As well as our daily maths, English and Reading sessions, we also learn through a theme-based curriculum using the ‘Cornerstone’ approach. This centres on the belief that children learn better when their interests and fascinations are allowed to flourish.
In the first half term of the academic year, we will be motivating our children through the topic ‘Do you want to be friends?’This explores friendships, being kind and working together. There are often children new to the class so they learn to mix, share interests and make new friends. Children meet people in school who are there to help them, and they learn new routines for the wider school setting. It also leads into looking at ‘People who help us’: firefighters , health workers and police. We are keen to invite parents or other adults who work in these professions to come and talk to the children.
Our second topic is ‘Dinosaurs’. Children love this theme which provides wide and varied opportunities across all areas of learning. Role play is the dinosaur museum and shop, and small world play gives opportunities to create dinosaur land from natural objects and materials. Outdoor activities include going on a dinosaur hunt, discovering fossils and bones, investigating frozen dinosaur eggs and making meals for herbivore dinosaurs. They make maps, learn to add and subtract with dinosaurs, as well as making 2D shape dinosaurs. They enjoy painting dinosaurs and using collage to create a habitat. The term would not be complete without our Nativity play and learning through the theme of Christmas.
We start the new year exploring winter through Disney’s ‘Frozen’ movie. This inspires all children : producing wonderful music, dance, artwork and a good understanding of seasons and the weather. The main topic is ‘ What happens when I fall asleep?’We look at bedtime routines and the importance of sleep and rest. We think about our owndreams and use our imagination to think of fantastic dreams we can write and aboutand express through creative activities. We ask the question; Does everyone go to bed thesame time as me ? This leads into exploring nocturnal animals and seeing what they canfind out. Finally we turn to the night skies, looking at the moon and constellations.
‘Are we there yet?’ is the next topic which explores transport, travel and places. We start with a journey into space: making rockets, going on a journey to the moon through dance and music. Children learn about different transport through fiction and non fiction texts. ‘The Naughty Bus’ goes on an adventure. Where does he go? What does he do? Can they send him on new journey? ‘ The Train Ride’ is a classic story. What does the girl see from the train? Can you remember ? Over and under the water explores floating and sinking, and making a boat that will float . Finally children explore travel nearer to home. How do they get to school? What do they see on the way to school?
Spring time is all about ‘Changes’. We start with a traditional tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. Children plant beans, create a dance and music telling the story, and draw giant castles on a paint program. They compare lengths of beanstalks, and measure using Jack’s feet and giant’s feet. Following on, they plant sunflower seeds and start to look at life cycles, watching their seeds grow and looking for changes. We have tadpoles in class to observe growth at first hand. A visit to the farm is enjoyed, as children can see new life and growth in animals in a fun and exciting day out.
‘Why do ladybirds have spots?’ is our final topic, and it’s a very popular one all about minibeasts. Children bring a lot of knowledge and interest to this. Our memorable experience is to go on a minibeast safari in the school grounds, looking for, and collecting bugs, exploring their habitats and recording what we find. We also have a mystery parcel arrive specially for our class, with something for us to look after and watch change through its life cycle. What might it be? We enjoy lots of brilliant books which inspire learning too: What the Ladybird Heard? Aaaagh Spider! And Yucky Worms to name a few. To celebrate our end of year, why not end with an Ugly Bug Ball! What would you like to dress as?
Children have a reading journal with hints and tips to help your child with reading at home. Please support your child with reading books, high frequency words and phonics.
Later in the term they will bring a Maths Home Activity to follow up learning in class.