This week we learnt about a King that lived a long time ago. He was called King John and he was very unkind to his people. He took lots of money in taxes and sent people to jail for no reason. He was the reason that the Magna Carta was written. It was a list of promises and rules for the King so that people were treated fairly. We thought about what promises and rules we would like to have for our classroom. We had a go at writing them down with a feather pen like King John would have done. It was more difficult writing with a feather than a pencil.
In maths we have been using what we learnt about counting on to play games like snakes and ladders. Some of us made our own games with number tracks. We had lots of fun playing them.
In art we have been learning about the artist Henri Rousseau. We were inspired by his painting ‘Tiger in the tropical storm’ to create our own jungle pictures by cutting paper and using lots of imagination just like he did.
Week ending 12th May
This week we enjoyed sharing our experiences of the King's coronation and talking about significant parts of the weekend as a whole. Some children made carriages using loose parts outside and pretended that they were royalty, travelling to Buckingham Palace, whilst others opted for re-creating the concert at Windsor Castle by performing songs and dancing on the stage.
We have been learning about the story of The Queen's Hat and already the children are sharing ideas about how they could make substitutions. We may be creating our own version based on the King hat, or even crown, soon!
Week ending Friday 5th May
Despite this week being a shorter week in school, we have certainly packed a lot in.
After writing our invitations to a tea party last week, this week was all about preparing to host our grown ups. The children put their fine motor skills and maths knowledge to the test by making their own triangular sandwiches, and they beat, stirred, tapped, cracked, scooped, dolloped, drizzled and sprinkled their way to baking and decorating scrumptious cup cakes. The children were very proud to be able to share their food with their guest and left very little on their Union flag plates, which had very kindly been donated to us.
So many guests joined our tea party and we were very impressed with the effort that so many people had gone to after being asked to 'bring a hat'! It made the experience extra special for the children.
In addition to organising the food for the tea party the children have also been finding out coronations and the objects that are important parts of the ceremony. Did you know that there is is special floor in Westminster Abbey where the coronation of a monarch takes place? It is a Cosmati pavement and the children had a try at creating their own Cosmati patterns using coloured paper shapes.
Week ending Friday 28th April
We have had the most fun this week learning about the royal guards that protect Buckingham Palace and the royal family. We continued our learning by turning our climbing frame into a castle and creating knights and guard costumes. Some of us wrote instructions so that others could read them to make their own guard hats and royal fans. We had a marching band and acted out the changing of the guard.
This week we have also been creating pictures of royal gardens in the style of artists that we have been learning about; Vincent Van Gogh, Hundertwasser and Jean Miro. We have made fantastic castles with the wooden blocks and used our own models to create stories using the small world characters. In the sand we have continued our learning about repeating patterns and created patterns with sand castles.
Week Ending 20th April 2023
Welcome to the summer term in Reception. We kicked off our learning this half term with the addition of lots of sparkly resources in the environment. We began learning about King Charles and the royal family tree. We learnt about who could have the crown in the future and the relationships between the royal family members. This led us to talk about our own families including grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren. We also learnt about the different flags we have in the United Kingdom and their meanings. We learnt about different royal residences and what it means if the Royal Standard flag is flying.
We continued our own learning in the provision by building our own castles and palaces both indoors and outdoors. We also made our own flags and crowns including repeated patterns which we had been learning about in Maths. Some of us made our own imaginary castle in the style of the artist Hundertwasser who we had learnt about last half term.
We culminated our Growing and Changing topic this week with a trip to South Angle Farm. The children were able to consolidate their learning through first hand experience of bottle feeding lambs and kids, hand feeding sheep, goats and alpacas, and some close up encounters with some creepy crawly creatures! Lots of them said that they were having the 'best day' and their excitement was infectious. It really was a lovely day for everyone.
Thank you to everyone who came along to our Spring Parent Morning. We can't wait to see what your grass seed caterpillars will turn out like when they start to germinate and grow. We raised an amazing £146 with the bake sale through your kind donations and the money raised will go towards further enhancing the outdoor area.
Learning in the classroom continued too, with the children finding out about how to use their knowledge of whole amounts and parts to find the answer to subtracting a number from 10, as well as thinking about how they have transformed since being a baby.
We can't believe that there is only one term of this school year left so have a restful holiday as it is bound to be another busy one!
Week ending 24th March
The children had a surprise on Monday morning when they arrived at school to find an addition to our Story Patch in our outdoor area. The stage, with its colourful flowery backdrop, has been the setting for stories, songs and re-enactments this week and we look forward to using this area to extend the children's imagination, language and speaking and listening skills.
