Welcome Back! We hope you had a wonderful Easter and are ready for the first part of the summer term.
Our RE topics this half term are: ‘The Story of Easter’, ‘Good News’ and ‘Friends’. We will learn that everyone has Good News to share and will learn about Pentecost: the celebration of the Good News of Jesus. Children will learn that Jesus had good friends and we will teach them about what Jesus tells us about friendship. We will also be learning about Mary during the month of May.
This half term, we will be doing shared reading and activities around our big books, which are: ‘Who’s in the Shed?’ ‘To Town’ and ‘Dan the Flying Man’. We will read our big book every day, and will focus on the tricky sight words in the text, as well as strategies we can use to decipher unknown words. The reading strategies we have been focusing on are: looking at the pictures to give us clues, using our phonics to sound out words eg r-ai-n, looking for smaller words within longer words eg f-all-ing and breaking down longer words into smaller chunks eg fun-fair. We also have been working on learning more sight words that we recognise instantly when reading and have discussed how we do not sound these out. We encourage children to use a combination of these reading strategies, as this balance facilitates them to read more complex text as well as improving their fluency. We will also be reading lots of information books and stories about plants and gardening.
We will continue doing guided and individual reading sessions twice a week. Guided sessions are group reading sessions, where reading strategies are modelled to the children. Individual sessions give the children the opportunity to independently apply the reading skills we teach them in the guided sessions. We are also emphasising the importance of reading for meaning with the children, and we are working on developing our comprehension skills. Please continue to support your child at home by reading with them daily, and helping them to learn their tricky words on their bookmark.
We have now completed Phase 3 in phonics, and will commence Phase 4 soon. Phase 4 does not introduce any new sounds, but reviews all the sounds we have learnt so far, in the form of longer and more complex words. We will have fun Phase 4 activities every day. If you would like some ideas of what you may do at home, please find a link at the bottom of the page. We will continue to practise using our Phase 2 and 3 sounds, and segmenting and blending words to help us with our reading and writing. Please encourage and support your child to use their phonics when reading and writing at home, in order to consolidate what they have learnt at school.
The children have lots of opportunities to write. We encourage children to form their letters correctly when writing, using the letter formation rhymes we have learnt in class. These letter rhymes are in the children’s reading diaries, so please refer to these when practising writing. Please continue to support children in forming their letters correctly at home, according to the school’s handwriting policy. This half term, we are working on the correct use of punctuation including capital letters, full stops and finger spaces. We are focussing on applying our phonics and knowledge of tricky words to help us when writing. We are also working on using adjectives and more complex punctuation eg question marks, exclamation marks and eclipses, to make our writing more interesting with those who are ready.
Communication and Language
All the children will be encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas with their classmates. Children will be supported to speak in full sentences in class and use as much interesting vocabulary as possible. When talking to your child at home, please encourage them to speak in full sentences, rather than giving one or two word answers.
We will continue to place a big emphasis on the development of language within our classroom, by providing children with a wide range of activities across the curriculum and modelling language and vocabulary as they play. We will also continue to support the children to develop their speech and language skills through the use of songs and stories.
Our talk topics for this half term are ‘Differences’, Signs of Spring’, ‘Our Garden’ and ‘Pentecost’.
Every day we have problem solving, reasoning and numeracy activities. We will continue our work on counting, reading and writing numbers to 20 and beyond. This includes counting backwards from 20! We are also learning to count in 2s, 5s and 10s. We are exploring mathematical vocabulary such as more and less, so children will be confident in identifying 1 more/less than a given number. This half term we will be exploring practical activities linked to money, basic time (using o’clock), comparing weight, capacity and length. We will also be learning how to double and half quantities, as well as basic sharing.
We will continue to add and take away using different mathematical methods and apparatus, including cubes, objects, Numicon and number lines. Children will be encouraged to record their answer and explain their working out.
Please take any opportunity to reinforce number recognition, counting, addition and subtraction at home. Activities such as sharing out fruit, playing board games like snakes and ladders and halving vegetables whilst cooking dinner, are all activities that incorporate maths in practical ways.
Understanding of the World
Our topic this half term is ‘Plants and Gardening’ and children will have the opportunity to grow cress and sunflowers. We will also grow our very own vegetables, including carrots, radishes and potatoes. We will teach the children gardening skills, including how to sow seeds and look after seedlings. We will then look forward to harvesting our crop! Children will learn about the main parts of a plant, how plants grow and about the lifecycles of plants.
The children will use ICT to support their literacy and numeracy skills as well as creative work. Children have enjoyed learning from websites such as BusyThings, Topmarks, Phonicsplay and CBeebies. This half term we will focus on simple programming with a Beebot. Children can access Busy Things at home, to support their learning in all areas of the curriculum.
Expressive Arts and Design
This half term we will do lots of art work around plants and flowers. We will make observational drawings of flowers and plants and will paint sunflowers. We will continue to provide the children with a range of creative tools and materials to use in their artwork, such as paints, chalk, crayons, collage materials and pastels. We will also continue to enjoy messy play with playdough and shaving foam, and will also be doing some junk modelling.
Children will be encouraged to think imaginatively and to develop their narratives when role playing in the home corner and small world table. We will promote the use of expression and gesture when storytelling and will encourage children to extend their storytelling skills through the use of drama.
Children have the opportunity to construct with a variety of construction toys, such as Magnetico, Polydron and Clickers etc. Children will be encouraged to think carefully about how they can improve their models and add increasing detail to them. They will be encouraged to label their models and write about them.
We have music lessons with Mrs Hoskins once a week. In addition to this, we explore a range of music genres in class, in order for children to build up a repertoire of songs. We encourage the children to dance expressively to music, and pupils have the opportunity to play percussion instruments.
We will continue to support the children in developing their gross motor skills and core strength through the use of our climbing frame, bicycles, PE apparatus and equipment. Children will further develop their fine motor skills through tactile activities with shaving foam and playdough, as well as through tasks involving threading and using tweezers.
The children will be given lots of opportunities to write and draw with a variety of writing tools and materials. This half term, we will be focusing on correct letter formation and pencil grip when writing. If you would like to help your child with letter formation at home, please refer to the pre-school booklet you were given or look in your child’s reading diary for the letter formation rhymes we use.
Personal, Social and Emotional
As we commence the last term of Reception, children will be encouraged to be as independent as possible. We will emphasise the importance of helping one another and will encourage the children to ask their classmates for help. In circle times, we will discuss how we can solve disputes among friendships in a mature manner and how we can reach a compromise when we disagree with one another. We will encourage the children to talk openly about their feelings and will give them strategies on how to deal with different emotions.
We will continue to use the online learning journal Tapestry to record your child’s learning journey and development in Reception. Remember that you access this from home at any time to look at photographs, videos and notes following your child’s time at school.
Please ensure that all uniform is clearly labelled with your child’s name. Children have constant access to their water bottle throughout the school day, so it is important to wash and refill your child’s bottle every day.
If you have any questions or queries, please feel free talk to us after school or arrange an appointment at your convenience.