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Fernhurst Primary School

Squirrels (EYFS)

Communication is key so if there is any aspect of school life that you would like to discuss, please get in touch. 

You will receive a half termly letter outlining the learning for the half term ahead as well as weekly newsletters which share details of the week in school with you.  Take a look at the home learning page to see the current RKE sheets. 

At Fernhurst, each class enjoys a two half terms of weekly visits to our Forest School site, just a short walk away from School.  You will get  letter to let you know all of the details and we will talk to the children before we start our learning there but you will need to have waterproofs and welly boots in the event of wet weather as we will go to the forest in most weathers!  Children can wear their PE kit all day or bring some bone clothes to change into.

Autumn Term 2022

What is Early Years? 

Early Years is the education they have up to the age of five. In our school, this means the first year of school. It is also known as Reception. Early Years is special and unique with its focus on child development, Characteristics of Effective Learning, and an holistic approach to Teaching and Learning. We know from research that children learn through play and we ensure that they have exciting opportunities to make good progress. We have teacher led sessions every day to support the development of key learning, such as Phonics and Maths, and this runs alongside the Continuous and Enhanced Provision, which we often refer to as COOL (carry on our learning) time. 

COOL time 

Continuous and Enhanced Provision, or COOL time, describes all of the different areas which are available for your children to use every day that link with learning but are not explicitly directed by an adult. There is a range of core resources that children can use all of the time, throughout the whole year such as role play, writing opportunities, physical resources, art or construction. The role of the adults is to enhance the learning by knowing the children well and supporting them to make the next steps in their development through play. 

We carefully plan COOL time so that it will enable children to learn skills, will challenge their thinking and help them to embed concepts - this might mean that they are counting coins to give change in a shop role play or developing pre-writing skills by building and constructing. We provide the context for a variety of learning conversations between children and adults with rich opportunities for modelling and extending speech and vocabulary. It is within this learning environment that the children will also develop key learning attributes such as independence, collaboration, self-confidence, resilience and curiosity. 

The adults in Early Years work hard to make sure that all of the areas of learning are carefully planned for including within COOL time. Children engage well within the clearly defined areas of the classroom, developing skills and knowledge through play. They have the space and resource to explore each area of learning and continue their learning in a fun way. 

Tapestry - our online learning journal 

Tapestry builds a very special record of a child’s experiences, development and learning journey through their early years and primary education. Using photos, videos, and observations, a teacher or early years educator, along with the child’s parents or carers, and the child themselves if they’re ready, ‘weaves’ the story of the child and how they are growing and developing. The Tapestry platform then works seamlessly to enable these memories to be kept as a permanent record of each child’s unique journey. All information held in the platform is stored securely and can be downloaded and shared as required. Parents or carers are able to view their child’s progress, the activities provided for them, and how much fun they’re having, whilst also uploading their own comments and media. 

The communication between staff and parents that Tapestry enables, helps build a shared understanding of how every child can reach their full potential, from birth to the end of primary school. The Tapestry online learning journal is also available as an easy-to-use secure app, meaning capturing key learning moments, and videoing milestones are even easier. 

Recommended activities to support learning:  


Please practice your child’s flashcards and reading books regularly ans as they saying goes “Teamwork  makes the dream work”……. Cheesy but accurate! 

Play eye spy using the sound that words begin with and giving extra clues, for example ‘I spy with my little eye someone beginning with M or D’ or sibling names. 

You might also want to point out the reading opportunities all around our lives – street signs, cereal packets and even following recipes (there are often child friendly versions available if you would like them). 

Finally, nothing can replace an opportunity for a snuggle and a story. Developing a love of books underpins learning so please share stories as often as you can (I know you already do this!). 


Continue to count everything! How many stairs do you have? How many plates do you need for dinner today? Do you need more/less/the same number of cups? Count the number of carrots you need from the shop. 

Notice the size and shape of different things in your home and the community. 



We have spoken a lot about using kind hands and voices etc. and about playing cooperatively with others. Any reinforcing of this you can do outside school is really valuable and makes their time in school a happier one. 


We are beginning to use a more structured PSHE to challenge children’s thinking and enable them to consider how they might tackle situations outside of their own sphere of knowledge and understanding. 


 Keep going with the wiping bottoms, getting shoes on the right feet, managing jumpers and zips as they are all essential learning in Year R. 

Any help children you can give your children to become more independent and lead their own learning, away from these essential, and somewhat boring tasks will ensure that they have more time for  what they recognise as ‘learning times’ but actually these little snippets of learning and skills practice are just as important when considering the holistic development of your children! I often say… and may have already bored you with the statement that the triangle forms the strongest shape known to man (think Pyramids) and the three sides for us are your child as the base, you as the expert in your child and us as a school as the expert in learning, development and teaching. 


 Much of the focus for this half term will be around understanding kindness as well as the undeniable excitement that the onset of the Christian festive season brings . 


To support your child to extend their vocabulary it would be useful to understand and to use a wide vocabulary yourself and explain the words that are new to your child. This might be when they visit somewhere or see something on TV that is new to them or it might just be introducing different fruit into the fruit bowl etc. Just notice, name and comment on anything unfamiliar to your child. 

Another area that you can help with is ICT. At home you will more and probably newer devices than we have in school. If you child uses a device effectively it would great if you could upload this to Tapestry for us to view as well.  

Take a look at our Early Years policy for more information about Early Years at Fernhurst Primary School.