Hello and welcome to our special page for Squirrels class (Reception)! We are really lucky to have a big and bright room with lots of different areas to explore! We have a beautiful cosy book corner, a special writing place (though we love to write wherever we can!) and a brilliantly resourced maths area as well as lots of other inviting areas for us to learn in! Squirrels class also have a lovely outside area which we share with Fox Cubs class so we can learn outside as well as inside! The children have lots of fun learning through play!
In Squirrels class, Mrs Ellis is the class teacher. Mrs Hussain is our Early Years Practitioners other practitioners work in the classroom at different times during the week these are Miss Renshaw and Mrs Rowley. Mrs Hussain teaches the class on a Wednesday afternoon when Mrs Ellis has her PPA time. We really love working in Reception and want your child to be happy. If you have any questions or concerns please come and see us!
Reception class teacher
|Mrs Hussain HLTA - teaches on a Wednesday afternoon|
Mrs Rowley Early Years
| Miss Renshaw
Early Years Practitioner
Busy, busy Squirrels Class!!
We are so lucky to work in the best class in the school (ok we are bias!) We get to work with a class of children who are so curious and enthusiastic learners!! They always have lots of fantastic ideas which we include in our daily activities and they explain what they are doing and why!
This term our topic is
This term, our topic is 'Magical Monsters!' where we will be diving into the magical world of the beloved Julia Donaldson. Children will be reading the famous stories such as Room on the Broom and The Gruffalo, opening their magical minds to creativity and imagination of all different types of creatures great and small. The children will also be learning and understanding the traditional and cultural story of the Chinese New Year - the year of the pig. What a great way to start the year of 2019 as the year of the pig is said to bring fortune and luck!
Here are some ideas to start with and we will continue to add to them as we go through the term! We also follow principles of 'planning in the moment' which means that the children guide our learning following their interests and every day is full of surprises!!
Spring 1 - Week 1
The story of Stickman is based in the cold, freezing harsh winter weathers, where he gets separated from his loving family. The children will discover how Stickman will return to his family and will walk with him down the treacherous paths he comes across. Can the children write about this adventure and make up their own path for the Stickman to go? Can they investigate winter by researching the changes which happen outside? What happens to the leaves on the trees? where do they go?
Spring 1 - Week 2
This beautiful tale is about a little brown mouse living in the deep dark wood, who encounters many creatures within this forest, including a Gruffalo! What is a Gruffalo? What does it look like? This will be a great opportunity for the children to talk about their body parts and how they move. Can the children be brave enough to get close to a Gruffalo and count the number of spikes he has on his back? This week, the children will also have the opportunity to bake Gruffalo pizza and design their own 3D Gruffalo monster box!
Spring 1 - Week 3
The Gruffalo's Child
This is an interesting story which is a continuation from the Gruffalo story however this book is read from the Gruffalo's child's perspective, where he sets off into the deep dark wood to find the mouse in which his father is afraid of. Can the children imagine what it might be like walking in the woods alone as a youngster? What might they encounter there? The Gruffalo's child finds lots of shadows within the forest! What is a shadow? Can the children create their own shadows in the playground or inside using torches? Find out what happens when the Gruffalos' child discovers this 'scary' mouse.
Spring 1 - Week 4
Chinese New Year/Zog
The year of the pig, which is said to bring luck and fortune! A traditional tale about animals who took part in a race. The children will be able to have the opportunity to work as a team, designing their own obstacle race course! Can the children use stop watches and time how long it will take to complete their course? This week the children will also find out what it is like to be a dragon, taken from the story, Zog, as they listen to and create a dragon dance to Chinese authentic music.
Spring 1 - Week 5
Room on the Broom
This week the children will learn all about kindness and friendship as this beautiful story tells the tale of a witch who flies on her broomstick, helping different animals along her journey. But which animals does she help and why? The children will be learning more about friendship and the importance it is to help each other. The children will also transform into a witch or wizard and will create their own potions at the potion station, using coloured and scented waters, cauldron and magic wands. What ingredients would you put into your magical potion? toads, spiders... earwax?
