Reception

Welcome to Lemon and Lime class!

 

 

Mrs Ridd (Mon, Tues and Wed) 

 

 

 

 

Mrs Jones (Wed, Thurs and Fri)

 

Teaching Assistants:  Mrs Stone & Miss Kirk.

 

 

Mrs Chaney 

 

 

 Teaching Assistant: Mrs Cornock

Term 1

Here at St Mary’s we know that play is the most vital component for your child’s development, as it creates the conditions for your child to test the world, to make sense of it, to grow the skills they need to communicate, to negotiate and express themselves.

What happens in the early years lasts for a lifetime and the EYFS team can’t wait to welcome all our wonderful new families and children.

In term 1 we will be exploring our new environment and getting to know each other. Through our play we will be introducing the children to the Message Centre. This soon becomes the heartbeat of the classroom. Your children will quickly realise that mark making is fun and joyous and it quickly becomes something they want to do again and again. There is nothing more exciting than discovering a hidden message in your shoe or hiding one for someone else to discover!

We have created a language rich environment for your children to enjoy. Your children will be learning a poem with actions each week so that they quickly build up a wonderful bank of poems to share and enjoy. We will also be introducing your children to Story Dough followed by Drawing Club. This is when we immerse the children in the world of story and unearth their imaginations. We embark upon story dreaming and we show the children the possibility of learning through modelled drawings and then we show them how much we value their own dreams and encourage them to make or draw with us. It is simply magical!

Our value this term is ‘Respect’ and our Global Curriculum link is ‘Peace and Conflict’. We will be exploring some Bible stories that will help us understand what the word ‘Respect’ actually means and we will be thinking about how our own actions can impact upon others. Showing respect to others may seem like a natural part of everyday life, but it actually a learned behaviour. It’s important for us to teach the children how to respect themselves and others. One of the main reasons why it is so important to explore and model the value of respect is because it teaches empathy to our children. Empathy is also learned behaviour, and a big part of having empathy is having an inherent respect for everyone. So, teaching respect significantly impacts a child’s capacity for empathy. Additionally, learning to be respectful helps our children to effectively communicate with both adults and friends and to understand social cues. Giving and receiving respect will help the children learn to express themselves, and it’s important that they have the space to do so. Encouraging respect in our classrooms promotes values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. An inherent component of showing respect is to treat everyone with kindness regardless of their background. By prioritizing respect in our classrooms we aim to empower our children to celebrate people’s similarities and differences.  

Throughout the term, we will be exploring ways to avoid, manage and resolve conflict through role play and stories. The children will be encouraged to consider ways in which we can all get along and help when something goes wrong. ‘Iris and Isaac’ is a beautifully illustrated book with a clear message about managing conflict that we will be sharing and discussing with the children. We will be asking the children to think about how they can use their Brave Changemaker skills, such as making decisions and communicating in a peaceful and respectful way. Our Product outcome will involve making and sharing a video based on our class and school rules with our school community.

In our Jigsaw lessons we will be exploring feelings and emotions. The children will have the space and time to consider what it feels like to belong and how we look after each other.  The concept of ‘Calm Me’ time will also be introduced. Jigsaw is a mindful approach and Calm Me time is designed to teach children techniques to relax their bodies and calm their minds. Our school will be taking part in World Mental Health Day on Tuesday 10th October. The theme for 2023, set by the World Foundation of Mental Health, is 'Mental health is a universal human right'. We will be exploring activities that will help the children understand that we need a variety of things in our lives to maintain our mental and physical health. We will be creating a mental health toolkit for the classroom to help the children when their emotions feel overwhelming.

The children will be making their first visit to St Mary’s church this term to celebrate Harvest. We will be thinking about where the Harvest celebrations originate and how the machinery used to collect the crops have evolved and changed over the years. As part of the celebrations we will be talking to the children about showing compassion by providing for the needs of others through the donations of food we will leave at the church.

We have an exciting term ahead of us and really can’t wait to become part of your children’s learning journey.

Please note we communicate through Dojo; send the school office an email or come and speak to us if you are having any difficulties accessing this. Our weekly correspondence email will keep you informed of what experiences your child is having in school, highlight key dates and provide you with useful tips and websites to support learning. 

 

Term 2

Our value this term is ‘Friendship’. We will be exploring some Bible stories that will help us understand what the word ‘Friendship’ means alongside other thought provoking books which include Lost and Found and Elmer’s Friends. Through the magic of Drawing Club, we will explore what we think about what makes someone a good friend, who our friends are and how we make new friends. The children will be given the opportunity to think and talk more about what friendship means to them through our Drawing books. We will start the term by going on a journey to the Antarctic and then the Arctic with the books Penguin and Polar Bear Island. These books will raise important questions that we will endeavour to find the answers to. Can Polar Bear find it within himself to open up his island to new visitors and embrace new friendships? Can the penguins show Polar Bear how to be a good friend? What does it feel like to live on an island where all are now welcome?