Have you heard of the story of 'The Enormous Cauliflower' or 'The Enormous Strawberry'? The children have been very imaginative in their own innovations of The Enormous Turnip and enjoyed being authors to create their own books. They are becoming so confident in using sound mats to help them apply their phonic knowledge to their writing and they are brave enough to include interesting vocabulary in their work, even when they know the spellings will be tricky.
The artist Lowry has provided inspiration for some amazing pencil drawings. Take a look at some examples in our video.
Next week is going to be very busy with our Spring morning for parents and trip to South Angle Farm on Friday. We really do have lots to look forward to as our term comes to an end.
Week Ending 17th March 2023
This week we have had lots of fun learning that some plants grow to give us food to eat. We looked at photographs of different food plants and decided if the food grew on a tree, bush, under the ground or on top of the ground. We sorted fruits and vegetables that were in Mrs Toth’s shopping bag and used the fruit to make a yummy fruit salad. In groups we washed, peeled and cut up different fruits so that children could choose what they would like to make their own fruit salad.
This week in Maths we have continued to explore ways of making 5 and 10 with a fruit and vegetable 10p shop and vases of daffodils.
Some of us have got very creative and made wonderful sculptures of flowers with the play dough and we also enjoyed creating a very muddy farm outside!
Week ending 10th March 2023
We have had a wonderful week learning about how different animals grow. We refreshed our memory of the names of baby animals and learnt some new ones like hoglet and gosling. We found out what we could remember about the lifecycle of a butterfly and then learnt about the lifecycle of a frog. It’s a little too early to see frogspawn and tadpoles, especially with the cold weather but we hope to have some in the classroom to observe soon.
We have continued to look after the seeds we planted last week and we can announce some of them have already started to grow! Outside we enjoyed a challenge to make a scarecrow with moving parts using whatever we could find in our construction area and around the outdoor area. The results were fantastic!
In Maths we learnt the song 10 green bottles to explore ways of making 10. (Number bonds for 10) We represented our work using the bottles, a tens frame and a part, part whole model. We played games where we had to fill a tens frame and answered the question, ‘how many more do you need to make 10?’
We have continued to learn the story of the enormous turnip and have loved dressing up to act out the story. Each class has now changed the story to create their own version. Look out for some new stories next week.
In art we finished off our work about Vincent Van Gogh by painting a vase of flowers using small brushstrokes like he did in his famous works of art.
Week ending 3rd March 2023
This week we have begun to learn about different plants and how plants grow. We all became ‘BOTANISTS’ and observed, drew and measured different plants. The children have planted lots of different seeds and are looking forward to watching what happens. We have learnt that we need to water them regularly and they need to be in a sunny, warm spot. We are keeping them indoors for now as we know the weather is about to get colder!
We had a fabulous book day where we all dressed up in ‘Where’s Wally’ clothes. We found a book where all the words had disappeared and we all helped write the story which we will share with the other classes next week.
SHOUT OUT TO PARENTS– If any parents have any compost, seeds or early plants that they are able to donate, that we can look after and later plant in planters around the school grounds, we would love to receive them.
Week ending 24th February 2023
All the children have returned from half term enthusiastic and ready to learn which is great! We kicked started this half terms topic ‘Growing and Changing’ by spending Monday morning exploring signs of Spring in the Forest School area. We found ladybirds waking up, spring bulbs beginning to grow, buds on the trees sprouting new leaves and lots of birds being very noisy up in the taller trees!
Back in the classroom, we continued to think about how places change over time, learning about the four seasons and also how Ely has developed over time. We placed photographs in order and talked about why we thought some photographs were in the past. We talked about how Ely is still changing with the building of lots of new houses.
Now that all children are becoming more confident in phonics and blending sounds into words we have all moved into different phonic groups. Some children will be bringing home phonic books and reading sheets. Please make sure you allow time to read these with your child at home as well putting them back in book bags so they have them in school to practise daily. Phonics home learning will be appearing on the weekly newsletter from now on. If your child is unable to tell you what phonic group they are in please see your child’s teacher to confirm.
In Maths we have been comparing length and measuring using non-standard measures like cubes, blocks and feet.
The children will be spending a lot of time outside this half term as our topic particularly links to the outdoors. Please can you make sure all children have a pair of welliesand a waterproof coat in school, plus waterproof trousers if you are able to provide them.
