Stanningley Primary School

Respect and Pride


Children  »  Class Pages 2023 - 24  »  Early Years Class Page

Planting Beanstalks

Nursery have been looking at the story of Jaspers Beanstalk and planting beans. We have also planted some beans in see through cups so that we can observe the changes that the beans go through as they start to grow roots, stems and leaves. We will be keeping a record of these changes by photographing them each day.


Reception have been marking the start of Ramadam along with the Muslim children in our class. We have been learning all about the fact that Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. We have several children and staff that belong to the Islam faith in Reception and they have shown great pride in sharing with us the things that they do with their families during Ramadan as well as fasting. Elijah and Aria showed us how they pray using the Prayer Mats that we have in school. Their families have also sent photos into school of them celebrating Ramadan and praying at home. We have watched videos and looked at the book My First Ramadan. We have a Ramadan chocolate calendar and tasted dates which Muslims eat to break their fast before their meal after the sunset known as Iftah.

Building bridges

The children have been having so much fun exploring and playing the puddle that appeared in the nursery garden after a recent heavy downpour. They enjoyed jumping and making splashes in the water and then progressed on to building bridges and stepping stones across it. As well as having fun they were also developing their balancing skills, co-operative skills and problem solving skills as they negotiated their way across to the other side. They even discovered that they could build a see-saw which challenged their balancing skills even further!

Stay and Play

Our Stay and Play this half term fell within our Healthy Week. During the afternoon children and adults were making a healthy plate , children used their cutting skills to navigate around pictures within magazines which showed a variety of food - both healthy and unhealthy. Printing with paint had a healthy theme with variety of different vegetables including parsnips, carrots, onions, cabbage, potato and snap peas. Children had the opportunity to make colourful grape caterpillars - completing a repeated pattern as well as being careful to cut the grapes in half. The reception class adults were invited to attend their child's PE session and were also given a quick guide to our home learning app - Burst. Everyone had a wonderful time and it was so lovely to see so many adults attend. Thank you

Healthy Week

During healthy week we had lots of discussion on how to keep ourselves nice and healthy. We looked at how to clean our teeth and how often to clean them. All the children took a toothbrush, toothpaste with leaflets and a chart to complete for the following four weeks. Later in the week we had nurses and a scientist from Nuffield hospital to tell us all about keeping our hands clean. We had opportunity to look at some pictures of different micro germs and made some of our own from dough. Just look at how dirty our hands were even though they looked clean! We had a lovely goody bag to take home all about handwashing. Throughout the week we had been reading the book Handa's Suprise and we all had a great time making a fruit salad - although they were to go home a lot of the children could not resist eating the colourful array of fruits.

Music working with percussion

Enjoying the percussion instruments including tubes, chime bars, singing and clapping, eggs, finger beat and drums.

Music working with percussion

The children have enjoyed working with our music teacher Ms. Rivers. This half term we have been working with both tuned and untuned percussion instruments including percussion tubes, chime bars, egg shakers and more. The children enjoyed exploring beat and rhythm.

PE - Health and Fitness

This half term the children have enjoyed completing the Health and Fitness theme. In particular they have worked on movement and floor work completing a static balance before moving onto ball chasing.

Morning Challenges

After the children have arrived in class and competed their morning tasks, everyone enjoys completing a morning task. This half term alongside our activities we have completed threading - using a running stitch, observational drawings and large movement drawing.

Celebrating World Book Day

The children have enjoyed dressing up for World Book Day and coming as their favourite character. Later in the week the children had opportunity to decorate a potato in the style of their favourite characters - we had some lovely entries. To continue with celebrating the love of book, reception children could wrap up their favourite book and bring it into class. At the end of the day a book is chosen to read, the child unwraps their book. After sharing the story with the class their friends asks them questions such as; Which is your favourite page? Who bought you the book?

Focus artist - Sharon King-Chai

The children have been learning about the illustrator Sharon King - Chai and her work. We looked at two of her books to help focus their own art work. The children used their previous knowledge of cutting and folding to create a special card as a gift for a special person. Later they all repeated the process to create a special book for the classroom, alongside lots of the children continuing the process in their explore time.

