Hello and welcome to our special page for Reception Class, known as the 'Squirrels' class! The place where children have lots of fun learning through play!
In Reception, Miss Early is the class teacher and Mrs Tomlinson, Mrs Rowley and Miss Kean are the Early Years Practitioners who will be working with the children throughout the week.
Miss Harrison is the Early Years Co-ordinator who will be popping in lots to check we are having lots of fun whilst we learn. She will also be taking Squirrel class for our weekly forest schools session.
We want your child to be happy and to enjoy learning so if you have any questions or concerns please come and see us! Don't hesitate to get in touch with any question no matter how big or small. Email us at Squirrels@coppice.derbyshire.sch.uk
Meet the Squirrels Class Team
Currently on maternity leave
| Miss Early
Early Years Practitioner
Early Years Practitioner
Early Years Practitioner
Our topic this term is
Week 1 - Sparks in the Sky
When does Bonfire Night happen? What happens at Bonfire night? What colours can we see in the sky? What shapes do the fireworks make? What will we hear? What can we taste? How can we stay safe? What do I need to wear when I am going to a Bonfire night celebration? Who was Jackson Pollock? How do I create art by splatter painting?
Last term, we celebrated what makes us, us with our topic ‘Marvellous Me’. We focused a lot on settling into school life and celebrating our similarities and differences – everyone is different and that’s okay!
This term our topic is ‘Special Times’. We will be looking at different events and celebrations that people may celebrate over the next couple of months.
We are going to start our new topic off with a BANG! We will be learning all about Bonfire Night! The children will have the opportunity to discuss things they may have seen over the weekend in celebration of this week and also have the opportunity to watch videos of Bonfire Night celebrations. For the children who went to Bonfire Night events, we will be asking – what did you see, hear, smell, taste and feel?
We will be exploring fireworks across the week – using chalk and glitter in our continuous provision to create our own pictures. We will also be looking at the artist, Jackson Pollock and creating our own firework pictures inspired by him.
This week, we will also be looking at Remembrance Day. We will be finding out why we remember and why we wear poppies. We will also be making our own poppies for a big school display.
Week 2 - Diwali
What are celebrations? What is the festival of Diwali? Who celebrates Diwali? How is this festival celebrated? What will I see? What is a Rangoli pattern? What is a light source? What colours could I see? Who were Rama and Sita? What happened to Rama and Sita?
This week, we will be focusing on the celebration Diwali and listening to the story of Rama and Sita. We will explore who celebrates Diwali and how they celebrate it. In our classroom, we will have the chance to create our own rangoli patterns using chalks and collage pieces.
Fireworks are also a big part of Diwali celebrations, so we will be creating our own firework rockets out of junk modelling materials to add to our ‘Special Times’ display.
This week is also Anti-Bullying week, we will be having group times to discuss what bullying is and what we can do if we know someone is being bullied. On the Monday (13th), we will be encouraging everyone to come to school in odd socks. Odd Socks Day is an opportunity for children to express themselves and their individuality. On Friday (17th) it is Children in Need day. We will be finding out all about this amazing charity.
Week 3 - The Scarecrows' Wedding
What does it mean to be married? Who can marry two people? What are weddings and what happens? What other celebrations/ festivals can we be part of with our families? What would we need to have a party? What is an invitation?
Some celebrations are more personal and celebrated only between friends and families – weddings are one of these types of celebrations. We will be finding out all about weddings and what weddings look like in different cultures. We will be creating our own invitations and designing our own wedding dresses/suits and at the end of the week, we will be visiting a church to recreate a Christian wedding!
Week 4 - Kipper's Birthday
When do we celebrate our birthday? How do we celebrate our birthdays? How old are we? What would we want at a Birthday party? How do you make a Birthday cake? What present could we buy Freddie Fox? What are candles? What song do we sing at someone’s Birthday?
This week, we will be looking at birthdays and how we celebrate them. The children will have the opportunity to talk about their own birthdays and birthday parties they have been to recently.
