can play with their friends, see siblings and start getting to know the Year 6s who we will soon ‘buddy’ them up with… watch this space! 

On Monday afternoons this term Miss Woods will teach the class music. On Tuesday mornings our volunteer Mrs Stevens will start ‘Toast Cafe’ whereby the children spread their own toast and enjoy as a group. We have found toast cafe great for developing the children’s fine motor control, social skills and many other curriculum areas. 

This week we will start the statutory Reception Baseline Assessment with each child. It is an activity based assessment of children’s starting points in Maths and Language, communication and Literacy. In the past, we have found the children enjoy these and they are useful to inform our planning for teaching and learning. Once we have completed the assessments we will then start teaching daily Monster Phonics sessions and will send home the linked reading books. 

If you haven’t already, please can you send in a pair of wellies and a full waterproof suit, as well as spare clothes. All of this can be kept on your child’s peg for whenever needed.


Thank you for your support in getting the children off to a brilliant start last week! Please do come and chat to us at the end of the day if you have any questions or concerns.

With warmest wishes,

The Elf Owl Team πŸ¦‰ 

We’ve settled in really well during our first couple of days in school..!

A very warm welcome to all our new Elf Owl Families!


Dear Elf Owl Families,

A very warm welcome to all of you! We are so excited to continue getting to know all of you throughout the year ahead! Please visit this page regularly as we will update key information here, as well as posting news and photos of our learning in school.


Elf Owls' first day at school will be Tuesday 5th September from 8.45/9am until 11.30a.m. Please drop your child off at the blue gates with an Elf Owl Teacher. A member of staff will then return to open the gates at 11.30am and invite you into the school grounds to collect your child from outside the Elf Owls' classroom. On Wednesday 6th September school for Elf Owls will be until 1pm and the children will be staying for lunch (a universal free school meal is available or bring a packed lunch). A member of staff will then open the gates at 1pm (or just after; once the rest of the school have led inside)  and again we will invite you to come into the school grounds to collect your child from outside the classroom.


Full time school begins on Thursday 7th September. You can drop your child at school from 8.45-9am and then pick up as usual at 3.30pm. At Great Milton we have a slightly staggered start to our school day and you have a 15 minute window to drop your child at school in the morning. The school gate will close at 9am. If you are late for any reason, please take your child through the main entrance and sign them in at the office with Mrs Biel.


The first week at school will look like this:

  • Monday 4th September: INSET DAY (School closed for pupils).
  • Tuesday 5th September: 8.45/9- 11.30a.m.(Go home for lunch).
  • Wednesday 6h September: 8.45/9- 1p.m. (Stay for lunch).
  • Thursday 7th September: 8.45/9-3.30p.m. (Full days from today onwards).


In the coming weeks and throughout this term, we will work on helping the children to feel comfortable and at ease in their new environment. We will support them in getting to know their peers and staff and teach them the routines of the school day. Above all, we want them to be happy, safe and enjoy school!



Your child is welcome to have a free school lunch daily, bring in a packed lunch from home or enjoy a combination of the two throughout the week. We do not need to know in advance if they are having a school meal; the children can come in on the day and we will ask them what they are having that day. (We will also check that we have the correct number of lunch boxes!) Zoe, our school cook will then offer a meat or vegetarian option, as well as a puddling and a drink of water. Please send your child to school with a named water bottle which they will have access to throughout the school day. We encourage a balanced diet, so packed lunches should include healthy items such as fruit, vegetables, yoghurt and cheese, alongside sandwiches or pasta. No chocolate, sweets or nuts please.


Snack Time

We will provide free fruit every morning during snack time and a drink of milk, should the children wish to have it, later in the day. You may wish to send in an additional afternoon snack (e.g. fruit/ vegetables/ rice cakes) for your child to have with their milk as we have found some children need an energy boost towards the end of the school day. We will have drinking water readily available throughout the school day should the children forget their bottle. In the coming weeks, we will introduce 'Toast Cafe' once a week. The children will learn to spread their own piece of toast and cut it into pieces. We find Toast cafe helps to strengthen the children's hands ready for writing. We have also found both Snack time and Toast Cafe provide a brilliant opportunity for social interaction and we often make links to other curriculum areas.


Equipment/ kit

Please ensure your child has a waterproof suit (or trousers and jacket) and wellies in school from day one. The children will need these when playing outside and for forest school sessions. They should also have a spare set of clothes/ underwear on their peg.  We will give you more information about days/ timings for P.E and forest school as we settle the children. For P.E the children wear their kit (white t shirt/ dark sweater/bottoms and trainers) to and from school; therefore you do not need to send in kit to be kept in school. Please make sure all uniform and other items are clearly labelled.



Reading and Phonics

We will start daily 'Monster Phonics' phonics lessons from Monday 11th September and the children will read Monster Phonics books regularly in school with an adult (their reading will link to the phonemes/ sounds they are learning in class). You will be able to support this learning by reading at home with your child. We will provide more information on this as we go along, but for now please send your child to school with a blue book bag daily. The children's book bags are our go-to place for changing books and the children will also be given a yellow reading diary where we can correspond about their reading.


That's probably enough information now, but we will write further updates in the coming weeks. We are all really looking forward to an exciting year ahead!


With Warmest wishes,

The Elf Owl Team

Mrs Ray (Class Teacher Monday to Wednesday)

Miss Taylor (Class Teacher Thursday and Friday)

Mrs Howlett (Full time Teaching Assistant)

Miss Belcher (Teaching Assistant every morning)

Miss Bush (Teaching assistant every afternoon)

Mrs Elle Fairfax- all day Thursday 

Miss Georgia Sansom- Friday afternoon

Mrs Alison Stevens- Volunteer on Tuesdays 


(We are a quite a large team, but for the most part there will be 3 or 4 of us at any one time).