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Rabbits Class

Mrs Birrell & Mrs Flashman,
Mrs Skilton & Mrs Scottow 

Welcome to Rabbits class page.

Information for Parents

 Latest Weekly Reception Newsletter (updated each Monday)

 Guide to Reception's Phonics Homework (4th October)

Reception Parents Welcome Meeting (26th September) 

In Reception, we use Tapestry, an online learning journal for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage. We use Tapestry to give our parents a regular snapshot of their child's learning and experiences in school

Fetcham Village Infant School's Guide to TapestryTapestry User Guide - Apple (iOS) App

Tapestry User Guide - Android AppTapestry User Guide - Web Browser 

Please do contact our Early Years Leads, Mrs Birrell or Mrs Flashman, via the school office if you would like any more information on our EYFS curriculum. 

Summer 2 Learning Overview 

Summer 1 Highlights 

 

 

In this half-term, we focused on ‘Caring for Living Things’.  The children learnt a range of new vocabulary that they used throughout our provision, especially in our role-play areas: a Garden Centre and a Vets Surgery. We began with the story of Jasper’s Beanstalk by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen. The children planted their own bean seeds and learnt what they needed to grow: sunlight, soil and water. They observed them sprouting and growing taller in our classrooms, before taking them home to grow further and harvest the beans. 

The children developed their artwork, including trying some observational drawing using pastels, looking carefully at the shapes and colours of plants and a wasp’s nest. They learnt about the work of two famous artists: Andy Goldsworthy and Pablo Picasso. They made their own Goldsworthy-inspired spirals using natural materials in the woods and creating faces in the style of Picasso using clay. 

Eric Carle’s classic book The Very Hungry Caterpillar continues to be a much-loved story amongst young children! The children enjoyed predicting how the caterpillar would change in the story and joining in the repeated refrain: ‘but he was still hungry’. This story also had a central role in a wonderful Class Assembly by Squirrels Class on 23rd May, along with brilliant minibeast pictures and facts and a song about a wiggly worm! Squirrels Class performed for the whole school and their families with lots of enthusiasm and confidence. 

The children learnt the life cycle of a butterfly and could independently draw each stage and add labels. They intently watched our own caterpillars grow and change in each of the Reception classrooms, before releasing the butterflies at the end of the half-term. 

We enhanced our learning about the natural world through our weekly Woodland Learning sessions, including a minibeast hunt. Through the story of Bog Baby by Jeanne Willis and Gwen Millward, children were introduced to the concept of a ‘habitat’ and why living things need to stay in their habitat. 

On 14th May, our Reception children took part in their very first school trip, travelling to  Godstone Farm by coach. The experiences there included taking on the role of a ‘farmer’ by feeding the pigs and sheep, checking on the cows, and practising ‘mucking out’ (thankfully with clean straw and mud rather than manure!). We also learnt names for different baby animals. A favourite part of the day was the opportunity to meet and stroke a tiny chick and a tortoise. There was also a lot of excitement when exploring all the climbing, balancing and sliding equipment in the huge playground. We finished the day with a viewing of some unexpected creatures on the Dinosaur Roar Trail!

In RE, we investigated the question: What Makes Something Special? The children shared their own special things. They learnt how characters in stories felt about their special things and how it feels to lose something special. They then learnt about how people of different faiths use and look after special objects. Our topic for Jigsaw (PSHE) was Relationships, focusing on how to be a good friend and how to resolve problems. 

In Maths, we focused on building numbers beyond 10, learning the pattern of 10 and one more (11), 10 and two more (12) and so on. We developed the children’s understanding of addition and subtraction. We explored sharing, grouping and making ‘equal’ groups. We revisited the concepts of doubling and odd and even numbers. We also furthered our work on Shape, by manipulating shapes, selecting shapes for a purpose and finding shapes within shapes. 

The children continued to make fantastic progress with their phonics, learning many ‘special friends’ (2-letter sounds) and beginning to read short sentences. They applied their phonic knowledge to support their independent writing. They practised letter formation and finger spaces and learnt to use a full stop. 

