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Welcome to our Early Years Foundation Stage

Scroll down to find out what Reception have been up to this term

Autumn 2017

Eco Fortnight...

Our focus for Eco Fortnight was to improve our outdoor area. It all began with a visit from a little frog, or so we thought...



Reading 'Superworm' over our Eco fortnight led to a keen interest in superheroes, what a coincidence that Iron Man should hear our discussions and come to us for help! His headquarters had been destroyed but he managed to save some very important items that we might need. The children were super excited when they held the energy stick and it buzzed to show they had powers. We drew a plan and set up a superhero headquarters, the boys then got to work searching for superheroes on Google Earth! We can't wait to see what happens next! What would your superhero power be?


We did lots of spooky counting, mixing potions, writing spells and enjoyed reading and retelling 'Room on the Broom'.

Thank you to all family members who came to share our Harvest and Halloween festivities. The children performed our songs so well and we think you'll agree that their pumpkin faces were gruesomely amazing. The highlight of the afternoon was seeing the smiles on everybody's faces as we all did The Time Warp together. The decorated pumpkins were fabulous too. Well done to everyone.

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Signs of Autumn...

We have been noticing changes in the weather and went on an Autumn walk around our school field. We discovered lots of signs of Autumn, changes in our environment and also found lots of Autumn treasure... Coloured leaves, pine cones, conkers and conker husks. One girl even found a white feather and said, 'That's a sign of Autumn because it must be from the geese flying over school to migrate somewhere warm for the winter.' 

One of the boys in Mrs Metcalfe's class was super excited to have found 2 conkers at dinner time. He proudly showed them to the class and this sparked off lots of interest and questions from the children. One of the boys said that they wondered what the inside of a conker looked like. We decided to cut one open to find out. Another child then asked whether it would grow if we planted it. We used the internet to find out and learnt that if the conkers sink in water then we could plant them but if they float that meant they had dried out and wouldn't grow. We tested all of the conkers that we had found on our Autumn walk to discover that only a few of them sank. We followed the rest of the instructions on the internet to plant the conkers. We are so excited to see whether they begin to grow in the Spring.

If you find any conkers when you are out and about perhaps you could test to see whether they float or sink. We would love some more to plant!

We used all of our Autumn treasures to retell and write the story of Leaf Man as he goes where the wind blows. Just look at some of the wonderful Leaf Men the children created over half term...

Bonfire Night and Diwali...

We noticed that both Bonfire Night and Diwali is celebrated with fireworks, with very different meanings. We recognised and created repeating patterns in maths and even made beautiful symmetrical Rangoli patterns to celebrate Diwali. We learnt about Guy Fawkes and his gunpowder plot, looked at patterns and shapes in fireworks and even created our own (gun)powder paint explosions. The children had a wonderful idea during play time and used some of the Autumn leaves we found on our walk to stuff some old clothes and make their very own Guy.


Following on from our recent whole school training, we introduced the concept of positive thinking...

Remembrance Day...

Reception remembers.  Here are some of the amazing poppy pictures the children created during our Remembrance day learning. We used some of the leaves and conker husks from our Autumn walk to create a beautiful transient art poppy and even created a collaborative and super sparkly Flanders field. We watched the very moving short film 'Poppies' from CBeebies which led to very thought provoking and insightful discussions about the brave soldiers. The children wrote letters to the soldiers to say how brave they were.

Maths Play and Learn Session...

Thank you for joining us at our play and learn sessions, it was wonderful to share our approach to maths with you. The children thoroughly enjoyed showing you how we use equipment everyday such as Numicon, tens frames, Multilink cubes, numbers, counting objects and part part whole games. 

People Who Help Us...

Breaking News!!!

The children of Hetton Lyons Primary Reception entered their classroom to find a crime scene. We looked at the evidence and started to gather our own ideas on what might have happened... a large smashed egg, broken wall, purple prickles, brown fur, a green wart of some kind and little bit of terrible tusk. Our little detectives came to the conclusion that someone or something must have pushed Humpty Dumpty off the wall!

The children talked about how superheroes could help us, we began to talk about real people who can help us and the children suggested ringing the police. Luckily one of our parents, PC Christine was available to come and help us make sense of the crime scene, examine the evidence, complete an incident report and even let us all try on some real uniform.

Thank you so much to PC Christine for coming in and talking to us, it was a wonderful experience working with a real police officer in school. We are very excited to see where our investigations lead us.

