Nursery - Julia Donaldson Class & Michael Rosen Class
Nursery’s class names take their inspiration from famous children authors. Between them they have written more than 200 books & plays!
Julia Donaldson has written such modern classics as ’Room on the Broom’ & ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’ but is perhaps most famous for the children’s favourite, ‘The Gruffalo’.
Michael Rosen grew up in North London & is famous for writing poetry about his own childhood, ‘telling it as it is’ in language we can all understand. One of our favourite Michael Rosen books is ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’. We love it!
Reception - Axel Scheffler Class, Beatrix Potter Class & Vincent Van Gogh Class
Reception’s class names are taken from famous illustrators and authors.
Axel Scheffler is the best-selling illustrator of many favourite children’s picture books but is best known for bringing the Gruffalo to life. He was born in Hamburg, but now lives in London & works in an attic studio overlooking a peaceful garden with a walnut tree and a family of foxes.
Beatrix Potter was born in London but lived in the Lake District for many years. As a child she kept many pets & especially loved to draw them. As an author & illustrator, then, it is not surprising that most of her books were about animals. Her most famous creations include Peter Rabbit & Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.
Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch painter who had a style all of his own. His pictures are known for their beauty, emotional honesty and bold colours. They have had a great influence on artists around the world. Van Gogh had no idea of how famous he would become. Though he never tasted success in his lifetime, and died penniless, one of his paintings sold at auction in 1990 for over $80m.
We love learning in the foundation stage. Sometimes we learn with our teachers in our own classrooms but for most of the time we can mix & learn together, nursery & reception children, inside & outside too.
Just like in the rest of the school, we have a different theme each term & all our learning happens around that theme. In the autumn term our theme is Families & Celebrations; we look at different festivals & why & how we celebrate them. Our spring term theme is called Let’s Play & Pretend; we make & play with toys & buildings especially this term. Finally the summer term is all about Growing Up & Moving On; we look at how different creatures like minibeasts move & learn all about lots of kinds of transport. We also start to get ready for when we move classes in September.
The 7 Areas of Learning
What’s different about the foundation stage is that we have 7 main areas of learning that we think are important; 3 of them are especially important for igniting children’s curiosity & enthusiasm for learning & for setting them up to be able to make friendships & learn more. These are called the 3 Prime areas & include:
- Communication & language
- Physical development and
- Personal, social & emotional development
The other 4 areas are called the Specific areas through which the Prime areas are strengthened & applied. They are:
- Understanding the World and
- Expressive Arts & Design
We learn in all of the 7 areas every day, often all at the same time! Below is a short explanation of what each area means:
The 3 Prime Areas
We know how important it is to be able to communicate with each other and share our ideas. We love listening to stories and rhymes together and retelling stories we know. There’s language everywhere you look & all sorts of activities & role play to develop our speaking & listening skills.
We love being active. All our snacks are healthy and we enjoy finding out what happens to us when we exercise with each other. We learn to use our big muscles in order to use our small muscles. Playing football, using the climbing frame and riding our bikes will help us to develop our fine motor skills. This is essential for us, as we need to be able to hold pencils and pens firmly in order to begin writing and drawing.
Our Foundation Stage is a very exciting, happy and safe place to be. We love sharing and celebrating our learning together and we can all help each other to explore and grow. We can decide what we want to learn about, select our own tools and talk about what we are learning to do. We know how to care for ourselves and others, including eating healthy foods and making safe choices. We feel confident to try new things and we make lots of friends. We learn to take turns, think about others needs and talk about how we feel. We know that we are special and loved.
The 4 Specific Areas
There are lots of mark-making and writing opportunities in all the activities we explore. We have lots of books and labels that we can choose to read, both indoors and outside. We love to share books and to make our own. Every day, we practise our letters and sounds so that we can become even better readers and writers.
There are so many different ways we love to learn about numbers, shape, size and counting. We explore and talk about our ideas all the time, both outdoors and indoors. We enjoy finding patterns, sorting and matching using lots of different large and small objects. We love singing number songs together and counting with each other. We like to recognise lots of different numbers around us and we can challenge each other with fun problem-solving games, like smarties investigations.
We are encouraged to ask lots of questions and we get excited finding out about new things or exploring areas we find fascinating. We love everything to do with computers, including taking digital photos, loading our favourite games and tools, recording our voices and playing with our remote control toys. Our digging area is very popular and we often find mini-beasts to draw and identify. We learn all about ourselves and our families, and what other people think about too. We like to build large structures using lots of different materials and talk about our ideas together.
There are so many ways to explore our creative skills and use our imaginations. We love to paint, collage, make junk models, build sculptures, sew and design structures. Each term, we celebrate and explore the work of a famous artist, which inspires us to create art using the same techniques and materials. We dance and sing for each other on our performance stage and during whole school events. During cooking activities, we follow recipes and make delicious food to share with our friends.