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Welcome to Early Years!

Friday 1st March

EYFS have returned to school refreshed from their half term break and full of enthusiasm for more learning! This week we have been discussing the changing seasons and noticing signs of Spring arriving. The children have been interested in learning about St. David's Day and discovering how it is celebrated. They learnt that the daffodil is often worn at this time and so we decided to do some observational paintings of daffodils The children looked at the flowers very closely and noticed the different shades of yellow and green. Then we investigated making daffodils in a different medium, practising cutting and gluing skills. 

We set up a science investigation to discover what would happen if we placed daffodils and chrysanthemums in coloured water. EYFS love being scientists and are always confident to share their predictions of what will happen. We were proud to hear so much scientific language being used. The children were thrilled to come to school the next day and discover that the flowers were changing colour! 

Friday 16th February

There were more celebrations this week to round off a busy term! The children have continued to learn about Chinese New Year and were fascinated by the traditional story of the animals' race to have a year named after them. Shrove Tuesday saw the children practising their phyiscal fine motor skills as they spread all sorts of delicious toppings on their pancakes. On Valentine's Day the children thought about friends and and the qualities of friendship. Some were inspired to make some cute red bugs to give to their friends. It has been lovely to see some great collaborative play with the new blocks. The children have worked together and shared their ideas for models to make. There have been lots of tall towers and even a Great Wall of China!

Friday 9th February

Kung Hei Fat Choi! We have started learning all about Chinese New Year this week and the children have enjoyed learning how this festival is celebrated. They have watched some dragon dancing and had a go themselves. They were eager to make some lanterns and dress up in the lucky colour of red. We even had some children acting out being in Chinese restaurants as they linked their new learning to their own experiences. The highlight of the week was certainly when we went into our D.T. kitchen to make Chinese noodles! Our children love cooking and were very excited. They worked in teams and made sure everyone had jobs to do. We followed a pictorial recipe which meant the children could follow along as they learnt to grate, chop and tear. Lots of the children tried unfamiliar vegetables for the first time and we had several asking for second helpings! The children even used chop sticks to eat their noodles and after a little practice, started getting the hang of it!

EYFS were also lucky enough to have some new dressing up costumes and a new road crossing set for outdoor play. They have been very popular, with one of our boys commenting, "we're the luckiest children in the world!"

Friday 2nd February

What an exciting start we had to the week! The children arrived to find some enormous footprints in the playground which led right up to the classrrom doors! There were lots of suggestons of who made them and after our polar learning last week, lots of children decided a polar bear had travelled down from the Arctic to see them!  We made a den to make the polar bear feel at home and learnt lots of facts about them. We measured out how big a polar bear is and were amazed by its size. The children were inspired by all this learning to get creative, making collage polar bears and painting them.

In maths the children were learning about the composition of different numbers and showed their understansing with resources and also with their verbal reasoning.

This week we were lucky enough to have an Indian drumming workshop! The children danced and drummed and learnt some new Indian words.

EYFS are really embracing our Agents of Change initiative. They have been trying lots of new challenges such as painting a pebble and leaving it somewhere to brighten up another person's day!

Friday 26th January

The continuing wintery weather has prompted lots of conversations about the cold and the children have noticed lots of signs of winter. We decided to look at some really cold places and think about the similarities between there and Colchester. The children enjoyed finding the poles on a globe and were fascinated to look at some pictures of Ernest Shackleton's South Pole expedition. They particularly loved seeing the photos of the mariners tucking into their Christmas dinner and the penguins huddled together on the frozen wastes.

The photos inspired the children to find out more about penguins and to create their own collage images of penguins.

In maths we have been investigating capacity. The children enjoyed making predictions and filling different sized pots with soil, whilst also building their muscles by using a trowel. The next day they had fun finding out how many things they could fit into a matchbox! Then they used five frames to count how many.

Friday 19th January

This week the children have been enthusiastically learning to retell our Talk for Writing text; The Gingerbread Man. We have been so impressed with how the children remember and use the vocabulary and actions for time connectives which form the building blocks of understanding narrative structure, We have also seen lots of gingerbread men engaged in play throughout the environment and even perched on top of the climbing frame! The experience of baking gingerbread men last week has given an extra dimension to the children's role play and an interest in looking at recipes.

Alongside lots fo den building, we have also started to explore maps and think about our local area. The children were very excited to explore goodf earth and see how we could zoom in from our planet in space, to seeing our sand shed on the map! This prompted some map drawing and the children chattered about places they know and their own routes to school.


Friday 12th January

What a busy start to the new term it has been already! It was wonderful to welcome back the children and hear all about their Christmas celebrations. They have all come back refreshed, full of enthusiasm and raring to go! 

