Welcome to Reception Class!
Dear EYFS parents and carers,
Welcome to Capel! We are so excited that you have decided, alongside your child, to join our Capel family! I hope that you all had an enjoyable summer break – we are so excited in school to get started on a brand new school year. I just wanted to share some information with you about your child’s learning and experiences in school for the coming weeks, and also some additional key information that you may wish to know. Should you have any queries then our door is always open so please feel free to pay us a visit, or contact us via Tapestry or using Dojo!
As was shared in our induction evening, the main curriculum focus for our learning within Reception class is to support the children in working towards the Early Learning Goals and building on their 'Characteristics of effective learning'. To support with this, and to fit in line with our curriculum as a school, enabling progression, we will be having a different general focus for each seasonal term. This term our focus is ‘Discover’ where the children will be exploring the concept question, ‘what is special about me and you?’ Within this we will be focusing in our first few weeks particularly on the children making relationships, building up their confidence and supporting them with managing the feelings and behaviours that come about from being in a new environment. We will also be carrying out lots of varied activities that support the children with building up their listening and attention skills, whilst finding out all about their new friends… and themselves!
A lot of our learning will be centred around stories and book focuses, including books such as ‘All kinds of people’, ‘My mum and dad make me laugh’ and ‘Oi frog!’. As a school, we follow the ‘Little Wandle.’ phonics scheme. However, for the first few weeks whilst the children settle in, we will be focusing more on the pre cursors needed for this which include sound discrimination, rhythm and rhyme and voice sounds. Please see below for our Autumn term newsletter which outlines our learning for the term a little further.
Our main intent for your child’s learning whilst with us in Reception is:
- To understand and follow children’s interests and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps.
- To work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points.
- To create an indoor and outdoor environment which supports learning.
- To understand that children do their best when all their physical and emotional needs are being met. We embrace the individual and all staff understand that each child is different, and their learning requirements and styles are unique too. By providing a high level of wellbeing this in turn leads to high levels of child development and the ability to create and think critically.
- To prepare children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Foundation Stage and ensure children make good progress from their starting points by using the characteristics of effective learning.
- To provide our children with knowledge, skills and experiences in a hands on, holistic way so that all learning is embedded in a meaningful
At Capel Primary School we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. This is made up of four overriding principles which our earl years education is based upon:
- Unique child – that every child is unique and is constantly learning and that every child can be resilient, capable, self-assured and confident
- Positive relationships – that children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
- Enabling environments – that children learn and develop well in enabling environments in which their experiences respond to individual needs and there is a strong partnership between all parties
- Learning and development – that children develop and learn in different ways, including children with special educational needs and disabilities
The curriculum provides a play-based and experiential learning environment combined with focused teaching and basic skills to ensure children make rapid progress before moving into year 1. The children are provided with many opportunities accessible in our indoor and outdoor provision. They engage in planned, focused activities as well as self-initiated and free flow activities. The learning experiences within our setting are linked to the seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS. These areas are split into three prime areas and four specific areas. The three prime areas are those which the children should develop first and are considered most essential for healthy development and future learning. These include:
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Communication and language
- Physical development
As the children grow and make progress in the prime areas these will help them to develop skills also in the four specific areas:
- Understanding of the world
- Expressive arts and design
Children benefit from meaningful learning across the curriculum and EYFS staff plan resourcefully for opportunities for communication, sustained thinking and physical challenge, taking into account and focusing on the three ‘Characteristics of effective learning’:
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically
We have a ‘project’ focus for each seasonal term which follows the school plan of:
Autumn term – Discover
Spring term – Explore
Summer term – Create
A lot of our learning focuses around the experiences we have and the stories that we read. New vocabulary and concepts through reading will excite and engage all learners which includes staff modelling standard English and asking high quality questions.
The experiences of the challenges and specific learning opportunities that the children undertake will be revisited and demonstrated through being deeply engaged in play. Our children will grow to be confident, competent lifelong learners and good citizens. We embrace our school motto: ‘learn today for tomorrow #happylearners’.
