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Learning in Reception

Summer Term 2021

Second Half Term

There’s an exciting world just below the surface of the rock pool. Which creatures live near the sea? Why do crabs have shells? We’ll find out the answers to these questions and more in this project about the seashore.

This half term, we’ll travel to the coast to visit the fascinating world of the British seashore. We’ll explore rock pools and collect ‘treasures’. Back at school, we’ll use our senses to investigate man-made and natural seashore objects, including litter. We’ll also write postcards about our visit to the seashore. Using our art skills, we’ll draw seabirds, create beach art and decorate shells. It might get messy when we explore the texture of sand and create a fantastic sand art display! We’ll listen carefully to stories and poems about the seashore. By reading non-fiction books, we’ll find out lots of interesting facts, discovering which animals live in a rock pool and what they eat. In our ‘seashore shop’, we’ll take on different roles and think about how we speak to each other. Using our mathematical skills, we’ll count jellyfish, solve problems and order shells.

Help your child prepare for their project
Rock pools are remarkable places. Why not visit your local beach to explore one yourselves. You could also visit the library to find out all about your favourite sea creature. Or create fantastic seashore collages using recycled materials. Alternatively, try making a miniature ‘beach in a box’ using sand, pebbles, shells and toys.


Words to use and explore








sea creature

rock pool









Makaton signs for sea creatures

Some sea life related books you might like to enjoy


First Half Term

In the Sunshine and Sunflowers project your child will explore their local environment and see how it has changed throughout the year. They will explore how things grow and learn how to care for plants and animals, identifying some different types. They will take part in outdoor learning activities such as a minibeast safari and find out how to stay safe in the sun. 

Supporting your child at home

  • Grow some quick growing plants together, such as salad leaves, radishes or cress.
  • Plan and go on a picnic.
  • Go on a local walk and talk about the changes that have happened to living things throughout the year.
  • Minibeasts are marvellous! How many minibeasts can you name? Do you know any unusual ones?
  • You could also try worm charming in your garden. Put a large hoop on an area of earth, water the area with a watering can, and tap your fingers lightly on the ground. Can you entice any worms to the surface?
  • Read minibeast-themed stories together, such as Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Bad-Tempered Ladybird, to find out more about these incredible creatures.


Words to use and explore

  • minibeast
  • wriggle
  • camouflage
  • habitat
  • metamorphosis
  • grow
  • change
  • worm
  • butterfly
  • snail
  • ant
  • beetle
  • ladybird
  • seed
  • life cycle
  • flower
  • stem
  • petal
  • root
  • shoot

Makaton signs for different minibeasts

Some Minibeast related stories and non-fiction books you might like to explore

Spring Term 2021

Second Half Term

Welcome to the magical world of fairy tales! Was the Big Bad Wolf really so bad? How many bowls of porridge did Goldilocks eat? Let’s find out more about our favourite stories, and discover some new ones.


In the Once Upon a Time project, your child will be introduced to the wonderful world of stories. They will listen to a range of traditional tales and have the chance to act out the stories in their play. 

This half term, we’ll watch a pantomime to see the characters come to life! Back at school, we’ll play imaginatively with a model castle and small world characters. We’ll look at different character types, and decide whether our favourite characters are ‘goodies’ or ‘baddies’! Using different materials and shapes, we’ll build castles and bridges. We’ll read lots of stories and look at the ingredients that go into a fantastic fairy tale. Contemporary versions of fairy tales will inspire us to write our own stories, and we’ll create story maps to retell familiar tales.


Supporting your child at home

  • Read traditional stories and fairy tales to your child.
  • Visit your local library and choose picture books to share.
  • Talk about the characters in stories and whether they like or dislike them.
  • Talk about how the characters in stories behave and what they could do differently.
  • Use toys to retell favourite fairy tales.


