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Welcome to Early Years!

Friday 5th July

What an exciting week! the EYFS children spent a morning in their year One classrooms and came back full of smiles and confidence. On Wednesday they got to watch the Year Six performance of Sondheim's Into The Woods. The children were a super audience and loved all the songs and funny parts.  We were all singing the songs for the rest of the day.

On Friday EYFS had their first ever school trip! The enthusiasm was so great, that not even a rainy day could dampen the smiles, as we set off for Abberton nature reserve. The children loved getting on a coach and sitting with their friends. Once we arrived, we were greeted by Charlotte and Peter, who soon got the children busy in their activities. The children got to use their observation skills to find pipe cleaner 'caterpillars' and then counted and sorted them into colours. This then provoked lots of conversations about the colours of the real bugs that they later found. Bug hunting was followed by pond dipping, when the children found an extremely rare newt!

In between activities, the children enjoyed playing in  the park and loved the zip wire!

We returned to school with some very tired, but happy children! They were a credit to the school and showed lots of super listening and respect for other visitors at Abberton. 

Friday 21st June

Over the past few weeks, EYFS have been practising hard for Sports Day. The day arrived this week and was a joyful, sunny day!  EYFS loved joining their house mates in Years 1 and 2 and trying their very best to win points for the team. We were delighted to see so much sportsmanship from our young children and to have so much parental support. After the event, the children joined their families for a picnic in the leavy school grounds. 

Friday 14th June

The ducklings remained with us for another week and the children have had so much fun watching them grow! They were especially excited to watch the ducklings splashing in water and then running around in their cage outside. We have been so impressed with how gentle the children have been when handling the ducklings and how patient they have been in waiting their turn. The children have demonstrated an appreciation that the ducklings also need some quiet time! The ducklings have had many visits from staff and children in other year groups. At the end of the week,  we have had to say goodbye to the ducklings, as they begin their life at Yarra Farm, here in Stanway.

EYFS have also been enjoying getting outside as much as they can and have been very busy with building, dressing up and making patterns and potions!

Friday 7th June

EYFS were so excited to have some new visitors this week! On Monday the children arrived at school to find an incubator containing 5 eggs! There was much discussion about what might happen and what kind of creatures might emerge. Over the week the children watched as 5 ducklings slowly hatched out. The ducklings were moved into a spacious cage with a warm lamp to help their wings dry out. The children have been thrilled to seee how quickly the ducklings have developed, how noisy they have become and how much they enjoy a good splash in water! All the children have been so gentle and careful when holding the ducklings.

On Friday the whole school held our sponsored walk. EYFS walked or ran around the field several times with tremendous enthusiasm. They were rewarded at the end with an ice lolly!


Friday 24th May

EYFS have enjoyed quite a nature-focussed week. For the past few weeks,each class has been carefully looking after some caterpillars. The children watched eagerly as they gradually becane butterflies! This week it was time to release them. The children took them over to our forest area and carefully took them out of the net. The butterflies were sent on their way with fond farewells. 

Lots of children were inspired to create some butterfly art and to hunt for bugs in the outside area. The children have learnt to be very careful when handling small creatures and to care for all living things.

The children were also excited to go on the playground equipment for the first time. Year 6 children kindly took EYFS to show them how to use it safely and to tell them rules. 

Friday 10th May

We had another visit to EYFS this week! The children were so excited when a police officer arrived and brought his car onto the school field!  He brought lots of items of uniform for the children to try on and even invited them to sit in the drving seat of the car! The children got a chance to flash the lights and souns the siren. There were lots of interesting questions and we were so proud of how well behaved all the children were.

The sunny weather has seen lots of new ideas for play in the outside area. Dens have been built and the children use their developing writing skills to add to their play with signs and price lists for make believe 'drive-throughs'! 

The children have been paying great attention to the bulbs and seeds that we planted a few weeks ago and look after them by enthusiastically watering them!

Friday 3rd May

This week the children have been busy learning our Talk for Writing text of The Owl Babies. They have enjoyed acting out the story and making some cute fluffy owl pictures. In maths we explored 2D shapes and invesitgated what happens when we rotate them. The children showed their understanding by using mathematical language and making pictures with shapes. 

The children enjoyed using google earth to look at Kapiti Plain in Kenya and made some thoughtful and observant comments, comparing it to Stanway. They noticed lots of  differences in the geography of the places. Some of the children were inspired to make their own maps! We had some wonderful creations of Stanway, Jurassic World and the Earth!

EYFS had more visitors this week. They were fascinated to find out what a dentist does and listened so well when a local dentist popped in. She told them all about how she became a dentist, the best parts of her job and how to look after our teeth. The children had fun pracitsing their brushing techniques on some giant teeth and handling some of the dentist's tools. 

We also had a visit from some very special guests - some EYFS parents! They came to join the children in learning about road safety and we were very impressed by the children's exisitng knowledge.

Friday 26th April

There was so much to celebrate in EYFS and throughout the school this week! On Monday EYFs children had a surprise visit from some real Owls! We learnt lots of facts about owls and asked lots of questions. The children sat so well, that the the owls were happy to swoop over their heads! The owl visit caused lots of excitement for our new talk for Writing text; Owl Babies.

