Class 1 at Sunnybrow Primary School
Welcome to Sunnybrow Primary School’s Early Years Unit!
We are a small Early Years provision, made up of Nursery and Reception children. Our class teachers are Mrs Sim and we are supported by Mrs Austin, Mrs Featherstone and Mrs Black.
In Nursery and Reception, we have fun exploring, investigating and learning new skills through a variety of play-based activities. Our broad and balanced curriculum provides opportunities for first hand experiences which enthuse, excite and inspire all children in all areas of learning. While we do follow topics, activities are carefully planned in response to the children’s own interests as we believe that this is the most effective way to stimulate and support children’s own natural curiosity whilst developing key skills and knowledge. Our outdoor space is open daily as free-flow learning, with a different set of experiences provided to the indoor classroom to ensure that we are developing the whole-child, evoking the senses and appealing to all learning styles through the natural environment.
For a more detailed account of our EYFS curriculum and teaching and learning approaches, please read the Early Years Intent, Implementation and Impact document below.
From September 2021, we will be changing our approach to assessment in the Early Years. Every child will have ‘spotlight’ observations carried out by their key person. These are detailed observations of the children carried out over the period of a week. The first of these will take place within 6 weeks of them starting the setting and will be our ‘baseline assessment’ and provide the starting points for our discussions and planning. There will then be follow up observations which will take place as they approach developmental milestones (for example, their 3rd birthday) and staff will be assessing if pupils are meeting their developmental milestones or not. Next steps will then be planned in conjunction with parents. These spotlight observations will be record as a mini-report and kept in each child’s personal file. Wow moments and other exciting learning experiences will be shared via photographs and annotations on each child’s online Class Dojo portfolio. As soon as your child starts the setting, you will be provided with login details and a guide for how to download and access the Class Dojo app.
Parents can also add photographs and comments about all the fun things you get up to at home too. It is always really great to read contributions from home and the children love sharing photographs from home with their friends. If you would like staff to chat with you about how to upload to Class Dojo, please feel free to ask at any time. Also, please shout up if you have mislaid your password – they are very easily reset!
Learning in the Early Years Unit takes place both indoors and outside. We run Forest School sessions once a week on a Monday too. Whilst we have lots of spare clothes it is helpful if your child comes to school appropriately dressed for the weather – raincoats, wellies, sunhats and sun cream might all be necessary throughout the year.
Reception Class have P.E. with our P.E. specialist on a Monday and with Mrs Sim and Mr Hull on a Friday. Nursery children begin to join in these sessions in the Summer term before they start Reception. School provide a P.E. kit for all children, all you need to provide are trainers or plimsolls. These may stay in school but please put your child’s name in them.
Reading is at the very heart of everything we do in the Early Years Unit. Staff in the Early Years Unit all share a passion for children’s literature and pride themselves on their ability to bring a book to life! Every child in Nursery and Reception shares a range of high quality picture books through several planned story sessions each day. Our staff are also always available to share books with individual children-we never say no to a story! Children are also introduced to a wide variety of Nursery rhymes, poems and songs. Please support your child by continuing to share books with them – nothing beats a bedtime story!
Children in Nursery are working to develop their phonological awareness and oral blending and segmenting skills. If appropriate, the children will start to become familiar with some grapheme-phoneme correspondences through a playful and multisensory approach using songs, actions and stories whilst they continue to learn to sequence, blend and segment sounds orally.
Children in Reception continue to develop their phonological understanding through daily discrete Phonics sessions. At Sunnybrow Primary we use the DfE Letters and Sounds document to plan comprehensive daily phonics sessions. The children all read at least twice a week with a member of school staff. We ask children to read their home reading books at least twice to help build up their fluency and blending skills.
Although Nursery children don’t have formal reading books, reading is also central to the Nursery day.
- Class-1-Spring newsletter-2021
- Class-1-Autumn newsletter-2020
- Class-1-Autumn newsletter-2019
- Class-1-Summer newsletter-2019
- Class 1 – Autumn Newsletter 2018
Activities, Visits and Trips 2019-21
We have explored the art work of Eric Carle this week. He created his art work using collage. He painted the paper first to create texture for the Animals in his stories. We made our own Gruffalo collages by painting the textures for his hairy body first and then cutting out the shapes ourselves.
