Gleadless Primary School

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Hollinsend Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S12 2EJ

0114 239 6130

Gleadless Primary School

We are Determined, We are a Team, We are Respectful, We have Self Belief, We Care, We Have a Voice.

Foundation Stage 2

 The FS2 Team 

Miss Smith- Class Teacher / Phase Leader

Miss Currier- Class Teacher

Miss Booth - Teaching Assistant
Mrs Wait-Smith - Teaching Assistant

Miss Plummer - Teaching Assistant

Mrs Eggington/Mrs Williams - Nursery teachers/ PPA cover teacher for Reception

A very warm welcome to Gleadless Primary School Foundation Stage 2.

We are a dedicated and committed team of staff who work in close partnership with parent/carers to ensure all children accessing our Early Years provision build the foundations of their Gleadless learning journey in a safe, happy and nurturing environment.
Through play-based learning and child led topics, we endeavour to provide each child with a range of opportunities, which stimulate their creativity and support their development based on their likes and interests.

Together with parents/carers, we can engage each child in Early Years provision and support them to develop and progress through a variety of carefully planned and exciting learning opportunities that will support them throughout their time at Gleadless.

Knights and a Princess come to Gleadless Primary!

Last week we started our new topic Knights and Princesses. In Literacy we learnt about questions and how to ask questions. We thought about what we’d like to find out about Knights and Princesses. This week we had some special visitors, Princess Charlotte, Sir George and Sir Wait and Sir Booth! Princess Charlotte and Sir George told us about what it was like to live in the past and we asked them questions. Can you tell a grown up at home what you learnt about Knights and Princesses?


Also in Literacy this week we learnt about castles. We learnt about how castles kept out enemies, and learnt the names for the different parts of the castle. We learnt the words moat, drawbridge, tower, keep, great hall, dungeon and turret. We also learnt how to create and write sentences with ‘who’ and ‘where’ in. We wrote sentences like, The knight is on the tower. The knight is on the keep. The knight is on the wall. We used phonics to write these sentences, remembering to include capital letters, finger spaces, and full stops. 


In Maths this week we have been learning about more and less than. We ordered Numberblocks and said which number was more or less than another number. In our independent work we compared amounts of cubes to numbers represented on fingers. We practised speaking in full sentences to explain this. "5 is more than 3" "2 is less than 7". 


In provision we have been making swords out of playdough, dressing up and roleplaying in a castle, drawing pictures of castles, finding tricky words in story books, making castles in the creative area, reading sounds on Knight’s shields and building castles with lego. 


In PE this week we have continued our dance unit, and have been learning a circassian circle dance with partners! In Miss Smith’s class on Monday Sir George did a Knights in Training lesson where he taught the children to ride “horses” around the school hall. He was very impressed with their riding skills. 


Challenges for the week:

  1. Complete our phonics homework sheet and bring it in so we can celebrate your learning and you will receive dojo points.
  2. Complete something from the ‘homework hero’ menu
  3. Read 5 times with an adult at home to move up another reading planet
  4. Tell someone at home what new words we have learnt this week and what they mean.

Knights and Princesses


It was great to start the new term with lots of stories of different things we had all been up to over the holiday. From bowling, to visiting museums, to meeting up with friends and being crafty. Some children shared photos from their week off and it was great to see the confidence oozing out! Well done if you shared your holiday adventures!


As it is a new half term, we have a new topic. This half term we are going to be learning all about knights, castles and royalty. We had some shields, swords and crowns shared by some children who had made them over the week off. Please keep sending in any creations you have made as we will be displaying these in the classrooms. The focus for this week has been learning some facts about knights and princesses, as well as learning about questioning. As it is an exciting topic, we know there are alot of questions children will have so we looked at Who, What, Where, When, How, Why questions. Hopefully over the next few weeks we will be able to find out the answers!


In Maths, we have been looking at numbers to 10 and how they are made of ‘5 and a bit more’ We used the Numberblocks to help us ( and we could see that 6 is one more than 5 and one less than 7.  We have been making our own towers and making the one that comes before and one that comes after. 


In Jigsaw we have started the unit ‘Healthy Me’ and this week we looked at different sports we play and any medals or certificates we have achieved. Again, it was a great chance for children to share their achievements and show confidence standing up in front of the class. 


We have had a lovely start to the new half term, despite the rain, and we are looking forward to the next 5 weeks! 



  1. Complete Phonics challenges sent home in book bags
  2. Read your new reading for pleasure book
  3. Talk to your grown ups about knights and princesses

Flat Stanley is in China!


This week we found out that Flat Stanley had now been posted to China! On Monday we learnt some facts about China. Miss Smith used to live in China and brought in some objects she had from there. 


We learnt about a special festival that people from China celebrate called Chinese New Year. We listened to the Zodiac Story where the years in the chinese calendar get their names from, here is a link to listen to it again at home. 

In Literacy we learnt how Chinese New Year is celebrated and learnt some new vocabulary including traditional, embroidery, population, and climate. In writing we wrote sentences about how people celebrate Chinese New Year. 


In Maths this week we have been learning about more than, fewer than and the same. We learnt sentences to explain if someone has more or fewer than someone else. For example Miss Smith has more than Miss Currier, Miss Currier has fewer than Miss Smith. The children were great at speaking in full sentences when comparing amounts. 


Also this week we had a visit from the Concerteenies who performed a musical story for us.They came to perform some songs based on the books The dog who could dig. Matt played his Marimba, whilst Sarah told the story. The children really enjoyed joining in with the actions and singing the songs to retell the story. Here is a link to watch the musical story at home 


This week in provision we have been doing lots of activities based around China and Chinese New Year including, painting chinese numbers, making dragons with straws and pasta, using chopsticks, making chinese lanterns, making dragons with playdough and constriction blocks. 


Challenges for half term

  1. Each child is coming home with a phonics booklet with the sounds we have learnt since September, on the front are the sounds they are not familiar with. Please practise these sounds at home over the holidays.
  2. Enjoy sharing your library book with adults at home, and read your phonics book to adults at home, don’t forget to record any home reading in your reading diary!
  3. Our topic next half term is Knights and Princesses, can you complete the half term creative challenge?



This week, Flat Stanley was posted to the continent Africa, stopping in different countries in Africa including Nigeria. Miss Currier’s friend sent us a video explaining about the weather in parts of Africa, the food, languages and money. We made some African necklaces and practised African dancing. It was good to compare parts of Africa to England and we found that in England football is a popular sport, and in Africa many people like to watch and take part in wrestling!


We have been reviewing all our sounds in Phonics which is helping us to remember all of the sounds we have learnt since September! We have been using these to help read and write words. We have been recapping tricky words too. 


In Literacy we have been using our learning about Africa to say and write simple sentences. We have used the shape coding system that we have previously used to have a sentence using who-doing-what. This has helped us to make sure we include all the right things in the sentences. 


In maths we have been developing our learning on how we can make 5, to make 6 and 7. We know that 6 is 5 and a little bit more. The Numberblocks have been helping us and we saw how 5 was part of 6 and 7. We are getting very confident at recalling ways that 5 can be made, with some of the children impressing Mr Hardy with their recall! 


The provision has been a hive of activity with children writing letters to Flat Stanley, making vehicles to help him get to his next country, painting African masks, making African necklaces and using the reading corners. It is great to see how well the classrooms and outdoors are being used by everyone. 


In PE we have been continuing to practise our gymnastics skills, using different body parts to balance on. 

Next week begins with a visit from the Concerteenies, who are going to be performing the story ‘The dog who could dig’, find some warm up activities and songs to practise here


On Monday we received something very exciting! We had a postcard from Flat Stanley, he has been posted to Madrid in Spain. This week we learnt all about Spain, we read a non-fiction book which doesn't have a story in but facts about something. From the book we learnt about Spanish food, dancing, the flag, what people like to do and what the weather is like. In our books we taught sentences about Spain. For example They eat tapas. They play football. The children are getting super at using their phonics knowledge to write words in sentences. 

Miss Smith's class came into the classroom on Monday to find an aeroplane set up on the carpet and they flew to Spain! And in Miss Currier's classroom the role play area was turned into an aeroplane and airport. In provision we have used playdough to make the Spanish flag, creating concertina fans using paper, painted Flamenco dancers, drawn something we have learnt about Spain from non fiction books and using our phonics knowledge to “splat the sound” and write simple words. 

This week we have also learnt some traditional Flamenco dances and on Friday we tried some Spanish tapas! The children have really enjoyed our topic of Spain. During a literacy lesson we thought about what is the same and what is different about our lives in England and our lives in Spain. 

In Maths this week we have been learning about ways of making five. We used part whole models to make five and spoke in sentences about making five. For example 5 is made of 2 and 3. 

Challenges for the weekend!

  • Can you read 5 times this week with a grown up at home?
  • Can you complete the phonics homework sheet?
  • Can you tell a grown up at home a fact you have learnt about Spain?

Countries around the World.


This week we have started our new topic, looking at countries around the world. We began the week, reading a story called Flat Stanley. Flat Stanley is a little boy who gets flattened by his pin board. He is not hurt, he is just very thin. This means he can be posted in an envelope to different places. He starts by going to America. We have then started to think about where else he might visit, starting with England. We have learnt about things that we might see and do in England, and then learnt about England’s Capital City, London! It has been great to talk about London and for some children to be able to share times that they have visited London. Next week we will look at a different country Flat Stanley might like to visit. 


In Maths we have been learning about ordering. We have used Numberblocks to help us see that when we are ordering them, each time we add one more. We have made our own Numberblocks and ordered them. 


With the very cold weather, we have been exploring what it has done to the outside area. We have had lots of fun exploring ice that has appeared in the water trays. It has been great to try and break up the ice to help the animals and ducks that have been frozen into the ice. We have also had ice in the classroom, and some children have been bringing in their own blocks of ice that they have frozen at home!


In PE we have been practising our gymnastics skills, including log rolls and egg rolls. We have been putting different movements together to make a sequence. Outside, with Mr Briddock we have been developing our games skills, playing Sharks, Colours and Stuck in the Mud. Even though it has been cold, these games have helped us warm up quickly and we have had fun taking part!


Our Jigsaw this term is called Dreams and Goals. This week we watched the Hare and the Tortoise and spoke about things that we have found difficult but overcome. 


We are adding more and more sounds to our phonics knowledge. This week we have learnt ar, ur, ow, oo (foot) and or. We have introduced the tricky words by and my. We have been using these sounds to read words and to read sentences. 



A little bit of winter!


Welcome back and Happy New Year!

This week we have started the Spring Term by looking at the topic of ‘Winter’. We have now learnt about two seasons of the year, Autumn and Winter. We talked about the changes we see in winter, in the weather, in nature and what we wear and do in winter. We read the book ‘A little bit of Winter’, here is a link to listen to the story at home: 

In the classroom we have done lots of activities based around winter including painting snowflakes, making snowmen with playdough, dressing up for winter in the winter roleplay area, and retelling the story ‘a little bit of winter’. 


In Maths this week we have been identifying amounts made up of different arrangements to five. We have been describing arrangements to five and representing them in different ways. 


Challenges for the week:

  1. Read five times at home to move up the reading planets
  2. Practise reading and writing the tricky words that were sent home before the holidays
  3. Complete something from the homework hero menu


The Nutcracker


This week we have continued to learn the story of The Nutcracker, putting the beginning, middle and ending together in order to retell the story. We also watched a performance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’s dance, we were all mesmerised by her dancing! We had a go at doing the dance too.

You can watch the clip we saw at home using this link Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker (The Royal Ballet) ( 


In Maths, we continued to use the wizard words count, represent and equal, and then we were introduced to numeral, sequence and quantity. These words are really important for us to learn and use in our maths learning and it is great to take part in activities where we can use them.


On Wednesday we came to school in Christmas clothes, and there were some fantastic jumpers and dresses as well as head pieces! We had Christmas lunch with our friends, and the dining room had been decorated for the occasion. We all got to pull a cracker! 


Unfortunately after our Christmas lunch we came back to our classes to see that the elves had been up to mischief! Our decorations had been pulled down and in Miss Currier’s class the elf had written ‘Ha ha ha!’ on the window. Well we knew this was not acceptable and was a huge red choice. So, we wrote to Father Christmas to let him know…and then Father Christmas visited! On Thursday morning, whilst we were celebrating the end of term and the reading trophies were handed out, Father Christmas and his little helper appeared! It was so exciting! We listened to Father Christmas’ favourite story and he brought us all a gift. Father Christmas and his little helper took our elves back to the North Pole with them, so that they can go back to Elf School to learn about green and red choices.


We have had a very busy and exciting half term. We hope everyone has a lovely break and we look forward to seeing everyone again in 2024!

‘Our First Nativity’

This week the children performed the Christmas play ‘Our First Nativity’. All the children were brilliant at singing and acting on stage. All reception had a line to say either as a group or individually, and they were all amazing! A big well done to all the children. 

On Monday we had a special arrival in both Reception classes, the Elves brought a Nutcracker to both classes to help with our book we have been learning about this week, ‘The Nutcracker’. We listened to the story of the Nutcracker and in Literacy we learnt new words from the story of the Nutcracker.Then we listened to the beginning and middle of the story and created actions for the story. In groups we acted out parts of the story, to retell each part of the story. In Maths this week we have learnt ways to represent numbers and have been playing number bingo in groups. 


During provision we have been painting the Nutcracker, writing letters to Santa about what we want for Christmas, talked about who the characters are in the Nativity play and why they are important design our own Nutcracker, writing sounds in glitter, and roleplayed making Christmas dinner for a friend in the Christmas roleplay area . In the maths area we have been playing a “snowball” game and recording how many snowballs we can get into the cups. 


Next week we will be counting up the final reads for this half term for our ‘Rocket Readers’ competition. Before the end of term we will celebrating where children have got to on the reading planets and which children have reached the star! 


Challenges for the weekend!

  1. Play the game online of ways of representing numbers: 

  1. Read at home five times to try and get to the star!
  2. Continue to practise your phonics sounds at home to help you with your reading.

The Christmas Story


This week our focus has been the Christmas Story. This is the theme of our Christmas play so it has been good to read the story as well. We have been able to make connections between the characters in the play and the characters from the story. We have also drawn the different Nativity characters and labelled them using our Phonics to help.

Our classrooms have started to look more Christmassy over the last week. 

  • Miss Currier has a home corner with a large Christmas tree and Santa’s legs coming down the chimney. We have enjoyed role playing in there, and there have been little Santa’s walking around the provision! 
  • There have been Christmas trees in both classrooms that we have been decorating. 
  • We have also had the chance to act out the Christmas Story with the help of small world resources. 
  • The elves have been keeping us entertained with their antics each day. Miss Smith’s elf, Eric, left some elf challenges where we had to highlight tricky words.

In Maths, we have looked at parts and the whole of numbers using Numberblocks to help our learning. We used paint and corks to make our own prints involving 4 or 5 parts. In Numberblocks these are called Stampolines. Here’s the link to the clip we watched.

We have continued to recap Phonics sounds this week. It has been great to show some photos and videos of children practising these at home. 

We did our first dress rehearsal on Thursday for Y3 children. It was great to have everyone in their costumes. The singing is superb, and we can’t wait to show it to all our grown ups next week!  

December is here!

We have had a very busy week in Reception this week! On Tuesday we had a special visitor to school! Sean Gaffney who is a GB Athlete and Para powerlifter! He came and delivered a fitness circuit which took place in the school hall. We had to do lots of different fitness activities which included planks, press ups, star jumps, and running on the spot. All the children got involved and really enjoyed it. Lots of children brought in sponsor forms for the event. The money that has been raised goes towards new sports equipment for our school!


This week Miss Currier’s class went on their school trip to the Central Library. We took the tram into town, and enjoyed singing ‘the wheels on the tram’ while waiting for the tram at the tram stop. This was some children’s first trip on a tram, and they were very excited. We got off the tram at the Cathedral stop, and as we walked to the library we looked for places we had seen in the book ‘Santa comes to Sheffield’ which we had read in class. We saw the Sheffield Cathedral, Sheffield Town Hall, Winter Gardens, and the silver metal balls outside the Winter Gardens. We also walked around the Winter Gardens and looked at the fairies that were hiding in the plants. After this we went to the library and enjoyed listening to a story read by Anne who works at the library. Then we enjoyed some craft activities and looked at the books in the library. 


In Maths this week we have started to learn about composition, we learn that a whole is made up of parts. We copied patterns and talked about what parts make the whole pattern. In Literacy we have continued to learn about Stickman, we made shape coding sentences for pictures in the story, talked about the places Stickman went to in the story and the route he took, and we drew maps to show the places he visited. 


On Friday two littles elfs arrived in Miss Smith and Miss Currier’s classes! They brought notes saying that Santa had sent them to check on us, they both brought Advent Calendars. We will open a window everyday between now and the Christmas Holidays. 


Reading Rocket Challenge!

A reminder our Reading Rocket Challenge ends on Monday 18th December! Some children are zooming through the planets for their home reading, and getting closer and closer to the star. Keep up the home reading for your child to move along the planets, this can include audiobooks, an adult reading story books to your child or children reading their phonics book to you.

FS2 S’ trip to the library and other news…


Miss Smith’s class visited the library on Thursday. It was an exciting day as it was the first trip we have been on since starting in Reception. We caught the tram from Hollinsend tram stop and got off at Cathedral. A short walk up Fargate and we arrived at the library. We were a little bit early so we went to explore the Winter Gardens. Finding fairies, snakes and a panda hidden between all the plants. We also saw a Christmas tree! After that we headed to the library and went downstairs into the children’s library. A friendly librarian told us about the library and what we can do there - did you know there are more than books in a library? There are toys, board games and crafts to do. We had a good chance to explore before it was time to head back to school. Gabby in our class said it was ‘the best school trip!’ 


