Mrs Bending

Mrs Bending

Early Years Lead & Reception teacher

Miss Hinks

Miss Hinks

Teaching Assistant

Mrs Smith

Mrs Smith


Welcome to Reception

Hello and welcome to Cherry Class! I am Mrs Bending, the Early Years Lead and a Reception teacher. Working alongside us, we have Mrs Smith and Miss Hinks. We love to work and learn together as one big happy family.

Here you will find all the information you may require linked to what is happening in the Early Years at Southwold.

Our Learning Environment

Here at Southwold, we offer a large purpose-built indoor learning environment which we like to call our ‘Learning Garden’ and an inviting large shared outside area.

Our Inside Learning

Our indoor space offers our children a bright, colourful, stimulating and positive environment. It is divided into zones which promote and encourage the children to learn and develop different key skills. We like to call our key indoor areas:

  • Maths area
  • Creative area
  • Reading corner
  • Role Play area
  • Water area
  • Construction area
  • Mark making area
  • Small World area
  • Fine motor area
  • Malleable area


The outside learning environment is divided into similar areas. However, the resources and experiences differ to those on offer inside. They are on a much larger scale and encourage the development of different skills and learning opportunities. Children love to be outside so a pair of wellies, a sunhat, and a warm coat are always a must! We call our garden areas ‘Minibeast Kingdom’.

Our Daily Routine

At 8:45am the doors open, and Reception children are welcomed into class from the main school gate by staff. When your child comes into school, they will hang their things on their peg, put their book bag away in drawer, put their snack and drink in the designated area, and then find their name to complete their morning work. Once the children have completed their jobs, they will join an activity of their choice.

We enjoy daily phonics sessions using the Read, Write, Inc scheme, narratives based on a quality text, and fun maths sessions. The rest of our day is made up of exploring our ‘Learning Landscape’, both inside and outside, and taking part in activities such as Welly Wednesday, PE, and Dough Disco and Squiggle while you wiggle! Our curriculum always focuses around a whole school big question and offers children learning opportunities with challenge.

We enjoy eating our lunch in the hall and then playing in the playground.

The end of our school day is 3.15pm.

Reading in Reception

Please see link which gives you information about the phonics programme that our school uses:


Snuggling down to read is the best, and we love to promote reading with our Reception children. Reading happens every day and is encouraged in many ways - sharing a story, making up stories, recording stories, drawing stories, using puppets: the list is endless. When we feel your child is ready for a Jelly and Bean reading book (segmenting and blending confidently), we will start them on an appropriate level and will change these books on a weekly basis. Please sign to say that you have heard your child read in their reading diary and make any comments so that we know the book needs changing. Our reading scheme begins with ‘Jelly and Bean’ and is complimented with our ‘Read Write Inc’ books. All children also bring home a quality text from our book den to share with their family. We aim to change books at least once a week.

From the outset, your child will bring home a sound pack so they can continue to learn their sounds at home. They will also bring home the ‘Rotten Red Words’ that cannot be read phonetically and need to be sight-read. Please try to help your child to learn these as it will support their fluency when reading.

Please continue to read any books you may have at home with your child and make use of your local library to develop their love of books and reading.


When your child starts school, they will have an online learning journey which you can look at, at your pleasure. The team will work to upload observations to enable you to enjoy what your child has been learning at school as well as being informed on their progress. Please take advantage of uploading photos and videos from home and sharing these within your child’s profile.

If you have not signed your Tapestry letter, please do so as a soon as possible so we can get you up and running!

Let the adventure begin, can you spot the Southwold bears in the learning environment……

Term 1 - What makes us Unique?

This term, each class has focused on celebrating our similarities and differences. Each child has worked hard to improve their 'daily mile' time whether its been rain or shine! Our main outcome was to create a mini video demonstrating why we are all unique, which you can watch here.

A big thank you to all the parents who were able to come along to our 'Wonderful Wednesday'. We had a fantastic 192 parents and family members who came along to celebrate this term's learning. We understand that it is not always easy to take time off work and reschedule other things during the school day but hope you enjoy the video.

Term 3 - Can we Investigate?

This term, our big question was 'Can we investigate?'

We had lots of fun trying out a range of scientific skills alongside the other learning which took place. Here is a snapshot of the activities we experienced.

Updated: 21/02/2024 15.97 MB