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

Early Years


Adult-Directed and Child-Initiated Interest Based Learning

Within Early Years we follow the children's interests rather than always planning specific topics in advance. As a result, we do not yet know exactly what topics we will explore within future terms. Below is a loose overview of how our year may look, however, we are flexible and will continue to adapt our teaching and topics to ensure we are following their current interests so that the children are engaged in their learning.


Autumn A

Pete the Cat - Rocking in my School Shoes. A story to support the children's transition to school.

Many of the children were into vehicles and transport. They were choosing to make paper aeroplanes, trains and role-playing journeys so we explored this within our adult-directed learning.

Within Maths we learnt to recognise numbers to 10/20. We also practised counting with 1:1 correspondence. We learnt about simple 2d shapes, length and some of us began to look more and less.


Autumn B

The children were very excited about Halloween so we began with a week exploring all things Halloween! We also enjoyed Science week where we explored a variety of experiments and Herbie and Henry even went to the moon! The children love our class bears, so next we introduced them to the story of Fin the bear who went for a walk. We learnt the oral story 'Take a Walk Little Bear'. After that, we stepped into 'Christmas' and explored Christmas provision, practised for our show and enjoyed many Christmas crafts and activities. We had our very own Elf on the Shelf who gave us lots of challenges.

Within Maths some of us learnt about simple addition and were introduced to a part part whole frame. We explored weight, time, money and have been learning about 1 more and 1 less.


Spring A

This term we will be using the story Supertato within our learning. We will incorporate a healthy living day and will even be growing our own potatoes.

We will be developing our skills in addition and counting on and will begin to explore subtraction. Some of us will explore 1 more and 1 less. We will look at 3d shapes, height and estimation. 


Spring B

We have recently got a new tent in the class room which the children have been describing as a castle so we may choose to explore castles, knights and princesses next.

We will have our welly day this term on 20th February.

We will continue to develop our skills and confidence in addition and subtraction and will practise counting on and back within this. We will ensure  we are confident with numbers to 10 or 20 and will practise representing these numbers using dienes, learning about basic place value. We will explore capacity and review shape. 


Summer A

Many children within the class are interested in dinosaurs. We would like to take this interest further so may explore dinosaurs and animals within Summer A. We may also explore a topic relating to ourselves and this around us to support 'Understanding the World' objectives.

Within Maths we will discuss doubling sharing and halving. We will continue to devleop our number and calculation skills. Some of us may begin to explore counting in 2's, 5's and 10's.


Summer B

Whole school 'Food and Farming' topic

We will consolidate our Maths learning and address any gaps in understanding.

Take a walk little bear storymap

Take a walk little bear storymap 1

Autumn B

Following the children's interests, we started this term with a week on Halloween! We used the story 'Room on the Broom' to learn about rhyme. We were excellent at spotting rhyming words such as hat/cat, broom/room, dog/bog. We even found a magic hat that turned us into a witch. 


Following our vehicles topic before half term, some children were desperate to learn more about space and rockets so we planned a science week learning all about space. 

We had different science experiments to explore including static electricity, making parachutes, balloon rockets, floating and sinking, moon buggies down a ramp and designing space suits for Henry or Herbie bear. We also learnt about the surface of the moon and what space shuttles need to do to get to the moon. 


We are also learning the oral story 'Take a walk little bear'. The story map is above if you want to retell at home. We can link lots of talking, reading, writing and even maths to the story.


We continue to have weekly Outdoor Learning lessons so please bring wellies in if you do not want dirty shoes coming home! We are also offering weekly music and woodwork lessons which are very popular. 

Thank you to those of you who are supporting your children to choose their own reading books in the morning, we still encourage you to read at least 3 times per week at home. 

We are also working really hard on recognising numerals 0-10 and then 10-20! We are also beginning to use language of more/less and add. We use part part whole to help us with our addition, this is a Singapore Maths strategy! 


Soon we will be getting ready for Christmas so eyes peeled for letters about costumes!


Outdoor Play and Learning


Our shared Nursery and EY outdoor area is now an OPAL area.

We are collecting junk materials for the children to use within their play!


If you have any donations please bring them in for the children to enjoy.

Examples:- Old dressing up, old suitcases, guttering, tyres, pallets, logs, insulation tubing or anything else that could be used by children to play and explore with



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 Wednesday 27th September for this. A letter will be coming home.



Thank you for your support



The Early Years Team




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