Effective communication and collaboration ensure that children leave our EYFS setting with a solid foundation of learning on which to build upon. We use learning journals and Tapestry to share our learning journeys and evidence the children’s successes throughout the year.
As a team, as part of the wider school team, and with other settings we carry out regular moderation sessions and also ensure that staff attend external meetings and training to ensure that we feel confident with our judgements and that our judgements are consistent with other settings. Assessment starts with careful observations which are then used to inform planning.
By monitoring assessment processes regularly we can effectively demonstrate the learning that is taking place and how each child is progressing in all areas of the EYFS curriculum. Progress towards the ELGs will ensure a positive disposition to learn.
For further information about our intent, implementation and impact please view our statement document below.
Autumn term newsletter
EYFS Progression of Skills Map
Circles and triangles
Class R have been exploring the numbers that we can spot in shapes, particularly focusing on circles and triangles. We talked about these shapes in relation to Mr Happy and Mr Rush and noticed how these shapes could be sorted, focusing especially on how size of shape doesn’t affect what shape it is. We noticed with triangles that they can be rotated which makes them look different, however we identified that we know if it is a triangle because it will have 3 straight sides and 3 corners. The children then explored lots of different challenges including a shape hunt, shape sorting, using the geo boards to make different triangles, making shape pictures using magnet shapes, following shape recipes for pizza toppings and even creating their own piece of shape artwork based on the work of Kandinsky.
Anti-bullying odd socks day!
Over the last couple of days class R have been exploring following our anti-bullying focus. After joining in with the whole school assembly considering how we are unique and equal we then shared the story of Elmer and talked about how Elmer might have felt at different parts of the story. We thought about the recipe for a good friend and gave examples of when our peers had been a good friend to us! As part of our learning we created our own friendship cards for our year 6 buddies and thought about what makes us special to create our own ‘all about me’ puzzles. We even worked as a team to create some Elmer collage art and designed a pair of odd socks of our very own!
Class R remembers
The children learnt all about Remembrance day. To commemorate the day they chose different materials to create their very own poppy art.
To celebrate the upcoming fireworks night the children created their very own fireworks! We talked about why we have fireworks on bonfire night and the children discussed their own experiences of fireworks night. We also shared the story 'Sparks in the sky'. The children then explored a variety of materials to create a firework picture, talking about the sounds that the fireworks make as the created!
We have been busy bees exploring and learning all about Diwali in preparation for the upcoming celebrations! The children enjoyed hearing from Jessica who told us all about what celebrations are like for her family and how they get ready for Diwali. We also explored the story of Rama and Sita and shared the story of Dipal’s Diwali! The children then enjoyed finding out more for themselves by looking at pictures in books, creating their own mehndi and rangoli patterns, crafting a special diva lamp, making a ‘happy Diwali’ card for their year 6 buddy and even using the cutting, mixing and tasting (!) skills with some very yummy Diwali fruity celebration jelly! We also talked lots about what we noticed was similar and different between Diwali and celebrations that we have shared with our own families such as Christmas and birthdays!
The children had been sharing lots about pumpkins they had noticed recently so over the first few days this week we shared two stories, ‘Pumpkin soup’ and ‘We’re going on a pumpkin hunt!’The children then had the chance to try out lots of different challenges including creating their own pumpkin soup recipes (with some initial sounds practise), pumpkin printing, spooky words building with the magnet letters, pumpkin tweezer rescue, counting pumpkin seeds and a finger skills challenge with elastic bands on a giant pumpkin! The children even had the chance to decorate their own pumpkin and practised their cutting and sticking skills whilst designing a pumpkin. We also enjoyed some messy pumpkin play!
