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Welcome to the Foundation Stage blog. This is where you can see updates of what your child has been learning in the foundation stage. 


The Busy Bee’s had a problem to solve on Friday. There were shocked to find some frozen dinosaur eggs in the classroom. They spoke about what the eggs were made out of and discussed the features of ice. They noticed that when they were holding the eggs water was dripping from their hands. Some of the Busy Bees;s suggested that we could put the eggs in a fire to warm up the eggs so the ice melted and, in turn, freed the baby dinosaurs. Miss Garforth poured some salt onto the ice and they used their listening ears to hear what happened. they could hear the ice cracking and they saw water dripping down the eggs.
‘It’s making the ice melt quick!’
‘Let’s scrape the ice off’
Some of the children thought it might be a good idea to put some hot water on the eggs. They used pipettes to drop small amounts of water on them and we eventually saved the baby dinosaurs.


This week we hosted our first ‘Stay and Play’ event of the year. These sessions offer parents and family members the chance to see what their children experience during a typical day at school.
This week we unveiled our new outdoor builder’s area to the children, they have had a fantastic time and the area has proven to be a hit. They have had a great time working together and negotiating with each other to create raised walkways and we have observed some fantastic determination from some of our younger pupils to complete some 3-D structures.
During our ‘Stay and Play’ session, some parents braved the damp and cold conditions to have a go too.

We had a great turn out from parents at our open morning and would like to thank you all for your continued support.


The Foundation Stage had quite a shock today! The children arrived to school to find that the classrooms had been trashed!
We had to look at the clues to figure out who could of possibly made such a mess. There were big footprints on the floor and the children decided that it must have been a dinosaur!
The teachers thought that they would check the security cameras and were shocked to see that the children were right! It was a dinosaur, but not just any dinosaur… a Tyrannosaurus Rex!!
We all had to be very brave as we checked that it wasn’t hiding in the unit. Thankfully it looks like it has gone! The children have thought of some fantastic describing words to talk about the T-Rex and have also thought of some great questions to research.

We have had a scary, but very exciting day.

See the security footage below!

Dinosaur Invasion - Ladybird Class

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Butterfly Class

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Busy Bee Class

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Welcome back to school after the Christmas holidays. We hope that you all had a fantastic time celebrating with your families and we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and healthy 2017.
This week, we welcomed some new pupils into the unit and started our new topic! DINOSAURS!
We have been spending most of our time this week settling back into routines sharing our own experiences of celebrating Christmas, we were very glad to hear that you were all on Santa’s nice list! We have also jumped straight into our new topic, we have been exploring dinosaurs through the many different activities in the unit and have been listening to, and sharing our own, stories about Dinosaurs.
This half term we will be encouraging the children to find out about dinosaurs independently by looking at books and searching on the internet with the help of an adult… We can’t wait to hear what you have found out!


Here are some weblinks to help you get started:


We can’t quite believe that we have already had two weeks back at school! It has been a very busy and exciting time getting to know all of the children and parents. The children have settled into school fantastically and are already aware of routines and expectations.

We have been exploring penguins as part of our topic ‘Antarctica and the North Pole’ and have enjoyed learning all about them and the environment where they live. 


We can’t quite believe that it’s the end of the school year! It has flown by. We have had a fantastic time with you all and we will miss those of you that are leaving to move to new schools, we also wish you luck on the next step of your journey.

Thank you to all parents, carers and family members for the support you have shown the children and the whole school this past academic year. We could not have done all that we have without you.

A massive highly deserved thank you to the children that we have worked with this year, you have astounded us with how far you have come this past year.

We look forward to watching you grow as you move throughout school.


We also look forward to welcoming the children that will be joining our school in September.

Autumn term starts on the 6th of September for FS2 (Ladybirds and Butterflies) and the 8th September for the FS1 (Busy Bees) children.


We hope you all have a fantastic summer! 


We have had a very eventful few days!

On Thursday we held our final ‘Stay and Play’ session of the year which, once again, was very well attended. We really enjoy seeing the children take the lead and showing you what they get up to each day at school.
We can’t wait for the next ‘Stay and Play’ which will be in the next academic year.