Today. Class 1 received a letter from Spider Man. He told us that he wants to help us find the Gruffalo and the missing owls. However, he had lost all of his webs and needed us to make him some new ones. The children used sticks and wool to make new webs and hung them around Forest School
Every Friday throughout October, we are going to be learning about diversity as part of Black History Month. Here is our activity from this afternoon.
Today, we have learnt about the importance of self-care. This means looking after your body and mind. We went outside to play some fun games with our friends so we could do half an hour of physical exercise.
Reception have had a lovely day out in the woodland at Hardwick Park and we even found the Gruffalo!
We are exploring textures this week. We shared the story ‘The Gruffalo’ and talked about how we imagined his tusks, claws and prickles might feel. We looked around school for objects that we could use to make a collage of the Gruffalo using different textures. Dominic had the great idea of using banana for the horns and tusks because they are smooth and pointy. Can you find any objects in your home that are smooth, soft, rough, pointy, sharp and prickly? We would love to see your photos on your portfolio.
This morning in PE we used our bodies in different ways around the room to collect the treasure.
Guess what! Bill the Owl and his family have left us a note. They saw our lost posters and wrote to tell us that they have left their nest in our field because they are scared. they saw a terrifying creature! They sent us a photo of the creature and Dominic told us it is a Gruffalo. Henry has even seen one in his garden and told us it is really mean and angry! We investigated the photograph to find out what we could learn about this creature and now we are off on a hunt to find him!
This afternoon we had some unexpected visitors in school. We were very lucky to be able to ask lots of questions about Ora and Loki the barn owls. We even got to stroke Ora. Ask us what we have learnt about the owls.
Happy Harvest! Over the last few weeks, we have been learning all about Harvest. Today, we held our Harvest festival celebration. Each class made something: Class 1 made apple crumble, Class 2 soup, Class 3 scones and Class 4 made bread. We gathered together with Class 2 to learn all about Fair Trade and then we tasted some of the lovely food and gave thanks for all the healthy crops across the world. What a lovely afternoon!
In Forest School we found lots of different leaves and used colour charts to match them to the correct shades. We discussed how the woodland is changing and what happens to the leaves on deciduous trees. We then used leaves to camouflage ourselves.
We can’t do our usual P.E. Lesson this morning because Class 3 are using the hall while their roof is done. So, Mr Hull set us up a fun obstacle course to practice our balancing skills!
Our focus text for the start of this half-term is ‘Owl Babies’ by Martin Waddell. This week, we have been learning to retell a simple story. Our challenge was to order the events of the story in the right order and include some of the new words we met in the story such as ‘hunting’, ‘branch’ and ‘trunk’. Here is a photo of the events from the story in the right order-can you tell your Mums, Dads, Nanas and Grandads the story?
In Forest School today we wanted to think about what other animals and creatures we might find in the woodland. We discussed what animals we already knew lived in the woodland, we couldn’t think of very many so we used information books and some footprints that had been left, as clues to help us identify more woodland animals. The children came up with lots of great answers. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any animals today, apart from birds.
This morning we learnt about the Paralympics, we talked about what disability means and some forms of disability. We looked at some of the sports in the Paralympics, then we coloured in pictures and designed medals for winners of some of those sports. Some children had a try on some crutches to get and idea of what it is like for some disabled people who need help with their walking.
Yesterday, we went up to Forest school to check if we had a response to our message from the animal that built the nest in our oak tree. We got a letter! It was from a baby owl called Bill. We were so excited that we looked at owls in an information book and learnt that they have a beak, wings, talons and beady eyes! Then, we made some collages of owls using natural materials. Some of our Nursery pupils learnt how to tear tissue paper to add to their collage.
Apologies parents we are very muddy but we have had so much fun on the field today. We decided to write messages to the animal that lives in the nest in our tree to find out who they are. We used our muddy puddle to help us write lots of secret symbols. At the minute, it is too hot to wear a waterproof coat on for Forest school and we have got really muddy. If you would like your child to get changed for Forest school, please bring in an old t-shirt and we will keep it in school until the weather changes and we can go back to full waterproofs.
This afternoon we went to Forest School. Whilst exploring we came across a nest, and in the nest there was some feathers, the children think the nest might belong to a bird, maybe a robin, blackbird or an owl.
This morning we learned about harvest and that farmers pick and collect food at harvest. This afternoon in Forest School we picked our own blackberries.
