Week of April 18th in Reception

I was genuinely looking forward to seeing the children again this week, and they didn’t disappoint! Only a short week, but they packed a lot in.  The new trampoline was a big hit out in the garden, as was the new pizza role play. We need to blag some Domino pizza boxes, different sizes. Please also send in any photos of the children eating pizza. We heard lots of language of size, cost, time to cook and delivery times. The children then began making their own collage pizzas and pizza play dough, one white batch for the dough a second batch for the red tomato base which led to discussion about what they like to put on their own pizzas. Then the children wanted to make a real pizza together in class. The children are going to  order the ingredients online next week ‘like mummy does, …and a man delivers it.’

Getting a bit of maths into the trampoline work out:

We began reading the story of Jack and the Beanstalk and will also look at different versions or adaptations over the term. The children enjoyed exploring the magic beans, which led to some lovely sorting and counting then looking at capacity.

We observed the children trying to write their own stories.  This term we are encouraging the children to write in sentences, so please support this at home with the phonic sounds that they are learning in class.


In PE his week we practised team work and ball skills. Great fun, roll on Sports Day!

Save the date: June 20th Reception and Nursery are doing Sport day together.

Next Week:

We will be learning about St. George, and the Queen’s birthday.

  • We are collecting kitchen roll cardboard centres for castle turrets in junk modelling to go with St. George’s Day.
  • We are always collecting milk bottle tops.

We will be planting ‘magic’ beans to go with Jack’s beanstalk

We will be ordering food online and following the delivery process to then make pizza. Then eating it!

Take a photo of your child eating pizza and send it in.



We do enjoy getting email observations of home learning, keep them coming.

Keep encouraging reading and writing at home. More children are starting their second Teddy word book.

Please ensure all uniform is labelled with YOUR child’s name on it and that all children have  a PE kit and outdoor trainers.


Mrs. Quinn





A Few Holiday Challenges

In Wake and Shake, which we do every morning, we incorporate moves that help with coordination and involves crossing the midline and bi-lateral coordination. There is a lovely, easy to read explanation of both on OT-Mom, which I often refer to. Basically, we need children to coordinate their movements, using both sides of the  brain. SO, here are a few skills we have been practising that you may like to practise at home. I’m sure you’ve seen them before, but they are brilliant exercises for young children.

Week of 27th March in Reception

I’m hoping that you didn’t wake up to terrible pranks this morning. I spoke to the children about April Fools Day and they really ‘got it.’  They thought of some great jokes to play on you – I won’t give them all away. Some said they’d talk backwards, walk backwards, have a bath with their clothes on, say goodbye instead of hello….  I await the success stories upon their return.


We set up a STEM challenge (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) this week which was really popular and led to a discussion of 3D shapes. I was blown away with how this held the children’s interest and observed them revisit this again and again, working together. It was just a few cocktail sticks and a bit of play dough. I could have used mini marshmallows/Jelly Tots –  but didn’t think they’d last the week… and that’s just the adults! This will become a regular challenge in class using different resources. If you’d like to try it at home take a look on Pinterest for ideas, but be sure to take a photo for us!

It has been a full week. We have been discussing Easter and incorporated this into our maths and literacy. The children went on an Easter egg hunt, finding two halves then ordering the eggs and looking at one less.

We have also provided resources to decorate eggs and introduced Easter traditions. Thanks for all the hard boiled eggs, the children really enjoyed colouring them.

The best bit was the egg races on Friday. We went into the hall to firstly count our loose change. My competitive streak came out and Tiggy’s challenged Cottontails to see who had the most money collected. I was feeling confident until Mrs. Davis brought out a huge box of loose change…. well done Cottontails! Then we had egg races – a little pre-Sports Day practise.

Out in the garden we explored other uses for the eggs.

Here are a few more…

After Easter we are listening to the story of Jack and The Beanstalk, maybe you could read it at home to familiarise your child with this lovely tale. It’s a nice lead into a discussion about planting and growing things.





Reception Week of March 20th

NB: Apologies for the formatting of this post. Having problems getting images and text to go where I want it to go for some reason this week.

We started Well Being week off with some yoga, which the children said they enjoyed, and finished the week discussing and sorting foods into healthy and unhealthy. Miss Boby and I were impressed with the children’s awareness of foods containing too much sugar and which foods were good for them.


Sorting healthy/unhealthy foods

We have been seeing lots of lovely imaginative play this week. Role play, creating representations of our world, and even boys drawing pictures and painting!


William wrote a lablel for his models.

Outside we also observed the children taking their learning and problem solving skills into their own hands. The boys used magnifying glasses to observe the bugs and worms they found and want to make a wormery next week. Others used various resources to explore roads, ramps and tunnels or build using large blocks.



