EYFS – Newsletter – 26.01.24

What a busy week we’ve had in Reception!

Our topic of Amazing Animals travelled to Africa to look at some of the varied animals that live on that continent. As a focus story this week, we used Eileen Brown’s ‘Handa’s Surprise’ (set in Kenya) which sees a range of animals sneaking away with Handa’s fruit. The children were then invited to have a go at using masks and props to retell the story themselves with friends, which many enjoyed. Others took the challenge to test their cutting skills to cut and stick their own basket of fruit, as featured in the story. Many children also had a go at making a mask of the lions, using paper plates as a base and adding paper and wool for the mane and facial features. There were some fantastic masks made, as you’ll see in the photos below.

On Monday we followed a tutorial to draw an elephant and Mrs Hunter came to join us!

On Thursday afternoon, Reception accepted a team challenge and we all worked together with our colour groups to build a model of an African animal. Each group was allocated an animal and the children worked together to assemble their creature using all manner of materials and techniques. It was a messy business but lots of fun and it was great to see children applying skills of both creativity and co-operation. You can see from the photo below that the finished animals were fantastic,  and after careful deliberation, Mrs Turpie awarded Purple Team’s giraffe the first prize (10 team points).

Phonics, this week, saw us all learning the phonemes ‘qu’ (queen) ‘ch’ (chick) and ‘sh’ (sheep). The children engaged in the sessions well and got to practise hearing, reading and writing these sounds in words and phrases before applying their new knowledge and skills in different activities. To practise hearing the ‘ch’ sound in words we played a chair challenge game with the children having to quickly find a seat if they heard a word containing this focus phoneme.  

Our Maths work this week has all centred on the concept of odd and even numbers. The children investigated which numbers were odd and even using Numicon resources and the characters from the TV show Numberblocks. They then demonstrated their understanding by using odd and even numbers in some activities. The children particularly enjoyed drawing their own monsters with either even or odd features (Does it have 3 eyes or 4? How many teeth?). 

Tuesday this week, saw all the children visit Tropical World in Roundhay to get a first hand look at some truly Amazing Animals! The children were brilliantly behaved and we got to take in some diverse creatures from warm climates all over the world, such as the desert’s meerkats, tortoises and tarantulas and the rainforest’s tree frogs, snakes and marmoset monkeys. Everyone had a fantastic time and it really helped the children get a feel for the different animal habitats we have been talking about in school. We hope you liked the pictures in the post earlier this week!

On Wednesday afternoon, we had our regular visit from our Class 9 reading buddies. This is always a lovely session, and it’s great to see the older children stimulating a love of books and reading with our Reception class. 

Thursday’s Forest School session was mercifully pretty dry and free from storm-force winds that battered school earlier in the week. The children did however take advantage of the literal windfall that resulted from this week’s storms to go around collected fallen stick and branches to add to Cookridge’s five-star Bug Hotel. Though it was very important work, filling our wheelbarrow with materials for our invertebrate population, many found Mr Verdi’s wheelbarrow rides along the way even more memorable! Mr Gamble was very grateful for the help of our Reception children in potting up some tree saplings that are to be planted and grown around our school site in the near future. 

Finally, Friday saw Reception class have a visit from our Cookridge Pet of the Week! The animals chosen this time, were our chickens, which were hatched and grown from chicks in our very own Reception class last Spring. We brought down one of our fine feathered friends to take a look at and (for those that wanted to) to get up close to examine their features. Aren’t we lucky to have such varied wildlife on school property for the children to explore each week!

Diary Dates:

Friday 9th February – School closes for half term at 3:20pm

Monday 19th February – School reopens

Monday 4th March – Parent’s evening

Tuesday 5th March – Parent’s evening

Contact Us

Tinshill Drive
West Yorkshire
LS16 7DH

0113 386 2500