Summer 2 2021
“What happened to Harry’s bucketful of Dinosaurs?”
This term we will be getting busy learning all about dinosaurs! We will be listening and exploring stories about dinosaurs including 'Bumpus, Jumpus', 'Dinosaurumpus' and 'Tyranosaurus Drip', to help us learn about different dinosaurs, what they looked like and where they lived.
We will start each week with a hook activity e.g. a large cardboard dinosaur arriving in pre-school, and we will ask questions such as, how did the dinosaur get to school? To support the children with their thinking skills and to stimulate curiosity around the topic.
We will help ‘Harry find his Dinosaurs’ by going on regular dinosaur hunts to introduce a couple of dinosaurs each week. We will then focus our learning based around the specific dinosaurs we have found, and learn all about the similarities and differences between them all e.g. which ones have spikes? Which ones were fast? Slow? Which ones ate meat, plants or both?
During our maths activities, we will be counting and adding dinosaurs, how many dinosaurs are there? If we had one dinosaur and then we add another dinosaur, how many dinosaurs would we have altogether? We will then be using non-standard units of measure e.g Unifix bricks to measure some of the toy dinosaurs, and then we will measure how long a real dinosaur was using a big tape measure and some chalk. Did you know a Stegosaurus was as tall as a double decker bus?
Children are also encouraged daily to join in with maths games, number rhyme time and problem-solving activities.
During our creative activities we will be thinking about different ways we can stick materials together i.e. glue to make our own 3D dinosaurs, the children will then have the opportunity to decorate their models using different coloured paints or a variety of craft materials.
The investigation tray is going to be an ‘archaeological dig’ and children will become palaeontologists helping to dig up the bones of a T-Rex and a stegosaurus! They will use magnifying glasses, non-fiction books, brushes and water to investigate further, recording and sharing their findings.
During our continuous provision the children also have plenty of opportunity to develop their physical skills using the large equipment such as scooters, bikes and some apparatus, as well as improving their fine motor skills with drawing, tracing, threading and cutting.
Further daily activities and opportunities will be driven by children’s interests.
Summer 1 2021
'What will we see at the bottom of the tree?'
This half term in Cygnets we are going to be exploring the question “What will we see at the bottom of the tree?” We will be finding out about mini-beasts.
To start the topic we will continue to develop our questioning skills to find out what the children already know e.g. what is a mini-beast? What do they look like? Are they all the same? Where do they live? Then using our magnify glasses and spotter sheets we will be going on a mini-beast hunt to find out some of the answers to the questions we don’t already know.
During maths activities we be identifying and creating simple repeating patterns. We will continue to explore numbers to ten by counting sets of objects, using fingers to represent numbers as well as finding one more and one less than a given number. We will be taking part in a variety of sorting activities i.e. sorting mini-beasts with wings or no wings and we will also carry on with ordering objects by length and height.
During the pre-school sessions all children will have the opportunity to use the interactive whiteboard and the computer to play games involving number and shape, including their favourites - ‘Top Marks’ and ‘Espresso’.
In Literacy, we will be sharing a variety of both fiction and non-fiction books about mini-beasts and we will explore the story of “The very hungry caterpillar” by Eric Carle, so that we can learn all about the life-cycle of a butterfly. We will continue with our letter and sounds activities where we will be concentrating on developing our rhyming skills.
During our creative activities we will have lots of opportunities to explore colour mixing and to paint pictures of objects that we observe and choose. We will also be creating our own Henri Matisse ‘Snail’ picture using a variety of creative paper shapes, and joining materials together to make 3D mini-beasts using recycled materials.
Children will also be able to take part in daily outdoor activities, where they will have plenty of opportunity to develop their physical skills using the large and small equipment. Outdoor experiences will also include sand play, water play and time in the mud kitchen making sticky stews and potions.
A weekly, structured PE lesson is on a Thursday in the hall or playground, in which we will use a range of equipment and play group games.
Autumn 2 2020
'What colours do we see at this time of year?'
Our topic this half term will be based upon the question “What colours do we see at this time of year?”
We will be using a variety of stories to introduce different parts of this topic, starting with the story ‘The Leaf Man’, where we will be following him on a journey as he blows to different places. “Where will the Leaf Man go? The children’s suggestions will lead this journey.
In our maths activities, during this journey, the children will be sorting leaves and other autumn objects in a variety of ways such as colour, shape and size. Other maths opportunities will take place in our daily number rhyme time and in our outdoor environment in the Mud Kitchen when following recipes such as ‘Sticky Stew.’
In Physical Development, the children will be going into the hall and developing their gross motor skills by joining in with busy feet activities where they follow actions to dance and move in a variety of ways. We will also be continuing to develop our fine motor skills during dough gym and funky fingers during our morning wake up sessions, as well as through activities such as threading, using tweezers, and peg boards. These activities are available daily through continuous provision and support children to develop their fine motor skills needed for writing.
As part of our day to day planned curriculum, children will be taking part in ‘letter and sound' games, where they will be supported in activities which encourage them to hear differences in sounds, describing sounds and developing vocabulary and language comprehension. Further daily activities and opportunities will be driven by children’s interests.
As we approach December this topic will lead on to our Christmas theme “The Gruffalo at Christmas” our role play area will become “Little Brown Mouse’s house” and the children will be able to make decorations and food to help mouse get ready for Christmas. Maths challenges will be set up, for example in construction 'can you help little brown mouse build a house big enough for him to live in?' We will also be taking part in some creative activities such as making Christmas cards, stained glass windows and lots of decorations to display and brighten up the Cygnets' room for Christmas.
Welcome to Cygnets
We hope that all the children are enjoying their first weeks starting or returning to Cygnets. It has been lovely seeing so many smiley and happy faces.
We have a play-based approach towards learning and every half term we choose a different topic. This half term our theme will be `Marvellous me. ` This will be introduced by sharing the ‘All about me’ books that the children made at home. We will be encouraging them to talk about their families, interests and their home life. This topic will then continue to be supported by small group games and planned activities based around children’s interests to help them become more confident in their new environment.
Our main focus will be learning the rules and routines of pre-school. We will be doing lots of ‘getting to know’ you activities to help the children establish positive relationships. We will help them to settle and learn how to be independent with their belongings and look after the equipment at pre-school.
Our role-play area is set up as a home environment, and we will be encouraging the children to use their imagination to act out scenarios which are familiar to them. In our maths area, we will be introducing colours, shapes and numbers in a variety of child initiated activities. The children’s fine motor skills will be developed in many different ways including, threading, painting, peg boards, etc.
A large amount of our learning also takes place outside where children are encouraged to use their gross motor skills by using bikes, balls and learning to move around in different ways. Children are also encouraged to explore the natural environment and the mud kitchen play seems to be very popular!
During this half term we will be making observations and assessments on the children’s interests and development in order to plan our future curriculum.