Year R

Teacher's welcome

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

We are thrilled to welcome you all to Brill school and aim to make your child's first experience at 'big' school a good one. We expect there may be some children who may be a little anxious but hopefully, once they are in class, the excitement of exploring their new environment and meeting up with friends old and new will dissipate any of these worries.   

am very lucky to be supported by two very experienced teaching assistants. Mrs Cawston will be working in Year R on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and Mrs  Chisholm will be working on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. 

We intend to provide a warm and nurturing environment that is so important to a child's experience of school and are very much looking forward to welcoming back some familiar faces as well as getting to know some families that are new to the school.  

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. 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 every Monday 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 catch myself or one of my team at drop off or collection times if you need a quick chat or email me with any longer queries, concerns or updates you wish to let us know about. 

I am looking forward to an exciting year!

Kind regards. 

Mrs Salt



Please take a look at the Year R booklet below for lots of useful information... 

Year R Blog

November 27th

This week, we have been putting our efforts into the upcoming Christmas festivities and looking at some of the traditions we take part in at this time. We have been making calendars ahead of next week's start of Advent and have putting lots of practise with our cutting skills! It was not an easy job and perseverance was the order of the day as cutting out 25 little squares has been no mean feat - great job guys, your efforts will be well worth it next week!

We have been reading lots of Nativity books to give us a good understanding of the story of the first Christmas. All of the books were similar but we noticed how some of them mentioned 'wise men' whilst other books call them 'kings'. Some said Mary and Joseph were sent to Bethlehem to be counted whilst other said to pay taxes. We talked about how the story was first told a very long time ago in the bible and how people have since retold the story in their own words and made small changes. 

We then set the children the challenge of re-telling their own story of the first Christmas and putting on a special performance of the Nativity.

The children have been coming up with lots of lovely ideas about how to make the story special to them and have been making some decisions about which part they wish to play. We have a lot of work to do adapting the script, learning songs, building scenery and making props. The costumes are a work in progress, we are trying to keep them simple and make up as many as possible ourselves but we would gladly welcome the loan of any Nativity costumes you might already have at home.          

This week, work has started on the Muga (Multi Use Games Area) outside of the school. We noticed some strange beeping and engine noises coming from the site so went out to investigate. It was great to discover what was happening, we had a great view from the fence outside of the Year 6 classroom. And of course, on our way back, we couldn't resist an additional playtime on the Adventure play area!   

Elsewhere outside, we have had some new 'Go Go' pedal carts arrive. They are putting our balance and co-ordination skills to the test! The Autumn leaves are keeping us very busy too. The children have been sweeping, raking and moving barrow loads of them away this week - Mr Birt, our caretaker, has been very thankful for all their hard work, although, frustratingly, the next day they all seem to return again! 

Never mind, the children are having great fun whilst practising those essential gross motor skills needed within the writing process.   

In maths this week we have been looking at different ways to represent number. We  can use our fingers, dice, Numicon shapes, a tally or the written word to name but a few. We have been playing games that practise recognising these different numbers.  

We have been practising our phonic sounds too, listening out to the sounds we hear in simple words and then writing them down. The children are learning ways to help themselves as they write and are using phonic mats and the working wall displays to help them remember the way sounds are written.

(We call this GPC - Grapheme/Phoneme Correspondence.) 

We had a great day Friday, looking at everyone's "Mad Hair'. Thank you for all of  your donations to the PTA hamper appeal. We now have a new Friday afternoon hall slot for PE and this week decided to take some calm down time with a Cosmic Yoga session - hopefully the children came home nice and relaxed, or is that just wishful thinking!  

Thank you to our Library monitors and to the Green Squares who did an excellent job and won the tidy up award this week. Sadly two of our Library monitors were off on Friday, don't worry though, your certificates are waiting for you! 

Happy weekend folks! 

November 21st

There has been much excitement this week with the upcoming pop-up Literacy taking centre stage. Our chosen book featuring 'Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam' was the inspiration for our design challenge, as the children put pen to paper in a bid to design a delicious cake worthy of a place in the café of Shifty and Sam. There was much to think about...chocolate or vanilla base, or maybe a crispy cake. Then there were topping to think about.. what colour icing should they choose and would it be smarties, buttons or maybe sprinkles to complete the look. Once the decisions had been made and written up, it was over to the baking. The children had great fun putting everything together and really looked the part in their aprons and chef's hats. 

During her French lesson this week, Madame Tate taught the children how to say some special phrases from the book.

'C'est délicieux' will hopefully describe how the cakes tasted! 

Thank you for coming to the exhibition on Friday, it was lovely to see so many of you there, I know the children were excited to show off their efforts. 

Tasty treats seemed to be the theme of the week as the children voted on their next reward for achieving 10 pairs of pants. Well done Year R - what super team work! 

Doughnuts were duly bought and quickly devoured! 

We read a book called 'The Cookie', to help the children understand about food allergies and learn how to keep themselves and their friends safe. We discussed how children are often told that it is good to share, however, when it comes to sharing food this can cause problems for some children who are allergic to certain ingredients. We learnt we should never share food at school.  

This term's value of 'Diversity' was in our thoughts again as Jenny from the church visited Year R for this week's collective worship and we joined in discussions  and songs to celebrate our differences. 

Ahead of Friday's 'Children in Need' mufti day fundraiser, we read a super book called 'It's a no-money day' about a family who needed to use a food bank. It was lovely to hear the children talk about their experiences and begin to empathise with others who were not as fortunate as themselves. We also watched a video of twin boys who struggle to manage their day to day life because of a condition they were born with. They attend a special respite centre funded by the Children in Need charity and loved the freedom they experienced there. 

Thank you for your generous donations for this worthy charity.  

