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Learning in Reception

Our first topic, for the beginning of the Autumn term, is All About Me. We have some lovely books to help us: Titch, Monkey Puzzle and Elmer.


We will be learning to identify and name parts of our bodies and features of our faces. We will be exploring similarities and differences between ourselves and others and will begin to think about how humans grow and change. 


We will be exploring birthday celebrations and will explore the concept of "family". 


We will also be thinking about feelings and extending our vocabulary to be able to name and talk about feelings too. 


We will be doing some PE activities in our outside area - moving in different ways.


In phonics, we will begin to match sounds to letters. We will use Jolly Phonics pictures to help children with this.

Elmer - The Patchwork Elephant | Children's Books | Read Aloud

The second topic of the autumn term is "It's Scary and Exciting!" Think witches, autumn changes and Christmas celebrations! Our key texts are Room on the Broom, Tree, Dream Snow and This Is The Star. 


We will be using our developing understanding of similarities and differences to explore and sort autumn leaves / objects and to explore seasons. We will particularly be looking carefully and colours and shapes. 


In the run up to Christmas, we will be learning that Chritmas is a festival celebrated by Christians and the the bible is a special book. We will identify and talk about some of the secular traditions linked to Christmas as well as recalling key characters from the Christmas story. We will talk and learn about ways in which we celebrate special times (food, cakes, parties, special clothes) and will begin to make links between our experiences of celebrations (birthdays, Christmas, weddings, Christenings...).

Room on the Broom - Read by Alan Mandel

In January our topic is "It's Cold Outside". Our key texts are The Baby Birds, The Ugly Duckling, Snowballs and The Polar Bear Son. The majority of our work will be based around birds and how to care for them. 


We will extend our knowledge of similarities and differences from humans to birds. Are humans and birds the same? What do birds have that humans don't? What do humans have that birds don't? Are all birds the same? We will also be building on our knowledge of the local environment and the school grounds to identify areas that are good for birds / not good for birds. We will try to make some improvements to areas in order to help the birds through the winter. 


The baby birds is a story from the Muslim tradition and we will be talking about Muhammad (pbuh) being a special person and the Qu'ran being a special book for Muslims. We will compare this to conversations we had around Christmas and the Bible being a special book for Christians. We will think carefully about showing respect to special books and special people and will find and talk about books that are special to us too!


We will also begin to build our understanding of "chronology" through recalling special times (for example, starting school, going on autumn walks and Christmas celebrations), looking at photographs and placing them in order.

The Ugly Duckling Fairy Tale by Oxbridge Baby

The topic for the second half of the Spring Term is "Let It Grow". Our key texts are The Enormous Turnip, Jack and the Beanstalk and Oliver's Vegetables. 


Our science work around similarities and differences will be put to good use again, this time to look closely at plants. Just like birds and humans, plants are not all the same and we will be investigating and sorting to see this. We will learn to find and name key parts of a plant: leaf, stem, root, bud, flower. We will talk about most plants having these key parts (some don't flower) but that they look different on different types of plant. We will also do some growing ourselves to see change from seed to plant.


In the run up to Easter, we will return to the Bible as a special book for Christians, talking about both the Easter story and the Christmas story being in this book. We will begin to learn about "special objects" too, discussing that the cross is an important symbol for Christians. We will link our RE work to art and will create our own Salvadorian Crosses choosing the parts of the Easter story that are important to us to depict.

The Enormous Turnip (Retold by Irene Yates)

The beginning of the Summer Term brings a new topic: "All Creatures Great And Small". Our key texts are The Very Busy Spider, Seven New Kittens, Oliver's Milkshake and The Three Billy Goats Gruff. 


Our similarities and differences work will be extended again - this time, in particular to snails and spiders! We will learn to identify and name parts of snails and spiders: foot, horn, shell, eyes, slime, spiral and legs, eyes, body, web, spinneret. We will be sorting creatures by basic features, such as where they live or numbers of legs. 


We will extend our knowledge of geography  to identify and name features of farms / countryside / towns and cities and will develop our concept of some places being close and others being far away. We will learn about transport too. 


We will also be building our knowledge of "special people". We will learn that we all have some people who are only special to us (our own family, for example) but that we share other special people (for example our teachers). We will learn that some people are special to many people because of the jobs they do (doctors, nurses, emergency services). We will return to think about Muhammad (pbuh) being special and important to Muslims and that Muslims tell stories about how he lived his life (Seven New Kittens is another story from the Muslim tradition that we will use to illustrate this). We will also learn that some people have a special role in places of worship, such as the imam in the mosques and priests, vicars, ministers or pastors in churches.

The Very Busy Spider - Animated Children's Book

Our final topic of the year is "Around The World And Beyond". Our key texts are Let's Build A House, The Three Little Pigs, A Place Called Home and Handa's Surprise. 


In science we will extend our knowledge of similarities and differences to materials. We will learn that there are different types of material (paper, fabric, straw, plastic, metal) and will sort them. We will also begin to conduct simple experiments and to sort materials by the results: what makes a good roof for a house? What works well for a boat?


In Geography we will look very closely at our own houses, naming features and comparing with others to find similarities and differences. We will also look very carefully at features of our own environment discussing, for example, what we see on our way to school. We will also introduce the idea of caring for the world, specifically thinking about problems caused by litter to birds (linking back to work done earlier in the year during our bird topic).


Our RE work revolves around "special places": those that are just for us (our homes and family members homes) and those that are shared (school, the park...). We will also learn that some places are special to followers of religions (churches and mosques). Linking to the work in Geography we will learn that the world is a special place and will consider how we might care for the world.

Addy Farmer reads A Place called Home