Swing Gate Infant School and Nursery

This week our learning theme is 'Zoo Animals'

Welcome to Squirrels Base Class (EYFS Unit)




Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA):

Learning Support Assistant:


Miss Oliver

Miss Long



Miss Davis


Mrs McWilliams

Week beginning: 11th July 2022

Our theme this week is: Zoo Animals


Information for our zoo trip on Wednesday 13th July:

We are really looking forward to our class trip to the zoo. Thank you to those who we have confirmed attendance as volunteers. We are hoping to see as many animals as possible (the children have made a list for us!) The weather is set to be warm and sunny therefore it is essential that you put suncream on your child before school on this day. They must wear their school uniform including their Swing Gate Legionnaires cap. Most children's caps are in school already as we keep them in a box, but please come and check before Wednesday if you are unsure. With all children wearing their red school cap it helps identify us as a group, whilst also protecting their necks from the sun. 

Please ensure you send your child in with a water bottle. We will visit refilling stations throughout the day to refill them. If you have opted to bring a home packed lunch, bringing it in disposable packaging is favourable (rather than backpacks) as the children will be carrying their own belongings. Please don't sent your child in with a backpack unless vital. 

We will of course monitor the weather and heat during the day, and spend as much time as we can in shady areas in order to keep cool. Unfortunately on this occasion we will not be visiting the outdoor playground, soft play or gift shop. 

If you have any questions about the trip please speak to us directly at the classroom door.

Our Learning this week:


In Literacy this morning we continue to think about non fiction texts and today will write a fact file about our favourite zoo animal. We will be writing in sentences, using correct digraphs for spelling and using finger spaces and full stops. This afternoon in maths we begin to look at odd and even numbers, starting by sharing a group of objects onto two plates and seeing if they can be shared fairly. If they can't we can identify that amount as an odd number.


Following on from looking at odd and even numbers, we will use multilink cubes to make our own odd and even towers. Looking at the shapes we can make with an odd or even amount. This afternoon we will be having a music session where we will get the chance to explore using untuned instruments. Listening to a chant, and then adding instruments in. 


Today is our trip to the zoo. Please see above for all the information you need. 


This morning we will be taking part in an athletics workshop, learning some new skills. In Literacy this afternoon we will be thinking about writing a recount, recalling events from our trip yesterday. Using openers such as first, and then, next and finally we will write a recount of the events of the day. 


This morning we will be watching Hedgehogs class assembly, we're looking forward to learning about what they are learning. In PSED this afternoon we will talk about how we feel about moving to Year 1 and what we would like to learn when we get there. 


Phonics Sounds of the Week

Poem of the Week

Word(s) of the Week Song of the Week

Recap ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or ur, oo, ow, oi, ear

The Fox

 habitat, diet, endangered, herbivore, carnivore.

We're going on safari


Our termly Class letter can be found here

Literacy and Mathematics

Our themes for Literacy and Maths follow a medium term plan, which details the skills in which we will be focussing on for each half term.

We follow Talk For Writing in literacy lessons. This develops children as readers, writers, listeners and speakers. The model text or this term will be Charlie's Walk. This has been written by the Talk For Writing scheme and follows a similar plot to Rosie's Walk. The children will begin their literacy learning by creating a story map which outlines the characters, settings and events of the story. They will then verbally retell the story, using the story map as a visual prompt and will also create actions to go alongside the verbal retelling. They will be immersed into the story so they have an in-depth and thorough understanding of it. They will then ‘innovate’ Charlie's Walk, by replacing the characters with different types of dinosaur. They will then ‘invent’ their own unique, individual story and main character. The overarching aim for this half term’s literacy is that children will develop and improve their understanding of how to write sentences which can be read by themselves and others.

A variety of mathematical concepts will be covered this half term. These include exploring counting back, sorting into two groups, counting to and from 20, doubles, halving and sharing, odd and even numbers, 2D shape and time. 


This half term we will be revising and consolidating the sounds and skills learnt during the Spring term and last half term. We will explore reading:

  • Phase 3 long vowel sounds in words: ai ee igh oa oo oo ar or ur ow oi ear air er.
  • Phase 2 digraphs in words
  • Words end in -es which make a 'z' sound e.g. wishes
  • Multi syllable words e.g. chimpanzee, freshness, second, present 
  • Words ending in: -ing, -ed and -es 

The children's knowledge of phonics will also be applied to independent reading and writing. 


What the children say... 

In our EYFS unit we plan according to the children's interests. We spend time talking to the children, asking them what they already know and what they would like to find out.


Our weekly themes are led by the children. Each week we share ideas and then pick a theme for the coming week.

Our PE day is:

  • Friday AM

Physical Learning (PE)

There will be lots of exciting PE lessons happening this term, including Sports Week and Sports Day!
These workshops include: hockey, dance, handball, archery, athletics and Sports Day at Thomas Coram. 
In PE lessons we will be focussing on team games and refining skills such as throwing and catching in preparation for sports days. 


RE learning 

The children will be encouraged to discover some religious words and ideas in the context of their experiences. This will be through exploring four key areas:
- identity and belonging: exploring how people know they belong to a family and other groups, including religious groups.
- ultimate questions: by experiencing the natural world, using imagination and curiosity about life to develop an appreciation and wonder of the world in which they live. Children will be encouraged to ask questions that are philosophically challenging and consider the answers to these.
- human responsibility and values: to explore some ways in which people express care and concern for each other and the importance of this for relationships. They will be encouraged to develop an awareness of their own value and that of others.
- justice and fairness: children will be encouraged to understand what is a good choice and what is not. They will consider the consequences of words and actions.

Swing Gate Lane, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 2LJ

01442 863913