Foundation Stage 2

Welcome to FS2, the Reception year of school.

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2017 - 2018


Look how Maisie has improved her work from the first sentence.

After William wrote a sentence I asked him how he was going to improve it. He went back and included finger spaces every time and chose a more challenging word.

When we went outside this morning the children were fascinated by the ice in our playground. They noticed some shapes ‘It’s a triangle’, ‘It’s like the roof of a car’, ‘It’s like a gun’. The children knew that the cold weather had frozen the ice and they enjoyed smashing it to let the leaves, stones and grass free! Some children said ‘put it in the sun to melt.’

Following on from our pirate activities and all the rain we’ve had recently I read ‘Noah’s Ark’ to the class. We’ve had some amazing discussions about flooding but look in our construction area at the arks being built. The children were careful considering which animals should be living next to each other on the ark, ‘the crocodiles might eat the rabbits!’ 

On national number day we had lots of activities to reinforce our recognition of numerals. Take a look...

More pirate activities this week have provided lots of engagement and the development of skills.

Look how pleased Arley is with his printing treasure on playdough.

Some phonics this morning; it’s a delight to see all our children making such good progress and moving on to their next steps in learning. Look how Nathan is trying to use our new digraph ‘ay’.

Yesterday the children were introduced to the new digraph ‘ay’ and already they are eager to show me how they can use it to write and make words independently. Look at ‘painting’ and ‘pastry’!!

After reading ‘Mr. Gumpy’s Outing’, a story about a man and a boat, the children’s enthusiasm soon turned to pirate ships. Look at our range of learning that involves pirates!!!!!!!

We have been making treasure maps and talking about our adventures.

We have been collaborating ideas to make up pirate stories in the small world; some were a bit gruesome!

In maths we have been practising counting objects to 20 and sharing equally.

In writing we have been learning that an inventory is a checklist and pirates need these to check they have no treasure missing!

In guided writing some children have been learning to label a picture of a ‘Wanted’ pirate and others have been thinking of what the pirate might say.

We have a fantastic collection of different spoons and the children have been thinking of interesting ways to use them in our provision. Some children thought the water might not be a good idea because the metal ones might rust and the wooden ones go soggy. We enjoyed using them in our home corner and they made good shovels for digging treasure. Mason found the ice-cream scoop made a good shovel.

Fancy a holiday??? We don’t do cruises on galleons but we can arrange all sorts of holidays in our travel agents. You’ll need to change your currency if you’re going travelling abroad.

We have had a fantastic afternoon in bear cubs at our Christmas party, playing games, eating party food and even getting a visit from Santa. All the bear cubs staff would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. 

We are all getting excited ready for the Christmas party tomorrow afternoon. All the prizes have been wrapped and a faint jingling sound can be heard in the distance. I wonder what or who that could be?

In Maths this morning we used this Christmas picture to talk about our Maths learning over the term. I was so impressed with the precise use of mathematical language from the children. Here are a few observations made by the children. Every child was able to say something mathematical about the picture.

’The shelf with the doll and teddy is a cuboid. It has rectangles.’

’The wrapping paper is all cylinders.’

’The doll is sat in front of the fire.’

’The train has three and three wheels, that’s six. It’s a double.’

’There’s two squirrels.’

’The tree is a cone because it has a vertices on top, but there’s no vertices at the bottom because it’s a circle and a circle doesn’t have any vertices.’

’If the light on the candle wasn’t there it would be a cylinder.’ What will happen to the cylinder shape as the candle burns? ‘It will melt and get smaller.’

’The squirrel has a sphere nose.’

We have had our usual calm phonics lessons this morning. The children are making really good progress in their different groups.

In FS2 we practise our handwriting three times a week in differentiated groups. The teachers focus on each group’s specific needs and as you can see there has been a lot of progress in letter formation and pencil control. Some children are just starting to hand write after building finger strength and in the new year another group of children will start to practise joining some letters!

