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
We very much have an ‘open door’ policy in our classroom should you have anything you would like to discuss. We are all very excited about the upcoming year and look forward to all that we are going to be getting up to! We hope that everyone has a happy term!
The EYFS Team
Spring term newsletter
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.
Anti-bullying odd socks day
Class R have been celebrating anti-bullying week this week! We started the week with wearing our odd socks to school and taking about how being different/unique makes us special. Elmer the elephant helped us to think about this a little bit more before we moved on to thinking about how we can be a good friend to our classmates and creating our very own class friendship potion! The children have been putting lots of these ideas into practise during their play and we have seen as a result lots of fuzzy feelings going into our fuzzy feeling jar ☺️
To help with our learning the children made friendship cards to share, created their own puzzle pieces to show what makes them special, did some super creating surrounding Elmer, designed their own pair of odd socks and even built some creations for their friends using the Lego etc.
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 enjoyed some messy play creating our own pumpkin
Class R have been really enjoying getting into the spirit of celebrations ready for Diwali next week. After sharing the story ‘the best Diwali ever!’ the children talked about what they noticed and found out about Diwali. Mrs Singh from class 4 visited us to talk about how she celebrates Diwali with her family.
We then explored lots of different activities linked to these celebrations including moulding and making our own diva lamps, creating hand henna patterns, making Rangoli patterns using different classroom equipment and writing a ‘happy Diwali’ card to someone in our family where we thought carefully about the sounds and formation of the letters that we needed. Some of the children also enjoyed retelling the story of ‘Rama and Sita’ using our puppet show. We even practised our chopping and mixing skills to create our very own fruity ‘celebration jelly’! Which we all enjoyed during Friday afternoon together. The children were interested to notice how the jelly changed from a solid into a liquid and then back into a solid again once it had chilled!
A big thank you to Mrs Singh for helping us with our learning this week
Over the last couple of weeks Class R have turned into detectives, hunting and investigating for the first signs of autumn. We started with a welly walk around the school grounds where we found lots of signs which we bought back to our ‘exploration table’ in the classroom to talk about and investigate further. Leading on from this, the children have been using the resources they 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!
Class R’s first week!
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!
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!