We continue to be impressed with the super work the librarians carry out all week to ensure our books are kept ordered and tidy. Thank you to this week's stars! 

We have now introduced a new reward for the remaining areas of the classroom too. The children have been grouped into teams and will take on responsibility for tidying one area of the class for the whole week. Each day they will earn points for their efforts and at the end of the every week the team with the most points will get a certificate and a small prize. 

Wow - what a spick and span classroom we are now seeing at the end of each day! 

The scores were very close, but this week's worthy winners were the 'Blue triangles'. Great job guys!    

A final few photos...robot models, phonics, fishing and fairyland food. 

November 14th 

This week in Year R we have been looking more closely at our Literacy Festival book, Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam. We made chefs hats in readiness for next week's design and baking challenge and have been practising some design ideas with the playdough. We took part in another drawing workshop and looked at the colours we needed to paint a likeness of Slippery Sam, then experimented with the watercolour paints to mix the colours we needed. We also started work on a collage of Shifty and Sam, it took a lot of effort to cut up the materials into tiny pieces! 

Please join us if you can on Friday morning to see all of the children's work in the exhibition.      

Our castle role play has again been very popular this week. The children have been thinking about the people that would have lived inside the castle and have been keen to become kings, queens, princesses and princes themselves. The classroom has been peppered with card and paper cuttings as the children made crowns and practised their scissor skills cutting out the designs. We saw some super perseverance as the children fine-tuned their snipping actions to cut around the zig-zag patterns and intricate shapes. The royal families then had great fun directing their servants to wait on their every need. We even crowned a new King - Henry the ninth - he insists he will not be following in his predecessor's footsteps by marrying six wives and will stick to searching for a single partner to be his queen!        

Remembrance Day

We feel it is important for the children to understand the relevance of Remembrance day and to find out what happened in the past and how people fought for their country and made sacrifices to ensure its people were safe from harm. 

We have spoken about the soldiers and service people who are still here to protect us and the importance of talking with one another to solve our problems to ensure we can be peaceful - just as we do in class. We watched a special film clip that simply explains what Remembrance day is about and the traditions we take part in.

Click below to see the clip - it talks specifically about the Scottish Poppy appeal but is perfectly pitched for younger children.   

We also read a beautiful book about two lifelong friends who went to war together.

The children were very intrigued as to why one of the friends was now in a wheelchair and had a leg missing. We had some interesting conversations about how this might have happened and how it might have impacted their lives. This proved a super link to this months value of 'Diversity' and discussions about how people might look different and live lives that are different to us. We talked abut how this is ok and how we should be respectful to everyone.      

Year R then joined the rest of the school for a two minute silence on the playground. We wore our poppies with pride as we listened to the last post. The children stood still and absolutely silent showing great respect for those who have lost their lives or have been injured in battle. We were very proud of them. 

Thank you for all your donations to our school Poppy appeal. 

There was much excitement this week with the delivery of our new Didi cars. For those of you who have not seen them before, the children sit down on low level cars, resting both of their feet on the car at the front. They then move the handles from side to side in a twisting action to propel the car forward. As the children manage these movements, they are building core strength and developing the gross motor muscles in their shoulders which are needed to support their arms and hands within the writing process.

We had great fun racing the cars in teams to search for this week's phonemes. You will see in the photos that many of the children reverted to feet power but these skills take a lot of practise and will be a work in progress over the coming weeks and months. Well done to the blue team who worked well together and showed a great determination to find all the graphemes in record time!  

Here we have a few more photos of this week's activities including puzzles, junk modelling, letter writing practise, junk modelling, outdoor fun and a little peak of our PTA  Christmas card making session.    

Enjoy the rest of the weekend! 

November 7th

The children have settled back into the new term really well and are showing great enthusiasm for their learning. 

It was lovely to hear the children talk about their show and tell items and to hear them recall their half-term exploits. I was super proud of the way they showed such lovely respect to each other by listening carefully as they all took it in turns to talk. Another pair of pants on the washing line was very well earned!         

On Wednesday we welcomed the Author Tracey Corderoy into our classroom (via a live link). Tracey read us her book "Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam" before talking us through step by step instructions on how to draw Slippery Sam, brought to life from the imagination of illustrator Steven Lenton. It was lovely to see and hear her passion for her story shine through. Again, the children showed huge respect for our guest, paying great attention to her every word. At this rate, I don't think it will be too long before the children earn their next treat!

The children have been helping to bring to life the role play castle they voted for before half-term. We read a non-fiction book that explained what a castle might look like and the children have been getting involved in deciding what they need to put in the castle to enhance their experiences. We looked at the clothing they would have worn in the past and found some princess and knight costumes to wear. We also put our junk modelling skills to good use and had a go at making some shields that might protect the knights in battle. The castle will remain a work in progress and we will continue to enhance the area over the next few days and weeks.    

With Bonfire Night looming, we took some time to look at the story of Guy Fawkes and discovered how some of the traditions that we take part in nowadays first came about. We then watched a clip of an amazing firework display that was put together with the rousing music of Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture. 

We discovered that fireworks are very noisy and can be very dangerous if not handled properly. We looked at firework safety and ways to protect ourselves and our pets.   

We also had a go at making some firework pictures with paints, glitter and chalks, took part in some Firework inspired Cosmic Yoga during PE and have been playing a rocket game on the Smart board. 

We have now started to include a more formal phonics session into our daily routine. So far we have introduced the sounds 's a t & p'. More details will follow soon on how you can support your child at home to learn the letter sounds.  

And finally...

Thank you to this week's library helpers - you did a grand job! 

October 16th

This week we continued with activities based upon our Autumn theme.

With our school Harvest Festival looming, we read a non-fiction book to help us understand a little more about the celebration and so we knew what to expect ahead of Wednesday's visit to the church. Then the hard work began...

