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Summer Term 1 - Wake Up Spring

This half-term, we will explore the seasonal changes that occur in the natural environment and appreciate the wonder of nature through a variety of fun and interactive activities.  We will celebrate the beauty of Springtime when we visit Croxteth Park for our ‘Spring Awake’ sessions and assist the characters ‘Spring, Dib and Grub’ in finding all the essential elements needed to help plants and animals to grow.  The session is lots of fun and includes opportunities for the children to sing, dance, solve problems and celebrate the beauty of their local environment.  Back in school, we will spend lots of time outdoors and continue to explore the topic in each area of learning:

 

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

The children will show care and concern for living things and the environment by looking after seeds that they plant, care for the flowers in our outdoor area, looking after tadpoles and caterpillars and observing the changes that occur as they develop.  Our three chicks now have names - Harper, Jessica and Clucky and are now ‘poults’, continuing to grow at a rapid pace! The children will share the daily responsibility of cleaning, feeding and caring for them with the rest of the school community.  We will also celebrate some special dates this half term including St George’s Day and our school’s 18th birthday on Dedication Day, 5th May. In RE, we will cover the themes of ‘Stories Jesus Told’ and Pentecost.

 

 Literacy

We will focus on the work of the author Eric Carle and will introduce the children to his many stories, non-fiction books and poems relating to the natural world.  The children will have opportunities to re-tell the stories using words, pictures, music and writing and perhaps use them as a stimulus for making their own books related to the topic.  In Reading and Writing, we will develop the children’s ability to recognise non-fiction texts as information books and use them to find out new things to answer questions about why things happen in the natural world.  We will encourage the children to read and write their own captions, labels and instructions and use diagrams, photographs, the contents page and index as tools to gain further information.  We continue to revise daily all the letter sounds and names of phonemes, digraphs and trigraphs taught this year. The children will be invited to recognize and spell the ‘tricky’ words from their word ladders and incorporate them into a sentence to read and write independently.

 

Communication and Language

We will develop comprehension and retelling skills; the children will be encouraged to be ‘news reporters’, recalling and recounting significant events from stories and their own lives, incorporating increasing detail to engage the listener.  You can help by encouraging your child to speak clearly in extended sentences, using descriptive vocabulary and appropriate expression; You can develop reading comprehension by asking ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ after sharing stories and books together. These questions can really support this aspect of learning.

 

Mathematics

The topic of ‘Measures’ will be explored via practical activities in our Forest School outdoor area. The children will have extensive opportunities to compare, measure, estimate and record the length, weight, mass, shape and size of various objects (including themselves) and will develop related mathematical vocabulary: long (er-est), short, tall, wide, narrow, heavy, light, thick, thin, the same height/weight/length as etc.  Throughout this half-term, the children will become familiar with the concept of the passage of time and understand the units of time; days of the week, months of the year, morning, afternoon and night time.  This will lead into learning how to tell ‘o’ clock time later on in the summer term.

 

Understanding the World

Using ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ as a stimulus and the children’s own experiences of growing and changing, we will develop scientific awareness of how living things change as they grow.  We will investigate how much the children themselves have grown since they were babies and continue to be amazed at the growth of our three hens.  We hope to watching frogspawn develop into tadpoles and frogs.  We will plant a variety of seeds and hopefully enjoy watching flowers, herbs, vegetables and plants grow over the summer term, including a few ‘beanstalks’ if we are lucky!  We will experiment with finding out the optimal conditions for seeds to grow and record our observations. 

 

Expressive Arts & Design

The children love to sing so we will be learning even more seasonal songs this half term! We will also listen to ‘Spring Symphony’ performed by Andre Rieu, and try to comment on how the music makes us feel.  We will observe works of art such as Van Gogh’s Irises/ Sunflowers and Monet’s Waterlillies, and attempt to use these pieces as a stimulus for our own art work using a variety of art media and techniques. The children will be encouraged to talk about what they have made and discuss and evaluate their own artwork.

 

Physical Development

The children will discover what is needed for their own growth and change as we discuss healthy eating in order to look after our bodies and teeth.   We will participate in cooking workshops led by our school catering company and we will each prepare and cook our own healthy ‘pizzas’ to bring home.  In PE, we will begin our ‘training’ for Sport’s Day - practising throwing, catching, aiming, travelling and controlling skills with a variety of equipment ranging from footballs to space hoppers! *Please ensure your child has pumps or trainers (that fit!) in school for outdoor PE lessons this term.

 

At Home…

You can extend your child’s learning by:-

  • Planting seeds, observing growth and change in the natural world.
  • Talking about where our food comes from, how it is grown and encouraging your child to make healthy food choices
  • Looking at baby/toddler photos and talking about how they have changed.
  • Using vocabulary related to time when you talk together – days of the week, months of the year
  • Motivating your child to ‘have a go’ at writing words and simple sentences (stressing the idea that it doesn’t matter if they make a mistake!).
  • Sharing their daily reading books every day, encouraging your child to read tricky and high frequency words ‘on sight’ and using phonic strategies to decode less familiar words.
  • Developing comprehension skills by encouraging your child to retell stories, infer information and answer questions based on what they have read.
  • Practising handwriting skills to ensure correct pencil grip and accurate formation of letters and numbers.

 

We are now in the final term of the children’s first year at school! We look forward to another busy and exciting half-term together.  We are continuing to collate evidence to support our judgements about your child’s progress this year and your input through ‘Learning Logs’ and ‘Special Books’ is a valuable part of the assessment process.  Thank you for continuing to support and encourage your child year.

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