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A very warm welcome!


This web page is the place where we will keep you updated on our school experience, learning and other exciting developments.




At Shay Lane Primary School, our Foundation Stage Unit is made up of Nursery and Reception Class.


Our Early Years Vision is to:






The Foundation Stage is important in its own right; the curriculum for the Early Years Foundation Stage is designed to meet the diverse needs of all children, enabling most to achieve the Early Learning Goals and, where appropriate, go beyond.  Children aged three to five constantly encounter new experiences and seek to understand them, extending their skills, developing confidence and building on what they already know.  Children deepen their understanding through playing, talking, observing, planning, questioning, experimenting, testing, repeating, reflecting, and responding to adults and to each other. Structured and well-planned play, both indoors and outdoors, is the key to learning with enjoyment and challenge. At Shay Lane we strive to provide the best possible start to your child’s school life. 

The Foundation Stage Curriculum is arranged in seven areas of learning:

Three prime areas

Personal social and emotional development

Communication and language

Physical Development

Four specific areas



Understanding the world

Expressive art and design

We also teach phonics using the Letters and Sounds phases and the Read, Write, Inc scheme by Ruth Miskin.

September 2019

Welcome to a new school year. We are really looking forward to settling in and getting to know our new reception children.

Our web page is a great place to see what your children have been up to during their very busy days at school.  Please find below some of the wonderful activities that we enjoyed in the last academic year and watch this space for more exciting developments!


       After receiving an urgent letter from West Yorkshire Police, Reception class donned their (invisible) detective hats and set to work. The team of freelance investigators took time to examine the crime scene, where they discovered:

Cupcakes falling out of a basket;

Mysterious animal footprints;

Pretty flowers;

A red cape;

A messed up bed;

Glasses, nightie (with granny name label) and a hat/cap;

A finger print;

A get well soon card, with kisses after the message.

Analysing the Evidence 

Upon returning back to Classroom HQ, the officers discussed the evidence and tried to reach a conclusion. They communicated effectively to share and record their ideas. It wasn’t long before they realised that the criminal on the loose was The Big, Bad Wolf! The team realised that Mr Wolf had clearly been up to no good, following Little Red Riding Hood around and trying to eat her granny!  After obtaining further information, it became apparent that the wolf has run away (after a scare from a helpful woodcutter) and is now looking for little pigs to eat.

As a reward for all their hard work, the honorary police officers were allowed to tuck in to the abandoned cupcakes.

Check out the pictures to see just how hard everybody worked. Keep an eye out for Miss Butterfield, who innocently came into our Classroom HQ during the police operation and couldn’t quite believe her eyes and ears! We promised to catch the culprit and keep her safe.


o-FISH-ial business

When the children in Reception Class decided that they would like a pet fish, lots of action needed to be taken. First of all, the children wrote letters (and drew pictures) for Mrs Melgram, asking if we would be allowed a pet fish. When the answer to this question was YES, the magic started to happen. After waiting patiently for a little while, there was much excitement when our TWO little friends arrived. We spent lots of time observing the fish and learning how to care for them. We couldn’t, however, decide upon names for the little guys. We sent out special tickets, inviting our families to take part in a ‘name the fish’ competition. The response, from both Nursery and Reception families, was amazing! Our lucky winner was Elena, who suggested Ariel and Bumblebee, and had her ticket pulled out of a box on competition day.

The Reception Team wanted to celebrate our fishy friends’ new names, so everybody produced their own, individual piece of art work that they have requested be put on display around the aquarium. We really love our pets!

Time to think…

We have got a rather interesting new area in our Foundation Stage Unit. It is a quiet, reflective place where we can take time to think and explore our feelings. Some children in Reception Class had said that they would like a quiet place in the classroom. The children played a part in preparing the area by talking about different feelings and taking photographs of each other, ready to be used in different activities. We had lots of fun, matching our faces to feelings and thinking of a variety of emotions that we may have. Check out the pictures of us trying to show different emotions, using our facial expressions! We also had some serious moments, discussing our worries (that we then fed to William, the worry monster) and talking about how we can change the way that we feel during the course of the day. Lots of children said that they would find ways to make their friends feel happy and that they would deal with their worries, together. In our school, we like to recognise our emotions and find ways to express them. We know that we can visit our reflective area, and take time to think, when we feel that we need to.


A fabulous time was had by all, dressing in red and raising money for charity. We particularly enjoyed our special biscuits, kindly made by Mrs Heinz in the kitchen. We learned all about Red Nose Day, and how our money helps people less fortunate than ourselves.


Mrs Preston bagged this coveted award after running laps with her class, at VERY high speed. What Mrs Poppleton didn't know was that Mrs Preston was only running so fast because she was fed up of the children overtaking her!

