Autumn 1 2023

Welcome back! We hope you have had a lovely Summer. We are so excited to begin our new journey in FS2.

This half term, our topic is ‘Super Heroes’. We will be focusing on settling in, learning our new routines and making new friends. Throughout the topic we will be listening to exciting stories linked to our topic and our focus author, Oliver Jeffers. 

1,480 Superhero clipart Vector Images | Depositphotos

 

RE

God’s World

We have began our R.E. learning journey this year by learning all about how much God loves us all. The children spent time talking about the important people in their life and how we know we are loved. They talked about caring for each other, helping  each other, giving big hugs and feeling safe. We then talked about how we can also feel this love from God. Together we shared a very special story all about love and family before starting a range of different activities which helped us to explore this theme further. In the painting and construction area, the children spent time painting and building things that God’s love was far bigger than. On the writing table, the children drew pictures of hearts and labelled them. On the playdough table, the children explored the ‘love’ themed playdough and made hearts or rolled shapes of their families. The children also spent time next to our very special Altar and carefully chose bible stories to read and pray for those that they love. Finally, the children crafted collage hearts that are now surrounding our prayer table and also drew a picture of their loved ones in their R.E. books. 

Psalm 139:

You know all about me, God.

You see me when I am working.

You watch me when I am resting.

You know all my thoughts.

You notice everything I do and say.

You look after me and care for me.

 

This week, the children have been learning all about the Creation Story and the wonderful things that God has made in our world. We spent time listening to the Creation Story using picture prompts to help us see the amazing changes that were made. The children then spent some time completing a range of different activities that helped them to explore this theme further. The children made land and sea using blue and green playdough. They spent time exploring a globe and creating chalk drawings of our planet and the stars in the sky. They painted pictures of the different animals that God created and drew pictures of the Creation Story to create their own books. They explored an exciting tuff tray all about the different things that God made and explored a range of different books about animals, plants and space. Finally they crafted their own paper plate artwork to symbolise the different elements of the Creation Story.

Pinterest

Some lovey examples of the tasks we have completed within our R.E. provision time this half term. 

Collective Worship

For our worship this half term, we have been learning new routines and our daily prayers. In an afternoon, the children will sit together in a circle and spend time being quiet and thinking about our day. Some children will choose special items from our prayer table and we will talk about what makes these items so special. As we become more confident with these routines, the children will begin to explore our school virtues in more depth and for longer periods of time.

To start our day:

Before lunch:

After lunch:

Evening prayer,

Today we visited the prayer garden for the first time. We learnt about why this is such a special area in our school grounds and took time to be calm, peaceful and reflective. 

We have been enjoying our worship time in class this half term. The children have learnt all about the special items on our prayer tables and have followed our worship carpet rules very well. We always begin our sessions by choosing special items from the prayer table, and children are chosen to carefully take the items to the middle of the circle.

Today we celebrated Harvest Festival within a whole school assembly. The children listened carefully as the Year 6 children shared the important messages of Harvest and when we came back to class we learnt a little more about this very special time of year.

This year, the FS2 children shared a very special moment with their Year 6 buddies and their families. Together, we gathered in the hall for a very lovely ‘Welcome Liturgy’ for our FS2 children to welcome them into school. The FS2 children were so excited to partner up with their buddies and both staff and families watched with pride as they received their own very special bibles. 

 

 

Literacy

Ten Little Superheroes by Simon Rickerty | Hachette Childrens UKNC Teacher Stuff: Ten Rules of Being a Superhero

In our Literacy lessons, we have been spending time exploring these two texts linked to our topic this half term. We have spent time listening to the stories, sequencing the events and asking questions. After reading ’10 Rules of being a Superhero’ the children all came up with their own rules that they would follow and they all shared some very interesting ideas such as: learning to fly, being brave and always helping other people when they need us. The children have also been learning about our Key Author this half term: Oliver Jeffers! They really enjoy listening to his selection of stories and we have been very lucky to receive a box full of his books from the local library. The children will always choose one of his books from the box during their independent learning time and this has been lovely to see.

Oliver Jeffers is passing on notes for living on planet Earth to his ...

The children have been learning to write their names this half term. Every morning, the children come into class and practise writing their names on their laminated name cards. We have also been writing our names in a range of different challenges throughout provision. Pictured below, is an example of the whole class decorating their names on an enormous piece of craft paper – this was an excellent team building activity and the children loved finding and practising their own names. 

