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YR- Squirrel Class

Welcome to Squirrel Class!

“The first five years have so much to do with how the next 80 turn out.”

Bill Gates


At Palmarsh we want children to feel safe, secure and happy whilst upholding our values:

  • H – Honesty
  • E – Endeavour
  • A – Ambition
  • R – Resilience
  • T – Tolerance

So that every child and adult can thrive. 


Our curriculum

We plan opportunities for children to:

  • Be open-minded
  • Be brave
  • Be inquisitive
  • Be optimistic
  • Be individual!

We want children to value themselves, others and learning!


A Day in Early Years

Every day in Squirrel Class is an adventure! Although we have a regular structure to our day, which includes some whole class learning and small group work, our main goal is to allow children maximum opportunity to ‘Play to Learn’ as this is when they are leaning most! Miss Moss, Mrs Tilley and Mrs Hawkes will support their play, interacting, not interfering, to ensure they can develop their knowledge, skills and understanding.


Super Start!

As children arrive they self-register, by identifying or writing their name. They are encouraged to complete a fine motor activity, or maths task before registration.


Focused sessions

There are always at least 3 focus sessions daily. One will be Phonic based and one maths. The other sessions will have a planned focus such as knowledge and understanding, teaching a new creative skill or developing fine motor control through Dough Disco!


Play to Learn

Most learning time is child led, with adults skilfully supporting. Free flow indoor and outdoor provision is available. At the end of these sessions, learning will be reviewed and next steps planned.


Planning for Progress 


In Squirrel class we believe it is pivotal to follow the interests of the children to ensure they are actively engaged and inspired by their learning. We provide termly starting points, which mirror the rest of school, based around a question to solve throughout the term:


Term 1 - Can we be superheroes?

Term 2 - Why do squirrels hide their nuts?

Term 3 - Was the big bad wolf really that bad?


However, where the children take these is determined only by their own creativity and imagination: who knows where we will go?!


Planning ‘In the moment’

Planning ‘In the Moment’ is a concept that involves allowing child initiated, real time, learning through play based on capturing the interest of a child at the current time. The adults seize the moment when a child shows a level of interest and curiosity that can be drawn out and then enhanced and built upon in that ‘teachable moment’. We can only do this as a result of the adults strong knowledge of each child and their level of development.  Learning is recorded in retrospect and then shared in each child’s Learning Journey. The observations made will guide the enhancements for the following days and weeks and we are always responsive to children's interests and needs so that the best progress is made.





Children will plan and review their own learning each day. We will always share (by picture, video or discussion) examples of children’s learning from the day. This allows the children involved to reflect on their own learning and plan their own next steps. It also enables others in the class to be inspired by and question others experiences and learning. We will be making incredible progression as a whole class!





Children will use a squirrel to place in areas which they want to work during the next ‘Play to Learn’ session and often note their ideas beside these.

Objective Led Planning

Some skills are taught more discretely. We focus on a particular skill to teach and plan an outcome for each child based on their current level of development in that area of learning. We call this ‘objective led planning’. Objectives are pre-planned but we still deliver our teaching according to the child’s interests, taking it to their play. For example, Maths is taught weekly in Squirrel Class using this approach. If the focus is on counting objects from a big group this could be delivered in the water tray, in grouping animals or in the outdoors by sorting leaves. For the children to learn a new skill, we have to make it meaningful to them!


Teach a child to read and keep that child reading and we will change everything.

And I mean everything.

Jeanette Winterson



We use Read Write Inc (Ruth Miskin)  to deliver Phonics teaching. Our phonics sessions are focused and fast. We want children to ‘keep up’, not have to ‘catch up’ and so we reinforce learning for those that need it throughout the day.

Helicopter Stories




Our Stories







Tapestry Policy





Tuesday 17th September 

Tuesday 1st October

Tuesday 15th October 


Old,warm clothes is all that is needed!

Focus texts this term

Focus texts this term 1
Focus texts this term 2
Focus texts this term 3
Focus texts this term 4

Focus songs this term: 


  • 5 little ducks 
  • 10 green bottles 
  • Bingo dog song 
  • Humpty Dumpty 
  • Incy Wincy spider

Homework Term 1

Picture 1
Picture 2