Summer 1 2023
Welcome back! We hope you have had a lovely Easter relaxing with your families and enjoying the new signs of Spring. This half term, our topic is all about Dinosaurs! Take a look at our class newsletter to find out more about what we will be learning this half term – we can’t wait to get started!
Friday 21st April 2023 – Celebrating Earth day!
Today, all of the children came to school wearing clothes that reminded them of Earth and all the special things that live and grow on our planet. We started our day with a special worship, thinking about why we must try our best to protect our planet. The children shared some wonderful ideas and remembered some key knowledge we discussed during our Space topic!
Eliza – Trees grow on our planet and they take in carbon dioxide and make oxygen so we can breathe. We need to look after them.
Lukas – Bees make honey and help plants to grow. Also, what would happen if the Earth wasn’t blue and green and it was only green? There would be no water and we need water.
Daniel – We need to care for animals.
Albert – We live here.
We also made 5 Planet Promises that we wanted to keep in order to look after our precious planet Earth…
Finally, we joined a whole school assembly hosted by a special visitor and learnt even more about why we celebrate Earth Day. We learnt some extra tips on how to help our planet such as walking to school more, eating all of the food on our plates, trying a meat free meal and not mowing a patch of our garden to help encourage wildlife to visit.
Our virtue this week has been all about confidence. We have been thinking about what it means to be confident and how we can strive to be more confident in our own lives. We discussed how God brought us into the world not to show how perfect we are, but to learn how to perfect ourselves step by step and being more confident to show our true selves. The children all shared times when they find this the trickiest and together we reflected on what steps we could take to help each other and ourselves.
“The Lord will keep you safe” (Proverbs 3:26)
“So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings.” (Matthew 6:34)
“Let us be confident, then, and say: “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)
This half term we are learning all about ‘New Life’ and the importance of the Easter story. This week, the children were thinking about the difference between feeling happy and feeling sad and we talked about what might make us feel this way. We then listened to the very important part of the Easter story where Mary found Jesus’ tomb to be empty and the children all agreed that she must have felt very happy about this! We then discussed how the Easter story teaches us that things begin again, just like the season of Spring. We listed all the signs we have seen so far of new life in Spring.
Flowers start to grow, leaves become green, baby chicks and lambs are born.
This week, we focused very carefully on one part of the Easter story and listened again to the story of Mary Magdalene when she discovered that Jesus had rose from the dead. The children all shared a time when they had experienced a happy surprise and were able to make links to the characters using their own experiences. As a class, we agreed that Mary must have felt so happy and emotional to have discovered this wonderful news and particularly amazed when she met the angel that told her Jesus was alive. After this, the children made their own angels using a new craft technique called “concertinaing” we had learnt last topic and we took these angels home to remind us of this very special memory from the bible.
Bumpus Jumpus Dinosaur Rumpus by Tony Mitton!
We have loved learning our new story this week and joining in with the repeating rhyme… “Shake, shake, shudder near the sludgy old swamp. The dinosaurs are coming get reading to romp!” We started our learning by listening to the story and then we moved on to innovating the story and thinking of other ways the dinosaurs would move or other things the dinosaurs would get up to in the Dinosaurumpus! We used our school’s TalkWrite approach to help us plan, share and remember our sentences and then checked our top tips for writing to make sure we had applied our phonic skills carefully.
We then practised our writing skills even more within our independent provision time. We had a go at writing our own dinosaur sentences and labelled our models and creations, and designed our own story maps.
How to Look after your Dinosaur by Jason Cockcroft!
This week, we have been learning all about instructions through the introduction of our new class reader – How to Look after your dinosaur. The children have really enjoyed listening to this story and all of the hilarious things that the dinosaur gets up to. From this, the children have designed their own instructions on looking after their own animals or different types of dinosaurs and they have used their TalkWrite skills to help them construct their own sentences orally before writing.
We have continued to practise our digraphs and tricky words this week following the initial code in SoundsWrite. The children have practised “say the sound, read the word”, built words and practised reading and writing sentences using our Unit 11 digraphs.
ch, sh, th, qu, ck, wh, ng
We have developing our love of reading further by exploring fiction and non-fiction books linked with our new topic and spending time in our cosy reading corner with our friends and Year 6 buddies.
We have been learning all about numbers to 20 this week! We have been counting, reading and ordering numbers and using our tap counting skills to match amounts. The children have then explored these numbers further in our Maths rainbow challenge area – using their fine motor skills to cut and stick numbers into the right order.
This week we have been learning to add one more and one less to numbers up to 20. We began our learning by creating amounts together as a class ad then adding or taking away 1 from each other amounts we created. We began to realise the pattern and made links to counting forwards and backwards on a number line. The children applied this learning in their Maths books and using the activities on the Maths table in our provision areas.
This week our rainbow challenge was to build a dinosaur from 3D shapes and place them in a dinosaur world that we created on large pieces of paper. We had so much fun doing this and thought really carefully about the shapes and patterns we needed to replicate the dinosaurs.
