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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, Miss McNeilage & Miss Hough



Term 3 Newsletter


Happy New Year!  We hope you all had a safe and relaxing Christmas and are looking forward to the term ahead.  We welcome into the Reception Team Johanna and Izzy who are working alongside Ingrid and Sarah to support our children who require some additional support.


Our enquiry this term is ‘What makes it Winter?’  You can find out more on our Curriculum Overview.  We have three core books, Winter Sleep, A Thing Called Snow and Robin’s Winter Song.  Through these books we will be exploring hibernation, bird migration and changing state (ice, water).  We are also taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch (you can also take part at home and share on Tapestry).   Our Special Person time is continuing this term, with a book focus on winter, nature, birds or your child’s favourite book.


Forest School is with Discovery (blue team) this term. Mrs Caudwell is a trained forest school teacher and leads the sessions.  They take place on Monday afternoons in Arnos Vale Woodland area. If your child is in Discovery and you are able to help please get in touch.  Alongside this, all our children are going to explore the Nature Garden at Arnos Vale during a winter walk on 19th January, so please ensure your child is wrapped up in warm clothes. This term also brings Chinese New Year. We will be learning about the history and traditions of this festival.


In Phonics, we are learning new digraphs (two letters that make one sound, such as ee or ai) and trigraphs (three letters, one sound: air, ear).  You will find information on all the sounds we are learning this term on Tapestry.  We are continuing to read with your child at least once per week.  When you read at home, please write in the Reading Record Book as we are starting our Reading Raffle this term - for every read your child does at home, a raffle ticket is added to our weekly prize draw!


As Mathematicians we are further exploring the numbers up to 10, looking at how to combine numbers to make a total and which numbers go together (number bonds) for 6, 7 and 8.  We are also deepening our understanding about one more and one less.


If you have any questions please do get in touch.


The Reception Team


Mrs Newstead, Miss Miles, Ingrid and Izzy (Lady Gaga Class)

Mrs Caudwell, Ms Bonner, Mrs Dix, Sarah and Johanna (Mya Rose Class)



Term 3 Overview