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Topic Letter for Parents/Carers

Listen to our 'Reach for the Stars' song...

We have been singing this song to help us to always work hard, try our best to achieve our goals, whatever they may be

Welcome back to a new half term and as we are now half way through our first year at school, we will be encouraging the children to ‘Reach for the Stars’ to achieve their very best in all areas of learning, persevering to achieve their goals and finding their own ways to solve problems. We will travel through space, making some ‘super’ discoveries about ourselves along the way!

 

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

In RE, we begin our topic of ‘Easter’. We will explore Lent as a time to ‘grow more like Jesus’ and think of ways we can follow in his footsteps, shining from the inside out. We will learn about our own traditions and those from other cultures when we celebrate Shrove Tuesday, St David’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, Easter and the Hindu festival of Holi. During ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’, the children will explore the idea of ‘fairness’ and understand how they can help make life fairer for others.

 

Communication & Language

The children will develop ‘talk for writing’ skills by sequencing and retelling the familiar/traditional tales we shared last half-term (Three Pigs, Goldilocks, Red Riding Hood, Gingerbread Man) Our storytelling area in Yellow Base has been enhanced with ‘Tales Toolkit’ resources, story stones, story baskets, masks and puppets, allowing the children to re-tell, perform and re-enact these stories, drawing upon language patterns and narrative styles. It is crucial to develop these narrative language skills which are the vital pre-cursors for children before they can progress and grow into successful story writers later on in the term.

 

Physical Development:

We will develop our fine motor skills further when we begin our ‘dough disco’ sessions this half term. By strengthening their arm, wrist, hand and finger muscles, the children will manipulate and control tools and equipment with improved dexterity and grip their pencils appropriately ready to write. We will talk about how to stay safe during physical activity and how to transport and store equipment appropriately. Our weekly PE sessions continue every week, this half term we will focus on team games. Please continue to praise your child’s efforts to dress themselves and look after their belongings, especially when they come home on PE days!

 

Literacy

Using ‘Tales Toolkit’ techniques, we will use picture prompts to stimulate emergent and independent writing relating to stories we know well. The children will be encouraged to draw or write their own story books based on their favourite traditional tales. We will learn about non-fiction text types by exploring the school environment to find evidence of signs and labels. The children will understand the purpose of these signs and labels and attempt to write some useful signs for our learning bases, in particular in the Builder’s Yard.

 

As we near completion of Phase 3 Letters and Sounds, our focus is now on consolidation of reading and spelling words using all the phonemes, di/trigraphs taught this year. Please support your child as often as possible to read high frequency and tricky words ‘on sight’ and use phonic skills to ‘break down’ unfamiliar words when reading and spelling.

 

Mathematics

During ‘Maths Week’, the children will consolidate their understanding of adding and subtracting and some will progress to ‘counting on’ and ‘counting back’ from the larger number to add and take away. We will focus on the ‘Shape, Space and Measures’ strand of the curriculum for the rest of this half term, develop key mathematical skills by: building models with regular and irregular solid and flat shapes; copying and creating repeating patterns; using and making maps to understand positional language and follow directions; exploring measures by comparing objects of differing lengths and heights. The children will be encouraged to use key mathematical vocabulary when describing and explaining what they are doing during practical activities:

Pattern: repeat, next, before, after, sequence, continue

Shapes: flat, circle, triangle, square, rectangle, star; solid, sphere, cube, cone, cylinder, pyramid

Position: in front, above, below, under, over, on top, behind, next to, in between, beside, opposite

Direction: left, right, forwards, backwards, sideways, up, down, along, near, far

Measures: long/er/est, short, wide, tall, narrow, thick, thin

 

Understanding the World:

‘Egg-citing’ times ahead, as Lent continues, we will observe new life growing from the ‘inside out’ when we look after a dozen hen’s eggs for two weeks just before Easter. The children will be on ‘chick watch’ as they take care of the eggs in the incubator and, fingers crossed, we will hopefully witness a real ‘hatch’ after a few days! Once the chicks have all hatched, the children will take charge of feeding and caring for them, as they grow in their brooder box for the rest of their time with us.

Additionally, the children will think of the wider world around them during ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’. We will research the origins of the food we eat and find their locations using Google Earth on the smartboards.

 

Expressive Arts and Design

We will examine about the story of the ‘Three Little Pigs’ and decide which pig was the most successful builder, designing the best house, using the most appropriate materials. In our small world play area, we will use the farm animals to perform our own versions of traditional tales such as The Three Pigs, The Little Red Hen, Farmer Duck and The Three Billy Goats Gruff. In music, we will learn a variety of topical songs including ‘Reach for the Stars’, ‘Spring Chicken’, ‘Easter Jubilation’ and ‘Shine from the Inside Out’. We will design and make seasonal greetings cards and Easter treats using mixed media and materials.

 

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement, especially with reading and homework activities, it really does make a huge difference to the progress your child will make this year.

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