Transition Week

We have had a fantastic transition week in Reception.

The future Reception children have been visiting from their Nurseries and we have been getting to know each other.

The children have been exploring their new environment and demonstrating some fantastic learning behaviours.

The current Reception children have been very helpful showing the new children around the unit and helping them with their learning. They have made us very proud with their caring behaviour.



Meanwhile the children in Reception have been having a great week exploring Nursery and taking part in Sport’s Day.

This term we have been wondering and asking lots of questions about the world. We have been using books and the internet to find out the answers to our questions.

We have been exploring shapes and measures in provision and reading stories about time.

We had a visit from Harold the giraffe who taught us all about being healthy. We have been sorting healthy and unhealthy food and trying new fruit and vegetables. We have also been baking our own bread for the cafe.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our parents for the continued success of our Reading Club. This half term we have welcomed some of our new Reception children to our Friday Reading Club and it has been fantastic to have some new children and families sharing stories with us.

Thank you for your continued support

Mrs Connors, Miss Kemp and all of the Parrots and Penguins

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I asked Tia ‘Tell me about the fantastic medal that you’re wearing’?


I got the medal for doing the swimming gala and I came third! I never expected that and I couldn’t believe it! Everyone who did the swimming gala got one. There were ten schools including High Crags.  There was a great team spirit.  Some of the other schools practice a lot and some even have their own swimming clubs! Emma Taylor in year 6 was leading in a back stroke race but came second. She did really well.  I think everyone did well.

Thank you Tia!


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I asked Baldeep ‘What is Mathletics and why do you like using it’?


Mathletics is a downloadable app.  I like Mathletics because it’s very educational and helps people solve problems in quite a fast solution.  It also has an online interface where you can play games with people from around the world, in your class, against the computer or people in your school. Mathletics has ready-made folders of maths.  This is compared with your level as mine is 4c+ and has hard stuff like matching fractions and x7’s and x9’s.

Everyone in my class has a mathletics account.  It’s great to play challenges against one another.

Thank you Baldeep!

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I asked Joshua ‘What is your favourite book and why do you like reading it’?

“Time Hunters is good to read if you like history. You go years back. You even go back to the time of the gladiators and two children become them! Those children even fought a famous gladiator who had won thirteen fights in a row! The two children must find five amulets or else they are stuck back in time  forever! I would definitely read another Time Hunters book. I like this book because of going back in time. I also like it because of the battles”.

Thank you Joshua!!



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ZooLab visits Reception

This week we have had a visit from ZooLab it was a fantastic learning experience and the children loved it.

David from ZooLab came on Tuesday morning with a magic box which contained 5 interesting mini beasts for us to look at and hold.

We split into our 2 classes and sat on the carpet, as we waited for him to be ready we had a discussion about which animals we thought we might see. Lewis thought that there might be a cow in his magic box and Maisie thought there might be a zebra! We then decided that the box was too small for these animals and that it might contain a fish.

The first mini beast that we saw was a giant African land snail, it was green and slimy and had a shell “like an ice cream cone” (Hollie)

We learnt that snails use their shells to protect themselves from predators and hibernate in the winter. Mia told us that to hibernate means “to have a long sleep in the winter.”

Parrots class got to see a millipede they found out that millipedes do not actually have 1,000 legs in fact most millipedes have got less that 100 legs and baby millipedes only have 3 pairs of legs when they are born.

David then introduced us to his friends Ed, Ed and Eddie the hissing cockroaches. The penguins were lucky enough to see Eddie after he had shed his skin, he was completely white and had left a perfectly formed old shell behind. David left Eddie to recover from his growth spurt and showed us Ed, he told us about the hard shell that protects the cockroach from extreme conditions such as freezing or even cooking. We also learnt that cockroaches have 2 brains 1 in their head and 1 in their bottom!

We were briefly introduced to the tarantula Tracy who was in her tank, she was not allowed to come out because she can shed hairs that make us itch and has big fangs which she might use if she was frightened. David told us that to catch her prey Tracy doesn’t spin a web she digs a hole in the ground and spits venom onto insects which turns them into insect milkshake. Tracy then sucks the insect up through her tube like mouth.

The biggest hit of the day was the corn snake Petunia she had an amazing orange and pink stripy pattern all over her body and was very friendly. Ellie was really excited because Petunia had a pattern that was the same as her snake at home. David asked Ellie what they fed their snake at home, “he eats mice.”

The children really seemed to enjoy the experience and the ZooLab presenter David was great with the children and the animals, in Jacob’s words “he is awesome.”

The children were so inspired by the experience that they spent the rest of the day talking about it and recreating their experiences. Jaxon made a fantastic cardboard snake, Kayden painted a cockroach and red group did some amazing writing about their experiences.

