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Autumn Term 2 - Celebrate Good Times


Our theme for this half term is

Celebrate Good Times!

We have been celebrating the Hindu festival of Diwali, the ‘festival of lights’.  Mrs Thakar talked to us about the traditions of this special festival and explained that Diwali is a New Year celebration when Indian families pray for good luck and prosperity by lighting rows of lamps called ‘divas’.  We enjoyed making our own diva lamps, creating traditional rangoli patterns to decorate the floor outside, dressing up in real saris and dancing to ‘Bollywood’ music wearing Indian jewellery, bells and bindis!  Our celebrations came to a conclusion when we lit our diva lamps and enjoyed tasting some traditional Diwali Indian sweets and savouries.



Book Week 2014

We Love Books in Reception! 


We have thoroughly enjoyed all the exciting events of Emmaus Book Week 2014.  Our Reception families have supported us by coming into school for our storytelling session with Liverpool librarians; staying to read in class with our friends and most exciting of all, bringing us back to school in our pyjamas for our onesie book swap night! 


We loved visiting the school book shop to buy a brand new book, Curtis Watt treated us to a fun, interactive storytelling workshop in the hall and our friends in Year 6 made 'story stones' for us to keep in Reception.  These will help develop our literacy and communication skills and are a fun way for us to use our imagination when we tell our own stories!


Our Reception adopted author is Julia Donaldson, we love reading her stories every day in class.  As our Book Week theme is 'Make Do and Mend', we used 'The Scarecrow's Wedding' to give us ideas to make our very own Reception scarecrow family.  We brought in unwanted scraps from home and recyclable materials to make our scarecrows, complete with QR codes to scan and listen to traditional tales on the ipads!

Discovering exciting new stories at the Book Fair...

Year 6 made story stones for us to keep!

Storytelling with our families and Liverpool librarians

Sharing books in class with our families

Dylan's Amazing Reptiles

visit Reception!

Dylan Hicks visited Reception last week, although he wasn't alone!  Dylan brought with him a baby tarantula, bull frog, scorpion, giant African landsnail and an array of reptiles, including a boa constrictor called Brian!


We were spellbound listening to Dylan telling us all about how his collection of creatures live and feed and we all had the opportunity to touch every single one (except for the scorpion!).  Some of us were brave enough to hold the tarantula and snakes too!    


You can see how much we enjoyed meeting our amazing visitors when you look at the photos below...

Autumn Term 2 Topic Letter to parents/carers:


We will explore some of the festivals and celebrations that bring light to the dark winter days leading up until Christmas.  It is a very busy half-term with lots of exciting activities planned in the following areas of learning:


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Our ‘Winter Campfire’ visit to Everton Road Nursery will serve as the stimulus for our topic.  This experience helped the children to understand how fire brings light and warmth to the dark, cold days of winter.   We will continue this theme when we celebrate Bonfire Night, Christmas, Hannukah and the Hindu festival of Diwali.  The children will listen to traditional stories to understand more about the meaning of these festivals and begin to understand the symbolism of light and dark in all traditions.  Mrs Thakar has brought in some real artefacts such as diva lamps, saris and bindis and will help the children to celebrate Diwali as they dress up, taste Indian cuisine and attempt some ‘Bollywood’ style dancing!


Merseyside Fire Service will visit Nursery and Reception this week to talk about staying safe on Bonfire Night and explaining the important role the Fire Service plays in our community.  


In R.E. the children will learn about Baptism and being welcomed into God’s family.  They will understand that when we are baptised, the light of Jesus shines in everybody.  As the half-term progresses, our thoughts will turn to ‘birthdays’ as we light candles on the Advent wreath to begin our preparations for celebrating Jesus’ birthday on Christmas Day.


Communication & Language

During circle time and story-time, the children will practise being a ‘good listener’, ‘good talker’ and develop their concentration skills.   When speaking, the children will be encouraged to communicate their ideas clearly and to use interesting words to describe their experiences, feelings and ideas.  Adults will ask questions to extend the children’s descriptive vocabulary.  Please continue to send your child’s ‘special book’ into school for us to share with the class.  These provide an excellent support for the children to talk with clarity about significant events in their lives.



We will complete Phase 2 of the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme and consolidate the phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (letters) taught so far before moving on to Phase 3.  The children will continue to have daily exposure to practising and applying their developing phonemic awareness to read and spell simple words, as well as recognising ‘tricky’ words as often as possible.


We will learn about different text types: labels, captions and lists.  The children will be encouraged to spell simple words by listening to the dominant sounds they can hear and attempt to write them down to formulate their own label, caption or list.  In reading, the children will explore ‘rhymes’.  Through guided reading sessions and listening to a variety of poems, rhymes, songs and rhyming stories, the children will become familiar with the concept of rhyming words and encouraged to generate rhymes of their own. 


Book Week will take place during the week beginning 10th November.  This year’s theme is ‘Make Do and Mend’ and lots of exciting literacy events are planned for the whole school.  Further details to follow.



We will introduce the concept of counting backwards as we pretend to launch rockets on Bonfire Night and we count down the days until Christmas.  The children will be invited to count backwards from random numbers between 1-10 and beyond.  Through the ‘birthdays’ theme, early calculation concepts will be covered as we explore the idea of ‘more and less’.  The children will be given lots of practical experiences of comparing quantities and numerals to say which is more/greater or less/fewer.    


  Understanding the World

As we discover more about our winter celebrations topic, the children will be encouraged to use their senses to explore and describe all the things they can see, taste, feel, smell and touch as they experience different traditions and customs.   In ICT, we will learn to use the ipads to scan QR codes to listen to rhyming stories and record our own voices to describe our experiences using the ‘My Story’ app.


  Expressive Arts and Design

We will explore pattern and colour through our Diwali, Firework and Christmas celebrations and the children will have opportunities to recreate rangoli patterns with chalks, make firework transient art pictures with glowsticks and create their own Christmas decorations, cards and calendars.  Our Christmas production will be the focus of our creative work this half term as we rehearse the songs, dances and words for our performance on 10th and 11th December.


  Physical Development

The children will continue to participate in coach-led PE sessions every Wednesday morning and this half-term will develop throwing and catching skills.  As ever, we continue to celebrate all the children’s efforts to be independent when dressing before and after PE!


We look forward to what promises to be a very busy half-term in Reception and welcome your continued help and support at home.