We really enjoyed our ice creams and ice lollies in the sun yesterday
We had so much fun this morning at Forest School on our slip and slide.
Another day, another new sport to learn. Golf was so much fun. We learnt how to hold the golf club correctly and scored lots of points.
Today, we took part in a skipping workshop. We learnt some basic skips, which was super tricky but we didn’t give up. Everyone got a skipping rope to take home and practise. We would love to see videos and photos of you all practising at home
This week, we are having healthy living week in school. Today, we had a hula-hoop workshop with Emma, the U.K Hula-hoop champion. It was so much fun and we even got our own hoopla-hoop to take home!
Look who came to see us today!! Mrs Clark-Boyd’s ducklings! Our children were so excited to see them and were so caring. Lots of children held the ducklings (Mrs Sim was too scared!)
On Tuesday, we came into the class to fine a pie on the carpet. We didn’t know where it had come from or what kind it was, so we used our senses of smell, taste and sight to work it out. Not many of us liked it but we discovered it was apple pie. On Wednesday, we discovered that the pie had belonged to Grandma Bear but a fox had stolen it. We felt so guilty that we had eaten the pie, so we made Grandma some new ones following a recipe. We used lots of new cooking skills and the pies were delicious.
We made flapjack this morning. Some of us weren’t too keen but lots of us loved it and had seconds…and thirds!
It’s experiment time in Class 1! This week, we have been investigating seeds. We think that seeds need water, soil and sunlight to help the seeds germinate. To test this, we set up a fair test. We are going to keep checking our seeds all week next week and see if they will grow in darkness, without water and without soil!
We have come into our classroom today and there are huge footprints! Who could they belong to? So much excitement!
Welcome back Class One!
I have been so impressed with all your egg decorating over the holidays. For everyone who has sent me a photo, I will bring in your prize tomorrow when I return to school.
Class One Easter Homework
This holiday, we won’t be setting any specific homework, but we are going to run an Easter Egg Competition. If you would like to take part, we invite you to decorate a hard boiled egg, take a photograph and upload it to either Tapestry or on here. We have learnt all about eggs being a symbol of new life and their role in Easter celebrations, so this would be a fun way to end our mini topic. Please don’t go out and buy anything special, just let your child get creative-even just drawing or painting patterns on eggs is effective and fun.
When we return to school on the 12th, every child who takes part will win a small prize.
Good morning everyone. It is so lovely to be back. Just a quick reminder-please be punctual in the morning and ready for doors opening at 8.40am. We are starting to learn as soon as we come in as the children are writing their names on labels and hanging them on our welcome tree. Thanks
Today, we came into the classroom to find a present under our tree. It was from an elf. We decided to call him Sparkles. He is hiding in our classroom but we cannot find him! We’ve also had lots of fun watching Arthur Christmas and having hot chocolate, marshmallows and popcorn 🍿 What a super start to our a Christmas countdown!
On Wednesday we learnt about Remembrance Day and the importance of poppies. We then made our own poppies-aren’t they beautiful?
We have ended our week by making breadstick sparklers. We observed what happened to the chocolate in the microwave and some of us learnt the word ‘melted’. They were delicious!
Happy Halloween everyone! We have had the best day doing Halloween crafts, eating party food and playing games! Have a lovely half-term.
Thanks again for all your support so far!
Mrs Sim, Mrs Austin, Mrs Black and Miss Wild
Today we made pumpkin soup! We followed the steps that the animals used in the story ‘Pumpkin Soup’ by Helen Cooper. You can find examples of the story on You Tube (they aren’t great). Here is an example :
Tomorrow, we will be writing our own recipe!
Good evening everyone,
I hope you’ve all had a lovely relaxing weekend.
Our Nursery and Reception children take part in daily phonics lessons/activities. When we talk about or teach letters sounds we use ‘pure sounds’. It is really important that children learn to pronounce sounds correctly as it makes blending sounds together for reading much easier.
On the Oxford Owl site, there are some excellent videos that explain ‘pure sounds’ and ‘blending sounds’ as well as other aspects of phonics teaching.
Click here to see the videos:
Thanks for your support
Happy Friday everyone!
Some of Reception have learnt their second letter sound ‘a’. Your child will bring home an ‘a’ activity pack to complete at your convenience if they have learnt the sound. When we learn a new sound, we also learn a jingle. You can find the jingles here:
Have a great weekend!
