Spring Term in Reception Class
Queens, Kings, Castles and Knights!
In the second half of the Spring Term we are exploring Queens, Kings, Castles and Knights. This has partly come from the children's interest in castles and knights but also links in with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee this year and helps the children to explore the past and present day of monarchy, homes, jobs and people.
Making and eating pizzas
As part of our school's DT day theme for this half term, we made pitta pizzas and looked at the healthy parts of the pizza. We talked about how the tomato puree came from tomatoes and how the plants we took home will produce some tomatoes as they grow bigger.
Once we cooked our pizzas we took them down to Forest School, where we enjoyed a "banquet" to complete our half-term looking at castles and royalty. We finished the afternoon with a game of hide and seek, one of our favourites in the Forest School area.
Number Easter Egg hunt
We have started to learn about patterns in numbers to help us count beyond 10 and recognise the numerals. As part of this we had an Easter Egg hunt for eggs with numbers on. Once we found an egg each we had to order our numbers so they went from 1 to 28. We didn't find number 3 or number 27 so we had to use some of our toys to represent these numbers.
We played parachute games on the windy day. The parachute was really jumpy and we had to hold tight to make sure it didn't fly away. The ball was bounced really high and we tried our best to keep it on the parachute.
PE - Dance
This half-term we have been looking at the dance element of PE and we have been following routines, then using this knowledge to develop our own group routines. Each week we performed for our friends and we looked at how we could improve for next week. This week we had our final session and we performed our practiced routines. We made sure we were listening for the beat of the music and working together to produce the best routine we could.
The Queen's Knickers
As the Queen is celebrating her Platinum Jubilee this year, we are looking at who the Queen is, where she lives and how long she has reigned for. As part of this we are going to write letters to the Queen and we hope we will get a response.
The book we are reading to learn about the Queen is The Queen's Knickers and this is a humorous story. It shows all the different things the Queen does as part of her duties in a fun way the children can engage with.
In literacy we have been thinking about which of the Queen's Knickers are our favourites and we drew these, remembering the design from the book. We have also thought about what we would like to ask the Queen in preparation for writing to her.
Writing letters to the Queen
In guided writing we used our phonics knowledge and handwriting practice to write letters to The Queen. We thought about what we would like to know and wrote a question using a question mark.
Mrs Meakin posted our letters to The Queen, we hope she will reply!
Green Fingers Challenge!!
The children have been learning all about the life cycles of plants this half-term, and we have planted our own beans to grow into runner bean plants. Each child has taken home their bean plant to nurture at home and we have also sent home a tomato plant for the children to grow too.
We have asked the children to take photos of their progress at home and send them into school so we can see how they are getting on. At the end of the summer term we will be awarding a Green Fingers Award to the child who has taken care of their plants and (hopefully!) produced beans or tomatoes.
In PSED we have been exploring which foods are healthy and which are not. We spoke about unhealthy foods being still ok to eat, but that we couldn't eat too much. We sorted foods into 2 piles, healthy and unhealthy, then discussed our choices.
Patterns in Maths
In maths we have been exploring patterns and how we can make patterns using colours, numbers, shapes, items, children, movements and music! We explored basic patterns and then extended to use more complex ones.
Writing about castles
In guided writing we have been constructing a sentences about a castle and then attempting to write this independently using our phonics knowledge.
Spring in the garden
As the weather improves we have been taking the opportunity to plants seeds and new plants in the garden. We dug holes large enough for the item we were planting, fetched water and watered them in.
We have also been developing our imagination in the mud kitchen and around our "campfire".
Exploring 3D shapes
We have been exploring the properties of 3D shapes as well as practicing using their names. Here we are predicting which shapes we think will roll down the guttering and which won't and saying why we think this.
"It has a flat surface and edges so it won't roll"
Our new sharing library means you can take some of the books we enjoy at school home to enjoy with your family.
PE - Dance
This half term we have been focusing on the element of dance in PE. We have been learning set dance routines over a number of weeks then putting them all together and splitting into two group to show our friends. This has enabled us to practice critiquing performances and talking what we liked and what we think could be developed further.
We progressed on to making up our own routines with our groups, creating our own moves and putting them together into a sequence. Again, we critiqued our friends to tell them what they did well and what they could develop further.
Exploring the Hindu festival of Holi
Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates spring, love, and new life. It's a colourful festival, with dancing, singing and throwing of powder paint and coloured water. Holi is also known as the "festival of colours".
