Welcome to Reception Class!

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Dear EYFS parents and carers,

Welcome to Capel! We are so excited that you have decided, alongside your child, to join our Capel family! Please find below some information about your child’s learning and experiences in school over the coming year 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!



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 way.





At Capel Primary School we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. This is made up of four overriding principles which our early 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:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • 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.

Spring term newsletter

EYFS Progression of Skills Map

Class R’s trip to Kent Life!

Class R really enjoyed their first school trip! We had a super busy day starting with an animal talk at the farmyard. Here we met lots of different animals such as lambs, goats, ferrets, chickens, turkeys and even a Shetland pony! We learnt some interesting facts about each of the animals that we met. Afterwards we went on a tractor ride around the farm - we did lots of noticing to see what we could spot… it was very bumpy! We went to visit the owls after this and talked about how owls are nocturnal. There were lots of different types of owl and we thought about what they might eat. After lunch we visited the vegetable garden and heard all about the different vegetables that grow there, even hearing how people in the past could only eat things that were in season from their gardens. We thought about what plants need to grow and then visited the herb garden where we learnt about herbs that have different purposes such as for flavouring food, medicinal and for dying clothes. Finally we visited some of the other animals… we particular enjoyed meeting the pigs. We had a lovely day, learning lots! A big well done to all of class R for their super behaviour and listening on the trip! 

Wellbeing workshop - feeling worried

This week we had a very special visit from OpenView education who talked to us all about our wellbeing and feeling worried. We met Phillip who told us a story all about how he felt worried, how that gave him a funny feeling in his tummy, and all of the different things that sometimes worried him. Phillip helped us to think about how we could manage our worries, such as worrying that our friends are ok and when we find it tricky to fall asleep. We journeyed with Phillip to the wellbeing jungle where we met ‘Calm Crocodile’ who talked about things to calm us down before we go to sleep like having a big cuddle with our grown ups and sharing a story. We then met ‘Chatty Parrot’ who told us that it’s important to talk about our worries and if we feel worried to say, “please can I talk about how I am feeling?”. Finally we met the ‘Soothing Monkey’ who helped us with our breathing when we feel worried, helping us to think about 5 deep breaths! We then practised looking after our wellbeing with some calming colouring books, which we are taking home at the end of the day so that we can use them at home too!

PC Mark comes to visit!

This week we had a very special visitor! Recently we have been thinking lots about our concept question ‘how do we learn?’, thinking particularly about people who help us to learn different things… one of which is the police! Class R got to hear all about what PC Mark does as a police officer and what he needs to use to help him to do his job. We looked at the different equipment he uses and even got to try some out! We had lots of questions to ask PC Mark about his job such as ‘what is it like inside a police station?’, ‘how do you solve mysteries?’ and ‘what do police officers eat for a healthy diet?’ We then got to go outside and have a look at PC Mark’s police car! He showed us how to put on the flashing lights and even showed us the siren!… as it was Jasper’s birthday he got to have a go at starting the siren and we all took turns to sit in the police car! PC Mark also gave us some clues as to how to solve our own class mystery…who stole the Class R teacher’s chocolates? 

World book day!

Class R really enjoyed joining in with the world book day celebrations. We all dressed up in our favourite costumes and pyjamas for the day and loved spending some time in the morning sharing stories with our friends in year 6! We then went on a senses walk around the school, talking about what we noticed and bringing together our ideas in the whole class senses poem shared below! 

Chinese New Year celebrations!

This week class R have been joining in with the build up to the celebration of Chinese New Year, which is this weekend! We have really enjoyed learning all about how Chinese New Year is celebrated and loved listening to the story of ‘The Great Race!’. The children have thought about all that they have found out and compared this to other festivals and celebrations that we know about such as Diwali, Christmas, Easter and birthdays! We then got creative, decorating our very own Chinese lanterns and making a special new year card to give to someone in our family. We even tried our hand at using chopsticks and practised counting with some Chinese numbers! Class R were also lucky enough to have a special visitor - Marcus’ mum! We got to ask her lots of questions about Chinese New Year to help them to help us to find out more! A big thank you for helping us with our learning!

Children's mental health week

Class R joined in with the national ‘children’s mental health week’ in collaboration with 'Place2be'. We shared lots of different picture book stories that helped us to think about our mental health, such as ‘The Worrysaurus’ and 'The huge bag of worries’. We have also thought about our zones of regulation, considering what puts us in the ‘green’ (happy) zone and how to get ourselves out of the ‘red’ (angry) zone and the ‘blue’ (sad) zone. In groups we then explored the story of the ugly duckling and talked together about all of our skills and achievements, whilst also thinking about what we want to do/be in the future.


Children's Mental Health week Logo

Traditional Tales

This term class R are thinking about how we learn and have been investigating what we learn from stories. To help us with this we have been exploring some traditional tales such as 'The Three Little Pigs', 'The 3 Billy Goats Gruff' and 'The Gingerbread Man'. We have used these stories as a basis for a lot of our learning in all areas of the EYFS curriculum and have really enjoyed sharing all of our amazing ideas!

Exploring measures

Class R have been busy comparing different weights and volumes. We introduced vocabulary such as heavy, lighter, full, empty, equal, balanced and talked about what we noticed. The children then investigated different measures, such as comparing the weights of space rocks and objects in our classroom using balance scales and comparing and ordering capacity of liquids. The children made predictions beforehand and then tested what they thought. We investigated key questions such as ‘if it’s bigger is it always heavier?’ And ‘when a cup is full, will it still be full when you pour the liquid into a bigger cup?’

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!

Celebrating Diwali!

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!

Pumpkin fun!

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!

Chicks visit!

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!

Book Day!

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.

Pancake day...YUM!

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!’

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 called 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds.’

To find more parent information on this programme for parents please visit:

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

Well being support in the EYFS

Image result for children well being clipart

Anxiety tools for parents

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Class R wish you a very merry Christmas!