School Logo

Year R

Welcome to Year R 2023-2024

The Early Years Team 


  Admiral Class - Miss Smith

Emperor Class - Mrs Palmer 

Skipper Class - Mrs Cordner 

LSAs Mrs Prosser, Mrs Morgan, &  Mrs Girling


What will my child be learning this half term?

Friday 2nd February - Week 5 

This week the children have loved learning about different types of transport. They were excited to see how 'The Naughty Bus' links well with our Phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs and were thrilled to see that they were able to read parts of the story independently. The children even wrote their own wanted posters about the bus. As part of their play, they were inspired to make their own maps and small towns for the naughty bus to explore. 

Friday 26th January - Week 4 

This week Year R concluded their learning about space with exploring and investigating ALIENS! The children took inspiration from our story this week 'The Smeds and Smoos' and designed and created their own clay alien, which will be coming home very soon! It was lovely to see that the children had recognised the links with the story and our schools code of conduct. 

Week 3- Friday 19th January 2024

The children have had a great week continuing their learning about space. They explored a 'The Whatever Next' tuff tray, where they retold the story using baby bear and the props. Using their imaginations, the children pretended to blast off into space in their rockets made out of podley. We have been so impressed with how many facts the children have learnt about the different planets, a particular favourite of theirs was finding out that the sun is actually a star and not a planet! 

Week 2 - Friday 12th January 

This week the children have become astronauts in training! They have thoroughly enjoyed wearing their top secret lanyards, which all had unique passwords for them to learn. Outside, the children even created obstacle courses to help them become fit enough to pass the NASA exercise tests. We will continue to learn about astronauts and space next week! 

Friday 5th January 2024

We were excited this week to finally be able to launch 'Butterfly House' our new Year R role play area, which is situated between all 3 classes. The children have had a super time in the kitchen, chopping up food with their child safety knives, as well as washing clothes and learning how to hang them up to dry. In Butterfly house the children are encouraged to link their play to real life experiences.  In the next few weeks, the children will be learning how to make their own playdough, to use as props in their play. 

Friday 15th December-Week 7

This week after hearing the story 'The last Polar Bear' the children decided they were going to have a go at making warm habitats for the polar bears, they used sticks and leaves to make the dens. The children also used the natural resources to make pictures of the polar bears, which they even framed with sticks! 

Friday 8th December-Week 6

The children were super excited this week to have their Christmas dinner in their classrooms! They listened to Christmas music and made their own hats, placemats and name cards for their seat at the table. smiley

Friday 1st December-Week 5

The children have made some incredible 'wanted' posters to catch the Evil Pea. We are super proud of how they have used their tricky words and their phonological knowledge in their writing.  Well done Year R!

Friday 24th November- Week 4

The children have enjoyed learning about real life and fictional superheroes. They have learnt about what skills a real-life hero needs to be successful in their job, such as, love, kindness and care. The children have had a great time creating their own Supertato’s and they even made a city to go with it!


Friday 17th November - People Who Help Us! 

This week the children have explored different occupations, with an extra focus on the special jobs that help make the world a better place. They were particularly fascinated with rescue workers, so we set some challenges for them to problem solve and risk assess as a team. They successfully planned and used bricks and other construction materials to make a platform, in order to save a cat from a tree. They also took their toy cat to their pretend vets, to make sure they were healthy after their ordeal.

Friday 10th November-Week 2

This week the children learnt about the importance of Remembrance Sunday and Diwali. For Remembrance they made poppies and talked about what they symbolise. We even had a visit from Major Wells! For Diwali the children looked at how people celebrate the festival of light,  and they then had a go at decorating hands with beautiful patterns. 

Friday 3rd November- Week 1

This week the children enjoyed our topic about the Leaf Man. They loved learning about the signs of Autumn and looking at the beautiful pictures in our story. The children were keen to explore the Federated grounds, looking for colourful Autumn leaves, which they then turned into their own Leaf Man pictures. 

Friday 20th October- Week 7

The children have had an amazing week continuing their learning about Traditional Tales. They have loved the story of the Gingerbread Man and were shocked to see that he was caught on CCTV visiting the classes. The children throughout the week, have been busy making bridges and traps to catch the Gingerbread Man. They even designed posters and decorated a Gingerbread Man biscuit to take home.

