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Early Years - Reception

Welcome to Early Years!

18 March 2022

Meet the Planets 


Early Years are now fully engrossed in our topic about space. Over the past two weeks we have been learning about the different planets in our solar system. Each day we have looked at a different planet and learnt many different facts and features about each of them. 

In Reception, the children have created sponge print planets, choosing particular colours to represent each planet and then used the sponge to blend the different colours together. We have also been very busy creating books about the solar system. In maths, the children have been looking at ordering numbers and exploring different ways to make ten. We have also been investigating 3D shapes to see whether they roll, stack or slide. 

In Nursery, the children have been having great fun creating planets by selecting the correct colours needed and rolling marbles over a circular shape. In maths, the children have been looking at repeating patterns and created their own using stars and moons. We have been developing our phonic knowledge of rhyme by selecting images which rhyme together and placing them to create rhyming rockets. The children have also been very busy creating their own drawings of the solar system.  


3 March 2022

Whatever Next?


Early Years blasted off to the moon this week as part of our learning about space. We began our week with the story of a baby bear who wanted to visit the moon, in our focus text Whatever Next by Jill Murphy.  Baby bear found his own rocket, helmet and boots and "whoosh" - up the chimney to the moon he went, with his new friend, owl. 

This inspired the children to have a go at making their own rocket models out of tubes and collage materials.  We focused on learning how to join materials together using masking tape and glue.  In our maths learning, Reception used 3D shapes to print rockets using paint and measured rockets using non-standard units of measurement such as cubes.  In Nursery, the children used 2D shapes to stick and make rocket pictures and rainbow rocket names.  When baby bear and owl got to the moon, they had a picnic, which got us thinking about the different food groups such as protein, dairy, carbohydrates and the importance of eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise. Nursery took part in some calming yoga as part of this learning.  In literacy, the children sequenced this story using beginning, middle and end and enjoyed pretending to be baby bear in his rocket to the moon in the role play area. 


On Wednesday 2nd March and Thursday 3rd March, Early Years took part in an exciting rocket-making and launching workshop with Lisa via zoom as part of STEM week, and dressed up a variety of interesting fictional and non-fictional STEM characters for World Book Day.  Thank you to all the parents for your support with this.

11 February 2022

Kung Hei Fat Choi!


Nursery and Reception have been learning about Chinese New Year. It all began when we received a letter from Feng-Li, inviting us to a Chinese New Year party. In the letter, Feng-Li asked us to help make decorations for the party. The children were very excited about the idea of the party and got to work straight away. They made and decorated Chinese lanterns to hang and made their own dragon masks to wear. To help us to learn more about Chinese New Year, Lauren from Willow class’s mum and dad came into school to tell us more about the celebration. Mr and Mrs Lee shared with us how they celebrate Chinese New Year as a family, by wearing special clothes, eating delicious Chinese foods and giving red envelopes with money inside as a symbol of good wishes and luck for the new year ahead. Lauren and Mrs Lee wore red dresses with beautiful designs on. They told us that red is a lucky colour in China. We were very lucky and got to try on different Chinese clothes. 

In Nursery, the children made rattle drums using paper plates and wool and in Reception the children created dragon paintings and attempted some Chinese number writing. 

We read the story The Great Race and found out how each of the animals earned its place in the Chinese Zodiac. 2022 is the Year of the Tiger!

On the day of the party, the children were very excited and couldn't wait to wear their masks and see the decorations. They enjoyed some party games and took part in a dragon dance to Chinese music. To end the party, the children tasted different Chinese food, including rice, noodles, rice crackers and fortune cookies. 

21 January 2022

Whose Egg Am I?


On Monday,  Early Years had a visit from Mr Beeson, our new site manager, who had discovered some mysterious objects on the field. It was up to Early Years to investigate so off we went. We discovered three blue, speckled eggs on the field and started to wonder what animal could have laid them there. We discussed how it was too big to belong to a chicken or a bird so we decided that it must belong to a dinosaur. Mr Beeson kindly took the eggs into his office to keep them warm and safe as the children were concerned they would get cold on the field! 

During our forest school sessions last week the children collaborated while gathering sticks and leaves and made nests to protect the eggs.   

We looked at dinosaur eggs in our maths learning and in Nursery sorted the eggs from biggest to smallest. In Reception the children measured each egg using cubes. 

Other activities have included making 2D shape dinosaurs, using scissor skills to cut around eggs in Nursery and making pop up dinosaurs in Reception, as well as painting our favourite dinosaurs and learning lots of interesting facts about them!  The children have also enjoyed dinosaur yoga as part of their gross motor development and looking for fossils in our very own dinosaur dig.

We hope the eggs hatch soon so we can find out what dinosaurs are inside. 


21 December 2021


It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!


This week in Early Years, we have been learning all about Christmas.  We read The Christmas Story by DK and then talked about how we celebrate Christmas.  Following the Christmas story, we went on a Nativity Trail around the school grounds.  We pretended to be travelling to Bethlehem and collected different items associated with the story.  We collected a feather from Angel Gabriel, some hay from the manger where baby Jesus lay and some wool from the shepherds and their sheep.  We then received a sparkly star to represent the big star that the three kings followed to see baby Jesus.  When we arrived in Bethlehem, the three kings gave their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. We placed a bow from the three kings into our bags. To finish our trail, we sang Away in a Manger around baby Jesus and the stable animals.  


