Welcome back to our wonderful Reception children.


Orbit Homework Challenge 


Orbit Autumn 1 week 7

Orbit Autumn 2 week 1

Orbit Autumn 2 week 2

Orbit Autumn 2 week 3 

Orbit Autumn 2 week 4

Orbit Autumn 2 week 5 

Orbit Autumn 2 week 7

Orbit Spring 1 week 1

Orbit Spring 1 week 2 

Orbit Spring 1 week 3

Orbit Spring 1 week 4


Our indoor classroom

Welcome back to our Wonderful Reception children. We are looking forward to learning and exploring with you this year. There have been a lot of exciting changes made to the classroom and we can’t wait to watch you using our learning spaces. Here is a sneaky peek…

the hairdressers

On Monday, some of the children were pretending to do each other’s hair and makeup. They were using paintbrushes as makeup brushes and putting bobbles in each other’s hair. Our fabulous TA Rachael Dunnington went along with this play and brought in some old makeup pallets, brushes and curlers from home. The children ran with it; we soon had a makeshift salon set up in our outdoor area. Both boys and girls alike were role-playing a visit to the hairdressers. We contacted the local Co-op High School and arranged a visit to their working salon with the children. The children saw the Salon set up and were given a tour and an explanation of how the salon works by the Salon Manager Alison. On returning to the class, we set up our own Beauty Salon and members of staff donated old hairdryers, combs, makeup brushes, curling tongues etc. With the children steering the set-up of the salon and suggesting equipment needed, we had a grand opening last Friday. The children have been booking appointments on the computers, role-playing stylists, hairdressers and customers. The language the children have acquired and have been applying to role play scenarios has been fantastic. This is a prime example of making an excellent teaching and  learning opportunity from the interest of the children and using other local schools and businesses to support this.

Alison is returning to Reception Class in the next week to come and do a workshop with the children. She is planning to bring some more resources to enhance the salon further and to showcase some simple Hairdressing skills.

Our child initiated hairdressing topic soon moved into a topic about what we would like to be when we grow up. This sparked off some visits from people with different occupations.

We had a visit from our local Police Community Support Officers, a visit from a midwife and a Facetime call from a Nurse!


Orbit has gone live

We are so excited to have signed up most parents to our super new assessment tool ORBIT. Educators can use this assessment method to observe and photograph your child and their learning experiences. They can then link this learning to the EYFS curriculum and send the observations straight to parents and carers. Staff can suggest next steps and give ideas on how you can support your child at home and you can then send photographs and evidence of your child’s learning experiences at home! Thank you to all parents and carers who attended the ORBIT welcome session!

Visit www.orbit.so to view your child’s profile.

maths mastery

In Reception we have been using a method of teaching Maths called ‘Maths Mastery’. We have looked at the EYFS Curriculum and used the suggested learning objectives to teach the children using this new approach. We use lots of different concrete objects such as numecon, cubes, pebbles, sticks, balls, currents etc to learn how to represent numbers.

The children are getting so good at this skill of number value and representing numbers in different ways using different objects.

Children are also making great progress with number recognition, number ordering and letter formation!


This month we have learnt a lot about our local area- Blackley. Many of us have learnt our address. We have been on a trip around our local area and used a map to help us navigate! We have learnt the directions left and right, forwards and backwards.

We ticked off local landmarks on our maps and we talked a lot about keeping safe on the roads.

On our return some of the children were talking about where they live and asking if we could walk to their houses. As it would take too long to walk to everyone’s house we used Google Earth to find our houses! The children typed in their address and found their houses!


our new outdoor learning space/forest school

We have been watching the development of our new forest school since September. The children were delighted to finally visit and experience our new outdoor learning space. We made predictions about what might grow there and how the landscape might change. We ran around on our fabulous new sports pitch and we enjoyed sitting in the auditorium having photos with our friends!

freezing and melting!

The children were very excited when they woke up one morning and the ground was frozen! There was ice and frost and fog in the air!

It sparked lots of conversations and discussions about why it was there and what it was!

The children investigated outdoors.

They started using words such as freezing, melting, ice etc.

We decided to do set up an experiment. Each group placed ice in different places around the classroom such as on top of the radiator, in the fridge and on the windowsill. Every five minutes the children checked on the ice to see if it had melted and used the ipods to take pictures.

Come and talk to Reception to find out which area made the ice melt the quickest and why!

our cheeky elf

As Christmas is getting nearer we have a new addition to our Reception Class! We have a cheeky elf who has come to check we are being good and behaving!

On the day our Elf arrived, we had a democratic vote to decide upon his name! The name ‘Kevin’ was a clear winner!

