In our setting we understand and value the diversity and uniqueness of every child. Through our learning environment we provide rich experiences that invite children to develop their curiosity, enable them to make discoveries, and challenge their risk taking. Teachers and parents work as partners to further children’s learning, and ensure that they then have opportunities to apply, embed and explore possibilities of where this learning could take them. We are there to scaffold, stretch, and nurture every step as their independence grows.
Our topic-based EYFS curriculum is shaped by the seven Areas of Learning: Communication & Language; Physical Development; Personal, Social & Emotional Development; Literacy; Maths; Understanding the World; and Expressive Arts & Design. These areas are inter-connected, and they are implemented through teacher-led sessions, purposeful play and a mix of adult-guided and child-initiated activities. We also support our children in developing the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ (Playing & Exploring, Active Learning, and Creating & Thinking Critically) through our ‘Learning Heroes’.
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We sorted the pirate treasure using magnets to see which pieces were magnetic, and also designed and made ships to test on the water to see if they would float or sink. We built pirate ships in the outside area too with the the large wooden blocks, and pretended to be pirates in the role play area. We created treasure maps and wrote lists of pirate jobs. With the playdough, we created treasure islands, and in our music sessions we learnt some pirate songs and sea shanties.
We have been talking about the things we enjoy doing at the beach and comparing how seaside holidays have changed through history. We have packed our suitcases in the outside role play area and pretended to go on holiday, making sandcastles and going paddling! We all learnt how to make a paper aeroplane and use different materials to create seaside collages. In maths, we used shells to practise our doubling, halving and sharing into equal groups and in music we explored different seaside sounds, such as waves crashing and pebbles crunching. Our parents and carers were very impressed with all of our learning when we demonstrated our oracy skills and history knowledge during our Seaside Showcase event!
We read and retold the story of “Dear Zoo”, making our own lift-the-flap pictures, and thought about which animals make good and bad pets, and why. We learnt lots of songs and poems about different animals and created our own artwork inspired by Rosseau’s “Tiger in a Tropical Storm” painting. We also learnt about rainforest animals and made posters in response to learning about the effects of deforestation on their habitat, and the planet. We were able to bring the rainforest into our classroom using the “WWF Rainforest“ app on the iPads; an augmented reality experience.
We have been adding together the farm animals in fields in maths and making farm animals and tractors in our creative area. We read and performed poems from “Farmyard Hullaballoo” (our favourite was the “Rocking Rooster” poem!), looked in non-fiction books and wrote facts that we had learnt about farm animals. Some of us pretended to be farmers, and we designed and built our own farmyards.
To help us learn more about farm animals, we went on a trip to White Post Farm. We found out all about where the animals live, what they eat, what their babies were called and how they grow and change. We even got to hold and feed some of them!
We have enjoyed reading and retelling mini-beast stories by Eric Carle like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider and The Bad Tempered Ladybird and we went exploring for insects outside. We even got our very own class pet caterpillars and have been fascinated watching them grow and change as we learn about their life cycles. It was amazing to hold them as butterflies and watch them all fly away! We used the iPads to record this knowledge with photos and voice notes. In maths, we did doubling and halving with ladybird spots and in our artwork we found out how to create symmetrical butterfly paintings. In music we listened to the “Creepy Crawly Calypso” and then investigated some of the instruments associated with calypso music.
We have been reading the story of the Three Little Pigs and doing experiments to find out which is the best material for building houses. We created collages and box models of houses and used the building bricks outside to create homes that the big bad wolf couldn’t get in! We investigated different types of houses around the world and went for a walk around Wilford village to explore the various styles of houses we have locally. We also found out about how houses have changed over time.
We found some magic golden beans and decided to plant them and see if they would grow!! We also planted cress seeds and carried out a bean experiment to find out what plants need in order to grow healthily. We observed the spring flowers growing in our outside area and created some beautiful flower artwork.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
We started our new 'Once Upon a Time...' topic by discovering a crime scene in the classroom involving a broken chair, some spilt porridge and a blanket! We pieced together the clues and decided it must have been Goldilocks! We found out about where oats come from, made our own porridge to see how oats change when heated up with milk and then wrote recipe instructions for it. We used clay to make new bowls for Goldilocks and outside we designed and built beds for her, so that she wouldn't need to use Baby Bear's again. We imagined we were bakers in our role play area and with the playdough, and we acted out and retold the story of The Three Bears.