This morning we went to see Sleeping Beauty at the Lamproom theatre. Harvey and William obviously enjoyed it because they role played the story this afternoon.

The Prince: With the touch of a kiss I wake you up!

Sleeping Beauty: arghhh! Don’t actually kiss me!!!!!!

Haha, it appears not all fairytales end happily!!!!!!!!

We’ve enjoyed plenty of time outside today. The playground was still too slippy and unsafe so we went onto the field. We enjoyed running and balancing as well as looking at the frosty leaves. In the afternoon the frost had disappeared and all the leaves were wet. We knew this was because the sun had melted the frost.

Christmas in Bear Cubs; lots of developing skills in all areas.

Our bags for the Christmas craft fayre are ready!!!!!! If you would like your child to buy their crafts please send them with £3 in an envelope on Friday morning which is the total cost of their craft bag.

I have introduced water colour paints this week and as you can see the children have used them so carefully, adding more detail to their paintings than they would normally do with powder paints. Look at the concentration on these children’s faces.

Look at these two fabulous creations; children’s imagination never fails to impress me! Look how Jake has used the material to make a waterfall and under the waterfall lives a dragon! Harvey, Ollie and Nathan worked so well together to make their bamboo house for the animals; they took extra care to balance the pieces and share ideas. Clever work boys!

I’ve got to share this amazing writing with you from this morning. Nathan has written using cursive letters formed on the line and he has remembered finger spaces for his sentence. Fantastic!

Nurse Ripley came to visit today. She works looking after the elderly at Barnsley hospital; she told us about her job so we know a little bit more when we play in our own surgery.

After weeks of practising our Cha Cha Cha, finally we have held our competition this morning. Everyone danced brilliantly but we had six couples that won trophies. Nathan and Aimee were our Cha Cha Cha Champions!!!!!! Well deserved for their in time foot work and smiles.

Ruby and Aimee have spent 45 minutes making their haunted house with drawn and cut out figures. They collaborated really well together and took turns with equipment. Fantastic girls!

Every morning we are running the mile (10 laps of the playground). As well as making us healthy, this settles us down to our independent play after fresh air and exercise.

It’s close to midnight, something evil’s lurking from the classroom...

Mrs.Clay’s handwriting group have been squeezing, rolling and pressing to make spooky Halloween cookies.

I’m so impressed with this phonics group this morning who passed the board round to make a list of ‘ip’ words.

We have been learning about repeating patterns. Look at our independent learning.

We have been developing our understanding of 2D and 3D shapes today. We are learning that shapes have sides, faces and vertices. Look at Nathan’s cuboid; he made a cube first then decided to turn it into a cuboid with ‘rectangle faces and two square faces.’

Did you see the sun today?

The children noticed the sun was red so we went out to investigate...

’why is the sky yellow?’

’The sun is dying!’

The sun is setting’

’The sun is losing it’s hot’

’The sky has got the sun’s power’

We went back to the woods this morning. The wolf has written back to us.

Also this week, the children enjoyed playing police. This prompted us to learn more about their job - it’s not just about catching bad guys! Unfortunately a hurricane knocked the police station over and it had to be rebuilt.

We went back to the woods on Monday to see if anything had happened to the basket of food we had left. 

Something, maybe the wolf had eaten everything apart from the spicy mustard and tomato soup. Maisie thought this was because a wolf wouldn’t be able to open them with its furry paws. 

Back in the classroom the children started wondering if it was a wolf who had eaten the food. It could’ve been a bear, a fox or an owl - we did see claw marks on the tree!!!!!!! How could we find out? We decided to put some more cookies in the basket along with a letter and some paper and pen so the mystery animal could write back.

We started the week by reading Handa's Surprise, the story of a girl who takes a basket of fruit to her friend. We then read Little Red Riding Hood because she is also a girl who takes a basket of fruit, but to her poorly grandma. You all know the story and we couldn't help think why the wolf was so mean. Maybe he was just hungry???? The children suggested we give him some food and then he might stay away from people. But what do wolves eat? We put some items in a basket:

Currant buns because wolves like cherries.