Brilliant large scale construction.

A few more: 


Next Week: We are looking at the Easter story and Easter traditions. We have a video of traditional egg rolling and would like to offer the children the opportunity to dye eggs and build their own ‘road’ to see how far they can get it to travel, based on observations this week of road building. The children can also design and decorate their own eggs using water colours, various materials. The role play area will be ‘An Easter party.’
In maths we are working on subtraction.

NOTE: Could children please bring in a HARD boiled egg. Please ensure it is hard boiled as one child has an allergy to raw egg.
If you have any Easter themed books we could share with the children please send them in (Put child’s name on inside cover please). We have the traditional Easter story and I have just purchased The Cow That Laid an Egg, BY Andy Cutbill, but I’m a bit thin on the ground for fun Spring/Easter themed stories.

ALSO: I’m still trying to build up a stock of guttering, down pipes, planks of wood for building outdoors (ideally scaffolding type planks) and any off cuts of soft woods for the woodwork area.

Gruffalo Nursery go to College Lake

Today Gruffalo Nursery had an amazing day at College Lake with their teddy bears. When we arrived at College Lake we listened to a story about some bears who live in the woods at College Lake and we met Edward Bear .

We went on a special walk around Edwards’s garden. We had to follow the trail of footprints he had left for us. In Edward’s garden there were herbs that smelt nice and some that didn’t smell so nice! Claire who works at College Lake told us that once she had fallen asleep in Edward’s garden and woke up to see a beautiful rainbow in the sky. Claire gave us pieces of a broken rainbow that we took around the garden to see if we could match the colours to what we saw in the garden.

Hunting for colours in Edward’s garden was hard work so we sat down and listened carefully to the birds.
Then it was time for out teddy bear’s picnic!!After lunch we made shelters for our teddy bears using materials from the woods. We made some fantastic teddy bear homes.

We dressed up as bears and trees to play teddy bear games. We learnt that we must look after trees because they are homes for lots of animals. At the end of the day we listened to Going on a bear hunt. 

Week of March 13th in Reception.

What a lovely week. As the weather was a bit better we saw more children outdoors. We have been looking at the Season of Spring and this led to creating our own garden of flowers. The children looked at books on flowers/gardens then tried to create their favourite flowers. We had lots of sunflowers, snowdrops, tulips and even a Venus Fly Trap. The children used tissue paper, water colours and scissor skills to create their flowers. They also took a closer look at Spring flowers using the magnifying glasses outside.  This is what the children knew about Spring.

























A little outside investigation:How to send a message to Nursery, across the great divide… One child could see little sis in Nursery and decided to find a way to send her a message. The Postman wasn’t available, so she devised her own method. We then had fun seeing what else we could send, exploring the trajectory of various objects.






We have been coming to a close with our wedding play, so there was just one thing left to do, the wedding cake. The children selected 3 sized cake tins to create a tiered cake. They worked together, following the recipe instructions then later decorated the cake.  Then we ate it!

This Week in Reception, W/C March 6th.

After visiting the baby ducklings in Nursery the children painted pictures.  We will be observing and recording their growth and changes.

I was really impressed with how the children managed to complete a game involving money. We started just using pennies but very quickly extended this to other denominations.

In PE we were throwing and catching.  Jamie is a future gold medalist! Many children can catch with one hand too… Roll on Sports Day.

We completed some maths assessments, which can be discussed in Parent Consultations, but the children are making great progress generally. Keep them counting and adding groups.
W/C13th March:

Parent consultations will be in cottontails. Learning Journeys and children’s stories, as well as learning portfolios will be available to look at in Tiggys.

I am collecting kitchen roll centres, or that type of cardboard cylinder, the stronger the better.

I’m also collecting screw drivers for the woodwork area and any off cuts of soft woods.

Our literacy focus this week is writing speech bubbles for the characters in The  Three Little Pigs. Perhaps you have a copy to read at home this week.
Mrs. Quinn.

This Week in Reception.

No iPad this week, it’s off for repairs so limited photos I’m afraid. 

We read The Doorbell Rang by Jan Francis as an introduction to sharing. The children were heard confidently using vocabulary such as sharing, equal, same, fair. We started off sharing between two, discussing what is half, but quickly moved to exploring sharing between 3,4,5 or more people. The breakthrough moment came when we were sharing between 4, with two biscuits left over… should we just eat them I asked? No, said Kai, and explained he could snap them and give a bit to everyone. Kindness and logic in one lesson! 

We have carried on the celebrations theme by writing party lists and invites. 

World Book Day was fun. I didn’t get many book reviews in so please send them in next week. 

We are still supporting the children to recognise teen numbers. 

