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EYFS - Reception

Welcome to our Early Years Foundation Stage page. 

Autumn Term

This is me...

We continued the children's interest in The Greatest Showman on entry to school as we talked about ourselves, our likes, dislikes and our friends and families.  We also talked about our new environment and how we could improve our garden. Some children were doing a spot of gardening one day and tidying the weeds, when they discovered a big toad under a log... Lots of children thought it was a frog, but after investigating the difference we realised that this amphibian was brown with lumpy skin not like a green, smooth frog. We made a little home in a box for him and let everyone in Reception say hello as we passed it around our circle.  We realised that this might be the toad who came to visit us this time last year so took him to Year one to see the children who named him ‘Branch’. They couldn’t believe how much he had grown, just like them. We let Branch go back into his natural habitat and we hope that he visits us again. We are continuing to improve our garden to make it a pretty place for him to visit.

Autumn days...

We harvested the apples from our apple tree on the first day of autumn and practised some new skills as we washed, peeled and sliced the apples in preparation for making our autumn apple crumble.  We talked about the autumn changes in our environment and enjoyed reading the story of Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. We also went on an autumn walk to look for signs of autumn and lots of children created leaf men of their own. We created our own Leaf Man story using an autumn journey map. We also had a letter from a hedgehog asking us to help keep her friends safe through the winter and designed and made models of hedgehog homes. The children enjoyed reading, 'Don't Hog The Hedge' as we talked about other hibernating animals.

Our Harvest and Halloween performance...

It was wonderful to see so many dancing parents at our Harvest and Halloween singalong. The children performed our songs so well and everyone made some fabulous spooky crafts afterwards. We carved out pumpkins and prepared the seeds. Did you try one of our roasted pumpkin seeds? Thank you for coming along to support us.

Festivals of light...

Light has shone through lots of our topics this term. We learnt about the story of Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot. We talked about safety on bonfire night and exploding powder paint fireworks of our own. We also learnt about the festival of Diwali and the story of Rama and Sita, we made our own Diva lamps to help light their way home and created Rangoli patterns with collage and chalk pictures. We compared Diwali to Hanukkah and our customs at Christmas time and thought about the significance of light in all of the topics. 

Maths in our environment...

We have been working hard in maths throughout our first half term in school, looking for numbers and shapes in our environment and being introduced to new equipment to support our counting and understanding of numbers. The children have been using their subitising eyes to recognise quantities up to 5 without counting them.

It was lovely to see so many parents and mini mathematicians at our maths play and learn session as we shared teaching strategies and everyday activities for learning. 

Reception Remembers...

The children have led some very thought provoking discussions around World War One as part of our whole school remembrance topic and really connected with the story ‘Where the Poppies Now Grow.’  We wrote letters to the soldier characters Ben and Ray and thought about how they would have felt during the war.

We thought about the significance of the poppy and watched 'Poppies' the CBeebies short film. This led to some very emotive thoughts and discussions. The children enjoyed walking to see the war memorials in Hetton-le-Hole and finding names of soldiers with the same name as some of the children. We joined the whole school as we created a pebble poppy for our school garden and enjoyed seeing a WW1 soldier in assembly.

In the words of one of our Reception children, “It must have been so scary and they’ll have been upset to never ever see their 4 year olds like us. We have to keep remembering them and how brave they were.”

We have continued our WW1 discussions  through the story of ‘Peace Lily’ a WW1 nurse. We compared wartime nurses to nurses nowadays, leading on to our new topic... ‘People who help us.’

People who help us...

We have been thinking about all the people who help us and developed a Medical centre in our role play area as we learnt about the roles of medical professionals. The children were also interested in the Police and enjoyed reading our book of the week ‘Cops and Robbers’ by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. ‘Ho Ho for the robbers the cops and the robbers Ho Ho.’ We created wanted posters for the character Grandma Swagg, make sure you keep a look out for her. 

The children were very excited to have some special visitors in school. PC Jenkinson and PC Parry showed us their uniform and equipment, talked about their roles and even let us go inside their police van. 

 To link in with our ‘People Who Help Us’ topic, we read ‘The Jolly Christmas Postman’ in Literacy at the start of December and received lots of special Christmas deliveries as we used our phonic knowledge to retell the story and wrote letters of our own. 

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

We have enjoyed all of our Christmas activities and have loved seeing our family members in school. We experienced our first school pantomime visit, received a special delivery of Christmas trees from The Jolly Postman, went on a magical Polar Express ride in school and had lots of fun at our coffee mornings and Christmas party. 

We enjoyed learning about the story of the first Christmas when Jesus was born and retold the nativity story. The children also performed the story for all family members through songs from The Greatest Showman at our Christmas show 'The Greatest Nativity.' The children were all amazing, thank you to the family members who came along to support us. 

Spring Term

Winter...

Our first core book of 2019 was the ‘The Polar Bear and the Snow Cloud’. We wrote a list of polar animals the little polar bear could make friends with if he was lonely again. We have been thinking about winter weather and describing polar habitats.

