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EYFS - Acorns Class and Saplings Class

Welcome to Early Years!

It is our intent to provide a happy, safe, stimulating and nurturing environment where children can become confident, independent and resilient learners. Children are encouraged to make choices and to develop confidence in themselves as creators, investigators and thinkers. Through planned experiences and high-quality interactions, it is our intent to promote the importance of celebrating the diversity of life and respect for all, within the local environment and wider world.

To encourage interest and challenge, we implement this through a carefully planned curriculum which reflects the interests of the children and ensures progression and continuity of skills in all seven areas of learning.

The Prime Areas

Communication and Language where children learn about listening, attention, understanding and speaking.

Physical Development where the focus is upon developing gross and fine motor skills.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development where children gain confidence and self-awareness, the ability to manage their feelings and behaviour and learn about building effective relationships with others.

The Specific Areas

Literacy where children will develop their comprehension, word reading and writing skills.

Mathematics where children will develop their understanding of number and numerical patterns.

Understanding the World within children will explore the past and present, people, culture and communities and the natural world.

Expressive arts and design where children will experiment with creating with materials and being imaginative and expressive.

Each child is unique, learns and experiences things in different ways. We value the diversity of each and every child in our care and celebrate their differences and individual characters. A child’s individual learning characteristic will determine the way they respond to both the teaching and learning taking place in the environment. During their time in our EYFS, we will be looking out for not just ‘what’ a child learns but ‘how’ they learn too. This is referred to as the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning.’

Playing and exploring – where children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.

Active learning – where children concentrate, keep on trying if they find things difficult and enjoy achievements.

Creating and thinking critically – where children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.

We teach children individually, in small groups and as whole cohorts. Through a combination of adult led and continuous provision opportunities, activities are planned to encourage children to develop their learning independently through exploration and challenge. The characteristics of effective learning and the prime areas of learning contribute to the success of our children. They encourage the children to be independent, reflective and sociable. These areas also enable the children to apply their knowledge and skills into other areas of their learning and achieve the best that they can. The children are assessed through child-focused observations and verbal interactions. This information informs our planning for whole class and individual next steps in learning.

The impact of our curriculum is measured by outcomes year on year. We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in the prime and specific areas of learning are at least in line with age-related expectations and that children make good progress from their unique starting points. We work to ensure our children develop into positive learners, who are excited by new challenges. We strive to ensure that our children leave our EYFS ready to move with confidence into KS1 and be academically, physically, socially and morally prepared for their future in education, Britain and the wider world.

Mrs Duxbury (Teacher and Early years leader) works full time in the EYFS unit and she is the key worker for all children in their Reception year at school. Mrs Harbert (teacher) is the key worker for all nursery age children. A key worker is your link person between home and school. Mrs Mitchell (Early years Practitioner) and Mrs Fowler (Teaching assistant) work full time with all EYFS, both Reception and Nursery, children. All our EYFS staff work together to help to ensure that every child's care is tailored to meet their individual needs so that they can make good progress and flourish.

Highlight of the week 10/06/2024: Acorns and Saplings both enjoyed a wonderful session in the woods learning how we can all flourish at forest school. We hunted for the truth, showed love to our feathered friends by making bird feeders, were courageous in our blindfold game and joyful exploring the many activities and experiences. We all let our light shine bright and strong!


Highlight of the week 20/05/2024: EYFS have had so much fun this week! On Monday we started off our week enjoying the story of Jack and the Beanstalk in our drama workshop. We have made our very own castle in the clouds ready to grow a beanstalk after half term and have made some observational drawings of a beanstalk using pastels. We wrote about Jack's adventures and imagined what we might find at the top of our own beanstalk. Lastly, we enjoyed a beanstalk building challenge and counted out real beans and matching them to numbers.


Highlight of the week 06/05/2024: What a glorious week! Acorns and Saplings have had such fun sharing 'Nature Trail' by Benjamin Zephaniah. They took their learning outdoors and looked for creatures living in our EYFS garden. We had a lovely time looking for minibeasts under logs and in plants. We were so inspired we got our pencils and pens and produced some amazing writing! I am sure you will agree that it is amazing!


Highlight of the week 22/04/2024: As part of World Art Day, this week Early Years have been having a wonderful time exploring the Art of Henri Matisse and Frida Kahlo. Acorns have 'painted with scissors' and painted shapes like Matisse to make tulips and Saplings have made and drawn Calla lilies inspired by Frida Kahlo.