This week, in school, we were introduced to the story of Stickman by Julia Donaldson. This will be our focus story for the next couple of weeks. We started the week by listening to the story. In the classroom there have been different challenges set up linking to the story, including measuring sticks, making stickmen and drawing characters from the story.


In Maths, we have been learning about the word ‘equal’ and what it means. We have been sharing out items for a party between Stickman, Santa and the dog (all characters from the Stickman story) to see if they have equal amounts or if one has more or fewer. We have been very good at expanding on this and explaining e.g. if we said it was equal we then said because they all had the same. 


We have learnt our final sounds for phase 2 this week in Phonics. These are ng (like in ring), nk (like in pink), th (like in thumb, moth) and sh (like in shell) We will spend the next few weeks consolidating these and then after Christmas we will start phase 3 sounds. We have also added more tricky words to our bank (in our heads) - she, he, of. 


We also had our first practise of the Christmas Nativity which we will be performing in December. Parts were given out to different children and we will be sending lines home in the next week to practise at home. We are all very excited for this and can not wait to perform to our grown ups. 

Anti-Bullying Week and Nursery Rhyme Week


Our week began with odd socks for the start of Anti-Bullying Week. The odd socks showed that we are all different and that’s good! We have been speaking this week about being kind, and what to do if someone is being unkind to us or our friends. 


The week ended with Children In Need and a sponsored ‘Bearpee’ session, where we tried to do as many burpees as possible (or an alternative) 


We have also been practising our Nursery Rhymes including:


In the classroom, we have had different activities linking to these rhymes. We have made mice to run up the clock, added eyes, noses etc…to a head, built a boat and acted out Jack and Jill in the smallworld.


In Maths we have been exploring 5 using Numberblock 5. We looked at 5 and 5 makes 10, using 2 hands or 2 die frames.  


Don't forget to check out the Gazette each week as you will find important dates, Sparkle and Shine winners and much more from the whole of Gleadless Primary School. 



We have continued our topic of ‘Celebrations’ this week by learning about Diwali. This is a celebration that will take place around the world on Sunday 12th November. We learnt about why Diwali is celebrated and listened to the story of Diwali. You can listen to it again using this link 


We were able to make and say full sentences using the ‘Who-doing-what’ frame, which is really helping us with our sentences. We have had many activities going on this week that have been linked to Diwali, including drawing characters from the story, decorating hands with Mehndi, making Rangoli patterns and acting out the story in the small world. 


In Maths we have been using the term ‘comparison’ when comparing two sets of objects. Our Maths Wizard Words this week have been more, fewer, more than, and fewer than. We had to make predictions first, speaking in full sentences e.g. “Teddy has more cubes than Badger”, then we checked to see if our predictions were correct. In our activity groups we continued to practise our comparing skills. 


During phonics we have learnt 4 more sounds this week; j, v, w and y, and even more tricky words. We have been using our sounds and tricky words to help read phrases. 


On Friday we learnt about Remembrance Day. We joined the school in holding a one minute silence and watched a clip about Remembrance Day. We learnt that Remembrance Day is for remembering the soldiers who may have died or been injured whilst protecting others, as well as those soldiers who are still fighting and protecting today.

Halloween 2023


We had a great start to the new term with a Halloween Disco on Tuesday. Most children came to school in their Halloween costumes and we danced! The rest of the week has involved learning about Halloween and learning about other celebrations that we might take part in. 


This half term we are focusing on ‘Celebrations’ and the different celebrations that take place around the world. We will learn about Bonfire Night, Diwali, and towards the end of the term we will talk about Christmas! We will also look at birthdays and how we might celebrate them. 


This week we have been watching firework videos and thinking about the words we can use to describe the noises they make. We spoke in full sentences to describe the noises, using words like bang, pop and whistle! It has been great to hear children talking so enthusiastically about fireworks and when they have seen them before. 


In Maths, we have been subitising and making different arrangements with a number of objects. We used Numberblock Four to help. Here is the clip we watched this week about Numberblock Four 


In the provision, there have been challenges set which children are encouraged to try. These have included making a spider hat, making a pumpkin, threading to make a firework, imaginative play in the home corner (now a Bonfire Party snack shack!), making bonfires out of junk modelling and making potions using our sounds. 


In Phonics we have learnt more sounds; ff, ll, ss, and j. We have also increased the number of tricky words, including ‘as’ and ‘and’.

When I grow up I would like to be…

This week we continued our topic of ‘Marvellous Me’ and thought about when we are adults what job we would like to do. Some parents sent in photos of their jobs and children shared these and talked about what their grown ups' jobs are. We learnt about lots of different jobs by sharing photos of jobs, reading books and watching a video about jobs and occupations:

Jobs and Occupations - Vocabulary for Kids - Compilation


On Monday we had a special visit from two police officers and they told us about their job and how they help people. We enjoyed hearing about their job and trying on some police hats! In continuous provision this week we have done lots of learning about jobs we have painted what jobs we would like to do when we are older, dressed up in different outfits of jobs, made police cars in the creative area and looked after animals in the role play vets. We have also practised writing letter sounds we have learnt on big paper on the carpet, seen which objects are heavy and lighter in the maths area, and show a friend what our favourite book is in the book corner. 


In Maths this week we have been learning about composition of numbers. We have learnt what 1, 2, 3, 4 are made up of, for example “1 and 1 and 1 and 1 makes 4”. We selected collections of 3 and 4 objects and were identified which ones were made up of 2, 3, and 4.

At home you could watch Numberblocks and talk to a grown up at home about how the number 1-4 are made up of.  (Series 1 episode 1-7)


The children have now finished their first full half term of Reception, we are very proud of how they have all settled into school. I hope they all have a good rest over the holiday and come back ready for another great half term.

Starting School


This week our focus story has been ‘Starting School’ by Allan and Janet Ahlberg. It is a story all about a Reception class starting at school. We read the story and talked about some of the similarities and differences between their school and our school. We learnt some Wizard Words from the story including cloakroom, headteacher and cheerful. We also used WHO and DOING words to say full sentences e.g The boy is climbing. 


In Maths, we have been counting objects, actions and sounds. We have some new counting puppets in our classes. Miss Smith’s counting puppet is Rosie and Miss Currier’s counting puppet is Carl! We have been helping them count objects, beats on a drum and larger objects around the classroom. 


During PE, we have been practising our gymnastic moves, making shapes with our bodies. Outdoors we have been playing games that help us work as a team or a pair.


On Tuesday it was World Mental Health Day and we were able to come in green clothes. We spoke about feelings and how sometimes when we’re feeling sad or angry it is good to talk about it. We linked this to our Zones of Regulation, and we were able to share our ideas as a class. 


This week is our turn to be in the Gazette so make sure you have a good look at some of the other things we have been up to this week, and since starting in Reception.


Finally, next week our Reading Challenge begins. There is a video on Class Dojo telling you what the challenge is all about. 




  1. Practise sounds sent home - e, h, r, b
  2. Read five times at home to move up a planet next week
  3. Get your family to count how many stamps, claps, jumps you do

Families and growing up!

This week’s blog is full of information and news of what we have been up to in the last two week’s in FS2. We have been continuing our topic ‘Marvellous Me’ and have been learning about Families. Children brought in their family photo and shared who is in their family. We talked about what is different and similar about our families and in our topic books we drew our families. 


In Maths we learnt about matching and sorting objects, we talked about how we can sort objects into different groups based on their size, colour and shape. We also thought about how else we could sort them, for example objects that come from different areas of the classroom, dinosaurs who have long tails, long necks, and types of dinosaurs. 


This year in FS2 we have introduced communication snack time. This is where we have snack together and have a topic we talk about during this time. Our topic has been ‘who lives in my house…’ we have been encouraging the children to talk in full sentences, and use a voice loud enough that they can be heard by the class. 


This week we have been learning about growing up, how we have grown and stages of growing. We created actions for the stages of growing and acted these out as we retold the stages of growing. We talked about what we needed when we were a baby and toddler and what we need now we are children. We also learnt about ‘doing words’ and how these can describe what someone is doing in a sentence. 

In Maths we learnt about subitising which when we look at an amount and know how much is there without counting. We have focused on learning amounts to 1, 2 and 3, we also used cubes to copy amounts that had been represented on the board. Can you copy these pictures and create amounts using objects you can find at home?


We did our first PE lesson where we got changed into our PE kits. The children did really well at getting themselves changed! Also this week we have started guided reading in class, and children will begin bringing home a phonics book this Friday. Look out for our video on class dojo explaining how you can support your child’s reading at home.


Challenges for this week

  1. Can you talk about a story you have listened to with your grown up?
  2. Can you practise all the sounds we have learnt so far?
  3. Can you copy the pictures above and create amounts using objects you can find at home?

Welcome to Reception


We have had a fantastic full week with the children. It has been great to spend time with all of our classes and get to know each child. They have settled really well, old friendships have continued and new friendships have blossomed. 


This week we have been supporting children with our daily routines. They have benefited well from seeing the visual timetable each day so they know what is happening and when it is happening. 


We have continued to teach Phonics (teaching the different sounds) and have learnt t, p, i, n. Check out the video that will be posted on Class Dojo to help your child at home with their pronunciation.


During the week children have taken part in short carpet inputs for Maths and Literacy. We have been learning about Autumn and listened to a story called ‘Leaf Man’. In Maths we have been practising our 1:1 counting correspondence. We have been impressed with everyone’s counting skills!  


The Zones of Regulation are a new feature this year, and it has been lovely to see the children responding to the different colours. As they continue to come to school, they will learn more about their emotions and ways to cope depending on which zone they are feeling. If you would like to find out more about the Zones, please go onto Class Dojo to watch Miss Currier’s video explaining what they are (from Friday, 15th September) 


Your children will have come home with a picture book (Reading for Pleasure book) and their reading diaries. Whenever you read at home, please make a quick note in their reading diaries. This will go towards our reading rocket competition, which will be explained in the coming weeks. Please make sure to send their book bags and books everyday. 




  1. Can you talk about a story you have listened to with your grown up?
  2. Can you practise all the sounds we have learnt so far?
  3. Can you practise counting? You can use this game to help 


It has been very exciting in Reception this week. The children have spent time in their new classes and with their new teachers. Mrs Noushad and Mrs Gore were delighted to meet the children and spend time with them. All the children had a great time and are very excited to go to Year One. 


We have spent lots of time getting used to new things that will change when we go to Year One. We enjoyed having playtime in the afternoon on the big yard and doing 'buddy readers' with the Year One children. Our new Year One teachers have come into our classes and read us a story too! 


In Jigsaw this week we have been learning about change and transition. We spent time as a class looking back at what we have done in Reception and all the amazing experiences and achievements the children have had. We looked through photos from this year and the children talked about their favourite memory from Reception. Then we wrote sentences about what we have done while in Reception. We have also been creating all about me pages to share with our new teacher, and drawing our favourite memory from Reception. 


Next week is the children's last week in Reception. We are all SO proud of what they have achieved in this year. A big well done to them all!

A message in a bottle


We received a message at the start of the week from a pirate named Pat. He told us about the ship he lives on and the features it has. He wanted to know what our homes were like. We spent the week comparing our homes to Pat’s ship, talking about the similarities and differences. For example, we have a roof on our house but Pat doesn’t, we both have a toilet, Pat has sails and we don’t. We got engrossed in writing letters and making maps for Pat.


In Maths we have been problem solving using a story as a hook in. We used ‘Mr Gumpy’s Outing’ to find out how many legs were in the boat. This required us to use marks to help us e.g. drawing 4 marks to represent the 4 legs the calf had. There was a lot of discussion and working as a team. We used ‘Billy’s Bucket’ to help use our imagination to create a maths story. We also used our trip to Cleethorpes as a hook to talk about how we can get to different places using positional language. 


In the provision we have been using telescopes to explore books, making our very own old paper using tea bags, writing messages to Pat, selling our very own ice creams and using resources to build strong bridges. 


We also got to watch the Year 6 and Year 5 dress rehearsal for their end of year play ‘Pirates of the Curry Bean’, we really enjoyed being able to watch them perform. 


It has been great to spend some time with the current Y1s this week. We went out to play with them and got to do some buddy reading in the Y1 classes. On Thursday we found out our new teachers too! Miss Smith’s class are going to be with Mrs Gore, and Miss Currier’s class are going to be with Mrs Noushad! It has been good to get to know both of these teachers this week, and we are looking forward to seeing them more next week! 


This week was also our final Rocket Reads count. We have tried hard to all move up a rocket this year, and it has got harder as the number of reads has increased. Mrs Gore and Mrs Noushad are also keen readers so we need to make sure we continue our reading next year. (Also Miss Smith and Miss Currier would still like to hear about the stories we are enjoying reading!)

“Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!”


We have had a very exciting week in FS2 this week. On Monday we went on our Foundation Stage trip to the Cleethorpes! We had a wonderful day, we enjoyed playing on the beach, building sand castles, digging holes in the sand. We sat and had our lunch on the beach, and then we paddled in the sea! After this we went and ate ice cream and sat in the gardens. During our trip we looked out for places we have been learning about in Literacy including: pier, train station, waterfall, gardens, castle and beach. 


In Literacy this week we have written a recount of our trip to Cleethorpes. We wrote sentences such as first we went on the coach, next we went to the beach, then we ate our lunch, finally we had ice cream.  The children have been brilliant when writing, using capital letters, fingers spaces, and full stops. We have also been continuing our learning on maps, and we have been drawing a map of the places and route we went on our trip to Cleethorpes. 


In Maths this week we have been continuing to focus on our addition skills and have been adding amounts together using shells to help us. In provision this week, we have been mixing colours to paint pictures of what we saw when we went to Cleethorpes and in Miss Currier’s classroom there has been an ice cream parlour in the role play area! 


On Friday we took part in our school sports day, as our teams we completed the activities: hurdles, running, javelin, climbing through hoops, weaving in and out of cones and throwing balls into a target. The children showed all our Gleadless values and had great fun, well done everyone! 


Challenges for the weekend:

  • Can you draw a map of where we went on our trip to Cleethorpes?
  • Can you read 10 times at home to go up a reading planet?
  • Can you practise one of the skills we used in sports day this week e.g. jumping, running, jumping over objects and weaving around objects. 

Pirates Love Underpants


This week we have been learning all about maps. We read the story ‘Pirates love underpants’ and acted out the map he could follow to find the GOLDEN UNDERPANTS! 

We then looked at a map we could follow when we go to Cleethorpes on Monday. We learnt about the different things we might see when we go on our trip and we made maps to show where we would like to go. 

In Maths, we have been learning about number bonds for 6, 7, 8, 9. We used our fingers and cubes to help find all the different ways to represent these numbers. We also recapped our number bonds for 10 - do you know how we can make 10? Tell your grown up!

During our Jigsaw session this week, we have spoken about how we change from being a baby to a child. We spoke about the things we could do as a baby, and then what we can do now. We also started to think about how we might change when we become an adult. 

We have had lots of activities going on in the classes this week, including counting out the pirates pants, practising number formation, building different modes of transport and using the books to answer questions. It has been another busy week! 


  1. Can you read at home over the weekend?
  2. Read through your phonics home learning, to recap everything you have learnt this week
  3. Talk about the trip with your family - what are you looking forward to? What do you need to remember on Monday? (Check Class Dojo for what you need to bring)

Innovated Hansel and Gretel


This week we have innovated the story of Hansel and Gretel, Miss Smith’s class changed the characters to Mario and Luigi and Miss Currier’s changed the character’s to Ron and Ginny. We have enjoyed retelling the story as a class and in the classroom provision. We have also been writing the story in our literacy activities, the children are getting really good at writing sentences with capital letters, full stops and finger spaces. 


In Maths this week we revisited the topic of subtraction. We used cubes to subtract smaller counts from larger numbers. We also learnt how to use a number line to subtract numbers beyond 10. We also revisited subtraction facts of 5, can you recall these subtraction facts to someone in your house?


This week we have shared lots of homework from the half term challenge of making a piece of transport, and this half term's homework heroes. We are very excited about our trip to Cleethorpes and next week we will start learning about the seaside, and our learning will be based around the book of ‘Pirates love Underpants’


Challenges for the weekend:

  • We are still asking for children to read at least 10 times a week at home, this can be a mix of grown ups reading to children, children reading to grown ups, siblings reading together and watching interactive stories on the internet. Do not forget the ebooks that are set too, these are the ones children have also been practising in school. 
  • There is a new Homework Hero menu for this half term, if you have time then try to complete one of the activities. Send in photos for children to share in class.
  • Can you recall subtraction facts of 5?

Hansel and Gretel


Welcome back to our final half term before the summer holiday. 


Children returned excited and full of energy for the final 7 weeks. Some children have been completing the holiday challenge and shared their modes of transport that they have made at home. 


The focus book for the next few weeks is Hansel and Gretel. The week began with a Curiosity Bag, within this bag were lots of different things to do with the story, before the children knew what story it was they predicted using what was in the bag. We had some great ideas! We then listened to the story and then followed a story map. Story maps are a useful tool to help us remember parts of a story. Children have been immersed in the story, with props and lots of writing opportunities. It has been great to see children using their Phonics skills when they have been writing. We are hoping that next week, children will retell the story to the adults in the class (a little bit of a role reversal!) 


In Maths, we have been consolidating some of our previous knowledge. We started with odd and even numbers, using Numicon and cubes to help. We then moved onto sharing amounts. We were ‘invited’ to the Birthday Bear’s party where he had lots of cupcakes to share out. We had to decide if the cakes had been shared equally or unequally. We finished the week with some problem solving. One of our Maths starters this week was to recap doubles, here is the song we used 


The classrooms have been buzzing this week, with lots of activities going on. Children have been making Hansel and Gretel houses, drawing parts of the story, using props to act out the story as well as other imaginative play, as well as some other lovely learning activities. It has been great to have everyone back in.