Our "Farmer, farmer, you've got dirty boots" song went into overdrive as the children began to learn the tune and memorise the words and actions. We found some props to use for the performance and then realised that we had a bit of a problem on our hands - although everyone would sing and join in the actions, there were not enough props for everyone to use! What were we going to do? It was then over to the children for their ideas.

They wanted it to be fair, but how could this be achieved? There was much discussion about taking turns, perhaps using a sand timer but none of these ideas were quite right...finally (after a little discrete shaking of my jar) the children came up with the idea of using my lolly stick names to decide. 

We calculated how many people we needed and one by one, as the names were drawn, each person chose their preferred role. For those who didn't get picked, they remembered our well used phrase, "oh well, never mind, maybe next time," to manage their disappointment - well done guys, this is such an important life lesson to learn. 

After a couple of nights of singing the song in our sleep it was time for the performance and wow, didn't they do well!

We were immensely proud of the children for the super effort they put in.  Standing up in front of the whole school was no mean feat, we feel they really shone! Two pairs of pants were awarded and were very well deserved! 

If you haven't seen the video yet click on the link below.

Still on our Autumnal theme, we have been practising our scissor skills, cutting out leaves for our Autumn tree, counting out objects and looking at produce harvested from Mrs Cawston's allotment. 

We've also been making up lots of repeated patterns! The smart board game was a big hit - here is a link if you would like to play at home.

To mark Mental Health Day, we read the story of 'Ruby's Worry'. The story tells of a little girl who, one day, finds a worry. At first it's not such a big worry, but then it starts to grow. It gets bigger and bigger every day and it makes Ruby sad. We found out how Ruby managed to get rid of her worry and began to feel like herself again.
We then thought about our own worries and how talking to someone about them would help them disappear. We thought about the people we might go to and these included  our family, friends or teachers.      

Here we have a few more photos from our busy week.

We finished the week by thinking about what we might like to change our role play area into. Next week we will be discussing these a little more in depth and voting for our favourite one.  

October 10th

Well, the time is definitely rushing by, I can't quite believe we have only two weeks left until the half term break!

There have been rather a lot of colds spreading through the class so we have been  re-enforcing those important hygiene rules.

Cough into your elbow.

Catch it - blow your nose on a tissue.

Bin it - tissues go straight in the bin.

Kill it - now wash or gel your hands.

We would really welcome donations of tissues as we are getting through our supplies at quite a rate - thank you! 

We have been finding out a little more about this month's value of 'JOY' and shared a super book that tells of a little girl who goes on a search to bring the joy back into her grandmother's life. 

We then took a moment to think about our own lives and what makes us feel joyful. There were some gorgeous responses from the children as they shared their own experiences...

"...when I go into Mummy's and Daddy's bed for a cuddle"

"...when my little sister plays with me"

"...when me and my friends go to play at the park"

"...when we go to Nanny and Grampy's house"

It was so lovely to see the value the children placed on their relationships with friends and family members.  

In our 'Dough Disco' sessions this week we chose some joyful songs and let our fingers boogie along to some happy songs.

The 'Happy song' from Minions was a big hit! 

Elsewhere, we have been looking outside at the changes we have noticed in the garden. We read a non-fiction text about Autumn to provide us with some extra knowledge and have been investigating how the changes of season impact us here in Brill. There were lots of discussions and anecdotes about squirrels, so we looked on the internet to search for more information and photos to help us decide if we had seen red or grey squirrels.

We decided they were probably the grey ones - they are a little larger and much more common than the red ones that are becoming quite rare and endangered.  

We also looked at changes to the weather and decided that up here, at the top of Brill hill, there wasn't enough space on our calendar to add the 'foggy, cloudy, windy and rainy' pictures that we experienced all on one day!

New Wow words

We have been investigating some new words over the last few weeks. We now know that a 'contents page' can be found in a non-fiction book. It will help us find out what information is inside and tell us what number page we can find it on. We also found out that the 'blurb' is found on the back cover of a book and will explain what the book is about. It is a good way to help you decide whether the book might be of interest to you.   

Here are a few more photos to give you a snapshot of our busy week...

We made plates of play food out of dough and then practised cutting up the food with knives and forks. We had a go at holding the food still with our fork and using a sawing action to cut up the food - a good skill to practise at home when you get the opportunity. 

We have been playing counting games and using scoops and tweezers to sort and categorise the chick peas and buttons. We also looked through the food magazines and cut out photos of some delicious treats - yum yum!

Outside we have been practising some football moves, learning to control and stop the ball with our feet. All were determined to get the ball in the net and score a goal - I see some competitive streaks showing through!    

Here are this week's Library helpers, who have managed to keep our library space 'spick and span' - thank you guys!

Next week we will be learning a little more about the celebration of Harvest and will be taking part in our school Harvest Festival in church on Wednesday. 

October 3rd

This week in PE we have learnt another movement and listening game called     'Activity Beans'.

The children practised moving their bodies into different positions, when the instructions were called. They learnt to be...runner beans, frozen beans, jumping beans, chilli beans, baked beans and broad beans to name but a few. Although runner beans appeared to be one of the favourite moves, 'French bean' came a close second and the children giggled their way around the hall with hand on hip and tilting their other hand as they exclaimed 'Oh la la'  in their best French accent - Madame Tate would be very proud!   

We have introduced a new 'Dough Disco' session into our weekly timetable this week. The 'Dough Disco is a fine motor exercise routine that involves manipulating playdough to music. The simple routines help to stretch and strengthen the hand muscles and helps the children as they begin to control small tools and pencils for writing. We then add music for an element of fun!

Through regular practise the brain learns to control the fingers a lot quicker. 