We will be asking the children to think about how they can use their Brave Changemaker skills, such as self-awareness/ reflection and communication to ensure they are able to regulate their emotions and continue to develop positive and enriching friendships.

Our Global Curriculum link is ‘Identity and Diversity’ and we will be considering what it is that makes us all special. One of our favourite authors is Linda Kranz and we will be sharing many of her books including Only One You and You Be You. These books will help us to think about all the things that make us unique and highlight the importance of being ourselves. They will also encourage us to be in the moment, to pause and look up in order to notice and appreciate the beauty of all the nature around us. A trip to Westonbirt to enjoy all the magnificent Autumnal colours will help the children develop a sense of awe and wonder about the nature around them and the magical changes the seasons bring. We hope the children will be inspired and enjoy walking and playing amongst the beautiful trees.

These themes and ideas will be explored further in our Jigsaw sessions and we will be using the character ‘Jerrie Cat’ to help the children to develop their awareness and their capacity to be mindful human beings.

Remembrance day is an important date in our calendar for this term and we will spend time learning about its meaning. This type of learning is a very important part of our Personal, Social and Emotional Development and our Bristish Values curriculum, as well as helping the children to have a deeper knowledge and understanding of the world and important events in history. We will talk about the many people that helped to keep us safe a long time ago and the gratitude we have for them. The children will have the opportunity to watch a video about the symbolic nature of the poppy and make their own special poppies.

We will be learning about the festival of Diwali through videos, photos and books. Finding out about Festivals and celebrations can help to support the children’s learning and development in every area of learning, and through them we can support the children in beginning to understand the commonalities of human values that are shared by all cultures and religions.  The children will learn that Diwali is the festival of lights and is a very special time for some people around the world. The children will have the opportunity to look at the special traditional clothes that people wear to celebrate, watch the fantastic firework displays, see the beautiful mendhi hand patterns, learn about the delicious food and dance to the traditional music.

As we move into December our setting becomes a hive of activity! The children will able to explore the Christmas story through arts and crafts, stories and tales, role play and rehearsals for the performance. Through these experiences, the children will develop an understanding of the real meaning of Christmas: being together, cherishing the love of family and friends and celebrating belonging. The children will walk to the town centre with the rest of the school to sing carols to our families, friends and members of the local community. This is always such a lovely way to help the children make connections and links with their local community and the memories stay with them forever. Our term will end with our Christmas Production of the Nativity. Our local pre-school will be the audience for our dress rehearsal and we look forward to seeing as many of you for the production as possible to celebrate your unique and wonderful children.

 

Term 3

Our value this term is ‘Truthfulness’. We will be exploring some Bible stories that will help us understand what the word ‘Truthfulness’ means alongside other thought provoking books which include ‘Gigantosaurus’ by Jonny Duddle  and ‘Hippo owns up’ by Sue Graves. Truthfulness promotes trust, builds character and fosters meaningful relationships. We believe children learn to be truthful by observing and emulating their teachers, friends and parents. Therefore we always model truthfulness in all our interactions with the children. We also seek to reinforce positive behaviour by acknowledging and praising the children when they are truthful, even when it means admitting a mistake.

Our Global Curriculum link is ‘Rights and Responsibilities’ and we will be asking the children to consider how our actions make other people feel. One of our key texts when thinking about the responsibilities we have within our school community is ‘Teach Your Dragon Manners’ by Steve Herman. This book helps to remind us to be polite and respectful when interacting with others.  We are really excited to explore, through Drawing Club, a selection of books written by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, two of our favourite authors. Titles will include ‘Cops and Robbers’ and ‘Burglar Bill’. These books will encourage us to think about the impact of our actions and the amazing people in our community who go above and beyond to help us and keep us safe.  The children will spend time using their language, communication and writing skills to generate a list of questions which they will use to interview a police officer. We hope this experience will inspire and excite the children and help them to gain an insight into the duties carried out by the police. The children will be able to make meaningful connections with their community and start to feel empathy for others. We will encourage the children to take part in random acts of kindness throughout the term and introduce a kindness jar for such acts to be shared and celebrated.

We will be thinking about our dreams and goals as part of our Jigsaw learning each week.  Jigsaw Calm Time and Mindful Minutes each day will support the children to become reflective and focussed learners. Children’s Mental Health Week takes place from 5th -11th February and shines a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. This year’s theme is ‘My Voice Matters’. The children will be taking part in a range of classroom based and whole school activities that focuses on their emotional wellbeing.