  1. We are still asking for children to read at least 10 times a week at home, this can be a mix of grown ups reading to children, children reading to grown ups, siblings reading together and watching interactive stories on the internet. Do not forget the ebooks that are set too, these are the ones children have also been practising in school. 
  2. Check out the Holiday challenge on Class Dojo from May 25th - can you make a mode of transport?
  3. There is a new Homework Hero menu for this half term, if you have time then try to complete one of the activities. Send in photos for children to share in class.

Izzy Gizzmo continued...


This week we have continued to learn about the book Izzy Gizzmo. We built in the work we did last week and used what we know about the story and our new wizard words to write who, doing, what, where sentences. In our sentences we ensured we had all the features of a super sentence, including capital letters, full stops, and finger spaces. 

This week we have also been investigating which materials are best to use to make an object fly through the air. We explored this with different objects made of different materials and which ones flew through the air further. Then we made some paper aeroplanes and in our outside area we threw them and measured who’s aeroplanes flew the furthest. 


On Tuesday we had a very special letter delivered to school. It was a letter from the Elves! They thanked us for learning all about the story The Elves and the Shoemaker, and left us some seeds to plant. We created our own plant pots and planted seeds, the children will take them home at the end of the week to look after and see what they grow. 


In Maths this week we have been learning about number bonds to 10. This is something we are learning to be confident in and have been learning to recall our number bonds with using any maths resources to help us. We have enjoyed chanting the number bonds to 10 song to help us to recall our number bonds. Here is a link to it to chant it at home:


Challenges for the holidays:

  1. Can you read more than 10 times over the holiday?
  2. Look after your seed and watch it grow - send in photos to share with your class.
  3. Learn to read and write your tricky words that have been sent home on the tricky word sheet. 

Izzy Gizmo 


This week we were introduced to a character called Izzy Gizmo. We found out that Izzy likes to invent but when tasked with making new wings for a crow, she struggled. It has been an exciting week for Wizard Words, as we have learnt words like dismantled, mended and succeeding! We also used the word quit, but we all agreed at Gleadless we do not like to quit, we like to have a go and keep trying!


In our Literacy sessions, we listened to Izzy Gizmo and then started to create sentences to describe pictures from the story. We used the order of ‘Who-Doing-What-Where’ to help extend our sentences. For example, Izzy is digging for worms in the garden.

Here is the link for the story, 


In Maths, we have been consolidating our understanding of teen numbers, these are numbers from 13 to 19. We have ordered them, made them out of Numicon and counted from different numbers. We played a game called I Count, You Count where the teacher started at a number, then pointed at us to continue. 


During independent time, we have had many challenges to complete including matching words that rhyme, due to Izzy Gizmo being a rhyming story, building towers using a teens number, finding words in books that start with the same letters that are in Izzy Gizmo and making things from the story out of playdough. 


In Jigsaw, we have continued to think about kind words and why it is important that we always use kind words when speaking to others. We have learnt that if we say words, we can not take them back so it is key to only use words that are kind and that we would want to hear. 


A Save the Date was sent out on Class Dojo this week, to let everyone know that we have a trip planned to Cleethorpes on 30th June 2023. 




  1. Can you play ‘I Count, You Count’? Grown up starts counting, then point at your child who continues counting 
  2. Reading at home - next week we will be handing out the reading trophy and we will be checking reading diaries for the last time before the holiday
  3. Use the Phonics sheets sent home to consolidate your phonics for the week

Innovating the Elves and the shoemaker


This week we have continued our topic of Elves and the shoemaker and innovated the story. We thought of ideas as a class of what we could change the characters of the Shoemaker and the elves to. The children thought of lots of different ideas, and then we voted on the innovated characters. Miss Currier’s class changed the characters to ‘the chocolate factory worker and the fairies’ and Miss Smith’s class changed the characters to ‘the magic square and the dragon’. We retold the innovated story as a class, thinking about other parts of the story we needed to change such as where the story took place and what the characters were making. 

In Maths this week we have been learning about positional language including, in, on, under, next to, in front of, and behind. We followed instructions using positional language and then gave our partner's instructions using positional language. We also solved problems outside to work out where Miss Currier had taken photos in the outside area and what position she was in to take them. For example we discovered that she had taken a photo on the house outside, under the water tray, next to the shed. 

This week we took part in a virtual book reading of ‘Meet the Weather’ by Caryl Hart and the illustrator Bethan Woollvin. We learnt a song about the weather called “what’s the weather like today?” Then we listened to the story ‘Meet the Weather’ by the author Caryl Hart and had a tour of Bethan’s art studio. Bethan then led a draw-a-long, where we drew pictures following her instructions. 


  1. Can you complete the phonics reading and the phonics writing sheet?
  2. Can you read 10 times at home?
  3. Can you give someone at home positional language instructions? Can you follow their instructions?

The Elves and the Shoemaker continued…


We have continued to retell the story of the Elves and the Shoemaker. The teachers have been ASTONISHED at how well the children have learnt this story and are confident to talk about it. They use the Wizard Words so well! Keep it up, Reception!

We have used shape coding to say and write sentences about the story, using adjectives to describe the characters. It is great to see children speaking in full sentences. For example, The old shoemaker is tired


In maths we have been learning about odd and even numbers. We know that odd numbers are amounts that can not be shared equally, whereas even amounts always have a partner. We sorted houses based on the number of windows they had, whether they needed to go on the odd street or the even street. We will continue to use this learning next week during challenges set up in the provision.


In Jigsaw we have spoken about relationships with friends. We spoke about what we could do if a friend upset us and how we could resolve it.


This week and next week, we are reading 3 stories that are part of the Book Awards. 

Here is some information about the book awards : Sheffield Children’s Book Award was launched in 1988 to encourage children and young people to read, and to highlight the best literature published each year. The awards celebrate books and what they do for the Sheffield Community. Hundreds of children from across the city take part every year by voting for their favourite book through local schools and libraries.


The week ended with our special Coronation celebrations across the school. In Reception, we made our very own jam and butter, which we used to make sandwiches. We all had a go at making them, and some of us ate the jam sandwiches! 

We used our very own hopscotch (thanks to Mr G!) to play lots of different games. The hopscotch was invented in Britain and has been a game that people have been playing for years! We also played Croquet. Croquet is a sport that involves hitting wooden or plastic balls with a mallet through hoops embedded in a grass playing court.

One of the challenges within the provision was to make a crown and to help make the bunting ready for our Friday celebrations. Both of these challenges used a range of different skills. 



  1. Can you learn something about King Charles this weekend? It might be his favourite food, colour or something that happened during the Coronation
  2. Can you read 10 times at home?
  3. Can you find numbers on your walk to school, to the park or somewhere else, and decide if they are odd or even?

Elves and the shoemaker


This week we followed on from our learning from last week on shoes and started to learn about our story that will be our main focus for our half term, ‘Elves and the shoemaker’. 

We learnt lots of new vocabulary from this story including:


We used a story map to retell the story and created actions for the story. During our literacy tasks we wrote sentences about what happened in the story using images from our story map. We have been working really hard on writing independent sentences using capital letters, full stops and finger spaces.


This week in Maths we have been learning about doubling, we learnt that double means twice as many. We explored this using cubes and numicon, the children have been fantastic at recalling doubles. Later in the week we learnt about double facts, a double fact is a number sentence that represents an amount doubled, we can recognise these because the numbers repeat. For example, 1+1=2 and 4+4=8.


In continuous provision this week we have enjoyed making collages of shoes with different coloured paper, doubling amounts on butterflies with paint dabbers, creating patterns on shoes with playdough, acting out the story with masks, and mending and fixing shoes in the cobbler role play.



  1. Can you read at least 10 times at home during the week? 
  2. Can you tell an adult an home the double facts you know?


Welcome to our Summer term! This year is flying by. 

This week we have been learning all about shoes! This is in preparation for our main story for the half term which will be ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’ 

We learnt some Wizard Words to help us describe shoes : 











Using these words we used our voices to describe our shoes and then used our writing skills to write about them. We learnt what a cobbler and a shoe maker do, and watched videos to see how shoes were made in the past and how they are made today. 

In Maths, we have been learning about subtraction, which we also know can be called take away. We have practised saying and writing number sentences to explain our working out when subtracting. Try out this game at home, to practise subtracting 

We set a challenge over the holiday for you to try and make some shoes to be displayed in the classroom. We have had some great shoes brought in, and children have been able to share them with their class friends. 

During independent learning time, children have been able to use junk modelling to design and create, write about different shoes, try on a range of shoes in ‘Miss Currier’s shoe workshop’ and use playdough to design shoes. It has been great to see children continuing with their learning after the break. 


  1. Can you read at least 10 times at home during the week? 
  2. The new Homework Hero grid has been sent home - can you try some of the challenges over the next few weeks?

The Easter Story


This week we have been learning the Easter Story and how Christians celebrate Easter. We learnt some new wizard words including Christian and Resurrection. We listened to The Easter Story and in our writing recalled what happened in the story. We also learnt how Christians celebrate Easter and drew pictures and wrote sentences to show how Easter is celebrated. On Thursday we had a special visit, Reverend Simon came from a local church. He told us that Christians believe that Easter is a time of change. He also brought his guitar and taught us some songs that we enjoyed singing. At the end of the week we made bread, first we mixed the bread mix and water, then we kneaded the dough, left it to rise and then baked it. The children really enjoyed kneading the dough, and were all very proud of their finished product. This linked to what we learnt in the Easter story about Jesus breaking bread with his friends. 


This week in maths we have learned to rotate and manipulate shapes to make new shapes, by fitted shapes together, or cutting up shapes. This is called spatial reasoning. We learnt that if you cut a square into four you can make four smaller squares, and if you put together two triangles you can make a diamond. We explored this by fitting pieces of numicon into a numicon board, putting the right amount of cubes into shapes and making pictures out of shapes. Can you continue to explore this at home? You could complete a jigsaw puzzle, look at shapes of objects at home and see what new shapes could be made by adding objects together or covering part of the object up. 


In provision we have been making fruit salad in the home corner, painting pictures of the easter story, sharing easter books in the book corner, writing lists for easter pictures, using our cutting skills to make easter baskets, making rabbits in the creative area, using playdough to decorate eggs and writing about the changes we have noticed to the caterpillar since we have had them.


On Friday we took part in the KS1 and FS Easter bonnet parade. We enjoyed showing our bonnets to the other classes and parading around the school hall wearing them while singing ‘chick chick chick chick chicken’! 


All five caterpillars have now formed Chrysalis and have been in their chrysalis for a week now. These will hatch over the holidays, but don’t worry Miss Smith has taken them home to keep them safe and will update children and parents on class dojo when they hatch. 


Don’t forget to complete the holidays challenges:

  • Learn to recall number bonds to 5
  • Review all the phase 2 and 3 graphemes we have learnt
  • Review all he tricky words we have learnt
  • Complete the creative challenge of making a shoe for our new topic next half term ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’


We hope all the children have a wonderful Easter holiday, they have all worked very hard this term and are now two thirds of their way through their first year of school!

Our Fruit Salad

In Literacy we have been learning about instructions and writing our shopping lists for the Sainsbury's trip. The week started with the children GIVING Miss Smith and Miss Currier instructions as to how they should plant a potato (this is all part of a whole school potato growing competition!) The children had to be specific with what they wanted the teachers to do, in order for the planting to be successful. 

From this children then followed instructions to complete tasks, including their very own fruit salad! We had lots of fun, checking if instructions were correct or whether if we followed them it wouldn’t work!

Our trip to Sainsbury’s was a huge success, and we used the fruit to make our very own fruit salad. In Miss Smith’s class, some of the children even tried tinned rhubarb! It was great to finish off our learning with this trip, and it was a great experience for everyone! If you want to listen to Oliver’s Fruit Salad, use this link 

During maths, we have been adding two numbers, including two digit numbers (e.g. 11, 14). We have used cubes and number tracks, then moved onto putting the biggest number in our head and counting on. We had an ‘Adding Machine’ in the classroom to practise adding, and put cereal hoops onto sticks to help add two numbers. Try out these links for some maths games Addition To 10 ( Robot Addition (

This week has also been Mental Health Week at Gleadless, so we have been practising different ways to help us relax our minds and think about ourselves. It is important that we look after our mental health, and find strategies to use when we might be feeling sad or angry. The focus was ‘Let’s Connect’ so we have been thinking of our relationships at school and how we can all be a great friend!

We still have our special guests, the caterpillars, and this week we have seen more of their transformation as all FIVE caterpillars have spun their very own chrysalis. It has been exciting to see Curly, Cally, Cato, Tony and Max grow from tiny caterpillars, to large, hairy caterpillars and then spin their chrysalides. Hopefully they will be ready to hatch out of their chrysalides before the Easter break! 

As we head into the final week, please remember parents are invited in for a longer event on Thursday and we are having an Easter Bonnet Parade on Friday! 

Oliver’s Fruit Salad


This week we started reading the book Oliver’s Fruit Salad. In the story Oliver goes to the supermarket and buys lots of fruit and comes back home and makes a fruit salad. We are very excited, as next week we will be going on our school trip to the Supermarket and then we will come back to school and make a fruit salad! Here is a link to the story to listen at home: 

On Monday we did a TasteEd lesson and we used the sense of touch. We touched lots of different fruits, and described what they felt like. Afterwards if we wanted to, we tasted some fruit, we tried grapes, cherries, pineapple, and pear. 

In Literacy this week we have been writing about our favourite fruit, looking in non fiction books to learn about different fruit, making fruit in playdough, and writing sentences about the story. Also we learnt where in the world different fruit is grown, and why they are grown in different parts of the world. 


In Maths this week we have been learning to count and recognise numbers to 20, and then we learnt how to count beyond 20. We have enjoyed counting and moving to this count to 100 song: 


In provision this week we have designed our own fruit salad, made observational drawings of fruit using chalk, role played in the cafe, and painted fruit pictures. 


Also this week we took part in Science day where we used different materials to try and make bridges to hold a small car. We loved joining in with the ‘Red Nose Day’ danceathon where we danced for 15 minutes without stopping, we used our best dance moves during this time! 

The lifecycle of a caterpillar


Our week started with a special delivery of 5 caterpillars into Reception. These caterpillars have now been named Cally, Curly, Cato, Tony and Max. Thank you to everyone who sent in some name suggestions!

With our special visitors, we decided to learn about their lifecycle. We started by watching a short clip about the lifecycle ( and from this learning our Wizard Words for the week. These words included : emerges, ready, chrysalis and spins. We also learnt the word METAMORPHOSIS

In maths, we recapped 3d shapes. We reintroduced the words we can use when describing shapes - vertices, edges and faces. Sometimes there is a confusion between 2d and 3d shapes, for example called a cube a square because of its square faces. There is an activity to complete at home to support this learning. We also started to practise making repeating patterns (but unfortunately the snow put a stop to it) 

During provision time, children have been practising their writing based on the lifecycle, finding tricky words in books, making caterpillars, creating patterns and using playdoh to make shapes. 

Then on Thursday it snowed! It has been great to see your snowy photos from our snow day on Friday. Have a safe and warm weekend.


  1. Next week we are learning about fruits - can you look in the supermarket to see where the fruits have been grown? Start by finding out where your favourite fruit is from 
  2. Read 10 times during the week to move upto the next reading planning
  3. Complete the maths home learning and practise the phonics from this week


The Very Hungry caterpillar!


This week we have continued our topic of ‘Growing and Healthy Eating’ and have been learning the story of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’. We learnt some new ‘Wizard words’ about the story including hungry, butterfly, beautiful, chrysalis, and cocoon. In Literacy we wrote sentences about what the caterpillar ate, and wrote about what happened in the story. 


In Maths this week we have been learning number bonds to 10. We learnt that number bonds to 10 are two numbers, when added together, make 10. We enjoyed chanting this song in class to help us remember them: 


Thursday was a very exciting day, as it was ‘World Book Day’, we enjoyed taking part in the big bedtime read and coming into school in our pyjamas. We shared our favourite books with the class and what we liked about the books. Also, we went into the hall and took part in the ‘book swap’ and took a new book to take home. Something very strange also happened in the classroom, as all the crayons quit!!! We were shocked to find that there were no crayons, pens and pencil crayons in the classroom, and we found lots of notes from the pencils including ‘no more colouring, we quit, you left the lids off, we are leaving’. Then we shared the book ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’, we wrote letters back to the crayons to say sorry and to ask them to come back. We were delighted to find they came back! We celebrated by drawing and colouring lots of colourful pictures, like Duncan did in the story ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’. Here is a link to the story if you want to listen to it at home: 


During inside PE we have been doing dance, and we are learning a short dance routine each week. During outside PE we have been working as a team to solve problems. This week we completed the ‘cross the river’ challenge where we had to work as a team to cross the river using hoops. We learnt how to listen to each member of our team and it was important that everyone in the team had to cross the river. 


What comes out of an egg?

This week we have started our new topic ‘Growing and Healthy Eating’ and have been learning about what comes out of an egg. We learnt about different animals that lay eggs, and learnt the life cycle of a chicken. We enjoyed learning a song about the life cycle of a chick, here is a link if you want to sing it at home: In Maths this week we learnt how to represent 9 and 10. We are super at writing number sentences now, and have been writing number sentences to show how to make 9 and 10. 