Science - S factor challenge

The whole school enjoyed preparing for the science S factor and we had a few children from Reception taking on the challenge. The rest of Early Years were a great audience as they watched a bubbling volcano, a magical skittle rainbow and some exciting lava lamps. Well done to all who took part with Daisy taking first place and going onto the final which took place later in the week.

Working with clay

The children enjoyed working with clay. Using previous knowledge of how modeling, rolling and manipulating the media can be more difficult than working with dough. Before rolling for a flat tile shape the children formed the clay into a sphere. Once the clay was rolled and a cutter used, the children use a variety of natural objects to print into the tiles - not forgetting the important hole, for hanging once made into a gift. After the clay was dry the children carefully used fine paint brushes and used colours to highlight the lovely wall plaques which were produced.

Lantern Festival

Reception have been marking the close of the Luna New Year celebrations. Chinese or Luna New Year end with a celebration known as the Lantern Festival. The Chinese and other South East Asian communities hang glowing lanterns in temples or carry them during a nighttime parade. We have been watching videos and looking at photos of these wonderful and colourful celebrations and have made our own lanterns to decorate our classroom.

Fun in the snow!

Early Years have had so much fun and explored our recent snow fall in so many exciting ways! All self directed! They have made snowballs to splat on the ground, snowballs to eat and snowballs to carry around in our wheelbarrow. One of the children decided to bring her snowball inside which gave us the opportunity to talk about melting and the process of change. Some children made the most of the snow that had been collected in our pans in the mud kitchen and worked together to make snow soup and snow soup which they then served up to Ms Read in their cafe. They squealed with excitement as they watched the snow disappear as they dropped into a big puddle. "Look it's disappeared into thin air.!" one child exclaimed!

Dragon Dance
Dragon Dance

Nursery and Reception have been learning about Lunar New Year. In our music lessons with Mrs Rivers we have been playing Chinese Gongs and learning a new song called Dragon Dance. Today we even got the opportunity to make a dragon just like the Chinese people do when they celebrate Lunar New Year .

Reading for a purpose

The Reception children have been putting their newly acquired phonics skills to good use as they read the instructions in our playdough recipe book to help them make playdough for the children that have just started nursery.

Three Little Pigs

The nursery children have been reading and retelling the story of the Three Little Pigs to help them develop their concept of the number 3. The story as also inspired their creative play and they have been fully engaged as they have retold the story in lots of different ways and built houses with different resources.

Light and dark

Early years have been reading the story Can't You Sleep Little Bear which has introduced them to the concept of light and dark. We have talked about what makes the daytime light and and why it goes dark at night time. We have also explored and investigated light and dark using first hand experiences in the classroom using torches, the light box, dark dens and the overhead projector. The presence of which inspired their natural curiosity. The children were fully engaged as they made shadows with their bodies, hands and different resources from around the classroom and experimented by making them smaller and bigger. During stay and play the children also made shadow puppets which came to life as they learnt to project them onto the wall to make shadows.

Winter fun, Exploring ice!

The sudden onset of the very cold weather provided us with lots of exciting opportunities to explore the effect of temperatures of freezing and below freezing. Ice formed in the containers that we prepared over night and all around our outdoor area the children discovered other ice formations. They noticed icicles on the outdoor structure and beautiful white leaves. Some children even discovered that ice can be rather tasty and interesting to lick !

A Visit to St Thomas Church

Reception have been getting out and about in their local community and have been to visit St Thomas Church. The church warden very kindly showed us around and we learnt that a church is a place of worship for people that follow the Christian faith. As it is Christmas he also told us the story of the birth of Jesus. We are very familiar with this story and helped by placing wooden figurines in the stable to create a nativity scene. We also joined in by singing the songs that we learnt for our nativity performance. On the way back we observed the life size nativity scene which had been created in the church grounds.

Christmas Party

In the final week before the Christmas holidays, the children had a Christmas party. Lots of different games were played form musical statues to pass the parcel and even an old game using newspaper! It was very tricky and the children all needed good balance – especially at the end. Eventually it was time for our Christmas Party food and a special Christmas message from Santa. We all had our photograph taken in front of the Christmas tree – which we had enjoyed dressing each day in December.