The Appliance of Science

For Science week, Lenny (our looking, listening and learning lizard) had a Big, Big Question for us. He wanted to know how to get chocolate (a tasty product of the rainforest) onto his fruit, so that he could eat them together. This question was handed over to the children, who immediately started sharing ideas and theories on what we could do. Lenny enjoyed it when we tested out some of these ideas – especially when we tried to put the banana on top of the chocolate egg, and it just kept falling off! There was also much amusement when Mrs Preston smashed an egg into little pieces, covering her skirt and the floor (and some children) in chocolate shards! They still didn’t stick to the banana, though.

After much discussion and investigation, Toby (from Nursery) suggested that we MELT the chocolate. The children were excited by this idea and made a list of all the ways that we could melt the chocolate.

The next day, marvellous Miss Martin magically provided a microwave and we got to work. First of all, we watched some scientific videos about changing states, and learned the difference between a solid and a liquid. Then we started to melt the tasty treat in the microwave. Even Mrs Preston and Miss Martin were amazed as the chocolate changed from a solid to a liquid! The best bit, though, was the tasting. Our liquid chocolate stuck to the bananas and we enjoyed eating them, in small groups. As the morning went on, lots of us noticed that the liquid chocolate changed back into a solid as it cooled down.

From Bean to Bar

As part of Science Week, Foundation Stage have been learning about different foods that come from the jungle/rainforest. Imagine the children’s surprise when they learned that chocolate is a product of the jungle! We discussed the fact that the chocolate doesn’t just grow on a tree, all wrapped up in a tasty bar. We watched a special video that showed us how cacao beans are transformed into delicious, smooth chocolate. The machines at the chocolate factory crush, mix, melt and mould the chocolate, before wrapping it up and sending it out to supermarkets across the country. Did you know that white chocolate is actually made with cocoa butter?

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, we then tasted milk and white chocolate. The children enjoyed talking about the flavour and texture of the different chocolate, before deciding upon their favourite.

Totally Tropical Taste

As part of our Jungle/Rainforest topic, we have been learning all about the different food that comes from this amazing place. Our families have been kind enough to donate money to our Make and Bake fun (thank you, families!) so we were able to provide some real tropical fruits for the children to taste. The tasting team started by passing around the different items, taking time to use their senses and describe what they could see, smell and feel. Then the fun began! Everybody got stuck in to the tasting, rating the flavours as they went along.

When the tasting was over, we decided upon our favourites and made a pictogram to show our results. Mrs White was the only person in the whole class to choose pink grapefruit, making this our least popular fruit. The pineapple was the winner, achieving the most votes. We the used our pictogram to investigate the information and talk about what we found out.


In Foundation Stage, we had a whale of a time, celebrating World Book Day. Lots of children (and teachers) dressed to impress for this special occasion so we started our day with a fashion show.

Reception Class really spread their wings and flew, making symmetrical butterfly paintings to go alongside our Julia Donaldson Monkey Puzzle book. There was also a mysterious Julia Donaldson jigsaw hunt, to challenge our puzzling skills.

In the afternoon, there was a special assembly for the whole school, where Finley and Casey were awarded prizes for their cool costumes.

What a wonderfully busy World Book Day we had!

Chinese New Year!

What a wonderful time Foundation stage have had celebrating this special festival. We started our week by learning about Chinese culture and the reasons for this celebration. We could not believe that China is almost on the other side of the world! We used technology to research how Chinese New Year is celebrated. Some of the facts that we found out were: people clean the house to welcome in the New Year; people wear fancy new clothes; red is thought to be a lucky colour so people often wear red and receive money in a red envelope; many people attend a special parade where there are dragons, fireworks, dancing and special food. The children decided that they would like their own Chinese New Year Parade so we made a list of things to prepare. It was so much fun, making our own Chinese dragons and the authentic food was delicious! Check out some pictures of our Chinese dancing!

Everybody Cut Footloose

Lenny (our looking, listening and learning lizard) had a Big, Big Question for us this week. He wanted to know how we could find out who has the BIGGEST feet in our class. The children took a lead role in investigating this question, spending lots of time talking to each other and trying different techniques. Some children predicted that Matthew would have the biggest feet, because he is the tallest member of our class. Over the space of a week, lots of ideas were shared and tried, with Mrs preston asking extra questions to help everybody to think about the problem from all angles. As a team, we made a mind map of our ideas and findings, as we went along. If an idea didn't work, we tried again, and again, and again! In the end, the team decided to draw around their bare feet (as their shoes may have made their feet seem bigger) and cut out a paper foot for every class member.  We then lined up the feet so that we could compare them.  We enjoyed working with our paper feet, moving them around and talking about them. We even used lots of mathematical language to describe our ideas and findings.