The children are feeling very grown up as we begin some gentle transition activities ahead of entering Year One in September. EYFS have been excited to join KS1 on the main playground for a morning break. They have loved wearing their hi-vi jackets and practising lining up. The children are also now attending some assemblies. This week EYFS joined the whole school for a special Agents of Change assembly. We celebrated those children who have earned a badge. 

On Friday there was a Mini marathon when every child earned a stamp in their Agents of Change passport for 'working together'. The EYFS children paired up with their year 4 Reading Buddies and did some laps of the school field. We were so impressed with how they kept going and encouraged each other. The children loved receiving their very own medal afterwards, just like runners in the London Marathon!


Friday 19th April

The EYFS children returned from their Easter Break refreshed and full of beans for another exciting term of learning. We are looking forward to the finer weather to fully enjoy our wonderful school grounds. When the sun shone this week the children were particularly interested in exploring the water wall. They worked together to clear it out and to check the pipes were clean. Then they worked collaboratively to create a 'flood' and created a dam to stop the flow of water, in imaginative ways.

This week we looked at lots of instructions. The children remembered that they had used some previously in the form of recipes. As the children were keen to plant some seeds, we decided to write some instructions together. We also followed instructions to make our own play dough!

There was lots of excitement as the two giant African snails had outgrown their tank and needed to have a new one. The children asked lots of interesting questions and handled the snails very gently, remembering to wash their hands afterwards. 

Friday 28th March

EYFS was full of Easter excitement this week! There were lots of 'bunnies' hopping around as the children designed and made their own bunny ears, some complete with earrings! The children listened very carefully to the Easter story and made some thoughtful comments and asked complex questions. They enjoyed some Easter crafts and worked together to decorate giant Easter eggs.To celebrate this special time, all the children made a chocolate Easter nest to take home. They worked in cooking teams and shared all the jobs. 

Friday 22nd March

There has been lots of outside 'busyness' this week and the children have enjoyed days that were warm enough not to need  coats! The children bring their imagination to the outdoors and work collaboratively at a range of self-chosen projects. This week the climbing frame became a den where the children had fun chatting and planning their play. The mud kitchen is always popular and lots of construction work was underway too. The children's own ideas for play prompt lots of chatter, questions and laughter!

This week the children enjoyed learning about the Hindu festival of Holi. They loved hearing that is is known as the Festival of Colour and how it is celebrated by throwing coloured paint! We had our own celebration by throwing lots of coloured water balloons. The adults enjoyed it just as much as the children! EYFS also explored colour by painting with chalk and water on the ground. Once all the balloons had burst, the children took care of their environment and stengthened their handwriting muscles by using the litter pickers to collect all the bits. 



Friday 15th March

This week the whole school was thinking about the important role young carers play in their families. EYFS joined in with the rest of the school to wear funky socks to show they were thinking about young carers. They also enjoyed some activities which reminded the children to feel proud of themselves.

In Maths we have been thinking about the properties of 3D shapes and spotting the shapes used in some famous buildings and those around us locally. This focus led to some collaborative building using 3D shapes, building blocks and junk modelling. The children carefully considered the shapes available and how they would best fit together. We have also been learning about Ramadan and one child decided to make a mosque. It is wonderful to see the children make so many cross-curricular links in their learning.

In Talk for Writing the children have been making up some great stories, using some sotry bags and the narrative structure from our learning. They enjoys using small world figures and objects to develop the story and use their imagination.

We are very lucky at Stanway Fiveways to have lots of green space and even an extensive forest area. This week the children spent some time appreciating the beautiful world around us and the many different types of environment. In each class the children are keen to recycle used pens and glue sticks and always like to pick up any litter which may have drifted into the forest area. After thinking about the beauty around us, the children were inspired to create some thoughtful posters showing others how to look after our beaches.

As the sun has come out the children got busy with trowels and fork planting bulbs in our pots. We look forward to watching how they grow and develop.


Friday 8th March

EYFS were very excited to join in with the whole school in celebrating World Book Day this week. It was fantastic to see all the children in their costumes and there were some wonderfully creative homemade ones. The children loved being called their characters' names all day and were keen to share their favourite books with each other. Alongside our planned activities, there was a surprise visit from Woody the cowboy! The EYFS staff were replaced with Gangster Granny, Hermione Grainger, the Queen of Hearts, Mr Bump, a butterfly and a ladybird! All the children had donated books from home for our Great Book Swop and had lots of fun choosing a new book to take home with them. Mr Squirrell came to each class to share some of his favourite stories. It was wonderful to see the children's play being inspired by their costumes all day.

Friday 1st March

EYFS have returned to school refreshed from their half term break and full of enthusiasm for more learning! This week we have been discussing the changing seasons and noticing signs of Spring arriving. The children have been interested in learning about St. David's Day and discovering how it is celebrated. They learnt that the daffodil is often worn at this time and so we decided to do some observational paintings of daffodils The children looked at the flowers very closely and noticed the different shades of yellow and green. Then we investigated making daffodils in a different medium, practising cutting and gluing skills. 

