Topic Work

In Reception the Early Years Curriculum is taught through a cross-curricular approach. Each term learning focuses on a particular topic.  We have a question based format where children are presented with a question each week and learning opportunities are planned that help the children to answer the question.

In Reception topic lessons take place during the afternoons, throughout the week and are taught in mixed ability classes.  Learning is differentiated to match the children's stage of learning. When appropriate links are also made with role-play areas and opportunities are provided to learn about the current topic through imaginative as well as creative play.  In addition links are made with other areas of learning such as Literacy, Maths and physical development to ensure that the children are fully engaged with their learning.

The chart below details what topics and questions the children will be learning over the next term.  Details of the other themes that the children cover over their year in Reception can be found on the curriculum pages.

Spring Term - First Half term    

Where in the World do animals come from?

Week 1 - What is in our local area?

We will talk to the children about things that are near to us – cafes, fish shop, Matalan, florist, newsagents etc. We will then demonstrate our knowledge of the local area by drawing maps of our journey to school. As part of this week we will also discuss dangers in our environment, focusing on road safety. We will show the children traffic lights, and zebra crossings explaining how to keep ourselves safe when out and about. The children will end the week by going on a short walk around the local area to look for familiar buildings.

Week 2 - What would it be like to live in the North Pole?

We will show the children a globe and explain that there are lots of different places in the world, some are hot and some are cold. This week we will focus on the North Pole and compare it to the environment that we live in. We will be making lists of what we will take to the North Pole, and we will be looking at arctic animals. We will also pretend to be explorers and each class will follow a map and clues to race to the ‘North Pole’ to see who can get their first!

Week 3 - Where in the world do different animals live?

We will show the children different animals and discuss where in the world they come from and why we think that. We will look at an atlas and identify different countries around the world where the animals come from. We will then make large collaborative collages of the different animals we have learnt about, exploring textures. We will be discussing different features of animals that allow them to live in a range of environments.

Week 4 -  Where does a penguin come from?

This week we will be focusing on the story ‘Lost and Found’ about a lost penguin. Then we will have a special delivery from the South Pole, a box containing a penguin! This will arrive on Tuesday and the children will have to work out why it has been sent to us and how we can look after it. We then have to make a plan about how we can help the penguin to return home.

Week 5 - How do people celebrate Chinese New Year?

This week we will be discussing who celebrates Chinese New Year. We will be reading the story of the Chinese New Year, discussing which Chinese year we were born in, trying different Chinese foods and learning how to use chopsticks to play games. We will also watch a video of a Chinese dragon dance and will explore movements by becoming our very own Chinese dragons!

Week 6 -  Which dinosaurs can fly? 

 This week the children will be investigating non-fiction books and small world toys to learn about different types of dinosaurs. They will sort and compare dinosaurs by their features and characteristics. We will also look at comparing length, height and weight using dinosaurs. The children will also be able to investigate how to free dinosaurs from frozen eggs. We will place a lot of emphasis on using our class Achievosaurs too, to describe how we are learning and promote learning in different ways.

 Spring Term - Second Half term 

How do people travel?

Week 1 - How has transport changed over time?

This week we introduce the topic by looking at old and new transport, discuss how technology has changed over time linked to transport and they will compare their experiences of travel with their peers. We will make and design different tracks and ramps for cars and make 3D box model vehicles.

Week 2 - Discovery week (book focus)

Week 3 - Can you make a boat that floats?

This week we will explore materials and those which float and sink. We will challenge all the children to try and make a boat that can float, and we will focus on the story where the wild things are, as Max travels to the land of the wild things in a boat. We will express our ideas of what wild things look like and use art, music and dance to represent our ideas.

Week 4 - Are you ready to board Wortley Airlines?

This week we will make passports and tickets for our exciting journey. We will invite an air hostess in and turn the classroom into an aeroplane. The children will go through passport control showing their tickets then find their allocated seat. We will ‘take off’ and have an in-flight snack before returning to school.

Week 5 - What will we see on our train ride?

We will focus on the book ‘The Train Ride’ and ‘The Runaway Train’, we will discuss story settings and the different things the train travels past, under, over and through. We will create a large outdoor train station role play outdoors and share our own experiences of going on a train. We will talk about famous trains such as ‘The Hogwarts Express’ and ‘The Polar Express’ and ask the children where they would go if they could board a magical train.

Week 6 - How would you travel to space?

We will begin the week by reading the story ‘Whatever Next’. The children will be encouraged to use their imagination, just like the bear to make their own space rockets. We will talk about what objects we can use both inside and outside the classroom. The children will have the opportunity to design their rockets and write a list of what they will use.