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Welcome back to school! We are hopeful that this half-term will be as normal as possible, with plenty of exciting learning opportunities planned for the children to enjoy. Our theme will be ‘What a Wonderful World’; we will celebrate and appreciate the wonder of the natural world and understand our role in protecting and preserving the awesome beauty of our planet. As ever, our learning will take place indoors and outdoors so wellies and wetsuits will definitely be required!
To begin this new term, we would like to thank all our families who joined in with the Spring ‘bucket list challenge’ over the Easter break, the children are always hugely excited to share their emails/photos of their outdoor adventures so please keep them coming!
Understanding the World
We are very excited to install our own aquarium and participate in an immersive ‘coral reef’ experience in Reception for the next 6 weeks! The children will have the opportunity to look after and observe the behavior of a variety of exotic sea-life including clownfish, cleaner shrimp, hermit crabs, sea urchins, snails and different types of coral. We hope this will lead to enriching discussions and activities relating to habitats, sea-life, climate, sustainability and the beauty of God’s creation.
We will celebrate Earth Day on 22 April and Outdoor Classroom Day on 20 May. These events will give the children opportunities to discover some of the ways that they can make a difference in protecting our planet. We will use our Forest School site to plant wildflowers to increase biodiversity, continue to maintain our minibeast bug hotel (now renamed ‘Bug-ingham Pallet!), use recycled materials for some eco-crafting, go on a litter pick to tidy up our outdoor environment and look after the seedlings that we planted last half-term.
Using ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and ‘The Tiny Seed’ as story stimuli, we will develop scientific awareness of how living things change as they grow. We will hopefully enjoy watching our 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.
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 23rd 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. In SRE, we will develop as sense of our own personal growth since we were babies 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
We will share a collection of ‘Earth’ themed stories every day, we may even receive a surprise letter from the fairies asking us to help them too! We will develop comprehension skills and the children will be encouraged to be ‘news reporters’, recalling and recounting significant events that we experience, 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. The children will have 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. Throughout this half-term, the children will also 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.
Expressive Arts & Design
Using recycled and natural materials, we will create a range of eco-crafts, including musical instruments, fairy homes, sun catchers, planters or wherever the children’s imagination takes them! We will look at the natural artwork of Andy Goldsworthy and attempt to recreate some pieces of transient art using natural resources outside. In Forest School, we will use sticks, flower petals and leaves to make nature paintbrushes, create fairy potions and print with natural dyes on fabric. We will observe classic 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.
We hope the children will be able to change into their PE kits this term, so please send our child’s PE bag into school, if we do not already have it. 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 themselves.
We are excited to begin ‘Balanceability’ Learn to Cycle sessions this half-term. The programme is designed to help children gain the confidence and skills required to ride a pedal bike independently, getting them off to the best start in cycling and supporting their balance and coordination. Due to COVID restrictions, 15 children from each class can participate this half-term, with the hope that the remainder can participate in the next half-term. All equipment and safety gear is provided, so your child does not need to bring their bike into school.
We are amazed that this will be the final term of the children’s first year at school! We pray that the coming weeks will be uninterrupted and we are committed to making them as exciting as possible! As ever, we can’t thank you enough for the continued support and encouragement you have given us all this year.