Friday 13th October 2023- Week 6

This week the children have been showing us their new number knowledge. They have been using manipulatives to create the numbers 1-4 in different ways. We have been working on saying one more and one less than a given number, as well as learning which two numbers make another number. We have some super mathematicians already! 

Friday 6th October 2023-Week 5

The children have had an amazing time this week. They have been exploring the outside environment with care, making new friendships, playing games together and embedding their maths and phonics knowledge. We have had some great discussions with them!

Friday 29th September-Week 4

The children have enjoyed exploring our topic 'Nursery rhymes'.  They have learnt different nursery rhymes from the past such as 'Polly put the kettle on', 'Wee Willie Winkie' and 'Jack and Jill went up the hill'. They were lucky to explore items from the past and they were fascinated to find out that in Victorian times there was no electricity. They were fantastic little Historians and even worked out a different way for Jack and Jill to get water from the hill as Jack had injured himself.

Friday 22nd September-Week 3

The children this week have been working hard on strengthening their pincer grip ready for writing. They have had great fun taking part in dough disco with their friends, painted using cotton buds, wrote letters and numbers in the sand and have even started to form some letters during phonic lessons. 

Friday 15th September-Week 2

This week the children had their first ever Phonic lesson. They joined in with enthusiasm and are already beginning to learn the new Phonemes. As part of our topic, 'All About Me' the children have spent the week creating themselves in lots of different ways. They have used natural resources, paints, pencils and crayons. We have been surprised by their creativity! 

Friday 8th September - Week 1 

What a fantastic first week the children have had! We are super proud of how quickly they have learnt the daily routines and The Balksbury Code of Conduct. The children have played beautifully together, sharing resources and making lots of new friends along the way. Today we completed our first ever PE lesson and again we were blown away with how independent the children are. laugh We have taken lots of photos and these will follow shortly. 

Last Day of Cohort 2022-23! 

We decided as it was our last day together that we would have a bubble fight. The children and the staff had an absolute blast!  laugh 

Friday 21st July- Week 7

As part of last ever English learning journey, the children were welcomed to school this week with a crime scene. The children had to use their detective skills to figure out who left the porridge oats, the broken chair and the bed. After a few clues, the children worked out that Goldilocks had been to school. But where were the bears?! The children went on a bear hunt to find the missing bears, where they made a map to recount their steps! We were super proud of their recount writing and their detective skills. 

Friday 14th July- Week 6

The children thoroughly enjoyed this morning's PE session. They warmed up to Joe Wick's workout, followed by a discussion on how our heart's beat faster when we exercise. This was followed by a few 'just dance' sessions. We have some great little movers in Year R.

Friday 7th July- Week 5

This week for Arts Festival the children have been learning about Yoyoi Kussama. They have experimented in the same style as Yoyoi and have used a variety of different resources, such as paint, stickers and felt tip pens. The children have impressed us with their creativity. We look forward to sharing all our art work with you during the Arts festival! 

30th July 2023 - Week 4 

Last Friday the children took part in their first ever Balksbury sports day! We were super proud of how well the children behaved and how they all showed perseverance and resilience on such a hot day. It was clear that all the skills they have been practising in PE, have developed to enable the children to all be Amazing Athletes!

Friday 23rd June- Week 3

The team in Year R have almost burst with pride over the last couple of weeks! This term started with an exciting writing transition into the new Y1 English books, in preparation for next year. The children's writing has gone from strength to strength and we thought we would share some of their writing with you! Well Done YR laugh

Friday 16th June-Week 2

The children had great fun as they watched the butterflies being released into the sky. They talked about the lifecycle of a butterfly and how the butterflies will go on and lay their eggs, creating another lifecycle. We have all enjoyed watching the butterflies grow and look forward to seeing them in our gardens!