We set up a science investigation to discover what would happen if we placed daffodils and chrysanthemums in coloured water. EYFS love being scientists and are always confident to share their predictions of what will happen. We were proud to hear so much scientific language being used. The children were thrilled to come to school the next day and discover that the flowers were changing colour! 

Friday 16th February

There were more celebrations this week to round off a busy term! The children have continued to learn about Chinese New Year and were fascinated by the traditional story of the animals' race to have a year named after them. Shrove Tuesday saw the children practising their phyiscal fine motor skills as they spread all sorts of delicious toppings on their pancakes. On Valentine's Day the children thought about friends and and the qualities of friendship. Some were inspired to make some cute red bugs to give to their friends. It has been lovely to see some great collaborative play with the new blocks. The children have worked together and shared their ideas for models to make. There have been lots of tall towers and even a Great Wall of China!

Friday 9th February

Kung Hei Fat Choi! We have started learning all about Chinese New Year this week and the children have enjoyed learning how this festival is celebrated. They have watched some dragon dancing and had a go themselves. They were eager to make some lanterns and dress up in the lucky colour of red. We even had some children acting out being in Chinese restaurants as they linked their new learning to their own experiences. The highlight of the week was certainly when we went into our D.T. kitchen to make Chinese noodles! Our children love cooking and were very excited. They worked in teams and made sure everyone had jobs to do. We followed a pictorial recipe which meant the children could follow along as they learnt to grate, chop and tear. Lots of the children tried unfamiliar vegetables for the first time and we had several asking for second helpings! The children even used chop sticks to eat their noodles and after a little practice, started getting the hang of it!

EYFS were also lucky enough to have some new dressing up costumes and a new road crossing set for outdoor play. They have been very popular, with one of our boys commenting, "we're the luckiest children in the world!"

Friday 2nd February

What an exciting start we had to the week! The children arrived to find some enormous footprints in the playground which led right up to the classrrom doors! There were lots of suggestons of who made them and after our polar learning last week, lots of children decided a polar bear had travelled down from the Arctic to see them!  We made a den to make the polar bear feel at home and learnt lots of facts about them. We measured out how big a polar bear is and were amazed by its size. The children were inspired by all this learning to get creative, making collage polar bears and painting them.

In maths the children were learning about the composition of different numbers and showed their understansing with resources and also with their verbal reasoning.

This week we were lucky enough to have an Indian drumming workshop! The children danced and drummed and learnt some new Indian words.

EYFS are really embracing our Agents of Change initiative. They have been trying lots of new challenges such as painting a pebble and leaving it somewhere to brighten up another person's day!

Friday 26th January

The continuing wintery weather has prompted lots of conversations about the cold and the children have noticed lots of signs of winter. We decided to look at some really cold places and think about the similarities between there and Colchester. The children enjoyed finding the poles on a globe and were fascinated to look at some pictures of Ernest Shackleton's South Pole expedition. They particularly loved seeing the photos of the mariners tucking into their Christmas dinner and the penguins huddled together on the frozen wastes.

The photos inspired the children to find out more about penguins and to create their own collage images of penguins.

In maths we have been investigating capacity. The children enjoyed making predictions and filling different sized pots with soil, whilst also building their muscles by using a trowel. The next day they had fun finding out how many things they could fit into a matchbox! Then they used five frames to count how many.

Friday 19th January

This week the children have been enthusiastically learning to retell our Talk for Writing text; The Gingerbread Man. We have been so impressed with how the children remember and use the vocabulary and actions for time connectives which form the building blocks of understanding narrative structure, We have also seen lots of gingerbread men engaged in play throughout the environment and even perched on top of the climbing frame! The experience of baking gingerbread men last week has given an extra dimension to the children's role play and an interest in looking at recipes.

Alongside lots fo den building, we have also started to explore maps and think about our local area. The children were very excited to explore goodf earth and see how we could zoom in from our planet in space, to seeing our sand shed on the map! This prompted some map drawing and the children chattered about places they know and their own routes to school.


Friday 12th January

What a busy start to the new term it has been already! It was wonderful to welcome back the children and hear all about their Christmas celebrations. They have all come back refreshed, full of enthusiasm and raring to go! 

Our new Talk for Writing text is the familiar tale of The Gingerbread Man and the  children have been readily joining in with the refrains in the story. They were very excited to make their own gingerbread men in our D.T. room! The children listened carefully to instructions and worked in teams to share all the jobs. Lots of maths, PSED and science was involved as the children measured out ingredients, made sure that everyone took part and noticed how the ingredients changed as they were mixed and then baked in the oven! The children thoroughly deserved to eat their creations afterwards!

We used the story to think and learn about real foxes and the children made some thoughtful observations after watching some footage of foxes in the wild. They used this close observation to inform their paintings and produced some wonderful, careful work.

In P.E. there was more excitement as EYFS had their first lesson with the P.E. coaches from S.C.S. Once again, they wowed us with their listening skill sas they practised ball skills. moving at different speeds and working with a partner.


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