Chinese New Year falls in this term and we will be learning about the different traditions surrounding the celebration. We will be researching where China is and locating it on the map. The children will be encouraged to find out some key facts about China and share them with their classmates. We will be having lots of fun making our own hats, red envelopes and listening to the great race story. Alongside all these lovely craft activities, we will be trying different food that is eaten in China including fortune cookies. We will also be looking at looking at how different countries celebrate New Year. This will include exploring the festival of Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

To finish of such a busy term the children will be celebrating Pancake day (a little early!). They will learn all about ‘Shrove Tuesday’ and take part in a range of activities that will include making and eating their very own pancake!

Term 4

Our value this term is ‘Thankfulness’. We will be exploring some Bible stories that will help us understand what the word ‘Thankfulness’ means alongside other thought provoking books which include ‘The Thankful Book’ by Todd Parr and ‘Gratitude is my superpower’ by Alicia Ortego . Thankfulness can increase our children’s happiness, teach them to be more empathetic, and help them be more appreciative of what they have. Acts of kindness spread joy, happiness and help others and this is what we are focusing on with the children this term. An act of kindness nearly always sparks another and when we express our gratitude we feel happy.

Our Global Curriculum link is ‘Social Justice’ and we will be asking the question: What is Fair? Bob from the local Foodbank will be visiting us early on in the term to help us start to develop our thinking around this question. He will explain to the children what a Food Bank is and who helps to run it. Through our discussions with Bob we hope the children start to realise just how important it is to take care of each other and our community in any way that we can no matter how small or big our actions are.  We will work towards organising and running a cake sale at the end of the term in order to raise funds for the Foodbank and Bob will come back in and tell the children exactly how the money will be spent.

In PSHE, we will be thinking about how we can keep our bodies and minds healthy through our exercise and food choices. We will be growing some healthy vegetables in our wonderful outdoor space to help the children understand what good food is, how it grows, and that it tastes delicious! Jigsaw Calm Time and Mindful Minutes each day will support the children to understand the importance of good mental health and sharing how they feel.

The children will also be learning all about Easter. They will listen to the Easter story, create their own decorations and cards, explore a sensory tray, and create Easter nest cakes. The children may even notice that the Easter bunny has left them some chocolate during an egg hunt!

This term we will be introducing the children to ‘Helicopter Stories’. We will sit with the children, listen to their stories and write them down word for word. Once all the individual stories have been collected we sit down around a taped out stage and the children act them out. Through ‘Helicopter Stories’ we are able to value the children’s creativity and imaginative play, whilst also supporting language development and storytelling skills.

We can’t wait to be in the audience when these stories come to life!

 

Term 5

Our value this term is ‘Hope’. We will be exploring some Bible stories that will help us understand what the word ‘Hope’ means alongside other thought provoking books which include ‘If you plant a seed’ by Kadir Nelson and ‘Good people everywhere’ by Lynea Gillen. In our classrooms we always aim to bring and share joy and happiness in all that we do and this includes teaching children to be positive, forward looking and hopeful.

To support our work on the value of hope, we will be thinking about the relationships we have with people within our school community and why these are special and important to us. The children will also be encouraged to think about their own personal attributes as a friend, family members and as part of a community and will be encouraged to celebrate these with their classmates during our ‘Circle Time’. Please do continue to send in your children’s ‘Wow’ certificates and photos for our ‘Interest Board’ as we love nothing more than celebrating your child’s home and community achievements.

Our Global Curriculum link is ‘Global Neighbours’ and we will be asking the children to consider what they can see through their window. Through our links with a family in France, the children will have the opportunity to compare and contrast the two very different views. We will locate France on the world map and look at photos of Paris. The children will have the opportunity to write to the family in France asking them questions about their lives.  We will enjoy a traditional French breakfast and learn some French words and songs.

This term we will be taking the children to the Wild Place. This is a fantastic opportunity for the children to experience the great outdoors whilst discovering animals from across the world. We will be taking part in a mini-beast exploration which will involve finding out about bugs, habitats and life cycles before going on a real minibeast hunt! The children will get to grips with using bug pots, magnifying glasses and identification charts. This is a fabulous trip that we know the children will love!

Inspired by our trip to the Wild Place we will be encouraging the children to take on a ‘Nature Detective’ role in our own outdoor space. Through a spot of pond dipping, we will be able to develop the children’s understanding of nature and learning about how the world around them works by observing the life cycle of frogs. At the beginning of the term, we will get our own caterpillars and will look after them and watch them grow until eventually they turn into butterflies and we will let them go. We will also be putting our nature detective skills to the test when we go on a snail and slug hunt to see if we can locate any of ‘Norman’s’ friends after reading ‘Norman the slug with the silly shell’. The children will have the opportunity to learn about the differences between them and to explore snails first hand by holding them and feeling the slime it leaves behind on them! They will was their hands afterwards!