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Welcome to Gnome Class

Helpful information for Gnome Class


Key dates:

Thursday 3rd September - first day of half term 1

Friday 16th October - last day of half term 1


Key times:

9.15am - arrival time 

3.15pm - pick up time


Outdoor learning:

Our Gnomes will be learning outside whatever the weather and will therefore need a pair of wellington boots (named) and a rain coat each day.  We have waterproof all-in-one suits for really rainy weather.



For now our Gnomes will not need a change of clothes for PE.  We will be focussing on parachute games to foster working in teams and gross motor skills using simple PE resources.


Snack time:

Milk is available each morning and fruit in the afternoon for snack times.  Please send snacks in named containers or bags or, if you wish to purchase a snack, please send the correct money in a named purse, wallet or envelope.



If you have any questions or need to let us know about anything please email:



Into the Sea

This half term we will be learning all about the sea and all things related.  Keep checking our class page for photographs of what we have been doing.


Look at what we did at home!


Week 7

The last week of half term 1.  How did that go so quickly? This week we learned about the 5 oceans of the world and how they are all joined.  We explored the different layers of the oceans and were amazed at some of the strange creatures living in the deepest layer of the Abyss.  In maths we have been revising and consolidating our understanding of number 1, 2 and 3.  In phonics we are getting ready for Phase 2 and have been segmenting and blending simple words.  We are ready for our half term break but very excited about what awaits us in half term 2. 


Week 6

This week we have been learning all about coral and the Great Barrier Reef.  We researched octopuses and seahorses and couldn't believe some of the amazing facts we found out about them.  In maths we have been comparing the size of groups of shells.  We also looked at how tall or short things were and which containers held the most milkshake.  It's been a very busy week as usual.


Week 5

This week has been all about snails and whales.  We shared 'The Snail and the Whale' and learned all about whales and sharks and how different they are.  We talked about polluti0n and recycling and remembered that when we go to the beach we 'take nothing but memories and leave nothing but footprints.'  In maths we have been sorting by colour, shape, size and number.  It's been a busy week!


Week 4

This week we have been learning about lighthouses, herring gulls and puffins.  We shared 'The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch' and 'Puffin Peter' and searched the internet for puffin facts.  Did you know a baby puffin is called a puffling?  In maths we have been matching pairs and the Gnomes helped me to sort my sock drawer as all the pairs were mixed up!  In phonics we explored the sounds we could make with our hands, feet and other body parts.  Exciting news - our radish plants are beginning to grow.


Week 3


This week we have been learning about the different creatures that live in rock pools.  We have learned many fascinating facts about these animals - did you know that a starfish has no brain or blood?  Why not ask your Gnome what other amazing facts they can remember?  In maths it has been all about positional language and the Gnomes have been answering in whole sentences where the monkey, crab or bear is.  Another busy week.



Week 2

This week we shared the book 'Lucy and Tom at the Seaside' and discussed the types of things we like to do at the beach.  We learned why the seaside is not in the middle of the country and looked at different resorts in Britain which we might have visited.  In maths our focus was the days of the week and we learned the Makaton Signs for each day, it was really tricky to sing our song and sign at the same time.  We are trying to improve our listening skills and we are all trying very hard to show our 'good sitting, good looking and good listening' techniques.


Week 1

This week was all about getting to know each other and finding out what it is like to be a Gnome.  Here are some photos of our explorations.


Here is an outline of the curriculum we will be aiming to cover throughout half term 1.

Week beginning:





This week is all about settling in and allowing the children time to get to know Mrs Blackman, Miss Mills and their new classroom environment.  We will be discussing routines and behaviour expectations.  We will share ‘The Naughty Bug’ and ‘A Little Bit Brave’ as well as other stories.


Days of the week

  • Use our day-to-day display to talk about the days and what normally happens on each.  Talk about weekdays and weekend days.
  • Learn a days of the week song and read about Billy the Bear.
  • Learn Makaton signs for the days of the week.
  • Link the Makaton signs and the song.
  • Play an ordering the days of the week game online.

