Nursery Class News

Pirates Love Underpants!

Posted on Sunday 28 June 2020 by Foundation One team

There were some noisy thunderstorms over the weekend and lots of heavy rain showers. Did you hear the thunder or see any lightening? It made us think of stormy seas…

This week’s story is one of the very popular books from a series of stories written by Claire Freedman; they’re all about aliens, dinosaurs and pirates that love underpants!

We hope that you enjoy listening to ‘ Pirates Love Underpants‘; it’s all about  a crew of cheeky pirates that are looking for some golden treasure.

We hope that you enjoyed listening to the story.

  • What was your favourite part?
  • Did any parts of the story make you laugh?
  • Can you remember which animal was waiting underneath the bridge?
  • How did the pirates trick the rival pirate crew to steal the treasure?

Here are some activities for you to try that are linked to the story.

Creative – Have a go at making your own pirate hat, patchtelescope or treasure chest.  Before you start, gather together some cardboard boxes or tubes from your recycling pile.  You could cut out the shape of a hat from an opened out cereal box or you could simply roll up some paper to make a telescope. A clean, empty egg box would make a great treasure chest. It can be as easy or as complicated as you want to make it! We’ve added a few links if you need some help or a starting point.

 Music – This week, we thought we’d share another of the songs we enjoy listening to before home time at Nursery. It’s called ‘Port Side Pirates’. We hope you enjoy singing along at home.

Mark making – Every good pirate needs a map! Draw where the pirates have hidden the treasure on the island. Is it next to a tree or in a cave? How will you show where the treasure is? That’s right, X marks the spot.   When we were little, we used to use a teabag to stain the paper to make our treasure maps look really old. Did you?

Role play – Grab your hats, telescopes and treasure maps and come aboard! We’re sure that you can make a pirate ship on your bed/sofa/picnic blanket and enjoy sailing the Seven Seas together. What can you see through your telescope? Is that a desert island ahead? Look for the landmarks on your map and go and find some treasure! Ahoy, Maties!


  1. Investigate capacity using a selection of different containers, bottles and tubs. This activity might be a good one to do in the bath or outside with a bucket or storage box full of water. Children love to play in the water and investigate pouring and filling containers. As they pour, talk to your child about which containers/bottle holds the most/least water. Is it nearly full? Half full? Empty?  If you have a funnel or colander in the kitchen, let children explore using these too.  If you want to add to the discussion, you could put a hole in one of the bottles. What happens to the water as you try to fill the bottle?
  2. Treasure hunt – Hide 5 coins outside. As children find them, ask how many there are left to find. Once you have found 2 coins, how many are still missing? 
  3. Listen to this counting story about ’10 Little Pirates’ . Can you join in each time and work out how many pirates are left each time?

Physical development – Can you walk the plank at home?  Have a look in your garden or whilst on a walk in your local area to see if you can find something to practise balancing along to ‘walk the plank’. You might have a plank of wood that you could lay along the floor, or you could use a rope or rolled up blanket. Children will enjoy carefully balancing along it and then jumping off the end.

We’re sure that you’ll all love the pirate theme this week! Remember to send us photos of your telescopes and eye-patches and save your telescope as it might come in handy for Friday’s story time. 

Reminder – Zoom Call

If you would like your child to take part in the Nursery Zoom call, please e-mail us by Monday 29 June. Refer to our previous post for more details.

Story Time

Posted on Thursday 25 June 2020 by Foundation One team

We know that lots of you look forward to the end of the week because you love to hear your Nursery teachers reading a story.  Today, it’s Miss Pennock’s turn and she’s chosen to read ‘Dear Zoo’.  We’re sure you’ll be able to join in with this one at home.

Here are a few ideas of things to talk about or to join in with at home. 

