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Year R

Welcome to Year R 2021-2022

The Early Years Team 


  Admiral Class - Mrs Young 

Emperor Class - Mrs Palmer 

Skipper Class - Mrs Cordner 

LSAs Mrs Prosser, Mrs Morgan, &  Miss Snape


What will my child be learning this term?

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