Lucy and Tom at the Sea

  • Share the story and the children’s beach photos.
  • Look at different British seaside resorts.  Do the children recognise any from name or pictures?
  • Discuss the things that Tom and Lucy did at the seaside and talk about the things we like to do.
  • Watch ‘Let’s go for a Walk’ (series 1 ep 1) and introduce vocabulary related.
  • Watch Barnaby Bear at the seaside and discuss staying safe on the beach and in the sea.

Environmental sounds

  • Discuss the aspects of ‘good listening’ and display the posters.  Encourage children to describe the sea creatures on display.
  • Go on an outdoor listening walk and encourage children to remember the sounds we heard.
  • Play ‘Sound starters’ on Phonics play to identify sounds from the environment.
  • Have a box and some items which make distinctive sounds.  Make a sound and ask children to identify each.

Focus tasks

Baseline assessment – colour and shape recognition

Speech and language assessment


Positional Language

  • Where is the beanbag?  Children will be encouraged to describe where the beanbag is and positional language will be emphasised.
  • Revise new vocabulary using the ‘Where is the Puppy?’ presentation.
  • Play ‘Where’s the Monkey?’ online game.
  • Use ‘Rock Pool Secrets’ to discuss where the rock pool creatures are hiding.
  • Share ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ focussing on the positional language throughout.

Rock Pool

  • Share ‘Rock Pool Secrets’ encouraging children to think about which creatures live in the rock pools.
  • Find out a little more about the range of creatures that live in the rock pools and use ‘Welcome to the Rock Pool’ as a source of information.
  • Watch a video of children searching in a rock pool and then focus on learning facts about crabs.
  • Focus on anemones and use ‘Welcome to the Rock Pool’ fact book to learn more.
  • Display 3 sea creatures, describe the starfish and ask children to say which creature is being described.  Focus learning on starfish.

Instrumental sounds

  • Use school radio episode 6 to identify different musical instruments.
  • Use school radio episode 10 to discuss rhythm.
  • Use percussion instruments and ask children to identify which makes each sound when played hidden from view.
  • Use the same instruments and play in different ways asking children to make appropriate movements to match.

Focus tasks

Baseline assessment – phase 2 sound recognition, number recognition and counting, draw a man and name recognition/writing



Matching pairs

  • Have some pairs of socks all mixed up and ask children to help sort them.  Encourage explanations of why they match.
  • Use summer picture cards to play a matching game.
  • Matching colours using an online fish and bowl matching game.
  • Matching shapes, discuss properties of shapes while completing the activity.
  • Use numicon shapes to match and also discuss value and colour.

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch

  • Share the book and then focus on the food in Mr Grinling’s lunch.  Discuss making sandwiches.
  • Use the lighthouse presentation to learn more about the function of a lighthouse.
  • Using a selection of lighthouse pictures, encourage children to describe similarities and differences.
  • Using the seagulls in the story as a starting point, discuss different types of sea bird.  Focus on puffins and watch a related video.
  • Watch ‘Let’s go for a walk’ series 2, episode 1 which is all about lighthouses and seashells.

Body percussion

  • Discuss noises children like/don’t like and then present different scenarios and discuss when/where it is okay to be noisy.
  • Experiment with body percussion sounds, clap, click, tap etc.  Ask children to copy sounds made by others.
  • Moving on from last session, use the sounds we made to make up short sequences to copy.  Encourage children to suggest sequences too.
  • Using the story of the Pied Piper, leader makes a sound and moves, others follow.

Focus tasks

Maths – compare bears matching task/building matching cube towers/matching pairs of sea creatures to find missing one/play snap with summer picture cards

English/topic – choosing picnic foods/describing lighthouses/making sandwiches/sequencing task related to sandwich making



  • Share ‘The Ugly duckling’ and discuss belonging and being different.  Play the Monster sorting game and discuss why things belong or don’t belong.
  • Sort children according the hair colour etc.  Use presentation to encourage children to guess the rule for different sortings.
  • Challenge children to explain where different items would belong for different groups on the presentation.
  • Start by sorting cubes into cups and encourage children to explain why each belong or don’t belong.  Use presentation to practise further.
  • Use the ‘Odd one out’ presentation encouraging children to explain their thinking.

