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Early Years - Giraffes, Crocodiles, Lions and Penguins, Elephants, Zebras

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Summer A!


This term our classroom was invaded by Supertato and Evil Pea! We used labelling to create the supermarket and our provision was designed to trap the evil pea so that he stopped causing chaos. Unfortunately some of our traps did not work and we found carrots stuck to the wall with masking tape, broccoli with faces drawn on, parsnips under shopping baskets and potatoes mashed on the carpet!


We used Supertato to learn about managing feelings and behaviour, making relationships, listening to others ideas and responding, thinking philosophically, writing, reading, number work and using and applying different medias such as junk modelling traps. We learnt about speech bubbles as we wrote from either Supertato or Evil Pea's perspective.


At the end of the project we decided we needed to plant a Supertato army. We followed instructions to plant  our own potatoes. We had to plant the seed potatoes in compost and then cover and water. We have been checking the potatoes daily to check they have enough light, water and compost. By June they should be ready!


Our Supertato project led on to a Healthy Eating Day! As part of the day we had to go to Bruce's keep fit camp to learn about exercise, we had to sort healthy and unhealthy foods, we had to make a healthy smoothie using exotic fruits, we had to learn about where foods come from, we played a game around the eatwell plate and we looked in our own lunchboxes to ensure we were eating a healthy diet!


Our Religion for the term was Buddhism. We had an afternoon dedicated to exploring the symbols of Buddhism. Each adult had a different activity that we could explore. They included:- A collage of the 2 fish, a saltdough vase, a malleable materials dharma wheel, a physical human knot, the Buddhism flag using watercolours or a lotus flower using natural materials. We presented our learning through photographs during an assembly to KS1 and Year 3.


As the year develops we are beginning to introduce Guided Reading, this is where children read a text within a small group. The focus is on decoding Phase 2 and Phase 3 sounds and comprehension.


We are also using part-part-whole language within our Maths sessions. Part Part Whole is from the Singapore Method of Maths. Children understand addition by seeing that there are parts that come together to create the whole number. Subtraction, therefore, is the whole number being split between different parts. It is really helping children to visualise addition and subtraction calculations.


We continue to offer outdoor learning on a Thursday afternoon and both Music and Woodwork on a Tuesday afternoon.


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Science Week Spring term

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Spring Science week 2017


We had a science week in January 2017. Our focus was Chemistry! There were 6 different experiments we could explore

1) Making butter using double cream and salt

2) Making a paddle boat using mushroom pots and elastic bands

3) Watching water move from 1 pot to another using kitchen towel

4) Discovering whether salt made ice melt more slowly or more quickly

5) Watching the chemical reaction when mentos sweets are added to coca cola

6) Watching the chemical reaction between soap and milk when food colouring is added


We were covering the following objectives:-

40-60 EUMM Explores what happens when they mix colours., 40-60 EUMM Experiments to create different textures. 40-60 EUMM Understands that different media can be combined to create new effects.
ELG EUMM Children safely use and explore a variety of materials experimenting with colour, texture and form.
40-60 TW Looks closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change. ELG TW children know about similarities and differences in relation to materials ELG TW make observations and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.


Some of us wrote instructions about the experiments using First, Next and Finally.

We also practised our prediction skills when watching videos on - take a look!


Autumn B


This term has been so exciting with so many different things going on we are glad there are photos to remind us of everything we did!

We started the term with Nursery Rhyme week. On the first Friday after half term Mrs Gibson slipped on a puddle and 'broke' her arm, luckily we had a role play hospital set up so she could have a bandage and a sling. We all reminded her not to go near the sink again as she may slip in the puddle! On Monday we found a new puddle with a badge and some paper- we think they were clues. Once we had explored all of the clues we realised they were left to teach us the Nursery rhyme Doctor Foster went to Gloucester! The nursery rhyme chaos continued with Little Bo Peep losing her sheep, which meant we had to walk to the local farm to find some, Incy Wincy needing some guttering to get him back to his plug hole, 2 little dicky birds needing a new nest and Hey Diddle Diddle things getting all mixed up so the spoon jumped over the moon and the cow laughed!

On Friday we joined Year 1 and Nursery to sing the nursery rhymes we had all learnt during the week! We have tried to continue to sing all 5 so that we don’t forget them and can always link them to the fun we had in Early Years!


We had decided not to have set topics this year and follow the interests of the children. Some helmets in the courtyard had meant that lots of the children had a common interest in people who help us. It included fire officers, police officers and doctors/paramedics. Mrs Lovelock, Mrs Criddle and Mrs Redman all dressed up as different emergency services as we role played a 999 dispatch centre! We had to listen to the 999 call and decide which emergency service was needed. It was so much fun lots of us continued in our own play. This project supported us in our role play, reading, writing and talking. To end the project we had a visit from a police car, an ambulance and a fire engine! It was great to explore the vehicles and talk to the women and men that do those jobs in real life.