On Tuesday we learnt about ‘Shrove Tuesday’ which is sometimes called Pancake Day, we learnt that this is the day before a time that Christians call Lent. We enjoyed pancakes in class, and learnt about how pancakes are enjoyed around the world. 


In provision this week we have enjoyed writing what comes out of eggs, representing 9 and 10 in different ways using maths resources, making chicks in the creative area, making an animal that comes out of an egg in the playdough, drawing the life cycle of a chick in chalks, and making a box to keep an egg safe in the construction area. In P4C this week we passed around a mysterious box that arrived in the classroom. We thought about ‘if we should look after the box?’ and what might be inside the box. Inside was a nest, we shared ideas of if we should look after nests if we found one. 


It was lovely to welcome lots of parents to the Class Assembly on Friday, all the Foundation Stage staff were so proud of how well the children did! Thank you for coming and being a part of it. 

People who help us

Following our visit from the police officers last week, we have focused this week on learning about different jobs we might like to do when we are older.

We were able to watch a variety of videos from people we know, or people other teachers at Gleadless know, to find out about their jobs. These included a paramedic, scientist, ecologist, head kit keeper at SUFC, lorry driver and Mr G who came to our classes to talk about his job as Gleadless’ caretaker! Each person told us about their role in their job. From this, children were able to talk about what they would like to do when they grow up – we had children saying they would like to be scientists, firefighters, police officers and teachers! At home, you could talk about the jobs different family and friends have.

We also discussed what we would need to be able to do these jobs, for example we said as a firefighter we would need to be strong to be able to hold the hosepipe to put out the fires.

We continued to learn about measure in Maths, this week focusing on length, height and breadth. The children have found it exciting to use the metre sticks and other resources, to measure different objects around the classroom (and themselves!) We also looked at time, seeing how long it takes us to do different activities. We have not yet learnt about reading the time, but this is something that you can still talk about at home, e.g. bedtime is at 7 o’clock.

When the children have been in the provision, they have been pretending to be vets in the role play area, weighing objects, writing and drawing about what they would like to be when they grow up and dressing up as different occupations.

Every week, Mrs Wait leads a Helicopter Stories session with each Reception class. Here is a little bit of information about Helicopter Stories: "Helicopter Stories is in theory a simple approach. The practitioner sits with the child, listens to their story, and writes it down word for word. Once all the stories have been scribed, the class gather around, ready to act them out. Helicopter Stories values children’s creativity and imaginative play, whilst supporting language development, storytelling and emergent literacy." The children respond really well to this time, and the stories they are making up are getting more and more imaginative! Some of the photos with this blog are from Miss Smith’s class, acting out a story they had made up.

In PE, we have been practising different skills such as jumping, throwing, balancing things on our heads and moving in different ways. After the holiday, we will be starting to do indoor and outdoor PE sessions, so please send in their PE kits for clothing suitable for both indoors (shorts, t-shirt, pumps) and outdoors (joggers, jumper and trainers).


  1. See extra Dojo story about creative challenge for the holiday
  2. Practise the sounds in the Little Wandle booklet, and the Tricky Words on the additional sheet
  3. Read at home, this should be a mix of storybooks and the reading books/ebooks we send home – after the holiday we are asking for 10 reads per week at home.

Let’s innovate!


This week we have been continuing our topic of Knights and Princesses and have innovated the story of George and the Dragon. We thought about what the knight and dragon were like and described them using adjectives. Then we thought of lots of different ideas for the new character and made sure they had these qualities, finally we voted to pick our new characters. Miss Currier’s class changed the story to Captain America and the Cheetah, and Miss Smith’s class changed the story to Hawkeye and the Witch. 


In Maths this week we have been learning about mass and capacity. We explored using the balance scales and weighed lots of different objects to see which ones were higher or lighter than others. We described these using full sentences for example, the pencil is lighter than the book. Later on in the week we learnt about capacity. We experimented with different size bottles and containers to see which ones held the most water and then we ordered them. 


In provision this week we have enjoyed labelling different parts of a castle, drawing story maps of the story George and the Dragon, creating shields, painting dragons, making dragons in playdough and dressing up and knights and princesses. 


On Friday we had a visit from a Police Officer and he talked about how he helps and looks after us. Next week we'll be learning more about how lots of different people help and look after us in their different jobs. 


Challenges for the week!

  1. Can you explore containers at home and work out which ones have the greatest and least capacity?
  2. Read 7 times in a week to move up one or two reading rockets
  3. Complete the phonics homework and handwriting sheet

George and the Dragon

We had an exciting message from Sir George at the start of the week. After his visit a couple of weeks ago he had sent another message asking for our help. He wanted us to learn a story all about him! He sent some Wizard Words to start us off: defeated, lake, villagers, slay, princess, knight and demanded were just a few. We learnt what these words meant and then predicted what we thought the story would be about. There were some excellent ideas from both classes.

We then needed to see if our predictions were right, so we listened to the story that Sir George sent to us. It is called ‘George and the dragon’ and in the story, a dragon DEMANDS a princess every day. George decides he is not scared of the dragon so he goes to defeat the dragon and save the princess.

The children have been enjoying learning this story, and following a story map to help them retell it themselves! There has been dressing up, with children pretending to be a princess or a knight, we even had a jester wandering around! Make sure to ask your children about this story at home.

In Maths, we have been combining two groups (adding) to find out how many altogether. We have used a part whole model to show our working out. It has been great to hear children using full sentences when talking about their working out “5 plus 3 is equal to 8”

We are continuing with our PE skills and this week we practised jumping. We were shown 5 different jumps which we practised and then we used them in a game called ‘Ladders’, we had to listen for our number and when it was our turn we had to race down a line by jumping.

This week in Phonics, we learnt our final phase 3 sounds ‘air’ and ‘er’. Now that we have learnt all of these sounds we will be using them everyday in our reading and writing. We also started to look at longer words with double letters, such as ‘rubber’ and ‘ladder’, chunking the word up so that it was easier to read. We will continue the skill of chunking next week. We also learnt 3 tricky words ‘are’, ‘pure’ and ‘sure’.


  1. Practise number formation – this can be done on a tablet using a website like this or it can be practised on paper/in flour/whiteboard/paintbrush in water
  2. Practise the sounds on your Phonics homework, can you spot them in any of your books at home? Or any signs on the way to school?
  3. Continue to read at home – children need 7 reads in order to move up the planets

Chinese New Year

We started the week with some fact finding about castles. We used the Wizard Words moat, keep, drawbridge, turret, grand hall and dungeon. It was interesting to find out more for our topic Knights and Princesses. Next week we are going to learn a story about a knight!

From Wednesday we started to learn about a celebration that is happening this weekend, Chinese New Year

Miss Smith told us that she lived in Beijing for two years and she shared with us some objects she had from China. We used our questioning skills from last week to ask some really good questions. Miss Smith even taught us how to count in Mandarin to ten. We were able to explore Chinese New Year in the classroom; trying some calligraphy, making lanterns and dressing up. We have also learnt why there is Chinese New Year. This year will be the year of the rabbit. In reception, children would either have been born in the year of the rooster or the year of the dog. We listened to the story of the Zodiac animals, 12 animals who raced to decide which order they would be in for the years.

On Thursday we were able to wear our sports clothes as part of Census day. Most children tried a school dinner (with many opting for the red option – hot dog!) We went in the hall and did some fun sports activities. We have also had our normal PE sessions, with Friday’s being a Chinese New Year theme. We tried some dragon dancing!

We are adding to our Phonics sounds each week, with 4 new ones this week including the trigraph ‘ear’. We also learnt ‘ow’, ‘oi’ and ‘ur’, and the tricky words my, by, all.

In maths, we continued to look at the composition of numbers and then moved onto pairs. Not just pairing objects (e.g. socks, wellies) but looking at if a number of objects could be put into equal pairs e.g. 6 can but 7 can’t.


  1. Practise the sounds from this week’s Phonics sessions
  2. Draw a castle, and label it (either verbally or try and write the words)
  3. Read 7 times throughout the week – is there a book you particularly liked, would you like us to read it at school?


Can you be creative and make something for Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rabbit? It might be a picture of a rabbit, a rabbit mask or even help to make a meal for Chinese New Year at home (send us a photo!)

Knights and Princesses

This week we started our new topic Knights and Princesses. In Literacy we have been learning about questions and how to ask questions. We thought about what we’d like to find out about Knights and Princesses. On Friday we had some special visitors, Princess Charlotte, Sir George and even a Dragon! Princess Charlotte and Sir George told us about what it was like to live in the past and we asked them questions. We used what we had learnt in our Literacy books to write a sentence about what they ate in the past. Can you tell a grown up at home what you learnt about Knights and Princesses?


In Maths we continued to learn how to subitise amounts to 5. Subitise is when you look at an amount and know how much it is without counting. We are getting really good at using this in our Maths learning. This week we have also been learning about composition of numbers. We looked at ways of making 4 and 5. Can you practise making 4 and 5 at home with different amounts from your house?


In provision this week we have enjoyed exploring our new topic, we have made shields in the playdough, drawn Knights and Princesses in chalk, and looked at books about Knights and Princesses. 


Also this week Concerteenies visited us at Gleadless. We helped them to perform during a retelling of a story called Mouse and Bear. It was great to be part of this and to experience some live music playing!


Challenges for this week

  1. Complete Phonics handwriting and homework sheet 
  2. Read your phonics book three times at home (team this with other books to read at least 7 times in a week)
  3. Practise making 4 and 5 at home with different amounts from your house?

Happy New Year

It has been great to welcome back all the children this week. Attendance has been really good this week. We hope that we have seen the last of the nasty bugs that have been going round.

We got straight into our learning on Wednesday with a story called ‘A little bit of winter’, we have been thinking about winter and how it is different to other seasons. We have also been using our phonics and shape coding skills to write initial sounds, words and sentences about the story. 

In Phonics we have learnt FOUR new sounds this week – see the home learning sheet for more information about these. We have been introduced to 3 new digraphs ai (rain), ee (sheep), oa (goat) and one new trigraph igh (light). We will continue to recap these sounds alongside new sounds that we learn each week. 

During our maths learning we have been exploring 0 (zero) and what it is. We have also used words such as more than, fewer than and same as to compare amounts of objects. We also explored quantities and how it doesn’t matter what size something is, it is about how many there are. For example, if we had 1 house and 4 shoes, we would know that there are more shoes even though the house is bigger. 

We have also started to set our own personal new years resolutions for when we are at school. There is a home learning challenge to think of a resolution for home too.



  1. Reading! Now that we are into Spring term we would like children to try to read at least 7 times each week, at home. Due to the amount of reads we would like you to do, we will count two reads per day towards this total (for example you might read once before school and then once before bed) We will continue to count any additional reads towards the lucky draw at the end of the term. 
  2. Check out the Homework Hero grid.
  3. Practise the sounds from this week’s Phonics – ai, ee, igh, oa

Merry Christmas!

What an exciting week we have had in FS2! This week we have done lots of Christmas activities in the class, including reading the Nativity story and retelling it in our Literacy lessons. In continuous provision we have made Christmas biscuits with playdough, painted Christmas wreaths, written letters to Santa, fed the reindeers the count amount of carrots for the numbers, written what has been in Santa's sack, made Santa's sleigh in the construction area and made Christmas pictures in the creative area. 

We loved welcoming lots of parents to our parents' craft morning, this week. The children loved making a Christmas decoration to take home. This week we had a very special visitor! Santa came to visit us on Wednesday, all the children received a present from him and they loved asking him questions and they sang him lots of songs too! This week we have had lots of other festive fun, with Christmas dinner and jumper day on Wednesday, and Christmas parties on Thursday. This week we also enjoyed playing out in the snow, and built a snowman!

Next half term we will be learning about Winter the first week and then starting our new topic ‘Knights and Princesses’ over the holidays we are setting a challenge to make a shield or a crown or a princess or a knight for our classroom? This is a craft activity. We were so impressed with all the rockets you made that we would like you to try this new challenge! You can use toilet tubes, cardboard, Christmas chocolate boxes and other junk materials from around your house. If you do make something, please bring it in so that you can share it with the class.

Don’t forget to read your reading book over the holidays, and practise the grapheme we have learnt this Autumn Term. Well done to everyone who has received Reading Certificates this half term for five reads. Next term we are asking that children try to do 7 reads to get a certificate, as the numbers get higher for the amount of reads, we will be counting up to 2 reads per day towards the 7. This means if a child reads in the morning and then in the evening, both can go towards the 7 reads that week. We will also still be tallying up children who read at least 10 times. Reading the books on Collins ebooks can also count towards the 7 reads.

We hope all the children have a lovely Christmas and we look forward to seeing them all in the New Year. 

Nativity and Library Trip

It has been another busy week in Reception! It has also been a week of ‘firsts’ for our children.

Some of our classes performed twice on Wednesday for our grown ups in ‘The First Nativity’. This was the children’s first time performing live. Both performances were superb and it was great for the children to be able to perform on a stage, looking out at their grown ups in the audience. They have worked so hard in the run up to the performance and it really showed on the day! We hope if you were able to come and watch that you enjoyed it as much as the children enjoyed singing and performing for you. 

On Thursday, we then headed off for our very first class trip. We are proud of all the children who came on the trip as their behaviour was phenomenal. We caught the tram and went into town to visit the Children’s Library. Thank you to our parent and grandparent volunteers – without volunteers our trips can not always go ahead. 

We have been continuing our phonics and Maths learning this week. Phonics sessions have been a chance for us to revisit all of our learning this half term, including the Tricky Words. In Maths, we have been looking at measuring time. We started by identifying what happens in the daytime and what happens at night time. Then we used the number of sleeps to see how many we had before important events (Christmas party, Christmas dinner, class trip). We have used Wizard Words to describe the trip – ‘before’, ‘during’, ‘next’, ‘after’. 

In the provision we have had lots of Christmas themed activities including wrapping presents, painting wreaths, writing a letter to Santa and writing Christmas cards. 

Next week is our final week of the term. We hope that children will be able to join us throughout the week. Parents are invited in on Thursday for an extended morning activity, as well as Monday morning. 

Have a good weekend. We hope that children get plenty of rest and those who have been unwell start to feel better. 


  1. Continue to read at home, we are getting to the end of another half term so it would be great to see as many children moving up a planet next week. After next week, all children will then fly back to the fuelling station. 
  2. Practise the Tricky Words. There is a very catchy song you could play We are also sending Tricky Words home for you to practise.
  3. Measure how many sleeps until important events e.g. Christmas, going to a friends house

Christmas is coming!


This week we have started the countdown to Christmas in FS2. Over the weekend the roleplay area turned into a living room! We enjoyed role playing when Santa got stuck up the chimney and Stickman had to rescue him, and when Stickman helped Santa deliver presents. We have also worked as a team to decorate the classroom for Christmas. On Thursday we had a big shock when we found a video of some reindeer that broke into school and left us a present! Inside was an elf, Santa had sent us the elf and we need to help the elf to make green choices until Christmas. 


We have been continuing to learn about the book Stickman and outside we built Stickman a house with some sticks. Inside we used the topic tray to draw a map of the places Stickman went to in the book. We also looked at real life places where Stickman went to and compared how they are different from where we live. We looked at a wood, park, and beach. 


In Literacy we have been continuing to learn how to create and speak in full sentences. This week we created sentences about what happened to Stickman. We used lots of new wizard words in our sentences, including floating, lying, on, in, chasing, driving, throwing. 


In Maths we have been learning about shapes, this week we looked at squares and rectangles and compared what is similar and different about them. We used the wizard words corners, sides, straight in our sentences. 


We have been continuing to practise for our Nativity, we are very excited to show you our performance next week!


Challenges for the weekend:

  • Read your phonics books three times at a home this week
  • Complete your phonics homework- practise recognising the sounds, read the sentences and tricky words and complete the handwriting sheet
  • Go on a shape hunt around the house, look for objects that are rectangles and squares.
  • Design and make a Christmas card for your class


For the next couple of weeks, we are going to be learning all about Stickman and his adventures. 

This week we started the week by recapping some of the words that had been sent home, and then adding some more words that will help us with the story of Stickman. Some of our Wizard Words have been boomerang, free and swam. You can see some of these words displayed in the classrooms and your child will bring them home on Friday.

There have been many Stickman related activities to complete including painting with a stick, making a Stickman and ordering stickmen. We have also been using our phonics to write CVC words from the story, including dog, pen and bag. 

Want to listen to the story again? Use this link

In Maths we have learnt different ways to find one more or one less of a number – we used bead strings, cubes, number lines and our heads! We used the number rhyme ‘5 currant buns’ to help understand one more and one less. See below for an interactive game you can play to practise finding one more or one less.

Our practising for the Christmas play has been in full swing this week. We have had lots of rehearsals with nursery, including a practise on the stage in the hall. Please make sure you return your slip to say if you would like tickets for our performance on 7th December. 

Despite the weather this week, some children have been able to help plant bulbs for the Spring – hopefully in March we will start to see these bulbs appearing and some pretty flowers in our outdoor area. 

During Jigsaw time we have been talking about families. We have discussed that we all have a family and it is ok if they are different. 

It has been another busy week in Reception.



  1. Try this game to support our maths learning from the week 
  2. Read 5 times over 5 different days to move up to the next rocket
  3. Complete the phonics handwriting

Nursery Rhymes, Odd socks and Spotty day!


This week we have taken part in National Nursery Rhyme week, every day we have sung a different nursery rhyme. Here the links to the nursery rhymes we have sung this week:


The big ship sails on the alley alley oh 

Twinkle Twinkle little star 

Five little speckled frogs 


1, 2, 3, 4, 5 once I caught a fish alive 


In the classroom we have done lots of learning based around the nursery rhymes. We painted ships in the painting area, thought about where we would want to go on a ship in the topic tray, made stars in the playdough, sang the nursery rhymes in the reading corner, and made star wands in the creative area. 