On Monday we (finally!!!) had out Foundation Stage Sports Day 2016!
The weather held out and we were able to show how well we have been practising!
The children have been practising for weeks and it was great to see so many parents and family members there to support the children.
The children worked their way around a carousel of obstacles and races ending in some very fast running races! The children really showed just how amazing they can be and all the staff were very proud of them.
Then it was time for the eagerly awaited parent’s races!! We had a great time cheering you all on so thank you very much for participating.
We then ended the afternoon by having some ice lollies and having a much deserved cool down!

These two events really show how great the support of parents, family members and carers is at John Clifford. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for coming to the events and showing your support all year round.

See action shots below! 

Stay and Play 30.06.2016

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Sports Day 04.07.2016

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This half term we have been exploring the topic ‘Animals Around the World’. Each week we have been looking at a different environment and the animals that life there.
We have been asking lots of questions about both the animals and the environments that they live in. We’ve also been noticing lots of similarities and differences.
We have produced some fantastic artwork which is displayed in our classrooms.


We have had a very eventful day in the Foundation Stage!
We have begun our week learning all about Doctors and Nurses and boy have we been busy!

The day began with a very special visit from a real-life doctor! Doctor Walker joined us for the first part of the morning and shared with us what its like to visit your GP. We saw the different tools that she uses each day and she explained what happens when we visit the doctor. She used some of her tools on the children (and teachers!) to check that we were all in tip top condition, thankfully, we all got the all clear!

The afternoon bought yet more excitement to the unit when a Nurse and a Paramedic paid us a visit. The ladybirds were lucky to experience a master class on the life of a nurse and paramedic and even got a chance to treat some patients! Whilst this was happening, the eagle eyed Busy Bees spotted something interesting outside school…an ambulance! The classroom was buzzing with excitement, cheers and many questions asking if we were going to go on the ambulance. We were not disappointed! We braved the rain to explore the ambulance in groups. We found out about what it is like in the back of an ambulance and we saw the tools that paramedics use to make us better. We also got an extra special treat of sitting in the front seat and turning on the sirens and the lights!
It’s safe to say that the Foundation Stage has had a very eventful day that we’re not going to forget in a hurry!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank today’s visitors for giving up their time. The children had an absolutely amazing time finding out about their inspirational jobs!




Although the children have had a short week in school this week, they have really enjoyed spending their time outside making the most of the lovely weather.


We have begun our new topic ‘People Who Inspire Us.’ We have been learning about how the Fire Fighters and Police Officers help to keep us safe. We have taken part in lots of role play opportunities, rescuing people from fires, answering 999 calls in the police station and even collecting fingerprints from the bad guys! 



On Wednesday the Foundation Stage took part in a Wilderness day! Staff and children came to school ready for whatever the weather threw at us, but we were very lucky to have a beautiful sunny day!

We took part in a variety of exciting activities which included;

Den Building
Environmental Art
Measuring the circumference and height of trees and plants
A Mini beast hunt
Mini beast role play
Observational drawings
Created tree faces using natural clay.

See the photos of us exploring the outdoors below.

We all had a fantastic day and we were very tired out afterwards! 


This week we have begun our new topic of ‘Growing and Mini-beasts.’ We have been looking at the story of ‘Jaspers Beanstalk’ and we have enjoyed planting our own seeds and learning all about how seeds grow and what they need to grow tall.

We have also opened our very own Garden Centre in the outdoor area. We have really enjoyed selling seeds, pots, watering cans and flowers to our friends. We even planted some in the new digging area!

We have been taking part in lots of creative activities, including doing observational paintings of plants, using plants to print beautiful pictures and using a variety of materials to make our own plants.

During the last half of the week we took created our own class information books describing how to plant and look after the seeds. We are looking forward to seeing how tall our plants will grow. 



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Today the Busy Bees have really enjoyed celebrating Pancake Day in the unit. We have been following the recipe and observing the changes that happen to the batter mix when it is cooked.

We enjoyed sharing them with our friends and thinking about the different tastes. Some of us were very surprised by the bitterness of the lemon!

In the afternoon we used the leftover batter mix to make some pancakes to share with our families. They were gone in seconds!

See us in action below!

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Friday saw the first of our Stay and Play open afternoon sessions.