To learn more about Christianity and the Nativity story we had a short school trip to the Mission Church. We learnt a lot about road safety and risk taking as we walked from Brooks Road to Vestry Road. We then explored the Nativity story through role play and through small world Nativity sets.


Alongside our project we have learnt all of phase 2 sounds and have started on phase 3. There are some digraphs in phase 3. Digraphs are when there are 2 letters that make 1 sound together such as ‘ch’. We have practised reading with the digraphs and even started to write with them. We have introduced ‘super sentences’ this is where we write a noun on its own then write a noun with a verb for a sentence and then add an adjective to make it a super sentence. It is helping us to understand a sentence and begin to use a full stop and a capital letter.


In maths some of us have been counting and ordering numbers 0-20, whilst some are working 0-10. We have been practising making the different numbers and using the language more or less. Alongside this we have been ordering different things by length, using language associated with money and naming 2D shapes.


By the end of this term we had all completed all of the Outdoor Learning activities on offer. As part of outdoor learning we learnt to thread leaves, problem solve with water and guttering, play musical instruments, make a bird feeder, make a boat that floats, create a leaf hedgehog, create a tree and decorate a hand print made of flour. Next term the activities will change and we will get to explore again!


Have a lovely Christmas and see you all in 2017!

Church visit

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Fire engine visit

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Ambulance and Police car visit

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Woodwork with Mrs Burleton

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People who help us

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Nursery Rhyme Week

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Hindu Celebrations in Early Years


During our Hinduism afternoon we learnt about Hindu Celebrations. We focused on Diwali and Holi.

The children watched a video that showed them a family preparing and celebrating Diwali.

There were then six different activities for the children to explore, they were…

Making a Diva lamp, Learning some Bollywood dancing, Running an Indian restaurant where some could taste Indian foods, Drawing Henna patterns, Drawing Rangoli patterns, Taking part in a paint throwing festival outside, much like Hindus do during Holi festival!

We had lots of fun exploring the Hindu religion!

Giraffes, Penguins, Zebras, Crocodiles, Lions and Elephants

Teachers: Mrs K Gibson and Miss S Berry

Key Workers: Mrs H Criddle, Mrs M Hucker, Mrs D Lovelock and Mrs D Redman 

Autumn Term A


Please could all children have warm kit in their PE bags - any joggers and jumper are fine. Thank you. 


We have had a busy week in Early Years, learning the new routines and exploring our environment. We are very impressed with how well the children have settled into school. They are already learning and building new relationships. 


Your children may be coming home talking about lots of things we have been doing in school, so we thought we'd share some information with you.

Bug Club is the phonics scheme that we use at Brookside Academy. This supports us in learning to read and write. This week we've enjoyed listening to the story 'Pete the Cat rocking in his school shoes'. Each morning we engage in a Funky Fingers sessions to support us with our writing grip. Exploring time is an opportunity for us to explore the provision and environment, learning through play. 

We have our lunch in the main school hall and then play in our extensive outdoor environment. When your children say they have been playing with foam swords, in dens and up tress - it's true!



Could children please have wellies and coats in school so that we can make the most of the outdoor environment whatever the weather.

Could all PE bags be brought into school with named kit. PE is on a Wednesday morning.


We will soon be having a phonics workshop where you can learn how to help your child learn to read at home. We hope you can join us on the 26th September for this. A letter will be coming home soon.


We've already had one 'extreme reader' enjoying a book on her bike! We'd love to see some more 'extreme reader' photos to add to our board.



Thank you for your support



The Early Years Team



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We are aware that you all would like to support your child as much as possible at home.

We use 'Bug Club' which is a systematic phonics scheme to teach reading in school.

During 'Bug Club' we learn new sounds that we blend together to read words.

Soon your child will be able to read a selection of words in order to read sentences.


We learn sounds in a specific order. Once we have learnt a group of sounds we apply them to  selection of words.

Some words are not decodable- this means you cannot use phonics to sound them out.

We learn to sight read these words.


In Early Years we will learn:

s     a    t     p     i     n    m     d



g    o    c     k     ck     e    u     r

and    to  the  no go



h    b    f   ff   l    ll    ss    j    v  w    x

I     into    me     be 



y   z     zz   qu    ch    sh  th  ng

he     my    by    they  she



ai     ee    igh     oa    oo     oo      ar    or    ur     ow      oi    

we   are   you 



ear      air      ure      er   

all     was      said     have     like      so      do     come     were    there       little     one      what