What we are learning…

We now have a snack cafe in our classroom where we now have to order and eat our snack. Each day we can choose from milk or water to drink and toast or fruit to eat. The children have to sit down and wait for a waiter/ waitress to come and take their order and serve their choice of drink and snack. The children have been applying their phonics skills to write orders and using their maths skills to calculate payment for their snack.

The children have been learning how to safely make their own toast. They have been using the plastic tongs to put the bread in and out of the toaster, they have also been buttering and cutting the toast.

We have started to learn Makaton sign language for use in our cafe. We can now sign menu, waitress, chef, toast, purse, please and thank you.

What we are interested in…

Our interest in the film Frozen is still going strong and Mrs Connors has created a fantastic small world Frozen landscape which the children are using to retell the story daily. The children have incorporated their continued interest in building into this area making ice castles for Elsa and houses for Sven and Kristoff.

Miss Kemp has made some story stones which include characters from Frozen, Thomas the tank engine and a variety of animals and dinosaurs. The children have been using them to tell stories and draw landscapes on the chalk table. These new additions to our classroom have inspired some very imaginative story telling and a small group of children have begun to write stories and make books.

Abigail’s Frozen storybook was 8 pages long and retold the story of Ana and Elsa’s adventures in the ballroom when they built Olaf the snowman.

We have introduced an overhead projector into our pattern making area. This is an extension of our loose parts play where children use a range of open ended resources to create patterns,constructions and explore new concepts. We have been projecting the patterns onto a white sheet, the ceiling and paper for the children to look at, copy and draw around. We have been talking about light and dark and how we can make shadows. This has led to a discussion about the properties of objects and an introduction of lots of new vocabulary.

We are also exploring light and dark in our fabulous new reading rocket where we have to read our books by torchlight.

How you can help us at home…

Our new story for this term is the 3 Billy Goats Gruff we are learning to tell the story using actions and puppets. If you know the story please help our children to learn it by telling it with them at home with an emphasis on the key phrases of the story. (copy and paste the link below to take you to a video of the 3 Billy Goats Gruff)]

The children are making great progress in phonics, if you would like some information on how you can support them at home there are some really informative videos and a power point on phase 1 and 2 on the school website. For information about the later stages please speak to your class teacher.

We also have our reading club every Friday morning where you can share books with your child and see some examples of the games we play during phonics. Siblings are welcome and there is tea/ coffee and cake available afterwards as a thank you.

Thank you for your continued support.

Mrs Connors, Miss Kemp and all of the parrots and penguins.





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I asked Abigail “What is celebration assembly”?

“It’s when the people get a certificate and if the people get a certificate you have to clap.  It’s because the children really stood out and it makes them happy to get a certificate.  I was really happy and excited because I got my pen license today and it made me ecstatic.  It’s really nice in school, everyone is happy and kind.”

Thank you Abigail!

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Spring in Foundation Stage

We have had another fantastic half term in Parrots and Penguins with all of the children continuing to make great progress.

We would particularly like to thank all of the parents who have taken part in our Reading Club on a Friday morning.  The children have really enjoyed the opportunity to share books and stories with different grown ups.








What we are interested in…

The children have continued their interest in building and we have introduced ‘I have made’ sheets to increase the level of challenge when building. These sheets encourage children to write labels and descriptive sentences about their creations. The children were then encouraged to take pictures of their creations so that they could be used as challenges for their friends. They used their bear words and segmenting for spelling skills to help them to write their labels.





The children have also been finding out all about Dinosaurs, we used non fiction books to do our investigations looking at the pictures and talking about what we could see, where possible we used our blending skills to read the sentences. Here are some of the facts that we have found out:

  • Some dinosaurs were herbivores which means they ate leaves and plants. These dinosaurs included Brachiosauruses and Triceratops.
  • Some dinosaurs were carnivores which meant that they ate other dinosaurs. These dinosaurs included  the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
  • Most dinosaurs lived on the land but some like the Pterodactyl could fly.
  • Dinosaurs lived in nests made of sticks and laid eggs like birds.
  • Like birds some dinosaurs had feathers and beaks.

One week we had our very own dinosaur nest complete with eggs, the children spent a long time trying to melt the frozen eggs so that they could see which dinosaur was inside. This involved a lot of team work and problem solving.

One day a thief stole our dinosaur eggs and we made posters to help us to find them. Here are some examples of the fantastic work the children did.







What we are learning.

This half term we have been consolidating a lot of our learning by doing independent challenges within provision. In Foundation Stage we think that it is really important that children have the opportunity to repeat activities, problem solve and work together to perform tasks independently of adults. This independent learning is really valuable and supports the development of persistence, resilience, friendships and self esteem.

Most children have now received a challenge passport, this little book contains challenges linked to our direct teach activities and children’s interests. Children are asked to complete a challenge within provision each morning and afternoon. All challenges are colour coded to match the children’s challenge passports and children press a button to give them their instructions. The system of colour coding enables all children to be successful at a challenge which is appropriate for them, once a challenge is completed children are encouraged to try the next level of difficulty.