Mrs. Quinn. 

Play Dough

The properties of play dough and other malleable materials make it fun for investigation and exploration as well as secretly building up strength in all the tiny hand muscles and tendons, making them ready for pencil and scissor control later on.

Squeeze and squish it
Roll it into small balls
Rolling pins to flatten it
Manipulating to create a representation of our world.



Poking in objects and pulling them out of play dough strengthens hand muscles and eye co-ordination. Tactile play
encourages children to e squash, squeeze, roll, flatten, chop, cut, score it, poke it! Each one of these different actions aids fine motor development in a different way, not to mention hand-eye co-ordination and general concentration.

Imagination and Creativity:

Adding open ended play items to add to the mix, play dough develops imaginative play and children can represent their world/ A jar of candles and cupcakes cases leads naturally to birthday party role-play, counting out candles and singing! Children  can make chocolates and sweets in a sweet shop, cakes and bread in a bakery, faces, creatures, animals. The list is as endless as a child’s imagination!

Calming and soothing:

As any adult who has played with dough can tell you, the effects of all that squeezing and pummeling are great for stress relief and can feel extremely therapeutic! Little children can struggle to express their emotions and using dough while talking and singing can really help that process.

Science and Discovery:

The actual act of making the play dough can lead to lots of questioning and prediction skills. Here we have some solid materials (flour, salt etc) to which we are going to add some liquids (oil, water.) What do you think will happen? What can we make? The child gets to explore and observe the changing state of materials in a hands-on way, and be filled with wonder as the bowl of unrelated ingredients comes together to form a sticky then smooth and squishy ball of dough! We often take these things for granted, but in the eyes and hands of a child that’s quite some transformation!









Maths and Literacy Opportunities:

In more focused play, play dough can be used as a fantastic way to practise letter and number work. Children can  spell out their own name, make numbers, form shapes, compare lengths/ thicknesses/ weights, count out rolled balls to match numeral cards, match and sort by colour and SO many more ideas too!

Following a recipe and instructions, counting out cups, measuring out ingredients, measuring time in the microwave, portioning out the dough amongst friends, are all meaningful and important experiences too!




Week of February 20th in Reception

It’s been a fun week and lovely to see the children back, ready to learn. The Birthday theme was fun – did you get to hear our new Insey Wincey Spider song or The Button Factory Song?

We have been developing a role play bakery, based n children’s interests and an outside wedding role play. We have been modelling how to use the new play dough and baking area, with a view to encouraging independent baking.

I’m still trying to develop the outdoor role-play area and would love some wedding magazines for the children to look at. My mind is racing with what direction this learning could take us. Apart from the usual make a wedding invitation, making a list of people to invite, all of which is lovely, I though about discussing with the children British customs, such as something old, new, borrowed and blue. SO, we may be asking the children to bring something in. I’m also collecting (washed) tin cans to put on the rear of the brides carriage! and our baking/junk modelling could develop into making the tallest tiered wedding cake ever – which of course the children would need to design, draw and label first!

Please send in any wedding photos, especially old ones of older family members, in black and white, so the children can appreciate how times have changed or from different cultures, or exotic locations.

We had a successful week baking, which will continue next week with small groups of children if your child didn’t get to cook this week. We are still accepting donations of cake decorations

Here are a few from this week:


Next Week: Book Week – Dress up Friday!

As always, I need to see reading records signed and unnamed uniform continues to be an issue. Please label everything!

Mrs. Quinn.




Wedding Fever

We’re looking for pics of parents weddings, or key family members to adorn our wedding role play area.  Have any of the children been flower girls etc? 

Any old wedding stationary you could donate. 

We are still accepting cake decorating donations. 

Mrs. Quinn

Play Dough and Baking

We are looking forward to observing how the children use the revamped Playdough and baking area. There is a bit of a birthday theme next week as Miss Boby and I both had birthdays over half term. We are using this to introduce independent baking. 

Lots of opportunity for maths, measuring and weighing, measuring time, introducing units of measure whilst developing fine motor skills, language and observing change. Oh, and practising tidying up! 

We are looking for donations of cake tins, birthday candles and cake decorations to help resource this area. Please get in touch if you can help.

Rolling Along

We had fun in PE this week, then tried log rolling. It  is great for your child’s body and  brain for lots of reasons:

  • To assist in balance
  • Midline Development – To assist in coordinated movement and thinking
  • Sensory Development
  • Gross Motor Development -to build strength and coordination
  • Proprioception – to develop a tactile understanding of space

This is why rolling is one of my favorite movement activities for little ones. So get rolling!

Mrs. Quinn.