Imagine our shock, surprise and delight when we discovered that Sofija and Matthew's feet are exactly the same size AND the biggest in the class! The children then wanted to have their feet in our maths area, so Mrs White kindly laminated them and found a special box for them, so that the children could continue investigating and comparing. We are Massive Maths Masters! 

Road safety

This week, we received a very special delivery in Foundation Stage. A green box was left for us with a very important message inside.  We read a story called Teddy Takes a Tumble. It was all about a boy called Billy and his best friend, teddy. They did everything together and went everywhere with each other. One day, on the way to Grandma’s, a cat ran out in front of their car. Unfortunately, Teddy did not have his seat belt on and when mum stopped the car quickly, teddy was hurt.  At the end of the story, Teddy was ok and Billy remembered to ALWAYS fasten his seatbelt.

Foundation Stage had a wonderful discussion about road safety and how wearing your seatbelt keeps you safe. We even listened to some songs and stories about road safety, and promised to be safe, all of the time.

We Can Hula!

During our discussion about the school value of determination, Mrs Preston shared her story about being determined to learn a particular trick (called The Vortex) on her hula hoop. The children quickly jumped on board with encouragement and cries of, “Don’t give up!”

Eventually, Mrs Preston nailed the trick. Amazing! Everybody was then eager to have a go at their own hula tricks, and we spent a lovely afternoon, trying our best and being determined to get it right.


Following all of our work on determination, the children did a class assembly, in front of the whole school, and spoke about the things that they are determined to do. They also made Mrs P show her trick to the whole school. Mr Wright unexpectedly dropped in to the assembly (he had clearly heard that it was exciting) and he even had a turn with the hoop!

Christmas Party Day!

The Christmas season is always lots of fun in school! Today, we have been full of joy and feeling excited about our Foundation Stage Christmas Party. Our party day started with a festive fashion parade, where we all showed off our party clothes. There was lots of merriment, as we realised that lots of us were wearing matching outfits!

After a special visit from Mary and Joseph (who were en route to Bethlehem) we went into the hall for dancing, singing, games and special party food. There was plenty of Christmas cheer to go round and a very merry time was had by all.

Mary and Joseph’s Journey


What a special day we have had! Foundation Stage were privileged to be visited by Mary, Joseph and their donkey, on the way to Bethlehem.

We retold the Christmas story and added songs from our own school nativity play. After that, we took Mary and Joseph to our Christmas party. They enjoyed sitting under the tree and watching our festive celebrations.

After the party, we wished them a safe onward journey to Bethlehem.

Women's Vote

In respect of the 100 year anniversary of the vote for women, Foundation Stage got together to talk about what makes us special. We decided that everybody is unique and that this is a good thing. We then discussed equality and how it is important that we are all different but all equal. The children couldn’t believe that boys and girls have not always been equal, like we are today. In celebration of our wonderful world we decorated biscuits in the suffragette colours

Children in Need!

What a fantastic fundraising day we have had! It all began with using the computer to research the reasons behind this special day. Foundation Team found out that Children in Need started 38 years ago and since then has raised millions and millions of pounds to help those not as fortunate as us.

We made a class mindmap to record all of the things that we thought children might need help with, for example, somewhere to help them if they are poorly, clothes, food and clean water.

We learned a totally awesome Children in Need dance and had a fantastic time using our creative craft skills to make our own Pudsey ears. Thank you for all your donations. We have really enjoyed supporting Children in Need 2018.

Set sail on the good ship friendship!

This week has been anti-bullying week. We attended a special assembly, where we learned more about this important issue.

Back in class we worked with our new friend, Lenny the Looking and Listening Lizard, to explore the idea of how to be a good friend. First of all, we talked to each other about friendship and how to be a good friend. Then we carefully passed Lenny around and told him our ideas. Mrs Preston recorded our thoughts on a whole class mind map, which we kept referring to during the week, to make sure that we were all being good friends.

In our school, we say no to bullying and yes to friendship.



As part of our topic on Fantastic Festivals, we have been learning all about the Hindu festival of Diwali. Foundation Stage teamed up and used technology to research facts. These are some that we found:

  • Diwali celebrates new beginnings;
  • People call it The Festival of Light and make special diva lamps;
  • There is a story about Rama and Sita, where diva lamps lit their way home;
  • Hindus eat special food and wear special clothes;
  • There might be fireworks to celebrate this special time.