Children also set themselves individual challenges which shows that they are aware of their next steps in learning, 1 challenge was for a child to put on their own coat and shoes another was to correctly form the a when writing. The challenges are as varied as the children, it is a really fantastic opportunity to support the children to become involved in directing their own learning.

Here are some examples of children completing challenges from their challenge passports.







Ellie was investigating ways to make 10, Mia was measuring and Priyanka was matching pictures to their initial phonemes.

How you can help us at home.

The most important thing you can do to help us at this stage is to share books with your child and listen to them read if they have a reading book. At the end of last term we sent home some questions to ask your child as you read with them, this will help to develop their understanding of what is happening in their book and to infer meaning from the words they have read.

Reading is a really important skill to develop and a life long love of reading will help our children to develop imagination, find out information and prepare for them for the rest of their lives.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”— Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”

Thank you again to the parents who have been coming to our Reading Club, the club runs every Friday morning from 9am, all family members welcome and after half term we will be providing tea and cake for the parents/ carers that come and read with us.

We would also like to thank the parents who have come to our celebration assembly on a Friday morning. Every Friday each class celebrates the achievements of their children in a Key Stage assembly, children receive certificates for P.E, writing and each week one pupil is chosen because of a skill they have demonstrated. If your child has been chosen to receive a certificate you will be invited to come to the assembly to see them accept it and have their photograph taken. We are very proud of our children and are so pleased that you can now join us to celebrate their achievements at school.

Thank you for your continued support.

Mrs Connors, Miss Kemp and all of the Parrots and Penguins.

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Welcome to the Foundation Stage blog.

We will be using this blog to let you know what the children are interested in, what we are learning, upcoming events and how you can help your child learn at home.

What we have achieved so far…

The children have settled remarkably well into Reception and have made fantastic progress. Here are some of the amazing things we have done during the Autumn term.

(Scroll down to look at the pictures and read the rest of the blog.)
















We have also had visits from some real life superheroes including a nurse and some firemen who let us use the fire hose.


What we are interested in…

So far this year we have been interested in superheroes and have particularly enjoyed our 2 superhero days. We have also been interested real life superheroes such as firemen; we have been building fire engines, putting out fires, writing warning signs and reading information books about fire fighters.

There has been a lot of interest in making puppets and using them to tell stories, several of the children made their own puppet theatre and used it to retell the story of Frozen.

Many of the children have been interested in building in all forms from giant houses to tiny fairy houses made out of gems. Next term we will be developing this interest by looking at following and writing/ drawing instructions for our creations.

What we are learning…

We will start our learning next term by investigating dinosaurs.

We will be looking at the properties of dinosaurs, their bones and fossils, where they lived and what they ate. Through this investigation we will be learning about sorting and classifying different dinosaurs, how archaeologists dig up bones and using our phonic skills to write about the information we find out.

The children will continue to learn phonics and maths every day in small groups, we will also have daily discussions and reading sessions.

How you can help at home…

All children now have a sharing book or a reading book,  please help your child by reading with them at least 3 times a week. Sharing books together will help children to develop their vocabulary and language skills in preparation for learning phonics and will help them to read independently.

Share the story and talk about the pictures, what can you see? What might happen next?

Please sign your child’s reading record book when you have shared a book, all children who read 3 or more times a week will receive a treat on a Friday.

In the Spring term we will start to attend the weekly celebration assembly with Key Stage 1 and will be in the running to win the weekly reading prize of chocolate for all members of the class who reads the most.

If your child has bear words please support them to learn them by showing them to the on a regular basis, using them to make sentences and pointing out when you see the words in a reading/ sharing book.

Thank you for your continued support.

Mrs Connors and Miss Kemp and all of the Parrots and Penguins.


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Titanic fact

Did you know….?
The Titanic took 2 hours and 40 minute to sink.

The Titanic is 269m long.

The height of the Titanic was 53.3m.

The Titanic took 9 years to build.

1,517 people died on the Titanic.

130 people died from the first class,166 people died in the second class and 536 people died from the third class. One man even dress up as a woman.

Daniel Buckley was the youngest man on the Titanic.

Only 706 people survived on the Titanic. 2,223 people were on the Titanic.

The length of the Titanic was 269 metres long. The Titanic was going at 29 knots. The Titanic was considered to be the biggest ship in the world at that time.

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The wonderful Titanic!!!

Did you know the Titanic cost 7,500,000 to build?
Did you know The Titanic is 269 metres long WOW isn’t that long?
Did you know the temperature of the sea was -2 when the Titanic crashed?
Did you know out of the total of 2227 passengers and crew only 705 people survived.
Did you know there was 9 dogs on the Titanic and only 2 survived?

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