So far we have learnt to squeeze it, ball it and smack it, as well as making a disco dancefloor for our fingers along with various food items favourites including a sausage, pizza and doughnuts! Next week we will be putting these moves to music.   

We welcomed Jenny, from All Saints church in Brill, into our class this week for our collective worship. Jenny shared stories and thoughts on this month's value of Peace and taught us a song with actions - Our God is a great big God. Thank you Jenny, it was lovely to see you in class!    

At the end of every month we choose someone who displays and embodies our value of the month. Congratulations on this month's worthy winner of 'Peace'. They received a special certificate and a little prize from our prize box - Well done you! 

Elsewhere, we have been investigating the power of magnets and experimenting to see what materials were attracted to them. We made some discoveries that only items made of metal were attracted to the metal but then discovered that not all metal items worked! We looked for more information in a non-fiction book about magnets and soon discovered how the metal items needed to contain iron or steel to be magnetic. We searched the classroom and garden for such items. We found some surprises on the way too - our white boards outside look identical but one is magnetic and the other is not!  Wow what a busy day that was, it blew our minds!!  

We noticed a few of the children were interested in making dream catchers and had been using some of the modelling materials to have a go. So we investigated what we might need and brought some additional materials in to enrich their creative process. It was quite fiddly, punching holes, threading the wool, beads and feathers but nobody gave up - we saw some super determination and perseverance - well done guys!     

We have introduced a new job on our rota now too. Each day someone new will be completing the date, season and weather on our chart. We have learnt a 'days of the week' song which involves clicking our fingers, it's very tricky, but everyone was keen to have a go! We suddenly had a lot of interest in rainbows so played some fine motor games matching colours and buttons, then painted our own rainbows and had a go at mixing the paint to make the colours we needed. We then used this knowledge to paint some other pictures of our favourite characters.   

Here are a few more photos from our busy week...

Outside, our mud kitchen was a big hit in its more accessible position. Apologies to the parents of those who went home with filthy clothes but there was some super learning taking place in the process, here is my proof that they were wearing waterproofs!  

Look out for homework folders in bookbags this weekend. We have been practising in class how to get the pencil into the correct writing grip and there are instructions for parents on how to do this. Name cards and pattern sheets are there for the children to practise their pre-writing skills. These will help the children to form some of the regular shapes and patterns found within letter formations. The laminated sheets and marker pens allow the children to obtain a better flow when writing, especially when many find applying pencil pressure more troublesome. The whiteboard rubbers should erase most of the marks from these practise sheets but if you are finding some difficult to remove, nail polish remover usually works wonders! 

Please bring folders in every Thursday. 

Next week we will be investigating Autumn.

September 25th 

Welcome to this week's highlights. 

We started the week off with our first PE session and by discovering that PE actually meant we were going to spend some time working out our bodies and participating in Physical Exercise - but first we had to change into our kits...

We discovered that it can be very tricky managing the dressing and undressing process independently so it did take rather a long time... but we got there.

Buttons were a particular challenge for most of the children, so perhaps a good one to practise at home if you have a spare moment. We found that lots of items were left inside out too and practised ways to get them back to the right way round. Once the weather turns, I'm sure tights will become the next item on our hit list - so your child may prefer to wear socks on Monday, to ease the process.

Once in the hall, we learnt how to find a good space so we wouldn't bump into anyone and then warmed up our bodies, learning different ways to move, before playing the 'Traffic light game',  which also helps us to practise our listening skills!   

This week we have all signed our 'To be Brill' promise and have been showing many  wonderful acts of kindness and respect to others - well-done!

And...after a fabulous team effort...

I can confirm, the children managed to earn the remaining 4 pairs of pants to achieve the coveted '10 pairs of pants' reward - brilliant job Year R! 

We had some lovely ideas for rewards and introduced a tally chart to help us note down everyone's vote. 

Ice-cream won out with 8 votes and although some children were disappointed that their choice hadn't won, began to learn one of those difficult life lessons and to say to  themselves - 'oh well, never mind, maybe next time!'  

Neapolitan ice-cream and chocolate sauce was the order of the day on Friday - this should explain the chocolate moustache that some children left with! 

On the flip side of this...

We have been discussing how it makes us feel when others are not following our rules and talked about what might happen when this occurs.

We know that we have a lot to learn and 'in the moment'  sometimes forget what we are supposed to do, we all make mistakes after all. But, when we choose not to listen to reminders, or deliberately do something to hurt someone, there needs to be a consequence for our actions. When this happens, we issue an 'EEK' card which involves giving the children '5 minutes' away from the situation so they can calm down and think about their actions. We will then discuss with them what they could do next time instead.

Please don't worry too much if this happens to your child, it is part and parcel of the learning process and hopefully won't be a regular occurrence. We aim to work closely with you to resolve patterns of undesired behaviours in school, likewise, we are happy to help if you need any help at home. 

As promised from last week, our Year R self-portraits are complete and ready for viewing. We scribed the children's responses to some simple questions about themselves and their hopes for their future learning - we adore them and hope you will too!   

Thank you to our new librarians who did a great job keeping the books in order this week. Unfortunately, one of them was poorly on Friday, don't worry though, your certificate and prize are waiting for you (and the ice-cream too) - get well soon Santi.  

Here are a few more photos from our busy week.

Next week we will learning some new moves in readiness for a 'Dough Disco'... 

Have a great weekend folks! 

September 19th 

Here we have another busy week in Year R!

We have been continuing to consolidate those important 'To be Brill' rules and trying our best to be kind to each other. We have seen so many examples of children demonstrating their super manners, listening carefully at carpet times and using their words to solve problems - keep up the good work Year R, you are superstars!