Gruffalo Star bakers! – Nursery

As most of you are aware, the Gruffalo children have been extremely busy refining our baking skills over the last couple of weeks, making cakes, bread and even playdough to use in class. All thanks to our new oven in the classroom which Mrs Kimber very kindly collected from the shops! 

Since we have children from a large and wonderfully varying range of cultural backgrounds, we are requesting that any traditional family recipes (that you would be willing to share) relating to the cultural background of your child, or else maybe something they ate on holiday, be brought in for us to try and bake in Nursery! It would be nice to show the children that there are different recipes with different names from all over the world. 

If anyone would be kind enough to share some new exciting recipes with us to trial, you would be contributing to a great deal of learning about the wider world (plus some lovely new treats, some healthy some not, to go home after half term!) 

Catch us at the door if you could help. 

See you tomorrow, 

Gruffalo Team  

Week of 31st January in Reception.

Many thanks to all the donations for the Syrian appeal, and to Madison’s mummy for taking all the items to UNICEF  this weekend. We did really well and the children got an insight to the world around them.

Whilst we don’t always do ‘themes’ of work as it never  holds the  attention of every child, and we like to be very child led in their learning, we do endeavour to cover Seasons and cultural celebrations, especially those that are relevant to the children in our care. Chinese NY has been really popular  over the last two weeks. It was great to see so many visited the CNY celebrations in London last weekend. Per Henry “I went to China with mummy and daddy and I saw dragons.” Priceless! The children have been representing their new found knowledge painting willow pattern plates, making their own red envelopes, making lanterns and painting dragons.


Elsewhere this week we continue to be amazed at the  children’s reading progress. We are introducing ‘tricky red words’ to many children for reading and writing so if your child can read the red words in their Teddy Word book, can hey spell and write them? Have a go.

Reading: Please sign reading record books every time you read their school reading booking with them. Please keep them in the school bag.

Maths: We forgot to send out the no. 12 worksheet, so this will go out on Monday.

To support your child at home, can they recognise all four basic 2D shapes. Square, rectangle, triangle, circle by name and can they tell you why they know it is that shape? Can they talk about a rectangle having long and short side, but a square’s sides are all the same. Can they explain a triangle always has 3 sides and a circle has one curved side. If not, try to point out these shapes in your environment – Can they recognise the door is a rectangle? We will continue to support this in class too. But don’t stop there – can they recognise a pentagon, hexagon, octagon?

A few more from this week:

Lots of interest about clocks this week so we have begun to talk about different times of the day and where the hands will be.

And also – Helicopter Stories

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

— Albert Einstein

I invited Make Believe Arts to visit us for some staff training for nursery and reception this week to develop story telling in class.

Helicopter Stories is based on the Storytelling and Story Acting curriculum of Vivian Gussin Paley. At its most basic, children make up stories, adults scribe them, and then the class acts them out.

You may find your child has been asking you to write their stories. Please encourage this at home and send in their stories. Children can’t write it if they can’t think it. From past experience I have taught some exceptionally bright children, who when asked, are crippled with anxiety about ‘getting it wrong’ and find it difficult to put their ideas down on paper. We want children to allow their imagination to flourish and be able to put these ideas into words verbally, then develop into writing them. We put no pressure on the children to write at this stage. We scribe for them as thinking and writing at the same time is a challenge at 4, and I don’t want a child to thin of a great story but not tell it because of anxiety due to writing aspect.

Class rule: Each child can write a story which the adult scribes, but its maximum length is A5. Half a full page.

This form of holistic approach to education enables children to discover the world around them in their own, very personal way and explore vocabulary. We can quickly assess which children understand how stories are structures with characters, setting, a beginning, middle and an end.

Stages of Story Telling:

Children will internalise and imitate stories and you may well spot familiar plots creeping into their own story telling. Common characters and settings, good over evil. This is to be encouraged. Some of our children are at this stage.

Innovate: Children may follow a recognisable story pattern but characters and setting are changed. There is a boy and he goes into the house of three ninja’s and eats their food, tries out their swords and sleep in their beds…. Some of our children are at this stage.

Invention – They create their own new story.

The Benefits: Taken from Make Believe Arts homepage.

