Welcome to the Foundation Stage

Welcome to Autumn 1 at John Clifford from all of the Foundation Stage Team. Our Early Years Unit is known as the Wildflower Garden and it covers the Foundation Stage One (F1- Nursery) and Foundation Stage 2 (F2 Reception). We are excited to jump into teaching and learning with our new topic, Marvellous Me.





This half term the children will be exploring, investigating as well as learning all about themselves, their families and others. We will be learning routines and settling in, The John Clifford Promises, emotions and feelings, health and hygiene, along with lots of fun activities. 

Our focus texts will be: The Colour Monster, The Colour Monster Goes To School, Starting School and Maisie Goes to Nursery. We will also be reading many other fiction and non-fiction texts related to our topic.




Over the half term, we will also be learning: 

  • PSED- It’s Good To Be Me- settling in, developing relationships with adults and children. Focusing on feelings, Friendships, Being Kind and Caring, Looking after our teeth- Brushing Buddies daily. 
  • CLL - Group discussions focused on routines, themselves and each other, families, their traditions, cultures and beliefs. Developing communication skills and learning new vocabulary. Children becoming confident to speak in a larger group clearly, using new and developed vocabulary. 
  • PD - gross motor skills focus- Using large equipment/Athletics/ Ball Skills. Fine motor skills – using scissors, playdough utensils, cutlery, paint brushes, writing utensils etc. 
  • LITERACY - Non- fiction writing linked to our ‘Marvellous Me’ topic; fiction writing linked to focus texts. 
  • MATHS- Categorising by colour, type etc., counting, ordering, subitising, number recognition exploring measures e.g.- length, height, capacity, weight, shape, and pattern 
  • UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD- exploring our environment, bodies, seasons looking at similarities and differences and making observations, investigating changes of states/properties, 
  • RE- Christianity,  
  • EXPRESSIVE ART DESIGN - designing and creating, using variety of media e.g.: collage/paint/pastels (based on animal artists) small world construction, junk modelling 
  • BEING IMAGINATIVE- re telling focus stories using role play, songs 
  • MUSIC- Exploring instruments and the sounds they make. Regular singing of nursery rhymes. 




In the Autumn term, PE takes place in on a Wednesday.  Please ensure that’s your child has a named PE KIT in school all week. shorts or jogging bottoms, PLAIN white t-shirt, and trainers. Please NAME ALL PE CLOTHES. Children should wear their school jumper too. Please see the timetable for this half term below: 

Week Commencing 




Friday (start date to be confirmed) Parent stay and read with children for 10 minutes. 


Homework in Foundation 

Reading in F2 

Each week, we ask that all children read with somebody at home at least three times a week (As per your signed school agreement.) This could be any adult or an older sibling or friend. Every little bit of reading really does help children on the learning journey. Please write in your children’s communication dairy when you read with your child each day. 

Please bring your child’s book bag to school every day. This will help when we change their books Please read this story book several times with your child – Talk about the cover, ask them to tell you what is happening when you read it again and talk about the characters. At the end of the week, encourage your child to tell you the story, using the pictures to guide them.

Sweet Peas Reading

Please bring your child’s book bag to school every Friday so that they can change their book. Read this story book several times with your child – Talk about the cover, ask them to tell you what is happening when you read it again and talk about the characters. At the end of the week, encourage your child to tell you the story, using the pictures to guide them

Websites to help learning phonics.

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl - YouTube


Tricky words | Phase 2 Phonics | Phonics song - BBC Bitesize

Check out the blogs below to see what we've been doing in our classes!

Bluebell (Nursery)



allium   buddleia

  • What's in the Garden? Come Outside

    Spring 2 - Minibeasts Everywhere! In Spring 2, we explored outside with more focus.  Our new topic was 'Minibeasts'  We went outside on a minibeasts hunt and the children loved looking under logs and stones to see if they could spot a woodlouse, milipede or worms. They also spotted lots of webs with flies and spiders in them.      We also spotted the JC hens and ducks. We can create patterns and can find them all around us.  We found twigs outside and made them look like letters from our names. We can join in with songs and rhymes and copy the actions.  We enjoyed singing 5 Garden Snails. Where's...

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  • Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs! Spring 1

      During Spring 1, the children enjoyed learning all about dinosaurs.  They enjoyed listening to lots of stories and looking at non-fiction books about dinosaurs, learning about what they ate and their special names.       We loved playing with our mini-me figures     "My dinosaurs is a long neck."       Fossil pasta     "My dinosaur is a plant eater."      We learnt about extinction and had to free the endangered animals by cutting the string to free them.       We read 'Dinosaurs Love Underpants'...