Friday 9th June - Week 1

This week the Year R children met with the Year 6 children to plant a sunflower seed together. As part of our Health and Wellbeing curriculum, we would like the children to learn how to nurture and grow their own produce. The Year 6 children were very kind and caring towards the Year R children and it was lovely to see buddy groups forming. smiley


Friday 16th May - Week 6

The children have thoroughly enjoyed learning about Minibeasts over the last couple of weeks and we are very impressed with their new fact knowledge. The children finished the topic, by creating their favourite minibeast using clay, which they carefully painted. We are looking forward to coming back after half term to see what has happened to our class caterpillars! 


Friday 19th May-Week 5

This week the children have enjoyed learning about the properties of 3D shapes. They had a great time using the marshmallows and pasta to create 3D structures. The children were also able to talk about what 2D shapes they used for their structure. We have some fantastic engineers in Year R!

Friday 12th May-Week 4

Following on from the children's interests of catching items in the fishing nets, we added some small coloured bears to the water. The children enjoyed using the bears to subtract one colour from another, as well as adding two coloured bears together to see how many it made.

They even had a go at writing their own number sentences to reflect this. Well done Year R, you are great Mathematicians. 

Friday 5th May 2023 - Week 3 

This week the children experienced their first ever trip, which was perfectly linked to our topic of growing and lifecycles! The Team at Hillier Gardens could not sing the children's praises enough. They told us that they were enthusiastic, well mannered and respectful children who collaborated well as a group. Here are a few photos of our day, but also have a look on Tapestry as we have put many more on there as well! smiley

Friday 28th April 2023 - Week 2 

This week the children have been highly motivated by vehicles and homes. They used the loose part construction pieces to create submarines, cars and houses. They adapted their environment to add to their structures such as the bridge, which became a tunnel for their car. The children even made a number plate to go on the back of their vehicle! We have some great designers and builders down in Year R smiley

Friday 21st April 2023 - Week 1 

This week to kick off our topic of growing, we have immersed the children in the story of Jim and the Beanstalk (alternative version) of the traditional tale. Linking with the bean in the story, Year R decided to plant their own seeds. However we decided to conduct an investigation across the 3 classes to see whether cotton wool, paper towels or soil would allow a seed to grow. Many of the children have predicted that the seed will turn into a beanstalk, like in the story....the children are waiting in anticipation to see the results next week! 



Friday 31st March 2023- Week 6

This we have discovered that we have some 'green fingers' in Year R. Some of the children took it upon themselves to try and plant an orange and apple tree. They collected some seeds from their morning snack and chose a perfect spot to plant the tiny seeds. One of the children said, "I have watered the seed and given it love, so now it will grow" Mrs Palmer asked, "How will you know where you planted it?" The children decided to make some signs on sticks using paper to show where they had planted the seeds. 


Friday 24th March 2023-Week 5

This week the children have been learning about their local area. We took the children on a walk around the Federation to look for focal points e.g the different buildings and equipment, and also what they could see in their environment. Linking with our 'Wonderful World- Climate Action' week, we went to the teepee to listen to a story called 'Tidy', which highlighted the importance of looking after our environment.  On the way back to our classes, some of the children picked up some rubbish that they found, which shows real love and care for the school grounds. 

17th March-Floating and Sinking

This week the children experimented by making their own boats out of corks, cocktail sticks, paper, tin foil and straws, to see which was the best material to make a floating boat. One child had a go at using cellotape to hold his cocktail sticks together and then removed it to see if it did the same job. The children were excited to describe why some boats were floating and others were sinking. They had lots to talk about and loved testing their predictions!

10th March-Fantastic Artists

The children had great fun this week creating dinosaur landscape pictures. The art task was a two step process, first the children used the watercolors to create beautiful sunset backdrops, then the children drew and cut out dinosaur silhouettes. We are super proud of their final pieces of art! 

3rd March-First Signs of Spring

During discovery time, the children were excited to find the first signs of spring. They decided to protect the buds by putting a crate on top of them and writing a sign to ensure that no one would damage them. The children are very aware of how to look after our environment.

24th February-Dinosaur Art

The children have enjoyed our introduction this week to dinosaurs. They have painted some pictures of dinosaurs and made some dinosaur foot prints. They have also shared their knowledge about what they already know about dinosaurs and what they would like to find out.

