Early Years

Our new topic starting March 2020 is 'Why do ladybirds have spots?'

Incy wincy spider climbed up the waterspout! Why do ladybirds have spots? Why do spiders spin webs? It’s time to find out more about minibeasts and their habitats. This half term, we’ll visit a local park to carry out a minibeast safari! Magnifying glasses clutched firmly in hands, we’ll look under logs, leaves and stones for creatures that wriggle, crawl or fly. We’ll find out about minibeast habitats, features and colours, and compare them. Observing snails in a tank, we’ll think about how they move. Can we move like that too? We’ll also move like ants, working together to collect and carry objects to move and rebuild a structure, piece by piece. To get to know these creepy crawlies better, we’ll make and monitor a mini wormery, minibeast hotel and a butterfly garden. Can we predict what will be these minibeasts’ favourite foods? In our literacy sessions, we’ll use sequential vocabulary to retell stories, and write a story from the perspective of a spider. In our mathematics sessions, we’ll predict and count ladybird spots and compare the lengths of caterpillars made from cubes, counters and beads. Getting creative, we’ll make leaf confetti, minibeast finger puppets, and learn to waggle dance like a bee. At the end of the project, we’ll invite you to an assembly where we’ll share our learning with you. We’ll also make brightly-coloured pebble beetles and give them scientific names.


Areas of Learning

Early Learning Goals

Communication and language

Listening and attention; Understanding: Speaking

Physical development

Moving and handling

Personal, Social and emotional development

Self-confidence and awareness; Managing feelings and behaviour; Making relationships


Reading; Writing


Number; Shape, space and measures

Understanding the world

The world; Technology

Expressive arts and design

Exploring and using media and materials; Being imaginative


Help your child prepare for their project

Minibeasts are marvellous! Why not visit your local pet shop together and take a look at some exotic minibeasts. Can you find out what countries they came from? You could also try worm charming in your garden. Put a large hoop on an area of earth, water the area with a watering can, and tap your fingers lightly on the ground. Can you entice any worms to the surface? Alternatively, read minibeast-themed stories together, such as Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Bad-Tempered Ladybird, to find out more about these incredible creatures.

Our aims:

Within the Early Years, we aim to develop a child’s love of learning whilst preparing them for their later school life. We use both children’s interests and the statutory framework to shape our planning and form the basis of our curriculum. The Early Learning goals are used as a starting point and are based on the following areas:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive arts and design

The children are given opportunities to learn in both child-initiated and adult-led activities. This combination allows children to gain the necessary knowledge and skills whilst gaining confidence ad social skills in a variety of learning situations.

Parental Engagement:

In our Early Years, there are lots of opportunities for children to share their learning with their parents across the school year. Each term we have a Stay and Play session that includes an informal chat with parents and our experienced Nursery Nurse where by the group discuss term dates and general parenting questions. This is then followed by an afternoon in the classroom where we share children’s work, organise lots of creative activities and the children explore their classroom with their parents. This is a fantastic and regular opportunity that is appreciated by both children and parents.

Regular learning updates are also posted on our Twitter account which is widely followed by our parents. This is a fantastic platform that allows for learning and experiences to be celebrated and shared with our families.  Follow our updates here: https://twitter.com/BenNevisQEP

Outdoor Learning:

We are very fortunate at Queen Emma’s to have such a fantastic outdoor space in the Early Years. We are able to be outside in all weathers meaning the children have lots of opportunities to widen their learning opportunities and have fantastic experiences. We love to explore our woodland area where the children build dens, hunt for wildlife and make their own music. We see the outdoors as an extended classroom that is used every day; our children have a love of learning indoors and outdoors.


Little Oak Pre-School:

For details of Little Oak Pre-School, please see their website: