Foundation Stage 1 Updates

Summer 1

Our topic for Summer One has been ‘Sunshine and Sunflowers’. Ten tiny caterpillars arrived after half term and we watched them grow and grow, eat and eat and become big and fat. The caterpillars made a cocoon around themselves and we had to wait for two weeks, before one of them nibbled its way through the cocoon and out popped a butterfly.  When the butterflies emerged from the cocoon, we fed them with sugary water and flowers.  We then left them for a couple of days to dry their wings and released them outside.  This experience has helped us in our ‘Talk for Writing’ to sequence the life cycle of a butterfly.  We discovered how butterflies and some other insects have symmetrical patterns. Now we know what ‘symmetrical’ means.  If you are not sure what symmetrical means, then ask a Clever Kitten. 

We have had some amazing home learning around our topic, a big thank you to parents.  In school, children made minibeast homes using 3D shapes to create them and talked about their mathematical names and properties. We used magnifying glasses to go on a minibeast hunt and explored their habitats.

We had a superb end to our topic when we visited the Tropical Butterfly House Conservation Park. We all had such a fabulous time.  There was so much to do and see. We observed birds, meerkats, giant tortoises, had interesting talks on minibeasts, birds and lots more.  The Butterfly House hosted a variety of magnificent butterflies both big and small. To finish our day we had a tractor ride and most of us got wet along the way.

Clever Kittens celebrated Earth Day and read the story “It’s only one” by Tracey Corderoy. We talked about how we could care for our local environment and help make our school a joyful place for all. We should always put rubbish in a bin, even if we have to wait a while to find one. We used the litter pickers on our school field to collect rubbish.

This half term we became Sunflower Experts.  We talked about the Sunflower Lifecycle and searched information on the internet and in books, and discovered that sunflowers can grow in many different colours.  They can be blue, red, white, purple and pink.  We wanted to each plant our own sunflower and so we have to solve two problems 1) Did we have enough plant pots for everyone and 2) Did we have enough sunflower seeds. Children gave some good ideas how we could find out this information.  We planted the sunflowers and took care of them in our classroom.  We have also been learning about the famous Artist, Vincent Van-Vogh who inspired us to paint sunflowers.  These magnificent paintings are on display.

What a creepy crawly half term both at school and home!

Spring 2

What a busy half term we have enjoyed. We read the book ‘Mr. Wolf’s Pancakes’ by Jan Fearnley and celebrated Pancake Day by trying different toppings on the pancakes. Golden syrup was a huge success. Outside, we made our own pancakes using lemon fragranced play dough. We had lots of fun tossing the pancakes.

Clever Kittens learnt about the work of British artist, Vivienne Cawson.  Her passion lies in painting flowers in their season using watercolours. Children did observational paintings of a daffodil under the supervision of an adult in the indoor environment and independently outside. It was lovely to see children returning to the easel to paint daffodils to refine their artistic skills.

We celebrated the Lunar New Year of the Dragon by tasting Chinese food – trying hard to use chopsticks.  We made Chinese fans and firework pictures. It was wonderful to have our families in the classroom for Stay, Play and Learn and we made Chinese lanterns. Children were able to practise their developing scissors skills by cutting slits in the card for the lanterns. Continuing the festivities, we had a roaring time watching the Sheffield Lion Dance Company perform a Chinese Lion dance. We then performed our own lion dance, using percussion instruments in time to the music, expressing our feelings and ideas. Gung Hey Fat Choi (Happy New Year).

This half term our main topic theme has been about Superheroes, both real and imaginary.  We thoroughly enjoyed exploring Little City mobile role-play. Children were immersed in their own world to launch our topic. The Clever Kittens shopped in the supermarket, posted letters in the Post Office and style their hair in the salon. Children dressed up as hairdressers, firefighters, police officers, doctors, builders, café owners and much more.

In the home corner, the Clever Kittens dressed up as real life superheroes – Fire-fighters, Police Officers, Doctors, Nurses and showed lots of interest in the different occupations.  They used the available resources to create props to support their imaginative role-play and able to use a stethoscope appropriately.  For the finale to our topic, we welcomed our special visitors, Sergeant Green and Nurse Green. We had an amazing time looking around the police van and had a drive around the yard with sirens flashing and ringing out. We looked at the different equipment used by nurses and were able to have our arm bandaged.  Sgt Green took our fingerprints and we all had the opportunity to dress up and ask questions.  The visitors inspired the Clever Kittens and some expressed their desire to become police officers and nurses of the future.

