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Learning overview

Our theme for this half term is ‘Be a Light to the World’.  As autumn draws to a close, 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

In RE, our topic is ‘Welcome’.  The children will learn that, through Baptism, they have been welcomed into God’s family.  They will understand that when we are baptised, the light of Jesus shines in everybody.  Deacon Housbey from Our Lady Queen of Martyrs’ Church will join us in early November to celebrate a real ‘baptism’ with one of our dolls.  We will sing the contemporary hymn, ‘My Lighthouse’ to remember that Jesus is always there for us, whatever happens or however we feel.  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

We will celebrate World Nursery Rhyme Week on 15th to 19th November.  We will learn a new nursery rhyme by heart every day and develop crucial phonic skills in listening for language patterns, rhythm and rhyme. Research has found that “when a child knows eight or more nursery rhymes by heart, at the age of 4, that they are usually one of the best at reading and spelling in their class by the age of 8”.



We will continue following our new phonic programme, Read Write Inc. We will learn a new phoneme (sound) and corresponding grapheme (letter) to read and write every day.  The children have daily exposure to recognising their ‘speed sounds’ and will use ‘Fred Talk’ as a vehicle to practise blending the sounds in words to read.


We will write messages in greetings cards when we celebrate Baptism, Diwali and Christmas, as well as writing letters/Christmas lists to Santa and reading messages from the elusive ‘Emmaus elf’ when he returns to visit us in early December!



The children will be given lots of practical experiences of recognising, naming and finding different ways to show the numbers `1 to 5.  We are making sure that the children have a solid foundation of every number to 5, before moving on to larger numbers.  We will use numicon, dominoes, dice, groups of objects, songs and stories to support the children in recognising different representations of each number.  We are teaching the children that all numbers are made up of smaller numbers by exploring and noticing the different compositions of 2, 3, 4 and 5. 


Understanding the World

The children will experience the changing of the seasons and understand how fire brings light and warmth to the dark, cold days of winter when we celebrate Bonfire Night, Advent, Christmas 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.  We will reflect on British cultural traditions and respect the role of our armed forces when we participate in ‘Remembrance Day’ activities. 


Expressive Arts and Design

We will explore pattern and colour through our Diwali, Fireworks and Christmas celebrations.  The children will have opportunities to use clay to sculpt diva lamps, recreate rangoli patterns with chalks and make firework transient art pictures with natural loose parts. Our Christmas preparations will be the main focus of our creative work this half term as we make, create, decorate and design our own seasonal cards, calendars and gifts. We will learn traditional and contemporary Christmas songs and carols.


Physical Development

The children continue to explore our outdoor classroom every day and are making great progress organising their own belongings as they dress in their wetsuits and wellies.  As ever, we continue to celebrate all the children’s efforts to be independent when dressing themselves: coats, hats, scarves, gloves, shoes etc. Please check that your child’s school uniform/coat/shoes are still labelled and their name is clearly visible to support them with this.  In PE this half-term, we will develop ball skills: rolling, throwing, balancing, dribbling and kicking.  We will also have the opportunity to join in with exciting group dance sessions, led by Mrs Neil, as we celebrate Diwali and Christmas.


Home/School Links

Upcoming dates for your diary:


Tuesday 9 Nov (2.40) – Reception parent information session: Teaching your child to read

Monday 22 Nov (3.30-7.00) or Tuesday 23 Nov (3.30-5.30) – Reception Parents Evening

Wednesday 15 Dec (2.15) Christmas performance for RG parents only

Thursday 16 Dec (2.15) Christmas performance for RKM parents only

Monday 20 Dec – Reception Christmas panto visit to watch ‘Cinderella’ at Liverpool ACC Arena (see separate letter for details and payment).


We are truly grateful for the amazing support our families have already given this year, joining in with all of our family challenges and homework activities.  We look forward to what promises to be another busy, exciting half-term in Reception!  Please let us know if you have any queries about any of the details in this letter.