Our Early Years Foundation Stages at Thornbury Primary School provides a warm and nurturing environment where our youngest learners can explore and discover the world around them through play-based activities and experiences.

About this class

General Information

What do I need to bring to school? 

Book Bags

Every child needs a book bag. These will be taken into the classroom and stored in a box. Our cloakrooms are cosy, so please can we ask for children not to being in an enormous rucksack. 

Water bottle

All children to bring a clear plastic, medium sized, bottle of water. Please can we ask for no metal bottles.  Bottles will need to be taken home at the end of each day. 

Fruit & Snack

All children in Foundation will be provided with one piece of fruit per day. However, children are invited to bring a piece of fruit from home if they wish.


All children under the age of 5 are entitled to free milk each day. Once your child turns 5, they will no longer get it for free. However, if you would like your child to have a carton of milk at snack time, please order this through

Additional Information

Are there any special moments during the week? 

Each week the children will take part in ‘Meadow Mondays’. Here they will participate in a range of outdoor learning activities. Come rain or shine, we put on our wellies and take our learning outside. Activities can range from creating bug hotels, weaving with natural materials, making clay faces on tress, mixing paint in the puddles and creating a story journey. Where possible, the learning is linked to the work taking place in the classroom. 

Every week we also take part in ‘Wonder Wednesdays’. Here we ask questions, making observations and sharing our findings like a real scientist. This year we have asked: how are clouds made? How does sound travel? How does yeast work? And what happens to gummy bears in water? 

Our PE Day is: Friday  


Phonics is taught through our chosen phonics programme, Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS). Children will experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills they need to become fluent independent readers and writers. ELS is a simple, consistent approach to teaching phonics that uses mnemonics and rhymes to support learning and recall.

We teach phonics every single day from the first days of Reception and install the use of “pure sounds” when we are pronouncing the sounds and supporting children in reading words. This means that when we say the sounds, we pronounce them c-a-t, not cuh-a-tuh. This technique enables our children to acquire the skills to read proficiently at an accelerated pace. 

More information about ELS can be found in the Literacy subject page. 

Cued Articulation

We also adopt the use of Cued Articulation. This is the use of hand movements to represent individual sounds. This shows children how and where the sound should be produced, and these movements represent sounds visually to compliment auditory information. Cued articulation supports sound awareness of everyone in the class, not just those with speech and language difficulties.


Each week, children will be provided with an Independent Book, a Challenge Book and a library book. The Independent Book has words that use the sounds they have acquired. The Challenge Book has words that use all of the sounds they have been exposed to in their Phonics sessions. The library book is a book that your child will choose, and it is for you to share together, with no expectation for the children to be able to read.

We ask that you please record any reading that you do at home in their reading diary which will go home in their book bags each day.

It is recommended that books are read at least three times. The first time the focus for children will be on sounding out and decoding the new words, the second time will allow children to focus on building fluency and speed of reading and the third time will allow children to focus on the story and develop comprehension and understanding of what they have read.

Books are changed on a Tuesday and a Friday.


Tapestry is the online learning journal we use at school to share your child’s achievements. We appreciate feedback from parents and encourage comments made following the observations we make in school. In addition to this we ask parents to include any observations of learning or achievements from home.

Yearly Overview of Foundation Stage

We plan to deliver the following topics over the year, although these are open to change.  This is because we often find learning opportunities following children’s interests or what is happening in the wider world.

  • Autumn 1 - All About Me
  • Autumn 2 - Tell Me a Story
  • Spring 1 - Home Sweet Home
  • Spring 2 - King and Country
  • Summer 1 - To the Rescue!
  • Summer 2 - Amazing Animals and Under the Sea


Termly Overview of Foundation Stage 

Autumn Term

This term we will focus on the children settling in and becoming familiar with our rules and routines.

We will be introducing new phonemes in Phonics and whilst also reinforcing those we have already taught. This will also include learning some digraphs. Much of the focus will be on segmenting and blending phonemes to read and write simple words. We will be learning ‘harder to read and spell words (those which are irregular such as ‘I’, ‘no’, ‘the’) for the children to try to recognise and read.

Ket texts this term will be ‘The Feelings Book’, ‘It’s ok to be Different’, ‘Colour Monster Starts School’ and Elmer to support our learning around diversity. We will also be looking at nursery rhymes and some traditional tales this term, including ‘The Little Red Hen’, ‘Stone Soup’ and ‘The Gingerbread Man’. The children will be developing their use of story language by sequencing the main features of stories. There will be role play and small world activities based around traditional tales as part of our Continuous Provision.

In maths we will be continuing to think about how numbers are represented, comparing numbers and counting moveable and static objects accurately (1:1 correspondence). We will be learning about the properties of 2D shapes, looking at repeating patterns, thinking about matching, sorting and comparing.

We will also be learning about one more and one less and beginning to add and subtract, recognising the appropriate symbols.

In the final weeks of the Autumn term, we immerse ourselves in the Christmas story and the children will be starring in their first Thornbury Nativity.

Spring Term

We will be continuing to introduce new phonemes and reinforce those we have already taught. This will include more digraphs (where two letters make one sound eg. ch, sh, th, ee). Much of the focus will be on segmenting (sounding out) and blending (putting the sounds back together) to make simple regular words. We will be introducing more ‘harder to read and spell’ words for the children to try to recognise and read.

Key texts this term will be ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, ‘The Three Little Pigs’, ‘The Queen’s Hat’ and ‘Journey’. The children will be using these texts to learn about retelling stories and using their imagination to innovate them into something new.

We will be continuing with our work focusing on deepening understanding of numbers up to 10, this will include composition of all numbers to 10 and continuation of subitising skills. We will be beginning to explore number bonds (pairs of numbers) to 5 and eventually will ask children to recall these without the support of resources e.g. 10s frames and double sided counters. We will be looking at numerical patterns, doubling, counting beyond 20 and discussing what we notice. Our exploration of 2D and 3D shapes and their properties will be continuing along with learning about mass, capacity, time, length and height. The children will also build upon their knowledge of pattern, applying this skill to recognising odd and even numbers

Summer Term

We will be looking at information texts, poems and rhymes, and stories as part of our work on animals this term.  

We will be reading a range of stories and non-fiction books looking at real-life superheroes and having a variety of real-life superhero visitors coming in to talk to the children.

We will be continuing to work on phonics by introducing new phonemes and reinforce those we have already learnt. We will also be practising reading and writing more ‘harder to read and spell’ words and going over previous learning in preparation for Year 1.

We will be re-visiting addition and subtraction again this term to ensure that the children are confident in using these skills. We will be recalling number facts and also some number pairs that total 10, so we will also be spending some more time consolidating these skills. We will also be looking at composing and decomposing, developing spatial reasoning skills and direction along with halving and sharing.

We will also be learning to count in 2s,10s and 5s and using these number facts to solve problems.

Meet the team

Mrs Claire Hardisty

Mrs Claire Hardisty

Headteacher/ Designated Safeguarding Lead
Mrs Emma Mantell

Mrs Emma Mantell

Acting Deputy Head Teacher/Foundation Stage Manager / KS1 Head of Department/ Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Mrs Bee

Mrs Bee

Mrs Cheryl Rees

Mrs Cheryl Rees

Mrs Teresa Warren

Mrs Teresa Warren

Service Family Liaison/ Teaching Assistant
Mrs Toni Francis

Mrs Toni Francis

Teaching Assistant
Mrs Danielle Sharpe

Mrs Danielle Sharpe

Higher Level Teaching Assistant
Mrs Felicity Cresswell

Mrs Felicity Cresswell

Teaching Assistant
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