We joined our school community in a special dance performance to begin the May Fair on 18th May. The children worked hard to learn their dance routines and performed brilliantly in front of a huge audience. The dance performance and the May Fair, organised by our brilliant PTA, were a great success despite the gloomy weather forecast! Phew, what a busy half-term, with so many new experiences!

Summer 1 Learning Overview 

Spring 2 Highlights 

This half-term’s learning began with the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. This made a fitting link between Traditional Tales in Spring 1 and looking at castles in Spring 2. The children enjoyed acting out the story in our castle-themed role-play areas and imagining what they might find at the top of their own beanstalk.  At the end of term, children explored the classic story We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. They chanted the repeated refrains and re-enacted the story in woodland learning.

Through stories and non-fiction books, the children learnt about castles and how people lived ‘long ago’, before going back millions of years ago to the time of dinosaurs! It inspired some fantastic artwork, including pastel drawings for a Dinosaur Portrait Gallery. A memorable woodland learning session involved being palaeontologists, following a map and hunting for dinosaur footprints, dinosaur bones and dinosaur eggs. 

We reflected on why we should say thank you to our Mums and why we love them. The children created special Mother’s Day cards in class and made some gifts at the Mother’s Day Market organised by our fantastic PTA. 

We celebrated reading for pleasure in the week of World Book Day (7th March). The children were captivated by a Reading Adventure Workshop provided by Subject Revolution and took on a special Escape Room style mission to stop the ‘castle’ from being pestered by a troublesome baby dragon who just loves to read. The children worked together in small teams and used their phonic knowledge and decoding skills to work out a spell to save our books from the dragon!  The children also had the opportunity during this week to dress up as one of their favourite book characters and to share their favourite books. Another highlight was a special reading session, with our Year 2 children reading to our Reception children, proudly showing off their reading skills and inspiring the younger children. 

In Maths, children have used a range of resources and their fingers to help them to understand the representation and composition of numbers 9 and 10. They also enjoyed exploring 3D shapes and complex patterns

In PE, children continued to demonstrate our Sporting Values and develop their physical skills. They made curled shapes and stretched shapes in Dance and used skipping ropes, bats and balls in Games. 

In the ‘Healthy Me’ topic in our Jigsaw PSHE programme, the children learnt ways to keep healthy and safe. This was supported by a visit from Fetcham Orthodontic Clinic, who explained how to keep your teeth healthy. 

Our focus for RE was ‘special stories’.  The children reflected on the stories and books that are special to them. They learnt how some stories and holy books, such as The Bible, are special to people of different faiths. This included learning about the Easter story and why this is important to Christians. 

Our term ended on a high, with the children showing their growing confidence with some wonderful singing during our Easter Assembly performances. They performed three songs with the whole school and one as a year group, which was all about the ‘New Life’ that we see everywhere in Spring time. 

Spring 2 Learning Overview

Spring 1 Highlights 

 

Our focus for this half-term was ‘Traditional Tales and Classic Stories’. The children have enjoyed retelling the familiar stories in our role play and small world areas. They have enthusiastically acted as the different characters, often using repeated refrains such as ‘What big teeth you have… All the better to eat you with!’ and ‘I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!’  We have used the traditional tales for learning across the early years curriculum; for instance, constructing bridges for The Three Billy Goats Gruff and using Little Red Riding Hood’s journey through the woods to Grandma’s house for some map work.  

The Girl, the Bear and the Magic Shoes by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks  inspired some excellent Art and Design learning. Each child designed their own ‘magic shoe’, which they then made using materials from our Self Select Art area. We were so impressed with the children’s choices of colours, shapes and textures. 

Our learning in Maths included a variety of practical activities focused on Shape, Space and Measure. The children experimented with different objects in balance scales, finding out what was lighter, heavier or the same mass. They explored and compared capacity using different containers in the water tray. They built towers, drew around each other and created a class height chart to investigate height and length. They began to use key Maths vocabulary such as shorter and longer. 