Holi marks the arrival of spring and the end of winter.
Spring has sprung!
We have been outside spotting signs of spring. We have been looking at flowers, buds on the trees, the tiny water snails in our "pond" and then we spotted a ladybird and some bumblebees who had come out of hibernation to find some flowers.
We also enjoyed playing in the spring sun!
We have been making bird feeders for our visitors to the garden. We are waiting to see which birds like our sunflower seeds.
RE - Learning about Palm Sunday
In RE in the lead up to Easter we have been learning all about Palm Sunday and the important job the donkey had. The children all learnt about different jobs donkeys have had in history but how carrying Jesus into Jerusalem. We reenacted this with the children. The children put down their jumpers and shouted Hosanna and Hurrah as Jesus and the donkey went through, whilst pretending to wave palm leaves.
The Castle the King Built
Following the children's interests in castles, royalty and knights, we are exploring this book from Nosy Crow at the National Trust and learning all about the different jobs people had in the past in a castle and how we live differently now. Although currently there is no recording of this book being read, you can have a look inside using the National Trust website.
We spent some looking at the jobs people had in castles in the past by reading the key text and then watching a short film. We decided which jobs we would be good at, made a list then draw a picture of us doing the job.
We also looked at how living in a castle in history would be different to living in a home today, we made a list of some key changes to how it would look.
Photos of play in Spring Term 2
Some photos of the activities the children have been doing this term, including learning all about castle features, making bird feeders, playing social games and investigating 3D shapes.
Number bonds to 10
We have been learning all about number bonds to 10 using lots of different games and methods. We have learnt that there are certain numbers that when added together always equal 10!
Taking Flynn the Explorer
to see Forest School
World Book Day
3rd March 2022
We enjoyed dressing up as our favourite character from our most loved book then we talked to our friends in our circle time about why we like this book so much. We also had the opportunity to join a whole school assembly where we paraded around so all the different year groups could see our costumes.
1st March 2022
We have learnt all about why we celebrate Shrove Tuesday by eating pancakes as well as trying some for ourselves.
Jack and the Beanstalk
A Traditional Tale
This traditional tale helps the children to not only learn about tales from the past, but also has clear story progression for the children to be able to follow and retell. This includes a repeated phrase that the children can utilise and it enables the children to complete simple story maps, reenact the story using small world props, retell the story to their friends and also to change elements of the story as they feel comfortable with the format.
Let's look around the world!!!
In the first half of the Spring term we have chosen to explore the wider world, animals, habitats and people who live there. We have followed the children's increasing interests in animals and where they come from as well as learning about different places in the world. During this half-term we explore the Polar Regions, the Americas, Australia, China and wider Asia, and Africa.
NSPCC Number Day
In our number day today we focused on using numbers to measure length and height. We ordered our dinosaurs by height and then length, before putting ourselves in height order. Next we had a go at making the longest snake out of playdough. Our winning snake was Eva's at 78cm!! We used rulers, measuring tapes and unifix cubes to measure them.
Visit by Wildlife Workshops
A visit from Wildlife Workshops enabled us to get up close and personal with lots of animals that we have been learning about, including tarantulas, corn snakes, tree frogs, cockroaches and millipedes. We learnt all about the places they live, what food they eat and how we need to look after all animals and not to be too scared of them.
Maths - combining two groups
We have been learning how to combine two groups of items and work out the total, simple addition. We have been learning how to complete number sentences using this mathematical technique and also to write numerals to show our number sentence.
DT day - making structures
We have been exploring the world around us which has included looking at different buildings and their uses. In our DT day we spent some time thinking about what building we would all make, what features it would need and what it would look like. We created our own plans to show what it would look like, then we used a variety of recycled materials to create the building. After we had made our building we then used wallpaper, paints, felt and other materials to decorate it and add in furniture.
Visit to the Newbold Church
We visited our local church to see Reverend Rhoda. Rhoda was kind enough to christen our baby in the font and show us around the church. We learnt all about the bread Christians have on Sunday in church and even tried some.
As part of our SCARF day for mental health awareness, we made Gingerbread people and decorated them with a scarf. We measured out the ingredients, followed instructions and then finally we took them home to taste them. YUM!
The Ugly Five
by Julia Donaldson
This book by one of our favourite authors in Reception introduces the children to some animals they may not have seen before. It has a lovely message about how beauty is only skin deep.
