Summer 1 2021
Hello and welcome back! We hope that you all had a wonderful Easter holidays and we are looking forward to another busy half term in Foundation Stage 1.
This half term we will be continuing to look for the signs of spring, as well as learn about animals and what we could do to help to look after God’s world.
May, Month of Mary
This month is dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus. We have turned our prayer table into a May altar with a blue cloth, a statue of Mary and rosary beads. We showed the children a statue of Mary and they all knew who she was. We looked at her special prayer ‘The Hail Mary’ and we will now be saying this with our home time prayer. We then showed the children some rosary beads and we counted 10 beads for the Hail Mary and 1 bead for Our Father.
Holy Day of Obligation: Ascension of Jesus Christ
Today we recapped what happened at Easter and how Jesus died on the cross, was buried in a tomb and then rose from the dead. That was 39 days ago and today is Ascension Day, the special day that Jesus went up to heaven to be with God. The children all enjoyed watching a Lego video clip about this day and then we talked about how Jesus wants us to be kind, loving, share with our friends, listen and spread the good news.
This half term our RE topic is New Life. We begun our topic by recapping our learning around Easter from last half term. We discussed the affect that Jesus’ death had had on others and then talked about some of the things that make us feel sad, as we passed a picture of a sad face around the circle. The children suggested ideas such as when their parents go to work or when their toy has broken.
We then discovered that there was some good news as Mary, Peter and the Angel said that Jesus was alive again, he had risen from the dead. The children listened to one another’s ideas on what made them feel happy, such as playing with their parents.
This half term we started by following the children’s interest in fairies and dragons. We created a fairy world for children to make up their own stories in, had dinosaur masks to encourage the children to take on a role and had opportunities for them to make their own props such as a wand.
The children have enjoyed listening to stories and answering questions linked to the characters, plot and setting. There has been lots of child led reading too.
The children have also been exploring making marks in different ways and giving meaning to these marks, such as by using sticks to create treasure maps in soil.
During our phonics sessions, the children have been learning a new sound a week and blending sounds and segmenting words together. One of our puppets has been segmenting the sounds in words and asking the children if they can blend them together and then choose the correct picture. We have also had some children reading simple words and matching them to the correct picture.
We have been busy singing the ‘Alphabet Song’ to learn some of the letter names.
The children have also been busy sorting words by their initial sounds.
World Maths Day
The children have all really enjoyed our Maths Day! They dressed up as ROCKSTARS and numbers, with some fantastic hair styles and creative outfits. They identified the numbers on one another’s costumes and then had a morning full of maths activities, such as an outdoor shape hunt, number games in PE and maths activities in every provision area. These included cutting out and ordering numerals, matching a numeral to Numicon and creating shapes from paint.
The Number 7
This half term the children have been learning all about the number seven, as well as comparing two amounts, using vocabulary such as ‘more’, ‘less’ and the ‘same’.
They have touch counted to seven and beyond, identified numerals to seven and have explored one more and one less than a group of seven objects.
In the provision areas there have been lots of different activities to challenge the children further, including creating a building with only seven blocks and making something that will carry seven pebbles.
Today we had a visit from Bryn at Tagtiv8 who taught us some new games and activities linked to being active in Maths. The children started by jumping over the red bands and hopping over the yellow ones, saying the numeral that was on them. Then they did the correct amount of jumps to match the numeral on each band. Our last task was to get into small groups and get one of each number, then work together to put them in order and make our own number line. A fantastic day, well done everybody!
Gross Motor Skills
The children have been challenging themselves on our climbing equipment. They have taken turns, practiced jumping and landing correctly and have shown some fantastic balancing skills.
During their PE sessions, the children have used a variety of skills, including balancing, moving in different ways, turn taking games and stretching! They have played games such as ‘tig’ to support them in running safely and to avoid obstacles. They have also been jumping, hopping, side stepping, skipping and jogging. We have been very impressed with their listening, how well they have followed instructions and the skills that they have shown.
Today was Olympic day. The first activity was to run to the other end of the field and back, following the coloured cones. Next we had a throwing activity, the coach showed the children how to hold and throw the bean bag. The children all took turns and amazed us with their throwing skills. The last activity was to balance a bean bag on a tennis racket and run to the other side of the field. If it fell off they picked it up and carried on. The children all did really well at this. The coaches and staff were very impressed with the listening, turn taking and skills shown.
Fine Manipulative Skills
There have been a variety of activities in provision to support children with their fine manipulative skills this half term. This includes using tweezers to uncover buried objects in sand, manipulating dough to make animals and cutting out stars to create wands. The children have also threaded beads to create their own Rosary beads and they have continued to enjoy our daily ‘Dough Disco’ sessions.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This half term we have been using our circle times to discuss emotions.
We talked about what the word ‘excited’ means and the children decided that a person feels excited if they are really looking forward to something and are very happy about it. They then discussed some of the things that make them feel excited, such as seeing their Mum at home time, buying a new toy and getting Easter eggs.