 

The children have started their Sounds Write Phonics sessions in FS2 and so far they have been doing a fantastic job at settling into this new routine. So far, we have learnt the sounds… a, s, i, t, m and next week we will be moving on to learning the sounds… n, o, p. Throughout these sessions, the children have been learning to use these sounds to build CVC words such as ‘mat’, ‘sat’ and ‘sit’.

Here are some helpful videos to help you practise these sounds at home:

a – Geraldine the Giraffe learns /a/ sound – YouTube

i – Geraldine the Giraffe learns the /i/ sound – YouTube

t – Geraldine the Giraffe learns /t/ sound – YouTube

s – Geraldine the Giraffe – /s/ HD – YouTube

m – Geraldine the Giraffe learns /m/ – YouTube

n – Geraldine the Giraffe learns /n/ sound – YouTube

o – Geraldine the Giraffe learns the /o/ sound – YouTube

p – Geraldine the Giraffe learns /p/ – YouTube

The children have enjoyed learning to write these sounds and they are becoming much more confident during our Phonics sessions!

This week we have enjoyed learning all about ‘Supertato!’ by Sue Hendra. The children had a great time listening and joining in with the story and eventually helped to create a class story map. Once we had created our story map, the children learnt actions and retold the story with lots of enthusiasm and giggles. They then had chance to create their own story maps during rainbow challenges. We discussed the different characters in the story and labelled their pictures by writing initial sounds and some children even challenged themselves to write the whole label by themselves!

The FS2 children have shown a real love for learning to read and listen to stories. Here are some photos of children choosing to explore story books during continuous provision:

We have had a very exciting addition to our classroom recently. The children have shown a keen interest in pretending they are teaching in a classroom and we were finding that they were using corners of the classroom to set up little roleplay learning sessions – absolutely wonderful! So… we decided to make the children a roleplay classroom of their own and it has been a HUGE success. It is by far one of our busiest areas and the children have taken their literacy learning into their own hands by reenacting phonics lessons and teaching each other how to read CVC words. We are beyond proud of our FS2 children – what a fantastic example of child led learning!!!

Maths

We have been learning all about sorting, ordering and comparing in Maths this half term. We started our learning by reading ‘The Button Box‘ and exploring a bag of very special buttons. The realised that we could sort the buttons in different ways but mainly by colour, shape, size or pattern. The children then explored this concept further during their independent learning time and they sorted a range of objects by colour as well as sorting Autumn leaves by shape and size. Some children requested the special bag of buttons to explore during their learning time and decided to sort and organise them as a group on the Maths table.

This week, the children have been learning all about repeating patterns. They have copied patterns, continued them and even had a go at creating their own. The children have had chance to explore this further on the painting table and within the other provision areas.

The children really enjoyed making their own patterns with harvest vegetables!

This week, the children have been learning all about the numbers 1, 2 and 3. We have been practising subitising, counting, matching, representing and ordering these numbers. We have then spent time learning how to form these numbers carefully and clearly by learning catchy rhymes.

What we have been up to in the Construction Area… 

 

 

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

In our very first week in school, the children spent time learning new classroom routines such as where to sit, how we have snack, how to line up and where to go for dinner. The children have been brilliant at adjusting to the changes from Nursery to FS2 and have enjoyed making new friends. We have spent time learning names and getting to know each other during circle time games and general conversation time during snack and lunch times.

The children have now started to get changed for P.E. by themselves and this is always a very important lesson which helps our children become more independent. We have taken time learning how to choose a safe area to get changed in, take our our P.E. clothes from our bags and where to put our uniform after we have taken it off. The children have all been super at keeping their areas tidy by always ensuring all of their belongings are back in their sports bags to keep them safe.

Montessori Tips for Self-Dressing — Montessori in Real Life

Our first school dinner in FS2! 

 

This week we have recapped the NSPCC’s message of Pants are Private. The Children were reminded of Pantasaurus’ important message in his song ‘Pants are private‘.

This week we have been working together as a class to think about making the right choices. The children did a fantastic job at sorting out the different pictures and shared their ideas about what makes a positive choice and how those choices make us feel. We linked this learning to a whole school assembly we had about our school TRUST rules and what it means to make the right choices around school. The children remembered these rules very well and were able to talk about being respectful and helping to keep each other safe. 

This half term we have been getting to know our ‘quiet corner’ of the classroom. The quiet corner is a place for children to independently regulate their emotions by taking some time to themselves, checking in with their emotions and completing mindful challenges such as colouring and drawing. The children absolutely love this area of the classroom and it is always a very peaceful but productive area of the classroom. Within this area, we have our worry monster ‘Monty’ and the children like to talk to him about their worries or even give him a little cuddle when they are not feeling themselves.