  • An inclusive, whole-class approach which values every child’s contribution;
  • Facilitates high levels of engagement;
  • Creates confidence and self-assurance;
  • Supports the development of speaking skills as children express and share their ideas;
  • Helps to develop accurate, active listening skills and understanding;
  • Supports co-operative and collaborative and creative learning;
  • Develops positive relationships within a shared storytelling experience;
  • Allows children to explore the power of words as they see their stories come to life, and develop their ability to use and adapt language to communicate;
  • Offers children a bridge into the world of story writing as they begin to see the links between the oral stories they compose and the words on a page.
  • Acting out our stories…

Week of 23rd Jan 2017

Sorry for the delay in photo post – iPad didn’t want to upload the pictures! Last week was wonderfully imaginative, the children from both morning and afternoon are becoming so much better at having their own ideas and creating narratives for stories in play. Lots of the children are also getting curious about writing and are keen to write words that are significant to them or as an extension of the play they are engrossed in. We have had our sand shed turned into an Argos toy shop, excavated treasure as archaeologists, baked our first batch of bread (which we used for our first toast time) and watched Mr Billing fly a drone over the field! What busy bees we are. 

Week of January 23rd in Reception.

We have been learning all about Chinese New Year this week. I hope some of the children got the opportunity to venture into London to see the lovely Chinese celebrations this weekend. We explored Chinese culture, made our own drums, dragons and even had a go at Chinese writing. We also tried to solve Chinese Tangram puzzles and built the Great Wall of China outside.

Next week we will continue to explore Chinese culture, making our own lanterns, Willow pattern plates and panda’s. We will also make lucky red money envelopes and try to make ice-cream, which originated in China.

If you have any spare chop-sticks/woks we are collecting please.


Please be sure to check out the post on our Syrian appeal, which I am coordinating with Madison’s mummy.


Out this week: Most children are continuing to learn new speed sounds in phonics and sheets will go home weekly. If you were given a zip wallet of pictures and words to assist word blending then please try to do this daily, but do keep them in your child’s bag. so we can work on them in school too. The aim is for your child to identify the picture from the word, blended orally, then quickly progress to reading the words at speed.

Are you practising Teddy Words at home? Well done to Holly Shaw, who can read all 100 Teddy words and is onto the next 100 words.

We also sent home a worksheet for the number 11. We are really working hard on number recognition of teen numbers and understanding that it is ten, plus one. These sheets are for you to help your child at home. They are not compulusory and do not need to be returned to us in school, unless your child particularly wants to show us what they can do.



A few more from this week.

Syrian Refugee Appeal

I’m sure you’ve seen all the appeals on tv for blankets/warm clothes for the Syrian refugees?
One of our lovely parents has been in touch with unicef this week to ask if we can donate unwanted winter items etc, rather than money, and they directed us to a local charity called Herts for Refugees….They actually take second hand winter clothes over to the camps. They have one run coming up on there 5th February. 
Short notice I know, but we’d really like to get the children involved. Developing an understanding of the world around us and care and concern for others is a huge part of our curriculum. Most children learn to read/ count, not all learn empathy and a social conscience. 
All next week we will collect warm hats, scarves, gloves, socks etc which will be taken to a collection base in St. Albans… 
How to get involved: either send in a pack of items in a zip lock bag 
to donate individual items and we can make them up into packs.
It’s such a great cause and would make a difference in these freezing temperatures! I’m hoping to get the children to write a letter or draw a picture to go with the packs. 

Mrs. Quinn.

Week of January 16th in reception

This week we managed to fit in a bit of ice exploration, observing change. We used stop watches to see how long the ice took to melt.

We wondered how long this ice would take to melt.
Long after the ice melted we continued to have fun, scooping, pouring, squeezing, transporting the water.

What have we learned about Winter?


Others enjoyed exploring building and making ramps. Outside we introduced the screwdriver and the saw.

We continue to be impressed with the children’s reading and writing development.

Writing with adult support to sound out words.
Finding the missing vowel.

Blending CVC words.
Helping each other to spell words.


We also made our own play dough – We’re getting good at this.

Too sticky or too dry?


Next Week:

Next week we will be learning about Chinese New Year. This is one of my favourite celebrations to explore with the children as there are so many rich learning possibilities. I lived in Hong Kong for two years so I can hopefully bring this celebration alive for the children. This year is the year of the rooster. If your child was born 2011 they were born in the year of the rabbit, 2012 they were born in the year of the dragon. China is famous for lots of things. Did you know they invented paper money and ice-cream among other things. The children will explore making their own ice-cream, writing vertically and using chop sticks.  We might even get to make our own dragon dance. Perhaps you could visit a Chinese restaurant with your child or have a take-away Chinese meal. I thoroughly recommend a trip into London next weekend to see the Chinese celebrations – take lots of photos for us please!

Reading books: Please sign the reading record book and add comments. Books are changed on Tuesday and Friday.

Uniform: I am still noticing uniform that has been previously worn by another child in an older year group, which hasn’t been renamed, which makes it impossible to find out who it belongs to.  Please label everything and we will endeavour to return lost items asap.

