Elland C of E Junior, Infant & Nursery School (VA)

May God give us the courage to try, the will to succeed and hope without limits

Westgate, Elland, West Yorkshire, HX5 0BB



Early Years




Early Years now have an Instagram account. Follow the link to see what they are up to each week! Click here!

What we’ve been doing…

Farmyards and Maps

Early Years have loved our farm topic and have shown an interest in creating small world farms. The children used our map from the story 'What The Ladybird Heard' to arrange their farm into sections. The children were fascinated and wanted to learn more about the daily work on a farm. As a result our farm was transformed, our sheep now had a sheep dog close by to keep them in a herd, our dairy cow had her very own shed as well as horses having a large area to run in rather than a compact stable. 

Outdoor Play "How goes the work?"

The children enjoyed building a range of large scale models. 
Nursery enjoyed building tall towers and short towers exploring mathematical language. 
Nursery and Reception also enjoyed creating a range of pens and holdings for farm animals. 

Easter Buns 

Early Years have enjoyed exploring recipes this week. We have carefully followed a simple set of instructions to create Easter Crispy Buns. This activity has many  links to the Early Years curriculum with great focus on  communication and language, literacy and PSED. 
The children enjoyed having independence during this baking activity. 

Baby Sensory 

During Busy jobs the children have enjoyed taking part in role play. Following on from the children's interest the staff in early years created a baby sensory unit in which the children held classes for parents and their babies. During this session we focused on cause and effect play, baby massage and communication skills!

Sensory Corner 

Elland's Early Years have had a mini-make over! We would proudly like to introduce our sensory corner. We recognise some of the emotional barriers that prevent children from accessing learning and as a result have adapted our methods of teaching to ensure we promote time to self-regulate as well as explored different methods of communication. 
Some other methods of teaching we have implemented into our daily practice: 
  • objects of reference
  • heavy work 
  • social stories 
  • intense interaction 
  • key word interventions 
  • Cause and effect play 

diversity in the doll's house

Adults reflected on our provision and felt that the doll's house needed more structure. 
As a result we have enhanced our dolls house by providing dolls of various ethnicities, ages, genders and have represented dolls with difficulties. 
The children enjoyed using a range of picture instructions to support their play such as a daily timetable, a house map and pictures of various families. The children decided they wanted to make a flat. We spoke about flats and how they are structured. One child noticed we needed some stairs and in a small team the pupils used their critical thinking to make stairs out of Lego. 
The class teacher added a character who used a wheelchair. The children attempted to remove the character from the wheelchair but realised this would not help. We recognised there wasn't away for this character to access the building. Together we researched and came up with the idea of creating a lift. A child in our class spoke about her experience of using crutches and how she struggled to use the stairs. 

Willy Wonka's Chocolate Shop

Here is a great example of child led play! One of our pupils started out by using a range of natural resources to represent a range of chocolate treats. The pupil kept referring to Willy Wonka and his chocolate shop. Following on from our pupils interest one of the teachers provided a till and some numicon to represent amounts so that we could sell the chocolate. More children became fascinated with this learning opportunity and shared their ideas. We then added gloves to ensure food was not contaminated, tweezers to carefully select the chocolates, baskets, paper bags, reusable bags and an open and closed sign. Children then started to make chocolate in the playdough area and placed them into our chocolate boxes. Adults support children in the playdough to create various shapes and sizes. 

Sensory Time

Early Years have opened a brand new area so that our children have the opportunity to relax, regulate and play in a safe environment. We know that our provision can sometimes become over stimulating due to the nature of early years. As a result we have created a safe space for children to be able to explore their emotions using a range of cause and effect toys as well as sensory toys. Our pupils have loved our new area and know the importance of looking after our mental and physical health and being able to regulate their emotions when needed.
Some of our pupils have also brought in sensory toys from home and have shared how they help them "calm down". 


During our outdoor learning some of the children showed an interest in playing football. As a result the staff implemented cones and bibs to map out the game. Adults taught children how to play the game of football with some simple rules. Our aim is for the children to become independent in setting up this activity when they complete their outdoor busy jobs! 