10th February-Back to Roman times with Year 5

The Year R children went for a walk across the Federation and came across Year 5, who were acting out the Roman era. The Year R children watched in awe and then were asked if they wanted to join in. They joined in with such enthusiasm and were made to feel extra special by Year 5. 

3rd February 2023 - Problem Solving and Teamwork

This week in aid of Anti-Bulling day, the children have been working hard on recognising problems. They noticed that owl had got himself stuck up the tree, and unfortunately the ground outside had turned into lava!! The children worked as a team to construct an obstacle course, using the loose parts to get themselves to the owl who was stuck in the woodland high in a tree. They all shared their ideas and continued to adapt and change their design until they had completed a safe rescue.

27th January- Chinese New Year

The children enjoyed learning about Chinese New Year through stories. They then had a go at making lanterns and dragons using craft materials. Outside, they made their own music and created their own dragon, as well as exploring our Chinese tuff tray with the different animals that represent each luna year.

Chinese Dancing Dragons

Still image for this video

20th January - Comet Making 

The children have loved learning about all about space! The topic has really peaked their interests, so much so that many have decided to visit the local library to find more space books to share with their class. One child found a fantastic book on 'Comets, Asteroids and Meteors' which had a super craft idea in the back of the book! So we decided to follow the instructions and make our own comets. We even took them outside to measure how far they would travel. The distance was quite impressive!  

13th January-Building and Balancing

With a little adult help to get started, the children began to build and engineer a huge balancing assault course. The children enjoyed using their arms stretched out to support them from falling off the planks of wood. Some children even tried using our wooden sticks as walking sticks to help them get round the assault course. They all showed great determination to get round independently.

6th January-PE

This week the children have been enjoying learning about Space. During our PE lesson, we looked at making different space shapes with our bodies, for example the children made star shapes, alien shapes and rocket shapes. They also managed to negotiate their space well, by avoiding bumping into each other. Well done Year R!

16th December- VR Headsets

The children enjoyed using the VR headsets to explore the Arctic. They were extremely excited and were able to describe some of the things that they saw. Here a few quotes below:

Arianna said, "I am going in the mountains. I can see more stuff. I can see a white polar bear, no two!"

Oliver said, "I can see snow and a cave. I can see white small waves!"

Maya said, "I'm in the snow cave. There's lots of ice and snow in the cave. I can see a walrus!"

Oliver said, "I can see two bears near me. They are white!"

9th December - Frosty Walks 

Today we took advantage of the frosty weather as we are learning all about seasons and Winter. The children enjoyed walking the grounds of the Federation spotting for signs of winter. They saw, frozen plants and leaves, bare trees, frosty play equipment and they even found a huge lump of ice. We finished off our walk with writing our names in the frost. 

2nd December-Supertato

This week the children have enjoyed our Supertato topic and have had great fun making their very own Supertato's.  They did an amazing job and were very proud of themselves!

25th November-Understanding the World-Ice

The children were exploring different ways of making the ice melt. They used hammers, warm water and paint brushes to discover the best way to remove the peas quickly from the ice. Children commented on how the warm water helps to melt the ice and also how their hands can melt the ice, although they explained that it was very cold to touch it. They particularly enjoyed using the hammers and were very aware of the need to wear safety glasses to ensure that the ice did not go in their eyes. They learnt words like 'artefact' and 'excavator' as they carefully used the paintbrushes to remove the peas. They had a fantastic time being little explorers!

18th November-Water Exploration

The children were excited to explore the water containers in the rain. They could hear the different sounds the bowls made when the rain dropped into them. They explored how each container held a different amount of water and who could fill their bowls up the quickest.

11th November -Maths

This week the children have been learning all about the number seven.  The children have enjoyed partitioning different numbers using a variety of concrete resources, such as Numicon, cubes and conkers.

4th November 2022 - Diwali

This week the children have really enjoyed talking about what happens during Diwali celebrations and how Diwali is a festival of light. The children were super creative and had great fun designing their own henna prints on hands.   

21st October 2022 - Exploring Leaves

 This week the children took advantage of the falling leaves of Autumn and decided to make leaf pictures. The children were very creative with their designs and thought carefully about which leaf shape and colour would best suit their pictures. We are going to carry on with the children's interests and learn about 'Leaf Man' after half term!