Back in the classroom, we created nativity scene collages using a range of media, including raffia, lollysticks, felt and material stars.  


Also this week, we were extremely excited to have a visit from Father Christmas in the outdoor classroom.  He read the story Stickman to us.  The children had lots of questions for him and enjoyed sharing with him some of the things they would like for Christmas.  As we have been so good this year, Father Christmas gave us some presents to take back to our classroom.


Mary in the kitchen and her wonderful assistants cooked an amazing Christmas lunch for us.  We wore the Christmas hats we had made and sang Christmas songs, which got us into the Christmas spirit.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support this term and wish you all a very Happy Christmas!

The Early Years Team


3 December 2021


Out of Africa


Early Years have been learning about Africa over the last few weeks. We started the topic with a story called Handa's Surprise which introduced the children to the different fruits and animals that come from Africa. To support our learning, we had a fruit tasting afternoon to try fruit from across the continent of Africa; this included pineapple, orange, avocado and mango. We also had lots of fun playing special djembe drums along to some traditional African rhythms and learnt how to weave using natural resources at forest school.


In Reception, the children compared and sorted animals that come from England and ones that come from Africa. As part of this learning, we noticed the interesting prints that some of the African animals had such as stripes and spots.  We used this as inspiration for creating animal prints which the children made by pressing pencil into polystyrene tiles and then using a roller to press on top of the tile to create a print.


In Nursery, the children made observational drawings of the fruit from the story and used bubble wrap to print matching the colour to the fruit.  They also explored colour mixing with red and yellow to make beautiful African sunset pictures.

12 November 2021

Time to Celebrate!


In Reception and Nursery, we have been learning about Diwali, 'The Festival of Light'.  We read the story, Binny's Diwali which told us about how Diwali is celebrated across the world.  To support our learning, we made Diva lamps and decorated them using glitter and sparkly gems.  We learnt about Mehndi patterns which people have on their hands and how special clothes are worn for the celebration.  In Nursery, we created our own Mendhi patterns using paint on hand shapes and in Reception we used salt dough and different clay tools to create the patterns.

The children we really excited to find out more about the festival and loved watching the firework displays that families have during Diwali.  

We created our own firework paintings using brightly coloured paint and more glitter!


In Early Years, we have also been learning about the season of autumn.  We went on our autumn walk to Birchanger Woods and looked for signs of autumn.  We found lots red, yellow, orange and brown leaves and different coloured mushrooms growing, including some golden mushrooms!   

To finish our walk, we found a comfy spot to sit down and read the story The Gruffalo'by Julia Donaldson.  Luckily we didn't come across the Gruffalo on our walk back to school!

22 October 2021


Evil Pea takes Supertato! 


In Reception, we have been reading the story Supertato, by Sue Hendra.  The children were surprised to arrive to a crime scene taped off in the classroom.  All of Supertato’s vegetable friends had been trapped and Supertato was missing!  We discovered a letter which had been written by Evil Pea.  He told us that he had trapped the vegetables and taken Supertato.  He said we had best be quick before he mashed Supertato!  We talked about who could help us to find Supertato.  After lots of discussion, we decided that the police could help us, as they are good at finding clues and fingerprints.  We telephoned the police and explained the situation.  In no time at all, we heard the sirens of a police car and onto our playground drove Inspector Polkinghorne in his dog unit van!  We were very excited to tell Inspector Polkinghorne about what had happened.  He told us how the police could help to catch Evil Pea, as they have police helicopters and dogs who are very skilled at sniffing out peas!  Inspector Polkinghorne alerted his team on the police radio and the hunt for Evil Pea was on.  Meanwhile, Inspector Polkinghorne talked to us about how the police help people, especially children.  We were also very lucky to have the opportunity to sit in the police van and press the siren buttons.  We all waved Inspector Polkinghorne off when he went to join his team in the search for Supertato.  The children were so happy when Inspector Polkinghorne returned to tell us that Evil Pea had been caught and Supertato was safe!  This week, we have continued to find out about other real-life superheroes, including firemen, doctors and vets.  We made fire-engines using boxes and other materials.  We joined the materials together using glue and masking tape.  We also chose our favourite real-life superhero and drew them wearing their uniform.  The children then told each other about how their chosen real-life superhero helps people.  


1st October 2021


It’s Good To Be Me!


This week in Reception, we have embarked on our new topic, ‘It’s good to be me!’

We read the story What I Like About Me! and talked about how we are all different and therefore unique. 

We created self-portraits of ourselves by looking in a mirror to ensure we selected the correct colours. We then thought about our bodies and labelled the different parts.  We looked at a skeleton and talked about what is inside our bodies—bones, heart, lungs—and talked about their functions. The children then created their own skeleton collages. 


We are looking forward to exploring more about ourselves, including our families and where we live.