Autumn wellie walk
This morning class R went on an autumn wellie walk. First we shared the story of ‘the leaf thief’ and thought about why the squirrel in the story kept thinking that his leaves were being stolen. Then we thought about different signs we might need to keep an eye out for of autumn and became autumn detectives! We found lots of amazing things on our walk such as acorns, beautiful multicoloured leaves, pine cones, fur, berries (which we didn’t touch!) and even some animal burrows! We then used what we had discovered back in the classroom, adding to our 'exploration table' and creating with different materials! We are going to be doing lots more autumn exploring over the next few weeks using the resources we have found across lots of different areas of learning including craft activities, small world play and number work. The children have really enjoyed bringing in findings from home to share with their classmates too!
Sticky stick insects!
This term we have been hatching and growing our own class pets... stick insects! On Wednesday we had a visit from Mrs Butler’s daughter following her giving us some stick insect eggs at the beginning of the year to hatch. The children got to ask Miss Butler lots of questions about the stick insects and found out some new information about how they grow and how to care for them. We got to see the stick insects up close and some of the children even had a chance to hold one!
Class R’s first 2 weeks!
Class R have had a fantastic first few days of school. They have really enjoyed meeting and playing with new friends and exploring the environment. The children have settled in brilliantly into their new routines and have even spent some time with their year 6 buddies and met our class pets... the stick insects!
This week we had a visit from Mrs Morgan with her chicks! We have been exploring our concept question of whether all things grow in the same way and quizzed Mrs Morgan lots about how her chicks are growing big and strong, thinking about what they need. A big thank you to Mrs Morgan for popping in to see us!
Celebrating the Coronation
Class R really enjoyed celebrating the build up the the King's Coronation! We started by sharing 'The King's Coronation' story and talking about what we already knew and then we explored lots of activities to help us to investigate further. The children looked at images of the King across history and thought about putting these in chronological order noticing changes over time. We also looked at images of London where the Coronation was taking place and Five Oak Green, sharing our own experiences. The children had the opportunity to design and write about their own newly created member of the Royal family. They also tried out lots of fine motor and creative activities that helped them to explore further and led us to being able to turn our classroom into a giant celebration!
Class R cook up a storm!
This week class R had their very first cooking lesson! As we have been learning about healthy eating, following our focus on Oliver’s vegetables, we created a tasty, healthy snack working together to make watermelon, mint and feta salad. Class R did a super job listening carefully to lots of instructions. We chopped, scooped, stirred and tasted our delicious salads, which were a resounding success!
Maths enrichment day and 'Pi' day!
We have been exploring lots of different mathematical concepts within our learning recently. As part of this we have taken part in our whole school enrichment day and our whole school celebration of 'Pi' day.
To commence our Enrichment Day Barney from the House of Maths entertained us as we learnt about numbers, shapes and patterns. The children guessed how many buckets and showed the children a quick way to count the buckets. The children thought of number bonds to 10 and then added up - 55 buckets. Looked at flat shapes and then some 3D shapes. We learned about a cylinder., pyramid, hexagon based pyramid, square based pyramid, octahedron. A few children then made a huge octahedron. We enjoyed bringing this 3D shape knowledge back to the classroom where the children then had a go at a lot of child-initiated exploring too!
On the 14th of March (or as the Americans would say '3.14') we celebrated 'Pi' day! We joined in with a whole school assembly to find out what pi is and then carried out some of our own investigations back in the classroom into circles. Class R really enjoyed joining in with all of the Pi fun!
Class R have been celebrating world book day in style today, all coming dressed up as their favourite characters from a book! We had great fun hearing about all of the different books they had chosen their outfits from.
Class R enjoyed celebrating pancake day with some pancake fun of our own! We shared the story ‘pancakes, pancakes!’ by Eric Carle and then had a pancake party messy play in our outside area where the children explored a range of messy materials whilst flipping and topping pancakes. Afterwards the children explored healthy food choices for making their own pancakes which they then got to taste test during our pancake picnic whilst we listened to the story ‘Mr Wolf’s Pancakes!’
Chinese New Year
This week the children have been learning about and celebrating Chinese New Year, which takes place this year on Sunday the 22nd of January. We found out all about how Chinese New Year is celebrated and talked about how this is the same and different to other celebrations we have learnt about. The children found out that it is going to be the year of the rabbit! As part of our challenges we wrote celebratory cards to our loved ones, talked together about similarities and differences, explored using chopsticks for our fine motor skill development, practised counting using Chinese numbers and even created some celebratory lanterns.