Chinese New Year
As part of our Understanding the World area of learning we look at how our life differs from others around the world as well as exploring different cultures and beliefs. The children have been learning how Chinese New Year is celebrated around the world, trying different foods, making dragon masks as well as exploring different ways of moving in a Dragon Dance.
Next we used a wealth of different skills to create a rattle drum using paper plates, wooden doweling, wool and beads. We had to use several joining techniques as well as carefully threading the beads onto a piece of wool.
The Koala Who Could
By Rachel Bright and Jim Field
This book introduces the children to the animals from Australia as well as reinforcing the children's recognition of rhyming words and alliteration. The book also has a message about trying hard to be brave and try new things. This book supports our theme of learning about the wider world.
In Literacy we have focused on "The Koala Who Could", completing a story map to show the key aspects of the plot, hot seating as characters from the story as well as using alliteration to think of an animal to suit our name, like Kevin the Koala. We have also been looking at what an adjective is and then thinking of adjectives to describe Kevin.
As part of our around the world journey, we have been receiving postcards from Flynn the Great Explorer. He has been sending us lots of pictures of all the places he is visiting and the children have been writing back to him to ask him questions, in return Flynn has written back to individual children as well as the whole class. This has really helped enthuse some of our more reluctant writers to access our writing areas.
Playing outside in the garden
In our garden we like to take calculated risks by climbing trees, but only as high as we feel comfortable to. We like to practice our balancing skills on the Trim Trail and we also love to get mud between our fingers in the Mud Kitchen.
In our PE lessons we are learning and practicing different ways of moving, whilst also moderating our speed and developing our skills in changing direction.
Poles Apart by Jeanne Willis and Jarvis
This is a lovely story about a voyage across the world by a lost family of penguins and their new friend a polar bear.
We have been exploring the Polar Regions and reading our new class book, Poles Apart. We all drew something from this book, whether this was a character or something they saw on their journey. We placed our drawings on our map in the countries they belong in.
We were scientists today. We wanted to work out how polar bears keep warm in the icy water.
We tried to put our hands in the icy water and realised it was very cold. Next we tried with some “fur”. In our case we put a sock on our hand. It was warmer to start with then as the sock soaked the water up it got very cold.
Finally we put a dry sock inside a glove then smeared the glove with lard. This represented the blubber on the polar bear, under their fur. The children all reported that this felt very warm in the water and they didn’t feel the cold water at all.
A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. Each Friday in Reception, we practice our breathing and mindfulness using Yoga or Mindfulness sessions.
In literacy we produced a story map to help us to recall the plot of Poles Apart, then we created our own adventure stories in small groups. Our adults scribed for us so we could focus on the content, then we acted it out for our friends to see.
We have been learning all about animals from around the world, as such we have used our knowledge of some of the animals in the South American Rainforests to create some art work.
Here we have tree frogs, anacondas and parrots, all made using different materials and techniques. Our children are learning about how to combine materials in different ways to create different effects and how using some joining techniques work better than others. We are also practicing our scissor control and developing a good control of the tools we use.
Forest School visits
Reception class love to visit Forest School for games of hide and seek as well as looking for treasure. They also love to spend time digging and playing in the mud kitchen in the woods.
Maths - composition of 5
In our maths sessions we dive deep into how numbers are composed of smaller units as well as looking at manipulating the numbers in different ways. Here we are looking at the composition of 5. We looked at how 5 cubes can be split into 2 different piles and how many combinations they could make. Next we looked at how we could make 5 using our 2 hands, playing "bunny ears". We then explored how 5 looks on a number frame, either a 5 frame or a 10 frame. We used our frames in a game with our friend, where one of us hid part of the 5 cubes and the other had to work out how many were hiding using the frame.
Next we moved on to look at number bonds up to 5, using our fingers, the number frame and the Numicon pieces. This helps us to recall number facts which gives us a strong foundation for maths moving forwards.
In Reception we hold a weekly Children's Council meeting. Every child has a chance to be on the Council as it changes weekly. At the meetings we discuss what we have enjoyed this week and what we would like to play with and learn about next week. We always have 5 children on the council so we can use democracy to make a decision if we cannot agree on one item.
The children have chosen our learning themes across the year as well as deciding what they would like as their class treat when they fill our "Gem Jar". Gems are given out for a variety of positive behaviours and the children work as a team to fill the jar. Treats have included, trips to the Forest School area, hot chocolate and a story, a party and popcorn and a film.
We aim to give our children as much ownership in their environment and learning as we can.