Tomato soup because it will keep the wolf warm.

Lettuce because that's like leaves and wolves eat leaves'

A carrot because they need something healthy inside them.

Hot spicy mustard to spread on the meat they eat.

Chocolate chip cookies because wolves are a bit brown and so is chocolate. 

Strawberry yoghurt because it's sweet and wolves like sweet things.

Water because it will get thirsty.

Some children drew pictures for the wolf and we wrote a label and took the basket to the wood because that's where wolves live. 

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It's beginning to look a lot like Autumn!

On Thursday morning we went for a walk around the school grounds looking for signs of change and Autumn. We are learning that leaves fall from the trees because they are dead and acorns and conkers are seeds that fall from trees. We've noticed that some of these things turn brown and start rotting and decaying.

In Maths we have been learning to double, we understand this is when we add the same two numbers.

In Cha Cha Cha we have progressed to working with a partner.

We started phonics this morning; look how focused we all are!

Our first dance lesson today; we have been learning the importance of warming up, listening to the beat and learning steps for the Cha Cha Cha.


A busy morning for our first day at school! We've been learning to compare groups of objects, draw and write our name, listen to our story 'Owl Babies' as well as lots of exploring activities. 

This afternoon we watched a video to find out information about owls, we've painted and drawn owls and measured ourselves to see if we're taller or shorter than the biggest owl in the world.


2016 - 2017


Tissue Tastic!!!!!!!!! We've been using tissue paper to makes caterpillars with repeated patterns, fruit and vegetables styled from 'The very hungry caterpillar' and stripy lollipops.

Our caterpillars have changed since we got them; first they got fatter, then they started making thread and we had to untangle them and this morning we came in to find they have all made their chrysalis! Dawn has now moved them to the net container so they will have room to come out as butterflies!!!!!!

We're ready for the thunderstorm!!!!!!

Can you tell which London landmarks our models are????!!!

DIY paddling pool!!!!!!! 

This week we have been planting tomato seeds. Maybe a giant one might grow...???!!!!!!!!!!

Look what Esme brought in for us to look at! Can you guess what it is????

After reading Jack and the beanstalk, we have been thinking about castles! We have been learning the names for parts of a castle, looking at famous castles from movies and thinking which one we'd like to live in, learning about the legend of the Giant's Causeway (spot Leah's giant toppling over the edge of her causeway in the slides), drawing castles and building castles.

A bunk bed fit for a castle!!!!!!!

We have collected tadpoles from the pond and put them in the classroom to observe them closely. One has grown back legs and is beginning to change into a froglet! Ask your children to tell you about a frog's life cycle. Unfortunately on our visit to the pond we didn't see any fish or the nesting moor hens, even though we were very quiet... We'll go back after the holidays for another luck.

Keeping cool!

It is completely awesome being five years old!

Today we sent balloons to the moon!!!!!!!!

We watched the John Lewis Christmas advert 2015 with the man on the moon. It really touched the children and they wanted to send messages to the man to make him happy. But how do they get there????? Leah suggested we put them in the magic letterbox  but Archie suggested we send up balloons!

Our Charleston Competition was held on Thursday after weeks of practise. Here are our finalists and winners!!!!! 

Our moon and space theme has continued this week; we have been weighing items to see which is the lightest to take to the moon and drawing planets using chalks so we can smudge for a more effective appearance.

I love this photo! The bowl is wedged between the guttering and the blue stand to catch the water. This is problem solving in action!!!!!

We're reading 'Whatever Next' by Jill Murphy. A bear uses  a box rocket to fly to the moon. We've been making rockets, writing from the story and watching real rockets take off on the Smartboard. We've also been learning about the moon; it's not made of cheese, but rock!!!!!!

Rockin' into Easter!!!!!!!!!!