Mrs. Quinn

Making Playdough

We have reintroduced our ‘Make Your Own’ Playdough table this term. I’ve been a little nervous that I’d end up with red food-colouring all over our new floor, but the children were great!  Following instructions, exploring different spices to Add. Long may it continue…

Week of January 9th in Reception.

We began the week with hopes of snow. We read the story of The Mitten which led to some good discussion about estimating in adult led maths. We introduced estimating as a ‘clever guess.’ Try it at home. Can your child estimate how many pieces of fruit in the fruit bowl; how many shoes there are. This was a tricky concept for many.


In anticipation of the snow to come we have also looked at non-fiction books about Winter and talked about the changing seasons. We looked back at our class Seasons book together. The children love seeing their own photographs in the class book so please send in any photographs of you and your family out and about enjoying the Winter weather. Additionally, magazine clippings depicting Winter are also welcome as the children enjoy sticking them in.


Next week we will continue to look at Winter. We talked about how icicles form, so if it’s cold enough we will have a go at making our own outside.


Reading Books: Please remember to sign your child’s reading record book. If not signed the reading book won’t be changed.

Please ensure you read a little every night and keep up with Teddy words which I regularly listen to. Quite a few children are now recognising some red tricky words in the book which is brilliant!


We had a blast in P.E. We got out the equipment and after a few bits of training on being safe, they were off exploring different ways of travelling.

Now I know the children can behave appropriately on the equipment, next week we’ll get out the ropes for climbing. Did you know that being able to lift and support your body weight is a sign of readiness for writing!

Upper body strength.

new ways of moving.

Here are a few photographs from this week.

Exploring Numicon.

Exploring shapes.

Who knew a garlic press could be so much fun!


Making an igloo

Programming the Bee-Bots to go forwards, back, left, right.
Making repeating patterns

Playing teacher. A little phonics assessment between friends.

Number ordering.

Still enjoying the ‘secret writing’ pens.

Forest School




There are still too many items of clothing without names inside. If your child takes home someone else’s uniform in error please return it as soon as possible.


What Does Teaching and Learning look Like in EYFS

“Teaching should not be taken to imply a ‘top down’ or formal way of working. It is a broad term that covers the many different ways in which adults help young children learn. It includes their interactions with children during planned and child-initiated play and activities: communicating and modelling language, showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas, encouraging, questioning, recalling, providing a narrative for what they are doing, facilitating and setting challenges. It takes account of the equipment adults provide and the attention given to the physical environment, as well as the structure and routines of the day that establish expectations.”

Ofsted September 2015

That said, you might see our staff working alongside your child in this was…

Our role/Interaction When might we do this?
I commented Extending language/thinking out oud
I modelled

I demonstrated

Using a new resource, technique or language e.g. language to describe thinking to support children to think about their learning.

Applying knowledge e.g. knowledge of counting or letter sounds.

I asked

I wondered

Posing a problem to encourage deeper thinking or involvement.

t could be part of modelling thinking out loud as you and a child explore a problem together.

I helped Helping a child to do something so they can see an idea through and continue to engage in an activity.
I explained Providing information linked to child’s activity/interest that increases their knowledge/understanding
I encouraged Supporting children to negotiate conflicts, agree rules or find a way to take turns. Offering emotional support so that a child feels ok to have a go at something new.
I introduced

I suggested

Perhaps giving new information to extend an activity e.g. suggesting that there is a fire in the woods when children are playing firefighters.
I provided Perhaps providing additional resources or suggesting he right resources for the task the child is trying to complete. It could be getting a book or laptop to find out information a child is looking for e.g. videos of cows being milked.


The children set the agenda and the adults are there to show interest and engage with the children. As they interact, the adults will look for ‘teachable moments’ – moments in which they can move the learning forward. They might model vocabulary or a skill, provide a resource, give encouragement, help with a small part of a process, comment, explain or ponder.

When children show high levels of involvement, that is when there is progress and development occurring – when the brain is at its most active. High level involvement occurs most often when children are able to pursue their own interests in an enabling environment.

In the moment planning helps to make this possible because young children are experiencing and learning in the here and now, not storing up their questions until tomorrow or next week. It is in that moment of curiosity, puzzlement, effort or interest – the ‘teachable moment’ – that the skilful adult makes a difference. By using this cycle on a moment by moment basis, the adult will always be alert to individual children (observation) always thinking about what it tells us about the child’s thinking (assessment) and always ready to respond by using appropriate strategies at the right moment to support children’s well-being and learning (planning for the next moment).”


Mrs. Quinn


Focus Child Info – Please Read! 