In Literacy we have been continuing to learn how to create sentences. This week we have created sentences about what the sailor did on the ship on the ally ally oh. We have been using something called shape coding. In shape coding “who” and “what” words are blue and “doing” words are orange. Here are some of our sentences:

In Maths we have been learning to recognise 4 and 5. We went on a number hunt around school, representing it using objects and five frames and counted to 4 and 5 in lots of different ways. 


This week has also been anti-bullying week and we came to school on Monday in Odd Socks to show everyone at Gleadless is unique and we celebrate everyone’s differences. We have been talking about how we can use our voice and reaching out with kind words. We thought about scenarios where someone hadn’t been kind and what we could do to correct it. 


On Friday we took part in lots of Children in Need activities, and loved doing the hopathon outside! 


Challenges for the weekend:

  • Read your phonics book and practise writing this week’s graphemes we have learnt
  • Practise counting to 5! sing along to this sing, go on a number hunt in your house or outside, can you find 4 of the same objects at home? Can you find 5 of the same objects?
  • Talk about the ‘Stickman’ words that have been sent home- more information about this has been posted on class dojo. 

Bonfire Night

We continued our topic of ‘Celebrations’ this week, by learning about bonfire night. We started the week sharing if we had been to any Bonfire celebrations over the weekend. Our teachers were impressed with how well we could speak about the fireworks we had seen. 

In Literacy we looked at a firework poem:


The rockets in the sky went swish swish bang

swish swish bang

swish swish bang

The rockets in the sky went swish swish bang

on bonfire night

The Catherine wheels spun round and round

round and round

round and round

The Catherine wheels spun round and round

on bonfire night

The jumping jacks went jump bang jump

jump bang jump

jump bang jump

The jumping jacks went jump bang jump

on bonfire night


After learning this poem, we started to create sentences about what the fireworks did, and even added some of our own words!

We have had lots of creative activities going on throughout the week, including using tissue paper and chalks to create a Bonfire, painting in the style of Charles Fazzino and using shapes to make a firework.

In Maths we learnt about triangles and circles, with some children going on a hunt around school to find these shapes. We also looked at positional language. Miss Smith recorded a video completing an obstacle course and we had to describe it using some of our Wizard Words – on top, behind, under and behind. 

We are also very fortunate to have Mr Malkin joining us for PE. This week FS2 S did some gymnastics with him, using the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Next week FS2 C will be working with him. Mr Malkin was very impressed with the behaviour of our children on Monday!

In Jigsaw we shared things that we are good at. It is lovely to hear all children feeling confident enough to share the things they are good at, at home and school. It’s also fantastic that we are all unique and that it doesn’t matter if we are good at something different to our friends. 

We finished the week off with Remembrance Day, learning about why we had it and making poppies out of a range of materials. We held a 2 minute silence at 11am, and everyone was respectful. 

Here are a few up and coming dates for your diaries:

From Monday 14th November

Parents will now be invited in every MONDAY and THURSDAY. On a Monday parents are invited to stay until 8.50am. On Thursday it will be until 8.40am

14th November 

Odd socks day – to kick start Anti-bullying week, children can wear odd socks to school (more information was sent via the School story on Dojo)

18th November

Children in Need – wear something spotty (more information was sent via the School story on Dojo including the Just Giving link for any donations)

7th December

Reception and Nursery nativity performances

8th December 

Reception trip to Central Library 

Week beginning 12th December

We will be holding an extra parent event this week – further information to follow

14th December

Christmas lunch and Christmas jumper day

15th December

Class party



  1. Can you go on your own shape hunt around your house or local area? Can you spot triangles and circles? Are there any other shapes you could find? Send in some photos on Dojo.
  2. Check out the homework hero menu – is there a challenge you can try to complete over the weekend?
  3. Continue to read at home – 5 reads on different days = move up a planet. 

The festival of Light!


We have enjoyed welcoming back the children after the half term break. This week we have been learning about the festival of light, Diwali. We learnt the story of Rama and Sita, and learnt some new words when learning the story. When we learn new words in Reception we call these wizard words.

In Maths this week we have been learning about comparing and the composition of numbers 1, 2 and 3. We compared amounts to 3 and used the language more and fewer. We also learnt different ways to make amounts to 3. For example 2 and 1 makes 3, 1 and 2 makes 3 etc. 


In continuous provision we have been doing lots of activities about Dwiali. We have enjoyed dressing up in the home corner, drawing hand patterns, and making Rangoli patterns with coloured rice. We have also been learning about how different countries around the world celebrate Halloween. One of our challenges this week was to create a circuit to light up a pumpkin. We used wires, batteries, and LED lights to make a simple circuit. 


This week in PE we started our new topic of gymnastics. We learnt different gymnastic shapes. Can you show a grown up at home the new gymnastic shapes we learnt?

Challenges for the week!

Can you retell the story of Rama and Sita to a grown up at home? Can you tell them what the wizard words mean?

Can you find three different objects at home, show a grown up how many different ways you can make 3 and 2?


Innovation Week


This week we have learnt a new word, ‘innovate’. This word means when something is changed. We have been innovating ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’. In FS2 S, the children have changed it to ‘The three hissing snakes’ with a shark instead of a troll. In FS2 C, the children have changed it to ‘The three fluffy Guinea Pigs’ with a dinosaur. All children have enjoyed learning the story and then changing it to make it their own. There has been a lot of innovation this week, and it has been great to share ideas with each other.


In maths, we have been learning about amounts of numbers, and how many we will need to represent a numeral. For example, recognising that if we see three trees, that will be shown using the number ‘3’. We are also learning how to subitise, this means when we see a group of objects we can say how many there are without counting. A good way to practise this is using a dice. There is also an activity in the challenges section below that you can use to practise subitising at home.

Other learning

We have been practising our painting skills this week, which included mixing powder paint to make different colours. We have created our own Andy Warhol inspired pictures. The children have mixed colours to create the shade they wanted.

In Jigsaw, our keyword was responsibility. We were given a cube and had to be responsible for it. That meant not throwing it, losing it or dropping it. It was an interesting task, and children tried really hard to show responsibility for it.

It has been great to meet with parents this week to discuss how each child has settled in this half term. We are very proud of all our children!


We have come to the end of our first half term in Reception. It is time for a rest and some quality family time for all. Our next topic is ‘Celebrations’ and we will be posting out a Dojo message about a small challenge over the holiday.

See you all on 31st October!


  1. Practise subitising using this link
  2. All children should have received a new reading book and Reading for Pleasure book, please read these, as well as other books you might have, over the holiday. Remember to record in your Reading Diary

Three Billy Goats Gruff!

This week we have been learning about the traditional tale ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’. We learnt some new ‘Wizard Words’ for the story. Wizard Words are new words to us. Can you tell a grown up at home what the new words mean?  troll, gruff, suddenly, finally, troll, first, second, third

We used this story mat to retell the story and made actions to retell the story. During our time in provision we have been doing lots of activities about the story including, making the troll in playdough, drawing the characters and acting out the story. We also made bridges for the goats to cross the river, we looked at old and new bridges and talked about what materials are used to make bridges. 

In Maths we have been learning about repeating patterns. We made repeating patterns in lots of different ways including, paint, autumn natural items, and actions. Can you show a grown up at home a repeating action pattern? 

In one of our story times this week we read the book ‘Leaf man’ and talked about the changes we had observed during the Autumn season. Here is a link to the story if you want to listen to it at home

Challenges for the weekend?

Can you retell the story to a grown up at home using the story map?

Can you create a repeating pattern with objects from your house? E.g. knives, forks and spoons. 

If you send a dojo message of you completing a challenge you will get a dojo point! 

October is here


Sporting Heroes

It was great to see children come to school on Thursday in their sports kits, we had footballers, dancers, race car drivers and other sports! Children got involved in the day’s activities, including an extra special sports session with Mr Briddock, our PE specialist! We learnt about some local sports stars including Jessica Ennis, Joe Root, Billy Sharp and Grace Clough. Some children designed a school lunch for them! See the photos attached for some of the things we got up to on Thursday!



We have continued to learn even more sounds! This week we were introduced to a digraph, that’s a sound that is made by two letters. We learnt the digraph, ‘ck’ like in neck, duck and chicken. We have been using all of our sounds so far to help in our new Guided Reading sessions. These take place three times a week for each child, in a small group. We look at a book and think about the sounds we can hear or read in the book. Join us next Friday (14th) to learn more about reading in Reception!


Gentle Hands

During our Jigsaw session this week we have been thinking about Gentle Hands and why it is important we use our hands in a kind way. We listened to a story called ‘Hands are not for hitting’

Can you think of the different ways we can use our hands in a kind way? For example, we can use our hands to high five our friend, or to give someone a hug.


Other learning

We have been thinking about what we could do as a baby, a toddler and what we can do now as a child. The children were excellent at using some of our Wizard Words (special words we learn each week) to speak in full sentences e.g. ‘First a baby uses a bottle’

In Maths, we have been comparing amounts using the Wizard Words ‘more’ and ‘fewer’. We have been using our counting skills to help when comparing.



This week, FS2 S have had two days of a full class! This is great! We love having all of the children’s smiling faces in school each day.

Every Friday during our Sparkle and Shine assembly, children who have been in every day during the week have their name put into the special box (Miss Currier’s) or special mug (Miss Smith’s). We pick one name from each and they win a special prize!


Challenges for the week!

  1. Can you practise some different sports over the weekend? Can you run like Jessica Ennis? Kick a ball like Billy Sharp? Or use a racket and ball like Joe Root? You might have a swimming lesson this weekend, or football practice? Can you share your sports with your class?  
  2. Practise your reading book at home – remember 3 reads on different days = a move up the planets! Reach the STAR for an extra special prize.
  3. Next week in Maths we are looking at patterns – can you make an Autumn pattern? E.g. big leaf, little leaf. Send in a photo on Class Dojo!

‘Starting School’ by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

It has been great to see so many children attending every day! Well done to FS2 C for your 100% attendance for the whole week! Ms Gaffney is so impressed, as are all the staff in Reception! Keep it up!

During Literacy we have been listening to the story ‘Starting School’ written by our authors of the term, Janet and Allan Ahlberg. This school outlines the week and school, year for a class of children. We listened to it and thought about the similar things we do at Gleadless, as well as the things we do differently. We used our Phonics to help identify the initial sound in words, for example assembly starts with ‘a’. It is great to see children using Phonics in other aspects of their learning!

Listen to the story here 

In Maths, we have been looking at some special words – same, match, odd and pair. We used these to describe pairs of socks and wellingtons. It was funny when the teachers tried to match two socks that were different! Luckily the children were able to correct it.

This week also saw the introduction of our WOW travel tracker. Each morning we record how we travelled to school. It is a walk to school challenge! The more we walk, cycle, scooter or park and stride, the more chance we have of gaining a special badge. See the photos below for the badges you can win this year!

Each morning we have participated in a new Linked Provision task. We have been focusing on cutting using a fork and knife, writing our names, playing I-Spy and writing sounds we have learnt in Phonics.

In Phonics we have learnt 4 new phonemes (the sounds a letter makes) and we were introduced to our first Tricky Word – ‘is’. Tricky Words are called that because we can not segment them, we just have to learn to recognise them. Each week we will be introduced to more Tricky Words. Check your Phonics homework this week to see which sounds we have learnt.

The Phonics scheme we follow ‘Little Wandle’ has a resources page for parents which you might also find useful

Next week, children will be receiving a reading book alongside their Reading for Pleasure book. This reading book is for them to read/talk about to their grown up.

 Jigsaw Jenie got us thinking about others’ feelings and how we need to respect them just as much as our own feelings. In our classes we decided that sharing is a good choice and it makes everyone feel happier in class!

 It has been another exciting and busy week in Reception. It is fantastic to see children settle and get involved with their learning.

Challenges for the week!

Can you help pair up socks in your house? Which socks match? How do you know?

Do you have any Janet or Allan Ahlberg books at home? Can you find any in the library or online? Read some of their books, with your grown up, and decide which one you like the best. Miss Smith likes ‘Jolly Postman’ and Miss Currier likes ‘Each Peach Pear Plum’


Week Three in Reception!

This week we may have only had four days at school but they have been a very busy four days! On Tuesday we honoured the Queen by making marmalade sandwiches, like she liked to eat with Paddington Bear! We used our listening skills to listen to the instructions on how to make the sandwiches, and enjoyed eating them afterwards.


We have been continuing to learn new phonemes (these are the sounds the letter makes) in our Phonics lessons. Phonics homework has been posted on class dojo and your child will have been given a paper copy also. On the homework sheet there is a guide on how to say the phonemes we have learnt this week, you may also find this video useful to help with pronunciation 

The Phonics scheme we follow ‘Little Wandle’ has a resources page for parents which you might also find useful 


This week in our Linked Provision we have continued to practise writing our names, strengthening our fingers by using lego, and practised doing up our zips on our coats by ourselves. Today was National Fitness Day, we enjoyed joining in with Darcy Bussel’s Live DDMIX Dance Workout to celebrate. 


Challenges for the week! 

Can you practise writing your name at home? Bring it in to show your teacher or ask your adult to send a picture on Class Dojo

Can you practise fastening and unfastening your buttons on your tops and jackets at home, without adult support?

Week Two – our first full week in school.

We have had a great week, continuing to get to know your children and the children getting to know each other. It has been tiring for all, with everyone in full time for the full week, but we have had lots of fun!

We tried our first Jigsaw session with Jigsaw Jenie. This is a time when we talk and think about who we are and what we like/dislike, and it being ok if we like something different to our friends. We have a special chime that we listen to, to start the session. We all did so well with this new session.

Both classes have tried PE for the first time, in the school hall and outside. It is important that children bring in a PE kit and everything has their name in.

Challenge – help your child to practise dressing themselves at home.

We started our phonics sessions too. We follow a scheme called Little Wandle. All children should have received some home learning with the sounds to practise at home.

We held our first Sparkle and Shine assembly. This was held in our class. Sparkle and Shine celebrates someone from each class each week.

Most children received their Reading Diary and a story book this week. This book will be changed every week. Please make sure your child has their book bag every day.

Challenges for you to complete:

  1. Can you send in a photo of your family? This can be sent through Class Dojo or a printed photo.
  2. Can you read 3 times at home and record it in your Reading Diary? Remember for every 3 reads you do, you can move onto the next planet. This can be any book from home, or your story book from school or you could even watch a story
  3. We have been playing interactive maths games on the boards in the classroom. You can have a go at home

Welcome to the Foundation Stage Two Blog!


Each week we will post a blog with information and photos about the learning we have been doing in FS2. This week we have enjoyed getting to know the children and they have all settled in very well to Reception. The children have been learning the routines and rules of Reception, and loved exploring the classrooms, the outside areas and getting to know new friends in their class and all the teachers. They were all very excited to stay for dinner and playing on the big playground. 


Today we talked about the sad news of the Queen’s passing. We looked at some pictures of her and her family, and shared a video clip of when Paddington Bear met the Queen. 


This week we have given out the first “homework hero” grid that is to be completed over this half term. It doesn’t have to be completed all at once, one or two a week is fine. Once your child has completed a piece, please either bring it into school or send a picture on Class Dojo for your child to share with their class. Next week we will be giving out Reading Diaries and Reading for Pleasure books, so please ensure your child brings their book bag to school everyday. More information will be given next week about Reading Diaries and books. 


Please can you ensure that all your child’s belongings have names either written in them or have a name label on. This includes coats, book bags, cardigans, jumpers, water bottles, lunches, PE kit and all items of clothing. 


Children’s challenge for the weekend! Can you practise putting on and zipping up your coat by yourself? 


Here are some photos of our first week at school: 


As we get closer to the summer holidays and moving to Y1, we have been looking a lot at transition.
We used Jigsaw Jenie to help us share our worries and what we were looking forward to in Y1. Some of the worries we had were about where the Y1 toilets were, what we would be learning and if there would be any trips. The things we are looking forward to are the stories we will have, lunchtimes and playtimes!

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we spent the day in our Y1 classrooms. It was great getting to know Mrs Gore and Ms Herrington. We also practised getting our lunch ourselves from the counter. Everyone was so sensible.

We took part in a TastEd session on Friday, using our senses to explore tomatoes. The main focus was on the sense of SEEING, however some of us did use TASTE to try the different tomatoes. There was lots of talk about the tomatoes and we all enjoyed taking part.

Next week is our sports day so on Thursday we practised some of the activities we will be doing.

Challenges to complete:

  1. Can you think of all the ways tomatoes can be used?
  2. Have you got any final questions for your Y1 teacher to ask next week before we break up?

Sharing a Shell

We have had yet another busy week in reception!

In literacy we have been using the story ‘Sharing a Shell’ to support our rhyming learning. We have been really good at matching rhyming words, finding rhyming words and using rhyming words in our own class poems!

In Maths we have been adding and subtracting. We had to solve problems to help the Dojos escape and we were successful!! Try the challenge below to see if you can help rescue more Dojos.

We also got to watch part of the Y6/Y5 performance. It was really good and we all were a great audience for the pupils performing during their dress rehearsal.

As we get closer to the end of term, we have been spending more time with our new Y1 teachers and the Y1 children, as these will be the children we join for lunchtimes next year. We explored the Y1 classes and then our Y1 teachers came to read us a story.

Challenges for you to complete:

  1. Dojo challenge: answer these problems to help the Dojos escape

4 + 3 =

7 – 2 =

6 + 4 =

10 – 5 =

  1. Why not listen to our story this week ‘Sharing a Shell’? You can find a link here If you listen to it with a grown up then record it in your Reading Diary!