This week, will also be Sammy Squirrel’s birthday. He will be turning 5 years old. Who else is 5 years old? We will be thinking of how we could throw Sammy Squirrel a surprise party. We will have a go at writing our own party lists and creating birthday cards for Sammy.
On Friday, we will throw Sammy his own birthday party and have party games and a special party treat.
Week 5 - The Jolly Christmas Postman
What do we use to decorate the house or Nursery with at Christmas time? What job does a Post person do? What can we send to friends and family at Christmas time? How can we wrap different presents at Christmas time? What happens in a Post Office? What can we put on the Christmas tree? Who did the Jolly Christmas Postman deliver too?
It is Miss Early’s favourite time of year, Christmas! This week, we will beginning our Christmas celebrations. We will be putting up and decorating our class Christmas tree and we will also be performing our Christmas Nativity to all of our grownups.
Our story this week, is the Jolly Christmas Postman. We will be writing our own letters to Santa, that we will then have a go at posting! Back in our classroom, we will be using our Talk for Writing actions to retell the story of the Jolly Christmas Postman.
Week 6 - Jesus' Christmas Party
What happened at the first Christmas in Bethlehem? Who was Jesus and who was there when he was born? What is my favourite part in the Christmas story? Why do people celebrate Christmas now? What do shepherds do? Which animals were in the stable?
This week, we will be looking at the Christmas story, finding out who Jesus was and who came to visit him. We will be acting our the Christmas story in our small world area and creating our own Nativity scenes at the Creative Station.
We will also be creating our own Christmas cards and Christmas decorations for our Christmas trees at home.
Week 7 - Elf's First Adventure
Who is Elf? What does he do? What adventures does the Elf get up to? What could the Elf do next? Where is the Elf hiding in Nursery? What happens at Christmas time? What do we need to do to get ready for a party? What party food would we like at the Christmas party? What happens in Santa’s workshop? What will Santa be doing now? What would we like to get for Christmas?
This is our final week of term! We have lots of fun things planned for this week.
On Monday, we have our Christmas Fair in the afternoon. We will also be having our class Christmas party this week too.
In our classroom, we will be finishing off our Christmas cards and decorations and finishing off the term with lots of fun Christmas activities.
Reception Important Diary Dates
Here are the dates we have so far for this half term. We will continue to add to them as the half term progresses. Also remember to check your weekly newsletter for the most up to date information.
- Monday 6th November - First day of term
- Thursday 9th November – Photograph day – please make sure your child is dressed smartly and we will keep the paint out of the way!
- Monday 13th November - Odd Sock Day!
- Friday 17th November – Children in Need day.
- Thursday 23rd November - Church visit.
- Thursday 30th November – Stay and play for parents at 2:00pm
- Wednesday 6th December – EYFS Nativity at 9.30am
- Monday 18th December – Christmas Fair in the afternoon
- Friday 22nd December – INSET Day – Nursery closed
To see the full topic web for this half term please click on the link below
Parent phonics information
2022 - 2023 Topic Webs
Throughout the year we have lots of exciting topics planned. Click here to see an outline of our year.
The Early Years Foundation Stage
In Squirrels class we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage which is organised into seven areas of learning. These seven areas are as follows:
PSED - Personal, social, emotional development (developing self confidence and self awareness, making relationships as well as managing behaviour and feelings).
CL - Communication and Language (speaking, listening and understanding)
PD - Physical development (moving and handling as well as health and self care)
LIT - Literacy (reading and writing)
MATHS - Mathematics (numbers, shape, space and measures)
UW - Understanding the World (people and communities, the world and technology)
EAD - Expressive Arts and Design (exploring and using media and materials as well as being imaginative!)
In school we have a set of non-negotiables for Literacy and Mathematics for the children to aspire to by the end of each year group. Click below to see what is expected by the end of their time in Squirrels class (end of EYFS).
