Banks St Stephens CE Primary School

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22nd July 19
Trail : home / Classes : Pre-School


Welcome to Pre-School


Our Pre-School is a warm and welcoming environment with a variety of learning opportunities both indoors and outdoors. Children join our class in the term after their third birthday and we provide a calm, happy and nurturing start to school life. 

Mrs Moore is our class teacher and she has the brilliant support of our class teaching assistant, Mrs Buxton.

We love to share what we have been learning about in class, so please visit this page regularly to see all our exciting activities!

Graduation Assembly

Today we celebrated our last few days in Pre-School with our graduation assembly. Our mummies, daddies and other loved ones came to watch us perform some of our favourite songs we have sung this year and listened to us talk about what we want to be when we grow up. We all did so well with our singing, dancing and speaking skills and we made our teachers and loved ones so proud! What a great way to end our Pre-School year!


Good luck 2019 graduates - enjoy your adventures in your new Reception classes!

Jelly Babies Day

This wednesday the children in Pre-School and Reception were each given a Jelly Baby to take care of for the day. We discussed the best ways to take care of them: perhaps building homes or cars or prams for them; what would we do with them when we were playing outside or using the toilets, could we choose a friend we could trust to take care of them; how could we keep our Jelly Babies safe at dinner time so we didn't accidentally eat them?! So much to consider and discuss. Some children couldn't resist the temptation and ate their Jelly Babies almost straight away! Lots of other children built creative constructions in which to store their Jelly babies and managed to care for their Jelly Babies all day. One child even took such good care of his Jelly Baby that he brought it back to school the next day! What a day learning about responsibilty and caring for others!

Summer 2 Week 4

This week we have really enjoyed sharing Dinosaur stories. We have read all of ‘The Dinosaur That Pooped…’ series and created our own class story, thinking about the beginning, middle and ending of our story. This helped us later on in the week when we created our own dinosaur stories and told them to Mrs Moore who wrote them down for us. We are a very imaginative bunch! Our older children, who are moving to Reception soon, designed and wrote cards for our new teachers to introduce ourselves and find out more about them. Those of us moving up to Mrs Melling’s class were very excited to present her with our cards! In maths we have begun to have a focus on shapes and have enjoyed exploring shapes indoors and out. We are loving being outdoors in our glorious summer weather!

Summer 2 Week 3

On Wednesday this week we joined the rest of the school in celebrating Science Day. Our theme was ‘Keeping Healthy’ and so we found out all about the jobs that doctors and nurses do. We learnt about healthy foods and exercising to keep healthy. We drew healthy lunchboxes to show our new knowledge. Later on in the day we investigated what effect fizzy pop has. We dropped some raisins into water and saw that nothing happened, we then dropped raisins into lemonade and watched as the bubbles attached to the raisins and the raisins then danced up and down! With the very hot weather this week we learnt more about sun safety and packed a sunshine suitcase with objects that can help to keep us safe in the sun. In maths this week we were thinking about 1 more than. 

Summer 2 Week 2

This week we have started our Dinosaurs theme!! On Monday we came into class to discover a dinosaur nest, with 4 frozen dinosaur eggs! We explore the feel of the eggs and discussed how we could help the dinosaurs to hatch, using words including cold, smooth, melt, wet, hot and cold. Later on we created Wanted posters to help us to find the mummy dinosaur. We used the internet to find out facts about dinosaurs, watching clips of the world they lived in, what dinosaurs looked like and how long ago they lived. We watched a video to find out all about the Brachiosaurus and then created one out of cardboard in the garden, before painting it with big brushes! In PE this week we practised balancing with quoits and then played games to roll the quoits. We have even been able to enjoy some cold ice-pops in this week’s sunshine!

Summer 2 Week 1

This week we settled back into our school routine and got to know what our friends had been up to over the half term break. We chatted about our exciting holidays and drew pictures to show our news. In maths we were matching amounts on keys to numerals on padlocks to open them up, using both our mathematical and our fine motor skills. During the break Mrs Moore took our class chrysalides home and our butterflies hatched out, so Mrs Moore filmed them and showed us the video of our butterflies emerging and later flying off into her garden. We learnt about celebrating the men we love on Father’s Day and made cards for our daddies and grandads. We also used ‘deconstructed roleplay’ to create some imaginative creations, including a rocket, a boat and a motorbike!

Woodland Music

During one of our weekly visits to the school woods, we decided to explore what sort of instruments we could create using the natural objects we found in the woods. We explored different ways that these objects could make sounds and then came together to create our 'Woodland Orchestra'. Listen to our fantastic music making that we explored in the woods that day!