Whilst we are all tucked up at home in bed, Kevin is a little naughty and gets up to mischief in our classroom! Look at some of the things he has done so far….

Check back regularly to see what else Kevin has got up to!

Receptions Expectation Form


Happy New Year! It was great to see the children back in school after our Christmas break. The children have settled back into school routine very quickly and all seem to have matured over the holidays!

Superhero Writing area

The children have enjoyed exploring our new super hero writing area, where Batman is currently living. The children have enjoyed writing secret messages to one another and using torches to read them. We have been using our phonics to help us to write about what super powers we would like to have. This fantastic writing has been displayed in the corridor, make sure you come and take a look on your way past!

Our New author

This term our new author is Judith Kerr and we have loved learning facts about her life. We have done talk for writing to orally rehearse sentences before we write them and the children really enjoyed it. Ask your child about Judith Kerr to see what they can remember.

Week Beginning 16/01/17

The tiger who came to tea

One of our favourite Judith Kerr books at the moment is the Tiger who came to tea. The children love the tiger and how cheeky he is. As the children showed so much enthusiasm about the story we visited a local café, just like the Thomas family did in the story. Before we went on the trip we thought about what a café might have and we wrote a list. When we arrived we found that some of our predictions were correct.

At the café we ordered our own glass of juice and a piece of toast. When we had finished we went to the till and paid for what we had ordered.

Reception Timetable Spring 1

Week Beginning 23/01/17

Just Soph

This week we had a fantastic trip to the Avenue Library in Blackley to watch Soph perform her interactive stories. We would like to say a special thank you to all of the parents who came and supported us and made the trip possible.

The children absolutely loved Soph’s stories and couldn’t stop talking about them when we got back to school……

“I love her she’s so funny”


“I like the Crocodile, he’s really naughty”


“I liked the Camel because he always says ‘humph’”


Hot Seating

This week we did some hot seating with the characters from The Tiger who came to tea, as the story has proved very popular with the children. The children wore the masks of the characters they liked the most and all of a sudden they turned into the character. We asked them lots of questions.  Oliver asked the tiger “where do you live? Ellie-Mae asked the tiger “ how did you find the house? Alfie asked Debbie “what did you get from the café?” Lil asked Mrs Thomas “ Are you cross that the Tiger drank everything?”.

Our new cafe

Due to our very successful trip to the café last week, we have opened our very own role play café with an al-carte dining area on the terrace, where picnics are served, as requested by the children. The children have assigned roles to one another and are really getting into character using their experiences to re-enact past events. We have had great customer reviews, make sure you come and take a look!

Week Beginning 30/01/17


The reception team were so amazed with the puppets that we saw ‘Just Soph’ use in her interactive stories last week, that we challenged the children to make their own puppets. We asked the children to use everyday household objects such as spoons, cardboard boxes, socks etc. to make their own imaginative puppets just like Soph did. Look at their amazing creations……

We introduced the puppets to our group and talked about where they are from, what they like and don’t like and who they like to play with.

Sterling introduced us to his monster puppet……“He is called Scooby doo, he lives in a monster cave, he’s on Venus, he’s a bit of a mean monster,he likes to eat everything, quick run away he is hungry now and he could eat you all up”





Adam introduced us to his Caterpillar puppet….. “He is a king, he lives in a very high castle and looks after the good guys, he’s a very good boy”. 






We were all so excited to share our puppets with our friends; we decided to set up puppet show areas around the classroom, where we could bring our creations to life. This was a huge success!

BUT something very mysterious has happened when we came back from assembly on Friday the puppets had disappeared!!! There was a letter that said ‘See you next week’. We have no idea where they have gone! We have made some predictions about where we think the puppets have gone, but we will have to wait and see!

Week Beginning 06/02/17


This week our puppets have returned! They had been with Soph in the story telling hub having lots of exciting adventures! We are so excited to have them back! We have been using our new outdoor puppet theatre to bring our puppets to life and put on shows for our friends. We have been selling tickets, filming the shows, serving popcorn and drinks to the audience and writing show reviews.

We have also been using our puppets to write a short story. We have been exploring the structure of a story and using a story dice as a prompt to help us think of different settings and an object we must use to include in our story.


This week we have been exploring the part-part whole model as an aid to support early addition. We have really enjoyed using the model and have developed a good understanding as the week has gone on. All of the children now understand that the two parts added together equal the whole. Some of us have begun writing the number sentence that is represented in the part-part whole model.

Week Beginning 27/02/17


Our new topic this half term is space and this week we have loved learning about the planets in our solar system. Over the half term break the children in reception were given the challenge to create a poster about space and we have been blown away by the amazing work that has been done!!!