14th October 2022 - Outdoor Classroom! 

Everyone was super excited that on Thursday this week our outdoor classroom was finally ready to use. The children have explored all the areas and treated the new environment with respect and care. They have really enjoyed using the construction planks of wood, exploring the nature trail and they even found a caterpillar. The mud kitchen was a hit, with many children demonstrating their knowledge of cooking and cleaning! smiley

7th October 2022 - Marvellous Maths!

This week the children have been working hard to show their new number knowledge.  Using practical resources, the children were able to represent their number in different ways using, pictures, Numicon, objects and in its written form. We even started to work on saying one more or one less than a given number. Great work this week Year R! 

30th September -The Gingerbread Man has been trapped

Great news, the cheeky Gingerbread man has been trapped! The children were over the moon that their wonderful creations led to the capture of the Gingerbread Man. This week we are looking forward to helping the   3 Little Pigs, build their houses of sticks, straw and bricks! 

23rd September - The Gingerbread Man

This week we begun our Traditional Tales learning journey.  The children were shocked to find out that we had a sneaky visitor to the Year R classrooms. The cheeky Gingerbread Man was caught on video and he also left a letter telling the classes that they would not be able to catch him. The children decided they wanted to make their own traps to try and catch the Gingerbread Man! We were so impressed with how inventive they have been with their designs, lets hope they manage to catch him soon!

Skipper Class Visit

Still image for this video

Emperor Class Visit

Still image for this video

Admiral Class Visit

Still image for this video

September 16th -  My Family

The children this week have been sharing with their friends 'all about me!' As part of these chats, we have been learning all about the different families we have at Balksbury Federation.  It has been lovely to see their cultural wheels and we have had a great time talking about where they live, their favourite food, music and what they like doing at home. 

September 9th - First week at school!

We are super proud of how well the children have settled into life at Balksbury Federation. They have experienced their first assembly, P.E, eating together as a year group and playing with the other children in the big playground. They have even managed to learn their clever spots and can line up in a very straight line! Well done Year R 2022! 

Below is all the wonderful learning from 2021-2022! 

What will my child be learning this term?

17/07/2022-Fun in the sun

The children have had great fun outside exploring the outside environment. They have had a brilliant time with the sand and water, building cars and dressing up. The children performed a show and some of them sold ice-creams to the audience.


This week the children have enjoyed learning about sharing different amounts equally, between each other and props. They gave great explanations to why it wasn't fair if they couldn't share the cubes equally. One of the children worked out that if we had 28 children in class and we had 30 sweets there would be two sweets left over, which we couldn't share. We have great Mathematicians in Year R!!

24/6/22 - Sports Day!!


The children had a fantastic afternoon completing their first ever Balksbury Federation sports day! We were super proud of the children's sportsmanship. They were all incredibly well behaved and supportive of their friends. It was lovely to see how many parents came to share in the afternoons events.  Well done Reception for being amazing athletes angel

17/6/2022 - Doubling 

This week the children have been learning all about doubling. They had great fun in the woodland using natural resources to make their own sets of doubles. The children were able to say why each group needs to be the same and how many each set makes in total. 


The life cycle of a caterpillar has been our focus learning last term and the children have been eagerly waiting for the chrysalises to turn into butterflies. The children have been writing daily updates for our class diaries and it was wonderful that the caterpillars waited until the first day of the new term to hatch. What perfect timing! We released them this week into the wild to live their happy and long butterfly lives! heart

09/05/2022-The Very Hungry Caterpillar Food Tasting


This week the children have really enjoyed learning about the life cycle of a caterpillar inspired by our story 'The Hungry Caterpillar'. They have had great fun making their own caterpillars' on leaves and have produced some super caterpillar writing. The children also tasted some of the food from the story.  We were very impressed with how the children approached trying unfamiliar foods!


We are looking forward to next week, when our special visitors arrivesmiley

6/5/22 - Amazing Artists! 