The Snail and the Whale

  • Share the book and talk about modes of transport to get around.  Why would we use different methods?
  • Watch ‘Let’s go for a walk’ series 2, episode 14 which focuses on transport on water.
  • Focus on whales and use the information book to find out interesting facts.  Watch a related video.
  • As last session but the focus today will be sharks.
  • Focus today on plastic waste in the ocean.  Share the story of the whale cleaning up the ocean and read the e-book together.  Discuss what we can all do to help.

Rhythm and rhyme

  • Start the session with a rhyming story book.  Use the poster to find items which rhyme with ‘hat’ and ask children if they can think of any others.
  • Start with a rhyming story book encouraging children to join in.  Play ‘cake bake’ on Phonics Play.
  • Start with another rhyming story book.  Use the poster to find items that rhyme with ‘jug’ and ask children if they can think of any others.
  • Start with a rhyming story book.  Play ‘cake bake’ again but choose a different focus word/s.

Focus tasks

Maths – sorting items using different criteria such as colour, shape, pattern and size

English/topic – play rhyming dominoes game/making paper plate whales/making clay snails



  • Comparing amounts of cubes and introduce vocabulary: fewer, more, fewest, most, equal to.
  • Comparing non-identical items and recapping the vocabulary.
  • Use different sized boxes and discuss what could fit in each.  Introduce vocabulary: largest, smallest, tallest, shortest, large, small, tall, short, long, longest.
  • Comparing mass using different items of varying weights.  Look at how to use a balance.
  • Comparing capacity using different sized containers and introduce vocabulary: full, empty, half full etc.

In a Coral Reef

  • Share the book and encourage the children to join with the rhyming and counting.
  • Focus on the coral in the reef and discuss with the children what coral actually is.  Watch the related video to learn facts.
  • Focus on the octopus in the story and watch a video about octopuses to learn some interesting facts.
  • Focus on the seahorses in the story.  Watch a related video to learn interesting facts.
  • Investigate the different types of fish on a coral reef.  Watch a related video to learn more facts.


  • Play the name game.  Say to the children that you can see someone beginning with ‘s’ and ask if that could be them. Repeat.
  • Play ‘Super Smoothie’ on Phonics Play to practise alliteration.
  • Play ‘Going to the zoo’ and encourage children to think of animals we could see all beginning with the same sound.  Change sound and repeat.
  • Play again and this time ask children to make alliteration strings for each animal (eg slithering snake, lazy lion etc)

Focus tasks

Maths – comparing tasks related to amounts, size, mass and capacity

English/topic – describing sea creatures/making fish to decorate our own coral reef/alliteration games


1, 2 and 3

  • Representing, comparing and composition of 1, 2 and 3.
  • Sharing stories with three as the focus (Three little pigs, Three billy goats gruff, Goldilocks, Three blind mice, three little kittens)
  • Use Numberblocks episodes for 1, 2 and 3
  • Counting objects which are in groups of 1,2 and 3.

Under the Sea

  • Share the book ‘Under the Sea’ and discuss the new sea creatures we meet in the story.
  • Share ‘The Magic School Bus – On the Ocean Floor’ and discuss what we have learned from this book.
  • Talk about the strange creatures that live in the deepest parts of the ocean.  Watch a related video.
  • Focus on how we could see the creatures at the bottom of the ocean and learn about snorkelling and diving.
  • Look at the different sports the children did whilst on their school visit.  Use the presentation to learn about these sports.

Voice sounds/blending and segmenting

  • Mouth movements – children each have a mirror and watch the shapes their mouth makes when they make different sounds.  Take photos to display.
  • Voice sounds – children make noises for different descriptions, use mirrors to look at how mouth shapes change.
  • Robot voice – use pictures to represent cvc words, demonstrate how to segment the word (c-a-t) and then ask children to copy.  Repeat and encourage children to tell you how to segment some.
  • Display the picture cards from last session.  Segment a word and ask volunteers to find the appropriate picture.  Can children segment and others find the picture?

Focus tasks

Maths – matching numeral and amount/counting amounts/writing numbers 1, 2 and 3

English/topic – making fluorescent fish to display on black/segmenting tasks

This is Gnome Class set up and ready for all our new Gnomes in September.

Gnome Class outdoor area - ready for learning to begin

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