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Ducks Class

Class News Autumn Term 2021


Dear Parents/Carers,

Firstly, we would like to say a huge welcome to all of you who are new to Lark Rise Academy!  It was lovely to meet so many of you at the doorstop visits, please bear with us as we try to get better at recognising you at the door each day.  

We hope you are as proud of your children as we are.  They are doing so well as they continue to settle into their sessions. There are many changes for the children as they get to know us adults and lots of new friends.  The routines are all new and many children are also staying for full days – they have been incredible.  It has been wonderful to see so many children happily entering the class each day. Please do not worry if your child is unsettled with coming into school in the mornings, we will continue to support you and it will not be long before they overcome this.

Over the past week the children have been exploring the classroom, finding familiar toys as well as being introduced to new activities. We have made great use of our outdoor area too; using the bikes has been one of the highlights of this week. The children have been learning each other’s names and have been playing alongside others who like the same activities as themselves. Rules are extremely important at Lark Rise Academy.  Both Ducks and Ducklings Classes have been learning our class rules. They have earned lots of stickers as they have shown us that they know how to follow them, to keep everyone safe and happy.   We wonder if your child can tell you any of our class rules?

Next week we will be continuing to help your children to settle into the Nursery rules and routines and also spending lots of time getting to know them even better. We will be focussing on name recognition and looking at which letters are in our names.   We will be enjoying a wide range of stories and singing well known and new songs and rhymes.  We will be continuing to develop our listening skills through small group and whole class activities and games. 

A few reminders for you:

  • Please ensure your child’s name is clearly marked on everything they bring into school.  This allows us and your children to locate their items quickly and easily.  

Every day they need:

-Their blue book bag

-A water bottle that has been filled with water

- A suitable coat

- A lunchbox (If they are joining us for lunch) On this note – red string bags are no longer required for lunchboxes to be put in

- please make sure grapes are cut in half lengthways if you are providing them for your child to eat at lunch

- If your child is staying with us for lunch, please can you provide a drink in their lunch box.  This allows the water bottles to stay in the classroom and makes it easier for them to get ready for lunch. 

  • Their spare clothes and wipes should be in a blue drawstring bag and will stay in school.  If your child uses clothes from the bag, please send in replacements as soon as possible.

  • Finally, we love to celebrate achievements; small or huge.  If your child has had a ‘wow’ moment, we would love for them to share it with their class.  We have sent home a set of wow slips for you to keep.  There is no expectation for them to be sent in during the next week, please wait to use them when your child impresses you.  Once completed, please send the form in with your child or in their bag, we can then celebrate and display them on our special ‘wow’ board.

We hope you enjoy a lovely weekend,

Kind regards,

Miss Swan, Mrs Tree, Mrs Carter, Mrs Caswell, Mrs Bidgood, Ms Bhogal and Mrs Prew 


Dear Parents/Carers,

Wow! What a busy couple of weeks we have enjoyed in Nursery!

The children have been amazing as they continue to explore the classroom and outside area. Many are feeling very settled and are adapting well to the new routines and experiences the Nursery has to offer.

Some lovely learning activities have taken place over the last few days which has helped the children navigate the provision and feel comfortable and safe in their surroundings. In particular, last week, the children thought carefully about themselves and used a mirror to study their reflections. During a carpet time activity, the children used their mirrors to identify their features. They were able to state the colours of their eyes and hair and notice that everybody has different skin shades. We were able to understand that we are all different, special and unique!

This week, we have focused on ‘family’. Thank you to those of you who sent in your family pictures as the children used these as a stimulus to talk about who was in their family and/or who lives in their house. We discussed the different relationships we have in our families such as brother, sister, mummy, daddy. It was so lovely to hear the children talk about who was who and those that did not have a picture were still able to state who lives with them. This activity also showed how many of the children are becoming more confident in speaking in front of others – well done children! Following on from this, the children were tasked with drawing the members of their family in their house. Let’s just say your children’s interpretations of you are very interesting! Please continue to encourage your child to draw and mark make at home as this will aid their fine motor skills and strength.

We continue to be so proud of the children for being so brave when things are new to them such as new faces, new surroundings, new routines/expectations and new classroom sounds and noises. It is great to see them developing their social skills through sharing, turn taking and playing with and alongside each other. Moreover, it has been wonderful to witness so many smiles and laughter whilst they have been engaging together and developing new relationships with staff and peers.

Next week we will be thinking about the season of autumn and the changes it brings. Therefore, we would be ever so grateful to receive any donations of conkers (with and without husks), acorns, pine cones and various shaped and coloured leaves; thank you in advance for this!


  • Please check that all items of clothing, bags, lunchboxes and bottles are fully named as this aids us when we are handing things out or locating something

We hope you have a lovely weekend and we look forward to seeing the children on Monday.