Sterling could name all of the planets in our solar system and told purple group “there is a bit of a problem with the planets cos Pluto used to be a planet but it’s not anymore it’s a dwarf planet cos it’s a little bit too small”.  

Lily-Mae created a HUGE poster over the half term break with lots of interesting facts about the planets and stars in our solar system. She said “I like Mars cos it is red”. 

Ruby knew lots of facts about astronauts and said “Niel Strongarm was the first man on the moon”. 

Come and see  all the beautiful posters on display in the corridor.

World Book Day

This week we celebrated World Book Day and it was a huge success! We all came to school dressed up as characters from our favourite book and shared lots of stories.

Adam said “this was the best day ever!”.  Alfie said “ I love book day”Lil said “Alice in Wonderland is my favourite book I’ve read it lots of times”.

In the afternoon we met with year three and partnered up to share stories. We all loved meeting different children and drawing pictures of the characters from the book.

Jamie said “I liked that we got to go and see the bigger children, I liked sitting with Emily”.

Vera said “I liked sitting with my sister, she read me a really funny book”. 

Oliver said “we readed books with year three with Dean my brother, he readed Horrid Henry to me”.


We have been doing a lot of work based on making comparisons. We have been looking at 2 groups of objects and which group has more/ less objects. The children have been counting the objects and trying to make each pile equal. We have been developing our reasoning skills and explaining how we have solved the problems.

Jamie said “What I did right, I looked that pile, then I look at that pile, like I compared them right…. I found out there was 3 on that side so I took some away from the big side and put them back so they are both equal, look: 1, 2, 3 and 1, 2, 3.”

Neveah said “I’ve added 3 more of them, then counted them again to see if they both had the same and they did.”


The children have really amazed us this week with their reading skills! It is very clear to see the amount of progress the children who read at home have made. Some children’s progress in reading is slower as they are not regularly reading at home. PLEASE PLEASE read regularly at home with your child, this will have a big effect on their reading levels and ultimately on their future. If any families are struggling with this and need some support, please do come and see us and we will help.

Week Beginning  6/03/17

Welcome Olly!

This week our new sport coach Olly began working with Reception. We had so much fun playing games and learning about why it is important to keep healthy and exercise. Ellisia said “my heart is beating really fast now so it’s going to get really big and strong”.  Rayyan said “my muscles are really tired now they have worked really hard today”. The children enjoyed the under the sea themed games and playing football.  Oliver said “I can’t wait for next week” and Ellie said “ that was so much fun!”.


This week we have continued our space topic and we went on a rocket mission to the moon. We talked about what we would need while we were away and what we were excited to see. Ellie-Mae said “I want to take a picture of my family cos I will miss them because I won’t get to see them every day”.  Leo said “I’m taking a space suit cos I will need that if I want to get out of the rocket  cos if I don’t have one I can’t breathe”.  Andrew said “ I want take some biscuits so that I don’t get hungry on the way”.  Phoebe said “I want to take Ebony cos I will miss playing with her”. We have been doing lots of crafts activities in the creative area – making rockets, jet packs, helmets and creating the different planets. We have learnt lots more about the planets and most of us now know a fact about each of the planets!! The children have really enjoyed ‘The space song’. Why don’t you listen to it over the weekend!




Pop project

On Wednesday morning we had a visit from ‘the Pop Project’. This was an event where 3 very talented musicians gave an assembly based around pop music. They taught us songs from different counties and different eras from 1950s to present day. They also brought lots of different instruments from around the world for us to try out!  We had so much fun and loved learning new songs! Try playing ‘Rock around the clock tonight’ and ‘The lion sleeps tonight’ on Youtube.

World Science Day

On Thursday we celebrated World Science Day. Nursery and Reception mixed into groups and we visited each-others classrooms to take part in lots of different experiments. We made gloop, learnt about the 5 senses, held the chicks and talked about their lifecycle, made boats that float and sink and even created our own Mento/ diet coke volcano explosion! When experimenting with the gloop Rayyan said “It feels so cold and slimy”. Alainasaid It looks like its from Mars cos it’s red like it is on Mars”Scarlette said ” It feels really soft and slippery”. Sterling said “ I love science its really fun”. Jamie said ” I’m going to be a scientist when I’m older just like my daddy”.

Week Beginning 20/3/17 


This week we have really enjoyed watching the chicks grow and get fluffy. We have been taking very good care of them and each group has taken it turns to clean out the brooder and make sure that the chicks have fresh water and bedding. We have been writing about the different stages of the lifecycle and why we like looking after the chicks. Jalees said “ they are so cute and fluffy I love them”. Oliver said “ I like it when they dance around, they are so funny”. Neveah said “  I like it when they sleep on top of each other”. Maisy said “ I like it when we can stroke them cos they are so soft”.