Space exploration was the focus of our knowledge learning this week and we watched the footage of Neil Armstrong stepping foot on the moon in 1969. The children explored creating craters and lunar surfaces using flour, objects and the power of gravity.
The children then discovered that scientists are exploring Mars using robots which led to their own robot designs and creations. Bottle rockets were made so we finished our week with our own exciting rocket launch..
This half term has been so much fun and the children continue to impress us with the progress they are making in all areas of learning. We hope you all have a healthy and restful half term before embarking on our new topic of Growing and Changing next half term.
Week ending Friday 3rd February 2023
We were amazed this week when we discovered how tiny we actually are when we explored stars and the Milky Way galaxy. Our creativity and love of sparkles produced some beautiful galaxies of our own and we enjoyed writing about them too!
Supertato was in action again, rescuing vegetables in distress! The children's story telling is really improving as their confidence is increasing. We love hearing their own versions of stories!
Our week finished with Number Day. Thank you for sending your children in wearing digits. They enjoyed a lively assembly and maths linked to The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson.
Week Ending Friday 27th January 2023
At the beginning of the week we learnt a lot about Chinese New Year, sometimes referred to as Lunar New Year. We listened to the story of how each year is named after an animal that took part in a race across a river. We learnt about how Chinese New Year is celebrated with dragon dancing, food, decorations and fireworks. We made our own dragon to use for dancing and ate a delicious noodle snack!
At the end of the week we continued learning about space. We learnt about the planets in our solar system, their names and what they are made from, gas, ice or rock.
Week Ending Friday 20th January 2023
This week we have continued learning about space. We learnt about the first black, female astronaut and the international space station. We became fascinated watching the effects of no gravity in space and what happens to water when you drop it into the air. If you would like to watch again just visit the clip below.
We found out that astronauts have to study hard as well as be very physically fit. We created our own astronaut school and developed an astronaut assault course that was very tricky! We have enjoyed some great space themed stories with ‘Space Tortoise’ being one of our favourites!
In maths we have been learning to manipulate the numbers 9 and 10 and find different ways of representing numbers with resources around the classroom. In art we have continued exploring lines by creating collaborative pieces of 2D and 3D art using collage materials and felt tip pens.
Week ending Friday 13th January
With the launch of a new topic the children have had a very exciting week! Rocket building and telescope making have supported developing those all important gross and fine motor skills and the children have taken inspiration from Galileo and Caroline Herschel to search the skies outside and inside using technology.
The children have been exploring straight and curved lines in so many different ways....inside, outside, on a large scale, small scale, with paint, pencils and even in a 3D style. The results have been fantastic!
The children have been very excited and inspired by the story Supertato and have been learning the story, searching for 'Evil Peas', making Supertato and trying to help the vegetables that had been captured.
We have also welcomed Miss Dennis and Miss Wolnaugh to our Early Years team and have been forging new relationships. We hope their first full week was as much fun for them as it was for the children!
Wednesday 21st December
The cold weather came just after we had been learning about Ernest Shackleton travelling to Antarctica so the children were able to explore their own ways of travelling across the ice on the playground. We saw some excellent teamwork!
The children had to be very brave to perform their Nativity, with many children stepping into new roles at the last minute. They did very well to remember their words and tried so hard with their singing and dancing.
Play dough and loose parts brought out the children's creative skills; see the video to see enchanted forests and reindeers! Some of the children made festive wreaths using willow from forest school which really tested their dexterity and perseverance.
The last few days of term drew on the magic of the Polar Express and the children visited the Reindeer Buffet Bar and toasted marshmallows over the fire pit at forest school. They stirred, squeezed, rolled and pressed to create delicious cookies which they enjoyed with hot chocolate at their pyjama party.
Wow, as if this term wasn't busy enough, the excitement continued right up to the very last day and we're so proud of what the children have achieved since their started with us in September.
We hope you have a happy and healthy Christmas break and we look forward to welcoming you back in the New Year.
This week we have been learning about the first Christmas alongside singing songs for our Nativity play. We have also been learning about Christian traditions linked to Christmas celebrations.
We continued our learning about Antarctica. We have been exploring ice and thinking of ways to get boats and other objects that are stuck in the ice out!
We have been mixing our own salt dough and adding different spices to create winter decorations. We ended the week my making hats and enjoying Christmas lunch together.
This week we have been learning about explorers in the past. We learnt about Ernest Shakleton and his journey to Antarctica. Some of us have been role-playing his adventure by packing a suitcase for cold weather and building a large ship outside to recreate his journey to Antarctica.
