Pioneers Class

Welcome to Pioneers

Pioneers children are Reception aged (four or five years old). Children enjoy a range of creative and engaging play based activities, as well as formal inputs, to support their development and growth. Children in Pioneers are taught by Mrs Hann, Mrs McGill and Mrs Gurney. 

Learning begins the minute they walk through the door. The classroom is a carefully curated collection of wonderful things to allow the children to flourish. The classroom is theirs and everything in it is there for a purpose. What they chose to do may be completely different for each individual. This is when the learning happens. The resources are ready to use and accessible and the team work together to create, to communicate, to count and to grow 

Each day starts with exploration of the resources and suggestions for learning set out around the room. The Pioneers will come together for teaching. This will happen in small groups, as a whole class and often one to one. Across the day we will gather for mathematics, reading, writing and phonics sessions, to share stories and to learn about the world.

PE kits are in school all week to allow us to do PE at any time. This term, the Pioneers have dance on a Tuesday afternoon.

Mrs Gurney teaches computing on a Tuesday morning.

We are rolling with phonics and children will bring a book and their reading record home each day. Please read little and often and write a message in the reading record. All reading is good reading. This is such an exciting time.

Please look out for a text message to let you know when we will go to the forest. We will use our wonderful outdoor space as much as we can and this will not always be on the same day each week. 

Children’s progress and activities are recorded in their own Learning Journeys. These act as a summary of the journey children embark upon during their time in Reception and demonstrate the progress and success that has been achieved, as well as the next steps that may need to be taken.

A Full House For Chinese New Year

The classroom was packed with happy learners this week as we explored Chinese New Year traditions and stories. The Pioneers were excited to teach their families and they did a really good job. The Pioneers told their families the story of the rat and the ox and the names of the years.They showed their parents how to use a paint brush and paint the greeting in Mandarin Chinese. Everyone had a look at our current phonics and tried out our subitising maths app.

It was so lovely to have everyone in the classroom and we look forward to the next get together very soon.

A Whole Lot of Reading and Writing Going On

The Pioneers have been writing and reading all over the place this week. The Elves have increased in numbers and now there are 7 although one is only visiting. The elves have been leaving notes and the Pioneers have been replying. They have labelled pictures,used a story map and read our own version of the story with Stan and Jan and the elf.

It has been buzzing this week and the use of phonics and resulting writing has been absolutely glorious to see.

The Elves Have Arrived

We have been very busy in our first week back and we have been visited by the elves from our story,”The Elves and The Shoemaker”.

We got together to handle some artefacts belonging to a shoemaker. There were a variety of shoelasts with nobbles and bumps and a selection of soles,laces and zips and collars. We got our hands on a typewriter and an old telephone and discussed how they were so different to the things we use today.

The elves left us some notes asking for Elf Snacks and Buns and Hot Coffee so we got on with making these. We have also written replies to the elves.

The elves joined us in the library too.

This has been a great start to the term.

Happy Learning

A Pantomime, A Party and A Christmas Play

What a week we have had in Pioneers and a wonderful week it was. We started with a dress rehearsal in Church and made the long walk up and down the hills to get there. Then we had the excitement of a live performance in front of all of the families and friends and the church was packed full of happiness. A day of learning in the classroom was followed by an exciting trip to church for our second performance and this was magnificent.

We woke up to a cold and frosty morning with a blanket of snow and this was the day to travel to the Pantomime. Dick Whittington did not disappoint and we booed and hissed and cheered until we got back on the bus in time for a late lunch.

Party Day was full of new learning. We mastered the balloon relay and the flappy fish game. Musical Chairs has so many rules!

A very happy week in Pioneers.


Blue and Green and White

This week we have been reading “Lost and Found” and a selection of other texts by Oliver Jeffers. The Pioneers have all drawn wonderful story maps and pictures of the characters. They are able to retell the story using the story map and have added vocabulary to this.

At the end of the week we focussed on finding out about day and night and the rotation of the earth and the earth’s relationship with the sun and the moon. We looked at the globe and representations of our planet, spotting that blue was the sea and greens represented the land. In the story the boy and the penguin travel to the South Pole so we located this on the globe and painted this on our own representations.


Seed,Soup and Fungus

We continue to explore the world around us. Sunflower heads have been drying out on the window sill and we got stuck in with the tweezers to harvest the seeds. We dried them out alongside last week’s pumpkin seeds and popped them into jars to plant in the spring. This involved a huge amount of concentration.

We went to the forest to collect forest treasure to add to our version of Pumpkin Soup. Compost,grass,seeds and conkers were mixed and mashed. The Pioneers used mashers and ladles to create a huge Pumpkin Feast. They filled egg boxes with soil and water to make chocolate eggs. Everyone helped with the tidy up job which made life much easier.

We looked closely at a number of different types of fungus but we decided not to touch. All the Pioneers were aware that some things should not be picked.

We noted the changes in the forest and kicked up the wet leaves.

Everyone manged their own welly boots and this is quite an achievement.

Well done Pioneers!



Remembrance at Sleights

Throughout the week, the children have taken part in some excellent discussions about Remembrance. Children shared their own reflections with great sensitivity and thought. To mark Remembrance Day in Sleights, each child created a piece of art or message. 

After school, Mrs Hann and I walked to St John’s and the War Memorial monument to display the children’s fantastic and thoughtful Remembrance reflections. The work is incredible and is now firmly in place to help the full village mark Remembrance Sunday this weekend.
Well done, Sleights.

Enormous Vegetables

This week has been all about vegetables. We began by digging up some root vegetables and looking closely at the roots. Some of the onions had roots like a birds nest. The Pioneers also had a good look at the roots and the leaves of a pumpkin,noticing the curling tendrils they use to attach themselves to fences and trellis and other plants. We had a good poke around.

We acted out the story of the Enormous Turnip and worked on a story map to go with this. The Pioneers made their suggestions to add vocabulary to this and this was really wonderful.

The classroom is now full of pumpkins of all different shapes and sizes and colours . We have been lifting and carrying and counting and subitising Next, we will be having a poke around inside these next week to look at the seeds and get them dried and saved for next spring.

Very Happy Learning


The Colours of Autumn

This week we began looking at how the trees are changing. The Pioneers looked at a selection of leaves and compared their colours and used paint charts to match them up. The Pioneers looked closely and noticed that the leaves varied in size,shape and colour.  They used hole punches to make leaf confetti and used these shapes to subitise and make number patterns.

Every Pioneer is working very hard on phonics and we are starting to write words together. Blending is great and whiteboards are being filled with wonderful writing.

This week we have been subitising all over the place. The Pioneers are experts at spotting groups of 1,2,3 and 4 and representing these numbers by drawing. We have been building towers and making shapes.

Happy Learning