Last week the children took their artistic skills to the great outdoors. They have been learning about still life drawings and the importance of different types of pressure using just one pencil. The children all worked super hard completing a still life drawing of some beautiful spring flowers. We finished off our session with a story about seeds in the Tipi! Well done Year R. smiley 


The children have been super excited this week as they became paleontologists digging for fossils in the sand and exploring frozen dinosaur eggs. The children excitedly exclaimed, "The egg is melting when you put your hands on it, as our hands are warm!" They were very happy when they discovered that the egg held a baby T-Rex inside and wanted to show all their friends. Some of the children also enjoyed making their own dinosaurs out of playdough. We have been great explorers this week!


25/03/2022-Number Bonds to Ten

The children have been working hard the past couple of weeks to learn their number bonds to ten. They had fun using concrete resources to work out different ways of making ten and wrote their answers on a whiteboard. They also played a game outside finding a partner that made their number add up to ten. Super number sense! 

18.3.22 - New Playtime Equipment!


Today the children explored the new playtime equipment and learnt different ways of playing with them. The children were super sensible and were working as a team to play some of the new games. We discussed the different skills that we were using with each activity and we were super proud of how much perseverance and determination was seen by all. yes

11/3/22 - P.E: African Gum Boot Dancing

Today in P.E the children watched a video of African Gum Boot dancing and they worked in small groups to learn some of the dance moves! The children were super enthusiastic and all showed perseverance and great promise for our next performance, wearing our gum boots! We finished off the P.E lesson with a group performance. Well done Year R! laugh

Gum Boot Dancing 11.03.22.mp4

Still image for this video

4/3/22 - Amelia Earhart Plane Designs

This week we have been learning about explorers of the world and our chosen person was Amelia Earhart. The children learned about how brave and persevering she was in her quest to be one of the first female pilots, to fly around the world. In preparation for our up and coming 'International Women's Day', the children have been busy designing their own planes which they plan to make for our History exhibition. The children had the choice to use any material they liked and this ranged from: junk modelling, Lego, straws, Mobilo and Duplo. 

Home Learning - 18/2/22 

Dear Parents,

Below you will find some activities and worksheets for your child to complete as many as they can, throughout the day. We would love to see their work on Tapestry, so upload any photos you take of them throughout the day.


At school we have been learning about the importance of friendship. It would be lovely at lunchtime today, if your child could write an invitation to their favourite teddy/doll/toy to have a picnic with them. We have provided a template for their invitation which you could use, however if the children would like to design their own invitation on plain paper this would be also be great!



In maths we have be learning about 2D (flat shape) and 3D shapes (shapes that you can hold). Today we would like the children to go on a shape hunt in their house to look for examples of 2D and 3D shapes in everyday objects. If they find some, can they sort them into 2D and 3D? Can they name each shape? Could they draw what they have found? Can they write a list of all the items they have found? 


Phonics and Reading

In phonics we have learnt the digraphs (2 letters that make one sound): th, ch, sh, ng, below you will find some phonic application tasks for your child to complete. If your child would like to write their own words or short captions with these digraphs in them, this again would be amazing! We have also been working on consolidating the difference between b and d. Could you child write a list of b and d words? In phonic lessons we have also been learning our tricky words - I, to, no, go, the & into. These words are ones the children need to be able to recognise by sight and also spell by memory. So please try and practise writing these at home. Again we have provided a sheet if you wish to use it. Please also take some time today to read with your child, this can be either their school reading book or any stories you have at home. 


Thank you for your continued support, we look forward to seeing the children's work on Tapestry. Please be safe and we look forward to seeing you all after a well deserved break!

Happy Half Term smiley

11.2.22 - Week of Friendship

This week we have been focusing on the importance of friendship and kindness. The children have worked hard to write their own invitations for their friends and made bunting and cake designs. We finished off the week with free flow Discovery time across all 3 classes and a mini tea party, where we decorated and ate cakes with our friends. We are proud of how accepting and caring the children are towards each other in Year R. heart

4/2/22 - Chinese New Year! 


This week the children have been celebrating Chinese New Year. We learned about the importance of the colour red and how this represent wealth and good luck. The children made their own Chinese New Year lanterns, listened to stories about the Zodiac symbols and watched Chinese families celebrating the New Year. 


