Scroll to content
Thomas Eaton Primary Academy home page

Thomas Eaton

Primary Academy

All for Learning and Learning for All

England (Pre-school)


Welcome to England Class 


As the school Preschool, England is proud to welcome children and families at the very beginning of their journey with us. 

This year we are please to announce our increase of sessions which means we are open for sessions from 8:45 to 3:15 Monday to Friday, offering morning (8:45-11:45), afternoon (12:15-3:15) or all day sessions (8:45-3:15). Please see the preschool tab for more information. 


England class staff:

Mrs Gemma Calderwood - Preschool Room Leader

Miss Lisa Wren - Preschool Teaching Assistant 

Mrs Karen Anthony-Saxby - Preschool Teaching Assistant


During the year we provide continuous provision, the bases of learning and development, while enhancing this to accommodate the interests of the children, events and festivals, and to ensure there are opportunities for all to have enhanced experiences.  


The aim of this class page is to provide updates on what has been happening at preschool. 

Summer 1

Amazing Animals


As we head into the last term of 23/24 academic year we turn our focus to Amazing Animals. Where we will look at minibeasts, farm animals and wild animals. Exploring books including: Snail Trail, What the ladybird heard, Rumble in the Jungle and Dear Zoo. 


This week as we continue our Amazing Animals topic we were surprised with some little visitors...our very own caterpillars.

Over the coming weeks we will be looking after them, documenting their journey and watch a real life-cycle! 

Even in a few days we observed how they grew bigger and were moving more. We hope to expand our vocabulary and discussions about life-cycles.


The Teeny Weeny Tadpole - Sheridan Cain


"Ghost in a bubble!"  - We started our investigation of frogs by sharing the story of "The teeny weeny tadpole." A discussion of the front cover had many children guessing what the story could be about. The idea that frogspawn could be ghosts in bubbles, was certainly an interesting one. In our guided drawing session we drew frogs, and they are fantastic! We learned 5 little speckled frogs and some makaton signs, including jump and frog. 

Honeybee's Busy Day

This week we have been busy learning about bees. Our honey bee made a journey through the garden and past the animals to get back to his hive. We have been singing "Here is the Beehive" (Simple Songs, on youtube). Making marks to music of "Flight of the Bumblebee", drawing bees and flowers. Creating bees and honeycomb. And even getting to look at some real Beekeeper items (kindly lent to us by Mrs Newman). Do check out our photos below of our very busy week. 

Caterpillar Watch!

We're on week 2 of our caterpillars. And Wow! They've have really been busy growing, eating and making their webs. 

What the ladybird heard - Julia Donaldson

Some of the preschool children created their own rock ladybirds that are proudly on display in our hallway. 

Week 1 of the Caterpillar Diaries

Snail Trail - Ruth Brown

This week we have welcomed everyone back from the Easter Break and have greeted new friends to the preschool family. The children have come back wonderfully and ready to explore and grow. 

Our first book focus for Amazing Animals is a story about the journey of a snail. This has supported our growing vocabulary with directional language and lots of discussion about snails. We have created snail collages in the style of artist Henri Matisse, made some fabulous snail drawing as we practiced our mark making and pencil grips and worked with different materials to make more creative pieces. We also used numicons to fill in our snail template, as we looked at the formation of different numbers. 

All about snails

Spring 2



Our new topic for Spring Term 2 is Growing! 

We look forward to sharing what we explore with you.

Our book of the week - Meg's Veg


Our book this week has been Meg's Veg by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski.

We've been very busy in preschool this week as we've continued our Growing! topic. We've sown cress seeds, sown lettuce, planted our sweet peas outside, made vegetable people, paint printing with vegetables and fruit, creating shakers and practiced our "Top Secret" song for our Easter performance at the Coffee morning (28th March, pop that in your diary!). Below are some photos from the week. 

Jasper's Beanstalk

This week we have been sharing Jasper's Beanstalk. 

We have made a beanstalk with leaves which we painted by mixing yellow and blue to make green. 

We went through the sequence of Jasper's Beanstalk, looking at days of week, events that have happened and predict those that might happen next. 


In addition to this we have talked about our sunflower seeds growing. 



Our sunflowers are growing!

Titch - Pat Hutchins

This we we have started our new topic of growing. We have shared Titch by Pat Hutchins. In our story Titch is the smallest of his siblings, and we looked at different sizes and the beginning of growing plants from a tiny seed. 


Observing seeds and seedlings

Cave Baby - Julia Donaldson

Into the darkness of a cave we role played families, a slight change to our usual home area in preschool.

We made art on "cave walls" and rocks, with charcoal and paints. We practiced our subitising (knowing an amount without counting!) and noticing skills with cave drawings.



We have had an amazing week studying and exploring Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night. 

Our exploration into light and dark extended to different coloured paints and textures. 

There were collaborative pieces and individual art that contributed to a whole class display.


Artists at work!

