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Thank you to all our families who joined in with our spring ‘bucket list challenge’ over the Easter break, the children are always hugely excited to share their emails/photos so please keep them coming! This half-term, we plan to explore the seasonal changes that are happening in the environment and appreciate the wonder of nature as we investigate all living things & their growth. We will celebrate the beauty of our local environment, spending lots of time outdoors and exploring our topic in the following areas 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; looking after tadpoles and caterpillars and observing the changes that occur as they grow. We will also celebrate some special dates this half term including our school’s 21st birthday on Dedication Day. In RE, we will cover the themes of ‘Good News’ and ‘Friends’ and will welcome any good news that our child may want to share with us on special postcards which we will send home this weekend. In SRE, we will develop as sense of our own personal growth since we were babies growing for 9 months in our mummy’s womb and think about how much we have changed since we were born.
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 celebrating 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. 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 how and why things happen in the natural world. We will encourage the children to read and write their own captions, labels and instructions and learn how to use diagrams, photographs, the contents page and index as tools to gain further information.
Communication and Language
At story-time, we will share ‘Springtime’ related stories every day, we may even receive a surprise letter from the fairies to read and talk about! We will develop comprehension skills and 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 develop comprehension skills by asking ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘why’ and ‘how?’ after sharing stories and books together. These questions can really support this aspect of learning.
The topic of ‘Measures’ will be explored via practical activities as we explore growing in our 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 story stimulus, we will develop scientific awareness of how living things change as they grow. 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. We will enjoy a close encounter with some exotic creatures when ‘Dylan’s Reptiles’ visit this half-term. This exciting session will offer us an opportunity to develop our self-confidence by handling and holding animals that we may be fearful of and hopefully eradicate any fears of the bug world! Details to follow in a separate letter.
Expressive Arts & Design
The children love to sing so we will be learning even more seasonal songs this half term! We will look at the natural artwork of Andy Goldsworthy and attempt to recreate some pieces using natural resources outside. We will 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.
The children will discover what is needed for their own growth and change as we exercise in order to look after our own bodies. We will introduce the PE equipment: mats, benches, climbing and balancing apparatus and teach the children how to use and store this apparatus safely. As the term progresses, we will begin ‘training’ for our Sports Day on 21 May (weather permitting!) We will be outside on the school field for these sessions so please send a pair of labelled trainers/pumps that fit to keep in your child’s pumpbag. As always, we are striving to encourage the children to be independent by trying to dress themselves and take responsibility of their belongings, particularly after PE sessions; please support us by giving your child a chance to attempt putting on and fastening their own clothes, coat, socks, shoes etc before immediately doing it for them!
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. Thank you for continuing to support and encourage your child (and us) this year.
Emmaus Reception Team