Newcroft 4+

Puffins - Mrs Burton / Penguins - Mrs Cran

*Please visit the 'educational visits' section to view the photographs of our trip to Ash End farm (near Tamworth) on Tuesday 2nd June 2014.

We had great fun whilst learning about 'healthy eating' and 'food from the farm'.

Summer Term 1 2014


 It is hard to believe that we’re in the last term of the school year and we will soon become Year 1 children!  Part of what we do this term is to look back and see how the children have changed and improved their work. They are often really surprised when they see how far they have come.


10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 BLAST OFF!!

The focus for teaching and learning this half term has been centred around the theme of SPACE

They have learnt about the moon and the other planets in our solar system and created some imaginary aliens using handprints which stimulated some excellent pieces of writing. We listened to the story book ‘Aliens love underpants’ and learnt the story off by heart. This supported the development of our reading, writing and communication skills.  And it is a very funny story too!

 We have been busy designing and making our own alien friends to take with us to a moon party and we have labelled our designs with adjectives to describe our aliens. We have been enjoying lots of role play using our small world rocket and space station.

We have been focusing on subtraction this half term.  Our space theme helped set the scene. The children started with a set amount of aliens living on their planet, according to their ability.  Some aliens visited other planets.  The children recorded their findings in a number sentence. The thing to remember, if you give them any written calculations to do, is to look at the ‘-‘ symbol.  A good way is to write it in red to start with then it is more obvious.

The children are more familiar with their subtraction flower now which enables them to use the different vocabulary associated with this operation.

We have had great fun learning about the famous artist Kandinsky and developing our drawing and painting skills just like he did. We created our own art work inspired by the painting ‘Concentric Circles’.

We started the half term looking at a ‘houses and homes’ mini topic.  The children thoroughly enjoyed listening to the story of Sneezy the dragon and how he came into our forest and destroyed the homes of the Choo Choo people. Our Forest School sessions centred on building new homes for the Choo Choo people, using nature materials from our woodland area.  This required lots of teamwork, concentration and further development of fine motor skills.

The children have done amazingly well in their physical development skills this year. We have enabled the children to link a sequence of movements together which they then practiced and refined before demonstrating it to another child. They were involved in self-evaluation of their movements as well as the evaluation of their peers.

Next half term our topic will be 'Living Things' and 'Mini beasts'.  The children will compare the habitats of different mini beasts, their similarities and differences. You may wish to support your child by visiting the local library and looking at books linked to mini beasts. By the end of the topic the children will be able to describe the differences and similarities between two mini beasts, with reference to the number of legs, patterns etc





Spring 2 2014

Physical Development

The children have been learning to use space safely, becoming aware of others within the working area. We have developed the idea of team work and group cooperation and learnt to strike balls using our hands. We practised how to stop quickly and safely and how to hold a bat correctly, beginning to control a ball, both on the spot and while moving.

The children became skilled at dodging whilst working cooperatively in team games. They really worked hard to develop ways in which they could control a ball, learning to tap it along the ground as well as practising skills already learnt.

New Life

Spring has been a great topic to teach the children about life cycles of animals such as chickens and frogs. The children have experienced the process of some of these life cycles first hand, watching frogspawn develop from tadpoles into frogs. All of these experiences were built upon using a range of lovely stories such as The Teeny Weeny Tadpole and Emma’s Lamb.


The children have loved having the chicks in school and have had lots of opportunity to hold the chicks and watch them develop and change over the two week that they have been with us.

Twycross Zoo came to Newcroft!

The workshop was ‘Animal Senses’ and the session concentrated on a hands on approach, using observational skills which involve all senses. We looked at the hearing of Biscuit the rabbit, we met Alan the Madagascar hissing cockroach and explored the sight of a bearded dragon named Eddy. The children had the opportunity to stroke, touch and hold all three animals.

Spring 1 2014

Traditional Tales

We have shared various fairy stories, talking about the different characters and thinking about their clothes and costumes. We have looked at as many different versions of these stories as we could, using the story book language ‘Once Upon a Time…..’ and ‘….they lived happily ever after’ to support our writing.