What to expect in the EYFS
Phonics is recommended as the first strategy that children should be taught in helping them to learn to read. It runs alongside other teaching methods such as guided reading to help children develop all the other vital reading skills and hopefully give them a real love of reading. At Capel we use a programme to 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds.
To find more parent information on this programme for parents please visit: https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/
Words are made up from small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to learn to read words and to spell words. Some of the jargon explained:
Support with wordless books
Our EYFS Policy
Capel's EYFS intent, implementation and impact statement
Class R’s experience day!
This term class R have been exploring the concept question of ‘do all things grow in the same way?’. To help with rounding off this learning we had a special experience day where we not only used what we had learnt so far to help with our exploring, but also learnt lots of exciting new things too! We were lucky enough to have a visit from ‘Wild Science’ where we had the opportunity to meet lots of different animals including a snake, a tarantula and a giant snail! We used our questioning skills to find out more about these animals and their habitats. Alongside this, we also spent some time in forest school with Mrs Lee. We went on a bug hunt to discover different living things in our environment and then had a go at creating our own muddy outdoors pictures, using charcoal and mud paint! All of the children had the opportunity to create their own bug pebble and we also spent some time holding and getting to know the chicks that are going to be spending the rest of the week with us. What a fantastic day! A big thank you in particular to Mrs Lee for helping us out with our forest school learning and Mrs Morgan for loaning us your lovely chicks.
Class R cook up a storm!
The Queen’s Jubilee!
Class R have had lots of fun this week learning about the Queen in preparation for her Jubilee celebrations. We used the book ‘The Queen’s Knickers’ as a basis for our learning and went on to explore her life and the city of London where she lives, comparing it to our own village of Five Oak Green. We also had a go at designing and writing about our own King, Queen, Prince or Princess and had a go at designing our own pair of knickers for the Queen to wear if she visited Capel School. Finally we used a variety of materials to design and make our very own crown, which we are looking forward to wearing to Friday’s celebration assembly.
For art day we thought back to the story of ‘the tiny seed’ and how the illustrations changed with the seasons. We thought about how a tree might change over the seasons and how this would affect what we included in our picture and the colours we used.
For painting, we had to then choose different resources that would best suit our purpose. We had lots to choose from including different sized brushes, match sticks, peg brushes with different tops and even our fingers! We had lots of fun and talked about why we had used different materials and colours to make our final picture.
Today class R had a visit from 'Cooking Pioneers'! We have been learning lots about fruit and vegetables and how they help a healthy diet so Mrs Randeria helped us all to make a healthy strawberry cheesecake. The children listened carefully to recipe instructions and worked as fantastic teams to create their finished product, using lots of different cooking skills along the way! It is safe to say that the lesson, and the cheesecakes, were a big hit as we all enjoyed them whilst listening to a story after lunch.
This week class R have been finding out all about Easter! After sharing and retelling the Easter story the children thought about what they do to celebrate Easter and compared this to other festivals and celebrations we have celebrated in class such as Chinese New Year, Diwali and Christmas. They noticed lots of differences and similarities. The children then explored lots of Easter themed challenges including some eggy phonics practise, egg matching number work, egg patterns and even some tweezers based chick rescue that supported with building up finger skills. Super work class R!
Science week in the EYFS
Class R had lots of fun exploring for science week the theme of 'growing'. The children started by thinking about how things grow and change as the seasons change and went exploring for their first signs of spring whilst on their spring walk where they noticed lots of new growth. They also thought about how they have grown, using 'The growing story' as a focus for their thinking and creating their very own growing books. The children also enjoyed taking part in the 'growing' poster competition and had lots of ideas of how to show different things growing on their posters. Super work class R!
Well being support in the EYFS
Anxiety tools for parents
Class R wish you a very merry Christmas!