The children were very excited by our ‘ice’ experiment to explore melting and freezing. We had some plastic teddies and Lego figures ‘trapped’ in ice blocks. The children investigated how we could melt the ice quickly to release them! They suggested different ways, such as putting them in hot or cold water and using sugar or salt. They then observed and discussed the results like real scientists! 

We enriched our RE learning about Special Places through a visit to St Mary’s Church in the village.The children were very excited to do a ‘treasure hunt’ to spot special features and artefacts in the Church, such as stained glass windows. They worked in pairs and carefully ticked each item off on a special  photo sheet that Hannah Hossain, Children and Families Worker at St Mary’s, had made for them. They then listened carefully as Hannah pointed out each feature and explained why it was important and special to Christians. We were very proud of the children’s behaviour on the visit, which reflects their growing maturity now they are halfway through their first year in school!

Spring 1 Learning Overview

Autumn 2 Highlights 

Our focus for this half-term was ‘People Who Help Us’, learning about how different people in our community keep us healthy, happy and safe. The children were captivated by a visit from the firefighters at Leatherhead Fire Station, including an opportunity to explore the fire engine and use the hose. We had very engaging talks from Reception parents who work in healthcare: Mrs Knight, a nurse, and Mr Vaughan, an Orthodontist. As well as explaining how they keep people healthy, they left us with bandages, gloves and masks to use in our role play area outside, which became a busy drop-in surgery! Finally, three Reception parents who are Police Officers (Steve Douglas and Claire and Pete Jones) provided an amazing learning experience, aided by Surrey Police who allowed the children to investigate their Police Van. The children loved seeing the protective equipment that Police Officers wear and tested it out by throwing tennis balls at a (willing) Police Officer! In the classroom, they tried on police hats and watched their teachers get placed in handcuffs (and freed!). There were also three extra-special visitors: Coco, Ned and Trigger, Police Dogs at different stages of training. Coco hunted out hidden money, Ned barked on command and Trigger stopped a running ‘suspect’! We ended our topic with a ‘Wow Day’, involving the children coming to school dressed for a job they would like to do in the future. 

This half-term, we also learnt about different celebrations, including Bonfire Night, Diwali, Remembrance Day and Christmas. We explored the ideas through role play, artwork and stories. In one Woodland Learning session, for example, the children gathered sticks to build an (unlit) bonfire. We then sang a song around the bonfire to the tune of London’s burning: ‘build a bonfire...big and round…watch the embers glow…warm your hands…’.

Our Autumn term finished with preparations for our Christmas Show, at which our Reception children performed a special collection of songs. Every child got up on the stage happily and performed with a smile! We thought this was a wonderful achievement and a lovely milestone with which to finish their first term in school.

Autumn 2 Learning Overview

Autumn 1 Highlights

 

It has been wonderful to see our lovely Reception children settling into school life. We are so proud of them and impressed by the way they are following our School Values and classroom routines already. This half-term, they spent lots of time exploring the whole school inside and outside. Our staff especially loved seeing the children’s delight as they discovered all the places outside where they can play and learn! 

We enjoyed our Nursery Rhymes theme, singing and dancing to rhymes including Humpty Dumpty, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Hickory Dickory Dock. The children have started to tune into rhyming words and new sound patterns. They have also warmly welcomed ‘Fred Frog’ in our Phonics lessons, and they have been fantastic at blending ‘Fred Talk’ to make wordsWe have been very busy in Maths too; counting, sorting, matching objects and comparing sets. We also introduced PE lessons (Games and Dance this half-term) and Woodland Learning. In the woods, the children’s favourite activities included hunting for spiders (to learn about habitats) and using the Self Select Trolley for their independent learning.

And finally, our highlight of the half-term was the children’s brilliant performance at our Harvest Assembly. They were amazing! They sang Big Red Combine Harvester with confidence and gusto!

Autumn 1's Learning Overview