Easter activities; building chocolate factories, egg hunts, questions to the Easter bunny, Easter cupcakes, making insects, magic Easter bunny potions, egg addition... Can you spot the flavoured rivers in the chocolate factory??!!!!!!! (There's a banana one for Mrs.Clay!)

Outdoor learning in some sunshine!!!!!!!

Look at us investigating, creating, collaborating, imagining and predicting...

Leah told us she is going to start Irish dance lessons so we put Riverdance on the Smartboard to see what it looks like. Look what happened then...

Sister Ripley visited this week to talk to us about her job. The children made good patients then practised themselves in role play. I think we have future doctors and nurses in class!

We have been learning to add and subtract by putting objects in a line. Ask your child to show you at home.

We've been on a 'bear hunt' this week in Kexborough... I'm to report that no real bears were found...

At the beginning of the week we read 'We're going on a Bear Hunt' and all week we have been doing lots of different activities to engage with the book. Look what we've been up to.

The children made a bear through the playground. Green grates on their sides made a great forest and spongy bricks made ideal oozy mud. No one knew that a scary bear lay waiting in his gazebo cave!!!!!!!!

We've made sensory story mats so we can remember the journey of the bear hunt; wavy grass, big river, oozy mud, dark forest and a swirling snowstorm. Ask your child to retell the story using their story mat.

We've been spotting bears and recording how many, before finding a total for the two.

We've painted bears.

On World Book Day we invited our own bears to school for a tea party. We had actually written an invitation for the bear in the story (to cheer him up) but we decided allowing a real bear onto the school grounds maybe problematic... 

We visited the library.

To finish World Book Day we went on a real bear hunt into our wood to see if we really could find a bear...


Sid got a poorly tail... and a sick tummy... and a poorly paw!!!! Good thing Bear Cub vets were on hand to help.

It was the 14th of February on Tuesday and love was definitely in the air! We made cards for people we loved, painted roses and even danced to ballads.

It was a fiercely fought battle in our street dance competition, but here are our winners!!!!

We've been building towers this week and measuring using multi-link. Outside though this tower was so tall it needed two metre sticks to measure at 170cm. Look how the girls have criss-crossed the bricks to make it more stable.

In our circle time groups this week we said what we would use to decorate Mrs.Honey's hat! Some suggestions were lovely, just like the beginning of the story; glitter, bow, butterfly, lights. Others were a little more peculiar, just like the end of the story; frog, worms, jam, real snakes, banana!!!!!!!!

Many children love showing us what they have learnt in phonics; look at these independent spellings!

Archie, Sonny and Oliver made a great camera on Wednesday. It was for spotting animals and I can report that zebras and bears were spotted through the lens!

Continuing our Chinese New Year work, this week we have been taking inspiration for our Art by learning to use and combine different media to make Chinese cherry blossom pictures. 

"I think the blossom will smell like strawberries because it's pink."

"These blossom trees grow in China. I'd like to go to China."

"I want to have blossom everywhere."

It was Chinese New Year on the 28th January so we've been using chopsticks and tossing vegetables in a wok this week. We've also been practising our cutting skills by making red lanterns. 

We are learning that people celebrate and enjoy different things and we need to learn to be tolerant to this. 



Look at our Chinese lion dance...

Our grocery shop has been busy this week; children learning to count out the right coins and also learning that good manners go a long way!

The frost this week has provided opportunities for some thoughtful observations and scientific thinking from the children. 

'It's all white and crunchy.'

'It's frosty there but not on that bit because the sun's melted it and dried it up.'

'There's steam coming off the ice!'

'My hand is melting the ice because it's warm.'

The children loved finding shards of ice in the water.

Many children even found shapes in the broken ice - fantastic learning from last week!

Our book this week is 'Mrs. Armitage on wheels' by Quentin Blake. In the story Mrs. Armitage keeps adding gadgets and objects to her bike to make it more comfortable for herself and her dog 'Breakspear' until she crashes and the bike breaks. The children have been speaking about their own bikes and how they would like to improve them. Here's a few.