Some of us have also been continuing to think about transport in the future by pretending to be inventers and building space ships and other vehicles. We have been thinking about how they might be powered and what the control panels might look like in the future.
In Maths we have been creating out first, then, now stories linked to subtraction. We have been building or drawing our stories.
We ended the week with exploring ice and jelli bath with polar animals. It was lots of fun!
11th November 2022
This week in Reception we have been learning about transport from around the world. We learnt about 'tuk-tuks' in Thailand and the bullet train in Japan. We have also been learning about different types of boats and their uses. We had a go at making our own boats with recycled materials and tested to see if they would float on water.
Lots of children said they had been to a firework display at the weekend. In school we created firework paintings and learnt a firework poem. Once we learnt the poem well using actions we created our own poems by changing some of the words.
This week we began learning about different types of transport. We created a pictogram of the different ways we travel to school and built trains and buses with the large blocks outside. Some of us made ramps and explored what toy vehicles travelled the furthest.
We used our knowledge of mixing colours to paint pictures of Autumn trees and continued to learn about shapes by using 3D shapes to print 2D shapes.
We also began learning a firework poem and are looking forward to creating our own poems once lots of us watch firework displays at the weekend.
Week 7 in Reception
This week we have continued to learn about people who help us in our community with a visit from Elouise's mum who is a doctor and some great resources given to us by the ambulance service.
In maths we have been learning about 3D shapes and finding out which ones roll, slide or stack and why.
In phonics we have finished learning all the single letter sounds. We will keep practising them so we know them really well and then we can blend them to read 3 letter words like cat, sit, cup and ran. Keep practising them at home too, using the film clips we have sent you on stickers.
Now that is it beginning to feel more Autumnal we have been learning about the seasons and what is happening as we go from Summer to Autumn and eventually Winter. We have been looking carefully at the shapes and colours of different leaves as they fall off deciduous trees in Autumn. We have voted for our favourite leaf, printed leaves and made collage pictures by turning leaves into confetti.
Week 6 in Reception
This week we have been learning about our community and the people who help us. We have learnt what to do in an emergency and how to get people to help us quickly.
We have continued to create maps of different places and had great fun building a large scale 3D map of Ely outside that included the Cathedral. We have also learnt how to make the Beebots move and created towns with the blocks for them to move around.
In Art we have used what we have learnt about primary and secondary colours to paint portraits of ourselves.
This week we have had great fun thinking of new ideas for a story following the structure of owl Babies. Bluebells created a story about monkey babies and buttercups created a story about mice. Next week we will make them into big books, drawing illustrations for each section of the story.
We have also continued to learn about maps, thinking about our route to school and what we see on the way. Some of us have created maps of our route to school including roads, houses and parks.
SHOUT OUT TO PARENTS During the last 2 weeks of term we will be learning about people in our community, especially those who have jobs that help the community to be a safe and good place to live. If any parents have a job where they help the community (police officer, firefighter, paramedic, doctor, nurse, delivery driver, builder, shop worker, dentist, vet etc) and can spare some time to come into school and talk to the children briefly about what they do and how they help people, we would love to hear from you. Please talk to the class teacher to arrange a time.
Week 4 at school in Reception
This week we have been learning about our local environment and maps. Some of us went for a walk around school and we drew a big map of where things are.
We have talked about where we live and what we can find in Ely. We have also talked about other places children have visited like London and the beach. We have had fun building places with the blocks and small world resources.
We have also thought about what our houses look like and created models of them with the junk materials.
In art we have learnt about the artist Jean Miro. He created pictures by drawing different lines and symbols and adding primary and secondary colours. We had a go at creating our own Miro pictures.
This week we have been learning about how humans grow and change. We have enjoyed looking at baby photographs and talking about what we can do now that we couldn't do when we were younger. We have also learnt about our families and our family tree.
We have enjoyed using our new nature kitchen, mixing mud and adding autumnal ingredients like conkers, acorns and beech nuts.
In Maths we learnt about the number 5 and counting groups of objects accurately.
We have had so much fun making new friends and finding out what there is to see, do and learn in our new classrooms and outside space.
We will be sending home a toy mouse for you to keep at home and a book to complete all about things that we should do when we start school. We would love to see them when you have finished them.
Lastly a big thank you to everyone who made an 'all about me' box. We have enjoyed looking at them at carpet times with the children. Don't worry if you didn't make one. There is still time if you would like to make one and bring it in to show us any time.