Easter Bonnet Parade

Our homework last week was to make an Easter Bonnet. We were blown away with the creativity and hard work that was put into  making the bonnets. They were absolutely fantastic, so fantastic that we thought that the whole school needed to see them. We went on a parade around the school and showed the other classes our bonnets. We also sang our ‘spring chicken’ song, ask your child to sing it to you tonight. We loved showing off our hard work and it made us feel very proud. Lil said “I liked going upstairs and showing the big kids our hats and when they all clapped that made me smile”.  Sterling said “I liked singing spring chicken because it made everyone be a little bit happy”. Jalees said “I liked when we went to nursery and Mrs Boden turned on my lights and everyone clapped, that made me feel good”.

Mother’s Day Stay and read

We would like to say a massive thank you to all of the parents that came to the Mother’s Day Stay and Read. It was lovely to see so many of you and all of the children loved spending time making things to celebrate you.

We hope you have an absolutely fantastic Mother’s Day! Here is a little video that the children have made to tell you the reasons why they love you so much…




Week Beginning 17/04/17

It was great to welcome the children back after the Easter Holidays; they all looked as though they had grown! They have returned after the break very mature and ready to learn!

Our new visitors

We have two new life cycles to watch develop in our classroom! We have caterpillars and frog spawn. Come and take a look! We have loved observing the changes that have been happening this week and predicting what we think will happen next. Maisy said “they’ve got bigger cos they’re eating all that food”Riley said ” they’re climbing to the top”. Jacob said ” they’re practising making their cocoons that’s why there’s webs everywhere”.  Lil said  ” now they are little tiny caterpillars and they have to eat lots and lots and get really fat and then they use their special web and hang upside down and make their canoe and then they turn into a beautiful butterfly and wiggle out”.  


One of our parents recently talked to us about a piece of research that has been carried out with children. It has been proven that if children exercise for 20 minutes in the morning before learning, it releases happy hormones, is good for our health and sets up children to learn more quickly.

This half term we are going to be doing 20 minutes of exercise every morning with the children before we start our learning. We are currently trialing Gonoodle, which are fantastic exercise videos that the children absolutely love! Have a look at the videos below- ask your child what their favourite song is and get them to show you some of their new dance moves.


For more videos – just type Gonoodle into Youtube.

Man City

This week some of our children with 100% attendance had a very exciting trip to Manchester City Football Club, where they met some of the men’s and women’s first team football players. The children had such a fantastic time learning new skills from the footballers themselves, they even got signed t-shirts from Fernando and Fernandinho. We are hoping to plan another trip in the future!

Watch the video below to see the children meeting the players and practising their new skills. The reception children are featured at 3:33.

Week Beginning 24/4/17


This week we have been watching our caterpillars get bigger and bigger and begin to practice spinning their cocoons. It has been very exciting to watch! We have been learning all about the life cycle of a butterfly and we have been using our phonics to write some fantastic sentences about it.  We can’t wait to watch our caterpillars move into the third stage of the life and spin their cocoons. Caitlyn said “Look their hanging upside down that means that they will go into their cocoon tomorrow”. Millie LE said “They are really big now that means they will are full and can go into the cocoons”. Adam said ” They are going to go into the cocoons soon and then they will turn into a butterfly and fly away”. 

Nick Sharratt 

This term our new author is Nick Sharratt and this week we have loved sharing his stories at group time. One of our favourites is the Shark in the Park series. If you would like to share a Nick Sharratt story at home, lots his stories are shared on Youtube – just type in Nick Sharratt stories and enjoy!  Naledi said ” I like Shark in the Park because the shark is hiding from everyone”.  Bailee said ” I like Shark in the Dark because the white shark tricks Timee”.  As well as reading Nick’s stories we have also been learning facts about him through talk for writing.  Ask your child what they can tell you about Nick Sharratt!


This week we have had lots of fun learning about flat 2D shapes and their properties. We have been on a shape hunt, played Guess the Shape, learnt a shape rap and made shape monsters. We have learnt that shapes have straight and curved sides and we have began to sort shapes using venn diagrams. We can all now name at least 5 shapes and most of us can talk about the properties of the shapes.

Week Beginning  1/05/17

Life cycle of a frog

This week we have been learning all about the life cycle of a frog .We have had lots of fun observing the frog spawn that is developing in our classroom and we all had lots of questions. Adam asked  ” What happens to the frog spawn egg when the tadpole come out?”, Darcie asked ” Do they find their mums and dads when they are born?”, Ellie asked ” what do tadpoles eat?”. 


