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Welcome back to a new half term and as we are now half-way through our first year at school, we will be encouraging the children to ‘Reach for the Stars’ to achieve their very best in all areas of learning, persevering to achieve their goals and finding their own ways to solve problems. We will travel together through time and space, making some ‘super’ discoveries about ourselves along the way!
Personal, Social & Emotional Development
Our RE topics are ‘Gathering’ and ‘Growing’. We will explore Lent as a time to ‘grow more like Jesus’ and think of ways we can follow in his footsteps, shining from the inside out. We will learn about our own traditions and those from other cultures when we celebrate Chinese New Year, Mother’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, Easter and the Hindu festival of Holi. During ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’, the children will explore the idea of ‘fairness’ and understand how they can help make life fairer for others.
Understanding the World:
‘Egg-citing’ times ahead, as Lent continues, we will observe new life growing from the ‘inside out’ when we look after a dozen hen’s eggs for two weeks just before Easter. The children will be on ‘chick watch’ as they take care of the eggs in the incubator and, fingers crossed, we will hopefully witness a real ‘hatch’ after a few days! Once the chicks have all hatched, the children will take charge of feeding and caring for them, as they grow in their brooder box for the rest of their time with us.
Additionally, the children will think of the wider world around them during ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’. We will research the origins of the food we eat and find their locations using Google Earth on the smartboard.
Communication & Language
We will develop comprehension skills this half-term through a number of investigative and thought-provoking activities. The children will be encouraged to give accounts of what they see, hear, feel and think while they engage in awe-inspiring activities such as witnessing our eggs hatch right before their eyes! During ‘time to talk’ sessions, we will encourage the children to reflect on these experiences by asking questions, making predictions, noticing patterns and examining evidence to draw their own conclusions.
In phonics, we continue to work within Phase 3 of our letters and sounds programme. The children will focus on consolidation of reading and spelling words using all the graphemes, di/trigraphs taught so far. Please support your child as often as possible to read high frequency and tricky words ‘on sight’ and use phonic skills to ‘break down’ or ‘sound out’ unfamiliar words when reading and spelling. Guided reading and writing sessions will focus on non-fiction texts. We will explore the key features to know and remember when reading or writing factual information. The children will have opportunities to write about the real events of the chicks hatching in their own ‘chick diaries’, recording the changes they observe each day, drawing and writing about their observations.
The children will consolidate their understanding of adding and subtracting and some will progress to ‘counting on’ and ‘counting back’ from the larger number to add and take away through ‘egg’ themed calculation activities. We will develop a sense of number when we explore number bonds to 10: comparing numbers, finding the difference between numbers and counting on to find how many more to make 10. The children will be encouraged to recall number pairs to make 10 and to solve maths problems using this developing understanding.
Expressive Arts and Design
We will prepare to celebrate Chinese New Year constructing and decorating a giant Chinese dragon and perform our own dragon dance around the school. Our ‘Year of the Dog’ celebrations will conclude with a day filled with Chinese art, stories, dance and music on Friday 23 February. Please send in your voluntary contribution of £3 to support the day’s activities and remember that the children may wear their own clothes and come into school to celebrate Chinese New Year dressed in the lucky colours of red/yellow on Friday.
As the half-term progresses, our thoughts will turn toward Easter celebrations, we will learn a variety of topical songs including ‘Reach for the Stars’, ‘Spring Chicken’, ‘Easter Jubilation’ and ‘Shine from the Inside Out’. We will design and make seasonal greetings cards and Easter treats using mixed media and materials.
We will develop our fine motor skills further with our daily ‘squiggle while you wiggle’ and ‘dough disco’ sessions. By strengthening their arm, wrist, hand and finger muscles, we hope that children’s handwriting will continue to improve as they grip and control their pencils to form letters with the correct sequence of movement. Our weekly PE sessions continue every week, this half term we will focus on team games. Please continue to praise your child’s efforts to dress themselves and look after their belongings, especially when they come home on PE days!
Thank you for your continued support and encouragement, we look forward to another half-term filled with many more ‘magic moments’ to remember. Please encourage your child to 'reach for the stars' every day so they can be the best they can be, at home and in school!