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Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage!


Our Reception at Hillcrest Primary School is a creative, fun and warm environment to explore and learn in. We focus on subjects such as Communication, Phonics, Maths, Physical and Personal, Social and Emotional Development as these are the fundamental areas of Early Learning.


Our aim is to foster a love for learning through investigative play and structured teaching sessions.  As well as learning new skills we work on becoming members of the Hillcrest community, form friendships and become more independent.


We focus on developing positive relationships to ensure every child feels safe, happy, confident and excited about learning.


Our EYFS teachers and Early Years Practitioners have varying degrees of experience - added together, we have worked with children for over a hundred years!  We bring different skill sets, knowledge and our own unique experiences to help the children in our care learn and discover together to create a better world.


Lucy Newstead – Early Years Lead



Our Classes:


RLN Lady Gaga – Lucy Newstead and Tanya Miles


Head and shoulders photo of Miss NewsteadHead and shoulders photo of Miss Miles





Why Lady Gaga Class?

“The only thing that we all know, that we all appreciate in one another is kindness, so this has to come before all things.” Lady Gaga


Lady Gaga is one of the bestselling musicians of all time. She is a trailblazer in fashion, beauty (inspiring young girls to believe that they don’t have to conform the incredibly difficult beauty standards that society has been inflicting on them), and philanthropy.


In 2012, Lady Gaga launched Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering youth, embracing differences, and inspiring kindness and bravery (she herself was bullied as a child for being ‘different’).


Lady Gaga is also an outspoken activist, philanthropist, and supporter of many important issues including mental health issues, LGBTQ+ rights, HIV/AIDS awareness, and body image issues.  She speaks against oppression of all forms and fights for everyone who’s ever faced self-doubt.


“Be you, and be relentlessly you. That's the stuff of champions”


Lady Gaga, smiling, in a pink, feathered gown



RCB Maya Rose – Liz Caudwell, Wendy Bonner and Louise Dix


Head and shoulders photo of Mrs CaudwellHead and shoulders photo of Mrs Bonner






Head and shoulders photo of Mrs Dix







Why Maya Rose Class?


Mya-Rose Craig (born 2002), also known as Birdgirl, is a British Bangladeshi ornithologist and activist. In February 2020, she received an honorary doctorate in science from the University of Bristol, and is said to be the youngest British person to receive such an award.  


She created the non-profit organisation Black2Nature to run nature camps for black and minority ethnic children. Her honorary degree was awarded for that initiative, and in recognition of her advocacy for visible minority ethnic (VME) children and teenagers.


Maya Rose with penguins and ice floes in the background



Here's to a year packed with fun and learning!


The EYFS Team

Teachers - Mrs Newstead, Mrs Caudwell, Mrs Bonner & Mrs Howard

Early Years Practitioners - Mrs Dix, Miss Miles, Mrs Banerjee, Miss McNeilage & Miss Hough



Term 1 Letter


Dear Reception families 


Welcome to Term One in Reception at Hillcrest Primary School! We are so proud of how the children have managed their transition into school and we have all had a fantastic first week getting to know the children and discovering what they are interested in talking about and playing with.


Our enquiry this term is ‘Who am I?’  

You can find out more on our curriculum overview. Our enquiry tends to cover the curriculum areas of Understanding the World and Expressive Art and Design. Our other focus areas for the term are:


Personal, social and emotional development

During Term 1 we spend time working with children develop their friendships and encourage turn taking and sharing. We start to talk about the ‘zones of regulation’ to identify how the children are feeling. We encourage independence when organising their belongings and support the children to manage their personal needs.


Communication and language

We give the children opportunities to speak and listen through classroom activities. During childinitiated play, it is our role as adults to support, scaffold and develop communication and language. We have reduced the time spent away from children writing observations and gathering evidence of learning for Tapestry because we believe ‘if we are capturing the moment we cannot be part of the moment.’ (If you have not yet activated your Tapestry account please check your junk folder/let us know!)


Physical Development

The children have access to bikes, trikes, and other gross motor resources, such as wheelbarrows, climbing equipment and balls. This area of learning also covers fine motor activities, including scissor skills, bead threading and handwriting. Our main PE (physical education) lesson is on a Wednesday afternoon and is led by Matt Hill our Sports Specialist. Please remember to purchase your child’s PE t-shirt from the office and to leave their PE kit in school for the term.



Our Phonics sessions will begin next week and the children will be bring home letter sheets to reinforce what they have been learning in school. Your child will soon be bringing home reading books. These books are changed on a Monday, they are taken home all week (please keep in their book bag - when not reading it - so we also have the book in school each day). We read with the children three times per week, using the same text all week. The children can also choose a picture book to take home for you to share together. Watch this space for further information about reading at Hillcrest! Where all children learn and discover together to create a better world.


Mathematical development

Most of our mathematical teaching is completed through play activities. This term we are singing number songs, matching, sorting and comparing. We follow the White Rose scheme of learning and use Numberblocks to reinforce taught skills.


This term we are also completing the Reception Baseline Assessment or RBA for short. The RBA is a short, interactive and practical assessment of your child’s early literacy, communication, language and mathematics skills when they begin in school. It will be undertaken with your child’s class teacher and will measure your child’s progress from Reception to Year Six. The data will only be accessed by the DFE and when your child reaches Year Six, you will be able to see the progress your child has made throughout their school journey. If you wish to read further on the reception baseline, then you can find a useful parent booklet here:


And finally, a few key messages: 


  • Please bring a water bottle to school every day. 
  • We provide a healthy snack each day for the children (you can also provide a snack from home if you want to).
  • Please use Tapestry to add pictures or comments about your child - maybe they rode their bike for the first time, enjoyed a trip to the park or created a beautiful painting at home, we would LOVE to see it! If you need support in using Tapestry please ask a member of staff.


If you have any questions please do get in touch.


The Reception Team