Christmas Meal

All the school were delighted with our Christmas meal. A bit Thank You to all the dinner staff who prepare and serve our meals during the academic year. Early Years enjoyed listening to the festive music playing and sharing the festive fun with staff . Turkey and ice cream to follow – who could ask for more!

Christmas Nativity.

Reception Children had enjoyed listening to the story of the birth of Jesus. Every child had a part to play in creating the Christmas Nativity from narrators to singing/dancing stars to angels and all the characters. Both performances for the whole school and the children’s family were thoroughly enjoyed by all. The children remembered their words and sang every song beautifully .

Christmas Fun

Over the Christmas period we have had lots of fun doing lots of different activities. Music time with Christmas songs. Dressing up and delivering presents and letters. Peeking into the advent calendar to see if a gift had been left. Making paper chains to hang from the ceilings and walls to designing angel costumes for decorations to hang on our trees at home.


The nursery children had great fun when their families were invited into school for the afternoon to take part in a range of different Christmas activities together. It was lovely to see our families creating such lovely festive memories together.

Snow Fun!

We have been noticing the changes in our weather as we come to the end of Autumn and begin to approach the Winter season. The children are aware that the days are getting colder and they were very excited this morning when they ventured outside to find that everywhere had been covered in a light sprinkling of snow. They did lots of investigating and soon discovered that the snow was "freezing cold". They scooped it up and put it into the pots and pans in the mud kitchen, they made marks in it with their fingers, they explored it with their tongues, scooped it into piles and picked it up and threw it into the air watching it with delight as it fluttered to the ground. Once back inside where it was nice and warm we noticed the snow on our gloves beginning to melt. We placed them on the radiator to dry and sang songs about the snow and learnt a poem all about building a snowman! What fun we all had!

Decorating the Christmas tree

On the 1st of December Early Years started decorating the unit ready for Christmas. Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas and as is with many festivals celebrated by different religions we have discussed the fact that people celebrate by putting up decorations. The children were so excited to experience this first hand when they came into school and discovered the many Christmas decorations. They had such fun exploring them and adding them to our tree. We had to stretch up really tall to reach the high branches. Placing the baubles on the branches also helped with developing our fine motor control.


This half term Early Years have been looking at different cultural and religious Festivals. We have talked about why these festivals are celebrated and looked at the ways in which they are celebrated. In Early Years this week the children have been talking about the festival of Diwali which is celebrated by people following the Sikh and Hindu religions. They have been listening to and retelling the story of Rama and Sita. In the story the Princess Sita is taken away by an evil demon called Ravana but is then later rescued by Prince Rama and a monkey god called Hanuman. The message of the story is that goodness will always win over badness. The Early Years children have also been making divas which are lit at Diwali to bring light (goodness) into the world in order to drive away the dark (badness).

Becoming familiar with our names

In nursery we have been matching magnetic letters to the letters on our name card and have had a try at copying the letters too. This is helping us to become familiar with our names and what they look like. Soon we will be able to recognise them without needing a picture to help us just like the children in Reception. We are getting very good at identifying the initial letters of our names. The children are learning to control the pens well too in order to make marks.

Cutting Skills

In nursery we have been focusing on developing cutting skills. Using scissors effectively can be lots of fun and all of the children are developing their fine motor control. Cutting carefully requires concentration and good hand eye coordination .

Knowledge and Understanding - Computing

This half term we have been using the interactive whiteboard to make pictures. We have used the paint brush effect and changed the colours when needed. Have a look at some of our beautiful art work.

Peace Week

We started peace week by wearing odd socks. We talked about the reason for doing this and afterwards we all coloured a pair of odd socks to hang up on our washing line. During the week we read the story of Rainbow fish and we each decorated a fish scale and wrote a message of kindness. At the end of the week we celebrated Children in Need with coming dressed up for the day. Some children entered a raffle and even won a prize!

Physical Development - PE

Once we have mastered different standing and floor shapes, we have put this together to a piece of music. In small groups we have taken it in turns to show our different moves to the class.

Physical Development - PE

This half term in PE (on Wednesdays) we are looking at 'Dance' with Gaz, who comes to help us with this. We have been completing standing and floor shapes.

