Autumn 2 2023

How big is the Arctic Ocean? And eight other Arctic facts | Stories | WWF

This half term our topic is ‘Arctic Explorers’. Throughout this topic the children will be reading a range of different quality texts that will enrich their vocabulary and inspire their creative thinking around the provision areas. 




Collective Worship

To begin this half term, the FS2 children have started to join the rest of the school in whole school worship every Monday. The children have become very independent when entering the classroom on a morning and once we walk down to the hall they listen and join in with the hymns. The children have really been enjoying these assemblies and we have continued the learning within our own class worship. This half term, we have been thinking about the virtue of ‘respect’. The children have all taken turns to choose special items from the prayer table to start our worship and they have then shared their thoughts and feelings about the importance of using our manners. 

This week, the children all took part in a very special Crib Service at our St Joseph’s Church. The children worked very hard with their families to make beautiful cribs that were then blessed in time for advent. Each day of advent, the children will place a little bit of hay in their crib and by the time Christmas Day arrives, the cribs will be ready. The children listened to important readings and joined in with very special hymns. It was an amazing evening with our lovely families!

We decorated our prayer table for the beginning of Advent. We chose purple cloth, Advent candles and we all worked together to make a special wreath made from our handprints. 

RE – God’s Family

To start our topic this half term, we have been thinking about what it means to be part of God’s family and what makes us special. We started by sharing a story called ‘So Much!’ by Trish Cooke and we talked about how this story made us feel and the importance of showing love to each other and our families. We then focused on ourselves and how we are all very special and that is why God loves us and has chosen us to be part of his family. Within this lesson, the children explored a range of different activities that were all liked to this lesson. They created small books, painted self portaits that have been put on a display in our corridor, they looked through bible stories, made portraits out of loose parts and decorated a very special poem about love and family. 

This week, we have been thinking about how God made us to know and love Him and to show our love for Him by helping one another. We then learnt about a very important Saint called ‘Saint Elizabeth of Hungary’. We found out that she was a Princess and used her money and riches to help feed the poorer people in her country. The children were blown away by her kindness and shared ways in which they could show kindness like this in their everyday lives. The children then spent the afternoon exploring a range of different activities such as drawing ‘kind hands’ and writing about ways they can show love to others, decorating the Hungarian flag to celebrate Saint Elizabeth and sorting the kind and unkind pictures. Throughout the afternoon, the children collected special counters in a kindness jar every time an adult saw them being kind! The children loved this and wanted to keep it on our prayer table for the rest of the week. 

This week, the children have been preparing for Advent and learning all about the importance of Christmas. We have listened to the Nativity story and we have learnt all about Advent wreaths and why we light candles during this time. Throughout this session, the children made their own wreaths from craft materials, playdough and Lego, they explored and played with a Nativity scene and spent time looking through pictures from the bible. At the end of the session, the children shared a very special prayer to give thanks for bringing Jesus into our lives. 

                                           Thank you, God, for giving us the greatest gift of all, the gift of your son, Jesus.        Amen.

We were then lucky enough to take part in our own Nativity story for our lovely families! 



Iris and Isaac — MyLittleStyleFile

This week, we have been listening to the story ‘Iris and Isaac’ by Catherine Rayner. We listened to the story, sequenced the key events by drawing a story map as a whole class and then we spent time describing the Northern Lights. The children came up with a list of words in their partners and shared these to the rest of the class to create a big word bank. The children then used these words to label their illustrations of the Northern Lights. 

Around the provision areas, the children had opportunities to read about different Arctic animals like Isaac and Irish the polar bears, they drew pictures of these animals and then had a go at writing about how the characters in the story were feeling.

This week we have been listening to the story ‘Brave and the Fox’ by Sebastian Braun. We have spent time thinking about the characters thoughts and feeling in the story and using this tale to compare and contrast the differences between life in the Arctic and life in the UK. We also spent a lot of time describing the appearance of the fox in the story, as the children had not seen an Arctic fox before! After this, we had a special circle time all about what it means to be brave and the children shared times that they felt they showed a lot of bravery themselves. From this, the children then wrote about these times in their literacy book and drew a picture to match.

This week, we had a Literacy show and share day with our lovely parents. We listened to our brand new text: The Jolly Postman, and worked together to sort his letters back into the correct order of the story. The children answered lots of questions along the way and completed a range of different creative challenges linked to this text. It was a fantastic couple of days and the children really loved sharing their literacy learning with their parents. 





This week, we have been learning all about 2D shapes and specifically: circles and triangles. The children first learnt to recognise these shapes by counting their sides and vertices. The children hunted for these shapes around the classroom and sorted a range of real life objects. To extend this further, the children used their communication and language skills to explain the differences between these shapes and how triangles don’t always look the same!

