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EYFS Reception: Potter / Donaldson Class

Weeks beginning 28th September and 5th October

Based on the popular book "Stickman", learning opportunies include making collages from natural resources, preparing a feast for the Stickman's family, exploring the Forest School at Gatehouse and building shelters for Stickman. Over the unit, children will become familiar with the key events in the story,  make their own stickman characters and will be shown how to incorporate these into their role play. We have introduced the children to the class reward system and children are trying their hardest to make positive choices in their play and learning in order to move their photo up onto the rainbow picture. Each week a child from Donaldson and Potter class will be nominated by their teachers for the 'Learner of the Week' and 'EYFS Cup' awards which are presented in a weekly assembly by Mrs Naldrett. 

Weeks Beginning 14th & 21st September

The classes enjoyed listening to the book and began to join in with familiar phrases. It prompted discussion about things that children liked to do, starting with "I like it when...". During these 2 weeks, the children experienced more free-flow access to the indoor and outdoor learning areas and we made the most of the warm weather and fabulous play equipment during break and lunchtimes. They settled well into the school routines including lunchtimes and, although tired by the end of the week, were very cheerful and engaged in their play.

2020-2021 A great start to the Autum term!


A very warm welcome to our new EYFS children, parents and carers. The children spent their transition sessions exploring the 2 classrooms and outdoor learning spaces, as well as getting to know the staff and each other. They had fun making name labels for their books and pegs, and familiarised themselves with where to find their tray, peg and space on the floor used for whole-class activities. Well done Potter and Donaldson!


Monday - Wednesday - Mrs Skelton

Wednesday - Friday - Mrs Walker


Monday to Tuesday - Mrs Pyne

Wednesday to Friday - Mrs Watts

Woodlands and Forests - Stickman by Julia Donaldson

Potter class have spent two weeks exploring the theme of Woodlands and Forests (Understanding the World) - using "Stickman" by Julia Donaldson as our key text. The book inspired a woodland role play area where the children enjoyed creating camping scenarios, enhanced by their own stickman props which they had made using a variety of materials. Key parts of the text were used in both a story mapping lesson and as a basis for outdoor activities including: making a den for stickman in large construction and using coloured sticks to make familiar 2d shapes.

To celebrate World Book Day (6th March) and the importance of reading for pleasure, Potter class dressed up as book characters and were able to bring favourite books in from home to share with classmates - see the reading display in class for photographs of the day.

Winter: Penguin Small

The current text is "Penguin Small" by Mick Inkpen - a lovely story about a Penguin who is scared of water and believes he cannot fly. We created a story map to help us remember all of the main events and characters, and members of an after school art club created story spoons to go into the reading area for children to use.The classroom was transformed into a winter wonderland and the role play area became an Arctic Expedition centre, which prompted lots of conversations about what you might find in the Arctic and how it would feel to be on the top of an iceberg! Lots of children enjoyed the Snowball throwing game and improved their aim and throwing technique with practice.

Chinese New Year - 25th January 2020

2020 is the Chinese Year of the Rat. The class explored the ways in which Chinese New Year is celebrated through craft, construction and role play activities. We read an e-book " The Story of the Chinese Zodiac" and discovered that the animals used various methods to cross the river in order to earn a place in the chinese zodiac. The children particularly enjoyed acting these scenarios out in indoor and outdoor activities. We then based our learning on a non-fiction text which detailed the types of family and community celebrations that take place over a two week period, ending with a spectacular firework display and dragon dance which we usd as inspiration for an energetic PE lesson!

Happy New year to all of our families!

The children have settled well and are enjoying learning a new Traditional Tale - The Three Little Pigs. We will learn key phrases to help us to retell the story and use our creative skills to design and build houses for the pigs using a variety of resources both indoors and outdoors. 


Current Class Text: The Gingerbread Man

This traditional tale has proved popular with Potter class. The children have enjoyed a variety of activities including making Gingerbread characters from ginger-scented playdough, creating a whole class story map featuring the children's artwork (detailing the key events of the story) and using the large construction outdoors to enhance role play.

The class have learnt actions to help them remember the order of events in the story - using these pictures as prompts.


The Gingerbread Man

We continued with the Celebrations theme and based our learning on the key text "Room on the Broom". The class enjoyed using actions to retell the main events of the story as well as making their own potions out of natural materials in a cauldron! They also created fireworks using 2D shapes to celebrate Bonfire night.
Over the last 2 weeks, Potter Class have used "Celebrations" as a theme. During the school's multi-cultural week our key text was "Dipal's Diwali". The children explored the colours and patterns used during Diwali and made their own Rangoli patterns and Diya lamps out of clay.


New School Starters September 2020 (places also available throughout the school)

We would like to invite you for a tour of our school and give you the opportunity to ask questions about life at Gatehouse Primary Academy.