Words to use and explore:

  • castle
  • dragon
  • knight
  • royal
  • prince
  • princess
  • queen
  • king
  • fairy tale
  • troll
  • fairy godmother
  • story
  • wolf
  • woods

Mini topic- First week only

In this mini-project, your child will learn about the weather associated with the season of Spring. They will explore natural phenomena, including rainbows, clouds, rain and wind. They will explore colours found in the natural environment and be reminded how to mix primary colours to make new colours.


Supporting your child at home

  • Walk in your local environment and talk about the changes that have happened since winter.
  • Go on a colour hunt and find objects for all the colours of a rainbow.
  • Watch the weather forecast together and make a note of the different weather through the week.
  • Go outside on a rainy day and find puddles to jump in.


Words to use and explore:

  • spring
  • weather
  • season
  • sunshine
  • snow
  • sleet
  • hail
  • rain
  • wind
  • rainbow
  • colour
  • primary
  • red
  • yellow
  • blue

The Makaton sign for Spring

Some Spring related stories and non-fiction books you might like to explore

First Half Term

In the Winter Wonderland project, your child will explore the seasonal changes that happen during winter. They will find out about the different weather associated with the winter season and explore changes that happens to water as it freezes. They will find out about what happens to plants and animals during cold weather and explore places in the world that are always cold and snowy, including the animals that live there.

Supporting your child at home

  • Go on a winter walk and talk about how the environment has changed since the summer months.
  • Put bird food out in the garden or on a window ledge and observe the birds that visit.
  • Leave water out in a shallow container overnight on a cold night and see if the water freezes.
  • If it snows, build a snowman, and take a photo of it to share with the rest of the class.

Words to use and explore:

  • winter
  • season
  • cold
  • snow
  • ice
  • freeze
  • frost
  • icicle
  • snowflake
  • Arctic
  • Antarctic
  • camouflage

Singing Hands: WINTER in Makaton Sign Language

Winter related stories and non-fiction books you might like to look at.

Autumn Term 2020


Second Half Term

In the Sparkle and Shine project, your child will explore different celebrations that take place in autumn and winter, focusing on the significance and symbolism of light at this time of year. They will take part in a variety of creative activities and discover more about how Christmas, Diwali and Hanukkah are celebrated around the world.

It’s also time to find out more about night time. We’ll learn about people and services that work at night, stars, constellations and nocturnal animals. We’ll also find out more about how good bedtime routines can have a positive impact on our health, and take part in a series of bedtime challenges. 


Help your child prepare for their project
The night is all right! Why not do some stargazing together after dark, either from your garden or, even better, a rural location with minimal light pollution? There are apps you can use on your phone to help you to identify stars and constellations! Alternatively, talk to people in your family who have worked at night. What are the similarities and differences between working in the day compared to at night?

Supporting your child at home

  • Talk about special events that you celebrate at home.
  • Share photos of events that you celebrate.
  • Talk about how you prepare for special celebrations including the clothes you wear, food you prepare and gifts you give or receive.

Words to use and explore:

  • celebration
  • light
  • dark
  • festive
  • autumn
  • winter
  • season
  • Christmas
  • Diwali
  • Hanukkah
  • shiny
  • constellation
  • nocturnal
  • hibernate

Christmas Makaton Signs

Some Christmas related stories and non-fiction books you might like to explore

First Half Term

In the Exploring Autumn project, your child will learn about the seasonal changes that happen in autumn. They will learn about birds and animals that live in the woods and how they survive as the weather gets colder. They will take part in practical and creative activities that will support them to learn about autumn.

Supporting your child at home

  • Go on a walk around your local area and talk about what happens to trees and plants during autumn. Take some pictures to share at school.
  • Collect leaves, seeds, nuts and berries to add to an autumn collection.
  • Make some bird food to feed the birds as the weather gets colder.

Words to use and explore:

  • autumn
  • conker
  • nut
  • berry
  • camouflage
  • hibernate
  • squirrel
  • fox
  • owl
  • mouse
  • hedgehog
  • pumpkin
  • harvest

Learn to sign Autumn | Mr Tumble 🍁🍂

Some Autumn related stories and non-fiction books you might like to explore