In Maths this week, we have been thinking in depth about the number 5. We have ordered numbers to 5, learnt a rhyme to write the number 5 and finally looked at the composition of 5. The children worked in small groups to explore the different amounts that add up to 5 and how they can using a range of different parts. E.g. 2+3, 3+2, 4+1, 1+4, 0+5, 5+0. The children used different coloured cubes to show their understanding and some children even challenged themselves to say the numbers sentences allowed before writing them.

To finish our Maths journey this half term, we have returned to the concept of 2D shapes though this time focusing on 4 sided shapes. The children have spent time looking at the properties of squares and rectangles and using mathematical language to compare and contrast the two. Some children were able to say that rectangles have ‘two longer sides and two shorter sides’ whereas a square has ‘4 sides that are the same’. To challenge the children further, we looked at other 4 sided shapes such as a trapezium and a rhombus. The children then had a go at sorting shapes into two categories: shapes that have 4 sides and shapes that don’t have 4 sides. As a final festive challenge, the children combined a range of different shapes that we have learnt this year to make their own Christmas pictures. Some children made wreaths while others made Christmas trees! 

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

This week, we celebrated ‘Odd Socks Day’ in support of Anti-Bullying week. As a class, we listened to the story ‘Topsy and Tim Help a Friend’ and discussed the importance of helping others and always showing kindness. Together, we listed the TRUST rules that we have in school and talked about how these rules keep us and others safe if they are followed correctly. We then made a class pledge to try our best to help others and show kindness.

This week, we have been learning how to keep ourselves safe near water. We had a very exciting zoom call with members of Yorkshire Water who told us their top tips for staying S-A-F-E (stay away from the edge). We watched videos and took part in quizzes that taught us so much about river safety, ocean safety and pond safety! Because we live in Wetherby, we know that understanding all about river safety is very very important because we live so close to the water and so we are continuing to keep this information bubbling throughout the year!

This week, we had a go at using a parachute outside to develop our team work and cooperation skills. We sang nursery rhymes, played turn taking games and had a whole lot of fun! 

Physical Development 


In P.E. this week, we have been developing our rolling skills. We first learnt how to move a ball safely around the room and then began to develop this skills further by moving it around cones on the floor. Once we were confident, we then spent time in pairs rolling and stopping balls. This was a fantastic exercise for our gross motor skills and our team work! 

In P.E. this week we have been working in teams to complete a range of circuits. Mrs Powell put out a range of equipment and each area a different rules that we had to follow. We were crawling, jumping, jogging, rolling, balancing and moving balls.  This was a fantastic session and it really pushed us to our limits. The children enjoyed every second of working alongside their friends and developing their PSED skills, Communication and language skills and overall physical development. 

Fine motor

This week, we have been developing our fine motor muscles by building igloos. We used tweezers to pick up and place sugar cubes in rows carefully. Some of us found this challenge super tricky, by we didn’t give up!

Every morning, we take part in a dough disco challenge to warm up our fingers and make sure our muscles are ready for writing and drawing. The children love these videos and we always have lots of fun!

This week, we have been using our fine motor muscles to make snowflakes from play dough. We rolled, squeezed and pressed the dough to make the long shapes we needed. We used the snowflake guide to help us make tricky patterns! 

Expressive Arts and Design

Paint Skills 

This week, we have been painting pictures of our favourite Arctic animals. First, we drew the outline of our animals and once we were happy, we chose paint colours carefully and took our time to paint within the outline. This worked our fine motor and concentration skills!

DT Skills 

This week we have been planning and designing a new home for Isaac and Iris to live in. These characters fell out in our story because their lovely nest was destroyed, so we decided to build them a safer and stronger home. The children drew their designs first and then used the junk box materials to craft a brand new home.

Music and Performance

This half term we have been learning 6 songs for our nativity performance. The children have been practising these songs every day together as a class and they have loved learning actions to go with it. The children have enjoyed learning these songs so much, that they took it upon themselves to practise the songs on our stage in the music area. The children used props to pretend that they had a song book, and they encouraged the other children to join and watch them. 

Our roleplay corner this half term has been focussed all around an Arctic adventure! The children have pretended to drive an Arctic vehicle, take photographs of animals and look for the Northern Lights through their binoculars. 


Understanding the World

This week we have been exploring ice. We have been describing the textures and temperatures of ice and predicting ways that we can make the ice melt. The children worked together in small groups to investigate and share their ideas. We explored warm water, cold water and salt water. Some children wanted to pour salt onto the ice to see what would happen and they saw that the salt started to make the ice melt away! We then discussed that this is a reason why we put salt on the roads when they are really icy.

This week, we have been exploring hot and cold climates. We looked for Anarctica on a world map and saw that it was all covered in ice and snow. We talked about how this climate is very different to ours and countries that have very hot deserts. The children thought about what it must be like to live in a place so cold and discussed the different types of clothes we would need to pack. We then learnt a little more about Inuit people just like Brave from our story. We learnt about the types of clothes they wear, the food they eat and the homes that they live in.