Welcome to Sunflowers

Our Reception class is called ‘Sunflowers’. If Sunflowers receive the correct amount of nurture and support they can grow really tall! This represents the growth and potential we believe all children have in Sunflowers and the importance of individual care and support. We come into school with a smile each day and enjoy learning in our adult directed activities and following our own interests in the class continuous provision. 

Meet the Team 

Miss Thornewill - Class Teacher 

Hello! My name is Miss Thornewill. I am the Reception Class Teacher at Streethay Primary School. I am a very passionate Early Years Teacher and the Forest School Lead, and I love teaching in the outdoor environment. I enjoy reading stories, my favourite book is "Its a squash and a squeeze." 

Mrs Phillips - Teaching Assistant 

Hello, I am Mrs Phillips and I'm excited to be your new Teaching Assistant in team Sunflowers. I have been a Teaching Assistant for many years. I enjoy reading stories but especially love listening to children read to me. My favourite book is ‘Whatever Next!’ written by Gill Murray.  What is your favourite story? I have two children, a girl, and a boy, and we love family holidays and being together. I look forward to seeing you all in September and having lots of fun learning together.

Our Approach to Learning

The first year of school is important and is always memorable. We strive to make sure that every child feels valued, happy and safe in Sunflowers. It truly is a pleasure being a part of such an important school year and we work hard to give every child the opportunity to reach their potential and develop a love of learning that carries through their school years and beyond.

In the Reception year, we work towards achieving the end of year Early Learning Goals, set out on page 10 of the Early Years Statutory Framework. We will share and discuss these early Learning Goals with you throughout the year.

As set out in the Early Years Statutory Framework, we ensure that children learn and explore in a range of child initiated, adult directed and adult led activities. We carefully observe children within the first few weeks of joining us, to gain a secure understanding of their interests, development and next steps. We use this information to carefully plan learning opportunities and activities that work towards these next steps in the following areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Physical Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design  

Partnerships with parents are key and we ensure that we share learning developments and next steps with you regularly. We warmly invite you to contribute to these regularly, so that we gain a greater understanding of your child as they progress throughout the Reception year.

Our classroom environment is very calm, minimal and homely. We have worked hard to ensure that the environment is relaxing and not overstimulating, using the Reggio Emilia approach as a vision. This calm, natural environment ensures that children are focused, calm and have access to a range of open ended resources, such as the loose parts area, which enable learning potential and curiosity to be maximised. The learning environment is just as important as the children and adults within our class and we are continually adding enhancements to it, based on the children’s needs and interests.

We value the whole child at Streethay, and in Sunflowers, we have dedicated a lot of time into planning exciting enrichment activities for the children. Some examples of these are, inviting Packington Farm into school to talk about where our food comes from and how it is made. The children had the opportunity to grind their own wheat! We are hoping to visit the farm itself next year.

We have also planned exciting education learning visits to Fradley Junction Nature Reserve, to study mini-beasts and their habitats in real life!  

Here are a few photos of our experiences from last year…


There are lots more on our school Twitter page. Click here to see our twitter page. Take a look…

Please explore our class pages for further information about life in Sunflowers.

Our Year

The Reception year is full of joy, learning and milestones. This is when your child learns to formally read and write as well as build key friendships and relationships. We use our observations, as well as any assessments, such as Phonics assessments, to ensure that each child makes progress within the areas of learning and works towards gaining a good level of development, in meeting their Early Learning Goals at the end of the Reception Year. We work closely with parents and ensure that next steps and achievements are shared through dialogues, Tapestry, as well as Learning Alongside Sessions and Parent Consultation Evenings. If we feel that your child may need extra support within an area or aspect of learning, we will always let you know and share strategies and advice in how you can support this at home.  

In the first few weeks of school, the Reception timetable mirrors that of Nursery, with a high percentage of child-initiated activities and short whole class carpet sessions. We use the first few weeks to formally ‘Baseline’ where your child is developmentally working within and use this to plan next steps. From September 2021, a new Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment is being introduced. Children will be assessed against a range of objectives and this information is passed on to the Local Authority. The results of this baseline are not shared with school but used as a progress indicator to assess your child when they get to Year Six. The introduction of the new September 2021 Reception Baseline replaces the Key Stage One SATs, previously carried out in Year 2.

As the year moves on, the amount of teacher led input increases, in line with your child’s level of concentration. Adult led activities and provision remain play based, as this is appropriate for age and the Early Years Foundation Stage. We enhance and update the learning environment, to reflect interests and topics taught. The children’s voice is valued, and we work hard to ensure that their interests and opinions are reflected within the provision.

Welcome Page welcome page 2 Welcome Page 1 Welcome page 4

Parent Teacher Contact

If you are a parent and you have any questions relating to your child's learning or you are concerned about anything at all please hang back and speak to Miss Thornewill at the door. If you prefer you can make an appointment to see Miss Thornewill through the school office. Alternatively you can email the school office on: info@streethay.shaw-education.org.uk all messages will be passed to the Class Teacher.