Water Play

In our great outdoors the children loved exploring water. One member of staff followed the children's interests and created a bubble bath for babies. She worked with a group of children to model how to care for babies as well as the skill of filling the tray. 
The children also enjoyed exploring different ways water can travel using pipes and a bucket. 

tidy up time!

This week during our outdoor 'busy jobs' the children helped to conduct a big tidy! 
We worked as a team to sweep and gather leaves, clean our chairs and house as well as tidy up our planters ready for spring! 

Adam O'Brien Halifax Panthers Co-Captain!!

Today Early Years were fortunate to spend time with our special visitor during collective worship. Adam is a professional rugby player for Halifax Panthers. Today he made our dreams come true. We were able to learn all about Adam's career as well as some top tips for children who want to become rugby players in the future. Adam is local to the area and has proven that with hard work and determination our dreams can become a reality! Adam even left us a rugby ball so that we can practice some of the skills he has taught us.

The Penguin Egg Challenge is Back!!

Mrs. K found an interesting package in our cloakroom! We explored the stamps and took a sneaky peek inside. To our excitement we found lots of Emperor Penguin Eggs!!! We got straight to work creating safe spaces to protect our eggs. The children used lots of materials to creates houses, swimming pools and cars for their egg!

Design and Technology

During our busy jobs some students decided to create a boat fit for an Emperor Penguin travelling to Antarctica. The children explored using wooden blocks to build their structure. We then added a jug of water to the model to see how sustainable wood would be during a long journey to Antarctica.

How Many Paws Tall are You?

In early years we have been comparing our height against a male polar bear! We recently learnt that some male polar bears can be as tall as 7ft.Mrs T our fantastic teaching assistant made our pupils dreams come true by drawing a life size Polar Bear for the children to measure against.We have measured our height in paws and now have our very own height chart!


This term in P.E we are learning all about gymnastics. We have worked closely on travelling on apparatus in various ways as well as refining our jumping and landing techniques.We are given the opportunity to explore apparatus and are encouraged to combine movements so that they flow into a sequence.

Emperor Penguins

This term we have been learning all about Antarctica and the harsh conditions Emperor Penguins face daily. We have enjoyed taking part in a range of activities such as collaging an Emperor Penguin using glue and the skill of scrunching and overlapping tissue paper.We also enjoyed learning about colonies and huddles in which Emperor Penguins gather in to stay warm.

Lost and found

In early years we have been learning about Antarctica. We have explored videos of animals and weather conditions. We were discussing what clothes we needed for our trip to the South Pole. Once we explored what clothing we needed we went outside to practice our travelling around the icy conditions.
To our surprise we found an Emperor Penguin chick which was stuck in ice. He looked lonely and had a note that said, "Help."
"We found a Emperor Penguin on the bench, he had a note, it said, help!" said Eliza
"We found an Emperor penguin. The penguin is in ice. We melt it with hot water," said Cassius
"We found a penguin chick he was in the ice, so we melted him with hot water," said Willow
"The penguins been out side for a long time. He's stuck in the ice, we will help hi, and he will be free. He will be happy and he I'll b be super p our of us," said Minnie.

Reindeer run

Superhero training day 

For our gold balloon reward this academic term the children chose to become superheroes for a day. We started off with some specialist training from experienced superheroes. We learnt how to travel through tight spaces, rescues civilians and defeat villains bringing justice to the world! 
After a busy morning of training things took a turn for the worst.... Evil pea had captured one of our teachers and trapped her behind some lazer beams. The children had to carefully climb through the lazer beams making sure they did not get caught!!! Once safely through the first obstacle they had to unravel their teacher rescuing her from Evil peas layer!! 
We then finished off the day with a well-deserved biscuit and a refreshing drink! 

he Gingerbread Man Experiment 

The children enjoyed taking part in the Gingerbread Man experiment we enjoyed making predictions as to what might happen when we place the Gingerbread Man into a range of products.  This led onto some exciting conversations and amazing vocabulary! The children came up with some wonderful ideas and the teachers were in ore of their fascinations to learn and explore. 
The past week we have been learning the traditional story of the Gingerbread Man through our talk for writing scheme. 

Christmas Corner

Our Home area has had a revamp! Following our children's interests we have added a small Christmas tree to our provision. Our pupils have enjoyed decorating the tree  using their gross motor skills as well as talking about their traditions at home.

