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Tous Ensemble, En Chemin Avec Jesus

Topic Letter for parents and carers

Bonne Année and Happy 2020! Our theme for this half term is ‘Happy New Year!’


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

In RE, we will explore the topics of ‘Celebrations’ and ‘Gathering’.  Deacon Housbey will join us in school to teach us about the special celebrations that take place in Church and appreciate how our Parish family gather together for these occasions.  The children will develop respect for other cultures when we celebrate Chinese New Year.  In order to prepare for the Year of the Rat, which is celebrated on 25 & 26 January, we will set up a Chinese Restaurant in our role play area. We will welcome our friend Fenfen Huang to spend the day with us in Early Years and come to school wearing the traditional colours of red & yellow on 29 January.  We will learn about the traditions and customs of Chinese New Year through music, dance, stories and sharing real Chinese artefacts.  More details of arrangements for this special celebration day will follow in a separate letter.


Understanding the World

We will develop our understanding of our own culture and traditions by reflecting on our Christmas and New Year celebrations.  Please use your child’s ‘special book’ to record any photos or mementos of your family’s festive celebrations for us to share and talk about in school.   Following the children’s interests in the new Frozen 2 film, we will investigate ‘hot and cold’; making predictions and observing the changes they see when freezing, melting, heating, cooling and boiling different materials.  We hope to visit ‘Imagine That’ in Wavertree Technology Park to discover more about the science of ‘change’ & engage in some exciting workshops and investigations.  Further details to follow once dates and costs are finalised.


 Expressive Arts and Design

 Our creative work will be focussed on our Chinese New Year celebrations. We will   practise folding, assembling, cutting and decorating to create a giant Chinese lion and dragon, as well as making cards, fans and lanterns to decorate our Chinese restaurant imaginary play area. In dance, we will play musical instruments and use the models we have to create our own Chinese dragon/lion dance. We will listen to traditional Chinese music and move in time to the rhythms we can hear.   You may wish to visit Chinatown in Liverpool City Centre to experience real Chinese dragon dancing and much more exciting cultural treats during the weekend of 25th & 26th January 2020.  Please send in any exciting photos/souvenirs if you do!


Communication and Language

Through ‘circle time’ and ‘time to talk’ sessions, the children will be encouraged to express their ideas and opinions using appropriate vocabulary and clear, audible speech. We will reflect on 2019 by looking at photographs and talking about what we remember. We will look ahead and make predictions about what 2020 may bring.  The children will be encouraged to recount their experiences in increasing detail, answering questions such as what? where? who? how? and why? in order to structure their ideas clearly.



 In reading, we will explore the genre of Traditional Tales, exploring the key features of these texts. The children will listen to, retell and re-enact the stories of Goldilocks; the Gingerbread Man, The Little Red Hen and The Three Little Pigs. We will talk about the characters, the sequence of events and the structure of these stories. In our guided reading groups we will extend these reading skills as we share ‘Once Upon A Time’ series of stories from the Storyworlds reading scheme.   In Letters and Sounds, we will embed the learning and skills taught in Phase 2 and begin learning new sounds and tricky words in Phase 3.  We will use our blending skills to read simple captions and then sentences containing the phonemes and high frequency words taught to date.  Please continue to reinforce letter/sound correspondence, blending and segmenting skills and ‘tricky’ word recognition each week at home.


Mathematics   We will introduce the concept of ‘time’ through stories, rhymes and songs. The children should begin to experience the passage of time as we explore the days of the week, the months of the year and the four seasons.  In Numeracy, we aim to consolidate the children’s understanding of numbers to 20.  They will gain an awareness of placement on a number line by identifying missing numbers; comparing numbers to find which is more, less, greater, smaller fewer etc, order random numbers from smallest to biggest.  We will begin counting up from a number to find how many more and counting back to take away.


Physical Development

In class, the children will continue to strengthen their fine motor skills. We have planned a variety of sensory experiences to develop skills of rolling, pinching, squeezing, prodding etc using glitter, gloop, ‘snow’, clay and dough.  In handwriting, the children will be taught the correct letter formation of each letter of the alphabet.  At home, please reinforce the correct formation of each letter as your child writes their name and attempts to spell tricky/HF words.  In PE, we will work on our dance skills: travelling, copying & performing actions, practising galloping, skipping, sliding, jumping, changing direction, balancing, running.


We are delighted to begin 2020 with you and your families and look forward to an enjoyable and fun half-term together.

Yours sincerely,

Emmaus Reception Team