Autumn 2 2022
Welcome back! We hope you have enjoyed a lovely half term with your families and are now ready to start our second half term in FS2.
This half term the children have chosen “Arctic Explorers” as their topic. We have lots of exciting activities and books to listen to related to this. This theme will also help to shape our topic lessons this half term. To find out in more detail what we will be learning and how you can support your child’s learning at home, please see our class newsletter.
We are looking forward a jam packed half term of learning, and enjoying Advent with you in school this half term.
Please continue to share your learning and and special achievements at home with us on Tapestry, we love to see what you have been up too.
Mr Melody, Mrs Skilbeck, Mrs Harris and Mrs Lowe
Our current virtue is prayer. During our collective worships, we have been thinking about the importance of prayer and how to pray correctly. The children are continuing to practise the sign of the cross, the Hail Mary and the Our Father.
We have also discussed Pope Francis’ Five Finger Prayer, considering who can pray for when we pray to God.
Last week we learnt about Remembrance Day. We discussed what Remembrance Day is and why we have Remembrance Day every year. We then took part in a special Remembrance Day collective worship before holding a 2-minute silence, the end of which was marked by listening to one of our Year 6 children playing The Last Post.
We had an amazing Crib Service in Church along with FS1. The children created their own cribs and brought them to Church for everyone to see. The children then left with a bag of hay which they can add to the crib in the lead up to Christmas. Thank you to everybody who attended and helped with the service. It was such a special evening!
RE – God’s Family
This half term, our topic in RE is God’s Family. We began this learning journey by listening to a story and then looking at a picture to see which different family members attended a family birthday party. The children talked about aunties, uncles, grandparents, babies, cousins- it was a long list! The children then thought about their own families and how each of us had different families. For example, some children had no brothers or sisters, some had sisters, some had brothers and some had both! We learnt that each family is different.
After this, we began to look at another family we were part of; God’s family. We talked about how different teachers, animals, all of our class and everyone we meet are part of God’s family too!
We have been thinking about how we can show love for people in God’s family and also for God. The children had some fantastic ideas! They suggested we can show love to other people in God’s Family by being helpful or showing acts of kindness. The children then suggested we can show love for God by looking after the world, going to church and by praying. The children then all decorated their own love heart to emphasise their love for God.
In our last few weeks of half-term we are learning all about the story of Christmas. We are performing a Nativity with Key Stage 1 and we are exploring the story further in our RE lessons. The children listened to the story and have had the opportunity to create a Nativity scene in the small world area.
We have begun our learning journey this half term using the text ‘Iris & Isaac’ by Catherine Rayner. This text has plenty of opportunities to support our learning of our theme ‘Arctic Explorers’.
We began this area of our Literacy together by reading the text and predicting what might happen. The children were very good at discussing how Iris & Isaac may have felt when they were not together. We linked this to times when we may have missed somebody. Afterwards, the children wrote a message that they think Iris & Isaac may have wrote to each other.
Some of the children have been making maps for Iris & Isaac to find each other! They have also made an obstacle course for all of the obstacles they believe Iris & Isaac may encounter in order to find each other!
Our next class story is Brave and the Fox by Nicola Davies. The children have loved listening to this story and they have spotted all the things in the story which we have been learning about in our Topic! After listening to the story, the children have been considering a time when they were scared about something and how they were very brave.
Our next literacy book focus is The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Our week started with a mysterious letter which had been left on Mr. Melody’s desk. We opened the letter to find it was a message from Santa Claus and that it had been delivered by The Jolly Christmas Postman! The children have therefore began to write their own letter back to Santa. We have been posting these letters using the post box in our classroom and each night The Jolly Christmas Postman collects them. The children have understood the key features of a letter and have worked hard to apply their phonics to their writing.
Every Friday the FS2 children visit our school library for story time and a book swap. The children love this time of the week and it promotes a great love for reading!
Our FS2 class show so much love for reading! They enjoy listening to stories and reading their own reading books. During choosing time, the children love choosing a story and going into our reading den to read it.
Our key author for this half term is Julia Donaldson. We have listened to a range of Julia Donaldson books and the children have discussed which stories are their favourite and why. We have learnt about Julia Donaldson’s early life and we know that she works with lots of different illustrators, our favourite of which is Axel Scheffler!