Thank you to all the parents and family members who came to the session and took part in the activities that the children take part in each day. We hope you enjoyed the dough disco session as much as the children did!

We will be looking to arrange another session in the next half term, this time in the morning.

See below for photos of you all in action!!

Once again, thank you very much! 

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Since coming back to school after the Christmas holidays we have been very busy exploring our topic of ‘Axel Sheffler’. Axel Sheffler is an illustrator who is best known for his illustrations in the very popular Julia Donaldson books.

We have been exploring the artwork and creating some of our own, as well as taking part in lots of other activities.

We have made a trap for the Gruffalo, worked in groups to create our very own ‘Stickman’ using natural materials and used technology to record our own retelling of some of the stories.
This week we have focused on the story of ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’. We have been estimating how many animals we could fit into the ladies house and observing and comparing the different footprints of animals by printing them in clay.



Parents Reading Morning

Thank you, once again, to all of the parents for their support with our 'Parents Reading Sessions' on a Thursday.


Star's of the Week
This weeks Star's of the Week are.... 

Busy Bees - Riley - for always being helpful

Ladybirds - Maryam - For being kind and caring to all of her friends.

Butterflies - Stanley - For making everyday count


Next week we will be looking at the story of ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’




Thank you to the parents who have attended the F1 new parents meetings over the past week. We hope that you gained all of the information that you needed and had a chance to ask any questions that you had. If there is ever anything else you need to know about your child, the unit and the school please speak to a member of staff.


For those parents who were unable to attend the new parents meetings or current parents who may want an update, please see the document below. This is the PowerPoint presentation that was shared during the meeting.


Many thanks for your continued support.

Miss Garforth.

Welcome back to school after the Christmas Holiday. We wish you all a very Happy New Year. Please see below the documents explaining what we will be learning about this half term.

There will be a ‘Meet the Teacher’ meeting for parents new to the Foundation Stage Unit. These will be aimed at the new parents in the Busy Bee’s, however, current Busy Bee parents are welcome to attend to have an update on some of the changes that have been happening recently.
These will be held in the Junior Hall on;
Thursday 14th January at 3.00pm
Wednesday 20th January at 9.00am.
We hope that these times will be suitable for all parents, however, if you are unable to make one of these times, please visit the website or see a member of staff for the resources given. As always, if you have any questions please come and see us and we will do our best to help you.


We have had a very busy couple of weeks in the Foundation Stage at John Clifford School.
We started the fortnight with our Christmas Production of the ‘Nativity’. We had been practicing our socks off in preparation for the performance and we think it truly paid off! The staff would like to take this opportunity to thank all parents for support with learning songs, lines, providing costumes for some of the children and of course being a fantastic audience for both of the performances.

We have also celebrated Christmas in style with lots of exciting school events. We had a Christmas party where we played party games and ate lots of yummy food. There was also a very special visitor…SANTA! He came and reminded us about the importance of following JC promises and staying on the nice list! We also took part in the JC talent show and celebrated talent across the school with everyone.

Amongst all of the fun events, we managed to squeeze in some Christmas themed activities. We have been exploring different materials and tools to create decorations, writing letters to Santa, fixed toys in Santas workshop and shared lots of Christmas stories.

Below are a selection of photograph showing us in action!

We hope that you all have a very merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year.
See you in 2016!

This week we have been preparing for the local event ‘Beeston Switch On’. This is an annual event where the local Christmas lights are being switched on.

We have been making our own fairy lights and hanging them up around the unit, using the Tesco that has been in our outdoor area, writing shopping lists for Tesco in the home corner, and looking closely at light and dark.

On Friday Key Stage One invited us to their 'Great British Street Party' where we celebrated the arrival of a very special visitor!


See the photos below to see us taking part in all of the exciting activities and 'Play for Learning' sessions

This week in the Foundation Unit we have been learning all about Birthdays.

We have taken part in lots of exciting activities leading up to a special party day on Friday!

We have written party invitations, shopping lists for the party, birthday card and a recipe for birthday cake!

We made party hats and decorations to use in the unit and followed a recipe for birthday cupcakes which we ate at the party where we played party games and celebrated in style with party snacks and treats.

We have had a fantastic week celebrating! 