Our new Talk for Writing text is the familiar tale of The Gingerbread Man and the  children have been readily joining in with the refrains in the story. They were very excited to make their own gingerbread men in our D.T. room! The children listened carefully to instructions and worked in teams to share all the jobs. Lots of maths, PSED and science was involved as the children measured out ingredients, made sure that everyone took part and noticed how the ingredients changed as they were mixed and then baked in the oven! The children thoroughly deserved to eat their creations afterwards!

We used the story to think and learn about real foxes and the children made some thoughtful observations after watching some footage of foxes in the wild. They used this close observation to inform their paintings and produced some wonderful, careful work.

In P.E. there was more excitement as EYFS had their first lesson with the P.E. coaches from S.C.S. Once again, they wowed us with their listening skill sas they practised ball skills. moving at different speeds and working with a partner.


Friday 15th December

As  the excitement about Christmas grows, the children were delighted by the story of The Jolly Christmas Postman. They loved all the little cards and surprises hidden inside the book and enjoyed having some time to explore and handle them all. We acted out the story and used our story map to help the Postman deliver the letters in the same order as the book. The children were then inspired to look at some real maps and to examine the globe and talk about places they have visited.

Lots of outdoor learning went on, despite the gloomy weather. Some children showed how they could take turns and 

Friday 8th December

This week saw the culmination of all the children's hard work and practice for the Nativity. They did two performances to thrilled family members, after a dress rehearsal for brothers and sisters in the school. There were some nerves but the children  smiled and shone! They all sang enthusiastically and received rapturous applause from some very proud grown-ups!

As part of our Christmas celebrations EYFS joined in with the whole school to wear some fabulous Chrismas jumpers while tucking into a deliciuo, hearty Christmas lunch. After working hard in their Nativity performance this morning, the children were really hungry and ready for the festivities to continue at lunchtime. They ate their dinner all together with EYFS staff too and listened to some Christmas tunes while they ate. They had their first try at going up to collect their food on a tray (which is how the older children have their food served) and carried their trays carefully back to their seat. Lots of children were good at trying this special roast dinner and the iced polar cake was a big hit! ๐Ÿ˜‹๐ŸŽ„

Friday saw the first day of the Jewish festival of Hannukah. The children heard lots of new words and found out about how it is celebrated with candles, latkes and doughnuts! They were most excited to sing the dreidel song and play the game. We were so proud of how the children listened, took turns and quickly grasped the quite complex rules. They loved celebrating each other when they got, โ€œgimmelโ€, which meant they could collect all the gold!

Friday 1st December

Lots of outside learning went on this week with the children developing their maths skills and understanding of forces as they played. Hopskotch was very popular and some of the children went on to add higher numbers to the game. We had a donation of an empty cardboard tube and the children had lots of fun using it to see how far they could make their cars go. They eagerly used chalk to measure who had got the furthest and quickly worked out that the heavier cars would go the furthest. We saw lots of collaborative problem solving in the construction area.

The excitement levels were high as the beginning of Advent also saw our first snow of the year! EYFS wrapped up warm and had fun noticing how our outdoor area had changed overnight. Very appropriately for a snowy start to the Christmas period, the children were treated to a Pantomime performance by a travelling theatre group. There was lots of laughter and cries of, "behind you!"


Friday 17th November

EYFS have had a fantastic week of planning and preparing for a party to celebrate Pudsey's birthday! The children thought about their own experiences of celebrating birthdays and had lots of ideas for things we needed to do. They quickly set about making sure everything was ready. First we needed to have party guests so each class wrote an invitation to a child in another class.  Other writing tasks were making birthday cards for Pudsey and writing a shopping list for party food. The children made and wrapped presents for Pudsey and made bunting to decorate the hall. Some of the children enjoyed making yellow play dough so that Pudsey could have some cakes. Amidst the fun the childrne learnt about how Pudsey helps raise money for important causes.

On Friday morning the children made their own sandwiches, choosing their own filling. Then it was party time! All the children took part in some traditional dancing games and then there was the party food to enjoy. To cap off an exciting day, there was a special appearance from a very special birthday bear!

Friday 10th November

Our learning about celebrations continued this week as EYFS found out about the Hindu festival of Diwali! The children learnt that is is known as The Festival of Lights and loved hearing the story behind the tradition. They learnt that rangoli patterns are often seen outside homes to welcome in light and friends and family. The children used chalks to draw their own  patterns outside the classroom doors and then made some large rangolis using scrunched up tissue paper and working together to make some beautiful images.