You hopefully will have seen your child come home with a variety of stickers emblazoned on their jumpers. Our aim is to catch the children ‘in the moment’ when they are making good choices and reward them with a sticker. We are explicit in naming the action we have seen for example, ‘well done, you used such lovely manners’ or ‘thank you, you waited patiently to speak’. This positive re-enforcement of desired behaviours will often prompt others to follow suit and generally makes our classroom a happy place to be.

Pair of Pants Reward  

Along with individual rewards, we have introduced a whole class reward system based upon the book ‘Aliens love Underpants’. When the whole class work together as a team, they earn a pair of pants. When they get to 10 pairs of pants, they have reached their goal and have earnt a class treat. The class will then discuss their ideas and vote for the one they like the best. The most popular idea will win and a date will be set for this to take place - democracy in action! How soon this will be, will be dependent on how imaginative your children are with their ideas...and it has to be free or inexpensive too! 

The children have been pulling together really well this week and have made it up to 6 pairs of pants so far - amazing! I don't think it will be long before they get to 10! 

In the process they have been learning practical ways to engage in maths and to realise its importance. We have practising to recognise numbers and think about their shapes; whether they have curved or straight lines; whether the numbers have one or two digits; tracking the order in which they go and have been findings ways in which to calculate how many more we need to earn a class treat - who would have thought there was so much to learn within such a simple reward! 

Wow Words

Within our day to day learning and discussions or when reading stories to the children, we often come across a new word that many of them are unfamiliar with. We are never ones to shy away from a good word and, when we do find one, will explore its meaning and in an effort to broaden the children's day to day vocabulary will use these words regularly. So far we are ensuring we are 'hydrated' at snack time and drink lots of water. Our fruit and water monitors have also been making an 'announcement' to the class to ensure no one has missed out at snack time.  

This week at story times we have been discussing the role of an 'author' and 'illustrator' and have been looking at different types of books that are 'fiction' books made up from an author's imagination and 'non-fiction' books that contain information and facts about a subject. 

Many of the children were interested in becoming authors and illustrators themselves and chose to make a book. We scribed their words for them and some even had a go at writing some words themselves - great job! We shared the books with their friends and put our library labels on them once we had decided what type of book they were. Yellow stickers were for fiction books, green for non-fiction. (In our Library we also have red stickers for maths books and blue for audio books - but we have yet to make any of these!) 

We now have some weekly 'Library Monitors' to look after our library space and to ensure the books are kept ordered and tidy so we can easily find the type of book we are looking for. This week's monitors received a certificate and a little prize for all their hard work - thank you guys - what a wonderful effort you put in!

I wonder who will be chosen next week? 

Elsewhere, portraits were painted and the children got to think about what was the same or different about each other and what made them special. Here are a few photos of the process, we will blog some of the completed photos once they ready.

Jeans for Genes Day

Thank you for remembering to wear your jeans and for all your donations for 'Jeans for genes day'. We found out how 'genes' work together to decide how our body will look and what it can do, much like putting pieces of Lego together. We also found out that sometimes when genes are missing or do not go together properly it can make people's lives very difficult to manage. We watched a video about a little boy from Bicester who has a genetic disorder called 'Cockain Syndrome' and how it affected his life. We were pleased that our donations might help make his life a little easier.

We have been playing games and taking part in lots of activities that help exercise our hand muscles. We have put together puzzles, built pictures with the tap tap boards, modelled with the junk, (please keep those supplies coming in) and also had a go at writing signs to keep our models safe. We have keeping busy outside too - whatever the weather! 

Next week we will be getting the children to think about what they can already do and what they would like to get better at and helping them find ways in which this can be achieved. 

See you on Monday!  

September 11th 

The children have done amazingly well this week, managing to keep themselves busy and completing their first whole week in school - although quite a few of them were yawning on the carpet on Friday!

We have been getting to know one another and sharing our 'All about me' books with each other. The children are rightly proud of them and have been keen to show us their photos and chat about their family - they are so lovely, thank you for all the effort that has been put into them.  

This week we have also been thinking about how to make our classroom and school a nice place to be. We have looked at the 'To be Brill' school rules and have made some promises to always try our best to follow them.



We listen to each other and take turns to talk

If everyone talks at the same time, we can't hear one another properly. It is really important to listen carefully so that we learn new things. At carpet times the children put their thumbs up to their chest when they want to answer a question or share their ideas. This way everyone can be heard. 

We look after and share the toys

We often want to play with the same toys and if there are not enough to go around, or they cannot be shared, we have to wait our turn. The children have been learning ways to take turns such as using the sand timers and writing their names down on a list. We like it to be fair and let everyone have a turn.

Walk calmly and quietly around the school 

The children have been making sure they didn't disturb other classes learning by walking silently through the school.

 Polite and respectful 

The children have been using their beautiful manners at snack times and remembering to say please and thank you. 

Use our words to solve problems

When problems occur, the children learnt how to say 'Please stop, I don't like it' and, if that doesn't work, they know to walk away and find an adult to help. 

We are friendly and look after one another

We know that it is important to be kind and have been looking at ways in which we can do so such as letting others join in our games so that everyone feels included or by helping to look after people who are hurt. 


Class Jobs

The children have also been taking responsibility for looking after the classroom by taking turns with daily tasks that need doing. We have a job rota that is updated each day and by the end of term everyone will have had a turn at each of the roles.

The children are learning to check the rota each day when they come in and look out for their special job - it is so lovely to see the children's excitement when their name is up on the chart and the effort they put into carrying out their special role.


The children met Madame Tate this week for their first French lesson. They learnt how to greet one another in French and have been practising these words all week...

Bonjour  Salut

I wonder if they can recall them? 

Here are some photos from our first full week - we were so busy, no wonder we were all so tired!

Next week the school photographers will be in to capture the children looking smart in their new uniforms.

