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Rowan & Birch Class (EYFS)

Spring 2


Wow it has been such a busy half term in Year R, the weeks have simply flown by.  We started this half term with our whole school writing week.  Our theme was Gender and we were learning about the different things that are for boys and for girls.  The children soon came to understand that there is no difference between what boys and girls can do and that there is no such thing as a 'boy activity' or a 'girl activity'.  We used the books 'Pink is for boys' and 'No difference between us' as our foundation for our activities during the week.  Alongside our writing work, we celebrated Shrove Tuesday by making pancakes and learning about why we have Pancake Day.  


Following on from writing week, we started our preparations for Mother's Day.  The children painted some beautiful portraits of their mums and wrote about what makes their mum special.  We had some class discussions about families and learned that all families are different.  On the Friday before Mother's Day we put on a special concert where the children shared their portraits, talked about their mum, sang songs and shared a poem.  The children had prepared a hand decorated vase which they had filled with flowers as a gift for their mum.  We were very proud of the confidence displayed by the children and it was amazing to see how far they have come since September.


To continue our space work we studied the artist Jackson Pollock and then created some space pictures using his drip technique.  It was very messy and lots of fun.  The finished art work looked amazing and we could really imagine that we were flying through space.


Our PSHE work this term has been focussed on Healthy Me.  We have spent a lot of this thinking about our teeth and how to keep them healthy.  The children were very knowledgeable about how many times they should brush their teeth and the technique they should use.  They also knew that too much sugar wasn't good for teeth, however they were surprised to learn that some savoury food could be bad for their teeth too.


At the end of the half term we started to think about Easter.  We found out why Christians celebrate Easter and listened to the Easter story.  The children shared their Easter traditions, many of which involved eating lots of chocolate.  We also looked at how Easter is celebrated around the world and then investigated other spring festivals, in particular the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan.  


It has certainly been a jam packed half term and we look forward to doing more fun things when the children return after the Easter break.



Spring 1


Our new term has gone off with a flying start. Before Christmas the children discussed what they wanted their new topic to be and Space was hugely popular. So this term the children have been learning about the different planets and their order, building rockets and even travelling to the moon! Alongside all this excitement, the children will have Relax Kids with Kath and Forest School.  


To start off our topic we read the Story Whatever Next, where a little bear builds a rocket using a cardboard box and flies to the moon. The story inspired us to create our own rockets using junk modelling and in our writing the children looked at what baby bear took in his rocket and wrote 10 things that they would take themselves. 







The children worked in teams to complete their rockets. They had a huge variety of junk modelling materials- which they had outlined earlier in the week that they needed. Some of the suggestions really showed off their knowledge of rockets but I did have to explain that the school does not have the budget like NASA at present! The children were able to showcase how they work together as a team, plan and build their rockets whist using their creative and critical thinking. The children were active learners throughout, fully engaged and loved playing with their rockets when they finished. 











We all have been enjoying ourselves so much this term

learning about space, that we will be continuing our topic in our next term also.

Autumn 2

It has been another busy half term in Rowan and Birch classes.  The children have been making super progress and we are seeing their skills growing more and more each day.  We started the half term by learning about the different celebrations that were happening such as Diwali and Bonfire Night.  When learning about the Gunpowder Plot we looked for clues in the pictures to help us learn about what is the same or different between then and now.  As part of our Diwali work we made Rangoli patterns and learned about the story of Rama and Sita.  During the following week, the children were thinking about Remembrance Day.  We learned about why we wear poppies and thought about all the people who died in the wars or are still working hard to keep us all safe.


In our phonics we have been learning more black cat sounds.  We are now becoming more confident at using the sounds to support our reading and writing.  The children have also been making a huge effort to form their letters correctly and have been doing lots of fun activities to develop their fine motor skills.  One of the new activities that we have been loving is our Pen Discos where we listen to music and respond with different types of mark making.


As we approached December we started our work on our Christmas Play.  We shared the story of the first Christmas so that they children understood what the nativity is about.  Whilst doing this we located Bethlehem on our globe and talked about what might be the same or different between Basingstoke and Bethlehem.  We also talked about why Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem on a donkey and not in a car.  The children showed good understanding that in the past they didn't have cars.  This led us onto talking about what other things they didn't have in the past when Jesus was born.  It was lovely to see how confident the children were when the time came for us to perform our Christmas Play.  We certainly have some future stars in the making.


To round of the term we were busy making Christmas cards, calendars and presents for our families.  This year we did an artist study on Paul Klee.  We used his cubism artwork as inspiration for our Christmas cards.  For our presents we sewed penguin tree decorations.  Lots of concentration was required to make sure that we didn't prick ourselves with the needles. In the kitchen we enjoyed making reindeer biscuits.  We also make some lollypop nativity scenes to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas and learned all about the tradition of making a Christingle.  


Our half term was completed by a wonderful surprise visit from Father Christmas.  He chatted to the children, read them a story and then very kindly left them all with an early Christmas present.  


It has been a fantastic half term and we look forward to starting our Space topic in the new year.     

Autumn One

Welcome to Rowan Class


We cannot believe that we have already reached the end of our first half term at school.  It has been such a busy time in Early Years, as everyone has been settling in, getting to know school routines and most importantly building relationships.  


It was so nice to see the children arriving at school so confidently on their first few days, with lots of beaming smiles from the children and the adults.  Over the first few weeks we have been learning about how to be a good friend, use kind hands and look after our classroom resources.  Before starting school the children had all completed some 'All about me' sheets.  They have then had opportunities to share these with their classmates.  It has been really interesting learning about each other and finding out what we all have in common.


Our main topic this term has been 'Ourselves' .  As part of this topic we have drawn pictures of ourselves and shared information about our families.  We talked about how all of our families are different and that all families are special.  We used buttons to make button families, they all looked very interesting.  


Alongside our topic work we have been thinking about Harvest and Autumn.  The children did so well on their walk to St Mary's and were very respectful in the church.  We talked about where our food comes from and explained that not everyone is able to buy lots of food.  The children were keen to help people less fortunate and they were really interested in the Food Bank.


This term we have started introducing weekly poems using The Poetry Basket.  The children have engaged brilliantly with the poems and quickly picked up the actions.  One of their favourites was definitely Five Little Pumpkins.


Finally we had a very exciting day where we all brought our scooters to school so that we could take part in Scooter Training.  During our training we all learned about the importance of helmets to keep us safe.  We then completed several different activities including learning how to control our scooter, how to stop and start, how to glide on one leg and how to steer around cones.  We also went out to the road by school and practised how to travel near a road and then cross a road safely.  All of the staff we so proud of how well the children listened and demonstrated good understanding of road safety.


We are really pleased with the progress that we are already seeing from the children and look forward to our new adventures in autumn two.

Welcome to Year R


Welcome to our Year R page.  We are currently loving getting to know all of the children and meeting their families.  It has been wonderful to see the children having so much fun during their sessions with us and we cannot wait until they are all here full time with us.


Over this term we will be spending time learning all about the children's interests and abilities.  Our topic is Wonderful Me and through this we will talk about our families, likes and dislikes, and explore what is the same or different between us and our friends.  


Here is a picture of our EYFS Team.  From left to right we have:

Mrs Daly and Mrs Drewett (Early Years Teaching Assistants) Mrs Davis (Birch Class Teacher) Miss MacDonald (PPA Cover) Miss Khan (EYFS Lead and Rowan Class Teacher).