The children have continued to have daily phonics sessions, following our phonics scheme, Sounds Write. Here children are learning more sounds and applying them to their writing and reading skills.
There are also plenty of opportunities for the children to practise their phonics skills in our areas of provision. So far, the children have enjoyed making CVC words out of snow and reading and writing CVC words from snowflakes!
Week 1 and 2
We have kicked started our half term by focusing on Place Value. We have consolidated our counting to 20 (and sometimes beyond!) before looking into the concept of tens and ones. The children are constantly practising their teen numbers and they are now able to represent these numbers using Numicon, exploring that teen numbers are composed of a ten and so many ones. We have been blown away by our little mathematicians in FS2!
This is the counting to 20 song we have been practising in class!
Weeks 3 and 4
For the next two weeks we are building on our understanding of Place Value by looking at numbers up to 50. The children have consolidated their previous knowledge of numbers up to 20 and are now building up towards 50 using concrete resources. Our little mathematicians have blown us away with their understanding and they have been experts at counting in tens!
We have been using tens frames to help with our understanding of numbers up to 50 (and sometimes beyond 50!)
Week 5 and 6
This fortnight we are working hard on pairs and counting in 2’s. The children have had to go on a hunt around the classroom to find hidden socks and make a matching pair. We have then brought all the socks back to the carpet and counted how many we have altogether. As we knew that a pair is made up of 2 objects, we used this as an opportunity to practise counting in 2’s. We noticed that when we counted the socks in 2’s it was much quicker than counting the socks in 1’s! We are going to practise counting lots of things in 2’s over the fortnight.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
The children have all settled back into their routines well and they are have been ready to take on our new challenges. This week, we have been exploring different feelings, and how other people might be feeling. We have had a focus on how it might feel to be worried, linking back to when the children started Reception.
Here are some of the feelings that the children shared about how they felt returning to school- Happy, sad (as they had enjoyed doing lots of nice things in the holiday), worried, scared, nervous, excited, and confident. We were really impressed with some of the vocabulary the children came up with, and we will build on this vocabulary throughout the half term.
The children have also been learning all about Good Touch and Bad Touch. We discussed about touching others and when others may have to touch us. We thought about when this touch is good and when this touch is bad. The children then thought about who they can tell if somebody touches them in a way they don’t like. The children then went onto create posters to show some of the things they had learnt about Good Touch and Bad Touch.
This week has been anti-bullying week. The week began with odd socks day where we discussed our differences and how we should treat everybody fairly no matter if they are different to us. In FS2, our Protected Characteristic focus was Age. We discussed how even though age may allow people to do certain things differently, we should never discriminate against people based on their age.
Visit from the Mayor of Wetherby
On Monday 7th November, we had a visit from the Mayor of Wetherby, Neil, who came to talk to us in school about his role as Mayor, how he became the Mayor and the important things he does to support the town of Wetherby through the town council. Mayor Neil talked to us about he became the Mayor and told the children that he was elected and appointed Mayor during the pandemic which meant he was brought in as Mayor over zoom, and his wife had to place his chains on him, instead of having this done during a ceremony with the council. The Mayor talked to us about democracy and inclusion in the local community. He shared that he is passionate about making a difference and shared that he knows that the children at St Joseph’s are also passionate about making a difference too. The children asked lots of thoughtful questions and were extremely interested. Some questions they asked were:
- What do you like best about your role?
- What does your role involve?
- How much do you get paid for this very important job?
The children were shocked to learn that being a Mayor is a voluntary role meaning he doesn’t get paid anything for this very important role. In fact, the Mayor also has another job that he gets paid for where he works hard to keep children safe. The Mayor shared that he most enjoys going out in the community, especially visiting schools because he believes children are the future of our community. The Mayor shared that because of covid, he wasn’t able to carry out his work in the local community, so his term has been extended for one year, which is very rare. The Mayor shared how pleased he was that he was able to do this and that his term will end shortly after the Coronation of the King, something that he is really looking forward to.
Our school councillors then had an opportunity to speak to him further, ask him any questions they had and even try on his Mayor chain. This visit supported our learning about the British Values, about democracy as the Mayor is voted for and elected, about Individual Liberty – having the freedom of choice and how the Mayor can support this in our town and so much more! It was an exciting morning to welcome such an important member of our local community into our school. Thank you to our Mayor of Wetherby for visiting St Joseph’s! We look forward to welcoming you back to our school in the future.
