Spring Term 2 2023
Welcome back everyone! This half term we are looking forward to finding out more about what we can do to look after God’s World, we will be celebrating World Book Day as well as finding out all about Easter. Our first topic will be learning about farm animals through the story ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’ by Julia Donaldson.
During our worship sessions this week, the children have been learning all about Lent and the 40 days and 40 nights that Jesus spent fasting in the desert. The children have helped us to decorate our worship table with the colour purple, which represents penance, preparation, and sacrifice. Father Andrew also joined us to share a special prayer.
The children have come up with their own promises on how they can show kindness and be helpful over the next 40 days, which we have displayed on leaves within the classroom.
The FS1 Prayer
We thought it would be a lovely idea to add a prayer to our new prayer garden in the FS1 outdoor space. We were unsure of which prayer to choose so with great enthusiasm and excitement, the children created their own.
Thank you for our friends, our toys and our healthy food.
Thank you for water, night and day, plants and animals.
Thank you for babies, our mums and dads, for our pets and for houses.
Thank you God for everything.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Charlie D, Harmony, Ettie, Sophie and Greta who were our main contributors to this lovely prayer. This will be displayed in our prayer garden very soon.
St Joseph’s Day
To celebrate St Joseph’s Day we visited our Prayer Garden with the statue of Joseph. The children discovered that the hammer in his hand was to show that he was a carpenter and made things from wood. They noticed that his clothes were different to ours and they felt that he didn’t have much money. They found out that Joseph was an honest, kind and hard working man and that he was the earthly father of Jesus. We talked about how our School and Church are named after him.
We have been learning about Palm Sunday on our run up to Easter. The children discovered that Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, where he was greeted with great joy. People took off their cloaks and laid them across the road then waved cut palms in the air on his arrival. The children acted this scene out as they sang-
‘Sing Hosanna, sing Hosanna, sing Hosanna to the King of Kings.’
We would like to say a huge thank you to all of the parents who joined us for our Worship sessions. The children had been reflecting on all of the things that they are thankful for, such as trees, the wind and animals.
Sorrow and Joy
Today the children heard a story about how Jesus helped someone to say sorry. Zacchaeus had a job which involved taking money from people however he often took more than he should have. When Jesus came to town, Zacchaeus wanted to see him but so did many other people. Zacchaeus could not see over the crowds of people so climbed a tree. Jesus saw him up the tree. He knew that he had been taking too much money and that he needed to help him to say sorry.
We all sang-
Come down Zacchaeus, down from the tree.
Come down Zacchaeus give the lord his tea.
Jesus did go to his house for tea and Zacchaeus then said sorry to all of the people that he had taken the money off. He promised to give them their money back and to give money to the poor.
The children discussed that it can be hard to say sorry but there are times we must be brave and say it. We may do something wrong or upset someone and then we say sorry. The children discovered that some people get medals for being brave and we decided to make our own sorry medals to help us in future.
We then ended with a prayer-
We find it hard to say sorry and really mean it.
Please help us to change the way we behave when we do the wrong things.
Please stay with us and help us like you helped Zacchaeus.
The children then explored different scenarios that were examples of sorrow and joy. They looked carefully at the pictures and put the image near either the sad face on the paper plate or the happy one. For example there was a picture of a child crying after slipping on a banana and another child smiling with a cake.
The children then talked about examples from their own lives of when they had felt joy or sorrow.
Jacob “When I am playing with Daddy in the garden.”
Ettie “I’m happy Mummy always cuddles me.”
Oscar “When it’s my birthday!”
Harriet “When I had a bad dream.”
Greta “When I fall over.”
Charlie D “When I fall off my bike.”
Today we listened to the Bible story about the little boy who shared his bread and fish with thousands of people, thanks to Jesus. It was a miracle. The children discussed what had happened.
Why did the boy share his food?
Rosie “The people were hungry.”
Frey “All of the people wanted to eat food.”
Orla “All the other people didn’t have any.”
Do you think all of the people would have eaten without Jesus’ help.
Aoife “They would have had to go home.”
Oscar “There wasn’t enough food.”
What do you think the boy say to his Mum when he got home?
Orla “I shared my fish and my bread.”
Hugo “They didn’t have enough food.”
Charlie D “They got more food by a miracle and more.”
We then discussed how it can be hard to share and that we can practise and it will get easier. The children shared their ideas on what they could share.
Orla “I could Albie if he wanted a turn.”
Harriet “If I had a toy and somebody else wanted it, I could share.”
Greta “If my sister has more desk than me, she would share it with me.”
Jacob “I like sharing things with my brother, like apples.”
Pollyanna “I share some toys with Francis.”
