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Our theme for this Spring half term is
‘Happy New Year!’
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
In R.E. our theme is ‘Stories Jesus Heard’. We will listen to a variety of Old Testament stories and retell them in the correct sequence. We will use candles, incense and wind chimes to symbolise a special time to share these special stories. The children will continue to develop respect for other cultures when we celebrate Chinese New Year. In order to prepare for the Year of the Rooster, which begins on 28 January, we will set up a Chinese Restaurant in our role play area. We are delighted to welcome back our friend, Fen-Fen Huang who will spend the day in Reception and Nursery on 2 February. Fen-Fen will lead Chinese cultural workshops helping us to learn about the traditions and customs of Chinese New Year through music, dance, stories and sharing real Chinese artefacts. More details of arrangements for Fen Fen’s visit will follow in a separate letter.
Understanding the World
We will develop our understanding of our own culture and traditions by reflecting on our recent Christmas and New Year celebrations. Please use your child’s ‘special book’ to record any photos or mementos of your family’s Christmas or New Year celebrations for us to share and talk about in school. Our recent visit from the ‘Frozen’ characters, Elsa, Anna and Olaf has provided an exciting stimulus for our Scientific investigations. The children will investigate ‘hot and cold’, making predictions and observing the changes they see when freezing, melting, heating, cooling and boiling different materials. We plan to regularly use the outdoor environment to enrich our learning experiences, so please make sure your child brings a warm outdoor coat to school each day.
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 28 January 2017. 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 2016 by looking at photographs and talking about what we remember. We will look ahead and make predictions about what 2017 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 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.
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.
We will use the small and large P.E. apparatus in the hall. The children will be taught how to carry, store and use P.E. equipment safely and work co-operatively using mats, hoops, benches and beanbags. In class, through malleable/messy play activities 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 shown the correct letter formation of each letter of the alphabet. We will encourage the correct sequence of movement using handwriting chants and actions. At home, please reinforce the correct formation of each letter as your child writes their name and any other words they may know.
We are delighted to begin 2017 with you and your families and look forward to an enjoyable and fun year together.