Spring 1 - Week 6
Smartest Giant in Town
What would it be like to be a giant? in fact, the SMARTEST giant in town? Why is he so smart? How tall is a giant? The children will explore this story by designing and making clothes for George the giant, appropriate to his size, which will help him to keep him warm in this wintery weather. Can the children think about what type of clothes he might need in the summer? The children will then look at the concept of money, thinking about how much these items would cost if they were to sell them to George. In addition to this week, the children will also be able to design their own giant house for George the Giant to live in. How would you feel living next door to George? scared? happy?
The link below is the topic overview for this term if you would like to see what we are doing in reception this term:
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 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 Squirrels class.
Talk for Writing
We use 'Talk for Writing at our school. Squirrels class will be learning these actions and many more! Ask your child to teach you!
Once upon a time First
Ask your child to retell one of our stories using these action!! They will impress you!!
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!
We have a weekly newsletter which will keep everyone informed about what we are doing and what we will be learning about in the future. The newsletter will come home every Friday but we will also put a copy here on our web page.
We believe in having a good partnership with parents and carers. Together we can help your child to become a happy and successful learner!
Welcome to Squirrels class
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to come and see any of the Reception staff. There is also lots of information in our Welcome to Reception Booklet 2016. You can download another copy by clicking on the link below.
We believe that parents and carers should be fully informed about what their child is learning in school. At the start of each topic we send home a topic overview so you can see what activities the children.
We have set the children the holiday challenge of creating a 'chatterbox' which they can share with their new classmates in the first week of term. Click on the link below to find out more information!
Ambassador Awards 2018-2019
This year we have incorporated the Learning Passport within a document that recognises children’s achievements in school and the wider community. What is expected in order for children to achieve their ’Ambassador Award’ comes under 4 headings:
- Behaviour and conduct
Each section has elements that underpin the values that as a school we hold dear. We believe that learning is something that continues every minute of the waking day and it is important to recognise children’s achievements not only in lessons but beyond. Adults in school will discuss each section with the children and how they can meet the criteria identified; we are hoping that the children will be able to take some ownership of the passport themselves!
Have a look at the Ambassador leaflet to find out more and look through 'Steps to Success' passport the Reception children will be working through this year to help them achieve their Ambassador Awards!
During the last few years we have developed the way that we collect observations about what your child can do during their time in Squirrels class. We use an app called 'Early Excellence' on our ipads. We will 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! Please make sure we have your email address and we will send you all of our observations! Don't forget to reply and let us know of any 'wow' moments you witness at home. Please see Miss Harrison or Mrs Ellis for an email request form if you have not completed this in your new starters pack or you can download one by clicking on the link below.
During the year we hold workshops to support parents and carers in helping their child at home.
Our dough disco workshop was very well attended last year and gave the children to opportunity to show what dough disco is all about!! If you want to know more about dough disco have a look at our dough disco booklet to learn those different dance moves so you too can have super strong fingers ready for writing!
We have held a workshop about letters and sounds to share useful tips about how we teach the children to use phonics to help them learn to read and write. We have made booklets to explain what we cover in each phase group. These have been sent home and you can find copies of them here! If you have any questions please don't hesitate to come and see me.
At the begining of the Spring term we held a parents workshop to share what we do in school to develop communication and language skills and what you can do at home. Here are some of the handouts which were given out. If you would like a pack please come and see me.
Here are some of the handouts about how to support physical development for your EYFS child. If you would like a pack with all this information please come and see me.
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!
Our next stay and play session will be on Friday 1st February at 2pm. We hope you can join us!
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. Alternatively you can ring school on 01773 712840 or email Mrs Ellis, SEllis@coppice.derbyshire.sch.uk or our EYFS co-ordinator, Miss Harrison on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do all we can to help.
Squirrels Class DatesWe will put all the important dates for Reception here on our webpage as well as on our weekly newsletter! More dates will be added as soon as we have them!
A brand new term! - Monday 7th January 2019
Stay and play session - Friday 1st February 2019
Ambassador Awards - Thursday 14th February 2019
Break up for half term!! - Friday 15th February 2019
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 Letters and Sounds activities. Also remember you can log on to Bug Club! Follow this link https://www.activelearnprimary.co.uk/. The school code is 7lwj. The password for all Reception children is pig. Please see Mrs Gent for your child's username!
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.