Matching Amounts

This week in math's we have been consolidating our understanding of numbers 1,2,3,4 and 5. Exploring various ways of represent and making a number.

We enjoyed playing a range of activities involving numbers 1-5. Here is a snippet of our matching game in which we matched the same quantity in various ways!

Exploring Snow 

On Monday we were very lucky to be able to explore snow in our outdoor area. 

Story Maps

 This week in Reception we have been learning how to draw story maps for our traditional tale 'The Gingerbread Man'L, PD & CL


Super Potato 

BI, PD, L, CL & UTW 

The children arrived to a chaotic scene. There were vegetables fleeing the classroom. On further inspection, we noticed that ranges of vegetables have been trapped. The carrots were trapped under labels, the broccoli had been drawn on, the cucumber had been wrapped in toilet roll and the Brussel sprouts were trapped under a shopping basket. There was a note left from evil pea that stated, "You will never catch the evil pea. Be warned". The children were allowed to freely explore the classroom 

Pirate Party Day - Gold Balloon

For our Gold Balloon reward the children enjoyed taking part in pirate day. We learnt how to talk, walk and act like a pirate. We played a range of games and learnt the importance of managing our feelings and working as a team. We walked the plank and worked on our balancing skills.
In the afternoon we used our gross motor skills to dig for buried treasure and listened carefully to instructions so that we were able to pin the eye patch on the pirate.
Some of our friends brought cake for us to share during our party.

Parent Get Busy with Me Afternoon Autumn 1

This term our parents were invited into school to take part in our Get Busy with Me Afternoon. Our pupils helped to decide what activities they would like to show their parents and modelled what they have learnt so far this Autumn term.

We then finished the session with a peer massage to explain the importance of looking after our wellbeing and being kind to our mind.

Who will help me cut my lunch?

This term we have focused on the importance of being able to manage our own needs at meal times. Our pupils have been learning how to cut their own lunch using a knife and fork; as well as eating with a knife and fork. 

Pumpkin Pie

AI   Child Led

Today we decided to cut open the top of our pumpkins to explore the inside. We talked about the celebration Halloween and turning our Pumpkins into "Jack O lanterns"
The children helped by pulling the pulp and scooping seeds using their hands and spoons. We explored the texture and how it felt sticky and stringy.

We talked about what we could do with the pulp such as make soup or pumpkin pie.

Bird Feeders

During our world health day celebrations the children placed bird feeder outside so that we could look after the wild life in our area. We recognise the importance of taking care of nature as well as our own wellbeing.Today during our outdoor focus time we investigated our bird feeders to see if any animals had used them! To our surprise their were visible marks to show that they had been used.

 Our pupils were delighted!

What a success!

Winnie the Witch

Today we had a visit from our very kind witch Winnie. Winnie was a little shy but let the children play with her potions, brooms and spell cards. 

The children dressed up in costumes to take on the role of a witch around the cauldron. Mrs. T helped the children make their very own broomsticks using branches and sticks.

Pumpkin Size Ordering 

This week we have explored the language of size using a range of pumpkins, which links nicely to our Autumn theme this term. 
Teaching focus on language of size smallest, smaller small, medium, big, bigger and biggest.
The children were able to compare the size of pumpkins using language of smallest, smaller small, medium, big, bigger and biggest. We also included language of weight such as heavy. 
Not only did this subject link to mathematics but it also gave our children the opportunity to wait for their turn and carefully pass the pumpkin around considering how to pass to each other.

World Mental Health Day 

Early Years have learnt the importance of looking after our "brain" and "mind". We used the internet to research a range of activities that we could complete to help our "wellbeing".
As a result we took part in peer massage, yoga, mindfulness and  breathing techniques using our very own hand made dragon. 
We also learnt how fun it is to learn a new skill and decided to make some bread like our character the Little Red Hen. The children worked as a team to knead, roll, pour and mix our ingredients. We then got to take our bread home as a treat. 
We spent some time outdoors placing bird feeders in our outdoor provision, gazing at clouds and laying down on our backs in the grass. We sat quietly and listened to the world go by. The children also spotted a range of insects such as butterflies and watched in ore as they flitted past. 
Finally we wanted to spread awareness and make other people feel happy. We decided to give each adult in our school a small token of kindness by giving them a small positive message. 