In PE, the children have been started learning the key skills for basketball and football. So far they have worked on dribbling and passing in both sports. The children have loved learning about this, its seems we have some top sports stars in FS2!
During our indoor PE lessons the children have been working on a range of multi-skills. The children have improved their balance, movement and coordination in lots of ways. They have also had lots of fun applying these skills to lots of different team games!
We have enjoyed getting back into our regular daily dough disco lessons. The children have loved following the actions of the songs and have completed a set of tasks such as making stars and people out of the play dough!
Fine Motor Skills
We have enjoyed seeing some of our children taking on all of the challenges in our areas of provision. The children are getting really good at using tweezers, which they have had to use to build an igloo out of sugar cubes and to transport ice into tap water and sand water to see which melts first. Check out our fine motor skills in action!
Expressive Arts and Design
In our music area this week, we have set the children a challenge to create music for different polar region animals. For example, the children have encouraged the children to make slow, loud sounds for polar bears and quick, quiet sounds for arctic hares. The children have loved exploring all of the different musical instruments and thinking about which instruments are best for each animal!
In our music lessons, the children have loved using the different instruments to explore different sounds. We have been experimenting with tempo, pitch, rhythm and volume using a variety of different games. The children have been really engaged and have taken their learning into the areas of provision during their independent learning time.
Art and Design
In the creative area, children have been attempting to make their own igloos out of the junk modelling resources as well as the construction resources. The children have worked hard to design their igloos before they have built them. They have considered what they need for an igloo and have attempted to strengthen their igloos in lots of different ways.
In the painting area, the children have been painting pictures of their favourite arctic animals. We are so impressed with how talented our artists are in FS2!
Our role play area has been transformed into the arctic! There is an igloo to explore and the children have loved dressing up as Inuit people, which we will be learning about in our topic lessons.
After listening to our class story, Iris & Isaac, the children have enjoyed retelling the story in our role play and small world areas. The children have been so creative and they have even considered what might happen next in the story and they have acted this out also!
We had a fantastic day on Friday where we had a visitor spend the day with us making seeded paper. The day started with the children learning where paper comes from and learning about the ‘3 R’s’: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The children then all had the opportunity to use old scrap paper to make seeded paper which can be used sustainably to help wildlife and the environment. The children had lots of fun and we were so proud of our finished products!
Understanding the World
The children have absolutely loved learning all about our new topic ‘Arctic Explorers’. We began this topic by learning about both the Arctic and Antarctica. We looked at where these are on a world map in relation to where we are in the United Kingdom. We looked at how the weather is different in these regions before we packed the clothes we think we would need to explore these regions into suitcases!
We have been learning about the different animals which live in the Arctic. The children loved hearing interesting facts about them such as their diets, their sizes and many more. The children then all selected their favourite Arctic animal before doing a piece of artwork based on this arctic animals. It turns out lots of children in FS2 love polar bears!
FS2 loved learning all about Bonfire Night! We learnt about what happens at Bonfire Night as well as the reasons we celebrate it. The children enjoyed then making Bonfire pictures and singing a song with actions all about Bonfire Night!
This week we have been learning all about Inuit people. We discussed who Inuit people are and where we lived. We learnt about their day-to-day lives and made links to our own lives by comparing how they might be different. For example, Inuit people may travel by snowmobile or sled whilst we are more likely to travel by car. We also learnt about the food and hobbies of Inuit people and compared these to our own foods and hobbies. Finally we got dressed up in clothes that we wear and clothes that Inuit people may wear and thought about why they may need to be different.
After reading stories which contained the Northern Lights, we had an afternoon learning all about them. We researched what causes the Northern Lights and where in the world they may appear. The children then acted out as the Northern Lights using different coloured tissue and movements, before creating artwork based on the Northern Lights.
In our topic towards the end of half-term we have been learning all about Christmas. We have listened to the Nativity story (as well as producing our own Nativity performance with KS1!) and we have been thinking about how we celebrate Christmas. We then learnt how Christmas is celebrated around the world. We then compared the similarities and differences between Christmas celebrations in our country and in other countries.