Cranborne Road, Newbold, Chesterfield, S41 8PF

01246 232370

Nurture, Cherish, Succeed


"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all"


Spring 1

Learning all about the world, countries,

cultures and habitats. 

NSPCC Number Day 2023


As part of our number day activities the Reception children came in their numbered outfits and took part in a variety of different games and challenges throughout the day. 

To start the day, the children had to estimate how many sweets were in the jar, helped by their parents at Stay and Play. It was tricky but we had lots of guesses that were very close! 

Next, the children made their own measuring hand. The children had to carefully draw around their own hand onto a piece of paper, decorate it and cut it out. Once they had done this we decided to measure some of the people in the classroom. We started with Mrs Shannon. We understood that we had to place the hands next to her whilst she was lying down, end to end to see how many we needed. We then tried Graham, who we estimated would need less hands as he wasn't as tall as Mrs Shannon, and we were correct. Finally, we tried Keelan, who we knew would be less than Graham as he was shorter. 

We then went outside to measure the playground length using our strides. This was a better approach for the playground as we would need too many hands and it would take too long!

Finally, we played a Numberblocks game. We had to throw the die and colour in the Numberblock with that number. Once they were all coloured we had won the game! This was great for subitising and numeral recognition!  

PE - Gymnastics 

Today we used the skills we had learnt this half term to roll, balance and perform a jump, using the apparatus. The children have learnt that they need to use their core muscles to hold themselves straight and tall in their rolls and jumps. They know how to use their arms to help them to balance and they have learnt that it is important to bend their knees when they land from their jumps. 

Guided Writing

Questions and Answers

In our guided writing this week we have been thinking about animals and a question we would like an answer to. We thought about which animal we would choose then something we wanted to know about it that we didn't know already. The children worked hard to out this into a question and we used the iPad to ask Siri the answer. 

We then put the answer into a sentence and wrote this with support from our adult, using our phonics knowledge to help us to sound out and spell the words we needed. 

Our DT Day 

Making junk modelled houses 

In our DT day we spent the day designing and making our own junk modelled houses. 

Head over to our DT page to see what we did! DT in Reception

Parachute Games 

In PE we decided as the weather was good we would go outside and work as a team in parachute games. The children worked together to see how high they could bounce a ball on the parachute. They tried hard to keep the ball on the parachute for as long as possible. 

Key Text

The Ugly Five 

by Julia Donaldson

Our next key text introduces us to Africa and some of the unknown African animals. Julia Donaldson writes about some animals that others may think are ugly and not worth looking at, we know differently. In Julia Donaldson's usual writing technique, there are rhymes and lots of laughs. 

Maths - Composition of Numbers

In maths we have been continuing to learn all about the composition of numbers 5, 6, 7 and 8. Today we used our 10 frames to place our counters on so we could see how they looked and how many spaces we had left when we placed each number on.

We then tried to continue this with our fingers. 

Wear It Red Day - 3rd February


In music over the past four weeks we have been writing a rap. We thought about the words we wanted to use, making sure the sentences rhymed at the end, and of course made sense! We considered how we could keep a beat and we all practiced using percussion instruments to keep a constant beat. The children who did really well at the practice got to play their instruments in the performance. 

We used part of Wild Andy's rap for our chorus to remind us which part of the world the Arctic and Antarctic are in. 

Here is our rap, and our performance. 

As part of our focus on Australia this week, we have also been learning how to play a didgeridoo! It is a wooden instrument that is carved out of a special tree branch, decorated with Aboriginal art and played by blowing a raspberry down the mouth piece! Yes blowing a raspberry!

The children all had a go at this, their musical attempts are below! 

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Aboriginal Art

As we have been exploring the different countries we have decided to look at their art too. In Australia the Aboriginal People use a very special technique in their art. They use dots to create their pictures. We watched a short video showing how this is done with cotton buds and paint and then we looked at some art work Mrs Meakin has from Australia. We talked about how we had to be careful not to smudge the dots and place them close together in order to cover the paper. 

We chose if we wanted to use a boomerang, gecko or kangaroo template for the middle of our page and then chose the colours to use. 

We were very proud of our finished products! 


To continue our PE unit of gymnastic this half-term, this week we have been learning how to roll. We started with a log roll, which required us to tuck our arms in, keep our legs straight and roll like a log. We then tried a teddy bear roll. This was really tricky and required us to keep our legs apart and straight, while rolling onto our back and sit back up again. We will keep trying this roll as we found it very tricky! 

Lunar New Year

This week we have been learning all about Lunar New Year and how they celebrate this in China as well as other countries around the world. 

We have been exploring how to use chopsticks, making red lanterns and red envelopes, tracing numbers written in Chinese, trying some food from China as well as making dragon masks and taking part in a dragon parade. 

We have also learnt all about the animals in the Chinese Zodiac and how they were decided in the Jade Emperor's Race. We used this story to learn all about ordinal numbers in maths and we had a try at remembering which order the animals reached the Emperor and how this is represented with place numbers. 


