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 Renshaw 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
Down at the Bottom of the Garden
Week 1 – The Very Hungry Caterpillar
What did the caterpillar eat? How many of each pieces of foods did the caterpillar eat? What are the days of the week? Which day comes next? What day came before? What is the lifecycle of the caterpillar?
What better way to start our brand new topic, Down at the Bottom of the Garden, than with the classic story of the Very Hungry Caterpillar. We will be looking at how the caterpillar changed over the course of the story, becoming a beautiful butterfly at the end. The children will get to explore and find out all about the life cycle of a caterpillar.
The children will have the opportunity to make their own symmetrical butterflies and their own paper chain caterpillars. As well as exploring a fruit and veg store in the roleplay area. Can the children select healthy food that the caterpillar might enjoy eating?
In maths, we will be exploring ten frames and using them to help us subtract. The children will also have the opportunity to explore money in the fruit and veg shop.
We start our new area in PE this week too. PE will still be on a Wednesday and the children are going to be doing athletics. What fun!
Week 2 – Oliver’s Fruit Salad
Which plants can we name in our outside area? What is similar/different between fruits and vegetables? What do we need to do to look after our plants and flowers? How can we use foods we grow in our own cooking? What fruits and vegetables can I name? Which is my favourite fruits?
We are keeping with the theme of healthy eating this week as we explore the story, Oliver’s Fruit Salad! This story is a great starting point for the children to look at and talk about fruits. The children will be making their own fruit salads this week. Getting to use their senses to explore the outside and insides of the fruit before getting the chance to eat a yummy fruit salad!
In our PSHE lesson, we will be focusing on how things change. The children will be planting wildflower seeds. We will learn how to look after the plants and how to help them grow. The children will get to see how the plants grow from a seed into a flower.
Back in the classroom, the children will be using pastels to draw detailed drawings of fruit and using their phonics skills to write wonderful descriptions of different types of fruit and vegetables.
In maths we will begin to look at numbers to 20. The children will have opportunities to order the numbers as well as find the missing numbers. There may also be a game of bingo for the children to enjoy!
Week 3 – The King’s Coronation
Who is the King? What does he do? Where do he live? What is a coronation? What happened to the King’s hat? Why is a crown special to a King? What do we know about the royal family? Who is King Charles? What does he like about nature and gardens?
This is a very special week as it is the King’s Coronation. The children will get to learn all about our new king and get the chance to celebrate the very special event. Our roleplay area will be turned into a garden party, with bunting, paper plates and napkins. The children will be writing invitations to their coronation party as well as writing messages to the new king himself.
We will look at the story, The King’s Hat. A lovely book all about the new king and his love for nature too!
The children will be making their own crowns, just like the King’s. Can they use jewels to decorate it? We will also be using boxes, tubes and tape to create our own palace. Can the children work together to junk model a palace fit for a king or queen?
In our art lesson, we will be looking at portraits of old kings and queens before having a go at painting a portrait of the new king! Maybe we could paint him wearing a new hat from the story!
In maths, the children will be revisiting 2D and 3D shapes. We will be exploring the properties of shapes and naming them. Can the children use the 2D shapes to make the king a crown?
Week 4 - The Tiny Seed
Which plants can we name in our outside area? Do all plants look, feel or smell the same? What is similar/different between the plants? What tools can we use in our garden area? How do we use the tools safely? How are we going to look after the plants in our outside area? What are seeds? Do all seeds look the same? How can we sort the seeds? What do we do with seeds? Where do seeds come from? What journey does the seed go on?
We are becoming gardeners this week as we read the story, the Tiny Seed! We will be taking care of our wild flower plants we planted in Week 2. Can the children remember what plants need to grow? Have our wild flower plants grown at all? What is the same and different? We will be writing instructions on how we planted our seeds and how to make them grow.
Our roleplay area will be transforming into a garden centre, with seeds, pots and plants for sale. The children will again have the opportunity to explore pretend money at the shop as well explore the seeds and the plants. Are they able to use tweezers to pick up the different seeds? Are they able to use adjectives to describe how the seeds look?
We will be looking at the life cycle of a seed, looking at how they grow and chance. We will be relating this back to the seeds that we planted and discussing the changes that have already happened to our seeds. This will also allow us to look at the changes in season. In January we took photographs of our outside area, we will be revisiting these photographs and discussing the changes we can see from winter to spring.
Week 5 – Jack and the Beanstalk
Who is Jack? What is he growing? What happened to the beanstalk? What do we need to grow a plant from a seed? What could we grow? How do we need to look after our plants? Why is it wrong to take things from the giant?
This week will we read the story, Jack and the Beanstalk. We will be acting our the story, coming up with our own actions and using our Talk for Writing actions too. We will also be pretending to be Jack and writing a diary entry of how his bean stalk grew. How did Jack feel when he looked out of his window and saw the giant beanstalk stretching up to the sky?
In maths, we will be looking at subtraction again, using a range of strategies to aid us. We will also be looking at measuring. How tall do you think the beanstalk was? How big was the giant? How big was the giant’s strides?
In our roleplay garden centre, we will be introducing vegetable seeds. Children will have the opportunity to plant these seeds. I wonder if we will end up with a giant beanstalk in our playground.
We will also be using the glockenspiels to represent sounds from the story. What sound do you think the beanstalk made as it grew?
Week 6 -Fairy Week/Freddie and the Fairy
What is the little door that we have found next to the tree? Who lives behind the tiny little door? What does the little letter left in our classroom tell us? Can we work out what the different clues we find each day tell us? Can we make a house fit for a fairy or elf? Why would the fairies or elves like to live in our outside area?
We are getting magical in Squirrel Class this week as we discover fairies in our outside area! We will be writing thank you letters to the fairies and elves and making our own fair or elf using pegs, fabric and string.
In maths, we will be making a quilt for the fairies and looking at tangrams.
We will also be using natural resources to build a new house for the fairies to live in. We will think about the features we have included for the little creatures. Can the children make a tile out of clay to build a pathway for the fairy house?
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 17th April – School opens for the start of the new term.
Weekly Class Newsletters
Parent phonics information
Parents information Powerpoint : Meet the Level 2 Twinkl Phonics Family
Level 3 parents information sheets:
2022 - 2023 Topic Webs
Throughout the year we have lots of exciting topics planned. Click here to see an outline of our year.
Autumn 1 - Please click here to open our 'Stomp, Chomp, BIG roars, here come the dinosaurs' topic web
Autumn 2 - Please click here to open our ‘Special Times!' topic web.
Spring 1 - Please click here to open our Magical Monsters topic web
Spring 2 - Please click here to open our Twinkle Twinkle topic web
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).
Writing non-negotiables for Squirrels class
Mathematics non-negotiables for Squirrels class
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.
EYFS curriculum explained for Parents/carers
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!
Proud cloud letter - September 2022
Proud cloud template - September 2022
Information for Parents
The EYFS curriculum for parents/carers handout
Dough disco information leaflet
Letters and Sounds Phase 1 booklet
Letters and Sounds Phase 2 booklet
Letters and Sounds Phase 3 booklet
Coppice Primary School and Nursery - Early language development booklet for parents
Small Talk booklet - age related expectations related to communication
Communication friendly environments
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. If your child needs any help to record the sounds we have learnt this is a brilliant link to use at home https://lettersandsounds.org.uk/for-home/reception
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.