  • Do you have any pets? We’d love to see a drawing or painting of them if you do.  If you don’t have a pet, what pet would you like to have?  Would it be a good pet to have or would it be too jumpy, too loud or too fearsome? 
  • There are some fun games on the Dear Zoo website. Test your memory skills with this pairs game.
  • Here is a listening game for you to play at home. Can you work out which animal is hiding?
  • Get active and try moving like different animals by joining in with this song!
  • Find out what it’s like to look after a pet with Topsy and Tim, or watch an episode of  ‘What’s the Big Idea?‘ all about pets.
  • Finally, you may want to visit a virtual zoo, here’s a link to Chester Zoo’s virtual zoo page. There are a few videos of the meercats and giraffes at feeding time.

Home Learning

Have you had chance to email us recently? If you haven’t, please do! It’s not too late to send us a quick email with a short message to tell us how you all are. We’d love to hear from you.

Also, please remember to email us before Monday 29 June if you’d like your child to take part in a Zoom call. Please read our earlier post for more details. 

Here are some photos from this week and we’ve also managed to add some videos that 2 of your friends sent in of a farmer making hay bales. It’s fascinating to watch.  It looks like some of you enjoyed the transport themed activities this week. Esmae has also sent a photo of a damselfly that she spotted at Temple Newsam.

Car wash

Posted on Tuesday 23 June 2020 by Foundation One team

When we play outside at Nursery on a sunny day, one of the most popular activities is creating a car/bike wash. We put some soapy water in a bucket and add some cloths/sponges, washing up brushes and a few old spray bottles. Children love to clean the wheels on the trikes; this often develops into garage role play including fixing bikes and refuelling at the petrol station.

You could even do it with your little vehicles if you’ve been making marks in paint with them.  Remember to send us a photo of something you’ve enjoyed so far this week. Have fun!

Similarities and differences

Following on from the last two weeks, here is another story about celebrating similarities and differences in each other. This time, it’s all about recognising our own differences.   Sometimes we are loud, sometimes we are quiet, sometimes bold and brave, sometimes soft and cuddly. In this story, ‘Super Duper You‘, Sophy Henn celebrates all the different, extraordinary and sometimes contradictory things we are.  (After the story has finished, Sophy goes on to teach you how to draw the children in the story. You may or may not want to watch this part and have a go at this!)

Nursery books

If you have any Nursery books at home, and you won’t be returning to Nursery in September, please could you return them to school in the plastic zippy wallet (or in a bag marked with Nursery on the front). There’ll be a box outside the main school office for you to do this. If it’s a rainy day, it’ll be just inside the door way. Thank you.

Zoom Calls for Nursery

Posted on Tuesday 23 June 2020 by Foundation One team

We know that some of you have already seen the Daily Message (19 June) about children taking part in a Zoom call before the end of term. Please use the link above to read it, if you haven’t already.

We’re really pleased that Nursery children are also going to be included in this. We’re hoping to organise the Zoom calls for the week beginning 6 July.

If you’d like your child to be part of a Zoom call with us and some of their Nursery friends, please email [email protected] by Monday 29th June. 

When you email, you’ll need to provide the name that will appear in the Zoom call – we won’t allow anyone into the meeting if we’re not expecting them. Ideally, the name would be the child’s first and last name, but it can be your name. (And please make sure the name is appropriate.)

Once we know how many children are going to take part, we’ll organise the day and time of your meeting and get back to you with the log-in details and more information. We’re sorry – there can’t be much flexibility about the date and time.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all on Zoom soon!


The Runaway Train

Posted on Sunday 21 June 2020 by Foundation One team

Good morning. We hope that you all had a good weekend and enjoyed Miss Backhouse’s story time on Friday. Today’s story is called ‘The Runaway Train’ and is all about Duffy Driver and his adventures on The Little Red Train.  It is one of a series of books written by Benedict Blathwayt.

Did you enjoy the story? Here are some things to talk about after you have listened together.

  • What did Duffy Driver forget to do at the beginning of the story?
  • Can you remember some of the different types of transport that he used to try and catch up with the train?
  • How did Duffy Driver manage to get back onto the train?

Here are some activities that you can try that are linked to the story.

Role play – We love to build trains, boats and other vehicles at Nursery using a whole variety of resources. Can you make a train at home?  Have a look around and see what you can find to use. You might put your dining chairs in a line or make a row of cushions on the floor. If you have any cardboard boxes you could use those. Where will you go on the train? What can you see out of the window?