The children will also have a go at drawing and painting their own portraits and we will  be asking them to think about what makes them special. 

Library books will be coming home next week too.

Happy weekend! 

September 4th

Wow - well what a busy couple of days - we are not sure where the time goes!

The children are settling in well and beginning to remember some of the classroom routines. They have been finding out where to put their belongings so they are kept safe and can be found again. They have been exploring the environment, learning to listen out for my instructions and repeating clap-backs and shh-backs when I have important information for them - great job Year R!

It has been good fun being back together with old friends and getting to know some new ones.     

 Next week we will be looking at how to make the classroom a nice place to be and introducing our Brill school rules.

There are so many jobs to do around the classroom too, so we will be sharing out the responsibility and asking everyone to take turns to help out with some special tasks. 

  We hope you have a restful weekend and are making the most of the lovely sunshine.

Happy weekend! 

Welcome to the Year R Classroom 

Come and take a look...

05/07 -  09/07 2021

This week...

The children have been asking all week if they could name our chick, so Mrs salt set them a task of going around and asking each other what names they would like. The children used a tally to find out the most popular name in the class. Unfortunately the children had decided they didn't want to use any of those names and came up with some unique names for our chick.

We held a vote and the chick is called (drum roll please)...Ruby!!

The children have also been asking to hold Ruby, so we asked the children to get into a circle and we let Ruby roam around and say hello to all the children. We think Ruby enjoyed this just as much as the children did.

The children also went to forest school with Mrs Keeping! We enjoyed hot chocolate and biscuits!

The children explored forest school looking for bugs, making insects out of the nature around them and they also visited the quiet garden and looked at all the beautiful wildflowers.



Star of the week


Tidy up award 

Zachary, Alex and Max

Librarian award

Lily, Iris and Eva

Lunchtime award

Isla C and Toby

Thank you for another brilliant week and have a lovely weekend!

The Year R Team


Science Trip

On Wednesday the children went on a trip to Science Oxford!

They set off at 9am to get on the coach (the children said this was one of their favourite parts of the day!)

Once the children arrived, they were greeted by their leaders, our first session was exploring a room filled with lots of scientific challenges! 

The children explored at their own pace, looking at all the exciting objects for them to look at. The wind tubes, fossil 'guess what' and water diamonds were particularly popular amongst the children and adults!

After a quick snack we visited a new room! In this room the children found 'bee bots', wind-up toys, foam construction, sensory bottles, digital magnify glasses and a bridge challenge. 

After lunch, we went on a woodland walk and thankfully the rain stayed away for the afternoon! The children were given the task to use a tick list to find wildlife and nature, on the list they found spiders, beetles and they even found a newt hiding in the grass! 

What a brilliant day! Thank you for making it so enjoyable!

28/06 - 02/07 2021

This week... 

At the start of the week the children visited forest school on our adventures with Mrs Keeping!

We also enjoyed hot chocolate and biscuits! The children explored forest school looking for bugs, making insects out of the nature around them and they also visited the quiet garden and looked at all the beautiful wildflowers.

In French this week the children have been learning at how to say different names of fruits and vegetables.

The children have been very busy practising for race day this week, we hope you enjoyed watching them as much as they enjoyed taking part! All children got a certificate for taking part in race day! Well done!

We have also had a new arrival this week, one chick hatched from our fertilised eggs. The children haven't named the chick yet but hopefully we will all agree on a name soon!  Unfortunately not all the eggs hatched, we all decided to open the unhatched eggs to see if any had grown, 1 chick had unfortunately died and the other eggs just had yolks. The children were sad but also very intrigued by the chick, they decided we should hold a funeral for the chick next week.



Star of the week


Tidy up award 

Gareth, Dominic and Lily

Librarian award

Samuel, Benjamin and Riley

Lunchtime award

Iris and Daisy

Thank you for another brilliant week and have a lovely weekend!

The Year R Team

14/06 - 19/06 2021

This week... 

In Year R this week the children have been busy bees!

At the start of the week the weather was on our side and the children played outside making creations using the building blocks and playing in the sand pit.

We have also been making grass heads this week, the children loved putting stickers on the pot to make a face for their plants and making each other laugh with their faces. The children spoke about how they can keep their grass heads alive by watering and giving them sunlight. 

The children visited forest this week on our adventures with Mrs Keeping!

We also enjoyed hot chocolate and biscuits! The children explored forest school looking for bugs, they also made birds, eggs and nests using clay and the nature around them.

Unfortunately by the end of the week the weather had changed and the children ended up playing indoors, but the children as always are busy making and creating! The writing table is always popular but this week even more so, the children have been keen to write lots of stories using our tricky words 'once' and 'upon', we hope you enjoy their amazing stories as much as we do!

We are still crossing off our chick countdown chart and counting down the days until the chicks are hatched! The children and staff are very excited to meet them!


Star of the week


Tidy up award 

Holly, Riley and Annabelle

Librarian award

Isla C, Nellie and Eliott

Lunchtime award

Libby and Dominic

Thank you for another brilliant week and have a lovely weekend!

The Year R Team

08/06 - 11/06 2021

Welcome back!

We hope you all had a relaxed half term and enjoyed the beautiful weather. 

Speaking of beautiful weather the children have loved being outside this week!

The children visited forest this week on our adventures with Mrs Keeping! We also enjoyed hot chocolate and biscuits! The children explored forest school looking for bugs and creatures, they also made birds, eggs and nests using clay and the nature around them.

In the garden this week the children have been planting tomato and pepper plants, the children spoke about what the plants need to grow and the best place to put the plants in the garden. As an experiment, some plants were placed in the sunshine and others were placed under the warm shelter. I wonder which plants will grow best?

