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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 

LSA's Mrs Prosser, Mrs Morgan, &  Miss Snape



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