Anger and frustration
The children started by showing angry expressions on their faces. We talked about how anger can affect our bodies, perhaps feeling tense for example. The children then discussed some of the things that make them feel angry or frustrated, such as a child taking their toy or not sharing. We discussed that it is okay to feel angry and that children can use their words to talk about how they are feeling, to support them in feeling happier again.
Discussing our weekends
During circle times, the children have also had the opportunity to share what they did with their family at the weekend. This has been great for their confidence, speaking and listening skills. Here are some of their highlights-
“Playing a game with my sister at home.”
“We went to a different, new park. It had stuff inside, a seesaw and swings.”
“Go to football, scored a goal.”
“I had fish and chips. My brother had fish and chips with scraps and salt.”
“I was pretending to be a rocket with Mummy.”
“I was walking my dog Ross with my cousins.”
“I got bitten by a red ant in my garden.”
“To the pet shop and looked at the fishes. There were spiders and lizards and fishes and parrots.”
“I played with my toy Elsa and when I press my toy Elsa’s shoulder it sings.”
“Stayed at home and cleaned the kitchen with Mum.”
Pants are Private
Today we talked about our pants being private. The children watched the NSPCC Pantosaurus video with a song about how our pants and what is under them, are private and belong only to us. We then discussed that they should not be seen or touched by anybody else unless it is somebody that they trust that is helping them, such as whilst getting changed. The children practised shouting no together and discussed talking to an adult that they trust if they were worried about something that someone had said or done.
If you would like to watch this video at home please access it at-
Expressive Arts and Design
The children have all enjoyed joining in with the ‘Little Sing’ online. They began by pretending that they were at the seaside and they used their voices and bodies to make different sounds. The children rubbed their hands together to create the sound they might hear if they were to put a shell to their ear as well made a ‘sss’ sound as they swayed for the sea. Music was then played and they created these sounds as well as several others.
The next activity involved singing and dancing. It was the banana song and they sang about how to make a banana smoothie whilst doing lots of different actions to represent the stages. They joined in really well, listening carefully to the song to know when to do the next action.
Exploring the Musical Instruments
The children have really enjoyed exploring the musical instruments outside and creating their own performances for their friends. They have tapped out rhythms as well as played their instrument whilst singing well known songs and rhymes such as ‘wind the bobbin up’.
The children have been busy making their own puppets this half term. They have used a template or created their own designs, cut them out and explored the best way to attach them to a lollipop stick. These puppets have then been used in our small world area to enhance their play.
Designing our models
We have added clipboards to the creative area and construction area to encourage the children to design their models and creations first, thinking about the materials and shapes that they can use. The children have really enjoyed this mark making and we have seen some spectacular models.
Understanding the World
The children have been learning more about the world which God has entrusted to us, as well as what they can do to help to protect it.
We started by having a look at some photographs of rubbish dumps and discussing some of the waste that we could see. The children then looked at a dustbin lorry and thought about some of the things that they put into their own bins at home, such as leftover food and food packaging. We looked in our own bins in the classroom and found items that we felt we could recycle or look after better to stop them all going to a landfill site.
The children then came up with their own promises to help to protect our planet and to stop so much waste going to a landfill site-
- To put the lids on the glue so that they do not dry up.
- To put lids on pens.
- To recycle paper by putting it in the paper bin.
- To fill a piece of paper with drawings and marks, rather than do one small drawing on it.
The children then looked at photographs of animals in their natural habitat, surrounded by litter and we discussed how God’s creatures can be injured by leftover waste if it is not disposed of correctly. The children felt that the plastic bags and food packaging could have been put into a bin. We discussed how if there is not a bin, we should always take our litter home. The children then came up with one more promise to our planet-
- To always put litter in the bin to help to keep animals safe and the world beautiful.
Today in school we discussed the importance of hand washing in further detail. We started by talking about why we wash our hands. Here are some of the children’s ideas-
“Because when your hands are dirty you need to wash them.”
“Because it is germs.”
“The germs can go into your body.”
“You might get sick.”
We then discussed how we could get rid of germs. The children all pretended to put soap onto their hands as they counted to 20, before then pretending to wash it off and dry it with a paper towel.
We discussed where germs might come from.
“Touching the floor.”
“When we touch someone’s toys.”
“When we go to the toilet.”
I showed you all some paint and put my fingers into it and said that we are going to pretend that the paint is germs. I then touched the table as I stood up and some scissors to cut out some paper. The paint had transferred onto all of the surfaces, just like germs do.
We then explored how easily germs can be passed on from one person to another by touching their hands. One person dipped their fingers into the paint and then touched the hand of the person next to them, who then passed it on again until we were all covered in blue paint. Half of the class then used wet wipes to take the paint off whilst the other half used soap and water. We discovered that the soap and water was much more effective than the wipes.
We have introduced ‘Sound buttons’ to our provision areas, which the children can press to hear what their challenge is. These have been very successful in supporting the children with their learning. We have also had children noticing that we are using IPads to take photographs and they have had a go at taking their own. This had been great for the children’s understanding of some of the opportunities that technology can give us.