The children were very excited to see that the role play area has been changed into a hospital, the children have enjoyed wrapping each other up in bandages and making each other feel better. Mrs Salt also had to plaster cast the children's fingers, don't worry they aren't really broken!

On Tuesday, Mrs Salt had a very exciting delivery. EGGS! Mrs Salt told the children that we are going to (hopefully) hatch some chicks! We have been reading lots of information books about chicks. The children were set with a task to make a chick countdown and have to monitor the eggs to see if there is any cracks.


Star of the week

Max S

Tidy up award 

Alessia, Jessie and Harriet

Librarian award

Evie C, Evie R and Connie

Lunchtime award

Carys and Albert

Thank you for a brilliant week! Have a lovely weekend and see you Monday!

The Year R Team

Year R Blog

This week...

admin on: Year R Blog

This week in Year R, the children have earned all 10 pairs of pants!

The children had a think bout what treat they would like to have for earning all 10 pairs of pants, once the children had decided on a few options, they held a vote.

As you can see, adventure playground won the vote!

The children had a lovely time playing on the adventure playground.

The children have also been busy tidying the garden this week, the children are hoping to grow some plants and vegetables.

This week the children have been doing a daily mile each day and recording how far they have ran. 

We also spoke to the children about changing our role play area, the children thought about what they would like and we held a vote! 

As you can see doctors/hospital won the vote! 

On Friday, the children took part in a rainbow run! The children enjoyed this and even got a medal at the end of it!

The children enjoyed the rainbow run so much that they decided to make their own!

Tidy up award goes to...

Librarian award goes to...

Lunchtime award goes to...

Thank you for another brilliant week! 

Have a lovely break.

Year R Team

This week in Year R...

admin on: Year R Blog

We have been very creative this week, from using step by step guides to draw different animals to using our imagination and working in the school office answering calls like Mrs Harding and Mrs Chadbone!


We also have been looking at wildlife this week. Mrs Freeland in Year 3 found a birds nest near after school club and she wanted to show the children. Mrs Salt asked the children about how birds make their nests, this struck up a conversation on how they would make a nest if they were a bird. Mrs Salt found a live video online showing a mother bird in its nest with her baby birds. The children also loved looking up close at the birds nest.

While playing in the garden this week, one of the children found a wasp in the play house. Mrs Cawston investigated and found a small wasps nest growing, so the children decided that it would be a good idea not to go into the play house and used all sorts of equipment from the garden to block the play house so nobody would get stung by the wasps.

One child made a sign saying 'Danger do not enter'.


Mrs Keeping set the Year Rs a task to make their very own pledge hog on how to they can make a difference to keep the world safe. Mrs Salt asked the children what they think a pledge might be, she then explained that a pledge was a promise and gave them a few examples on what the pledges could be. 

This started a conversation on how we can make the world a better place, the children came up with lots of ideas on how to keep the world clean and safe. The children were then asked one by one to come and write their own pledges.


Our tidy award goes to...

Our Librarian award goes to...

Our lunchtime award goes to...

Thank you for another brilliant week and have a lovely weekend!

Year R 

This week in Year R...

admin on: Year R Blog

This week the children have been very creative, using all sorts of different materials and objects to make their creations.


Tap tap was very popular this week and the children have been making amazing creations and telling a story of what they have made.


Even though the weather wasn't on our side for some of this week, the children have been in the garden at any moment they can! The children made a stage to sing and dance to their favourite songs, Mrs Salt made a list for the children to write down their favourite song so everyone had a chance to sing at the top of their lungs to their favourite tune! As you can probably guess Trolls world tour was very popular!

Playing in the basketball hoops has also been very popular outside, the children were challenged to see if they could throw the ball into the middle hoop, this was great fun!

On Wednesday afternoon the children all went swimming! They were brilliant and enjoyed every moment even if it was raining for some of their time in the pool!

The children also have made beautiful bags which the children will be using to bring home any models they have made instead of using plastic bags BUT please note they need to be returned to school the next day and are NOT to keep at home. The children were paired together to decorated a bag, they had to decided together on which stencil and colours they would use on their bag, the children showed brilliant teamwork and created some beautiful rainbow designs together!


Our tidy up award goes to...

Our Librarian award goes to...

Thank you for another brilliant week, have a lovely weekend!

The Year R team

What a week!

admin on: Year R Blog

This week in Year R the children have been very busy!

The children have been very creative this week, writing lots of stories and drawing lovely pictures. 


The children have also been problem solving this week, a ball had been thrown over the fence and the children were asked if they could think of way of getting the ball instead of opening the gate. The children spent a long time trying to think of ways to collect the ball. They tried using hula hoops to knock the ball into the playground but unfortunately it didn't work, then the children tried using a broom to hit the ball back under the gate but fortunately this worked and the children got their ball back!


In French, Madame Tate continued to teach the children the different parts of the body and also taught the children head, shoulders, knees and toes! The children loved learning this song!


We have also been looking at recycling this week and how we can help the planet. The children had a job of sorting out the different materials.



Mrs Salt read the children a book about Sir David Attenborough and how he teaches us about the planet.

The children also looked at how rubbish can pollute our oceans and hurt sea animals.


After hearing about how rubbish can pollute our oceans and hurt animals, we all went and litter picked around our school and the playing field. The children did a fantastic job and collect a lot of rubbish! 



Our tidy up award goes to...

Our brilliant librarians are...

Thank you for another brilliant week! Have a lovely weekend!

The Year R Team

Welcome back!

admin on: Year R Blog

Welcome back Year R, we hope you had a lovely Easter break!

There have been lots of activities going on this week, from making patterns in play-dough to sorting out coloured beans!



There has been lots of outdoor play in the garden, enjoying the wonderful sunshine!