Our class texts and rhymes
In FS1 we have a special book and rhyme which is linked to our current theme. This changes every two weeks, along with the books that we display in our reading area. Here are our key texts and rhymes this half term.
Words of the week
This half the term the children will be learning all about the following words. We will add to this every two weeks as we begin our new topic. We encourage the children to listen out for the words in our class text and to use them themselves in different contexts.
World Book Day
We have had a wonderful day celebrating World Book Day in FS1! The children have made reading dens, joined in with ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ yoga and watched Nick Sharratt drawing a character from a story. ‘Shark in the Park’ by Nick Sharratt was one of our class texts in autumn term so it was great to find out more about him and his work. We also listened to him reading ‘Shark in the Park on a windy day’. The children visited the school library, shared stories with Year 3 and talked about their favourite characters too.
“Caterpillar because I like dressing up.”
“Sleeping Beauty because I like dressing up as a princess.”
“I like Elsa because I like her dress.”
I dressed up like Peter Pan because he can fly.”
“Spiderman because he spins webs.”
“My favourite character is Rapunzel because she has super long hair.”
“I like Elsa because she can do magic.”
“I like dressing up as Postman Pat because I can post to the house and have a hat.”
“I like the rabbit because he eats carrots.”
We have mark-making opportunities across our provision areas and often see the children designing their model before making it in the construction area or taking notes from their telephone call in the role play area. Here are some photographs of our writing and drawings from this half term.
Some of the children have expressed an interest in writing their own name and other letters. We encourage the children to use pre-cursive writing when forming their letters. Please find a fantastic PowerPoint presentation below, created by Twinkl, with demonstrations on how to form the letters of the alphabet, that you child can copy at home.Letter Formation
World Maths Day
We had a fantastic day full of maths activities to celebrate this very special day. The children took part in a range of number recognition and touch counting activities across the day, including during PE, through number books and rhymes, outdoors and in indoor provision.
The Number ‘7’
Matching amounts to numerals
The children have been busy recognising numerals to 7 and beyond. In the provision areas they have been making homes for seven animals and matching the correct amount of farm animals to numerals 1-7.
We have also been creating number sentences whilst playing a fishing game. The children caught a numbered fish, added it to the fish with the correct amount of dots on their board and then had a go at adding two of the amounts together.
The Number ‘8’
The children have had lots of fun searching for 2D shapes inside the classroom and in our outdoor areas, as well as cutting out different pirate themed 2D shapes. The children have named and counted the vertices and sides of circles, triangles, squares, semi-circles and rectangles.
This term we will begin to teach the children a different letter sound a week. Please find below a very useful video which will support the correct pronunciation of each sound.Oxford Owl Phonics- How to pronounce pure sounds
This half term the children will be identifying the letters and sounds ‘o,p,b,c,g,h’.
Matching initial sounds to letters
The children have been very busy identifying letters and matching objects to them based on their initial sound. The children have also been thinking of their own words that start with that sound.
Noughts and Crosses
We had our first game of noughts and crosses in FS1 today with the girls against the boys. To add their nought or cross, they had to first of all say one of the sounds in the grid and then think of a word that starts with that sound. They all did so well and did a fantastic job!
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
We have a very helpful, independent and motivated class of children, who help us to look after our classroom and save energy. This half term, the following children have these class roles.
We have been learning about what it means to feel shy through our class text ‘Shaun the Shy Shark’. After discussing some of the scenarios that Shaun finds himself in, we shared ideas on what feeling shy really feels like.
Charlie D “You want to run and hide.”
Jacob “You could be scared.”
Rosie “You might be worried.”
Greta “You might feel shy.”
Oscar “Hide behind people.”
Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships
We started the circle time session with a photograph of one child helping another child to get up after they had fallen down. The children were asked to discuss what they could see.
Elizabeth “She falling over.”
Myla “Fell over off her skateboard.”
Sam “He’s helping her.”
Harriet “Helping her to get up.”
Jacob “She’s happy.”
We then looked at a photograph of a child pointing and laughing at another child.
Charlie D “The boy laughed at the boy.”
Oscar “He looks sad because that boy laughing at him.”
Orla “That little boy was unkind and he feels sad.”
The children all agreed that the children in the photograph were not good friends and that they should tell an adult and go and play with other children. The children were then given different scenarios regarding two bears such as how one had snatched off the other and how they were chasing each other when the adult said that it was not good learning. The children once again suggested that the bears should not play together as they are unkind to one another and that they should play with different friends. We then discussed how children should always tell an adult if they feel another child is being unkind and even if they feel that this person is a friend, they should go and play with someone else.