Who Will Help me Make The Bread?

Today in early years we followed Little Red Hen's recipe to make some crusty white bread. We followed instructions and took turns in mixing, pouring, kneading, rolling and snipping.  The children shaped their bread into a hedgehog and took snips with scissors. 

The Importance of Following Recipes

After exploring some of the clues left in our "bakery" the children wanted to use some of the ingredients found to make bread. The children in nursery thought that we might be able to make bread using flour and water after looking briefly at our recipe.

The adults encouraged the children to add water and explore their curiosity. However, we soon realised that we needed to follow the recipe to make bread. Our school cook  came to the rescue and went through our recipe, we now know that we need all the ingredients, correct measurements and equipment before trying to make cook and bake.


Friendship Bracelet

Following on from our friendship chain challenge, some of our pupils asked the adults if they could use the spare paper to make a bracelets for their new friend.

The children freely selected the resources needed from the writing area. The children still worked with their new partner and even used sellotape independently to put their bracelet on their partner!

Who will help us clean this mess?!

After our fabulous 5 star hygiene rating, you can imagine the sheer panic and shock that somebody had made a mess in our "bakery"!!Luckily the children of Elland C'E were on the case. They looked for clues and explored some of the things left behind such as flour, red feathers and a bread recipe... We also worked as a team to clean our bakery. We then used our playdough to practise kneading and folding our dough.

The Friendship Chain Challenge has Returned!!!

One of our favourite challenges has yet again made an appearance this academic year. The friendship chain challenge encourages children to pair up with a partner they usually don't work with. It teaches the importance of sharing, listening to the wishes and needs of others, as well as compromising.It was wonderful to see that even though our chains broke, the children still worked closely with their new friend!

Enhancing Provision with signs

Who would have known adding a simple hygiene rating in our playdough would spark such imagination and wonder from our pupils.This simple activity has taught our children the important of keeping our playdough "bakery" safe and clean. Our children where determined to get a 5 star rating after our very first "inspection" in which the bakery nearly shut down!!

People Who Help Us

UTW, C&L & PSED Today Elland C of E were lucky enough to have a visit from our lovely local police officers. We had a great opportunity to explore the role of police officers and how they help our community. We discussed the importance of "making good choices". The police officers allowed our pupils to try on some uniform as well as explore their equipment. We will make sure to wave to our friendly police officers when they are in our local area. On the last slide you will see that our guests inspired some role play from our students.

We Love Playdough

AI PD, W, EAD & C&LThis week the children have been learning a range of new skills in the playdough area. Mrs G taught the children how to shape and manipulate the playdough in a range of ways.
This term we have focused largely on our fine and gross motor skills to enable us to become effective writers.

The Odd One Out 

Mathematics, SSM, EAD & C&L
Child Initiated
During our "Busy Job's" some of our pupils decided to complete one of our maths challenges. They carefully followed on from our maths lesson by drawing a circle around the odd one out as well as explaining why. One pupil carefully explained to her partner why it was the odd one out explaining that "turtles have shells and them are frogs, not same odd one out"
One of our pupils even tried to write "odd one out" around the circle.

Afternoon Tea with Royalty 

CI and Adult led 
To our Suprise the Royal family came to visit our bakers this week. Adults demonstrated how we may act in front of the royal family and created a plot to our play by creating a feast fit for a King. 
We discussed hygiene and how our playdough table was messy and our work surface was full meaning that customers may not want to buy food from our bakery. As a result we tided up and only used the equipment that was needed. We looked at a cook book to guide us. 
The royal family requested "Juice" and "fairy buns". The two bakers carefully looked at the recipe. We discussed how each bun needed to be the same size to cook through properly. We used a weighing scale to help us. The children tried to put the buns in the microwave to cook, so we took a closer look at our recipe book which showed an oven. We transferred our learning to the home area where we placed the buns carefully into the oven. 
We talked about the importance of wearing gloves to protect our hands from the heat as well as using a cocktail stick to ensure the bun was cooked through. The two bakers examined for any cake batter before removing the buns from the oven. 
We waited for the buns to cool down before serving them to the royal family. 
weight, same, not the same, different, clean, hygiene, serve, cooked, batter and even. 