For all parents! 😊

We are currently moving into a slightly different way of working in Early Years, where we spend time following focus children over the course of one week. Parents will be sent a short form to fill out on either the Friday or the Monday, that lets us know anything important or else any exciting things that may be going on at home. The following week after your child has been focused on, class teachers will meet with parents for 5 minutes or so to discuss what they got up to and any milestones we have noticed they may have hit in terms of their progress. We are planning for this to happen on a Tuesday just before the end of each morning and afternoon session. If those parents could arrive a few minutes early to do this we would very much appreciate it. This way of working in particular allows us to track progress more accurately. 

As a part of this new way in working, we have requested on the forms that go out to the parents of focus children each week that they bring in photos of goings on at home and if they really want to, something special to show the class at some point during the week. We would like to clarify this is different from what’s in the box; the rota for that as pinned outside still stands. 

The early years of a child’s development is so crucial that it is beneficial for the child to feel confident, secure and independent in their learning. We want to provide each child with concrete, memorable experiences that will exist as the foundations for all future learning as they move up the school. Child initiated learning and following the children’s own interests, wants and needs allows for this to happen. It means the learning takes place within a context they find exciting, therefore making the learning memorable. This is why we don’t cover particular topics in Nursery, but as you have most likely heard from the children most recently, of course we end up learning about Winter, change in seasons, states of matter, temperature, light and dark, all from the natural environment around us that the children are endlessly curious in! We whole heartedly believe that at this age, these children need and deserve the freedom of learning through play. 

If anyone has any questions about the changes we are putting into place, feel free to catch us at the door (although hopefully not all at once!)

We thank you for your support, patience and understanding in making these changes, that are for the sole benefit of every child in our care. 

Have a lovely weekend and we will see you all next week! 

Nursery Team. 

Get them writing.

I hope your Christmas card arrived safely. 

Is your little one writing thank you cards? It’s a great way to encourage writing for a purpose and they will love seeing the appreciation on the face of the recipient! 

If not quite writing yet they can still get involved. Ask them what they want to say and you scribe for them, encouraging them to sign it.  Being able to orally put a sentence together, remember it and dictate it to you is quite an achievement for four year olds. 
Mrs. Quinn.

Week of December 12th.

A busy week! making cards, wrapping presents, lots of creative play. 

Next week we are walking the children to the Post Office to post their Christmas cards. If you would like your child to buy a stamp then please send in 75p (second class ) 96p (first class). No need to send a SAE, we have them ready, but make sure the money is labelled with your child’s name clearly.

Many thanks to the parents who have offered to help on the walk. Could you be at school for 1:15pm, Monday /Tuesday.

We have sent home PE kits and no library books went home this week. Please return any that are outstanding ASAP.

Don’t forget:

Cake sale in Lodge  Monday after school.

We break up 2pm Wednesday.

A few from this week:

Trip to Post Office.

The children have been making Christmas cards and I’m so impressed With them. Conversation has turned to how a postman knows where to deliver the letter. 
“You write your telephone number on the envelope.”

“you put a map on the envelope.”

“My house has stones in front of it.”

“My door is red.”

 I would love to walk them to the Post Office to buy a stamp and post their own cards. I’d need a couple of parents to help walk to/from the village post office with me.

Rather than walk two lots of 30 children (which becomes an exercise in crowd control) I would like to take small groups of 6-8 at a time in order to get much more language out of the children, so we can be more focused on the experience, maths opportunities etc.

If you are able to help then get in touch ASAP. Ideally Monday /Tuesday afternoon. I’ll need to know tomorrow so I can give parents notice to send in money for their child to buy a stamp.
Many thanks.

Mrs. Quinn & Miss Boby.


Week of December 5th December

Phew! didn’t the children still standing do well in their nativity this week.  Some of the children managed a few extra lines and some even took on additional parts to cover those hit with Chicken Pox.. I’m afraid Miss Boby and I were so busy organising the play I didn’t stop to take any photographs! So if any parents want to email me some that would be great and I’ll add them to the blog.

We hope to welcome many children back into class next week, so we can all enjoy our many exciting Christmas activities over the next two weeks.


A few from this week:


PARENTS AS PARTNERS: Sending in observations from home:

Just a reminder that we love to receive examples of home learning, or WOW! moments, on paper or via email. If you’re not sure how to do this read on. Once I have set up your email on the ‘2Build a Profile’ system and you have responded to the confirmation email it’s very simple to share your child’s achievements with us.

A gold star to Stevie’s mum and Emily’s mum who send in brilliant examples of their achievements to share with the staff. This really helps us to build up a true picture of your child’s learning and development.

If you have a photograph or video to share with us, just select the ”mail’ option, and send to the email address: ‘inbox@2buildaprofile.com’ (Your email account will remember the address once you have written it once)

Select the mail option

If you are emailing from a PC, create a new email and upload the file as an attachment.