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  • Lunar New Year Celebrations

    Celebrations! Happy New Year! This week we have been learning about Lunar New Year.  We talked about how this festival is celebrated around the world.  Last week, we enjoyed taking part in some fun activities, as some of our parents from Hong Kong came to school to talk to us about how Chinese New Year is celebrated.  This week in our classrooms, we enjoyed many activities focussing on Lunar New year. The children had to tidy the furniture in the small world house – can you sort the furniture so that it is the correct room?  We also enjoyed making tea in the water tuff spot.  They loved exploring the...

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  • Weekending 25th November & 2nd December 2022

    Who does that job?  Our personal histories - celebrating our brithdays This week we have been focussing on our personal histories and we have been learning all about birthdays.  We have made playdough cakes and added beads and candles to them. The children had a go at counting the candles they had added to their cake. We planned a birthday party for Dex, our Classroom dinosaur. We shared ideas about what we needed for the party and had a go at drawing pictures to show what we wanted for the party.  The children were encouraged to talk about their drawings and describe their marks.  Our focus...

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  • Weekending 18th November 2022

    Poppies, Remembrance and Children in Need Thank you to everyone who supported our ‘Children in Need’ activitie today.  It was great to see the children coming to school dressed up. Thank you also for those who brought money in for toast for the appeal today- we had buttered toast and jam and butter on toast and for those who didn’t like toast, we made jam sandwiches.   We also attended our first whole school assembly where Mrs Mitchell weighed the giant pumpkins which had grown in the Outdoor Learning garden.  I was incredibly proud of how the children sat and listened really well. We have been...

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  • Weekending 11th November 2022

    Festival of lights  This week the children have enjoyed watching videos of families celebrating Diwali.  They loved the song 'Diwali' and they made Diya lamps from salt dough where we mixed water, flour and salt and talked about them being dry, wet and then changing to being sticky when they mixed together.   They were intrigued to see how they went from being soft to being very hard so that they could paint them and add decorations to them. We also looked at different Rangoli patterns and had a go at creating patterns in the tuff spot which was filled with coloured rice. The children are...

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  • Weekending 4th November 2022

    Bonfire Night, Sparklers and Whatever Next! This week we have focussed on Bonfire Night, and who Guy Fawkes was. The children loved watching videos of firework displays and noticed the circular shapes in the fireworks and also heard some of the noises they made, such as, bang, pop, sizzle etc. They got very creative and made firework paintings, using cardboard tubes, twisting the tubes to make a swirling circular shape. Using the sensory blocks, the children created models of rockets by either building them upwards or lying them flat on the ground and joining them together to make a rocket...

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  • Weekending 14th October 2022

    Move to the Beat! Zoom to the moon! Yum! Yum! Faster! Faster!     

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  • Weekending 7th October 2022

    This week we have focussed on activities around ‘Black History Month’.  The children loved going to the Junior Hall to meet the Hibbert family who brought in lots of artefacts related to their Jamaican heritage.  They particularly enjoyed playing the steel drums and were fascinated by the sugar cane and how it was turned into sugar.  They showed us the Jamaican football shirts which inspired some of the children to talk to them about football and Forest. I was very proud of how confident they were to speak with our visitors.  We also listened to the story, ‘Coming to England’ by Floella Benjamin and...

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  • Adventures around school

    Weekending 30th September 2022 We had a busy week talking about our school and some of the people that are important to us at school.  We looked at the school website and some of the people in the office, Tracey in the kitchen, as well as other teachers we see each day. We also had a walk around the school and visited the office. The children were excited to see photos of themselves on the website and they talked about who they saw and what they were doing.  They were amazed to find tomatoes growing as well as a huge pumpkin. They also picked grass to feed the guinea pigs. We also talked about...

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  • Weekending 23rd September 2022

     Our Five Senses      Next week we will learn the song, Miss Polly Had a Dolly.  Please practise this at home with your child.  Thank you.

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  • Weekending 16th September 2022

    Getting to know you

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  • Weekending 9th September 2022

    Settling in to the Bluebell Class          

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Tel: 0115 925 8057 | Email: office@johnclifford.school
Find us: Nether Street, Beeston, NG9 2AT

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