Remember for every 10 reads you do, you can move onto the next planet! Don’t forget to check out more books at

  1. Can you use these sounds and words to write some sentences?

s     b     t            the     tree     shell       has

e.g. The small shell has a bumpy top.

Trip recount writing, quantities and a Jubilee tree!

This week we have been recapping the trip we went on to Cannon Hall Farm. We have been writing sentences, which have been fantastic! Making sure to remember finger spaces, full stops and capital letters.

In Maths, we have been looking at some keywords to do with quantities – more, less, fewer, equal and unequal. It has been great to hear everyone using these keywords during our learning.

We had a very exciting delivery on Wednesday – our Gleadless Jubilee Tree. (See this week’s Gazette for more photos of it being planted!) This tree has been planted to remember all the celebrations we did for the Queen for her Platinum Jubilee, and also that she has been the Queen for such a long time. In order to help the tree, we have been making sure to water it (luckily the rain has helped too!)

Both reception classes came together in one classroom to learn about the PANTS rule. The NSPCC have set this up because “PANTS helps children understand that their body belongs to them, and they should tell someone they trust if anything makes them feel upset or worried” We listened to a song to help us know what to do if we are worried. Listen to it here

Challenges for you to complete:

  1. Can you collect some objects in your home with a family member and compare who has the most/least? Or if the amounts are equal or unequal? Send in a photo on Class Dojo for Dojo points!
  2. Can you read 3 times at home and record it in your Reading Diary? Remember for every 10 reads you do, you can move onto the next planet – have you made it to the star yet? Don’t forget to check out books at
  3. Practise reading (and writing) these Tricky Words: he, she, we, me, be, you, all, are, her, was, they, my. Why not write them down and stick them around your house for you and your family to practise?

Our trip to Cannon Hall Farm

We have had a very exciting week in Reception, this week we went on a trip to Cannon Hall Farm. Scroll down for lots of photos from our trip! At the start of the week, in Literacy we wrote sentences about what we might see on the farm. We tried really hard to make sure our sentences had all the words in them and capital letters, finger spaces and full stops! We are becoming super star writers! 


In Maths this week we were learning how to subtract numbers from 10. We have been working hard to recognise the difference between a subtraction sign and an addition sign. We have been learning to use different equipment to help us with our number sentences, including ten frames and cubes. We have tried to recall them as quickly as possible too. Also, we have been practising our number formation and making sure we are forming our numbers correctly. Can you show a grown up at home how you can write numbers?


We had a wonderful day on Thursday on our trip to the farm. We were very excited to go on the coach, and meet all the animals at the farm. Next week in Literacy we will be writing about our trip to the farm. Can you tell a grown up at home what animals we saw? This week we have also been learning about Water Safety, and how to be safe near water. Can you tell a grown up at home how we can be safe near a river, canal or reservoir? 


Challenges for you to complete:

  1. Can you read 3 times at home and record it in your Reading Diary? Remember for every 10 reads you do, you can move onto the next planet – have you made it to the star yet? Don’t forget to check out books at
  2. Can you spot the dangers near water in this picture?
  3. Try these games to support subtraction learning  

What the Ladybird Heard!

In preparation for our trip to Cannon Hall Farm, we have been listening to a story called What the Ladybird Heard, written by Julia Donaldson. This is a story about some thieves who want to take the FINE PRIZE COW! But the, normally quiet, ladybird has a plan!

After listening to the story, we created a story map, and made maps for the farm. Next week we will be able to see if Cannon Hall Farm is similar to the one in the story. We have also been practising writing sentences about the story, using capital letters, finger spaces and full stops!

You can listen to the story here (if you listen to it then you can use it towards your home reads!)

In Maths, we have recapped 2d and 3d shapes. We have looked at real-life objects to decide which shape they are. For example, a football is a sphere! We used keywords such as corner and side to describe a 2d shape, and vertices, edge and face to describe a 3d shape.

We have been spending lots of time practising our writing with daily handwriting sessions. We have enjoyed using a range of pens to practise our writing.

We have continued to use the outdoors, and have enjoyed the sunshine. It has been quite warm, please send in sun hats and water bottles everyday as this helps us enjoy the outdoors without getting too warm.

Challenges for you to complete:

  1. Try some games to support your shape learning,
  1. Can you read 3 times at home and record it in your Reading Diary? Remember for every 10 reads you do, you can move onto the next planet – have you made it to the star yet? Don’t forget to check out books at

3. Practise your letter formation – this can be on paper, in sand, using a paintbrush and water outside, or using this link

We’re all going on a summer holiday!

It was great to welcome back all the children after the week off. We started our new topic learning all about holidays – it was great to be able to share some of the children’s holiday snaps!

We all had a go at writing a postcard about a holiday we have been on, using our phonics and word mats to help. We learnt about the different ways we could travel to our holiday destinations – one child suggested a Lamborghini! We also learnt about holiday types, such as camping holidays, skiing holidays and adventure holidays.

We continued to learn about number bonds in maths and the composition of numbers – this means how we can make a number e.g. we could use 2 and 3 to make 5. Below you will find a link to watch a Number Blocks episode. Can you watch it to help your maths learning at home?

We have been doing our daily Phonics and we have been working really hard to use our sounds to read words. You will be able to practise these words at home – check Class Dojo.

Our new Jigsaw unit is called Changing Me, so we began by looking at the different parts of our body including eyes, ears and arms.

We have had a brilliant first week back, and can not wait to enjoy the next few weeks (including our trip on the 23rd June!)

Challenges for you to complete:

  2. Can you read 3 times at home and record it in your Reading Diary? Remember for every 10 reads you do, you can move onto the next planet – have you made it to the star yet?
  3. Try out one of the Homework Hero challenges!

Think like an engineer!

We started the week by sorting objects that needed batteries and those that did not. For example, a teddy bear didn’t need a battery, but the remote control for the TV did. Using the understanding that batteries give power, we then moved onto exploring electrical circuits.

We learnt the name of the equipment we used – battery, battery holder, wire and LED. We also learnt some other vocabulary such as electricity, power and circuit.  

It has been a very practical week, making circuits and using our key vocabulary to explain how a working circuit can be made.

It was so exciting when the LED lit up!

During provision time, we were getting ready for our Jubilee celebration. Making flags, bunting and crowns. We learnt about the Jubilee and what Coronation means. It was exciting to take part in the whole school Jubilee celebrations! We learnt the National Anthem to sing and enjoyed an afternoon tea outside.

During maths sessions, we have been practising some of the learning we have done during the half term. We have doubled numbers, found number bonds to 10, identified odd and even numbers and compared the capacity of bottles! If you want to practise some of the songs we have been singing, click here

Challenge for the holiday:

If you are taking part in any more Jubilee celebrations, can you share them via Dojo or bring in drawings/pictures from the celebrations?

Can you make a Jubilee card for the Queen to wish her a Happy Platinum Jubilee?

Frog facts!

We have continued our topic this week, looking at living things. We have focused on NON-FICTION books and what information we can find out from them.

The main book has been about frogs. We learnt that there are frogs called Poison Dart Frogs and Glass Frogs. We also looked at the features of a non-fiction book, pointing out the contents page, glossary and labels.

Together, we have made our very own Frog book – it will be displayed in Miss Currier’s classroom.

In Maths we have continued to learn about number bonds, this time to 10! We used a ten frame to help understand the two numbers we can use to make 10, for example 5 and 5, 8 and 2.

The caterpillars are still part of our learning and, this week, 4 of our caterpillars have formed their chrysalis. Hopefully we will be able to see the butterflies hatch before we break up next week.

Children have been using the paint and junk modelling to show their creative sides, and it has been great to use the outdoor space to continue our learning. Both classes have also had their PE sessions, enjoying using the equipment and showing different ways to travel and balance.

Challenge : 2 challenges this week!

  1. use this link to practise your number bonds
  2. Can you find any non-fiction books at home, or in the library? Can you find the contents page, glossary or any labels? (Send a photo in via Class Dojos!)

The lifecycle of a frog!

We have been continuing our topic of life cycles, and have learnt about the lifecycle of a frog. We learnt about the different stages of the lifecycle and wrote sentences for different stages. Can you use this picture to tell your grown up about the life cycle of a frog?

This week in Maths we have been learning about length. We learnt and used new vocabulary to describe the length of objects in the classroom. Can you find four objects at home and order them in length and use the new vocabulary we have learnt?

We have been continuing to observe the changes in our caterpillars in our classroom. They are much bigger than last week!

People who help us to grow!

This week has been Children’s mental health week and we have been thinking all about people that help us to grow. We talked about who in our home lives and at school helps us to grow and support us. We made support balloons out for Paper Mache, we loved decorating them with different colour tissue paper. Once they had dried we drew pictures of who supports us to grow and attached them to the balloons. We finished them by adding a basket and placing a picture of ourselves in the basket.

We have also been thinking about feelings this week. We read the book 'The Colour Monster’ and talked about the different feelings we can feel. We discussed what to do when we feel different feelings and how our friends and grown-ups can help us when we are struggling with our feelings. Could you watch the story being read and talk to your grown-ups at home about your feelings?

In Maths we have been continuing to learn about addition and number equations. Here is an addition game you could play at home during the holidays.

Well done for a brilliant half term FS2, have a lovely holiday! 

Happy Chinese New Year!

This week we have been learning lots about Chinese New Year. We learnt the story of Chinese New Year and the race the twelve animals had. We acted out the story as a class and did some writing about the animals and the race. In the small world tray we enjoyed retelling the story to each other.

Can you retell the story to a grown up at home? 

We learnt about how Chinese New Year is celebrated with street parades incorporating lion and dragon dancing. We also made our very own dragon and we performed a dragon dance.

We have been doing lots of craft activities for Chinese new year. We have made Chinese lanterns, painted and written good luck signs, and made dragon puppets.


In PE we imagined that the playground was the river from the story and we pretended to swim across the river in different ways. In the classroom we have also enjoyed reading lots of books, and we have been reading them to our teddies!

We have been learning more about addition this week in Maths, and have started to learn about Number Bonds to 5. We have been learning this Number Bond song to help us learn all our number bonds to 5. 

Friday 28th January 2021

This week we have been continuing our theme of winter. We have learnt lots of new facts about penguins and other artic animals. We have also been thinking about how to describe the polar bear from ‘Polar Bear, polar bear what can you hear?’ We used a sensory box to think of words to describe different parts of the bear and we labelling and wrote sentences about the Polar Bear. 

We have also enjoyed playing outside looking at numbers and in the mud kitchen, painting artic animals, creating artic scenes in the construction are and making puppets for the story. In Maths we have been thinking of different ways we can make five. We looked at part whole model, and the two parts make a whole. 

In Phonics we have learnt all the phase 3 phonics sounds! We are so impressed with the children with their phonics, here is a link to the sounds we have learnt to practice them at home: 


Friday 21st January

Polar bear, polar bear what can you hear?

This week we started to look at a new book called ‘Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what can you hear?’ we created our own actions for the story and drew story maps to help us retell the story. Can you teach a grown-up at home the actions of the story?

Here is a link to the video being read aloud:

We did lots of fantastic learning in provision related to the story, we built igloos in the construction area, made penguins in the creative area, played with arctic animals in the small world tray, made polar bears in the playdough, painted arctic animals and we made collages of every animal from the story.  In Maths this week we have continued to learn about subitising to five and ordered numbers to 20, we made penguin hats with all the numbers on!

We loved our Dream Big day, we talked about our outfits and what we aspire to be when we are older. We tried hard to talk in full sentences, and ask questions to our friends.

Well done FS2 for another super week at school!

Challenge for the weekend: Can you play this subitising to five game with a grown-up at home

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Friday 14th January 2022

A little bit of Winter!

This week we have been continuing to learn about winter. We read the book ‘A little bit of Winter’ in our Literacy lesson and have enjoyed retelling the story in our choosing time. At carpet time we talked about why and how to keep warm during winter. In the story the Hedgehog left a message for his friend, we talked about messages that we could write to a friend and wrote our own messages to a friend. Here is a link to the story read ‘A little bit of Winter’ if you’d like to listen to it at home with your child.

In Maths we have been learning to recognise an amount to five by sight, this is called Subitise. We practiced the skill while singing this song by Jack Hartman. Can you practice this at home with your grown-up?

A challenge for the weekend- we are so impressed how hard children have been working to do up their own coats. Well done everyone! Can you practice tying your shoelaces at home? We can’t wait to be blown away by children who have learned this new skill!

7th January

Knights and Castles!

FS2 have had a busy first week of the new term. In History week we have learnt about mediaeval times. In the creative area, we created castles and practised our cutting skills to carefully cut out the different parts of the castles. We have enjoyed playing with a mediaeval castle in the small world area and learnt about the different people who lived in castles in mediaeval times. At carpet time we talked about the clothing people wore and what they ate.

We have been talking about winter this week, and what clothes we need to wear to keep warm in winter. On Thursday we were surprised when it started to snow when playing outside and we enjoyed trying to catch the snowflakes!

On Science Day we discovered ice in the classroom and observed how it changed throughout the day. There were objects stuck in the ice and we watched how long it took the ice to melt so we could get the objects out.

A challenge for the weekend- can you tell an adult at home what you have learnt about mediaeval times? What can you remember about what the people wore, ate and where they lived?

Teach your grown-up the song ‘There was a princess long ago’ we have learnt this week

17th December
Feeling Festive
 FS2 have had an exciting last week at school!  We have been busy writing lists for Father Christmas, making calendars and creating lots of Christmas cards for family and friends.
On Wednesday FS2 enjoyed getting into the festive spirit, wearing Christmas jumpers for school and eating Christmas dinner together!  We had lots of fun on Thursday for our FS2 Christmas party, we danced and played party games.  The children were amazing at musical statues!  Thank you parents, for supplying delicious festive treats for our party.
The FS2 team would like to say a huge thank you to our children and parents for their hard work and support this term.  We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  See you in 2022!
10th December
Getting ready for Christmas!
This week, FS2 have been learning about how some people celebrate Christmas!  We have watched videos of how people celebrate Christmas in different parts of the world.  The children have also listened to the story of the Nativity to find out why people celebrate this special time.  
On Thursday (after weeks of rehearsals) FS2 performed their Nativity on stage!  The team were so proud of all of the children, they did a wonderful job to learn their lines, sing songs and join in with Makaton signs.  Our Nativity has been recorded, we can't wait for you all to see it!  On Friday, we had a delicious breakfast together to say a huge well done to our children.
A challenge for the weekend- The children have been singing lots of counting songs this week, enjoy these at home! 
Here are the links:


3rd December
A Very Chilly Week!
What a surprise to have a snowy day at school on Monday!  We enjoyed exploring the snow together and talking about how it felt.  Later in the week we found ice in our classroom and watched how it changed throughout the day.  We have talked about the changes in the weather and what we can wear to keep our bodies warm and dry.
FS2 have also continued to learn about Polar animals, here are some of the animals we have been learning about: 
Can your child remember the Makaton signs for the animals?  Many children decided to draw their favourite Polar animal and some were able to hear the initial sound in the animal's name (for example, w for walrus).
We have been busy practising the songs for our Nativity Performance next Thursday.  We can't wait for you all to see it!  The children have been singing beautifully and have been working hard to remember the Makaton signs too.
A challenge for the weekend- we have been finding 1 more and 1 less than a given number in maths.  Play some 1 more than games at home, for example: I have two teddies, what is 1 more?  I have 7 peas, what is 1 more?
26th November
The Poles
FS2 started their week with a Healthy Me Day on Monday!  We had fun moving our bodies in different ways and exploring what happens.  We talked about what it means to be healthy.  The children had lots of great ideas of how to stay fit and active, from dancing, doing yoga to brushing our teeth and having baths.  Ask your child if they can remember what foods help to keep our bodies healthy.
This week we read the story 'Lost and Found' by Oliver Jeffers.  We talked about the characters in the story and thought about where they might live.  The children were intrigued about the penguin in the story and used our map and globe to find the South Pole.  We also found the North Pole, where polar bears live.  On Thursday we voted to choose an arctic animal to find out about.  We used books, videos and the internet to find out about polar bears,  Can your child remember any of the facts we learnt?  Inspired by our arctic research FS2 have explored different shades of white and blue to create an arctic scene for some very special Christmas cards, we can't wait for you all to see them!
A challenge for the weekend- Make a healthy meal together at home.  Ask your child:  What foods are healthy?  What could we make? There are lots of great ideas on the BBC website:
19th November
We are Kind
This week it was Anti-Bullying week and FS2 have been spreading kindness!  We have learnt lots of ways we can show kindness to others, including saying or using Makaton signs to say hello, please, thank you or sorry.  The children have also been using their lovely smiles and passing them around at school.  FS2 have worked as a team to create handprint hearts and to create a stained glass effect window using collage materials.  They shared the materials and waited patiently for their turn.  To finish our week FS2 made kind hearts to remind others how we can be kind to others.  The children wrote and drew pictures on their own wooden hearts and we are planning to hang them up in our playground for the rest of the school to see and to be inspired by!
We have been singing lots of nursery rhymes for Nursery Rhyme Week.  The FS2 children have practised: 'Wheels on the Bus', 'Humpty Dumpty'.'Incy Wincy Spider', Tommy Thumb' and 'Hickory Dickory Dock'.  Have fun singing these together at home.
A challenge for the weekend - Your child brought a kindness card home with them yesterday.  Read the challenge with your child and talk about how you could complete it.  Please send your teacher pictures on Dojo.  We can't wait to see you spreading kindness at home!
11th November
'Wow! Said the Owl'
FS2 have enjoyed listening to the story 'Wow! Said the Owl' this week.  The children have been able to remember key parts of the story and enjoyed acting it out on our 'stage'!  The FS2 team were so impressed to see many children drawing and writing independently about the story.
On Thursday we talked about Remembrance Day.  We looked at the artwork by Georgia O'Keefe, we talked about the colours and shapes she used to paint her pictures of poppies.  Many children made their own unique poppy paintings.  FS2 have been thinking about the special people who help them at home, at school and in the community and we made thank you cards for them.
It was Maths Week at Gleadless this week.  FS2 were given a challenge to see how many children it would take to be taller than a GIRAFFE!  The children have learnt about the concepts of tall and short and have practised finding out who is taller or shorter (or the same) height as them in class.  On Tuesday we researched how tall a giraffe is and we used a metre stick to measure it out on the floor.  Ms Booth and Miss Woodward worked with the children to make a life-size giraffe and a baby giraffe.  The children have thoroughly enjoyed using their bodies to complete the challenge.
A challenge for the weekend - We know that owls are nocturnal so they sleep in the day and come out at night.  Can you find out two other facts about owls at home?  You can use books or the internet.  Remember your facts and tell us at school on Monday!


