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 Bestwick 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 leading our exciting forest school sessions!
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 me at Squirrels@coppice.derbyshire.sch.uk I know next year will be another amazing year in our Squirrel class with lots of learning and laughter happening!!
Meet the Squirrels Class Team
Miss Bestwick Class Teacher
Mrs Tomlinson Early Years Practitioner
Mrs Rowley Early Years Practitioner
Early Years Practitioner
Our topic this term is
All Creatures Great and Small!
Below you will friend a brief overview of this term’s topic. Under each week, we have listed some ideas to start with and we will continue to add to them as we go through the half term! We base our learning around a theme each week linked to our topic. Within this we also follow the principles of 'planning in the moment' which means that the children guide our learning following their interests and so every day is full of surprises!
For this half term PE lessons are on a Thursday. Please ensure your child has the appropriate clothing / uniform for each day. Thank you.
This half term we will not be having forest school sessions.
Please click here to open this term’s ‘All Creatures Great and Small' topic web.
This term's topic challenges are...
These are challenges for your child to work on with you at home throughout this half term’s topic.
The children will receive a sticker for their hand print for completing each of the different challenges.
The children’s sticker total is counted up every half term. Different totals equate to different prizes!
For completing these challenges, the children also get points on their ambassador passports.
1 point – Share a book! Find a book linked to your favourite creature and bring it in to share with the class. Or if you are brave enough film you and your grown up reading the book and send it us to share with the class. If you are sending in a book from home, please make sure your child’s name is in it.
2 points – Food, Glorious Food! Can you make some food related to animals? perhaps a lion pizza? Or biscuits shapes like sheep? Again, the list is endless!
3 points – Build and Create. Can you create a piece of art? You could make an animal mask, an animal puppet or an animal piece of jewellery – in fact, you could make anything of your choice linked to our topic! I am sure you will inspire us to make different crafts in class!
4 points – Wizard Writers. Impress your grown ups by showing them how good your writing has become. What would you like to write about? Can you make an animal fact file? Can you write an animal poem? Can you write an animal story? Can you label an animal? Infact you could write anything you like linked to animals!
Summer Term 2 - Week 1
Week Commencing Tuesday 8th June 2021
Which minibeasts can we name? What do they look like? Which songs do we know about minibeasts? Which minibeasts can we find in our outside area? How do the minibeasts move? Can we move like the minibeasts? How are the minibeasts similar to each other? How are the mini beasts different to each other? What makes a creature a mini beast?
We are starting our new topic this week which is called 'All Creatures Great and Small' which we are really looking forward to! We will get to explore all different types of creatures from jungle animals, to farm animals and tiny minibeasts!
This week we are going to start with two key stories 'Mad about Minibeasts' and ‘Minibeast bop’. These stories introduce us to lots of different minibeasts! Some of them we will be familiar with from our ‘Down at the bottom of the garden’ topic, but there are still so many more to learn about! We will explore what the minibeasts look like, how they move and any other interesting facts about them! As this is the start of our new topic we will also create some minibeasts to make a new topic display. I wonder what we will make!
To help us learn about minibeasts, in our classroom small world area we will have a range of mini beasts to observe, describe and name. In the roleplay corner we will also have a camping area with different habitats for the minibeasts to live in.
Infact minibeasts will be all around the inside and outside classroom continuous provision. We will be doubling on ladybirds, threading on spiders’ webs, creating snail shell mosaics, using stencils to create silhouettes and much more! By the end of the week I am sure the children will all be mini beast mad!
As it is the first week back after half term we will have a circle time to catch up with each other to find out what we have all been up to. We will also take time to observe our chrysalises and see just how they have changed over the holidays! It won’t be long until they are butterflies! We will also remind ourselves of the behaviour expectations and routines in Reception! As Covid-19 is still around we will continue to practise our good hygiene rules. The main one being catch it, bin it, kill it.
This week will also include two other key events:
- Tuesday is world environment day. The EYFS unit will be learning all about bees and the importance of bees. We will be learning about bees in our topic lessons this week and be thinking about how we can encourage bees in our outside area.
- Wednesday is International Dough Disco Day. Throughout the day music alarms will occur and we will have to stop what we are doing, grab our dough and join in! We may even make a few new dough disco moves!