Kind regards,

Miss Swan, Mrs Tree, Mrs Bidgood, Mrs Carter, Mrs Caswell, Mrs Prew and Ms Bhogal


Dear Parents/Carers,

Firstly, we would like to thank you for engaging with us in the learning review meetings on Thursday.  It was wonderful to spend time talking about how your children have settled.  We hope we were able to answer your questions, but please remember that if any concerns or questions arise during the term, we are always willing to support you in any way we can.  You can contact us through emailing the office office@larkrise.com or speaking to one of us at the classroom door.

It has been another busy fortnight for the Ducks and Ducklings children.  It has been wonderful to see so many smiling faces at the start of our sessions.  The children are settling into the daily routines and hopefully having lots of fun as they learn through play.  During our carpet sessions the children are practising sitting cross legged and are developing their listening skills.  In their choosing time, the children have been participating in a wide range of activities both inside and out.

Last week the children participated in the whole school Biology week.  We learnt about the life cycle of a seed and the children enjoyed planting in small groups.  We talked about how to care for our plants and the children have been attending to them.  We are delighted to say that we have noticed some growth already!

We have also been learning about the season of Autumn.   We discussed the changes that happen in nature and some of the events that happen during this season, including what some animals do at this time of year.  The children have explored colour in their artwork; choosing autumnal colours for autumn leaves and doing some colour mixing to paint their own spikey hedgehogs. In the children’s play they have had the opportunities to complete a wide range of autumnal activities; including drawing harvest foods, exploring leaves, conkers and acorns and messy play with soil.  We had a fabulous time on our Autumn walk on Tuesday.  We went on a walk around the school grounds to look for signs of Autumn.  We looked at the trees and collected fallen leaves which we used later in the day where we sorted them by colour, and practised our counting skills. The children really enjoyed counting as the leaves were special to them.  Perhaps you could try some sorting and counting activities at home with fruit, treats or something special to your child.

The children ended the week with the story ‘Pumpkin soup.’ They were given the opportunity to participate in a wide range of pumpkin and harvest activities.  They explored pumpkins, enjoying scooping out the inside and looking at the seeds.  The children were encouraged to talk about what they could see and feel and were exposed to some new vocabulary.

You will have received your child’s name card along with their learning review targets this week.  We would like you to support your children to recognise their name. You might like to try a hide and seek name game.  Use paper or card to write out name cards for the members of your family.  Take it in turns to hide the names around a room or the house.  Support your child to recognise their name card and give lots of praise when they read it. They will enjoy watching you find and read the cards too.  They may be able to start recognising some of the names of other family members too!

We would like to thank you for activating your tapestry accounts. Hopefully you will have enjoyed seeing photos and observations of your child and having a bit more of an insight into their week.  You are welcome to add your own observation to share with us.

We are currently looking for donations of any paw patrol toys and farm animals and sets. We have been so lucky with the generosity of parents in previous years.  If you have any of these that your children no longer use, we would greatly appreciate your donation.

A few reminders for you:

  • Please ensure your child brings a coat to school every day, particularly now that the weather has started to get cold.  During the nursery session the children have the opportunity to choose to play both inside and out.
  • Your child should have begun to bring home a library book each week in their book bag.  This is a book which they have chosen for you to enjoy at home together.  Our class library day will be Wednesday.  Please make sure the book your child has chosen is in their school bag on the following Wednesday so it can be returned and a new one selected.

We hope you have a lovely weekend!

Kind regards,

Miss Swan, Mrs Tree, Mrs Carter, Mrs Caswell, Mrs Bidgood, Ms Bhogal and Mrs Prew  


Dear Parents/Carers,

Welcome back to the second half of the autumn term. We hope you and your family enjoyed a lovely half term break.

It has been lovely to welcome the children back; they have returned to school so well and continue to demonstrate a positive attitude to their learning and school day – well done children!

This week we have been learning about bonfire night and the story of Guy Fawkes. The children enjoyed listening to the story and learnt that Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament because he wasn’t happy with how King James was ruling the country. From this the children then enjoyed talking about their own firework experiences and we spoke about the different ways we can be safe around fireworks.

We used fireworks as a stimulus to create some wonderful firework artwork using paint and cardboard tubes. Chalk and various loose parts were also used to create different marks and strokes combined to make firework images. Another focussed activity challenged the children to use their number skills to count an amount of fireworks, match to a numeral and also see if they could represent this amount in different ways.