In PE this half term we have been learning how to jump and land safely. We have been learning lots of different jumps including the straight jump, tuck, star, half and full turn jumps. The children have been learning how to use our PE equipment safely, using their arms to balance when walking on the benches, and making sure they jump and land in the middle of our PE mats. 

Key Text

The Koala Who Could

by Rachel Bright and Jim Field

Our next key text is based in Australia. This story is about a Koala who was frightened of coming out of his tree. His friends all try to help him. It introduces the children to some of the animals native to Australia as well as exploring how to be brave and keep on trying. 

Our Polar Region Writing

In our guided writing we have been writing a fact about one of the animals we have been learning about. This could have been penguins, polar bears, Arctic foxes or beluga whales. The children recalled their own fact and then wrote their fact with a range of support, using their phonics knowledge and trying hard to form their letters correctly. 

Snow Maths!

Today there was snow on the ground in the playground, so we made use of this in our maths learning. We went outside and we practiced writing our numerals from 0 to 5 when Mrs Meakin called out the number. 

We tried hard to represent the number using the correct numeral. 

Finally, to finish our learning, we had to walk around (very carefully and safely) to find a numeral when Mrs Meakin called out the number. We have been trying hard to recall and use numerals. 


How Do Polar Bears Keep Warm? 

We have been learning all about animals in their different habitats and one animal we have explored is the Polar Bear. We know that the Polar Bear lives in the Arctic and it is very cold there and that they also swim in the icy Arctic Ocean. We wanted to know how they kept warm. 

We conducted a science experiment using icy cold water. Firstly we put our hands into the water with the ice and and talked about how it felt. It was VERY cold. We spoke about how ice is formed by water freezing and that the ice will melt as it becomes warm again. 

Next we tried with one layer of polar bear fur - a sock. It was warm to start with but as soon as the water soaked through it was cold as before. 

We had learnt that polar bears have 2 layers of fur to keep them warm, one that is furry to keep them warm and one that is waterproof to help to keep the water away from the inner layer of fur. We tried this in our experiment to see is this would work. We used a plastic bag to waterproof our sock. On the outside of the bag we also added a layer of fat to see if this would make it even warmer, as polar bears have fat to help keep them warm too. 

We discovered that when we used this approach not only did our hand stay dry, but also very warm and toasty. It worked! 


Dreams and Goals

In PSED this term we will be looking at our dreams and goals. Today we have had a go at some tricky tasks. We had to use a peg or a pair of tweezers to pick up a pompom with different hands. We had to build a tower of bricks 5 high, using the bricks vertically rather than horizontally, untangle some laces, thread straws in holes and find all the gold stars in a pot of sequins.

The children tried super hard and get on trying. We learnt that if we kept trying we got better and we even managed to succeed at some of the tasks. 

We talked all about how if we gave up the first time we tried something we would never be able to do it. We agreed that we would do the same with our learning so we can be really good at reading, writing and maths. 

Maths - composition of 5

The children are continuing to look at how the number 5 is constructed. We have been watching our Numberblocks episodes to help us to see how the number 5 can be split into 2 groups, but there is still 5 all together. 

The children have been using different mathematical manipulatives to look at how 5 can be made using different numbers. This is the start of us learning all about number bonds. 

We have used unifix cubes, counters and 5 frames, numicon and our own fingers to work out how we can make 5 in different ways. 

Epiphany 9th January

As part of the school's RE day, Reception have been looking at Epiphany. We explored how the Wise Men travelled to see Baby Jesus in Bethlehem, laid in the manger and how long it might have taken them to travel so far across the desert. 

The children talked about all the different people and animals who came to see Baby Jesus and why he was so special. We then made our own crowns so we could be a Wise Man and take a present to Baby Jesus. 

We used a template which we had to carefully cut out, then we decided what to add to our crown to decorate it. We used a variety of materials such as colouring pencils, pens, glitter, sequins and pompoms. 

We showed the rest of the children our crowns in a special Collective Worship.

Key text

Poles Apart 

by Jeanne Willis and Jarvis

This text starts our journey around the world by introducing the North and South poles, or Arctic and Antarctic regions, as well as journeying through the world from one pole to the other. It introduces children to the polar regions and some of the animals who live there. As part of our learning we will be exploring further polar animals with our adventures with Flynn the Explorer, who will be sending us postcards each day with new animals or areas to learn about. 

Penguin Adoption

Reception Class have adopted a penguin via WWF. We are sending money to help the WWF to protect the penguins and their home in the Antarctic. The children have been learning all about the penguin, what they eat, how they move, where they live and how they care for their babies. 

Flynn the Great Explorer

Buddy the Bear has a long-lost cousin called Flynn. Flynn is a great explorer and he is currently travelling the world looking for new places, animals and people to talk to. He has is sending the children postcards from all the places he visits. Ask the children where he has been and what he has been doing. We will put the postcards here too so you can see where he is!