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.

***During school closures due to the corona virus outbreak, some of the work that the children learn may vary slightly to suit home learning.***

Summer Term - First Half term    

What Lives in the Garden? 

Week 1 - How do plants grow?

This week we will be introducing our growing and life cycles topic. We will begin by talking about the 4 seasons and discussing what we know about Spring. We will then follow instructions on how to plant a seed and then observe this over the next few weeks to see the changes in growth and development that take place. The children will also begin to understand how to measure objects and compare their length. We will also be discussing different ways that we need to care for our environment, including looking after plants and animals, and issues such as littering.

Week 2 - Does the hungry caterpillar eat pizza?

This week we will begin to explore life cycles of minibeasts, focusing on the journey of caterpillar to a butterfly. We will focus this topic around the story of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, which will link into our literacy learning. We will also use the book to discuss what we know about healthy and unhealthy foods and how to keep our bodies healthy. The children will also begin to learn how to create symmetrical patterns by creating their own butterflies.

Week 3 - Can worms see?

This week will read the book ‘Superworm’. The children will then be given lots of challenges by ‘Superworm’ to complete independently. We will also link this learning to ‘Super Citizens’ by reminding ourselves of what characteristics a ‘Super Citizen’ has. The children will make their own ‘Superworm’ using socks and they will also have the opportunity to look for bugs outside. We will discuss how we can observe the minibeasts carefully and see if we can recall facts about them. The children can then begin to make their own ‘Little Book of Bugs’.

Week 4 - Why do spiders weave webs?

This week we will be moving onto spiders, exploring and researching all about their habitats. We will discuss their features and learning about why they weave webs. We will talk about the food they eat, and how they catch their pray. We will be designing our own webs and creating different artwork linked to this. We will talk about different types of spiders around the world and discuss environments and habitats linked to this.

Week 5 - How many spots does a ladybird have?

This week to conclude our growing and life cycles topic, we will be learning all about ladybirds. We will explore why they have spots and investigate how many spots we can see. We will read the book ‘The Bad Tempered Ladybird’ and use this to discuss feelings and how we manage them. We will also celebrate by having a ‘Bug Ball’ at the end of the week.


Summer Term - Second Half term 

Who is your favourite story character?

Week 1 – Who Lives Under The Bridge?

This week we will introduce our half term topic through the exploration of the story ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’. We will explore the story in different ways using puppets and resources to retell the story to one another. We will also be writing sentences to describe the characters, remembering to include all of the features of a sentence such as full stops, capital letters and finger spaces. We will also be using different resources; such as Duplo; to build our own bridges, thinking about the design and the different shapes that we can use to build these successfully.

Week 2 – What can I buy at ‘The Great Pet Sale?’

This week our learning will be focused around the story ‘The Great Pet Sale’. We will begin the week by reading the story altogether and discussing what happens during the beginning, the middle and the end of the story. We will complete a ‘story features’ sheet to assess the children’s understanding and they will recall key features from the story. We will also be seeing how many different animals we can think of beginning with different sounds, and discussing which animals we have as pets ourselves. We will be using our number work skills to complete tally charts to find out what the most popular pet is in Reception. We will also be creating our own pet shop this week and linking this with learning more about money.

Week 3 – Why did the Crayons Quit?

This week we will be reading the story ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ and we will be learning about letter writing. We will read the story together, and discuss the different features of letters. We will each write our own letter to the boy in the story and will pretend that we are one of the crayons from the book. We will also be discussing the different feelings that are portrayed in the story, and will have a circle time to explore different things that make us feel different ways. We will be exploraptors this week as we will be learning about colour mixing and the children will have a go at mixing different coloured paints and painting beautiful pictures using these.

Week 4 – Can you help me find the Tiger?

Our learning this week focuses around the story ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’. We will read the story together and discuss the different characters and story features. We will then discover a big mess in the classroom when we see that the tiger has come to visit on the hunt for some food. He has also left us a letter for the children to read! The tiger will also visit us a second time where the children will have a chance to ask him lots of different questions. At the end of the week we will have a tiger tea party, and the children will have the opportunity to make different tea party invitations which they will write to the tiger and to their friends.  

Week 5 – Who is Your Favourite Story Character?

This week the children will have an opportunity to share their own favourite stories and characters with the rest of the class. We will celebrate all of our favourite books through a variety of activities, including designing book covers, writing short blurbs and even writing our own short stories. The children will be encouraged to think about what it is like to be an author and if this is something that inspires them.

Week 6 – What have you enjoyed in Reception?

We will conclude the half term by reflecting on our year in Reception. Throughout the half term the children will have had lots of support with the beginning of the transition into Year One, including visits to the classrooms and spending time with their new teachers. This week we will be discussing our highlights of the year and all of the wonderful things that we have experienced and learnt. The children will also discuss what they are looking forward to in preparation for the new school year. We will have a Reception party altogether and will celebrate the fantastic year that we have had!