Light and Dark

Light and Dark is our new topic this term to enhance our learning. We have been exploring torches and the difference of light and dark. Night and Day. We have shared the story Night Monkey Day Monkey, by Julia Donaldson.  

Spring Term 1


Welcome back everyone! 

It has been great welcoming everyone back and meeting new children and families. 

We have been talking about those we love and miss and how we are always connected to each other. We shared "The Invisible String" by Patrice Karst, Joanne Lew-Vriethoff. 

We have explored our provision inside and outside and got to know our new friends.

Autumn Term 2

Party Time

As we share our final week of 2023, we have been reflecting on our time together so far. 

What we have noticed is the children's confidence to explore and discover things for themselves has grown so much. Their confidence to express themselves through creativeness has been evident and exciting, as well helping them working on their friendships.  

Oh Christmas Tree! 

As we continue to explore the festive season, England class have been extremely busy with our Christmas Tree. It may not look like a traditional tree but it has been made with lots of attention and creativity. Every child has made their personal touch somewhere and we are proud to show it off in our cloakroom. 

This week also included our Christmas Lunch, which we ate with the school in the lunch hall. It was exciting with our hats and pulling crackers, with festive music and all our friends. 

Creating a Christmas Tree

Festive joy has arrived in preschool.

This week the children were surprised with the Christmas tree and other festive decorations appearing in class. (Which may explain the Question of the week?) The tree has been decorated over and over again by the children, and they have added their own decorations as well which they have been busy making. The creative area is full of excitement (and glitter!) as the children have made wreaths, pine cones decorations, paper chains, stars and trees. Whatever they can think of they can create!

Our story of the week has also changed as it is part of our advent calendar, each child will get a turn to open the book before the end of term. Its very exciting as its a complete surprise (to Mrs Calderwood too, as Miss Wren has been busy wrapping them up!)

We have continued practicing our Nativity and are looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible for our performances.

Thank you also for donations and support of events across the school. Such a busy time of year.


Week 4

Foxes in the Snow

This week we having been sharing the story of Foxes in the Snow and exploring the changes of Autumn season. We have used natural resources to create woodland animals and tree collages. We have been using large paint sticks on collaborative pieces. (Top Secret news: We have been busy practicing our Wriggly Nativity). 



Foxes in the Snow

Week 3 

World Nursery Rhyme Week


It was a really exciting a busy week in preschool (and reception) this week as we held, not one, but two, open stay-and-play sessions. We shared nursery rhymes and activities relating to them. It was lovely to have so many parents, current and future, in preschool. Thank you all for coming. 

Sadly no photos due to safeguarding requirements.

Week 2 - Where the poppies now grow 


This week we have been looking into the meaning of Remembrance Day. We have created our own poppies in many different way and have been taking part in a whole school Remembrance activity. "Where the Poppies Now Grow" by Hilary Robinson has been our story of the week and we watched the Cbeebies Remembrance video, the children have grown in confidence in describing what they see and identifying how the characters may feel. 

Part of our Remembrance Display

Week 1 

Sparks in the Sky


This week we explored 'Sparks in the Sky' and looked at fireworks. We started the week with some explosive experiments and lots of wonderful words to describe what was happening. We looked at fireworks and created our own firework pictures. 


Week 6 - Sensory Experiences! 


You may have noticed this week we have been exploring our sense. Through listening to sounds in the environment, exploring textures and smells. This, of course, became quite messy at times. We have used our music and movement session to support our physical development, we hope you found the links on Dojo useful (please do let us know if you have any issues with this). 




Week 5 - People who help us!


In preschool this week we have been looking at people who help us. We have explored different careers including vets, fire service, police and builders. We have looked at colours and patterns, using the iPads. We have used our bodies to make rhythms and follow patterns.

Week 4 - Elmer 


As our Autumn term progresses (week 4 already!) we explored the story of Elmer, the patchwork elephant. We looked at similarities and differences, explored many ways to mix colours and explore textures.

We have been practicing our listening skills, through games and listening for sounds in the class environment. Our new class stars have arrived, these are a place to keep our well earned stickers safe and supports name recognition. 


Thank you to those of you logging into Class Dojo and being active, if you need any help please do ask and we will try to help. 


Week 3 


The Colour Monster continued to be our story focus of the week as we explored our feelings, supporting our emotional development and thinking about others. We have been expanding our creativity and mark making skills by using lots of different mark making tools (as you may have noticed when your child came home!). We have been using our group circle time to practice listening and searching as we have been on colour hunts around the room. 


laughOff to a busy start!laugh

We have welcomed returning children and new children to preschool this term. We have been busy exploring our preschool environment, learning our class routine and making new friendships. We have begun our first topic, 'All About Me!' and in Weeks 1 and 2, shared stories relating to this; including '10 little fingers and 10 little toes' where we have looked at our bodies and 'The Colour Monster' where we have explored our feelings.