 

 

Physical Development 

Gross Motor Skills

In P.E. this half term the children have been learning how to get dressed all by themselves into their P.E. kits. This is the first time the children have had to do this and it has been brilliant to see the progress they are already making. They are doing such a wonderful job at putting all of their clothes back in their bags carefully!

The children have been learning how to move in and out of spaces by playing a range of different spatial awareness games both on the playground and in the hall. The children have been learning how to get themselves into teams, follow instructions and explore a range of different equipment. 

The children have been spending time developing their gross motor skills on the large obstacle course on the main field. The children have really enjoyed our time here and have developed a great deal of confidence whilst exploring and experimenting with different balances and holds. 

The children have continued to develop their gross motor skills within in outdoor provision area – particularly with the small obstacle course and the large construction materials. The children have shown a great deal of interest in working as a team to build structures in the construction area and this has been wonderful to see.

 

 

Fine Motor Skills

This half term we have started our daily dough disco sessions and the children have had so much fun exercising their finger muscles! 

Every two weeks, the children have explored a new fine motor challenge linked with our key story and topic. Within each provision area, the children are challenged to use their fine motor skills further to complete a range of different activities across the curriculum. 

Expressive Arts and Design

This half term we have completed lots of exciting activities all linked with our topic of ‘Superheroes’.

Exploring Art Skills 

We started our topic by drawing ourselves as super heroes. The children were given a template to aid their early drawing skills, and their challenge was to choose the colours they needed for their superhero costumes. There were some lovely and inventive ideas and the children practised holding their paintbrush and getting the right amount of paint on their brush.

This week we have been using vegetables to make prints. We made links to our Maths learning by using the vegetables to make repeating patterns. 

This week, our painting challenged linked to our Understanding of the World and our PSHE learning. We have been talking lots about ourselves and our families, so we asked the children to paint pictures of their family members. The children took time thinking about hair colour, eye colour and the types of clothes our family members wear.

Exploring DT Skills

The children have been practising their cutting skills by making their own superhero puppets. The children were challenged to cut out shapes for their superhero face, body and cape and then finally choose a superhero badge for their costumes. The children loved practising these skills and found that using a glue stick was the best method for attaching their googly eyes! 

We have put our fine motor skills to the test this week, by making our very own Supertatos! The children worked independently to find the best ways to attach the arms, legs and eyes to a real life potato. This proved to be a challenge as the children have only been used to joining paper materials together. The children worked hard and persevered and we had some lovely examples of how to build our favourite story book character!

Exploring Music, Drama and Roleplay 

This half term, we have had a Superhero Headquarters set up in the role play corner. The children have been making very important calls on the telephone, writing messages on the laptop, and enjoying some much needed relaxation in the cafe. The children have taken on these roles very well and there have been some lovely communication and language skills seen here. 

Our Music area is one of the busiest areas of provision. The children enjoy exploring a range of different instruments, puppets and costumes and putting on shows for their friends. 

 

Understanding the World

This half term, the children have been getting to know our school woodlands area. We have been exploring the late Summer to Autumn season and observing changes to the leaves and weather. The children have enjoyed putting on their coats and wellies and exploring different aspects of the woods independently and in small groups. We have spent time observing the trees, insects and listening to the sounds of the birds all around us. This has been one of our favourite parts of the week and we are excited to see the woods change even more as we head into Winter!

In our investigation area, we have been exploring magnets linked to our theme of ‘Superheroes’. The children made predictions about which objects would be attracted to the magnets and why. We then observed closely as the magnetic force pulled the objects towards the magnets and the children found this fascinating! Within continuous provision, the children had chance to play and explore with the magnets and they enjoyed creating sculptures with the magnetic balls.

During harvest time, the children explored a range of different Autumn vegetables and learnt all about how they grow and how the farmers collect these in their tractors. The children described the vegetables and looked through a range of stories linked to healthy eating and harvest. Within the investigation area, we have also continued to gather a range of different Autumn objects from home and from our school grounds. 

For the last part of our topic, we learnt all about ‘Everyday Heroes’. We explored a range of different jobs such as police officers, doctors, vets and fire fighters. We learnt that these people are the people that help us and keep us safe, we also made links to PSED by discussing how often these people are ‘safer strangers’. The children then explored these jobs within their provision areas and took on these roles within the roleplay areas both inside and outside.