We work towards the Early Learning Goals (ELG's) in Squirrels class. Click on the document to see what the Early Years curriculum is all about and what the children should be able to do by the end of their time in Squirrels class.
Squirrels' Stars of the Week
At our school we have a special 'star of the week' from each class! In Squirrels class we have Sammy Squirrel who goes home with the star of the week for a whole week and he has a special diary for the star of the week to fill in ready to be shared with the class the following week. Sammy can't wait to meet you!
Our School Values
We are very excited to be starting work on our new values system when we come back in school in January. Each week we have a new value – 12 in total. Our first value will be Respect. The children will have an assembly Monday morning about how to show and give respect to others both in school and at home! We will be expecting this to be demonstrated to all members of our Coppice community, it is important that even when we move onto a new value, the old one isn’t lost.
Our new core values will now form the basis of our ambassador passports (these have now been renamed – core value passports and the children can achieve their bronze, silver and gold awards throughout the year for each core value. We will of course keep you informed about how your child is getting on with this throughout the year.
Each week Mrs Seaton will sent out a Newsletter that will reflect the value we are working on so that it can also be supported at home. We look forward to seeing our children bright and early ready to embrace the new weekly challenges!
During the last few years we have developed the way that we collect observations about what your child can do during their time in Nursery. Your child will have a gorgeous book called 'My Little Book of Adventures' where we put in evidence of what your child has been learning! As part of this we will be using an app called 'Tapestry' on our iPads to take photographs of your child completing different activities and make notes about what they are doing. One of the best features of this is that we can email you all the evidence we collect! You can also let us know of any 'wow' moments you witness at home. We will be sending home an information letter and permission form for this during the beginning of September!
We also love to hear what your child has achieved at home and so we ask you fill in proud clouds and share them with us!
Information for Parents
Stay and Play sessions
Each term we have a stay and play session so parents, carers and other family member can join us in Squirrels class to see what we do. The children love showing everyone their classroom and the type of activities we do every day in Squirrels class. We always end with an activity for both children and adults. This could be a story, a squiggle, a dough disco or a dance! Who knows!! We like to keep it a surprise!!
The children love showing their grown ups the Squirrels classroom and EYFS outside area. We cannot wait to welcome you to our stay and play sessions this year!
Have a question or concern?
We understand that there are times when you might have a question or concern! You have an open door policy in our school and you are always welcome and to come and speak to any member of staff. You can email me at Squirrels@coppice.derbyshire.sch.uk or our EYFS co-ordinator, Miss Harrison, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can ring school on 01773 712840 and we will do all we can to help.
Helping at home
There are lots of things you can do to help your child. We don't have formal homework in Squirrels class but below are some ideas of what you can do which are quick and easy and will help your child consolidate skills we have taught in school. Look on each topic web for some challenges we have set the children to help them gain extra points for their reward chart in school! If you would like any help or support please ask any member of EYFS staff. We would be more than happy to help with ideas!
Your child has a reading folder which includes flashcards, a homework book and reading book. Please practise these for 5 - 10 minutes every night if possible. We will hear your child read every week in school and will practise letter sounds and high frequency words in our Twinkl Phonic activities.
Every week your child will have a phonics activity to complete at home. As we move through Level 2 and Level 3 phonics they will also be bringing flashcards home to practise.
Encourage your child to write their names on invitations and cards reminding them to have a capital letter at the beginning! As they learn their letter sounds help them practise writing them using the correct letter formation.
Play board games such as 'snakes and ladders' to encourage your child to count spaces to move their counters forwards or backward. When you are walking as the children to count how many foot steps from one place to another and ask the children to identify different numbers they see on doors or buses. Practise counting in order to at least twenty and backwards to zero.
Encourage your child to put on and fasten their own coat, to put on their own shoes and to get dressed and undress by themselves. Remind them to wash their hands after going to the toilet and before eating a meal. When eating encourage your child to use a knife and fork correctly.