Today we have learnt out first letter sound ‘s’. We pronounce the sound as a pure sound (just the air through our teeth-not with an ‘uh’ sound at the end)
When we write the letter ‘s’ we say the rhyme-’round the snakes head, down his body and round his tail.
Your child will be bringing home a ‘s’ booklet for practise. You can complete this in your own time.
Alphablocks episodes are a great way of reinforcing the sounds. Here is an episode for ‘s’:
You could ask your child to find the letter ‘s’ when you share a bedtime story or in labels and print in the environment.
Please could you make sure that the see-through plastic reading folder is inside your child’s book bag every day. We will be sharing our books in small groups so it is important that every child in the group has the same text to take home.
Mrs Sim’s boys collected some conkers at the weekend for us to explore. We have had lots of fun cracking open the shells and finding the shiny brown conkers inside! The shells were super spikey.
You will never guess what happened in Class 1 today! We came in after lunch and someone had broken the smallest chair, tipped over the bowls of porridge and left small footprints. Tianna told us she thought it might be Goldilocks so we read the story and we think it was her! There were lots of clues from the story, so we are going to keep a look out for her this week!
As well as ‘Dough Disco’, we also do ‘Squiggle While you Wiggle’ which is an active way to get children to explore pre-writing shapes. We started Squiggle this morning and had so much fun dancing along to the music making a + shape then we squiggled what we had danced!
We’ve made our own dough this morning! It was messy but so much fun 😀
Class One have had an excellent start to the week! We are learning about Harvest as part of our R.E. topic, so yesterday we went to ‘harvest’ the blackberries on our school field. It was so much fun (and very messy!) and we will be making apple and blackberry crumble on Friday!
Welcome everyone to a new school year! We have had a gorgeous day settling into our new classroom. Mrs Austin, Miss Wild and I have been incredibly impressed by all of your lovely children, their excellent manners and positive behaviour.
Tonight, your children will be bringing home their new school book bag. Please make sure that this comes into school each day.
If you have any concerns or queries, please do get in touch
For World Book Day we shared lots of our favourite stories while we drank hot chocolate and ate delicious biscuits. Then, we made story character spoons. They will be staying in our book corner for us to play with.
You might have seen us walking around the village looking at all the different types of houses. When we got back, we made a map of our journey and the houses we passed.
Ask us about the different types of homes we found…bungalow, semi-detached, detached and terraced and see if you can spot them on your way home!
PANCAKE DAY! What a fantastic day we’ve had. We read the story Mr Wolf’s Pancakes to find out the ingredients we needed to make pancakes and wrote lists. Then we made the pancakes with the help of Mrs Austin and everyone ate every last morsel! They were delicious!
We have had a lovely morning at the farm. We observed how the farmer looks after the animals in the winter. The children had so much fun and were so well behaved!
Our new topic this half-term is Winter. We came in to the classroom to find bear prints and the book ‘The Winter Bear’. We decided to go on a hunt for a winter bear and spotted lots of winter signs on our way.
Wow, Reception are working really hard at learning all of their letter sounds. We are so close to being able to read blend the sounds together to read the words, but we need your help. Please could you try and read with your child at least 3 times a week. Even if you just get a chance to do their word box and focus on blending the words for now-that would be great! Practising at home really does make all the difference.
If you are unsure of how you can support your child’s reading, please do get in touch and we can give you some guidance as I know phonics maybe a completely new area for some parents.
What a fun Christmas party we had today! Thank you to everyone for your kind food donations. We played lots of party games, danced with our friends and Santa even came to visit and give us all a gift!
We have been working really hard this half-term to learn to read and write using our new phonic knowledge. Writing in ‘snow’ was lots of fun. Mrs Sim was so impressed with our ability to segment the sounds in words (sound them out) to help us spell and our excellent letter formation!
We are going to award a dojo every morning for the children who read their school reading book the night before. This means each child could earn 5 extra dojos each week! We are seeing real progress when the children are reading regularly at home every night.
