Brill Church Of England School

With the Wind in our Sails


Teachers' welcome

Hello everyone and welcome to Year R's class page.

I hope you have all had a lovely summer holiday and are looking forward to the start of a new and exciting time in your child's development. Starting at a new school can often be a little daunting - even for us teachers, so I have great empathy for those children (and parents) who are feeling nervous.  

We intend to provide a warm and nurturing environment that is so important to a child's first experience of school and are very much looking forward to getting to know you all. 

I am very lucky to be supported by two very experienced teaching assistants. Mrs Chisholm will be working with me on Monday and Tuesday and Mrs Cawston on Tuesday through to Friday. 

The classroom has been spruced up and tidied over the summer and we are proud to present an enriched and stimulating classroom experience, along with a wonderful and secure outdoor area in which to enhance the children's learning opportunities right across the curriculum.

The children will have many opportunities throughout the week to develop their physical skills but will also take part in a more formal PE session every week. Please bring in PE kits at the start of every term and leave them on your child's peg. We have a timetabled PE day but may also take advantage of other hall slots that become available. We will send kits home at the end of term for washing. 

Year R has a Class Blog that we will update each week so please check in regularly. We will be posting updates of the children's exploits so you get to see exactly what they get up to in school!

We hope to work in partnership with yourselves to develop children that are happy and confident learners. Please do come and chat to me or my team if you have any queries or concerns, or contact me via email if you have limited time.

I am looking forward to an exciting year!

Kind regards. 

Mrs Salt



Year R Blog

Our learning week

admin on: Year R Blog

Hi Everyone.

This week we have been busy developing the role play area. 

The children came up with a few ideas and then voted for the one they liked the best.

A hospital was chosen, so firstly, we had to find out some information to help us know what was needed to transform our empty role play space into a hospital. We read a few non-fiction books and asked our very own experts (Tilly and Arrianna) to share their experiences of their recent visits to hospital.

The children then wrote some lists of the items they would need and we gathered the materials and set to it. 

Needless to say it has been very popular!

We have had a range of medical emergencies ranging from broken fingers to ear aches and a few close calls in the maternity unit where we have welcomed a few babies to the class. Mothers and babies are all doing well!

We have also been finding out about Remembrance day and why people buy and wear poppies. We made our own tissue paper poppies last week and on Monday joined the whole school in a special assembly to respect a two minute silence. 

The children made me very proud and sat beautifully throughout - what superstars.

Elsewhere in the classroom...


And the tidy up award went to... The Sparkly group.

Well done guys!

Happy weekend!

Diwali Celebrations

admin on: Year R Blog

Happy Diwali everyone!

This week we have been finding out about Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. 

We have listened to the story of Rama and Sita (and the evil Demon King Ravana with ten heads and twenty arms) and found out how good triumphs over evil as Rama manages to rescue Sita from the evil villain with the help of the monkey King Hanuman. Diyas lamps were lit to help the couple find their way home and are now lit every year to remember the story. 


Thank you to Arrianna and her family who made this beautiful 3D canvas for all of us in Year R. We are really thrilled with it, it must have taken you ages to make! 

We watched a film clip about a little girl called Jessica and found out how she prepared for and celebrated Diwali with her family. We thought we would have a go at some of their traditions ourselves...

We made Rangoli patterns to welcome visitors on the pathway outside.

We drew around our hands to make mehndi hand patterns...

And we made some Diya lamps of our own, however, instead of using the traditional clay method, we used a material called Modroc. It is a type of plaster bandage that can be easily modelled into the desired shape. We cut up strips, dipped them in water and spread them over some pots to make our lamps. They set very quickly and allowed us to paint them later on in the week. Tilly thought the Modroc was just like the plaster cast she had put on when she broke her leg earlier this term!

Such concentration... and the finished result was well worth it!


We also had time to try out a few indian dance moves in our PE lesson. Such fun! I think we have a few bollywood dancers in our midst!

In other news... a little bit of pumpkin fun.

A busy birthday week too.

Happy birthday to Ethan, Isaac, Lochie and Myles.

And finally this week's Tidy up award winners were...

The Sparkly Group - great job guys!


After all that, I think we deserve a holiday!  


Leaf man

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Our inspiration this week has been a wonderful book about a leaf man. He was blown away by the wind and encountered all sorts wonderful animals and scenery on his travels - all made out of leaves of course! 

We decided to make some of our own leaf men designs and went out for a walk to collect items for our art work. 


And here are a few of the pictures the children made...

A bat by Joshua R...

A bird by Elizabeth

A leaf man in a bath by Isaac B

A leaf monster by Isaac P

A person by Kitty...

A bug by Hope...

We also made some hedgehogs with the chocolate playdough. The children made great use of their counting skills as they counted out 20 matchsticks for each of them - although some couldn't resist adding a few extras afterwards! They decided to name their hedgehogs too and had a great go at sounding out the phonemes they could hear in the words. 

Another treat was instore this week as the children had worked hard to achieve 10 pairs of  pants. We asked them to think of a reward they hadn't had before and they came up with a few ideas that were voted on. 


A food treat won out again, so the children enjoyed their lolly or ice-cream treat on Friday afternoon while they watched a story about Percy the park keeper. 

Tidy Up awards this week went to...

The Flash Princess Batman Cars who battled on despite having a few of the team away - great job. I was blown away by the perseverence you showed and your determination to win!