Summer 1 Week 4

This week we read The King of Tiny Things and thought about how we should care for all tiny creatures. In the story the characters go camping in their grandparents back garden, so we watched clips about camping and set up our own camping roleplay area. When we visited the woods on Wednesday we came across a fairy door and used our imagination skills and language skills to discuss who might live behind the fairy door and why it might be in our woods. The very next day a fairy house appeared in class with a letter letting us know a fairy had moved in as she was so impressed with how we take care of tiny creatures! Lots of us then decided to make fairy wands out of sticks and gems and left them next to the fairy house for our fairy friend! We have continued observing our caterpillars and have noticed that this week they seem to be hanging from the roof of their tub a lot, and we predict they are preparing to enter their chrysalis stage. On Friday we learnt about Ramadan in the Muslim faith and made our own Ramadan paper lanterns!

Summer 1 Week 3

This week we continued with our Caterpillar theme, finding out more facts and then using our school IPads to record us telling our facts to each other. We have also named our caterpillars and they are called (as named by the children): Peter, Ruby, Billy, Bodie and Jasmine. We read the story Superworm which linked in nicely with the rhyming activities we did this week. We listened to poems and played games to match rhyming words. In maths we explored the number 6 and then spent lots of time in provision practising writing numbers. We were super excited to hear about the new Royal Baby this week and we drew pictures for the new Baby Archie to send to him in a card from our class. We hope we get a reply! This week we also learnt that some people have different beliefs to us and found out about Hinduism. We looked at some Hindu artefacts and then had a go at creating our own Rangoli patterns.

Summer 1 Week 2

Our class caterpillars arrived this week! We were so excited to meet them and we have come up with some class rules to look after the caterpillars. Every day we have caterpillar monitors who make sure they are being looked after properly. We have been finding out lots of facts about caterpillars and learning about the butterfly life cycle. We used our time in the woodland to go on a minibeast hunt, ticking off the minibeasts as we found them, and used our PE time to do a stretchy and relaxing Very Hungry Caterpillar yoga activity! We have been singing minibeast songs and drawing minibeast pictures. In maths we have been learning about the number 5 and using our focus activities to order numbers to 10. We also drew pictures of our sunflower saplings and even had a go at using our early writing skills to label them!

Summer 1 Week 1

We came back to school this week with lots to talk about, sharing all our exiting news about our activities over the Easter holidays. We have begun our new theme for this half term ‘Minibeasts’ and have begun to read and become familiar with the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We have enjoyed beginning to learn some facts about caterpillars this week too. We continued with our Easter theme by having egg and spoon races in PE. We also began our weekly visits to the woodland again, this week we learnt about what sorts of minibeasts we might find in the woodland and went on a minibeast hunt. We found spiders, slugs, woodlice and flies! This week our number focus has been the number 4, and we linked it to shape remembering that squares have 4 sides. We have also begin to focus on recognising numerals and ordering numerals this week. Most enjoyable of all has been playing in our lovely grounds during the brilliant sunshine we have been having!

Spring 2 Week 6

This week has been all about Easter! We had our Easter Stay and Play where mummies, daddies, nannies and grandmas stayed in class to explore lots of Easter activities with us. We also had a special visit from Uncle Harry, the oldest submariner where we celebrated his 99th Birthday!! We decorated Easter cards and did lots of Easter crafts in class! On Thursday Easter bunny sent us a letter and we went on a chocolate hunt in the garden. He even came back to school the very next day to fill the Easter baskets we had made with chocolate treats! What an egg-citing week we had!

Happy Easter holidays!!!

Spring 2 Week 5

We were doing lots of number activities this week, matching numbers to amounts and learning all about the number 2. As part of learning about number 2 we played the card game ‘pairs’ which was lots of fun! We learnt about Mother’s Day, what it is and how it is celebrated, and decorated some cards for our mummies or special ladies that we love. We have also begun to think about Easter and whilst lots of us know all about the Easter Bunny and chocolate eggs, this week we heard the Easter Story and learnt about Jesus on the Cross. This week was also very exciting as the Maypole dancers were practising in the Key Stage One playground, so we went and had a go at Maypole dancing ourselves. We also noticed that some of the sunflower seeds we planted last week are beginning to grow!

Spring 2 Week 4

This week we have been singing I’m a Little Teapot as our rhyme of the week, playing with a teapot and teabags in our roleplay. As part of our literacy activity we sequenced a familiar nursery rhyme. In maths we explored the number one, thinking about what one looks like, what one of something looks like, and what happens when we add one more. We read Jasper’s Beanstalk and found out what seeds and plants need to grow before all planting a sunflower seed, whilst as part of our interest in human bodies this week we explored the names of the parts of our bodies and began to learn about how the inside of our bodies work. In RE we learnt the about the story of The Two Builders, and sang along to ‘The Wise Man Built His House upon the Rocks”.