Later on in the week we linked our fireworks learning to learning about the Hindu and Sikh festival of Diwali. The children were every enthused to learn about this special ‘festival of lights’ and found out what different activities take place to prepare for the celebration and during the celebration itself. It was also wonderful to hear from a couple of the children in the class who shared their own personal experiences of Diwali too; thank you children! We found out that Diwali helps Hindus to focus on light overcoming darkness and good defeating evil; the story of Rama and Sita helped us to understand this too. Some children even used the masks to act out the story which was lovely to witness. Finally, the children made their own paper plate diya lamps which they tried hard to decorate with various brightly coloured media to represent the ‘light’. We learnt that diyas are lit in homes to help guide the Goddess Lakshmi into their homes to bring wealth and good luck.

It has been a lovely few days of learning in Nursery. What can your child recall?

Next week we are going to be thinking about Remembrance Day and its significance. On this note, if you would like your child to purchase a poppy and/or accompanying items, please send your child in with the relevant money and let us know you have done this so that we can take the children to purchase the things they would like.


  • The weather is beginning to become colder and as we offer an ‘open door’ learning environment we will be continuing to offer learning opportunities outside. Therefore, please provide your child with adequate and named clothing to play outside
  • Library has now been set for a WEDNESDAY. Please make sure your child has their library book with them ready to change on this day as we set aside particular time to do this; thank you in advance!
  • It is also Maths week next week and the week will begin with a dress up as a ‘rockstar/popstar/musician’ on MONDAY 8th October for the whole school

We hope you all enjoy a wonderful weekend of fireworks and bonfires – keep warm and keep safe!

Happy Diwali to you and your family.

Kind regards,

Miss Swan, Mrs Tree, Mrs Carter, Mrs Bidgood, Mrs Caswell, Mrs Prew and Ms Bhogal


Dear Parents/Carers,

What a busy fortnight it has been in Nursery!  As well as our theme learning, the children have also joined in with Anti-bullying Week, Remembrance Day, Nursery Rhyme Week, Road safety Week and Children in Need. We hope you have enjoyed accessing tapestry to find out more about what your children have been doing.

Our theme this half term is ‘Let’s celebrate.’ Last week the children learnt about how Birthdays are celebrated.  They participated in a wide range of activities to support their leaning.  They practised tracing their names as they wrote out party invitations.  They rolled out dough and used cutters to make cakes; adding candles to show how old the birthday child would be. The children practised their fine motor and counting skills as they used tweezers to add treats to party bags, copying the number cards. 

As part of next week’s learning, we would love for your child to share a photograph of them taking part in a celebration.  This could be a religious festival, an event or family celebration.  Some ideas are; a wedding, Christening, Eid, Easter, Diwali, birthdays or special family events.  We will use the photo as a prompt for your child to talk about a special event.  It may help your child for you to talk to them about the event at home beforehand and also to make a few notes to accompany the photograph to help us to prompt them to speak.  Please send in or email your photos to the school office at office@larkrise.com by Wednesday 24nd November.

The children are enjoying dough disco sessions each week. These sessions are a fun activity which combines the use of play dough with a series of hand and finger exercises designed to improve fine muscle control. The movements develop children's fine and gross motor dexterity, hand-eye coordination and self-esteem. They have their own pot of dough and copy the adults movements to music.  As part of Nursery Rhyme Week we tried a dough disco to the tune on ‘Down in the Jungle’ where the children copied actions on a video clip.  You might like to have a try.  Below is the link to the video and to a playdough recipe.



In our Maths sessions we have now met Numberblocks two and three.  The children have continued to practise their counting and number recognition skills.  The children have been encouraged to participate in activities where they have to match objects to numbers.   Some of the children have really impressed us by tracing or coping some of the numbers. To support your child at home, you may wish to go on a number hunt.  Look out for numbers that you see on doors, busses, signs and all around you.  The children have focussed on recognising numbers to three but many recognise many more. 

We have now started to include a phonics session into the daily routine.  The children will be participating in activities from Phase One of the Letters and Sounds program.  These activities concentrate on developing the children's speaking and listening skills and will lay the foundations for the phonics learning to come.  One of the activities from this week was to keep the beat.  The children practised clapping and tapping in time with the adult.  We then put on music and tried to keep in time.  Perhaps you could try this at home with some of your child’s favourite music.

A few reminders for you:

  • Please ensure your child has a warm coat in school as we use our outdoor area every day. 
  • Please make sure any hats, scarves and gloves are clearly labelled with your child’s name, as these can be mixed up easily.
  • Remember to check your tapestry account for observations of your child in school.  You are also welcome to add your own photos, videos and comments to share with us.

We hope you have a lovely weekend!

Kind regards,

Miss Swan, Mrs Tree, Mrs Carter, Mrs Caswell, Mrs Bidgood, Ms Bhogal and Mrs Prew  


Dear Parents/Carers

What another busy couple of weeks we have had in Nursery! We cannot believe the countdown to Christmas has officially begun with the decorating of the setting, singing practise for our class performance and we have even started to make our Christmas ‘keepsake’ crafts.