Today we met Lauren and her toy dog Harry from Dogs Trust. They came to tell us all about the Happy Dog rules, which help to keep the dog calm and the owners safe. We discovered that there are times when you should not stroke a dog, such as when it is eating or sleeping. Here are the three rules-
- When a dog is eating, we leave them alone.
- When a dog is sleeping, we leave them alone.
- If a dog takes your toy, tell a grown up.
We started the half term with some work on our rolling and catching skills. The children demonstrated fantastic listening, turn taking and ball skills.
We have also worked on our ability to travel and to avoid obstacles such as other children, for example during games of tig.
Gross Motor Skills
Linked in with our under the sea topic, the children have been balancing in lots of different ways to an under the sea video from Cosmic Yoga.
The link can be found below for anybody that would like to have a go at this at home.
The children have been leading some of our daily dances this half term too!
Fine Manipulative Skills
We have been busy cutting, threading, manipulating dough and using a range of other techniques to support our fine manipulative skills this half term.
Expressive Arts and Design
We love to explore a different rhyme every two weeks. We chose ‘Old MacDonald had a farm’ during our farm animal topic and enjoyed hearing the children singing along, adding their own instruments and creating their own performances on our new stage area outside.
We tried something a little bit different in FS1 this week, we added different amounts of sand to paint to see what would happen. The children loved exploring the texture after creating their own sea creatures. Some children enhanced their paintings further by using cotton wool buds to create dots and lines.
We have a class of builders this year in FS1! We cannot believe how much their models have improved over the last few months. The children show fantastic team work as they create anything from a farm, to a shipwreck! They are sharing their ideas and thinking about adding those little details that make their model even better.
Taking on a role
We are very proud of the children for how well they take turns at different roles within our provision areas. They talk to one another about whose turn it is next and then take on the role of the character they are portraying. They love dressing up too! Our small world area and role play area are changed every two weeks to match our key text so that the children can act out the well known story and create their own. Here are some examples from our seaside and farm topics.
Understanding the World
We had a fantastic start to the half term with some very special guests, Kinder the chicken and Lucky the goat. Mrs Kelly kindly brought in the animals as they are two of the characters from our book of the week ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’. The children were able to stroke the animals and ask lots of questions. We discovered that Kinder was female and we looked at her eggs. Mrs Kelly told us that a male would have a red comb on its head. The children found out what the animals ate, discussed what they looked like and described how they felt. Back in the classroom, the children have been creating their own stories in the small world area based on different farm animals. They have talked about their favourite farm animals during circle time and one of our superstars even went to a real farm at the weekend. He enjoyed telling all of his friends about what he saw there.
Floating and Sinking
We gave the children the task of creating a boat that was made from a waterproof material and that could float. It also had to be large enough to hold 7 Duplo people. The children had great fun trying out their creations in water and learning which materials are waterproof and what happens if they are not!
Recycling and exploring materials
We have been learning about what recycling is and what we can all do to help to look after God’s World. The children discovered that metal, plastic, cardboard, paper and glass can all be recycled and they sorted these different materials into groups. They watched videos of how paper is made from trees and also how it is recycled once it leaves our paper recycling box in the classroom. We used some items such as plastic bottle lids within in our provision areas to stop them going to landfill and created models from left over food and drink containers, cardboard boxes and tubes.
FS1 then made their own promises to the planet! We will all work hard to-
Put our pen lids and glue lids on so that they do not dry up and need throwing away.
Pick up any rubbish that we have and put it in a bin so that it does not injure any wildlife.
Turn the lights off when we leave the classroom to save electricity.
Try to use both sides of paper so that we use less of it when we are mark making.
Ensure that paper is placed within the paper recycling bin.
We also have our two Planet Protectors to help us to achieve this.
The children in FS1 had a fantastic time joining in with activities across Science Week. We looked for mini-beasts in the woods and talked about their habitat back in the classroom. We attempted to make our own towers out of marshmallows and spaghetti (with a little bit of adult support!). We talked about how people change as they get older, such as the things they like to do (our ideas for this can be found below) and we visited the Year 4 science workshops and explored lots of wonderful activities and experiments all linked to science.
After looking at pictures of families, the children discussed the different things that their family can do.
We started by talking about what children can do-
Harriet “Play with toys.”
Orla “Children go to school.”
We then discussed what parents can do-
Lennon “Mums and dads cook.”
Orla “Mums and dads do really hard games on computers or real Ipads.”
Hugo “Go to work.”
We finished by talking about what grandparents can do-
Oscar “My Grandma and Grandpa love sleeping.”
Lennon “Mine go shopping.”
Greta “Hard work.”
We love to take our learning outdoors! Here are some of our favourite photographs from this half term.
Please click on the link below to find out more about our garden fundraising and latest projects.
EYFS Outdoor Area