5th November
Light and Dark

As the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer, FS2 are learning about  Light and Dark. FS2 have enjoyed talking about the fireworks they have seen in the sky at night. The children have explored colour and shading to make firework pastel drawings. FS2  have also learnt about the Hindu festival, Diwali.  We looked at pictures of people celebrating Diwali and the children listened to the story of Rama and Sita.  The children even made their own salt dough Diva lamps to bring light to their own houses! This week FS2 have been learning about 2D shapes.  We have been on shape hunts, made shape pictures and have learnt the names of lots of shapes. 

Many of the FS2 children have been excited about Bonfire Night celebrations coming up this weekend.  To mark the 5th of November, we had made our own 'bonfire'.  We made sparkler breadsticks which we ate around the 'fire', we also enjoyed singing songs together.  We have talked about how we can stay safe when near bonfires or at firework displays.  Have a fun and safe weekend!

A challenge for the weekend - What shapes can you find on your way home from school?  Can you find any circles in your kitchen?  Are there any rectangles in your bedroom?  Please send us pictures of your finds on Dojo!

22nd October
We Love Fruit!
This week we have drawn our own class story map of 'Handa's Surprise'.  The children were able to use the story map and actions to retell the story every day!  Can they tell 'Handa's Surprise' to you?  Some children were even able to draw their very own story maps!
Inspired by the story, we have been exploring lots of exotic fruits- including avocado, pineapple, melon and mango! We have talked about how the fruits looked and how they felt in our hands.  The children particularly enjoyed cutting and tasting the delicious fruits!  FS2 have also been busy drawing and writing their own shopping lists.  The FS2 team were so impressed that the children could hear the first sounds in the words, such as b for banana.
In maths this week we have been playing lots of counting games.  We have hidden shapes in a feely bag and the children had to feel how many were inside- without looking!  We have rolled a dice and built towers with the different amounts, if I rolled 5, my tower would be 5 blocks high!  FS2 have also been counting everywhere, we have counted fruits, trees outside, spoons of flour to make play dough and counting from memory.  What can you count at home?  How many windows/doors/flowers do you have?
The FS2 team would like to say a huge thank you to all of the parents that attended our phonics morning on Wednesday.  It was brilliant to see you and your children trying the different activities.
A challenge for half term- have a go at playing the phonics game sent home with your child this week.  Your child will amaze you with all of the sounds they know!
14th October
Handa's Surprise
This week we have continued to explore the story 'Handa's Surprise'.  As the children know the story so well, they have been able to act it out independently during our Helicopter Stories sessions, they have also sequenced the events from the story.  We have been talking about our favourite fruits and have been exploring their shape and colours when painting.  The children impressed us with how carefully they painted their pictures, showing amazing levels of concentration!
In maths we have been making repeated patterns.  We have been making patterns EVERYWHERE, using natural autumnal finds, sorting elephants and making pattern towers.  The children particularly enjoyed making fruit kebabs and were involved in every part of the process; from cutting the fruits, to carefully placing them on the skewer to eating them!  
A challenge for the weekend:
FS2 have learnt the letter phonemes: h, b, l and f this week.  What can you find in your house that begins with these sounds?  Do you have any bears?  Lollipop? Do you have a hedge in your garden?  Have fun!
8th October 
Hello and welcome to the FS2 blog.  We will share our learning from the week on here every Friday.  It will give you a taste of what we have been doing and will offer ideas of how you can extend learning at home.  We would also like to share photos on here of your children hard at work, please let us know via Dojo if you do not want your child to feature on our blog by next Friday 15th of October.  Thanks!
This week the children have enjoyed listening to the story 'Handa's Surprise'.  We have been learning the names of lots of different fruits, from mangos to guava!  The children have been talking about their favourite fruits and have drawn and wrote about them.  We have been taking on the characters in the story and have started to act it out together.  
On Thursday, FS2 had lots of fun dressing up as superheroes!  We were busy little superheroes, dancing, counting, sorting and even doing Spiderman yoga!  
A challenge for the weekend:
Can your child remember how to count like a superhero?  We thought of lots of different superhero moves to do whilst we counted all the way to 20.


Welcome to the FS2 Blog!

The team in FS2 have decided to start a weekly blog to keep you up to date with all of the wonderful things your children have been learning about at school.  Every Friday we will share a snapshot of your child's learning with some photographs and questions you could ask your child to promote further thinking.  We hope you enjoy it!
16th July
We would like to use our last blog post to share some photos of our last week in FS2.  We have had a wonderful time celebrating the year together.
The FS2 team would like to thank each family for all of their hard work and support this year.  We wish you a very happy and sunny summer holiday!
9th July 
We have had another busy and eventful week in FS2!  We have continued our learning on boats and water, listening to the story of 'Mr Gumpy's Outing'.  The children enjoyed recalling all of the animals in the book and had lots of fun acting the story out in a Helicopter Stories session!  It has been brilliant to see a vast amount of pictures and writing in response to the book too - our children are definitely ready for Year 1!  On Thursday, we has a special virtual visit from Yorkshire Water.  We learnt about water safety and how to play safely near rivers, lakes and the sea.  Can your child tell you about this?  In preparation for the summer, we have started to talk about holidays.  We have looked at pictures of many different places and have talked about what we might need on our holiday.
This week, FS2 also met their new Year 1 teachers.  The children amazed us with their positive attitude towards the change in their routine and they all made their new teachers feel very welcome in class.  On Monday they will be spending the day in their new classrooms, it is a very exciting time!
A challenge for the weekend - Ask your child to choose one of their favourite books.  Find a cosy spot in your house or garden and read it together.  Maybe your child can read it to you?
2nd July
Boats Galore...
FS2 have been learning about the sea this week!  On Monday we explored floating and sinking, the children gathered a range of objects and made predications about whether they would float or sink when placed in water.  We particularly enjoyed testing out the different objects and talking about what happened and why.  Our experiment helped us to think about the best materials to make our own boats.  The children designed and made plans for their boats and labeled the different parts of their boats.  They then worked together to use recycled materials to construct a range of boats, from ships to speedboats!  Our favourite part of week was when we tested the finished boats in the water!  We have learnt new Makaton signs this week, can your child show you the signs for sea and boat?
Next Wednesday, our FS2 children will be spending the morning with their new teachers in Year 1.  We have had a circle time session where we have talked about this change and what we are looking forward to in September.  Ask your child about Year 1, what are they looking forward to?  Is there anything they are worried about?

25th June

Ahoy, me Hearties!

This week, FS2 have transformed into pirates and we have had so much fun!  We have designed and made our own pirate ships, complete with nets, flags and a ship's wheel, which we have sailed on the seven seas.  We have cut, folded and glued paper and card to make pirate hats, eye patches and telescopes.  The children have also made treasure maps, they have collaborated to make a giant map of their own using pictures, symbols and words.  Take a look at the pictures of our fantastic work below!  Here is a sea shanty we have been singing on the deck:

FS2 have also been estimating in maths this week.  The children particularly enjoyed estimating different amounts of cheerios in jars, bowls, spoons and on shapes.  They practised recording their estimations and counted to check which estimation was the closest.  We have even practised counting the cheerios in groups of 2!  
A challenge for the weekend- have a go at home!  Estimate how many shoes are on the stairs, how many toys are in the bath, how many books are on the shelf... and remember to count them afterwards to check how many there are!  Was your estimation correct?
18th June
Magical Journeys
This week, FS2 have been on a magical train ride!  We imagined our train took us to Fairy Land and the children saw lots of wonderful things, from mushroom houses to fairies flying in the woods.  Inspired by our journey, we explored writing in fairy dust, making magical wands and writing our own wishes.
We have also been learning about how to keep our bodies healthy and happy.  FS2 were able to identify many different foods and sort them into foods that are healthy and foods that we should only enjoy occasionally.  The children were able to talk about why we need to eat healthy foods and how fruit and vegetables help our bodies and teeth.  Many of the children who eat school lunches have been trying sweetcorn this week as part of our Veg Power Campaign-  'Eat them to Defeat them'.  You can find out more about the campaign here -
You can also find lots of activities and delicious recipes here too!
A challenge for the weekend:
FS2 have been busy learning new songs this week which are about different modes of transport.  Mrs Bell's class even wrote the lyrics to their own song about a red, shiny boat!  Can your child remember our new songs?  
These are the songs we have been learning in music if you would like to sing along:


Oh the Places we Will Go!  
The FS2 team were overjoyed to see all of the fantastic models that were created over half term!  We were amazed at the creativity and the range of materials that were used.  All of the children were asked to share their creations with their classmates, where they confidently talked about the features of their models and how they had constructed them.  They are now a great source of inspiration for the children when they are busy building and making in our classrooms.  
FS2 enjoyed listening to the story of 'The Train Ride' this week and have practised singing along to the story.  We went on our own imaginative train ride and thought of may different things to see!  If you would like to sing it at home, you can find the story here:   The Train Ride - YouTube Inspired by the story, many children have made their own modes of transport using junk modelling materials and a range of tools. 
We have also continued to practise drawing number stories this week.  The children had lots of great ideas to draw number stories for 5 and 10, including 5 people, 3 apples on a tree - with 2 on the ground, and 5 ducks in the pond and 5 on the grass.  It is wonderful to see the children explore number bonds.
A challenge for the weekend:
This weekend, your teachers would like you to look out for different modes of transport!  Look on the roads, in the sky or on the water.  Count how many cars you can see, count how many motorbikes you can find.  Which vehicle did you see the most?  Take pictures of all the different vehicles you see and send them to us on Dojo.  We would love to share your pictures in class next week.
Final Week of Frogs
FS2 are ready for a relaxing break after a very busy final week at school.  This week we have been finding out about frogs through observing tadpoles,  researching on the internet and reading non-fiction books.  Can your child remember what frogs like to eat?  Where do they live?  What can they do?  We have learnt about the life cycle of a frog and talked about what happens during the different stages.  The children particularly enjoyed using their bodies to think of creative movements for each stage of the cycle.  
The children have been delving deeper into number.  We have explored finding one less by performing the song '5 Little Speckled Frogs' and have practised subtraction by taking away frogs from lily pads.  The children flourished when they were introduced to number stories this week.  Miss Ibsen and Mrs Bell modelled how to draw a number story for 5 and the children were invited to draw their own.  There were many different ideas from 5 apples in a tree to 5 ducks in a pond.  We then used our number stories to practise taking amounts away.
A challenge for half term!  
After observing our children at work we have noticed their interest in making, building and playing with vehicles.  We have decided to focus on 'Journeys and Transport' next term.   We will be exploring different modes of transport and exciting places, from outer space to the seaside!  
Your challenge is to get creative and make a mode of transport.  All ideas are welcome: submarines, helicopters, aeroplanes, cars, lorries, trains - the possibilities are endless!  You can use any materials you have at home, such as sticks, cardboard, papier mache, polystyrene or craft materials.  Please bring your model in on Monday the 7th of June when your child will be invited to share their creation with the class and talk about what they have made and how they created it! Enjoy, we can't wait to see your creations!
Have a lovely half term!
Best wishes, the FS2 Team

21st May

Snailing Around & Helicopter Stories


This week we have welcomed more visitors in our classes!  These visitors leave a slimy trail, they also like to venture out in the dark and they enjoy wet and damp weather.  Can you guess what we have been learning about?  (Snails!)  Ms Bell made a special tank for snails that she had found in her garden and the children have enjoyed observing and looking closely at them through magnifying glasses.  FS2 also met the larger African snails who currently live in Year 2.  The children talked about some of the similarities and differences between the different types of snails.  We have continued fact finding and have had discussions about what we know about snails.  We have then gathered and checked our facts using books and the internet.  Can you find any snails in your garden or local park?  Take a look at the pictures of our chalk and pastel swirly snails that the children created this week.
Over the last few weeks FS2 have also started 'Helicopter Stories' sessions.  During these sessions the children are given time to tell their stories to a teacher who writes it down in a special book for them. Some children have been drawing or writing their stories independently.  We have also started to write stories collaboratively as a class!  After our talk from the Blue Cross last week we were inspired to create our own story about a pet dog called Blue who found a cocoon.  After we have written our stories it is then time time to act them out.  We set out a stage on the carpet and the children take turns to be actors or part of the audience, listening carefully to each other's stories.  All of the FS2 team are very proud of the stories the children have been creating!
A challenge for the weekend -  Can you make up your own simple story and act it out with your family?
Who will be in your story?  Where is it set?  What time of day is it?  What happens?
You can find out more information about Helicopter Stories here:
Have fun!


14th May

A Week Full of Special Visitors

FS2 have had another fun-filled week learning about all creatures great and small. On Monday we made friends with a caterpillar that Miss Ibsen had found in her garden shed. The children were very excited to watch and observe the caterpillar throughout the day and decided to call him Nibbly (as he spent lots of his time eating!) As Nibbly was quite a large caterpillar, we talked about the best place for Nibbly to live to allow him to make a cocoon. We decided to find him a new home in our school woods... Keep an eye out for Nibbly the butterfly in Gleadless! We have also had an exciting delivery of very tiny caterpillars. We have a special house for these caterpillars so we are lucky enough to have them stay in our classrooms as they change through their life cycle. It has been a joy to see how inspired the children have been and they have created a vast number of pictures and paintings of our caterpillars. The children have also been busy using their sounds to write menus and lists for the very hungry dinosaurs that we have in our classes!

Thank you for all of the lovely pictures of your pets which were sent into school this week. All of the children were given time to tell their classmates about their pets, from describing their personalities to remembering how old they are. We have also been practising asking relevant and interesting questions to each other about our pets. On Friday we were joined by the Blue Cross virtually! FS2 enjoyed meeting Ms Spicer who told us all about how to take care of a range of pets including dogs, hamsters, cats and rabbits.

A challenge for the weekend - Can you take care of your pet at home?

For example, feeding the fish in the morning, brushing the cat or taking the dog for a walk.

Don't worry if you don't have a pet - do you have a brother, sister or a younger family member you could help care for? Doing simple tasks for others makes us feel wonderful!


7th May
Caterpillar to Butterfly!
FS2 have continued to learn about caterpillars this week through finding out about the lifecycle of a butterfly!  We used books and videos on the internet to discover how caterpillars transform into butterflies.  The children were then set a challenge to use their bodies to think different movements to represent each stage of the lifecycle.  For example, curling up into a ball to be a caterpillar egg on a leaf and spreading our arms out wide to become a butterfly.  Can your child act out the lifecycle of a butterfly at home?  In our music session this week we have also learnt a song about a tiny caterpillar, if you would like to sing it at home together you can find it here
In maths we have been busy making and talking about repeated patterns.  The children have enjoyed using different resources to make their patterns, from arranging natural materials to using paint to make repeated pattern caterpillars.  We have also been making patterns with our bodies through clapping, stamping, shaking, nodding and patting!
A challenge for the weekend -
We are very excited to announce that next Friday the 14th of May FS2 will be having a virtual visit from Blue Cross.  They will be talking to us about how to take care of our pets.  Throughout the week we will be learning about the special pets that we all have at home.  We would be delighted to see some pictures of your furry or scaly friends!  You can either send them online via Dojo or in your child's book bag.  Thank you!