Do you need a ticket? Cut some small pieces of paper and use them as tickets.  The conductor could collect them and write on where each passenger is travelling to. Remember, writing for a purpose is great way to get children mark making in Nursery. Writing/mark making of all forms is valued – from lines and circles to zig zags and crosses.

 Small world – Do you have a train track at home?  Have a go at building a circle track together. Children can usually join pieces of track together, but they often find it difficult to work out how to make the track join together to form a loop. Have a go and send us a photograph of your completed track!

Creative – Have you ever noticed that different vehicles leave different tracks? If it’s a sunny day, drive your toy vehicle through some water and see if it leaves a track on the floor outside. Alternatively, put some paint on a plate and get some paper – the bigger the better! You could use the back of some old wallpaper or wrapping paper.  Dip your vehicle’s wheels into the paint and drive it along the paper. What tracks does it make?  Remember to wash your vehicles before the paint dries too much!

If you don’t want to get too messy, you could draw your own roads or train tracks. We often put a large cardboard box or piece of paper on the floor at Nursery and ask children to draw roads or track. We then add other details such as ponds and trees. Children love to create their own towns and roads/tracks to drive the trains and cars along.

If you don’t have any small vehicles at home, you could make your own simple train using shoe boxes!

Sing a long at home – These are two of our favourite songs to listen to before home time at Nursery.


  1. Next time you go for a walk, have a look for the numbers that are all around you. Can you spot any numbers on the cars? Children are not expected to know the numbers yet, but they may begin to recognise numerals of personal significance such as 3 or 4 for their age.
  2. How many red/blue/white cars can you count as you walk along the path?
  3. Look at a selection of different vehicles including bikes, cars, buses and vans – How many wheels do they have?

 Watch – Find out more about steam trains and different types of train with Catie and her amazing machines.

Get active – Duffy Driver tried to catch the train on a bicycle. Have you got a bike, scooter or ride on toy? Go outside and have a go at using the pedals or balancing.  Remember to be safe and wear your cycle helmet.

We look forward to reading your emails and finding out all about your adventures this week.

Story Time

Posted on Thursday 18 June 2020 by Foundation One team

It’s been lovely to receive so many positive comments about our website posts this week -thank you. We’re really pleased to hear how much children are enjoying listening to their Key Workers read stories each week.  It’s good to know that seeing some familiar faces is helping many children that are missing being at Nursery and playing with friends.

Miss Backhouse is going to read today’s story. It’s called ‘Look Out Ladybird!’ and is written by Jack Tickle (published by Little Tiger Press) . It’s all about a little ladybird that is learning to fly.

Here are a few activities that you might like to join in. 

  • If you enjoyed the ‘Under the sea’ counting game on Topmarks, you may also like  counting the ladybird’s spots too.
  • Did you like the hunting for  minibeasts? This weekend, there’s a ‘Great Yorkshire Creature Count’ that you could join in with. You can find out more about it on the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust website.
  • The Ladybird was trying to learn how to fly in the story and it made us think of other things that fly. At Nursery, children love to make their own kites using resources in our craft area. If there’s a windy day and you have a kite, see if you can fly it high up into the sky. If you don’t have one, join in with Maddie and have a go at making your own. You could gather some sticks or use BBQ skewers if you have some. Be careful with the scissors and sharp points.
  • Watch ‘Let’s Go For a Walk‘ and find out about bugs and how to do bark rubbings on a tree. We’d love to see a photo if you have a go at doing a bark rubbing too.
  • Sometimes, it’s nice to have a sweet treat to enjoy at the weekend. We know lots of grown ups love to join in with The Great British Bake Off. Why not have a go at baking some Ladybird cupcakes or biscuitsYum yum! If you wanted to make it healthier and keep it simple, you could just add chocolate dots to strawberries like  the decorations on the cupcakes.