Spring 2 Week 3

We have been reading Jack and the Beanstalk over the past week and explored how to retell it whilst thinking about the words ‘beginning, middle and end’ and what they mean. We used puppets to retell the beginning, middle and end of the story. In maths we have explored days of the week, reading stories that explore the different days of the week and exploring the words ‘yesterday, today and tomorrow’. Last week some of us were taking an interest in families and playing at having weddings and babies, so this week we explored how to look after babies. We watched a video where mummies and daddies went to hospital to have a special scan so they could see the babies growing in their tummies and we read stories about new babies. We even had a baby clinic in class with lots of dollies to take care of. Later in the week we learnt how to look after pets when a PDSA Vet Nurse came to visit. We ended the week celebrating Red Nose Day with lots of Red Nose activities in class!

Spring 2 Week 2

Our Nursery Rhyme of the week has been ‘5 Currant Buns in a Bakers Shop’. We have used this song to help us with our counting and numeral recognition. We even used real currant buns in our counting activities! We had some important days in school this week, with Shrove Tuesday and World Book Day. We found out all about Shrove Tuesday and how it is celebrated, as well as how pancakes are made. We wrote shopping lists of what we need to buy for pancakes and chose our own toppings for our pancakes before eating them. Some of us even chose to use knives and forks to eat them and did so very well! On Thursday we celebrated World Book Day, and lots of us dressed up as our favourite characters to celebrate! We made our own book marks and read stories with Year 3. We went to view the ‘library crime scene’ and drew pictures of the character we thought was responsible for the mess! We also had lots of imaginative play at our new ice cream shop in class.

Spring 2 Week 1

This week we have begun our new topic theme of Nursery Rhymes. Whilst singing lots of nursery rhymes every day in class, this week our Nursery Rhyme of the week has been Mary Mary Quite Contrary. We have been lining up flowers and cockle shells all in a row in class and drawing the flowers we observe. We have used our creative skills to cut flowers and create collages.

During the wonderful weather we had this week we had lots of fun outdoors, including going on a listening walk around the school grounds. We heard lots of sounds including a blackbird singing, aeroplanes flying overhead, and even other classes doing PE outdoors. We spotted some ants going about their business and listened carefully to see if we could hear their footsteps, but we decided that they are so small that we couldn’t hear them. Whilst outdoors we explored the daisies on the field and the trim trail too!

Spring 2: Nursery Rhymes

This half term our theme is Nursery Rhymes, and we will be exploring lots of Nursery Rhymes, their characters and the stories they tell! Follow the link below for some Nursery Rhymes from CBeebies, and keep an eye on our class page for updates of our Nursery Rhyme activities.


Spring 1: Animals

This half term we explored the theme of ‘Animals’. We began by reading the story Dear Zoo and learning about wild animals. We were particularly interested in fish and in tigers! We used our Dear Zoo story to help us match animals to homes, and even compared sizes of animals. We followed on by reading The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and learnt all about tigers by reading non-fictions texts, painting tigers and even decorating tiger biscuits!

We then moved onto to learn about farm animals, and read Farmer Duck to inspire our learning. We learnt about the different sounds animals on the farm make, and thought about our favourite animals. We used this opportunity to create a class pictogram of our favourite animals. We matched baby farm animals with their parents and became particularly interested in pigs! We were lucky enough to have a real farmer come and visit us and tell us about working on a farm.

We took part in the RSPBs Big Schools Birdwatch and spent a week learning about birds. We found out about lots of different species and watched lots of clips and read lots of non-fiction texts about birds. We made our own fat balls for bird feeders and hung them around the garden, and then observed to see which birds visited. Our new bird feeders went down a treat! We built our own bird hide to help us search for birds!

We explored animals which are kept as pets and spoke about our own pets, drawing lots of pictures of pets we have or would like to have. We learnt about what a vet does and had our own Veterinary surgery as our class role play area! We loved to use the vet tools to examine our stuffed animals, and even to examine each other!

We ended the half term by celebrating Chinese New Year – this year is the Year of the Pig. We created Chinese New Year decorations, tasted Chinese food and learnt about the story of Chinese New Year, and then had our own animal race in the yard with our masks on!

What a busy half term! Click through the photos below to see our learning in action.

Useful videos

Below are some videos that you may find useful in supporting your child's learning at home. 

1: 'Mr Thorne Phonics.' This video models how the single phoneme sounds are pronounced, and how your children will learn them in school.

2: 'Phonics Song.' This is a song we sing along to in class to introduce us to initial sounds.

3: '10 Little Numbers.' This is a song we sing along to in class to familiarise us with rote counting and recognising numerals.