Dates for visits:

Wednesday 9th Oct 9.30am

Tuesday 15th Oct 5pm

Thursday 31st Oct 9.30am

Friday 22nd Nov 9.30am


Thursday 9th Jan 9.30am

Please contact the school office to book in for one of the visits by phoning 01626 862605 or emailing


We strive to provide a stimulating, secure and happy environment where children’s enthusiasm to learn is encouraged and where the unique personality of each child is valued. 


EYFS Potter Class

            Academic Year 2019-2020


Autumn term 2019


Our current key text: 



Watch a short video about the true meaning behind the story:  


Activities to try at home:


We have been busy preparing for a tea party, writing invitations and getting our classroom ready. We thought of our own version of the story and invited a Giraffe for tea!  

Key text: 



This book has helped us to show learning about ourselves. 


We made a birthday cake,  had a small birthday party, talked about birthdays and other celebrations and thought about who was special to us and why. 

Baseline 2019


We are currently getting to know our new EYFS intake through the topic of All about me. We are using our wonderful location to support and enhance this topic. We have made replica railway lines, built our preschool settings with construction and have reflected on things that we celebrate with our families. 

                                  EYFS 2018-2019

 Mermaids and Pirates 


Our big topic this term will be Mermaids and Pirates. We will start with the text Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt. 



Please see below for ideas to support learning at home. Remember you can email examples of learning from home for us to share with the class to



EYFS News 7th June 2019

EYFS Topic Web Summer term

Newsletter 5th April 2019


Stickman visited EYFS and left us daily gifts. We wrote to him to ask him questions about the things he left. We have learnt parts of the story,  drawn story maps as prompts for retelling. and have thought about different endings. 



Bedtime stories 

The EYFS team had a lovely evening reading stories to our EYFS children whilst they enjoyed hot chocolate and biscuits. Many thanks to all who came and helped to make this a special evening. 


    The Gruffalo

    In EYFS we have been using the story of the Gruffalo to inspire our learning. We have learnt about different habitats, thought about the similarities and differences between habitats before building habitats in our forest area.  

Visiting the forest

Gruffalo Crumble 


We followed instructions, measured using digital scales and showed good turn taking when making Gruffalo Crumble. 

Spring Term Overview

EYFS News 7th December

27th November

EYFS visit to Dawlish Fire Station 


EYFS travelled to visited Dawlish Fire Station where we learnt about some of the dangers in our homes, the safety equipment needed to fight fires and how some of the equipment works. We had a great time exploring the Fire Station despite the wet weather! Many thanks to Dawlish Fire Station. 


''The best bit was squirting the hose.'' Shae


''The Fire Jacket is really heavy.'' Maisie 



16th November

The Police visit to EYFS  


EYFS children throughly enjoyed the visit from PSCO Michelle and PC Mark. We learnt about how to keep ourselves safe and how the Police help our community. We tried on Police uniform and went into the Police van! 


'' They don't just get baddies, they help us too.'' Isla


''I turned on the sirens! It was so loud!'' Keiran 

EYFS News 9th November

RNLI visitor 


We had a visit from an RNLI volunteer who taught us about how to keep safe at sea. He showed us some of the equipment that the RNLI team use to rescue people. 


''If you need help, you need to wave your hands and shout help, help, help.'' Jacob

National Teddy Bear Day 


On Wednesday the 10th October we celebrated National Bring your Teddy to School Day. We enjoyed looking after our bears, cooking bear biscuits and visiting the school forest. We learnt the song 'If you go down in the woods today' and we acted the story 'Going on a bear hunt.'                                                                                        

EYFS Newsletter 5 October 2018

Supporting learning at home 

October 2018

Start of the Autumn Term 2018

We have enjoyed getting to know the children and finding out what they already know. This has allowed us to plan play opportunities which will match the interests and needs of the unit. We have introduced routines and structures of the day including; break times, lunch in the hall, rewards and behaviour management and some assemblies. We are looking forward to learning more about the children and the year ahead.

EYFS Newsletter 15 June

Head Lice - 23 May

A case of head lice has been reported, please check and treat your child's hair as necessary.

EYFS News 18 May

Reception have had nine very fluffy visitors for the last 2 weeks! They have been observing the chicks hatch and grow and have thought very carefully about how to look after the chicks. They have helped to feed, water and clean the chicks out daily- they grew very quickly! Reception were very lucky to be able to use their PTA trip money to pay for the chicks, they have taught the boys and girls a lot about growth, change and caring for living things. The children (and grown-ups) are very sad to say bye to the chicks as they return to Farmer Brown to become free range Hens and Cockerels.

Little Chicks

World Book Day with the Year 5's