Home Learning

Lots of you went on minibeast hunts before the rain set in on Thursday. Mrs Beesley has seen lots of ladybirds in the garden at school and Mrs Long spotted an orange ladybird on a leaf in Temple Newsam. Did you find any?  Here are some photographs of your friends from this week.

Minibeast – Guess Who?

Posted on Tuesday 16 June 2020 by Foundation One team

Today, we have a couple of fun activities for you to join in with. The first, is a game of ‘Guess the Minibeast’!  We’ve all thought of 3 clues to describe a minibeast; your job is to listen carefully to the clues and to try and guess which minibeast we’re thinking of.  Make sure you listen all the way to the end of the video to hear the answers. You’ll also be VERY pleased to see a familiar face that you might have been missing over the last few video posts.

Did you enjoy seeing Miss Backhouse again? We’re sure that you did. If you visit the Class Page again on Friday, you’ll be able to join in with Miss Backhouse’s story time too.

For the second activity, we’d like you to go on a minibeast hunt. See how many different types of minibeast you can find in your garden or go on a walk.  There are some tips on where to find minibeasts on this website and a minibeast hunt sheet if you have a printer. If you don’t, you could simply draw/write down a list and tick them off or draw a picture of the different bugs as you find them. Alternatively, you could use a camera and take a photograph of them.

Let us know how you get on!

Similarities and differences

Finally, we know that some of you enjoyed listening to the story last week which was about celebrating the similarities and differences between people.  Stories are a really good way to introduce and talk about important issues in a child friendly way. This week, we have another story that you might like- it’s called ‘It’s Ok to be Different’. It’s all about accepting that it is ‘ok’ to be different or to want to do different things to others.

What the Ladybird Heard

Posted on Sunday 14 June 2020 by Foundation One team

We’re sure that you’ll all be familiar with this story; you might even have a copy at home. It’s called ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ and is written by Julia Donaldson. At Nursery, we always join in with the animal sounds, just like we did in Friday’s story.

  • Which part of the story did you enjoy the most?
  • How did the animals trick Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len?
  • Which is your favourite farm animal?

We think you’ll also enjoy this version where Julia Donaldson tells the same story through a song.

Here are some activities that you can try that are linked to the story.

Creative – Can you make a farm yard? You could use Duplo or Lego to make a farm house or barn for your toy animals and tractors.  If you have a tray with sides or an empty (storage) box with low sides you could make your own farm small world area. At Nursery, we often add Weetabix and other dry cereals to use as animal food. It can be a little bit messy but hoovers up easily at the end of the day!

You could make a little ladybird and use it re-tell the story as it flies from one animal to the next.

 Mark making – Can you draw some of the animals that they found on the farm? Maybe you could draw a map of the farm like Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len used. You could even draw a long wavy line to show where the ladybird flew.

Listening games – Listen closely to the story. What does the ladybird hear? There is a ladybird on every page and he/she hears all the goings on in the farmyard and story. Play your own game, listening to the world around you. Say the phrase “I hear with my little ear something that sounds like…” Describe that you can hear around you.

Here’s a game we sometimes we play at Nursery. Get your listening ears ready… What animal can you hear?  One of the cats purring is a little bit tricky!   

 Find out more about ladybirds – Here’s a short video all about ladybirds. Can you spot any ladybirds in your garden or on a walk?

In our Nursery garden, we often find ladybird larvae on the leaves of our willow arch at this time of year. It’s one of the stages in the lifecycle of a ladybird. Have a look on leaves and see if you can spot any the larvae (the spiky black and orange insect) or pupae over the next few weeks.

Photo taken from


1) One of the mathematical concepts that children sometimes find difficult is knowing that they can split a group of objects in different ways, but that the total is still the same.  Here is an activity that may help with this.

Draw a ladybird outline and cut out 4-6 spots. Start with 4 spots and count them together with your child. Ask them to put the spots on the ladybird’s wings. How many are there? Talk about how many spots there are on each wing, but that there are still 4 spots altogether. Repeat, splitting the spots in a different way (Eg 2 spots on each wing, or 3 spots on 1 wing and 1 spot on the other). Each time you move the spots, count how many there are on each wing and how many there are altogether. That’s right, there are still 4!