Look at the evidence... Who do you think pushed Humpty Dumpty off the wall?

The snow covered ground and December eve excitement led us to pop to the shed to get our Christmas trees out. When we looked inside the boxes, the trees weren’t there! We used our police investigation skills to analyse the evidence and work out what had happened to the trees. Yet again we found purple prickles, brown fur and a bit of terrible tusk at the bottom of the box. We decided that our next step is to question the suspect so we are heading to the deep dark wood on Monday. In the meantime please look out for clues, maybe Gruffalo footprints in the snow? We will keep you posted on our investigations and display our ‘GRUFFALO STOP’ sign at school. We managed to squeeze a snowman competition in between our investigations, as well as a tea break with ice cupcakes and blue ice slush.


The Missing Christmas Trees...

We were very excited when we received a letter from Stick Man at the beginning of December. He thought our investigations might be right and the Gruffalo did take our Christmas trees.

Stick Man said the Gruffalo has been causing a bit of trouble in the deep dark wood lately and wanted to help us. He invited us to visit his forest to see if we can find the Gruffalo and question him about the case of the missing Christmas trees. Stick Man also said we can take two real Christmas trees back to school with us to replace our stolen ones. Our real trees looked fabulous in the classrooms and we even decorated them with baubles from home.

Mamma Mia Nativity

We like to follow children's interests in Reception and this led to our Nativity having an alternative sparkle. Sophie and her friends enjoyed playing 'Mamma Mia' setting up shows, singing songs, making tickets and performing for other children. This led to a big interest with other children and they then had the idea to have a 'Mamma Mia Nativity' and what a success it was. The children were fabulous as they retold the story of the first Christmas through Abba songs. Well done Everyone, we will remember this performance forever. 

Thank you for your support throughout all of our Christmas events.

Spring 2018

The Lambton Worm

Our Christmas trip to the Lambton Worm Pantomime sparked a big interest in the story of the Lambton worm. Children were fascinated by the story, the dialect used in the song and also the variations in the story over the years. This led to a very insightful discussion on which parts of History are accurate and how we know. We compared the story to other myths and legends and even had a very special (and cold) visit to Penshaw Monument.

Chinese New Year

We celebrated Chinese New Year by learning about the Zodiac race, customs and traditions and also the story of Nian the Beast. The children thoroughly enjoyed this story which led to comparisons with other mythical beasts, especially The Lambton Worm. We created a Chinese restaurant, tasted lots of foods and performed for our parents after our Chinese New Year workshop. Kung Hei Fat Choi.

All about animals...

Children often wanted to talk to us about their pets at home. We asked children to bring photos in of their pets and formed topic groups based on pets and interest in animals. We decided to introduce our 'Mini University' diplomas to introduce project work. Our diplomas were in Zoology and the four groups focused on Dogs, Cats, Small furry animals and Reptiles. We also had a wonderful visit to Hall Hill Farm and enjoyed lots of animal handling experiences. 

Snow days...

We had some amazing experiences in the snow, some children had never seen the snow as deep. The children enjoyed sledging, making snowmen and snow angels, noticing changes when freezing and even created a slush shop.

Multiplication March 

We have been joining in with the whole school challenge of 'Multiplication March'

The challenge was to count in 2s, 5s, and 10s to beat the superheroes. Our maths area is full of loose parts which allow the children the freedom to explore and use them as they choose. This amazing photo shows how Sophie and Olivia used the maths resources and loose parts to represent the two times table. Can you see the pattern?

Happy Easter

The children had some very insightful discussions on the Easter story and retold it in their own words. We enjoyed egg jarping, egg rolling, egg decorating and it was wonderful to see so many family members at our Easter stay and play session.

Summer 2018

Care of living things

Our animal interest continued after Easter as we had a very important job to do... We needed to care for some eggs as thier mother hen's home had been damaged in the snow. We thought about what they would need to keep them safe and warm, what they would need to help them grow once they had hatched and even designed chicken coops and hen houses. We learnt about the life cycle of a hen and created a chick countdown to prepare us for the arrival of our chicks. We scanned the eggs to check that there was an embryo growing inside and compared this process to when  human lady has a baby scan. We then had some wonderful news when Mrs Metcalfe showed us a picture of her baby scan who is due in August 2018. We compared how long it would take for the chicks to develop to how long Mrs Metcalfe's baby would take and even guessed wheehr we would have boys or girls.

We will keep you posted on the news of the safe arrival of our chicks...