Outside, children were challenged to make a new machine for Mrs. Armitage. They had to work together to generate ideas and adapt and improve their creations.

Our street dance practise is going great. This week we separated into two dance crews to try to intimidate each other with our mean moves and attitude!

We are learning to recognise and describe 2D and 3D shapes by sorting, building, printing and hunting.

January has started colourfully! We have been learning to describe and create patterns.

Mrs. Ripley introduced 'Street Dance' to us on Thursday. There were a lot of new moves to learn... with plenty of attitude!!!!!!!

We are reading 'Mr.Gumpy's Outing' as part of our reading spine to develop children's love and understanding of good early literature. We have been writing about the animals that fell in the river and outside we made a Mr.Gumpy boat. The girls took it in turns to play the part of Mr.Gumpy and were very strict at telling each other not to squabble, kick, muck about or tease one another, like in the story! This led to the boys building their own boat and constantly thinking of ways to improve it; they added a ramp for easier access. Then crocodiles and sea monsters started attacking!!!!! Then 'good pirates' took over Mr.Gumpy's boat and set sail to find treasure. All on a Thursday afternoon!

Our tree decorations will be on sale for £1.50 at the Christmas craft fayre.

As busy as elves, preparing for Christmas!

Practising for our carol concert!

It's the start of winter tomorrow so the classroom is getting ready. It's also the start of advent so we have enjoyed decorating the tree and problem solving a decoration to go on top!

Outdoor learning this morning...

This morning the children were challenged to build the tallest and strongest tower and to find and make a tally of objects hidden around the playground. Decland also made some amazing mud pies with 'loads of sugar!'

Collaboration and problem solving outdoors!

After reading 'Rosie's Walk' this week, I gave the children the challenge of building an obstacle course for the fox so that he can go around, over and under obstacles without crashing into them.


The children set to work brilliantly, but came across a problem when I couldn't manage to get under the bridge!!!!!! Someone came up with the idea of lifting the bridge by putting crates underneath. It still wasn't high enough for me! Oliver quickly got two more crates to put under so that it was higher still and this time it just worked!!!!

Handwriting practise; we have to focus our attention well so that we can form the cursive letters correctly.


After weeks of practise, today we held our Samba competition. All of the children danced fantastically well and some are going home with trophies and medals. Huge congratulations to everybody!!!!!!

FRIENDSHIP CHAINS; an afternoon of essential communication, dilemmas and compromise...

To celebrate friendship in our class and stretch relationships to their limit, we chained friends together to see what would happen. Initially, we discussed problems that we could foresee, such as going to the toilet and going outside. We decided friends could release the chain to use the toilet, if the other friend waited. We also decided the chain could temporarily be taken off to play outside. Here are some comments from the children:


'I wonder what it will feel like?'

'How are we going to draw a picture?'

'we're not breaking it!'

'What's going to happen cos there's only one chair left?'

'I don't want to go outside cos I don't want to break the chain'


Us adults in class were so surprised by what we observed. We were impressed by the strength of relationships and the ability of children to talk through differences to keep chains intact. Children were observed having difficult conversations because one friend wanted to do something different to the other. Compromises had to be reached. It seems that at all costs, many children were determined not to break their chains.  Seven friendship chains lasted all afternoon!!!!! Well done to those children; we didn't expect that. All the other chains were broken through choice where friends couldn't reach compromises. 

To begin anti-bullying week we have learnt what bullying means by watching a Topsy and Tim video. We have been showing what kind friends we are by making friendship bracelets for eachother. Look how we need to focus our attention to be able to thread the tiny beads! We are delighted with the results!!!!!

Building a snowman is tricky with only a light dusting, but clever thinking by Oliver made it possible!

Today we have been learning to draw people correctly. Look at some of our work...


Look how well we are focusing our attention!

Also today, we have been learning to order numerals. We are learning to place the tens numbers under the ones so we can see patterns more clearly.

We are trying really hard to form letters correctly. Look at Decland practising independently!