Who Will Save our Fair Maiden? 

PD, C&L, PSED, L & BI 
Child Initiated
During our "Busy Jobs" adults spotted terrific learning taking place. In the small world area some of our pupils were working together in a small team to create  a "castle house" and a "moat" around the castle. They carefully took turns adding bricks to their tower so that it was tall. The children discussed what parts of construction they would use to create a flag.  
Adults provided the children with small world princesses, queens and dragons to enhance their play. As a result one child decided to "capture" a princess in the Enchanted Forrest. Adult's helped the children make a plan to "save" the princess from the fire breathing dragon and the dark spell that had been cast. The children decided we needed a super hero or fairy god mother to save the princess. We then created a new spell that would break the "curse" - Bibbity Bobbity Boo I release you.
New vocabulary:
enchanted, moat, tower, draw bridge, curse, cast, save, royal and problem.

Learning New Skills  

Sewing EADL, PD, EAD, SSM & CL 

As part of our topic we decided to learn how to thread a jumper on our very own bear using a needle and some rainbow string. The children concentrated and listened carefully to instructions so that they were able to sew carefully. The children also focused on their hand and eye co-ordination.

Child Led Learning 

Adults have been keen to follow the interests of our pupils. Early this week we have observed students talking about castles, princess and kings in their play. As a result we transformed our home corner into a palace fit for royals. 
We have focused on taking on the role of a character and creating plots in our play. We also introduced the challenge of writing the t sound on our white board to encourage letter formation practice. For our younger pupils we have provided the challenge of preparing a banquet fit for a King as well as drawing 
Next step to introduce vocabulary:
monarchy, reign, carriage, royal, throne, heir, princess, prince, king and queen



During our "busy jobs" adults spotted wonderful learning led by students.Some of our pupils had selected to read the story of 'We are Going on a Bear Hunt' as well as using puppets to take on the role of a character.

We are Going on a Bear Hunt role play  


Our core book this term is We are Going on a Bear Hunt. As part of our literacy lesson our pupils helped to create small tuff trays based of the settings we have discussed and explored in our story. The children worked in small groups  to recreate the setting in trays whilst looking at the images in our large floor book to support their ideas. The children then had the opportunity to re-tell the story using small world figures and a large floor book as a guide. This activity allowed our children to explore the story physically as well as join in with repeated refrains. Following on from this activity we have now explored sequencing the settings in order as part of our understanding of stories and story structure.

Playdough Portraits


As part of our enhancements this week adults added face templates and mirrors  to provision so that our pupils had the opportunity to explore portraits in abstract context. This activity also links to our next step of developing our fine and gross motor skills so that we can become effective and confident writers.

Vocabulary:reflection, unique, features, detail, roll, squeeze, shape and mould

Balancing Beams  

This week we have learnt how to create our very own balancing beam based off our interest of pirates. Previously we made planks to jump off our pirate ship. however this week, we worked as a team to select resources and move boards into the correct position. To add more challenge we decided to add balls, bean bags and cones to our task. This meant that children had to work on their hand and eye co-ordination as well as learning how to carefully travel across our beam. The children started to pass the ball between cones to further challenge themselves.PD, fine motor & gross motorPSED, C&L

Discovering books around the stove 

Child Initiated Play  

R, C&L & BI 

During provision our pupils selected a range of empty boxes and turned into “beds”. They carefully selected cushions and material to use as blankets. Their play progressed by using the boxes to have a comfortable reading experience. One of our pupils referred to camping next to the bear cave and wanted to create a “stove” so that they cook some food.  

Vocabulary: reading, comfortable, cosy, camping, turning, looking, imagining, pretending 

A Pirate's Life is For Me!

Our children have shown an interest in pirates this term. As a result we have followed their interest and allowed them to be in charge of their learning guiding the adults.

During our independent Busy Jobs some of our pupils decided to make an eye patch using string and large shapes. This week we have learnt our new pirate chant:eye patch, pirate hat, Swashbucklers cheer OOHHH ARGH!

Where will the wind take us?


