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Topic Letter for Parents & Carers

This half-term, we will explore the seasonal changes that are happening in the environment and appreciate the wonder of nature as we investigate living things & growing. We will celebrate the beauty of our local environment, spending lots of time outdoors and exploring our 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; looking after tadpoles and caterpillars and observing the changes that occur as they grow. 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! We will also celebrate some special dates this half term including St George’s Day, the Royal Wedding and our school’s 20th birthday on Dedication Day. In RE, we will cover the themes of ‘Good News’ and ‘Friends’.

 

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.

 

Communication and Language

At storytime, 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.

 

Mathematics

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 develop observational skills when we go on a ‘minibeast hunt’. After collecting a variety of bugs and creepy-crawlies, we will enjoy looking after them for a short period and extend our understanding of the habitats of these fascinating creatures, how they feed and the different ways they move.

 

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.

 

Physical Development

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 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 have been invited to participate in forest school sessions at the ‘Nature to Nurture’ outstanding early years setting in Croxteth Park. The children will spend a morning of hands-on outdoor learning experiences, including tree climbing, wood whittling, fire lighting, den building, ending with a campfire and toasted marshmallow ‘smores’. A group of 15 children will initially take part during this half-term, then we have arranged for all of the Reception children to visit at the beginning of next half-term. Details of these visits will be sent home in a separate letter.

 

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.

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