Highlight of the week 25/03/2024: What a wonderful half-term Acorns and Saplings have had! In RE this half-term, the children have been so busy exploring the question ‘Why do some Christians put a cross in a garden at Easter?’ They have explored and created a beautiful display showing the events of Holy Week, acted out the story of Palm Sunday, discovered why hot cross buns might help some people remember what happened on Good Friday and created a garden to tell the miracle of Easter Sunday. The children even made their own crosses using branches they found outside. The work the children have created has been fantastic, well done EYFS!


Highlight of the week 11/03/2024: Acorns and Saplings have been super scientists this week! The children have been predicting and observing how different varieties of apples change over time. They noticed that the apples turned brown very quickly and then looked rather dry. Some of the apples have begun to look soft and mushy. Well done EYFS, what a brilliant ‘British Science Week’ we have had. Well Done!


Highlight of the week 26/02/2024: What a wonderful start to the new half term Acorns and Saplings have had this week. We held our ‘All creatures great and small' launch day on Wednesday and were so excited that Humphrey the hamster came to be our very own pet for the day. It was a very creative day where we made our own animal disguises, created animal collages, and dressed up as animals too. We cannot wait to learn about all different animals this half term!


Highlight of the week 05/02/2024: Wow! What a wonderful time we have had exploring the story of 'The Colour Monster' by Anna Llenas part of 'Children's Mental Health' week. We have talked about how we feel at different times and how we might respond to situations when they do not turn out the way we expect them to. We enjoyed the story so much that we made our own colour monsters, created amazing artwork and have produced some super writing. All of were excited to meet our new soft 'Colour Monster' toys, something we can go and play with in our 'Calm Corner' when we need to.


Highlight of the week 22/01/2024: What marvellous mathematicians we are in Acorns and Saplings! We have been exploring the composition of different numbers and had great fun finding the many ways of representing them. We have also been building our own 'Numberblocks' and finding 'one more' and 'one less' than different numbers. Well done EYFS!


Highlight of the week 08/01/2024: Early Years have been working hard this week to create beautiful artworks showing the tree in our garden. We have used paint, crayons, pens and pencils. For our final piece, we tore paper and stuck it in the shape of the tree. What amazing artists we are!


Highlight of the week 06/11/2023: This week, Acorns and Saplings have been exploring the question ‘Why do some people wear a poppy in November?’. Ellie told us that “It is to remember that lots of people died protecting our country and keeping us safe”. We made our own remembrance stained glass window, made a poppy wreath using our handprints and made a little poppy garden outside. We have also changed our ‘Reflection area’ to help us to continue to talk about and remember all that we have found out this week.


Highlight of the week 30/10/2023: What a wonderful first 'Sparkle and Shine!' week the EYFS have had! We have been exploring the story of 'Sparks in the Sky' which had led us to print our own firework images, make yummy chocolate breadstick sparkles, build rockets, talk about firework safety and learn about Guy Fawkes. It has been such a super start to our new topic. Well done Acorns and Saplings!


Highlight of the week 16/10/2023: What an amazing autumnal week it has been in the EYFS. We have been busy collecting conkers and different leaves and talking about the colours of Autumn. We have used the leaves to create some brilliant pieces of artwork. We have been closely observing our lovely tree in the EYFS garden and have noticed that the leaves are falling down. We wonder what it might look like when we come back after the half-term break?


Highlight of the week 09/10/2023: The children had a wonderful time at 'Forest School' this week. We loved swinging on the rope swing, spending time in the hammock, exploring the mud kitchen and hammering pegs into a pumpkin! It was brilliant!


Highlight of the week 02/10/2023: Yesterday was National Poetry Day, and we have been looking at the poem ‘My Treasures’ by Kate Wakeling. We enjoyed listening to the poem and exploring the treasure box! We have been busy creating our own treasures to go with the poem.


Highlight of the week 25/09/2023: Acorns and Saplings had an amazing time during our whole school 'Languages Day'. We found out how to say 'Hello' in different languages from across the world, sang songs and got very messy painting flags. Our favourite parts of the day were listening to stories in Romanian read by Nicolas's mummy and Malik's mummy and eating the yummy snacks they both baked for us. Thank you very much for these wonderful treats, it made the day extra special!


Highlight of the week 18/09/2023: The children in Acorns and Saplings had a wonderful time with our sports coach on Monday afternoon. They had great fun throwing, catching, rolling and dribbling the ball. It was lovely to see them working so beautifully with a partner and on their own. Their concentration skills were amazing! Well done EYFS!


Highlight of the week 11/09/2023: What a wonderful start to the new school year the EYFS have had! They have all settled really well and had fun exploring different activities in the learning environment. On Thursday, the Reception children had their first forest school session. They made shelters for bears and found some amazing leaves ready to use for a special printing activity. It is lovely to observe all the children enjoying their time at school and making new friends.