We had a perfect opportunity to explore our great British weather. During our outdoor session the children where given the opportunity to explore wind and jumping in puddles. As an extension of this task Mrs G gave the children ribbon so that they could explore the feeling of material blowing in the wind as well as encourage vocabulary and repetition of our core book  We're Going on a Bear Hunt. The children loved repeated phrases of our story as they traveled around our outdoor unit. 

Vocabulary repeated refrains: 

Swishy Swashy, HOOOO WOOOOO, Squelch Squerch, Splish Splash, Splosh Splash

Funky Fingers 

Tummy Time, Doodle sticks and Scissor skills 

PD, L & EAD  

Adults in early years have encouraged our pupils to explore fine motor and gross motor activities. During our ‘Busy Jobs’ we have introduced tummy time in which the children are encouraged to make large, doodle sticks in which they use large muscles to make letter formations and shapes in the air and scissors skills to support our finger strength as well as learning a new skill. 

We have had lots of fun exploring the many ways we can make marks and draw pictures.

Whatever the Weather  

Our pupils have been learning how to put on their all in ones and wellies when completing outdoor busy jobs. This is a part of our ethos in which we encourage children to become independent within their ‘busy jobs’. Our activities have been carefully planned based on our children’s interest of pirates and paint as well as the need to develop both our fine motor and gross motor skills to enable us to effectively write!  

We have enjoyed scrubbing the deck of our pirate ship the Great Jolly Rodger. The children used soapy water to clean the windows and scrub the deck of our pirate ship! 

We have also enjoyed using powder paint to explore making marks outside as well as painting our friendship bench!  

 New vocabulary  

Scrubbing, brushing, wiping, cleaning, pirates, Jolly Rodger, mixing, painting, stroking, splashing, pouring, squeezing.

Next steps in action 

Having reflected on our previous work and adults noticing a need for fine motor intervention, we held our first BIG DRAW. Our first session focused on following instructions, holding our whiteboard pens correctly and making marks that represented our faces. 

 We learnt how to sit smartly with our boards, pens and rubbers and how to look after our pens. We then followed instructions and small steps on how to draw a face.  

We recapped previous learning by talking about face features and how to position our pens and move them in the correct direction when drawing a circle.  

 EAD, PD, L-W, BI & CL  

New vocabulary:  

First, second, third, finally  

Curved, round, long, short, thin and thick

There is a Brown Bear in our Playground… 

Mrs Riley managed to take a picture of the Brown Bear as he stood proudly on our steps. The children began to wonder where Bear’s live and if he might be lost.  

This created a class discussion in which the children suggested many great ideas. Bears live in forests, woods and caves. As a result the children where set off with a task for creating a cave for Brown Bear if he comes back this evening.  

The children worked in a small team to make a cave that was wide enough for our bear. They used a range of boxes and construction material.  


We are Going on a Bear Hunt 

BI, PD, L, C&L & M 

Mrs Kelly saw a Brown furry shadow in our playground. The children thought it might have been a Brown Bear. As a result the children wanted to explore our outdoor environment to investigate. We packed a bag with camouflage clothing, gloves, notebook and pencil and magnifying glasses. The children decided we might also need a bucket of water, fish and a teddy bear because the Bear might be thirsty, hungry or need a friend.  

During our investigation we found lots of clues. We found scratch marks on our tree bark, footprints small and large. We also noticed our fence was broken with pieces of wood missing.

Following the interests of children  CI 

Areas of development- EAD, PD & CL 

One of our pupils wanted to make the colours brown and pink for skin tone. We took this opportunity to learn about mixing colours. We used our colour chart to select the appropriate colours. Adults modelled how to get the correct amount of paint and mix using a paint brush.  

Whole class lesson on mixing colours  AI

Following on from our pupil’s interest we created a lesson on mixing colours. The children each selected two colours and painted them on their hands. They then mixed the colours by rubbing their hands to see what new colour they have produced!  

Creating Independence during Tidy Up Time   

This term we are encouraging children to become independent during their busy jobs. We learnt how to wash up after using paint in the creative area. The children learnt how to use a sponge and warm soapy water to remove any paint from our trays.  

Once the trays had been cleaned the children learnt how to dry their trays using a paper towel. 

We also learnt how to clean down our tables and easels using hot soapy water, sponges and paper towels.  


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