We were very excited to find on Monday that over the weekend our caterpillars had made their cocoons. Klinten said  very excitedly” the caterpillars have made their cocoons quick come and look!”, Oliver said  “they are having a little sleep now they will get really tired turning into a butterfly wont they”. Nikita said ” wow look it’s hanging upside down and its all bumpy that’s cool”. We are all very excited that soon we will have butterflies to observe and set free when they are ready.


We have started our new project with Adrian! We have decided to make sculptures of the stages in the life cycle of a butterfly because we have all loved watching  our caterpillars change over time. We have started with blue group who are making the first stage of the life cycle – the egg. We have been working very carefully to sculpt the eggs out of clay, using pictures to help us see what shape they are.

Week Beginning 15/05/17


This week we were very excited to watch our butterflies emerge from their cocoons. Alfie W said ” oh look quick its coming out of the cocoon, aww look its growed its wings”.  Naledi  said ” its wings are so pretty”. Adam said ” look at the ink, its all coming off his wings”. Ellisia  said ” its wings are symmetrical, that wing is the same as that wing”.  After a few days of watching our beautiful butterflies it was time to release them in our garden. They put on a very good show, flying around our garden and showing us their colourful wings. One even came back to say goodbye, landing on Miss Weaver’s hand.

Heaton Park

We would like to say a special THANK YOU to all of the parents who volunteered to come on our trip to Heaton Park- without you it wouldn’t have been possible! It was amazing for us to see the children having so much fun with you and enjoying exploring with their friends. The children couldn’t stop talking about their day when we arrived back at school…… ” this was the best day ever”  – Oliver,   ” I really really liked the big slide, it was so high and it was a bit scary but it was fun”  – Ellisia.        “I liked when Miss Weaver and Mrs Boden went down the big slide it was really funny and made me laugh” – Hollie.         “I liked going for a ride on Midnight, he was so fluffy and cute” – Naledi. 

Orbit Homework- Week 2

Orbit Homework- Week 3

Orbit Homework- Week 4

Orbit Homework- Week 5

Click here to view Futures Curriculum

Class Staff

Mrs Hughes Mrs Hughes Teaching Assistant


My name is Vicki Hughes. I am currently a teaching assistant in Reception. I live in Higher Blackley with my family, my husband Kieron and my son Elliott. I know the area well and I attended this school when I was younger. I have a BTEC National Diploma in Childcare, Learning and Development and soon after finishing my course I started working here at E-ACT in 2009. During my time here I have worked in both Nursery and Reception.


Mrs Boden Mrs Boden Class Teacher

My name is Laura Boden, I grew up in Salford and still live in Salford with my family. My husband Dave and I have two sons, Charlie who is 6 and Theo who is 18 months. I run 5K each week to keep fit.

I started teaching 12 years ago in a small primary school in Eccles. My career developed there and after 4 years I became a EYFS Lead. I gained a scholarship in 2014 to complete my National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership. Since completing this course, I have a new job. I now work at E-act Blackley Academy. I am a Reception Class Teacher, EYFS Lead and I am on the Senior Leadership Team. I will be leading on Early Communication Skills and Parental Involvement. I am enjoying being part of a new team and a new school family.

I am looking forward to the future and I am excited to see what it holds.

Rachel McNee Rachel McNee


My name is Rachel McNee. I am one of the nursery teachers here at E-ACT Blackley Academy. I specialised in the early years at university and completed a PGCE. Previous to my PGCE year I completed a childhood studies degree as I am highly interested in child development.

Coral Cheetham Coral Cheetham


I have completed an apprenticeship in childcare and have worked in a private day nursery for 3 years. I then joined the E-ACT team in 2016.

Lindsay Dunkersley Lindsay Dunkersley


My name is Lyndsay and I have worked at E-ACT Academy since it opened in 2012. I also worked at the school previous to this when it was Victoria avenue primary school. I have been lucky enough to experience working in all of the key stages. I am currently working in Early years as a one to one, supporting teaching and learning.

Charlotte Ramsbottom Charlotte Ramsbottom

I have been a key worker at E-ACT Blackley Academy for three years. Before this I have worked in a variety of different schools and nurseries. I have a post-graduate certificate in Early Childhood Studies and have also an undergraduate degree in Education and Religious Education. In my spare time I love to go on lots of days out with my partner Chris as we love to discover new places. I am also a keen reader and most of the time you will find me with my head stuck in a book.

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