Swing Gate Infant School and Nursery

**This week our learning theme is 'dogs in space!'**


Welcome to Voles Class (EYFS Unit)Image result for vole silhouette


Teacher: Mrs Hardwick  
Early Years Practitioner: Mrs Ray

Welcome to the spring term in the Nursery class 

Our learning theme for each week is guided by the children.

Week beginning 20.5.24 - 'dogs in space'

astronaut in spacesuit floating in space

These are some of the things we will be learning about and exploring:


Isla asked - Why are some planets closer to the sun and some aren’t? So today we are going to begin by watching a video to find out more about the planets and where they are, then we can advise the dogs who are travelling into space! We will also discuss and share ideas for the answer to Isla’s question. think and talk about what the moon is made of as Munro asked “Do they [dogs]  see a cheese moon?” (helping children to make sense and develop understanding of their world!) We will act out the order of planets and their orbit. We will ask if they have any more questions linked to planets and discuss these too. Then we will show the children that we have some printed planets but they need to cut them out to go on our display. We will model using an appropriate and effective grip for scissors and encourage them to follow the outline of the planet as they cut. We will highlight the importance of safety throughout


  We will begin by showing the children a pattern, we will encourage them to talk about what they can see, at first, they may do this one item at a time, for example, red cube, blue cube, red cube…verbalising the pattern helps. We will then ask them what they would add next to continue it. We will repeat this with different patterns. Then we will remind the children of some of their questions (How do dogs press buttons on a rocket ship? Freddie J. How can dogs open the door to the spaceship? Edie How could they get into a rocket? Rishaan). We will talk about this and then explain that the patterns are all in a pattern, on the door and control panel of the spaceship. We will show the children a selection of buttons (lids) and ask them to select two colours or sizes so that they can create their own simple (ABAB) pattern. The children can then explore creating their pattern (they may want to copy one that they have already seen), then they will need to explain their pattern to the person they are sitting next to. Finally they will need to stick their pattern to a strip of card.


Today we have our sixth and final Balanceability session. The children will build on skills from the previous week and will explore frog legs, dinosaur steps, gliding, balancing, steering, and continuing to explore using their brakes.


Today we have a visit from a parent. The children will have prepared questions on the previous day.

When we discussed planning ideas last week lots of the children (James, Isla, Lily, Emme and Rishaan) asked about how dogs could put on their spacesuit, gloves, helmet and boots. So today one of the children is going to act as a dog and try to put on their clothes whilst on all fours (adults will assist!) Then we will explain that we need to write a list to remind the dogs about what they need to put on. We will begin by warming up our fingers before picking up pens using the pinch and flick technique. We will remind the children that when we are mark making we will do so from left to right and top to bottom as this is how you write in English. Adults will then model writing a list of space clothing (as we write we will model thinking about the sounds in words), asking the children to imitate each one, working on maintaining uniformity of size of marks / letters made. Then we will remind the children about how they created some great labels for the fish on our display and now we are going to have another go at this but linked to space clothing.  Then we will ask the children to draw an item of clothing before having a go at writing the label (drawing first benefits (following recent training - ‘write from the start’)). Throughout we will remind the children about using the pinch and flick technique and an appropriate grip throughout.


We will begin by talking about the following questions - How do dogs get into space? Poppy L and Freddie J. How can dogs fly to the moon? Sophia How do dogs go on the moon? Brooke. Then we will highlight that we are going to make the dogs some rocket packs that they could use to get into space or to travel around the moon. We will show them a video of an example being made. Rocket Jet Pack - CBeebies - BBC  Then we will explain that they need to think about what the dog might need, would the rocket pack need to be big or small, could it be heavy or light? We will also discuss the colours used in the video clip and whether they would like to use similar colours. Then they can choose a bottle and begin to adapt it to make it into a rocket or rocket pack. There will be a range of materials and they will be able to choose from foil, tape, shiny paper, crepe paper, tissue paper and pens. They can also add other junk modelling resources (adults will  remind them how to use the glue spreaders as they work. Throughout the children will need to make decisions about the tools and joining methods that they would like to use. When they have finished fixing, joining and decorating, they will need to think about whether they are happy with their end of project or whether they cold change something another time,

Shared reading;  Thursday 23rd

Word aware words: orbit   gravity 

The poem this week is;  planets

Our counting song is: Five Little Men in a flying saucer

Show and tell: something that you would take with you into space

Class letter: click hereFree Cartoon Letter Cliparts, Download Free Cartoon Letter ...

Home Learning links

What the children say... 

We ask the children about what they’d like to explore, play with and learn about over each week. All ideas are be interwoven through planning. 

The children also have the opportunity to discuss what they would like for role play - this is to be decided ...!

Effective Questioning Techniques - IEEE-USA InSight

Other areas of learning in Nursery include....


PE day is on a Wednesday for this half term. The children will be taking part in Balanceability balance bike sessions.

Please can all children have a named PE kit in a bag for the days we have other extra sessions.

Computing brown and white long coated small dog wearing eyeglasses on black laptop computer

Throughout the year we will be planning open-ended activities in a technology rich environment to enable the children to have opportunities to explore, tinker and develop their ideas through active learning. We will provide a range of simple technology resources, these will be available for children to explore through their play and during adult led activities. The resources will include real, play and safe/defunct devices to support children’s understanding of technology in the world. We will promote safe and careful use of resources and understanding of who to tell if any use of technology makes them feel uncomfortable.

Other experiences will include

  • exploring programmes and games which require drag and drop skills
  • looking at different uses of technology in
    school and at home
  • using chromebooks, iPads and Mini
    mash (on Purple Mash).



RE will be explored partly through short periods of Adult Directed Activities which highlight key festivals, celebrations, religious symbols and religious vocabulary with reference to children’s own experiences and also through the children's own Child Initiated Play.

Each half term the children will have opportunities to explore aspects of the eight key areas of RE listed below.

Children will discover some religious words and ideas in the context of their experiences.

They will:

  • share their own beliefs, ideas and values
  • listen and respond to a range of stories that engage them, including faith stories
  • directly experience religion, its symbols and actions. Engage with artefacts, people and places
  • explore local places of importance, including at least one place of significance, for a religious family. They should share their own experiences of places which are important to them
  • learn about key figures in their own lives and key members of a local religious group. Listen and respond to visitors from faith communities. Talk about prayer and worship and experience times of quiet and stillness
  • explore how people know that they belong to a family and other groups, including religious groups
  • experience aspects of the natural world, using their imagination and curiosity about life and develop their appreciation and wonder of the world in which they live. Ask questions that are philosophically challenging and consider answers
  • explore some of the ways in which people express care and concern for each other and the importance of this for relationships. They should develop an awareness of their own value and that of others
  • understand what is right and wrong and why. Consider the consequences of their words and actions for themselves and others.

Swing Gate Lane, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 2LJ

01442 863913