Apologies to last week's winners - The Star Wars Unicorns, you did a great job and here is your moment of fame!

EYFS info meeting

Thank you to everyone who braved the miserable weather on Tuesday. We hope you had fun playing with the activities and have a better understanding of the learning and development that takes place within our classroom. The children found it very funny that you joined in with a phonics lesson and are keen to teach you this week's new sounds so that you can keep up! As predicted the children were not so careful at keeping the coloured playdough separate and within 10 minutes it looked like this...


and by the end of the day it was one big blob of purply brown dough!

As promised, I have added some documents to the website that you may find useful. The document 'What to expect, when?' is a parent friendly guide to the areas of the curriculum and the 'Early Learning Goals', (ELG's) that children are expected to have reached by the end of the reception year.  

Next week we will be learning about Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. We will be finding out about some of the traditions that take place around this time and trying out a few of them ourselves. 

Happy Weekend!

Snack Times

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 In Year R, we like our snack times to be a social occasion where we all sit together and enjoy our snack while sharing events and our news with one another.

We have begun to notice that more and more children are refusing to try the school fruit or vegetable snack option in favour of the carbohydrate based snacks that are are brought in from home.

In a bid to reduce the amount of waste we are seeing and to encourage the children to chose less processed snack options, we kindly ask that from next week your child only brings in a fruit or vegetable snack as their alternative snack.  

Please note, we have recently been notified of a child with a Kiwi allegy and so ask that Kiwi's are not brought into school. Grapes and cherry tomatoes present a choking hazard for young children and should be sliced in half (lengthwise) to comply with recommendations. 

Many thanks for your support.


How goes the work!

admin on: Year R Blog

This week we have begun the relentless chore of clearing the leaves out of the garden.

The children have been busy helping us sweep them up and while doing so have been exercising their shoulder muscles and developing the gross motor skills that are so important for writing. We took the time to look closely at the leaf shapes and colours and used the charts to check what varieties of leaves we had found. I wasn't expecting to find any Holly leaves but amazingly the children managed to hunt out a tiny bush that was hidden in the undergrowth - what great determination and spotting skills!

We have been playing skittles and counting out how many we can knock down with one throw. We wrote down the scores to see who was the winner.

Madame Tate taught the children how to count up to 10 in French too.

I wonder if they can remember?


We have been reading the story of 'Farmer Duck' and thinking about how Duck was feeling when he was made to do all the work on the farm while the farmer stayed in bed. 

We made stick puppets and used them to re-enact the story. So if you hear a little voice shouting out "how goes the work" , they are not being rude, just remembering the lines from story! 

On Friday, in PE, the children were learning to control their bodies by moving around the hall in different ways. They tried balancing on different body parts and discovered that it was very difficult to hold a balance when their bodies were floppy and wobbly. They then tried tensing and tightening their muscles and found it gave them greater control and were able to hold their bodies still and balance for much longer! 

And finally...

our Tidy-up Award winners this week were...

'The Super Arrows' - fantastic tidying guys!

Next week we will be leaf printing, making Crane flies out of modelling materials and reading about a very helpful hedgehog. 

Happy Weekend!

Mrs Salt, Class Teacher

Mrs Chisholm, Teaching Assistant

Mrs Cawston, Teaching Assistant

Ways you can help support your child’s learning

Nurturing a love of books is such an important skill for your child to learn and will bring them great pleasure for years to come.

Please read to your child as much as possible, sharing a variety of book genres to broaden their understanding of different texts.  

The children will chose a library book to take home each week and later on in the year will also take home a reading scheme book to practise their own reading.    

Please complete any homework activities that are sent home, these will commence a few weeks into the new term. 

Thank you.

 What to expect, when.pdfDownload
 Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage - FINAL.pdfDownload
 Wow moment explanation.docxDownload
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Useful websites



  • Problem solving reasoning and numeracy

  • Some excellent numeracy and literacy resources

  • Literacy and maths games


  • cbeebies stories and rhymes

  • Videos, stories and games including switch access

  • Many stories and rhymes

  • ABC Playschool. Videos and games

  • British Council "Learn English" - Songs and Stories

  • The Little animals' activity centre - stories

  • New and improved! Try creating your own Spot story.

  • Many interactive stories and rhymes with games to develop language and literacy

  • Books for reading together with links to K&U and in particular, natural science



Websites for children

These offer a great number of games, songs, stories, videos etc so it is important to know the sites well in order to support and develop children's learning.

  • Many games, often recognised by children from their homes.

  • Links to particular cbeebies games from areas of learning   

  • Many games and songs including those relating to festivals   

  • Exploring nature - A lot of writing to read but good for shared research and excellent drawings often animated                      

  • Many, many delightful games. Spend time exploring

  • Games of varying quality that can be played supporting areas of learning.

  • The Little animals' activity centre. Plenty of good quality activities to support learning.

  • An American television channel website includes games, music and videos.

  • Good quality games from a range of websites such as BBC Numbertime and Little animal's activity centre, supporting CLL and PSRN as well as other areas of learning.,index

  • Good quality games from a range of websites such as BBC, as well as Birmingham's own, supporting CLL and PSRN as well as other areas of learning.

  • A virtual orchestra

  • Download a 'Music House' for trying out some instruments

  • Particularly good resources to use, especially for special needs

  • Free jigsaws

  • Nursery Rhymes, including sound files for musical accompaniment!

  • Visit the world with Barnaby Bear

  • Try out the Kaleidoscope painter