Summer Term 2 - Week 2
Week Commencing Monday 14th June 2021
Dogs and Cats
Are dogs or cats better pets? Do you look after dogs and cats in the same way? Are all dogs and cats the same?
This week we will learn through two key texts ‘Hairy Mclarry’ and ‘Six Dinner Sid’. During story time we will also explore lots of other texts linking to cats and dogs including: ‘Dogs by Emily Gravett’ and ‘Mog the Forgetful Cat’.
To help us explore dogs and cats, in the classroom roleplay area we will have a kennels. How do we care for these animals? What do they need? We will also explore a vet roleplay kit. What do the animals need if they are poorly? How do you know if an animal is poorly? We may even start our own Squirrel pet shop!
In the small world area, we will have a park and town scene so children can make their own hairy Mclarry stories!
In the sand area we will have bones for the dogs to dig up. They will count them, order them by size, order them by numbers and much more!
In the water tray we will have fish for the cats to catch! They will count them, compare them, sort them by colour, make patterns and much more!
Dogs and cats will be everywhere in the classroom! In the creative area can we use clay to make a food bowl? In the maths area can we measure the size of different animals? In the funky fingers area we will be using different combs and brushes to make marks and tweezers to remove the fleas from the fur!
On Thursday of this week we have the photographers in school to take our class photo – we promise not to play in sand, water, mud or paint until we have had our photos!
Summer Term 2 - Week 3
Week Commencing Tuesday 21st June 2021
What is special about me? Which exercises can I do to keep me healthy? What can I do with my different parts of my body? What can I grow in our garden? What vegetables can I name? What am I feeling proud of? Why am I amazing? What new skills have I leant? How do I feel? What emotions do I know? Why is being outside good for my wellbeing?
This week it is our whole school wellbeing week. We will be using the story 'Veg Patch Party' to explore different vegetables which we should eat as our 5 a day to help keep us healthy!
We will learn the names of vegetables and use some to make a healthy snack in our cooking activity! We will learn how to cut the vegetables in a safe manner using a knife and the bridge technique! At the investigation table we will look closely at the shape, texture and pattern of the vegetables using our magnifying glasses! Whilst in the creative area we will use some vegetables to paint and print with! We cannot wait to see what masterpieces the children create!
In our EYFS outside area we will continue with our gardening and plant some vegetables and plants. Already we are growing flowers in our wellies and herbs in our tyres.
During the week we will take part in other events such as karate and other sporting activities with visiting coaches, contributing to a whole school mural with Mrs Seaton and the highlight of our week will be having another forest school session with Miss Harrison!
It certainly will be a busy week for us all!
Summer Term 2 - Week 4
Week Commencing Monday 28th June 2021
What is a farm? What animals might you find on a farm? How do we look after the animals? What noises will you hear on a farm? What does the lifecycle of each animal look like? What do farmers keep each animal for?
This week we will be learning through two key texts ‘Farmer Duck’ and ‘Wonky Donkey’. We will be starting this week off with a ‘BANG!’ as we have a visit from White Post Farm on Monday. We are going to get hands on with some farm animals (and maybe even some reptiles) and learn from the true professionals!
After our visit, we will make a recount map using our photographs and then use our Talk 4 Writing actions to retell the exciting event! We will then use our AMAZING writing skills to write about our favourite parts of the day!
Throughout the week we will explore the names of animals and their young, the lifecycle of animals, the habitat of animals, what animals look like, how animals move and be thinking about why animals are so important to us – what are they used for? Where does milk come from? Where does meat come from?
Once we have learnt lots of facts, we of course will be making our own non-fiction books – we are superstars at making these now!
Of course this week wouldn’t be a farm week without singing ‘Old MacDonald had a farm’ ‘Busy Farmer Ben’ and ‘I went to visit a farm one day’
Farms will be everywhere in the classroom! In the small world area we will have a farm! In the water area we will have white water (milk) and rubber gloves with holes (udders). In the roleplay corner we will have a farmer’s vegetable shop. In the creative area we will use junk modelling to make moving tractors with axels. The opportunities are endless!
Summer Term 2 - Week 5
Week Commencing Monday 5th July 2021
What is a jungle? Where do you find jungles? What are jungles like? What is the weather like in the jungle? What lives in a jungle? Why do they live in a jungle?