EYFS had lots of fun trying on traditional dress and even tried some bhangra dancing! The highlight of the week was a drama workshop when the children played games and acted out the story of the heroic Prince Rama, the clever Princess Sita and the evil Ravanna, the ten-headed demon King! 

Friday 3rd November

EYFS had an incredibly exciting first week to the new term. We have been thinking about special times and the children learnt the word, 'celebration'. The children were delighted to discover lots of Hallowe'en enhancements in the environment. They were eager to tell us all about how they were going to celebrate at home and loved exploring the slimy witch's brew in the potion kitchen! The children listened to the familiar story of 'Room on the Broom' and used this as a stimulus to make up their own class stories about witches, skeletons and ghosts! 

The children developed their fine motor skills by using real tools to carve peppers into lanterns. 

On Friday EYFS learnt all about the historical events behind Bonfire night celebrations. They had great fun acting out the story and particularly enjoyed being the King's soldiers who arrested Guy Fawkes! In the morning the children made edible sparklers and learnt a Bonfire song. In the afternoon all three classes joined together around the firepit in our Forest Schools area and enjoyed the 'warmth' of a pretend fire. They sang their song, waved their 'sparklers' and then enjoyed their sweet treat!

Friday 20th September

To round off a busy first term, the children showed us what they had learnt about creating, recognising and describing repeating patterns, They used a variety of resources and talked about the patterns they see around them outside school. On Thursday the chldren used fruit to make repeating pattern fruit kebabs and enjoyed eating them afterwards!

Friday 13th October

We have had a super busy, exciting week in EYFS, full of learning and laughter!

In maths the children have been looking at comparing lengths and heights and have practised using lots of mathematical language to explain what they can see and how they know something. Some of the children used the animals to help them compare the lengths of different ribbons.

EYFS has been learning a text in the Talk for Writing way, as does the rest of the school. Our story is 'Take a Walk Little Bear' and this week the children have been introduced to the story map. They have been using this to help them retell the story to track across the page. These are very important early reading skills and the children have also been learning some actions to help them use and remember special story language. Some of the children were even inspired to create story maps of their own! The children have enjoyed the story so much that some were inspired to work together to build a cave outisde, while others got creative to make bear collages.

On Friday we had so much fun on our Positive Noticing Day, which was our first Agents of Change whole school day. We talked about being grateful and those people who we appreciate and why. Then the children created their own labels for others and had lots of fun attaching them to themswlves when they received one back! Every child also took home a label written by their teacher, especially created to celebrate unique traits. The children were so exicted and there were smiles all day long and we learned that everyone likes to feel appreciated!

Friday 6th October

This week there has been lots of bear-related learning and excitement in EYFS, as we began our first Talk for Writing text, 'Take a Walk Little Bear'. On Tuesday each class had a surprise gift of a pot of honey! After spending lots of energy looking for clues as to who brought the honey, the children enjoyed making toast and drizzling it with honey! 

Our forest area provided the perfect opportunity for the children to act out the story and there were soon lots of 'little bears' climbing the trees!

In maths we have been looking at sorting, grouping, matching and talking about similarities and differences. Some of the children enjoyed using bears to investigate further.

Friday 29th September

This week EYFS have particularly been enjoiying the continuing good weather. There was lots of construction and cooperative play going on around the builders' yard. It is lovely to hear the children sharing their ideas, listening to each other and adapting their play as others come to join. We are very lucky to have a wonderful forest area at Stanway Fiveways and EYFS were very excited to go on their first Welly Walk! The children has so much fun exploring and using their senses to discover the this amazing area!


Friday 22nd September

The children have had a great week continuing to explore their environment and show us more of their skills and interests. There has been lots of police play with children particularly keen to arrest the adults! We have been so impressed by the children's imaginative play and their vocabulary.

The children have quickly developed the confidence to choose their own props and to share their ideas with each other. The snails in Hazel class are proving popular and the children have begun to discuss and note the first signs of Autumn.




Friday 26th January

As the weather remained wintery this week, the conversations in EYFS revolved around the cold. We decided to look at some really cold places! We found out about the poles and thought about lots of differences between Colchester and the poles. The children enjoyed finding them on a globe and were fascinated to look at a book about Ernest Shackleton's expedition to the South Pole. The children loved the photos of the mariners and the frozen wastes covered in penguins. This prompted them to create their own collages of Emperor penguins.


Friday 15th September 

It was been wonderful to welcome in all the EYFS children as they begin their school journey! The children have shown so much enthusiasm and excitement for all the new activities. They have confidently settled in and set about the important business of making new friends, learning new routines and having fun! Here are a few snapshots of some of the things that have taken place in EYFS this week.

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