This week the children in the foundation stage have been learning about Bonfire Night!

With the school fireworks display taking place this week the children have been very excited to learn about the story of Guy Fawkes and the history behind the 5th of November. We have also been thinking about how to stay safe around fireworks and watched a special message from Fireman Sam about Bonfire Night safety.

The Busy Bee’s began the week exploring the different sounds that fireworks make by making sounds with our mouths and thinking of actions to show how the fireworks move. They then created firework pictures using a splattering technique before they celebrated Bonfire Night by creating edible sparklers on Thursday the 5th of November.

All of the children have had the opportunity to take part in our very own fireworks display in our outdoor area! We thought about all the safety tips that Fireman Sam gave us when we planned our display;
We had a safety circle that we put the fireworks in and some cones to show us where we had to stand. We made sure that the fireworks we away from fences and buildings.
We set up a Bonfire night that sold everything we needed – including gloves for our sparklers. We remembered that Fireman Sam has told us to put sparklers in a bucket after they had been used to cool down so we didn’t burn ourselves so we made sure that we had one of those close by.

The Butterflies wrote safety signs to remind us of everything that we had learnt this week about Bonfire night safety which we put up around the outdoor area.

To end the week the whole unit took part in a ‘Big Write’ Each child created a poster explaining how to stay safe around fireworks. We thought about everything we have learnt this week and explained what we needed to do.
‘We need to hold sparklers with gloves on’
‘Hold a sparkler like this!’
‘Stay with my Mummy so I’m safe.’
‘Keep in the safety circle.’

See the photos below to see us in action!

Welcome back to the Foundation Stage!

This half term we will be exploring the topic of ‘The Great British Festival’
Please see below a list of the different themes for the term.

Week 1 – Bonfire Night
Week 2 – Diwali
Week 3 – Birthdays
Week 4 – Beeston Switch On (Local Christmas Lights)
Week 5 –Hanukkah
Week 6 – Christmas
Week 7 – Christmas


Throughout the topic we will be finding out about festivals from different cultures, talking about the celebrations that we take part in in our own homes and thinking about similarities and differences between ourselves and others. As part of our topic we will be performing a winter productions called ‘The Nativity’

Remember to come back to the blog, or ask a member of staff, for information about important dates or events. 

Poetry Week 19-10-2015

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Poetry Week!

This week has been a very exciting week! The school has celebrated the art of poetry and the children in foundation have been learning about Autumn. We have worked together as a unit and have learned different poems and performed them together. The Busy Bee’s performed the poem ‘Autumn Leaves’ and the Ladybirds and Butterflies performed ‘Red Leaves Falling’


Autumn Leaves
Autumn leaves are falling down,
Red, orange, yellow, brown,
Down, down, down.


Red leaves falling
Red leaves falling
Red leaves falling

On the ground
On the ground

Autumn time is coming
Autumn time is coming

All around
All around.


We also had a visit from a local writer, Lisa Shipman.
The unit worked with Lisa to create a piece of collaborative art based on a street. The children were asked to imagine a street that had everything they had ever wanted on it. Some of our suggestions were;
‘A dinosaur… ROARRRR’
‘A nice garden’
‘Some dolphins’
‘A bed with wheels’  
‘A Mummy and a baby going to the shops’

However, Miss Garforth, Miss Draycott and Miss Morton thought a cake shop would be a great addition!

The children worked well together following the John Clifford promises of be friendly, be polite, be kind and caring and be helpful.



As we have also been learning about Autumn this week. We had a sensory tray of leaves, conkers and berries to explore, we took part in some leave printing and we thought about some words to describe the leaves and conkers.

‘Crunchy’ ‘golden’ ‘brown’ ‘orange’ ‘falling’ ‘dropping’ ‘leaves’ ‘hard’ ‘conkers’ ‘shiny’

We ended the week with a whole school assembly where we shared what we had done with the rest of the school. 

Stars of the Week 16-10-2015

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Star of the week 9-10-2015

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Bulb Planting 29-09-2015

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We worked together to plant some bulbs in the outdoor area. We dug deep holes and pushed the bulbs into the earth, we covered them in soil and made sure that they had plenty of water! We are waiting for the bulbs to grow and are hoping that they will start sprouting in the spring.

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