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Our theme for this half term is ‘Celebrate Good Times!’ 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, including our annual ‘Book Week’. 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. 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 celebrate their favourite books and practise being story-tellers as they listen to and retell a range of familiar traditional and fairy tales. Using our story-teller chair, story baskets, puppets and props, the children will be able to retell and reinvent their favourite stories. They will be taught about basic narrative structures, using and understanding the terms, ‘character’ ‘setting’, ‘problem’ and ‘solution’ as they tell their own tales. We are constantly striving to celebrate reading and engender a love for books in our children; we love sharing books from home so please encourage your child to bring one of their favourites in over the coming weeks.
We will complete Phase 2 of the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme and consolidate the phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (letters) taught so far. 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. Our love for reading will be celebrated during the week beginning 11th November as we participate in our annual school ‘Book Week’. This special event is a huge school celebration and will be packed with fun activities for our Reception families to join in with. Most notably, we will embrace our love of books when we embark upon our very first school trip to ‘The Story Barn’ on 12 November (RKM) and 14 November (RG). Please see separate letters regarding Book Week activities and arrangements for our educational visit.
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. Early calculation concepts will be covered as we explore the idea of ‘more and less’. Using Numicon and other resources, 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. They will understand how fire brings light and warmth to the dark, cold days of winter when we celebrate Bonfire Night, Advent, Christmas, the Jewish festival of 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. 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 glowsticks. 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 and enjoy performing them to you at our Christmas sing-along for parents/carers on 11 December. To add to our festive celebrations, we will hold our Christmas party on 19 December and as a special treat, we plan to take the children to enjoy a traditional pantomime ‘Snow White’ on 18 December at Liverpool Arena Auditorium, further details to follow.
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, PE kits 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.
If you are able to join us to support your child in school this half-term*, key dates are:
8 November Supporting phonics workshop
wk beg 11 November Book week stay & read session
15 November Family learning workshop (RG)
26 or 28 November Parents evening
6 December Family learning workshop (RKM)
11 December Christmas crafts & sing-along
*please keep an eye on our social media/school newsletter for any updates or see relevant letters for specific details. We look forward to what promises to be a very exciting half-term in Reception and, as always, welcome your continued help and support at home.