This week, in our gymnastic lessons the children have been exploring different ways of moving with their bodies over the large apparatus. They have been very brave on the balance beams and some children can walk without any help. The children have also been climbing over ladders and safely dismounting using soft knees. 

21/01/2022-A Frosty Morning

This morning we explored the school grounds on this cold and frosty morning.  The children made footprints, chased their shadows and enjoyed using their senses to describe their surroundings. The children explored the woods looking for Aliens and avoided falling into the lava craters. We also used the parachute to warm our bodies up. The children had such fun!!

14/01/2022- Getting Crafty!

The children have loved expressing their creativity this week and have been fantastic artists. They have created colour mixing planets, marble rolling solar systems, chalk and pastel planets and finished off the week with building their own rocket using poddley. The children have loved learning all about the planets, which has been a great inspiration for their Art. 


We are super excited about our topic this term - Space! The children have enjoyed exploring our Space station role plays and getting stuck into space crafts. We have begun this topic by having lots of discussions about what the children already know about Space and what they would like to find out in the coming weeks.  We will be spending lots of time researching and learning about space travel and the solar system. We would love to hear all about the research and projects you get up to at home. Please remember to share these on Tapestry or bring them in to show the class. laugh

A Week of Performances! - 10/12/21

We are so super proud of all the children in Year R for their performances this week. They have spent many hours working hard on learning the songs and their part in the play.  We are delighted that all their hard work has paid off and we hope you all enjoy the video. We have also been busy learning our Waltz for Balksbury's Strictly Come Dancing and the children have been F A B U L O U S!!! What great little performers we have in this cohort. laugh

Christmas Jingle - 25/11/21

The children have been busy little elves this week, making lots of wonderful things to sell at our Christmas Jingle on Friday. They  have loved showing us their decorating skills, when icing the reindeer biscuits and have thoroughly enjoyed getting messy with the glitter for our tree decorations. Fingers crossed we make lots of money for the Federation.  See you all on Friday! smiley

Autumn Leaves -  18/11/21

Making the most of the Autumn leaves this week, we decided to go on a leaf hunt. We used our detective skills to find the most interesting and colourful leaves. We just could not resist finishing the day off without a huge leaf throwing competition, we love Autumn days! 

Remembrance Day-11/11/2021

Today the children came together and joined the whole federation in a two minute silence. We discussed the importance of being respectful and explored the meaning of Remembrance. The children made their own poppy pictures and crafts during the day.

Diwali - 01/11/2021

The children enjoyed learning and listening to a story about Diwali. Some of our children were able to explain how they are celebrating Diwali at home. The children had a wonderful time creating some Rangoli patterns which were extremely colourful!

The Leaf Man- 22/10/2021

As part of our Autumn celebrations, we ended the Term with the story - The Leaf Man! We have loved collecting the leaves to make our own characters from the story and have been super creative with our designs. We are very proud of our budding artists. We hope you enjoy looking through some of their creations.


Have a lovely Half term! The children have done us all proud. What a great start to their journey at Balksbury Federation blush

Maths Shapes 11/10/2021

The children enjoyed exploring the woods and making different shapes using natural resources, such as leaves and sticks. They were very excited to show us the different shapes that they had made.

Longitudinal Study - 1/10/21

For Science this week the children have started their Longitudinal study and we have chosen trees! We had fun exploring the grounds to find a tree to study through the seasons. The children enjoyed bark rubbing, measuring, collecting  leaves and taking photos of their chosen tree. We will continue to watch and monitor the changes and look forward to sharing our findings with you. 

We've started Phonics! - 7/10/21

Over the last two weeks the children have been working hard to learn the first  2 sets of phonemes (sounds).  They have been keen to use their new phonic knowledge in the classrooms and are enjoying the daily phonic lessons. So far we have learnt - s, a, t, p, i, n, m, d and we are starting to blend words such as - at, as, in, sat, pat, tin, pin, man. The children have had their first reading book this week and we are already so impressed with how regularly the children are reading at home. We look forward to sharing more phonics with you soon! 


P.S please see our parent phonic video, to learn how we used Cued Articulation (hand gestures) alongside our teaching of 'Letters and Sounds' to better support your children at home. 