This week we will be learning through two key texts ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ and ‘The Lion who wanted to love’
This week in literacy we are going to learn about lots of jungle animals. We will describe their looks and write facts about what they eat and where they live. We will then use this information to write tricky riddles for our new year 1 teacher, Mrs Heywood’ to solve!
This week we will move our small world area in to the roleplay corner. We will have a jungle scene – we will practise naming and describing the animals. We will then have masks to act as animals in the jungle. What sounds can they make? How do they move?
This week in the creative area we will have a GIANT project. We will have some inflatable jungle animals to paper mache. Once they are covered enough (and dried) we will paint them and varnish them and add them to our sensory garden outside!
This week we have a very exciting day. On Thursday the whole school transition day. The new Reception children will be visiting the Squirrel Classroom and our current Squirrels will be visiting the Year 1 Ladybird Class with Mrs Heywood. I hope they have a lovely day! I can’t wait to hear all about it!
Summer Term 2 - Week 6
Week Commencing Monday 12th July 2021
Under the Sea
Where is the sea? What lives under the sea? Why do those creatures live under the sea? What does the lifecycle of fish look like? Do fish live forever? Are there any predators under the sea?
This week we will be learning through two key texts ‘There’s a shark in the park’ and ‘The fish who could wish’. I hope the children will love these books are much as I do!
Our small world area will be transformed in to an under the sea aquarium. Our role play area will be transformed in to a beach. After all summer is here so why not have it in the classroom?!?
In the craft area we will be making fish kites, floating jellyfish, paper plate fish, portholes and much more!
In the water area we will be fishing! What can we catch? How many? Can we sort them via size or colour?
In literacy we will be focussing on rhyming words and writing our own rhyming story just like the stories we have read!
On Tuesday we have a whole school orienteering day. Mrs Sidaway is planning this and it sounds very exciting!
Summer Term 2 - Week 7
Week Commencing Monday 19th July 2021
Squirrels Week of Fun!!
What have been our favourite topics? What has been the best day in Reception? What would you like to learn about this week?
This week is our final week together and what a year it has been! Although we have had lockdowns, if you came in to our classroom you wouldn’t know we had! The children have excelled in all areas of learning and have settled in to our daily routines so well! They have fully embraced the challenges of their Reception year and are ready for the challenges of year one.
This week we are going to follow the children’s interests. What toys would they like out? What would they like to learn about? Do they want to cook? Do they want to do PE? Perhaps they’d like to go on the trim trail? We are going to make this week fun, fun, FUN!
Of course we will still be doing our daily lessons – this week we are going to do a really important piece of writing. We are going to write all about us for our new Year 1 teacher, Mrs Heywood. What would we like to tell her? She really can’t wait to read these amazing letters!
We will be sad to see them move on but fortunately for us we are just down the corridor! Have a wonderful summer and we will see you very soon!
A date for the diary: We break up on the 22nd July 2021.
Past Topic Webs
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 'Let's Celebrate' 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.
Summer 1 - Please click here to open our ‘Down at the Bottom of the Garden’ topic web.
Throughout the year we have lots of exciting topics planned. Click here to see an outline of our year.
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!
Monday 7th June - INSET Day
Tuesday 8th June - Return to school for all children
Tuesday 8th June - World Environment Day
Wednesday 9th June - International Dough Disco Day
Thursday 17th June - School Photo Day
Monday 21st June - Well-Being Week
Monday 28th June - White Post Farm visit
Thursday 8th July - Whole School Transition Day
Thursday 22nd July - last day of term
Important Information for September 2020
CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW FOR FURTHER INFORMATION FOR SEPTEMBER:
- Squirrels class social story booklet - I am starting Reception!
- Welcome to Reception booklet
- Derbyshire Ten Keys to School Readiness!
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!
Ambassador Awards 2020- 2021
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 a way that we collect observations about what your child can do during their time in Squirrels class. We use an app called 'Early Excellence'. 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 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. At the moment, due to Covid 19, we have not planned these. However, we hope to run these once it is safe to do so.
Helpful Handouts 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! We are not sure when our next play and stay session will be due to Covid 19 but we already busy planning exciting things to do.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or our EYFS co-ordinator, Miss Harrison, at email@example.com. 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 Letters and Sounds activities.
Every week your child will have a phonics activity to complete at home. As we move through phase 2 and phase 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.