The children used the building blocks to make a stage and have been singing and dancing!


This week we have been looking at 3D shapes:

  • Cylinder
  • Cube
  • Cuboid
  • Sphere
  • Cone

The children used these shapes to make buildings and we even went on a shape hunt to find objects around the classroom.

We also looked at repeated patterns using the different shapes and we also looked at how we can make repeated patterns using our body!


In French this week, the children have been learning about body parts!

Head - La tête

Hair - Les cheveux                                                     

Eyes - L'œil

Nose - Le nez

Mouth - La bouche

Ear - L'oreille

Neck - Le cou

Shoulder - L'épaule

Arm - Le bras

Hand - La main

Leg - La jambe

Foot - Le pied

The tidy up award goes to....

This week we have had some fabulous tidying in Year R, that we had to award 5 children with a tidy up award! Well done!

The Library award goes to...

Thank you for a fab week!

The Year R Team

Easter week!

admin on: Year R Blog

The children have been busy bunnies this week, there has been lots of playing outside in the beautiful sunshine!


The children have loved having water play outside in the garden, they even made cement and to fix the garden.


They made a slide using blocks in the bandstand and there was a hula hoop contest!


We also made easter cards this week for our friends and family, the children also made easter treats using play dough.


The children had the hard task this week, which was to vote for a new role play area! The children gave some fabulous ideas and we used a tally chart as our voting system.

The winner was....a camp site!


The children earned 10 pairs of pants this week and their special treat was an Easter egg hunt! 

This Easter egg hunt was a little bit different to a normal egg hunt, the children were split into teams and they had to work together to find their coloured eggs. The coloured eggs were spread all around, some on back field, some in the Year R playground and some even on the adventure playground. The Easter bunny must of been exhausted after hiding all those eggs!

The children set off to find their coloured eggs and to their surprise in the eggs wasn't chocolate but a sentence which would help them find more coloured eggs.


Once the children had found all their eggs that the easter bunny had left for them, they had to use their clues to make a sentence which would tell them where the Easter eggs were hiding.



They got their treat...a chocolate egg! Well done to everyone!

We hope you have a wonderful Easter! Thank you for our chocolate eggs and we cannot wait to eat them on Sunday.

The Year R team

This week in Year R...

admin on: Year R Blog

In Year R this week the children have loved being outside playing with building blocks. They have made slides, houses, all sorts of wonderful creations! 


The children have loved playing hangman this week, definitely a classroom favourite!


We have continued to look at memory boxes this week and we also had a lovely story read to the class by one of their classmates, it was amazing storytelling!


Writing and colouring had been popular this week, the children have been busy making their own easter creations.


Our Librarian award goes to...

Our Tidy up award goes to...

Thank you for a fabulous week and have a lovely weekend!

The Year R team

A reminder about book bags, please can you make sure your child brings in their book bag everyday as they are bringing home drawings, models, reading books and homework folders.

Thank you!


What a busy week!

admin on: Year R Blog

A reminder about book bags, please can you make sure your child brings in their book bag everyday as they are bringing home drawings, models, reading books and homework.

Thank you!

This week the children have been very busy creating all sorts of creations using mobilo, lego, junk modelling and so much more!

The children have particularly liked making crowns and bracelets this week.

Playing outside has been popular this week, the children have loved being able to play on the back field especially in the mud!



We all enjoyed Red Nose Day and wanted to share this picture with you all! 



The children have all been so brilliant at tidying up this week it was so hard to pick!

The tidying up award goes to...

The Library award goes to...

Thank you for a brilliant week, we hope you have a lovely weekend!

The Year R team

Welcome back Year R!

admin on: Year R Blog

This week the children have been settling back into school life, (which they have done amazingly may we add!). Yes, we may of had to remind them about clap backs/sh backs and our day to day routine but they have been absolute troopers!

We have looked through lots of the children scrapbooks this week and cannot wait to see the rest of the children scrapbooks next week.

We have spent a lot of time outside, playing games together and building in the bandstand. 

The children have also made a surprise for their mummies to open on Sunday, we hope you like them! :)

Pair of pants news!

This week the children have already earned 4, yes 4, pairs of pants! Well done Year R, keep up the good work!

The library helper award goes to...

The tidy up award goes to...

Thank you for a brilliant first week back and have a lovely weekend!

The Year R team

A reminder about book bags, please can you make sure your child brings in their book bag everyday as they are bringing home drawings, models, reading books and homework.

Thank you!

Christmas party week!

admin on: Year R Blog

This week the children have had an exciting week!

On Tuesday, Father Christmas came to visit (socially distanced - of course!) and left the children a bag full of presents!

Father Christmas also wrote Year R a letter;

On Wednesday, Year R threw the most AMAZING Christmas party! Party food, music, games and prizes to be won! What more could you want!

On Thursday, we went on a walk around the village to hand deliver Christmas cards and decorations the children had made to 'the awesome lovely villagers' and to sing them some Christmas songs! 


Tidy up award goes to...

Library award goes to...

Thank you for all our presents that you have kindly gifted to us. 

We hope you have a well deserved break and a lovely Christmas holidays!

Merry Christmas!

Love Year R!

PS. Here is a link to our nativity just in case you missed it, Enjoy! 

The Year R Team

Mrs Salt

Class Teacher

Mrs Cawston

Teaching Assistant

Mrs Chisholm

Teaching Assistant

Miss Worthington

Teaching Assistant

 Supporting your child's learning at home

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.


Click on the video below to hear the correct pronunciation of the Phase 2 letter sounds we are learning this term.  

Reading Guidance 

Bug Club Reading Scheme Information

Information for parents on the new Baseline assessments for children of Reception age. 

        A guide for parents on the new                           EYFS curriculum,                   what to expect and when. 

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