24/9/21- Traditional Tales

What an exciting week we have had in Year R! The children have enjoyed hearing lots of different versions of the Traditional Tale: The Gingerbread man. We even had some sneaky Gingerbread men creep into the classrooms one evening and worked together to  set traps to capture them. The children went on hunts around the grounds to find evidence of his home and even wrote messages to warn him away! On Friday we decorated some Gingerbread biscuits to round off our story. 

Traditional Tales

Year R 2020-2021

A Bug Hunt

Discovery Time

As part of our topic on What a Wonderful World we have been recycling this week. We have investigated different materials that get thrown away and learned that some materials such as cardboard, glass and paper can be recycled and then reused. As we are so creative we decided to reuse containers for junk modelling and to have a go at recycling paper to make our own! We learned about the importance of recycling and made a model of a machine that recycles materials.

Being Imaginative

We have had a wonderful time using our imaginations. We have had weddings, shows and made designer handbags! We are so inventive in Year R and we make our teachers smile! smileyheart

Our Learning Journeys

This week we are sharing some of our learning journeys with you. These boards are integral to our learning as we display what we are teaching and examples of the children's lovely work. 

We've Been Busy!

This week we have worked as a team to build and decorate a huge tractor! We talked about how without tractors, we would not be able to collect all the wonderful food that the farmers grow for us to eat. We also had a special visitor come to our school on Thursday and she was sooooo impressed with our amazing writing, which we have displayed on our 'We've Been Busy' board. 


Fantastic job Year R we are super proud of you all.  blush


P.S Did you spot the new members of Rabbit class, with their cress hair?!

Painting Fruit and Vegetables


Rabbit class really loved getting messy doing some finger painting. They created some gorgeous pictures of fruits and vegetables.

We have been having fun learning about halving and sharing.

We've Been Planting!!!

This week the children have started to plant in the Year R outdoor classroom as part of our topic, 'The Great Outdoors'. We have planted herbs, peas and potatoes so far. In the next couple of weeks, we will be planting our own beanstalks and some other lovely vegetables. So who knows, we might be able to cook some tasty things with our produce! blush Exciting times ahead! 

New Dance Mirrors!!

Today we went down to the Juniors to have our P.E in front of the New Dance Mirrors! The children walked beautifully through the Juniors and all took it in turns to perform some ballet in front of the mirrors. We had a go at some Disco and even did a Waltz with a partner. We are all extremely proud of the children's behaviour and their engagement with something so new and exciting! Well done Year R. smileyyes

Phonic Learning Outdoors


Year R have really been enjoying learning all about dinosaurs! We have learnt the difference between herbivores and carnivores, then made shopping lists for our dinosaur. We looked at different types of fossil, where they come from and even had a go at making our own fossil! The children have been interacting enthusiastically with the online live lessons and have produced some amazing work! Have a look at a few of the examples below:

Autumn Leaf Wreath Making! :)

Discovery Time - Sept 2020

A warm welcome to all our new 2020 Year R families! Please explore our Year R class page and keep an eye out for pictures, newsletters and important information smiley 


ELSA Support


Dear Parents/Carers,
Some children may be finding this time at home very confusing, they may be anxious, they may not quite understand why they are unable to go out and play with their friends. Here are some stories that will hopefully help them understand some of the issues that they are having to deal with.
I will also be updating weekly with some ideas of ways to cope with anxiety and ways to encourage the children to have a healthy positive mind.
I understand that some of you may not have access to a printer, therefore I will include activities that can be done without one.
Take care
Mrs Whatley - ELSA

Beautiful Valentine's Day Roses and Important Safety Day Messages

Year R Needs You!

This term in Early Years we have been engrossed in our "Explorers of the World" topic.

As part of our learning we have been focusing on David Attenborough. 

The children realized whilst browsing YouTube, the lack of videos featuring Sir David with the Grey Squirrel!

The children have been working tirelessly to gather as much information as they can to send to "David".

We have been so impressed and are so proud of the children's efforts, that we have decided to write to Sir David himself to show off all their amazing work. 


Sir David Attenborough - The Great Explorer

A Lovely Week in Reception

The Nutty Nativity

Rabbit Class Remembrance Day Display

Class Photos 2019