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    

Week 1 - What happens in my new class?

The first week we will be focusing on settling the new children into the Reception environment and learning the routines and behaviour expectations of the classroom.  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.  Key workers will also ensure the children know where the toilets are and model good hand washing frequently throughout the day so they become familiar with the routine and know what will be happening next.  We will intriduce the term 'Super Citizen' whilst they engage with classroom responsibilities.

Week 2 - Who am I and how have I changed?

This learning question will encourage the children to be confident to talk about who they are and what is important to them. 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.  The children will have an opportunity to bring in photos of themselves as babies and discuss how they have changed over time.

The children will spend time this week learning more about our classroom and wider school rules, as they begin to feel more comfortable with the expectations of being in school. They will begin to learn about good learning characteristics through ‘Achievosaurs’ and this is also when we will complete the baseline assessments of the children, allowing us to identify key next steps to support them with their learning.

Week 3 - How do I keep myself healthy?

This challenge encourages the children to identify how to keep themselves healthy in a variety of ways. We will explore why eating healthily and exercising is important. In addition to this we will focus on the importance of healthy sleep routines, oral hygiene, good mental health and wellbeing. We will discuss our favourite foods and discuss the importance of having a balanced diet and will link this learning to the book ‘Supertato’. 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. The children will take part in a ‘sponsored obstacle course’ where they can dress up in sports clothing and join in our fundraiser.

We will be supporting the children’s development of their emotional literacy skills this week by reading the story ‘The Colour Monster’. This is a lovely story that enables the children to develop an understanding of emotions and how their body is affected.

Week 4 - Whole School Discovery Week about Art

Week 5 - What happens in the autumn?

This week we will discuss the changes that we see in Autumn. We will talk about what changes we can observe through the weather and the natural world around us. We will also encourage the children to use ‘talk partners’ to think about what they can see. We will use conkers and other loose parts to explore mathematical concepts such as subitising and representing amounts to 5. The children will also go on a walk around the school field to collect signs of autumn such as fallen leaves, conkers, and sticks. They will then be given the opportunity to use the materials to create different artwork such as leaf necklaces, collages of trees, and leaf rubbings. We will explain what the term hibernate means and discuss which animals they think would hibernate.

The children will also learn about the celebration of Diwali this week and begin to develop an understanding of different cultures and their traditions.  

Autumn Term - Second Half term 

Week 1 - What celebrations happen in the autumn?

We will welcome the children back this week and begin our topic on celebrations. As it will be Halloween, the children will be invited to dress up in a costume which they can wear for the whole day at school. We will discuss how different people celebrate Halloween and the children will share their experiences. We will also discuss Bonfire Night, and the children will learn some of the traditions and history linked with this celebration. 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 during these different events.

Week 2 - How do we celebrate birthdays?

 This week will be by celebrating our class puppets birthdays. We will plan a party together, make decorations and encourage the children to practise their early writing skills by making invitations and birthday cards. We will then end the week by having a birthday party for our class puppet.

We will also build upon the children’s understanding of emotional literacy by discussing how we show kindness to others.

Week 3 - Where do people celebrate?

This week the children will have the opportunity to look at the types of buildings that different religions go to worship. They will be encouraged to build representations of these in the construction area and discuss any that they may have visited before. We will look at the similarities and differences of these buildings and what may be found inside them. The children will be encouraged to celebrate differences between themselves and their peers and will read stories to support this.

Week 4 - What’s your family tree?

We will introduce the term ‘family tree’ by reading the story ‘Stickman’. 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 them on adventures indoors or outdoors. We will explore the relationships of our immediate families and draw pictures of them. The children will also be invited to share information about their grandparents and how life for them may have changed over time. We will be inviting grandparents/ great grandparents to join us for a story time. We will also explore the feeling of loneliness and talk about how we can help others if they feel lonely.

Week 5 - How to write a letter to Santa.

We will use a ‘Talk for Writing’ map to help the children learn how to structure a letter to Santa. They will follow the pictures and learn the actions and words to say the letter aloud. The children will then use their knowledge of phonics so far to try and write a simple letter to Santa. They will be encouraged to use pictures and sounds to represent words and some children may be able to write simple captions.

Week 6 - How do we celebrate Christmas?

Children will share their own family customs and traditions. They will be very busy painting and drawing Christmas pictures, making Christmas cards and decorations. We will have the nativity costumes out for the children to retell the story in their play. 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. The children will also be busy preparing for their Christmas Nativity performance for parents.