One of our favourite facts was that during Diwali, people often do special dances. We learned a dance all about the five days of Diwali and how it is celebrated. After this, we went into the hall where we performed the dance and even practised some freestyle Diwali dance moves! Lots of children were confident enough to demonstrate their dances to the rest of Foundation Stage.

Veggies Assemble!

Today, we did our first ever class assembly, in front of the whole school. We just so happened to be dressed as zombies, witches and vampires (it was also our Halloween disco day) but our show was all about vegetables, Harvest and Supertato.

We started by singing our special song about a Big, Red Combined Harvester. The audience were still applauding our fabulous singing as we launched into showing our observational paintings of vegetables. As if that wasn’t enough, we delighted them further with our team rendition of the Supertato story. Even the older children joined in with all the sound effects! What a super chance to share our work with the rest of Shay lane.

Halloween Disco!

Foundation Stage had a spoooktacular Halloween Disco Day. We arrived at school in our fang-tastic costumes and started the day with a fashion parade. We read a spoooooky story and then got our dancing shoes on ready for the party. In the hall, there was singing, dancing, sliding on knees and party food! A big thank you to the PTFA for providing snacks and prizes. Congratulations to Alfie who won the scariest outfit in Foundation Stage and Eve who scooped the award of cutest costume.


Smashing Pumpkins

After saving The Number Gnome’s winter squash collection from The Evil Pea, Finley and Tommy noticed that some of the vegetables were cracked. They really wanted to see inside, and talked about what they thought it would look like. Tommy thought it would be like a lemon, whereas Finley thought it would have pips inside. I challenged them to find a safe, effective and scientific way to get into the mysterious squashes. Before long, the boys had assembled a whole team, experimenting with dropping the vegetables from different heights and hitting them on different surfaces. When we finally cracked them and got inside, I am sure that people in Scarborough heard the cheer! We then had lots of fun, using our senses to explore these wonderful vegetables even more closely.

Defeating The Evil Pea

In Reception Class, we are very keen on vegetables and we have been really enjoying stories about Supertato and his arch nemesis, The Evil Pea. 

Early one Autumn morning, Charlie noticed that The Number Gnome was making a fuss. Now, he often wears his fussy beard but we hadn’t even finished the register so we knew it must be something serious. Imagine our shock (and horror) when we realised that The Number Gnome's collection of winter squashes had mysteriously disappeared. All that was left behind was a note and a clipboard. We soon worked out that this was the doing of our arch nemesis… THE EVIL PEA!

The cheeky green guy had taken the vegetables hostage, hiding them in the woodland area. He challenged us to find every single one, and even said that we would never be able to!

We nominated James as the Clipboard Master and set off on our woodland odyssey, determined to show The Evil Pea a thing or two! We used our super sight to find the squashes, and our super strength to carry them. We used our tremendous teamwork skills to tick each one off on the clipboard and check our findings.

Thanks, Benny. We think you are one in a melon!

Benny brought in a watermelon to add to our interactive fruit and veg display. After investigating, drawing and painting the watermelon, Benny suggested that we eat it. We invited nursery along for the feast and couldn’t wait to see inside this special treat. We got stuck into the melon, spilling juice all over our chins, our jumpers, the carpet and each other! Everybody was really excited and said a big Thank You to Benny for sharing the marvellous melon.

Taste the Difference

During our topic of Getting to know you (getting to know all about you) we investigated our senses.  A letter went home, asking families to donate interesting vegetables for our interactive veggie-table display. We had lots of fun looking at, touching,  smelling and tasting the vegetables. We also discussed the fact that we don't always eat a whole vegetable, and we tasted things that include vegetables such as garlic bread and coleslaw. We even rated the taste in a special challenge activity. A big thank you to all the families who donated something tasty or interesting.

Massive Maths

In Reception Class, we have a friend called The Number Gnome. He just loves numbers and can be a little bit sneaky and cheeky, setting challenges for us to do and making a fuss about various things. 

This week, The Number Gnome has gone bonkers for conkers, after lots of children brought them into school! Today, he was making a fuss about his number cards because they had been muddled up during busy time and he needed to check that they were all there. We worked as a whole team to order the numbers and check, then we broke off into smaller teams to match quantities of conkers to the numbers. We had a fabulous time and even noticed that The Number Gnome was wearing his happy beard by the end of the challenge!


Outdoor Learning

Anything we can do inside, we can also do outside! The sunny autumn weather has given us plenty of opportunities to get stuck into some outdoor learning, including some practical maths and problem solving challenges.


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Getting to Know You (getting to know all about you)

What a wonderful start to the school year! We have had lots of fun getting to know each other and settling into our new classrooms. We are having a great time exploring our environment and accessing the different areas. In Foundation Stage we are singers, dancers, actors, builders, artists, explorers and so many other things. 

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