We celebrated World Book Day dressing up in our favourite story book character and read lots of stories together.  Children from Year 6 came into class to share and read Superhero stories from our bookshelf.  We believe ‘Reading in our Superpower’.

Clever Kittens played our large Superhero Board Game, learning to take turns and use their developing mathematical skills, subitising and recognising numerals.

In our Talk for Writing, we used a non-fiction text to create a list of instructions of ‘How to grow a cress head’, using mathematical vocabulary of ‘first’, ‘next’, ‘after that’ and ‘finally’. After learning the instructions, we used them to plant our own cress head. After about a week the cress had grown and we made our own egg and cress sandwiches – delicious!

In Science week, we had a fabulous time with lots of fun to be-had. We had a carousel of activities kin class where we experimented as mini scientists. Clever Kittens used torches and lights in the dark den to read and share stories.   We had construction magnets, and magnets to investigate which objects were magnetic and which were non-magnetic.  A table top was set out with light, colour and reflective resources, exploring how you can shine light through some materials, but not others.  Our final science investigation was really tasty. We made Chocolate Easter Nest buns and had the opportunity to change materials from one state to another by melting the chocolate, combining different ingredients, and then cooling them. Yummy!

Spring 1

For our topic ‘Tales from around the World’, we invited Kuda, who used to live in Zimbabwe, to come and talk to us about her experiences in Africa.  She taught us a dance called ‘Making Melodies’, which involved us using some very unusual dance moves.  We learnt how to say Good morning in Shona, one of the languages in Zimbabwe, ‘Mangwanani’ and Good Afternoon ‘Masikati’. We also know that a lion is ‘shumba’; a giraffe is ‘twiza’ in Shona. We read the book ‘Walking through the Jungle’ and retold the story using actions in Talk for Writing.  We drew our favourite wild animal from Africa using oil pastels.

We celebrated the 2024 Winter Olympics by dressing up in our Winter sports gear.  We looked at bobsleighing, Alpine skiing, curling figure skating and tobogganing. We watched Torvill and Dean figure skating to Ravel’s Bolero in the 1984 Olympics.  After watching their winning routine we waved flags and danced to the music ourselves to celebrate.

Continuing our geographical journey, we learnt about the Polar Regions.  We watched an experiment to make realistic looking ‘fake’ snow from powder, slowly adding water and watched how it changed from one state to another and expanded – it felt cold just like real snow! We then separated the animals and created ‘small worlds’ of the Arctic (the top of the earth, where the Inuit people live) and Antarctica (bottom of the earth, where nobody lives because it is too cold).  Clever Kittens then decided which polar animal they wanted to paint.

Thank you to parents for helping the Clever Kittens with their home learning.  We have had a colourful display in the classroom of rain-sticks.

Autumn 2

Once upon a time … there was a class of children called The Clever Kittens and they began exploring different traditional tales.

They read about The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Enormous Turnip and retold the stories through Talk for Writing, using intonation in their voices for the different characters. 

They read an information book about Bonfire Night to discover why we celebrate the 5th November. Guy Fawkes and his friends tried to kill the King but the King’s soldiers stopped them just in time and put them in prison. We celebrated the festival by watching fireworks on screen, whilst sipping chocolate milkshake.  The Clever Kittens created fireworks pictures, which are, displayed in the classroom.

They discovered why people wear poppies in an introduction to Remembrance Day.  We had two minutes silence to remember and think about all soldiers, past and present, for their bravery and commitment to save our country.  We painted poppies in the style of the American modernist artist, Georgia O’Keeffe, who is famous for her paintings of flowers on a large scale. 

The Clever Kittens quickly got into the festive spirit and made the home corner into the Christmas home corner.  The dining table was set-up with the traditional turkey, Yorkshire puddings, carrots and the must-have sprouts.

Throughout the term, they have been learning about 2D shapes and using mathematical terms to describe them.  They created their own Christmas cards for their family using, circles, squares, triangles, rectangles and stars. Merry Christmas!

We made our own Christmas tree decorations from salt dough.  After they had baked in the oven the Clever Kittens painted and glittered them to sell at the Redscope Christmas Fayre.

After weeks of practise, the Clever Kittens performed their own nativity for their families, dressed up in various costumes. Finally, they celebrated together with a Christmas party and a visit from Father Christmas, so they must have been on his good list.

Happy New Year everyone!

The End.

Click here to login to contact us

New Collaborative Learning Trust New College Pontefract Logo New College Doncaster Logo New College Bradford Logo Wingfield Academy Anston Greenlands Primary School Redscope Primary School Thorpe Hesley Primary School