If you return to play again another day, repeat the activity using a different number of spots between 2-6.

2) If you fancy painting, draw some basic ladybird outlines and ask your child to paint or fingerprint a given number (e.g 1-5) of spots on each wing. How many spots are there on both wings? Which ladybird as the fewest/most spots?

 Can you spot the difference?  – Look carefully at the picture and see if you can find all of the differences.

Watch – If you’ve missed being able to visit farms, Temple Newsam have some video blogs with Farmer Joe. They give you a little insight into all of the work that is going on at Home Farm during lockdown and you can see (and hear) the animals too!

We hope that you enjoy joining in with some of this week’s learning activities. Let us know which you enjoy. Have fun!


Story Time

Posted on Thursday 11 June 2020 by Foundation One team

It’s Friday again!  We’re always looking for minibeasts at Nursery and we’re sure that you’ll have found a lot in your gardens over the last few weeks. Next week’s learning activities are going to be all about creepy crawlies, so we thought that we’d end this week with a story about a spider.

Today’s story is called ‘The Very Busy Spider’ and it’s written by Eric Carle, the same author as The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We’re sure you’ll recognise the illustrations and  become familiar with the pattern of the story.  As you’ll soon find out, Mrs Long really needed some of you to help her make the animal noises! Maybe you could join in at home as you listen; we’re sure you’ll be better at making a goat noise than Mrs Long is!

Here are a some activities to try at home.

  • Have you ever seen a spider in your house? Where was it? Look for a spider or a spider’s web outside. Where do they live?  
  • Draw or paint some spiders using a circle for the body and add lines for the legs. Count each line as you draw – how many legs do you need?
  • Everyone enjoys singing ‘Incy Wincy Spider‘.  See if your child can sing it to you with some actions.
  • If you fancy a challenge, why not have a go at making a giant spider’s web? You could use some wool/string and wrap it around the legs of some chairs/furniture or plants outside.  Once you have a web, try and carefully climb through it.
  • To find out a bit more about spiders, watch this short clip with Andy from CBeebies. If you enjoy this, you might like to watch an old episode of ‘Come Outside‘ which is all about spiders.

Learning at home

You’ve all been super busy again this week. Lots of you enjoyed going for long walks in search of butterflies. We loved your caterpillar and butterfly prints and seeing some of your yoga poses. We were also pleased to read that lots of you have been practising some maths skills by using dice and dominoes. Can you recognise the dot patterns yet and say which number you have?

Some of you have celebrated your birthday too. Happy Birthday!


Posted on Tuesday 09 June 2020 by Foundation One team

In our movement area at Nursery, children love to try out the yoga poses that we have displayed. These are a great way to develop strength and flexibility as well as balance, coordination and body awareness.

Here are Miss Logan and Miss Morris demonstrating a few of the poses that children will have seen at Nursery. Have a go together at them at home.


If you enjoyed trying some of these yoga positions, you might like to watch and join in with a children’s Cosmic Yoga session. This one tells the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Sadly, we’re not at Nursery to sing our favourite caterpillar song so we thought we’d share it with you here.  We love to sing this song at Nursery and join in with the actions.  We have an extra verse too; it’s all about eating the leaves.

He will eat the leaves around him ‘til he’s full. Munch, munch

He will eat the leaves around him ‘til he’s full. Munch, munch

He will eat the leaves around him, eat the leaves around him, eat the leaves around him ‘til he’s full. Munch, munch

Similarities and differences

Whilst Mrs Long was reading ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ to her little boy, we talked about how the caterpillar had changed and looked different at the end of the story. We often talk about how things are similar and different in Nursery, including people.  We talk to children about what makes themselves and others special, and about valuing the similarities and differences between themselves and others. In light of recent events in America and subsequent protests across the world, it is a reminder of the importance of appreciating these similarities and differences at such an early age.  We hope you enjoy watching this fun story from the Sesame Street gang all about how we are different and the same.

Have a good day and remember to visit our Class Page on Friday for another story time.