Over the past fortnight our learning has continued to be based around the theme of ‘celebrations’.

Last week the children thoroughly enjoyed their turn in the spotlight when they were able to talk about the photos that had been sent in about a celebration with their family. It was lovely to see that so many of them recognised their own photos and we loved hearing them delightfully talking about what was happening in the picture. We also discussed what a christening/baptism is and found out that most of the time it takes place in a church and that babies have special water put on their heads. The children tried hard to link their learning of Diwali and light to the light that is lit on a baptismal candle; very grown up learning! This week we continued thinking about celebrations and learnt about weddings and what marriage means. Many children recognised that lots of their mummies and daddies are married because they wear a special ring. We listened to the Julia Donaldson story of ‘The Scarecrows Wedding’ and enjoyed following Harry O’Hay on his mission to find the perfect pink flowers for his bride to be. The Early Years adults also shared their own wedding photos and the children were amazed at how beautiful the brides looked in their white dresses.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have also focussed on the numbers 4 and 5. The children are trying ever so hard to demonstrate careful and accurate counting as well as thinking about how these numbers could be composed (ie 3 and 1 makes 4, 2 and 2 makes 4, etc).

Next week we shall be continuing to think about celebrations but our focus this time will be on the Christmas story.

Lastly, thank you very much to those of you who were able to attend the ‘book look’ evenings for Ducks and Ducklings. It was lovely to see so many of you and to see how well the children tried to guide you around the setting and explain some of the learning activities that take place in the different areas. We hope you found it useful and enjoyed it too!


  • Please check school emails and newsletters in regards to dates and events taking place in school
  • Please continue to encourage your child to try to put their coats on themselves and have a go at zipping up; thank you in advance.

We hope you all enjoy a lovely weekend.

Kind regards,

Miss Swan, Mrs Tree, Mrs Carter, Mrs Bidgood, Mrs Caswell, Mrs Prew and Ms Bhogal 

Class News Spring Term 2022


Dear Parents/Carers,

Welcome back to a new term in Nursery!

We hope you thoroughly enjoyed a restful and fun Christmas break (although it feels like a distant memory now) with your children and families. May we take this opportunity to say a huge thank you for our lovely gifts and cards; it was so kind and generous of you.

Also, we would like to say ‘hello’ and welcome to our new Duckling children and families! We have been so impressed with how well ALL the children have returned to or started nursery; well done children for being so brave!

Over the past fortnight the children have enjoyed getting reacquainted with each other and or making new relationships with peers and adults. The children have explored the areas of the provision and are becoming more confident in their surroundings and are beginning to understand expectations, rules and routines. Some of the most popular activities have been painting, puzzles, playdough and construction. Of course, the outside area is always a fun space to play too!

This week we have begun our new theme ‘Above and Below’ and have concentrated on the ‘underground’ element over the last few days. We began the week with the story ‘Digger’ which explained what different ways and reasons the surface may be dug into, such as for planting or for building and even housing the underground train network! Following on from this the children have worked in small groups to complete various activities linked to the ground. These have been counting objects that may be found under the ground, drawing pictures of things under the ground and exploring different materials such as soil, sand, pebbles, grass and using our senses to describe them. The children have really enjoyed participating in these activities and have tried hard to verbally contribute as well as physically. Photos of these will be uploaded onto Tapestry which you may want to discuss what they show with your child.

Ducks have also been introduced to a ‘rolling snack’ time which seems to be working very well and the children have been so sensible in their choices and how to use and organise themselves at the table.

Next week, we are going to be moving on to think about below the sea and submarines so if anyone has any books or resources that relate to this then please can your child bring them in to show the class; thank you!


  • Ducklings parents – please look out for your Tapestry activation email and activate as soon as you can so that you can view and upload onto Tapestry

  • Due to our increased number of children this Spring term, please can you ensure ALL items of clothing – coats, scarves, hats, gloves, lunch boxes and water bottles are clearly named and that your child recognises their own items too

  • We are reminding children about the importance of clean hands and hygiene, particularly after going to the toilet. Any help at home to reiterate this message would be greatly appreciated; thank you!

  • We have noticed that quite a few of the children’s blue change bags (the ones kept in school) do not have any flushable wipes in them. Please could these be provided as soon as possible.

  • Finally, please, please, please make sure you reactivate your 30 hour funding code as promptly as possible and ensure that this is done before the grace period ends as we have no control over this time period and if it is not done by the stated date you are given, you will be liable for this cost.

We hope you have a lovely weekend.

Kind regards,

The Nursery team – Miss Swan, Mrs Tree, Mrs Carter, Mrs Bidgood, Mrs Caswell, Mrs Prew, Ms Bhogal and Mr McAleese