Skipping Morning

Here are some of the videos which show us having a wonderful time.

Skipping Morning

The whole school enjoyed a skipping day and Early Years had the opportunity to take part in the activity. We met a lovely lady who told us a story about going on a train. We were going to be running through tunnels -under the rope as well as jumping over the rope. We all had such a wonderful time.


Some of our lovely singing we have taken part in this first half term.

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Our music teacher is the lovely Miss Rivers. She has shown us how to use our hands to show a beat and and how to be careful with the selection of different musical instruments we have used this half term. We have been listening carefully to the beat within a tune and we are beginning to learn a variety of different songs.

Stay and Play

We had our first Stay and Play session in a long time. It was wonderful to see so many adults coming along to enjoy the session. As Autumn is now in 'full swing' the children (and adults) enjoyed leave printing and making some beautiful transient art pictures, alongside many more enjoyable activities. If you were not able to attend this session, then why not come to our next one, which will be held on a different day and a different time.

Macmillan Coffee Morning

Early Years were invited to attend the whole school coffee morning. Buns were on sale to help support the brilliant work Macmillan nurses offer. All the children enjoyed lining up and purchasing their favourite bun before sitting down at a table and enjoying the delights. Some of the children were even lucky enough to have an adult attend.

Trip to local shops.

At the start of the year all Early Years were able to walk to the local shops to purchase ingredients for making dough. We looked and listened carefully as we crossed the roads and noticed a variety of landmarks local to our area. Some children talked about their previous experience at a nursery, whilst others spoke about using the petrol station to buy fuel for the family car. At the shop the children had opportunity to push trolleys and look for the specific ingredients needed to make dough. Afterwards they packed and carried the shopping back to school.

Making Dough

After our shopping trip the children came back to make their own dough. Some children remembered the correct amount of ingredients needed. With discussion, co-operation and agreement the children chose which colour of dough they wanted.

Settling in

Early years have been settling in and having lots of fun as they explore our continuous provision. They have had lots of opportunities to build relationships with staff and make friends with the other children as they get to know our environment and become familiar with our routines and expectations.


In nursery we’ve been starting to notice the onset of autumn and have begun to harvest the various different fruits and vegetable that we have been growing around our school. The children showed great excitement as they discovered pumpkins and tomatoes hiding amongst the tangle of leaves at the bottom of the playground. They reached up high as they were helped to pick pears and apples from the trees and were very impressed with the beans, strawberries and potatoes that they observed growing on the plants that we planted in the spring.

Tuning in to sounds, meeting school staff

In the first few weeks Reception Class made a pair of listening ears to help them tune into sounds within the environment. The children moved around the school getting to know different areas of the building and grounds and meeting a selection of staff.

Autumn treasures

The children have noticed that now the summer is behind us and autumn has arrived the weather is starting to change and the wind is blowing lots of treasures from our trees. The children have been excited to find conkers and various other seeds in the park and have brought them into school for us to share. We have also noticed leaves changing colour and floating to the ground. The treasures that we have gathered have provided us with many different learning opportunities. We have been singing number songs about leaves and conkers, learning poems, printing with leaves and sorting them.

Pumpkin Soup

We have been reading a story called Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper in Early Years. It has provided us with lots of opportunities for discussion particularly around sharing, taking turns and friendships which has been one of our focuses for our personal, social and emotional development this half term. It has also fitted in really well with our theme of autumn and harvesting. The children were very excited by the many seeds that they discovered inside the pumpkin when we cut it in half. They were very keen to tell me how many seeds they had collected on their spoons demonstrating their well established subitizing skills to 3. We decided to wash them and keep them until spring next year when we will plant them in the hope of growing more pumpkins for next year. Both Reception and nursery showed us how skillfully they could use a knife to chop the pumpkin in order to make it into soup just like squirrel, duck and cat in our story. I have to say however, our children were much better at sharing and taking turns than the characters in our story. Finally we got to taste our soup whilst listening to another retelling our story. The children had mixed feelings when tasting our pumpkins soup but lots of them ate it all up and described it as yummy and delicious!