We experimented with different porridge toppings when covering ‘Goldilocks and the three bears’. We built houses of straw, sticks and bricks and tested them against the Big Bad Wolf during our ‘Three Little Pigs’ week. We designed and made our own gingerbread men and planted beans during our ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ week and we created a new glass slipper for Cinderella.

We have begun to focus on addition linked to problem-solving this half term. We were amazed at how much the children remembered about addition and we are ready to move on pretty quickly. We have been focusing on counting on from the largest number when adding two numbers together.

Kung Hey Fat Choy!

We have been learning about the traditions of the Chinese culture and in particular the Chinese New Year. We experienced Chinese cuisine, listened to and responded to Chinese music. In Expressive Arts we learnt how to keep to a beat in preparation for our own dragon dance in the 4+ Celebrations Assembly. We also built the ‘Great Wall of China’, created Chinese lanterns, dragon masks and many other creative artefacts linked to the Chinese New Year.

Autumn Term 2 – 2013


Here is the fun and fantastic learning which has taken place in the 4+ this half term

We have been concentrating on phonics a lot this term in the 4+ and our children are making great progress. We have been learning to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes, identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’ and blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.  The children are using this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read so well done!

DADS!!! Please remember to hear your son read if you do not already do so. Research suggests that boys make more progress in reading if their fathers are actively involved in their literary experiences.


Our Maths has been jam packed with counting up to 10 objects and beyond (including those which can’t be moved). We have been matching numerals to the number in a set and beginning to understand zero to describe an empty set. We frequently rehearsed counting back from 10 to 0, including in songs, stories and in rhymes.

We have carried out work on repeating patterns, encouraging the children to verbalise the pattern as this helped incredibly with their ability to continue it. We walked around the school grounds looking for patterns all around us. We found that patterns can be seen on leaves, we looked at patterns of brickwork on houses, pine cones etc. Patterns are everywhere!

We have been using money, recognising coins and comparing prices. We enjoyed roleplaying with money in the car park and our class café where we solved practical problems involving counting.


We learnt about the Hindu festival of Diwali. The children made Diva lamps modelled out of clay, they were given the opportunity to practise the use of the high frequency words to, mum, and, dad, as well as writing their name when making their own Diwlai cards. We ventured outside to create Rangoli patterns – symmetrical patterns using shapes. The children had 2d shapes to place in dough to create them as well as using the school playground as a canvas. The rain didn’t spoil our fun!
We had great fun acting out the story complete with the monkey army. Mmmm…..casting was easy!!
We also made traditional Indian sweets with the children – Barfi. Yum yum!

Forest Schools

This half term we have been using our team work skills to build shelters. We have explored the changes through the season of Autumn and have set up a weather station. We searched for Santa and found lots of evidence of his reindeers having been there.


Autumn Term 2013


So what have the 4+ been learning this half term?


We have been covering a ‘seaside’ theme this half term. We talked about our own holidays, the weather and when is it the nicest weather to be beside the sea.


We researched lighthouses and creatures that live at the seaside.


We looked at where creatures live in the sea and how they change as you get deeper. We explored different types of one species e.g. different types of sharks, and how are they the same/different.


We particularly enjoyed our pirate week, learning lots of pirate related action songs, including ‘When I was one’ – which we performed brilliantly in our first celebrations assembly.



Forest Schools


We have really enjoyed our first set of forest school sessions. We have been exploring the wildlife area -


  • Collecting apples and blackberries to make a delicious crumble
  • Making and exploring boundaries within the forest
  • Playing listening games, including ‘1, 2, 3….where are you?’
  • Finding natural materials to match a variety of colours





A parent brought lots of snakes in for us to look at and handle.  We learnt that there are lots of different types of snakes, all with different markings. We also learnt that snakes like to eat mice, rats and even rabbits!  We were all very brave and lots of children held these friendly, beautiful creatures.  What a fun day!


Famous Artists


We looked at the famous artists David Hockney and Vincent Van Gogh and their paintings.  We produced our own art work inspired by the painting ‘Seascapes at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer’ and ‘pool paintings’.