5th November 2019
I currently have 3 parents booked in for parent’s evening. We are doing parent’s evening over two night, so please let me know if you are yet to book and would like one. Thanks
3rd November 2019
Welcome back to school. We hope you’ve all had a great holiday. This term our new topic is Celebration time! We will be exploring different celebrations each week and we would love to find out some of the ways you celebrate too. Over the holidays, if your children have dressed up for Halloween, gone trick-or-treating or to a Bonfire/Firework display, we would love to share the photos in class. Please upload photos on Tapestry. It is so easy to do, you just click on the + sign at the top of the screen once up have logged on and you can add photos and notes. If you need any help in doing this, just ask.
There are still appointment times left for Parents evening on Tuesday or Wednesday night if you would still like one.
25th October 2019
Happy half-term! What a super half-term we have all had. The children have worked so hard and made excellent progress. One of the children in class kindly brought in some sweets to share with her friends. They are coming home tonight in school bags-some of them are lolly pops, just to make you aware.
Have lots of fun next week!
23rd October 2019
Tonight you will notice that your child has a sound card key ring and some words cards in their bags, as well as their reading book. We have now learnt the first three sounds-s, a and t. Please show the children these sounds when you are reading to get them familiar with them.
We refer to the word cards as word boxes. The idea is that children sound out each word and then try and blend the sounds together to read the word. For example, the word ‘sat’. You child might go ssss…aaaa….ttt when they first see the word, which is fine. Then, ask them to just say each sound once using the sound for each letter…s..a..t. You might need to say the word back to the child to help them hear that the word says ‘sat’. You might need to repeat this a number of times initially until the children get the hang of this. Please do your child’s word box as well as their reading book at least 3 times a week. I have included some words with ‘p’ in-we are learning this sound the first week back after half-term. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
22nd October 2019
Dear parents and carers,
On Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th November, we have parents evening. Appointments start at 3.15 on Tuesday and I have availability from 3.30 on Wednesday as I already have a parent booked in. Please either see me or message on here to book an appointment.
What a fabulous week we have had in Class 1! We read the story ‘Not a box’ and made our own ‘not-a-boxes’. Our models were fantastic! We all presented them to the rest of the class and were so confident at talking in front of an audience.
Next week we are holding our class 1 parent event. It will be on Tuesday afternoon at 2.30pm. We will be doing something crafty and also talking about some of our approaches to learning to read (as we will be starting to learn our letter sounds next week). We’d love your to join us and look forward to seeing you then.
Today we teamed up with class 2 and made soup for the Harvest Festival. We used lots of vegetables including: carrots, potatoes, onions and leeks. We carefully peeled and chopped the vegetables all by ourselves. Tomorrow, we will get to taste the soup.
What a week we have had! The rain hasn’t stopped our fun. Instead we’ve been jumping in puddles and sweeping them away! Now that we are getting fully changed for P.E. we’ve noticed that some of the children are struggling to get themselves dressed. Please could you practise this at home. It would be really beneficial! Thanks and have a great weekend!
Tonight, your child will be bringing home their first reading book. It has no words-the aim is to encourage your child to retell the story using the pictures and answer questions about the pictures. There is guidance in the front and back covers of the books. Please share the book with your child a write a short comment or just sign and date their reading record book.
We are having so much fun with our ‘In the deep, dark woods’ topic! Last week, we made apple and blackberry crumble which was lots of fun! Today, we went looking for animal footprints. We then used an identification chart to help us identity woodland animals.
Yesterday, we found a trail of footprints, nuts and acorns in our classroom. We followed the trail up to the woodland on our school field and hunted for clues to help us decide which animal might have been in our classroom! We had a great discussion about different types of woodland animals and made some super clay models of the animals in the afternoon.
This week, we started to do Dough Disco. This is a fun way of strengthening children’s hands and fingers ready for writing. If you have dough at home, you can search for some of the dough disco dances on you tube and do them at home too!
Dear parents and carers,
Wow! What a superb first week we have had in Class 1. The children have all settled in beautifully and are enjoying spending time in their new class. Currently, we are finding out what the children already know, so we can make sure that we pitch work correctly. We do this through observation and small activities and we are so pleased with how the children are responding to all the lovely resources in our classroom.
Please check you child’s bag tonight-I have sent home permission forms for Tapestry our online learning journal. As soon as I get all these forms back, I can publish observations to those journals so you can access them at home.
Have a great weekend. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need help/advice etc.
Mrs Sim 🙂
Archived Class 1 Information
You can view our archived Class information on our website.