Put the child’s name in the email subject (this will send the video directly into the child’s portfolio), and any notes in the body of the email (you can add these later if you’re in a rush).

If you didn’t enter your child’s name, the file will be stored in ‘All experiences not allocated to a class/learner’ (from the drop down list) which staff can still pick up.


Next Week: We would welcome a contribution of wrapping paper, labels, boxes to wrap, Christmas cards to write in.

Wednesday: A sing-a long of songs from the nativity for the children and parents who missed the play last week.

We will be sending home another copy of all the sound sheets covered to date.


Mrs. Quinn

Nativity Singalong

We have scheduled a separate performance of songs from the nativity play for the children and parents of children who missed the performances this week due to illness. This will be at 2:30 on Wednesday. 
Unfortunately this cannot be for all parents due to classroom size. 

Mrs. Quinn & Miss Boby

Christmas Nativity Performances.

As you are no doubt aware, many of the children have been hit by chicken pox, which is no small disaster for the Nativity tomorrow. 

I have been asked if it is possible to put on an additional performance, once the children are back in school – I would love to, but the hall is fully booked for different year groups next week so I can’t defer or add performances. I also think the children will be tired of it by then. 

However I do understand your disappointment as a parent and the children have all worked so hard.

I will try to schedule a performance of the songs from the play for next week  in the classroom. I’m just checking the calendar. It isn’t possible to do the play in class as the rooms are too small. 

Mrs. Quinn


We are  enjoying Supertato by  Susan Hendra and we’d love some potatoes, carrots, aubergine, cucumber, leeks, courgette etc to make our own super heroes and investigate vegetables. We’d also like bags of frozen peas. Can you help.
Mrs. Quinn and Miss Boby.

Week of November 14th in Reception.



We’ve been finishing off our diva lamps and making bread rolls this week, just like the little red Hen. A big thank you to Mrs. Nolan for helping with the baking. The children enjoyed using all their senses to observe changes as the yeast was addded, and how the dough changed  before and after baked. We also finished our diva lamps, which we had moulded by hand.

We also observed lots of transporting and problem solving at the water tray, and even the rain provided interest and challenge. Here are just a few from the week.

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img_8794img_8796 img_8798 img_8797We I have

Just look at the skill of these boys, we even got them recording their scores.


Timetable Changes:

Please note we have changed our PE and library day to TUESDAY. Please send in library books to be changed on Tuesday next week and going forward.


We are practising our nativity play every day. It’s success depends in no small part on the children rehearsing their lines at home with you. Please give us your support and rehearse with your child. It only take a few minutes.


Mrs. Quinn

Week of November 7th in Reception

What a busy week. The children were full of chatter about their firework experiences from last week, which led to some lovely representations of fireworks at the creative table. We also set off on a fireworks hunt round the garden, recording by making marks when we found them.

We ended the week learning about Remembrance Day. It was lovely to note that a few of the children had obviously talked about it with their parents and knew a little about the meaning of the poppy. We were really proud of the children staying quiet for the 2 minutes silence.

Next Week:

We have been learning to retell the story of The Little Red Hen. To finish off this topic we are making bread rolls with the children all week. If you think you would like to help in the afternoons with this activity then let us know.

Children in Need on Friday. Children can dress up. THINK SPOTS!

Listening to readers etc. I now have three amazing parents from Tiggy’s who have freely given their time to come in once a week to listen to readers or help with additional number/phonics support. I haven’t had any parents from Cottontails volunteer. Please contact a member of staff to if you can offer support, so we can arrange the paperwork with the office for references etc.

I did a quick parents phonics session on Thursday after school and I am available to repeat this on Thursdays at 3:15pm. It’s important that parents can keep up with their child’s rapid progress and feel confident helping them at home. If you want to attend this week then just let me know by Wednesday. If your child is on picture books, or just starting out on books with words I’d like to see you.

Reading Books:

Please ensure that the yellow reading record book is signed , or comments added, to help staff to know that the children are reading every night at home. Aren’t the children progressing well!


New Entrance for Tiggy’s

The Tiggywinkle children will enter the classroom via their cloakroom entrance at the back of the class this week – just as the Cottontail children  already do.  This is to free up a member of staff to work more closely with the children on the carpet. This will need everyone’s support to encourage the children of both classrooms to enter through their respective doors in an orderly fashion and for us all to avoid the entrances becoming congested.



Christmas Fayre: Nov 29th. If your new to the school then it is good to get involved in the school community as these events directly impact what I can do in class. I’ll see you all there.

Christmas Play December 8th, PM session. Parts/costume details have been sent out.

Christmas Theatre trip December 13th: Five parents from each class have volunteered to accompany us. Many thanks.


Mrs. Quinn