We explored how clothes and fashions have changed through time and compared clothes worn in the past to the clothes we wear today. We decided that we were glad we are able to wear modern clothes because we thought that lots of the clothes from a long time ago were uncomfortable and not very practical for playing in!
We have had a busy week learning about Chinese New Year. We found out all about how and why people celebrate it, and then practised our oracy skills by presenting three facts we remembered. We listened to the story of The Great Race, performed dragon dances outside to Chinese music, imagined we were dining in a Chinese restaurant using chopsticks, counted money into red envelopes, made paper lanterns and concertina dragons and even tasted fortune cookies!
Dress to Impress!
We have been finding out about the clothes people wear from different religions, cultures and countries. We read a story called 'My Mother's Sari', used adjectives to describe the beautiful fabrics, and then tried to follow the instructions for how to put on a sari. We made repeating patterns in maths and at the creative table, and learnt about Joseph's Technicolour Coat in RE.
We had some special Elf visitors over the weekend who left us some special shoes! We decided to design and make our own shoes at the creative table and write some messages to thank the Elves. In maths, we compared the size and weight of shoes and in Understanding the World, we explored to find which shoes were made from waterproof materials. We absolutely loved pretending to measure our feet and trying on shoes in our Shoe Shop role play area, which we made lots of signs for.
As we got nearer to Christmas, we started writing lists of toys we wanted Santa to bring and pretended to be elves in his workshop role play area. We brought in our favourite toys from home, painted pictures of them and used adjectives to describe them. Then we compared our modern toys to those from the past, looking at the similarities and differences between them. In the maths area, we created a toy shop where we could practise recognising numerals on price tags and selecting coins to pay for items.
We became Arctic and Antarctic explorers and travelled to the polar regions to find out about the animals and people that inhabit these freezing places. We made some beautiful artwork including paper snowflakes and polar bear pictures, as well as some transient art using loose parts. Outside we investigated ice and snow and found out what happens when water gets frozen and ice melts.
We have been investigating all the signs of Autumn outside and trying out different filters with photos we took on our iPads. We also been learning about nocturnal animals and reading and acting out the story of ‘Owl Babies’. We made some clay models of nocturnal animals and created some beautiful collages.
As part of our ‘Let’s Celebrate!’ topic, we found out about the festival of Diwali. We read the story of Rama and Sita and learned how people celebrate with lights and candles, prayers, feasts, fireworks and gifts. We especially enjoyed creating our own rangoli patterns with loose parts, and with chalk on the ground outside.
We learned about Guy Fawkes and celebrated Bonfire Night by sitting around a firepit and sharing seasonal poems and stories. We explored different creative techniques to make firework artwork with paint, and on the iPads, and also thought of different onomatopoeias for firework sounds. In PE, we moved to music like fireworks, shooting up and swirling round, as well as pretending streamers on sticks were sparklers.
We have been learning all about our amazing bodies and all of the things that they can do! We created split-pin and art-straw skeletons and also learnt to sing and do the actions to The Skeleton Dance. We read ‘Funnybones’ and joined in retelling the story. In our role play area, we pretended to be doctors and nurses making people better, and in our maths work we were comparing length and sorting the ‘Funnybones’.
We have been learning about the different things that we can do to keep our bodies healthy, including tasting all of the fruit from our story ‘Handa’s Surprise‘. We retold the story, created some lovely artwork based on it and even had a go at writing lists of the fruit that was in Handa’s basket. In PE, we did some aerobics and dancing to explore the effect that exercise has on our bodies, and we also practised our fine motor control by threading beads onto pipe cleaners. We played games sorting healthy and unhealthy food.
EYFS have been very busy finding out how to be superheroes saving our planet by remembering about the four “Rs”: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and Repair. We also had to help Supertato trap the Evil Pea, who had been up to no good in our classroom! We explored similarities and differences between us and learnt about the things that make each of us special and unique.”