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Thomas Eaton

Primary Academy

All for Learning and Learning for All


Welcome to Potter Class!


Hello. We are Pre-school and we are named after the very famous English writer, illustrator, natural scientist, and conservationist 'Beatrix Potter'. She was best known for her children's books featuring animals, such as 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit', which was her first published work in 1902. Her books, including 23 Tales, have sold more than 250 million copies.


Top 10 facts about Beatrix Potter:


1. Beatrix Potter was born on 28th July 1866 in South Kensington, London.

2. Her family were wealthy and Beatrix had a very comfortable childhood.

3. When they were children, Beatrix and her brother Bertram kept several small animals as pets. At various points they had mice, rabbits and a hedgehog.

4, One of her rabbits was called Benjamin Bouncer.

5, When she was fourteen, Beatrix started to keep a diary. She added entries in code and recorded her opinions on places she had visited and things she had seen. She added lots of illustrations and descriptions of nature.

6. Beatrix Potter was fascinated by nature. She was a keen botanist, she collected fossils, and she became very good at drawing fungi.

7. She was an avid reader and in her youth she was inspired by many books, including: The Water Babies by Charles KingsleyEdward Lear‘s Book of Nonsense, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and the Brer Rabbit stories by Joel Chandler Harris.

8. When she went on holiday to Scotland or the Lake District, Beatrix Potter used to send illustrated letters to the children of her former governess, Annie Carter. In one letter (dated September 1893) Beatrix Potter tells a story of four rabbits called Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter. This letter formed the basis of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, published in 1902.

9. Beatrix Potter published 23 books in the Tales series.

10. Beatrix Potter died on 22nd December 1943 from pneumonia.


About us


Our room leader is Mrs Calderwood and Miss Wren and Mrs Anthony-Saxby also support the children in Potter class.

Children who begin their time at Thomas Eaton in our Pre-school or Reception Class are welcomed as part of our school from the very beginning. Parents are welcomed too and we pride ourselves on our good relationships with children and their families. Our experienced and dedicated Early Years Team work closely together through Pre-school and Reception to ensure children are given the best educational start and develop a life long love of learning.


We benefit from having small class sizes in Early Years, giving teachers the opportunity to get to know their pupils extremely well; observe how they work and embrace their next steps in learning. Teachers get to know each child personally and make a positive contribution to their early development.


Learning in the Early Years (particularly in Pre-school) is play based. There are untold benefits of child led learning including the development of intellectual skills, thinking and motivation. Play encourages language skills, supports pre-literacy skills, develops social and emotional skills and fosters creativity and imagination.


Children will also work in small groups to further develop number, mark making and writing, phonics, art, fine motor and speech and language skills.


Teachers plan to develop children’s curiosity and interest in learning and risk taking is encouraged to give children the opportunity to be resilient and brave learners. 


Our outdoor space is used throughout the year and the freedom of this learning environment sees language skills thrive and discovery and inquiry skills develop. 

Reading with your child,


Reading to children from an early age is the best way of encouraging them to love books and reading. By reading stories aloud, we take them into a world that goes well beyond our typical everyday spoken language, and form a link for them between reading, comfort and love. We need to do everything we can to ensure children get the reading habit while they are very young – before technology gets a foothold in their lives. 


But what can you do to help develop good reading habits in pre-school aged children at home? Children thrive on repetition, so remember that when they’ve read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt for the hundredth time, you are hardwiring their brain for success! The more they read, the more the story ‘belongs’ to the child. When a child knows a story well, they will want to ‘read’ it over and over again, joining in with the actions and expressions that their adult has used – a rewarding experience for everyone!


10 top tips for reading with your child at home.



1. Make reading to your child feel like a treat, introducing each new book with excitement.

2. Make it a special quiet time and cuddle up so both of you can see the book.

3. Show curiosity in what you’re going to read:
Oh no! I think Arthur is going to get even angrier now.

4. Read the whole story the first time through without stopping too much. If you think your child might not understand, say something like:
Oh I think what’s happening here is that…

5. Chat about the story:
I wonder why he did that…?
Oh no, I hope she’s not going to…

I wouldn’t have done that, would you?

6. Avoid asking questions to test what your child remembers.

7. Link stories to your own experiences:
This reminds me of…

8. Read favourite stories over and over again, getting your child to join in with the bits they know. 

9. Read with enthusiasm. Don’t be embarrassed to try out different voices; your child will love it!

10. Read with enjoyment. If you’re not enjoying it, they won’t either!



The Characteristics of Effective Learning


The characteristics of effective learning are important learning behaviours that we support the children to develop throughout their time in Pre-School. They are split into three categories:


Playing and Exploring - Engagement:

Can I do this?


Active Learning - Motivation:

Do I want to do this?


Below you will find a useful website to explore the differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and the importance of developing a growth mindset.


Creating and Thinking Critically - Thinking:

How do I do this? 


We can help children to become effective learners by playing with them, listening and responding to them, acting as a sound board, supporting them to pursue their own interests, inspiring them, modelling discovery learning and both guiding and supporting them.


The following website gives families ideas of activities as to how they can support their child from home too.


Learning to talk | 3 to 5 years | Start for Life (



Our Colourful World


In Potter class we have been working on our topic of 'Our Colourful World'. We have been exploring the world around us, starting with the seaside and sea creatures. Our role play area is a 'sand boat' and we have enjoyed an 'ice cream shop'. We have talked about our likes and dislikes, especially the flavours of ice-cream we enjoy and have practised putting on our socks and shoes after exploring the sand.

We have been investigating a rock pool. We have discovered what types of creatures might live in them, some of these we read about in our book ‘Commotion in the Ocean’. We have been playing games to practice our listening skills and working together to complete tricky puzzles. For our artwork, we have been creating different fish patterns.

As we continue to explore Our Colourful World we have been sharing more sea creature stories, including 'Barry the Fish with Fingers' and 'There's a Shark in the Park'. The rock pool had some new sea creatures which needed rescuing using tweezer. In the creative area we practiced our scissor control as we created Jellyfish, some of which are shared in the photos below. 

Our jellyfish creations

"Ahoy There!" This week we have been exploring pirates.

In our creative area we have created treasure maps, telescopes and colourful parrots. We have searched for hidden treasure using our magnets and magnifying glasses. After finding treasure we looked at amounts, who had more or less. We have spent lots of time outside, including exploring the school pirate ship (Thomas Eaton Tower) where we worked hard with our climbing and sliding down, luckily no-one had to walk the plank!



The Singing Mermaid

'The Singing Mermaid' has been our focus book of the week as we continue to explore Our Colourful World.

We have had some interesting conversations about legs and tails, how they work and what would we prefer to have. We have made some beautiful and very creative mermaids, practicing our scissor control, gluing and mark making skills.