The reception children have settled in really well and have had lots of fun exploring the environment and making new friends. We have been busy painting self portraits for our welcome display and the children have brought in photographs of them as babies and of their family to support our topic, All About Me. They've all been eager to show their photographs to their class mates and tell us all about their families. We had our first PE lesson, this half term we are doing gymnastics. The children enjoyed practising different ways of balancing. Miss Kane baked pizza bread with the children, which was absolutely delicious.
Our topic this half-term is Celebrations and we will be learning about different beliefs, religions and celebrations. We have learnt about the history of Bonfire Night and the reason we celebrate 5th November. The children created some wonderful bonfire and fire work pictures for our display, using a variety of materials. We have also learnt that Sikh and Hindu people celebrate Diwali and why it is called the festival of light. The children enjoyed the story of Rama and Sita, showing particular interest in Ravana, the ten headed, wicked, demon king. We looked at some beautiful rangoli patterns used for decoration during Diwali and the children carefully coloured in their own. We also made and decorated lanterns which are on display in our classroom. We will be discussing other religions and looking at the similarities and differences of their beliefs and celebrations. We will be focussing on Christian beliefs in the lead up to Christmas and learning about the Christmas story. We have started practicing the songs for the nativity play, which has prompted discussion about Jesus and why he was such a special baby. We have just finished phase 2 phonics and the children have made good progress with their reading and writing skills. We are going to consolidate their learning in phase 2 before moving on to phase 3 in the near future. We are all looking forward to the busy but exciting few weeks ahead.
Our topic this half term was Traditional Tales and we had lots of fun taking on the roles of the characters and re-enacting the stories. Our home corner became The Three Bears Cottage, we baked gingerbread men and made houses for the Three Little Pigs. We also learnt all about Chinese New Year and a special visitor came in and did some exciting activities with us to support our learning. The final week of term was out of the box week and we read the book, Whatever Next and went to the moon in a rocket. We learnt about space and the names of the different planets. We also had a very important box in reception with something special inside, each child looked inside the box to see their reflection in the mirror. We then discussed what was special about each and everyone of us and the children wrote why they were special for our display. The children filled their small box, made during Maths morning, with items beginning with the letters in their name. The boxes were returned after half-term, filled with wonderful items, and two lucky children won the prize for best box and were invited to the Proud as Punch Party with Mrs Hainsworth.
We had a wonderful trip to Meanwood Valley Farm to support our topic, New Life. We saw lots of different animals and fed them with grass pellets but the highlight of the trip was feeding the orphaned lambs with milk from a bottle. The children were very well behaved and were so excited, especially about eating their packed lunch at the farm! The children wrote a recount of our trip to the farm and listed all the animals we saw. We have planted flowers in pots and set up a garden centre in our outdoor area. We discussed what plants need to survive and the children enjoy watering the flowers regularly with the watering cans. We are experimenting with growing beans in plastic bags so we can see the roots as they grow, some of the beans are beginning to sprout. We have built a beanstalk with bricks by ordering numbers 1-20 and have ordered pictures of beanstalks according to their height. One of our Mummy's came in for a special visit with her baby so we could learn about new life in humans too. We discussed stages of development in human babies and the age which they usually learn to sit up, crawl, walk and talk. We noted that in comparison the lambs we saw at the farm were only a week old but could already walk.
Our topic this half term is All Creatures Great and Small and we have been learning all about God's creatures from mini beasts to jungle animals. We had tiny caterpillars delivered to us at the start of term and we have been keeping a weekly diary of their changing state. They are now in the chrysalis stage and we are eagerly awaiting beautiful butterflies to emerge. The children enjoyed going on a bug hunt in the school grounds, lifting up logs and stones to find different mini beasts living underneath. We even saw butterflies fluttering by in the sunshine. We also have a new bug hotel in our playground which we hope will attract more mini beasts for us to observe. Miss Render showed us photographs of the jungle animals she saw when she went to Africa on safari and one of the children brought in The Magnificent Book of Animals, which tells us facts about all sorts of animals from around the world. We have been discussing climate change and the effect of human activity on animals and the planet. In phonics we have been practicing reading and writing words with phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs and putting these words into sentences. We have been working out addition problems and recording our findings in maths activities, as well as comparing lengths of caterpillars made with play dough and the heights of our growing sunflowers.
We have had a fabulous final half term in reception class and have done lots of exciting learning base around our topic, The Enchanted Wood. We kick started our topic through our learning logs during the half-term break, when the children visited the Hollies with their families to find the creatures that feature in the books by local author, Julian Oxley. The children thoroughly enjoyed following the map to find the whale and the wooden dragon. After reading his book, The Mean Seas, we went on a pirate adventure in reception class, taking part in lots of exciting pirate activities, culminating with our pirate and mermaid day! Mr Oxley visited us at the end half term to discuss his stories and to see the children's work in their learning logs, he was very impressed!
We also had a wonderful time on our school trip, when we visited Nell Bank and found the characters from the Gruffalo story. We made Gruffalo crumble and a house for Little Brown Mouse, went pond dipping and crawled through the tunnels looking for the fox! A fantastic time was had by all. We had a brilliant sports day, where all the children took part in races from skipping to the egg and spoon race. We led collective worship at the end of term and the children told the creation story and talked about how we can help to take care of God's creation. They were all amazing and performed so well in front of the whole school and their parents.