3oth May

Beastly Adventures!
This week FS2 have been learning facts about caterpillars.  On Monday, we had class discussions to gather information about what we already know about caterpillars.  It was brilliant to see some children using their phonics sounds to write their own facts and others drawing and painting pictures to express their thoughts.  Throughout the week we have been building on our knowledge using books, internet resources and videos.  Can your child tell you a fact about a caterpillar?  What do they like to eat?  How do they move?  Where can you find a caterpillar?  In maths, we have been using much larger creatures to help us with taking away... Dinosaurs!  FS2 have been practising reading and writing subtraction number sentences and have been taking away spots on our dinosaurs to find the answers.
We have also been talking about how we can be a good friend, from saying kind words to one another to sharing our resources with others.  The children were then set the challenge of working collaboratively with a partner to create and describe a friend...  All of the friends were unique just like us!  
A challenge for the weekend - 
Tell the story of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' with Cosmic kids using these yoga moves

23rd April

All Creatures Great & Small

It has been wonderful to welcome all of our children back to school after the Easter break. FS2 have been delving into our new topic 'All Creatures Great and Small'.  On Monday we found enormous footprints left in the mud in our outdoor area!  We talked about what kind of creature could have left these prints and we looked on the internet to try and solve the mystery...  After our research, we discovered that they were the footprints of a t-rex!  Many of the children were excited to draw a picture of what the t-rex might look like and wrote labels and sentences to describe their dinosaurs.  We have also started to learn about minibeasts.  On Wednesday we went on a spider hunt and the children were fascinated to find many delicate webs in our outdoor spaces.  Can your child remember any of the spider facts we have learnt this week?
FS2 are consolidating their number knowledge from 0 to 20 this term.  This week the children have been busy making number lines, finding missing numbers and practising addition with dominoes.  It has been brilliant to see the children gaining confidence when writing their addition number sentences.
A challenge for the weekend - have a go at these dinosaur exercises:
Can you remember any of the dinosaur names?
1st March
Let it Grow
FS2 have been making the most of the glorious Spring weather this week and have spent much of their time outdoors!  The children have been engaging in many different self-directed projects including making rockets and spaceships from large construction materials, filling and emptying containers in the water, making flower potions and digging and mixing in the mud kitchens.  FS2 enjoyed exploring shape and space using our shadows - have a look at our tall, narrow and wide shadows below!  As it is Spring, we have also planted some more flowers and tomato plants in our garden.  The children were able to use tools to pot the plants carefully and they have been making sure they have enough water in this sunny weather.  Inspired by the season, FS2 have learnt about the Christian celebration of Easter and we have discussed how people celebrate this special time.  On Thursday morning we all thoroughly enjoyed wearing our very unique Easter bonnets and hats for our Gleadless Easter Parade!  
A challenge for the holidays -
Your child will be bringing home a bean in cotton wool which has started to sprout.  Ask your child to look after the bean in your house.  Where could it be kept?  How can you keep it alive?  What does it need?
Check on your bean every day, can you see any changes?  What has happened?
*Remember to take pictures or draw your growing bean to show your friends when we return to school!

Friday 26th March

Jack and the Beanstalk

FS2 have listened to the traditional tale 'Jack and the Beanstalk' this week.  The children have enjoyed listening to different interpretations of the story from their teachers and watching a stage play.  They were then able to tell and sequence their own versions of the story using puppets and props!  The story has developed the children's understanding of the components of a story including the characters and the setting.  It was wonderful to see the children create their own books where they labelled and wrote simple sentences about the main characters using their phonic knowledge.  FS2 particularly enjoyed planting their own magic beans.  We have talked about how to care for our beans and we have found a sunny spot for them at our windows.  Can your child remember all the things a seed needs to be able to grow?  The FS2 teachers are very impressed with how the children are caring for our plants by watering our indoor and outdoor plants daily.
* A fun maths game for the weekend:
- Challenge your child to draw a long beanstalk on the ground using chalks.
- Give your child number cards to 10 or 20.  Can they make a beanstalk number line by ordering the numbers?
Friday 19th March
Shakespeare Week
This week everyone at Gleadless have been celebrating Shakespeare week!  FS2 have been exploring the play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', we have learnt about the characters from the story and have tried to understand and remember the tricky plot!  The children enjoyed the concept of the magic flower and had fun creating their own magical flowers from natural and craft materials.  They were also intrigued by the fairy characters and were busy making fairy crowns, wands and even houses in our outdoor spaces.  As Shakespeare was such a brilliant writer we began to look at what it  means to be an author.  We found the names of different authors on our books in class and it has been wonderful to see the children starting to write and draw their own books!  
As the weather is set to be glorious this weekend have a go at this maths game:   
- Go outdoors: the garden/park/green space. Give your child a starting line. 
- Ask your child to take a number of steps (any quantity to 10). 
- Repeat with different quantities and different steps, for example take giant steps/tiny steps/tiptoes. 
* In  your family, who can travel the furthest in 10 giant steps? Who can travel the shortest distance in 5 tiny steps?

The children had lots of fun exploring number and distance when we played it at school, we hope you enjoy it!
Friday 12th March
We are Scientists!
It has been wonderful to welcome all of our FS2 children back to school this week.  The children have settled back into our routine brilliantly and have shown their teachers that they are ready to learn!  This week it was Science Week for the whole school at Gleadless.  The children have been set different tasks to challenge them to think creatively and critically.  After reading the story 'The Three Billy Goats Gruff', FS2 were asked to build a strong and sturdy bridge for the goats.  It was fantastic to see the children use and test many different materials including, wooden blocks, cardboard, stones and Lego - to name a few.  Inspired by this task, many children also decided to make shelters for the goats!  As the weather has started to change as the season moves towards Spring, FS2 have also been observing plants and daffodils in our classrooms.  They have created some beautiful observational paintings.  FS2 also had a real treat on Friday when we explored liquids and solids through melting chocolate to make Spring bird nests.
Can you see any signs of Spring in your garden or on your walk to school? 
Take a photo or draw a picture to show your class!


Friday 5th March
The Enormous Turnip

This week we have been reading the story 'The Enormous Turnip'.  Inspired by the story, the children have engaged in a range of activities including making vegetable printing, making a delicious soup and using veggies to practise subtraction number sentences and vegetable printing.  We have also talked about the importance of eating healthy foods and doing exercise to keep our bodies fit and healthy.  It was a joy to see many of our children completing the FS2 fitness challenge, where the children were set the task of completing different exercises.  The children who completed the challenge will be entered into a prize draw and two winners will be announced on Monday!  

We have also had a very exciting week celebrating World Maths Day and World Book Day!  In school we explored shape, from playing guess the shape games to making structures from 3D blocks.  It was wonderful to see our children working from home also creating wonderful pictures from 2D shapes, painting shapes and making patterns with their prints.  We hope you all enjoyed the special activities set for World Book Day, our children in school were busy reading lots of stories, making character pebbles and their own bookmarks.  Many of the competitions are not due until Monday 8th of March so feel free to carry on the fun this weekend!  To enter, simply add your pictures or videos to the Google Classroom assignment for Thursday 4th March.  We can't wait to see what you have been up to!

26th February

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

This term our new topic is 'Once Upon a Time' where we will be reading and learning about many traditional tales.   This week we read story of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’.  At the start of the week the children were set the challenge to lay a table for a teddy bear's picnic, where they matched and ordered different sized bowls and spoons to Daddy Bear, Mummy Bear and Baby Bear which has developed the children's vocabulary when talking about size.  FS2 have also been busy measuring and mixing ingredients to make our own porridge and oaty play dough.  The children were able to remember all of the ingredients to write their own lists and recipes.  
On Thursday, the children were set a challenge of making a new chair for Baby Bear - as Goldilocks broke his chair!  It was brilliant to see the children thinking creatively and they built chairs made from a range of materials including cardboard, Lego and wooden blocks.  The children thoroughly enjoyed testing their chairs with their teddy bears.  The highlight of the week was listening to the children retell the story on Friday.  With the children in class, we sat in a cosy spot in our reading corners and used props and puppets to tell the story to each other.  We also received brilliant videos from the children at home.  It was wonderful to see our children confidently retell the story using a range of vocabulary.  Well done FS2!

12th February

Chinese New Year!


This week FS2 have been learning about Chinese New Year which is celebrated by many people around the world today! The children have listened to how people prepare for the celebration and have helped clean and tidy their homes. They have also used their creative side to make lanterns and dragons to decorate their homes and our classrooms. FS2 particularly enjoyed listening to the story of the Chinese Zodiac and were set the challenge of ordering the animals from 1st to 12th place. This celebration has also helped to strengthen maths skills, including writing Chinese numerals, using Chinese money wallets to count different amounts of coins and using noodles to explore length, quantities and numeral formation. 


A huge thank you to all of our children and parents for your hard work this term, we are very impressed by all of the fantastic learning which has taken place. We have attached a booklet below full of fun activities to help keep your child busy during the half term.


We wish you a happy and restful break.

Best wishes, the FS2 Team. 


5th February 
Learning about our Feathered Friends
FS2 have had a fantastic week learning about winter birds.  At the start of the week the children went bird watching at school, at home and in the local area.  The children used their eyes to look for clues of birds visiting such as nests in the trees and feathers on the ground.  They also used their ears to listen for birdsong.  Many children counted how many birds they saw and could name them too.  On Tuesday, FS2 were set the task of researching winter birds and the children chose a bird to draw or paint.  We have also learnt that winter is a tough time for birds due to the lack of food around at this time of year.  It was wonderful to see so many children create bird feeders for their gardens, the birds will be very grateful!
* Challenges for the weekend:
- The weather is set to be very cold again this weekend so water that the birds drink or bathe in may be frozen.  Please help by providing fresh water in a shallow dish/bowl or plate in your garden or local area.  Remember to change the water daily so it does not freeze.
- Next week FS2 will be learning about Chinese New Year.  Warm up your brains by ordering numbers from 1 to 10 or 1 to 20 on a Chinese dragon! 


 29th January

Getting Creative

This week FS2 have engaged with many different creative and artistic activities.  This has been a focus to provide our children with an outlet for creativity, to give them time for calm and mindful moments and to develop their fine and gross motor skills.  On Tuesday and Friday, the children followed different recipes to make edible finger paint.  It was wonderful to see how the children made the mixture and how they enjoyed playing with it afterwards- from intricately painted flowers to hand print master pieces!  After listening to the story 'The Odd Pet', the children thought of what pet they would like to have.  They drew, painted and even made their chosen pets which included: dogs, anacondas, elephants, foxes, zebras and goldfish!  On Thursday the children were given a maths challenge- to write numbers from 1 to 10 and to count out and place the correct amounts of pasta next to each number.  After this task was completed, it was a joy to see some children using the pasta to create their own pictures and numbers.  
In our classrooms at school we have areas set up for the children to engage in arts and creative activities daily.  We provide resources for them to cut, stick, make models, pictures, drawings, collages and paintings (to name a few).  For the children learning at home, please encourage your child to engage with an activity like this, or an activity you are interested in such as sewing or baking.  There are so many benefits to the arts but particularly during this time of uncertainty these activities help children to unwind and keep their minds busy and stimulated. 
**Ideas for if you are worried about mess:
- draw with crayons 
- buy a cheap set of watercolour paints (teach your child how to wash the brush between colours)
- take the craft materials/paint outside 
- paint with water outside 
- chalk the floor outside
- use sticks to make patterns, drawings, write numbers/letters in a muddy patch or a sandpit.

22nd January

Chilly Challenges 


   FS2 have had another busy week of learning at home and at school.  The children have engaged with a range of maths activities to develop and strengthen their number knowledge.  The number hunt was a highlight for our children, they found numbers all around their houses and at school, even in books!  The children then practised writing the numbers they had found.  Many children were able to talk about the biggest and smallest numbers and even made their own number lines!  


As we are learning about Winter this term, the children have had some chilly challenges to complete!  We know that it is important to keep warm in winter so on Monday, the children were set the task of making a waterproof hat for teddy to wear.  The FS2 team were amazed by the innovative yet practical designs.  On Wednesday the children had an ice exploration; where they used their senses to feel and talk about the ice.  The children also enjoyed making cosy doodle dens from material and cushions, they were the perfect place to draw, play and relax.


*A challenge for the weekend: go for a number hunt in your neighbourhood- look on doors, on cars or buses, in shops- numbers are everywhere!  Which is the biggest number you can find?

15th January

 What a Weighty Week!

The FS2 team have been amazed at the learning taking place both at home and at school this week.  The children have continued to explore the season Winter and enjoyed listening to the story ‘A Little Bit of Winter’ on Monday.  Inspired by the story, the children were able to think of many Winter words.  They also used their folding and cutting skills to make paper snowflakes.


This week the children have also started to explore weight and have used their bodies to become human balance scales, weighing different objects and putting them in order from the heaviest to the lightest! 


A challenge for the weekend:

Choose a recipe to make with your child.

Gather all of the ingredients needed together.  Show your child how to weigh out the ingredients using kitchen scales or a measuring jug and then let them have a go.

Mixing and kneading the ingredients with a spoon or hands is also great to develop motor skills!


Here are some ideas:



Play dough:

Have fun!

8th January



It was lovely to welcome everyone back to school on Monday.  Refreshed from the Christmas break, the children impressed the FS2 team with their knowledge of the new season which is upon us; winter!  A special challenge – can your child put on all of their winter clothes (coat, gloves, hat, shoes and a scarf) before you can count to 20?  Extra points if they can zip up their own coat too!


It has been brilliant to see the learning taking place at home this week.  A huge thank you to our parents for their continued support at this challenging time and for engaging in the daily tasks set by the FS2 team.  It has been wonderful to see all of the photographs and videos of the children enjoying learning at home.  Please keep sending the pictures in via Dojo and there is a little reminder below of everyday activities you can do with your child to support their learning.

18th December

It's Christmas!

It has been a pleasure to be back in school this week and the children have thoroughly enjoyed playing with their friends once again. As our core value this term is ‘We Care’, we have had circle time sessions where we have talked about how to be a good friend, how to share and how to listen to each other. FS2 have also had an exciting time preparing for our Christmas celebrations. The children made unique party hats which they wore for our Christmas dinner on Wednesday. The highlight of our week was our Christmas party! We danced, ate party food and sang our favourite Christmas songs.

This week we have received brand new reading books for your child to read at home! Each week we introduce the book to your child and read it with them. Please can you continue to read these books with your child to support their reading journey. You may also want to talk to your child about what is happening in the pictures, talk about what might happen next or discuss the characters in the book.

Have a wonderful Christmas! We cannot wait to see you all in the New Year.
Best wishes from the FS2 Team.

11th December

 Home Learning


 The FS2 team would like to say a huge thank you to our children and parents this week.  We are very proud of the hard work and dedication you have shown towards the home learning activities which have been set each day.  It is clear to see how much the children have gained from these experiences and how much fun they have had along the way.  Another thank you to our parents who have stayed in close contact with the team and have took a vast amount of pictures and videos to share with us; they have really brightened our days!  Here are just some of the pictures we have received to highlight the FANTASTIC learning which has taken place this week.

THANK YOU FS2! Keep up the amazing work!

4th December

 Getting Ready for Christmas


This week FS2 have been getting into the festive spirit!  On Monday we looked at some pictures of how people celebrate at Christmas.  The children thought about some of the things they have been doing at home and how they celebrated last year.  They were very excited to tell us about their Christmas trees and many children decided to paint or make their own trees from creative materials.  On the first day of advent, FS2 found mischievous elves in their classrooms!  We decided on names for our elves and wrote Christmas cards to them to make them feel welcome at Gleadless.  FS2 have also been busy little elves, making cards for some very special people in their lives… Have a look at our pictures for a sneak peek!

The children have been finding one less than a number this week.  They particularly enjoyed singing ‘5 Currant Buns’ to help us find one less than for numbers from 1 to 5.   The children even extended this to 10 currant buns!!  Can your child sing this song to you?  We use our hands to represent the numbers when singing this song.

 27th November

Owl Babies


This week FS2 received a letter from a worried little owl called Bill.  The children recognised him from the story we have been reading in class, ‘Owl Babies’.  We decided to write letters to Bill to make him feel better. Miss Ibsen and Mrs Bell arranged for them to be posted to the oak tree on Frith Road!  Inspired by Bill, the children have been busy painting and making their own owls from craft materials.  FS2 particularly enjoyed watching videos of how owls fly.  We then used our bodies to recreate some of the movements, from flying in the sky to curling up in a nest.  The children have also impressed their teachers by counting to 10.  We have played some new games to practise finding one more than a number. 


The children have been learning facts about owls this week.  Can they tell you what owls like to eat?  Where do they live?  What does nocturnal mean?

 20th November

United Against Bullying


To mark the start of Anti-Bullying Week both the children and adults in FS2 wore odd socks to school. This was a great starting point to discuss the brilliance of being different from one another. Throughout the week we have shared many stories which have celebrated difference, being kind and respecting others. Including ‘Odd Dog Out’, ‘Chrysanthemum’ and ‘Elmer the Patchwork Elephant’. The children have been encouraged to talk about how we can be kind to others and they made kindness badges and friendship bracelets to give to a friend. We have also talked about how special and unique we are. Making biscuit portraits was a highlight for our FS2 children!


For the last two weeks we have been learning a special song in our music sessions. It is called ‘Let’s Be Friends’. Can your child sing the song to you? Can they remember the actions too?

You can find the song with music here:

We have been singing it with a slower playback speed.  You can change this by clicking on settings and 0.75. Have fun!

13th November

Remembrance Day and Diwali


There have been some special dates this week which have helped us to think about other people’s lives. At the start of the week we looked at some paintings of poppies by Georgia O’Keefe.   The children talked about how they had noticed that some people had been wearing poppies on their clothes. We learnt that poppies help us remember the people who lost their lives in the war. On Wednesday FS2 thought about these special people and sat for two minutes silence. FS2 have also learnt about Diwali, the festival of lights, as Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world will begin their five day festival on Saturday. We heard the story of ‘Rama and Sita’ and learnt about how people celebrate this special celebration. The children particularly enjoyed moulding and shaping clay to make their very own Diva lamps.


Inspired by Kandinsky’s art work, FS2 have been using 2D shapes to make collages and have been practising drawing various shapes. Many children can now recognise a circle, square, triangle and rectangle. Can you find any of these shapes in your house? What shape is a window or a door? What shape are the wheels on a bus?

6th November
Bonfire Night

This week we have been learning all about Bonfire Night, we have listened to the story of Guy Faulkes to help us understand why people celebrate on the 5th of November.  Many children have enjoyed talking about fireworks they have seen.  We have used our bodies to pretend to be fireworks swirling in the sky and have painted pictures of them.  On Thursday, we worked together to gather wood to build our very own bonfire!  We all sat around the fire together to sing songs and eat our breadstick sparklers.  Inspired by our bonfire, the children have used different materials to make collages.  They have also read a sentence about some of the things they might see at this time of year, such as sparklers, bonfires and rockets.


We have talked about how to stay safe on Bonfire Night and in the autumn when the evenings are darker.  Can your child remember how to stay safe in the dark?