Our next challenge was to build houses for our pet dinosaurs. We knew we needed to construct cubes and cuboids for the best house shape and even tested them to make sure the dinosaurs would fit inside. Some children decided to make castles for their dinosaurs and used tall cuboids to make towers for the dinosaurs to climb.
We have been learning all about stranger danger and how to know the difference between a stranger and a safer stranger. The children made a list of ways they already knew how to stay safe:
- Stay with your family when you are out and about.
- Make sure to hold hands when you cross the road.
- Don’t speak to strangers.
- If you get lost you can speak to a police officer or a shop worker.
We then talked about how we knew someone was a safer stranger. Safer strangers wear uniforms or badges so that we know who they are. The children shared the names of different people they knew who wore uniforms and who they could trust when they are away from home.
- Police officer
- Fire fighter
We have enjoyed spending time with our Year 6 buddies this half term. They joined us for our special Coronation Day celebration and we worked on some key skills such as: team work, sharing, asking for help, taking turns, confidence and developing relationships with others.
Gross Motor (P.E.)
We have been learning to follow instructions and develop our listening skills during team games. We have worked in a range of different teams and compete against each other in racing and agility games. The children have particularly enjoyed playing “cross the river” where they need to cross the river safely without being tagged by their opponent. Through this, they have developed their balance, coordination and confidence with their gross motor skills.
We have continued to develop our core skills in our outdoor area and have enjoyed completing dinosaur challenges on the obstacle course! The children have also shown a real interest in building ramps in the gravel area. They have carried, rolled and balanced a range of equipment and worked as a team to constantly improve their ramps.
We have been building our fine motor skills by building a range of different dinosaurs. This was a really tricky challenge but the children worked so hard to pick up the screws, push them in and use the screw drive to twist and turn the screws in place!
Our next fine motor challenge was to build a dinosaur out of playdough. We always enjoy experimenting with playdough and we pinched, rolled and pressed the dough to make our own dinosaur shapes and creations.
Our final challenge this half term was to make a fossil from salt dough. The children have loved shaping, rolling and squashing the dough with their fingers and have carefully chosen the object they wanted to press into the dough to make a print. Once they had finished their fossil shape, the children wrote their name independently onto a post it note and placed it in the window sill to dry and harden.
Understanding the World
We have been learning all about dinosaurs! We began our topic by learning some common dinosaur names which some children were able to tell us from memory. The children were able to tell us that dinosaurs existed in the past and we even learnt a new worthy word… “prehistoric” which was in our new dinosaur rhyme. We then explored the different types of habitats that dinosaurs used to live in and learnt the difference between a herbivore and a carnivore. Most children said that the T rex was their favourite dinosaur because it was “fearsome”.
We then learnt all about dinosaur eggs and the life cycle of dinosaurs. This then led us to explore a range of other animals that we knew laid eggs and we spent time matching pictures of animals to their eggs.
Chicken, frogs, ostrich, birds, fish, snake, turtle
We also found out that birds and other reptiles existed at the same time as dinosaurs which made us realise how long these creatures have been on God’s earth!! Within our provision, there were many different types of egg nests and we enjoyed exploring these and comparing the different sized eggs.
The King’s Coronation Day 5th May
We had SUCH a lovely day learning all about Charles III and what a ‘coronation’ means. We began the day by looking at pictures of the royal artefacts such as coronation carriage and the royal crown. We remembered that Queen Elizabeth was previously our Queen but now she has sadly passed Charles will be our new King. We then had a special circle time and sharing our thoughts and feelings about the coronation and passing around the royal crown. The children showed real respect for this artefact and passed this around the circle so carefully. We then explored a range of coronation themed provision activities around our classroom, and enjoyed sharing these with our Year 6 buddies. Finally, FS1 joined us for a very special flipper flapper dance to “I just can’t wait to be king” and then we enjoyed a delicious cookie!!
We also had a very special coronation themed lunch and shared a very special book to celebrate!
Expressive Arts and Design
At the start of our topic, we challenged ourselves to make models and collages of dinosaurs by cutting and joining a range of different materials. The children first planned their designs, made them and then reviewed them with their friends to see how they could make them even better.
One child created a unique design and inspired other children to recreate this themselves!
This week we have been completing observational drawings of a dinosaur scene that was set up on our painting table. We practised drawing the parts of the dinosaur to size and mixing the powder paints carefully to get the colours we needed.
Performance, Roleplay and Music
We have absolutely loved our new Dinosaur Museum in the roleplay corner. The children have all enjoyed taking on new roles as the museum curators, gift shop workers and the visitors. They have acted out real life scenarios such as selling tickets, giving guided tours and keeping the museum tidy and organised. The children also decided that they wanted to showcase their own creations in the museum so they set up their own shelf for children to add their models to with labels! This has been a very popular area of our class and we have seen so much exciting learning and conversations happen.
The children have also enjoyed performing their own ‘Dinosaur Rumpus’ on stage, singing the rhyme from the book and using a range of different instruments to act out the story.
Shake shake shudder near the sludgy old swamp, the dinosaurs are coming get ready to romp!