We passed ice around to see what it felt like and made predictions on what would happen to the ice if it was left in the classroom. We designed and made an Arctic house and made sure it was risen above the ice to keep the occupants warm. We made predictions on what would happen to the ice if it was left out in the classroom after learning about changes in state.

The snow created lots of outdoor maths opportunities as children used arrows to measure and compare how far they travelled in the sledge, created number targets for snowballs and added their total points and also noticed and created shapes and patterns from prints in the snow.

Antarctica...

After learning about polar bears and animals from the Arctic in the North Pole, everyone became interested in penguins and realised that penguins and polar bears are never friends because most penguins come from the South Pole at Antarctica.

We read ‘A Penguin Story’ by Antionette Portis. We read about the little penguin who was sick of seeing only blue, black and white where she lived in Antarctica. We described the setting of the story and thought about why she only saw blue, black and white.

We used some new painting skills as we created a piece of art to reflect the Polar Regions. We started with blue paint and added white to create a lighter tint of blue. We then created a darker shade of blue by adding black paint. We mixed colours well and used careful brushstrokes to create our Polar Region painting.

The Lambton Worm...

We received a special delivery from a brave knight who was a family member of Sir John Lambton. It was a dragon egg... or so we thought! Some children had made a well outside and a model of Penshaw monument so we put it inside to protect it and see what would happen. A few days later we heard some funny noises coming from the well...

We talked about what it could be and thought it might be a dragon. We bravely put on our armour, took up our shields and swords and set off outside to investigate. Oh my goodness, it was the Lambton worm who had wrapped itself around our model of Penshaw Hill! Luckily for us this worm was a baby and was very friendly. We welcomed him into school by singing the Lambton Worm song. We then compared the Lambton Worm to the dragon from our story of the week, 'There was an old dragon who swallowed a knight'. We realised they were both very fierce and nasty. The children rewrote the ending of the story with their own new characters.

Reception children visited Penshaw Monument as part of our topic and looked for signs of the Lambton worm. As we walked up we noticed claw marks and bumps in the hill from where the Lambton worm wrapped himself around. Did you hear us singing the Lambton worm song from the top of Penshaw monument?

When we returned to school the children created a piece of transient art using lolly sticks to create a beautifully lit up Penshaw monument.

Some children decided to play at our very muddy and wet digging den. They noticed a long puddle forming in the mud said it looked like a moat. The children decided to make Lord Lambton’s castle, it even had a moat around and Penshaw Hill for the Lambton Worm to wrap himself around. After learning about and comparing length in maths the children then compared stick sizes to find the longest Lambton Worm stick.

Some children also created a Lambton Worm well whilst playing outside. They created a plan of what we would need and then gathered resources from around our outdoor area. We heard a lot of maths language as the children compared tyre size and thought about the shape and space they were working with.

When the creation was complete the children started to sing the song and acted out catching the Lambton worm. When they realised the model didn’t have a Lambton worm, the children used chalk to draw the worm wrapped around the hill.

Kung Hei Fat Choi...

Our Reception children thoroughly enjoyed learning about the traditions of Chinese New Year. We learnt about the Chinese Zodiac race and worked out which animal year we were born in. We ordered the race and acted it out together. We also discovered another mythical beast after learning about dragons and The Lambton Worm. We compared the Chinese beast Nian to the other mythical beasts we know and created our own mythical beats.

We enjoyed dragon dancing and even cleaned Reception to prepare for the new year red decorations to be put up. Lots of children tried new foods as we cooked and tasted Chinese spring rolls, poppadoms and noodles. We also wrote instructions for the local Chinese takeaway after Nian the beast stole them. 

When will it be spring?

After reading the story ‘When will it be spring?’ we went on little walk to look for signs of spring. We noticed birds flying in the clear blue sky, buds on trees, flowers, insects and mole hills.

The children drew pictures showing different signs of spring and created a piece of art showing the differences in our seasons and the differences between our autumn walk and winter walk.

The Little Red Hen...

We had a very special delivery of eggs after spring half term. The children were given the very important job of caring for the eggs after The Little Red Hen became ill. We use eggs from our friends at a local allotment so see the whole process through and patiently waited 21 days for their arrival. We watched this video everyday to show the development of the embryo over each day they have been in our incubator... https://youtu.be/PedajVADLGw 
We were so proud as our eggs had their first scan after 7 days and saw that 19 out of 20 eggs had an embryo inside, 13 of our baby chicks hatched out into the world safe and well.
We made predictions on gender and wrote name suggestions, compared baby chicks to human babies and compared scan pictures, we ordered the life cycle of a hen, retold and innovated the story of The Little Red Hen and even designed and made models of hen houses and chicken coops.
 
Reception children visited Hall Hill Farm to find more information on how to care for our chicks and see where they live when they grow up into hens and roosters. The children thoroughly enjoyed the visit and had lots of hands on experiences. We read the story of 'Farmer Duck' before we went and couldn't believe it when we received a letter from Farmer Duck saying she had seen us at the farm. The children wrote post cards back to her to tell her about the wonderful time we had.