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.

Autumn Term - First Half term    

Who Am I?

Week 1 and 2: Children starting school and settling into their new classes

Week 3:  What happens in my new class?

 The first couple of weeks we will be primarily focusing on settling the new children into the Reception environment and learning the rules, routines and expectations. A key person will be  dedicated to everyone on their start date to enable them to separate from their parent/ carer confidently and explore the environment with support, showing the children how to access resources, use them and tidy them away when they have finished. Key workers will also ensure the children know where the toilets are and model good hand washing frequently throughout the day. Children will be introduced to a visual timetable showing them the order of the day, so they become familiar with the routine and know what will be happening next.

This is also when we will complete baseline assessments of children allowing us to identify key next steps to support them with their learning.

 Week 4: Who am I and How Have I Changed?

This challenge will involve looking at ourselves in mirrors and trying to verbalise what we look like. We will discuss similarities between our appearances and celebrate differences by engaging in circle times and looking at photos. The children will be encouraged to use paints to create representations of what they think they look like. We will also talk about our family, friends, pets and people who are important to us. The children will have the opportunity to bring in photos of them as a baby and we will discuss how they have changed.

In addition to this, we will introduce the feelings wall in key groups and discuss different facial expressions and what they mean. This will then lead onto a discussion of examples of what we do when we feel different emotions. We will also introduce our ‘high five’ school behaviour strategy encouraging the children to solve problems more independently.

 Week 5: How Do I Keep Healthy?

This challenge encourages to children to identify how to eat healthily and why exercise is important. We will explore how we keep our body healthy identifying misconceptions of children’s ideas about what is and is not healthy. We will discuss our favourite foods and identify if they are healthy or unhealthy. We will also play games to develop their understanding and complete tally charts of favourite healthy foods. We will link our learning to the book Supertato and engage in lots of fun activities linked to the book encouraging investigation and prediction skills. Outdoors we will be focusing on why exercise is important. We will complete an obstacle course looking at how the children navigate their way around equipment. We will also practice running and negotiating space and talk about how it makes us feel when we exercise. We will take part in a ‘sponsored obstacle course’ where the children can dress up in any sports clothing and join in our fundraiser.

 Week 6: How do we Celebrate Birthdays?

This challenge will introduce a class puppet to the children. We will explain that it is the puppet’s birthday on Friday and ask the children how we celebrate birthdays and for ideas of things we could do for our puppet. We will then plan a party together, make decorations, invitations and birthday cards. We will then end the half term by having a birthday party for our class puppet. In key groups we will also talk about other special times and celebrations our children celebrate with their families.


Autumn Term - Second Half term 

What happens in autumn?

Week 1: What have I celebrated this week?

We will welcome the children back this week and begin our topic on celebrations, The children will share their experiences of Halloween and Bonfire night. We will have broomstick races and make magic potions outside and will create bonfire and firework pictures indoors. We will also discuss the importance of keeping ourselves safe.

Week 2: Who celebrates Diwali?

This week we will be talking about the festival of Diwali, the festival of light, encouraging children in the class who may celebrate it to share their experiences with others. We will celebrate differences and discuss other important celebrations in our lives. As part of our celebrations the children will make and decorate clay divas and create Rangoli patterns with a range of media. We will also share the story of Rama and Sita.

Week 3: What happens in autumn?

This week we will discuss the changes that we see in autumn. We will talk about what the weather and the natural world around us. We will also encourage the children to think about what they can see and write simple sentences ‘I can see..’ to create our own class book. We will use conkers and other loose parts to explore mathematical concepts. We will also have an autumn interest table with books and items for the children to look at. We will make leaf necklaces and encourage the children to use different media and materials to create trees.

 Week 4: Why do some animals hibernate?

We will explain what the term hibernate means and discuss which animals they think would hibernate. We will then primarily focus on hedgehogs. We will draw and paint hedgehogs, make hedgehogs out of clay and sticks and create large scale leaf hedgehogs outdoors. We will also encourage the children to label the body parts of a hedgehog.

Week 5: What adventures does stickman have?

We will encourage the children to answer questions about the story and use pictures to sequence the story. We will all make our own stick man and take our stick man on an adventure indoors or outdoors. We will explore the relationships of families and talk about how the stick man is lonely and what that word means. How would we help others if they felt lonely?

We will also decorate the classroom, introduce a Christmas role play area and begin our Christmas crafts.

Weeks 6/7: How do we celebrate Christmas?

Children will share their own family customs and traditions. The children will be very busy painting and drawing Christmas pictures, making Christmas cards and calendars and decorations. We will have the nativity costumes out for the children to retell the story in their play. They will have the opportunity to write their own letter to Santa. The children will also be taking it in turns to be the post man or lady each day helping the staff deliver all the Christmas cards.