Home Learning Challenge Examples

Summer 1 Term learning -2019

This term our topic has been about plants. We made a role play shop that the Reception children wanted to be Tescos. It sells vegetables and other packets and tins of food. We had been learning about using money and this was an opportunity for them to use coins and buy food. Some of the food bought was taken to the home corner and chopped up for cooking soup. 

The children all planted beans and are waiting for them to grow. The grass we planted in spring has grown and they had great fun cutting the grass with scissors. We also planted herbs for the mud kitchen and some flowers.

Our Talk for Writing book is Jack and the Beanstalk. They drew story maps and have been retelling the story. Very strangely, a giant came into our classroom and left his shoes and his shirt. This was very exciting and everyone had a theory about it. The children wrote a class letter to Ms McBride letting her know about the visit. They also made posters that they put around the school asking for everyone to look out for the giant. He apparently came back to school several times but no one saw him. He then wrote Reception children a letter asking for their help. They have all written back.

In Maths, the children have been using metre sticks and cubes for measuring. They measured objects in the playground. They also measured the giant’s shoes and compared them to their own shoes. They measured themselves and drew and cut out how big they thought the giant’s trousers, shirt and head would be. When they put it together, they found out that he might be four and a half children tall. They used the magic beans for subtraction from 10 and 20 and played board games to 20. We have also been playing target games outside to give opportunities for scoring.

In RE, the children learnt about New Life and how Jesus appeared to Mary and the disciples. They understood that Jesus had to go back to Heaven. We have been praying the Rosary for the month of May and many of the children now know the “Hail Mary” as well as the “Our Father.


Spring 2 Term learning -2019

This half term our topic has been Space. The children learnt about the different planets and our talk for writing book was “Whatever Next” by Jill Murphy. Reception children learnt a version of it by heart which they performed to Nursery and Year 1. They made story maps of the story and of their own adapted stories. Outside they had fun mixing vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to see what happened since we had talked about some of the planets being gas giants. They have also been noticing and drawing the different signs of Spring.

 In Maths they have been learning about 2d and 3d shapes. The children hunted for the shapes in the classroom, made pictures using shapes and did sorting activities to find out the properties of the different shapes. They have also been doubling numbers.  We are now sorting out different coins and adding and subtracting pennies and pounds using money.

Outside in child initiated learning the children decided to play watching films. They drew their films, made tickets and wrote lists of snacks they would buy at the cinema.

In RE we have been learning about how Jesus helped and healed people and the miracles he performed. We talked about what we can do during Lent, to prepare for Easter.


Spring 1 Term learning -2019

We started our topic this half term with Winter. We looked at what happens in Winter and how important it is to keep warm. The children were interested in why it rained or snowed so we talked about how it rains and did an experiment about clouds using shaving foam and food colouring. We also did experiments with ice, timing how long it takes to melt in hot or cold water. We froze lots of water and the weather also helped us with our ice experiments. The children tried melting the ice using hot coloured water, bashing it and using salt. They watched the changes. They also collected ice to make pretend drinks and decided to see if it took longer for the ice to melt inside or outside. We then found out about Arctic animals and made a role play area with a ship, initially to find Santa in the North Pole but also to go on other expeditions. They are very interested in looking at the globe to find out where places are. We read lots of different books about snow and polar animals. The children also made collages about the snow.

The children are making great progress with their phonics. We set up a little museum so that they could keep their models from the magnetic shapes and lego. They wrote labels for their models so that they would be kept in the museum and we saved all the writing in the “Museum Catalogue.” We had a role play school where they were keen to teach each other phonics and read stories. This has now changed to an office and the children went to talk to the office staff about working in an office. They enjoyed writing letters and cards to each other.

In Maths we have focused on counting on and finding one or two more from any given number. They have played many dice games with two dice. They order numbers to 10 and 20. We are now adding and subtracting numbers that make 10. We use tallying on many occasions as a way of recording numbers and the children have started tallying how many children have the different lunch options each day. They also started learning how to tell the time to o’clock. They sequenced their day and timed how long it took to do different activities.

In RE the children are learning about the life of Jesus as a young boy and also as he grew up. We make links with PSED about helping other people and staying safe, including online safety and first aid.

Autumn 2 Term learning -2018

This term in Reception we have read “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” as our Talk for Writing story. The children retold the story using actions and painted pictures of the different characters. They also experimented with bridge designs using different construction materials to make a new bridge for the goats.

The children made beautiful paintings of poppies as a response to the book “Where the Poppies now Grow.” They learnt that the poppies are for remembering soldiers who died during the First World War.

In phonics they have learnt many more sounds and are gaining confidence reading and writing CVC words. Our role play area became Santa’s workshop to encourage independent writing. The children wrote letters to Santa with lists of the toys they would like for Christmas. They put them into envelopes with stamps and posted them in the post box.  They played being elves and wrapping presents to go into the sacks. They also had a phonics game, reading the words on the presents and sorting them. The children wrote Christmas cards to each other and measured out Reindeer food. This extended out to imaginative play outside, pretending that the climbing equipment was a sleigh and the children became reindeer.

In maths we have been concentrating on the fiveness of five and the sixness of six - doing adding and subtracting with these numbers. We have used many different practical activities to develop number sense. The children did a problem solving activity to find as many different ways as possible to make different shapes and patterns using four lolly sticks and drew their result. We are also finding ways to record numbers using pictures, tallying and writing numerals. We did a bauble hunt where the children could choose how to record how many baubles they could find. We count to 20 and order numbers to 20. The children use construction, especially the large outdoor crates and the magnetic shapes, to make many very imaginative designs and are encouraged to draw what they have made.

This half term we learnt about Advent and getting ready for the birth of Baby Jesus. The children rehearsed and performed their Nativity Play, singing all the songs and learning lines. They became very familiar with the story of Christmas and why we celebrate it.

Autumn 1 Term learning -2018

This half term in Reception, everyone has been making new friends and learning the routines and expectations of being in Reception. The children have been engaged in lots of imaginative play which greatly helps with their social skills, communication and language. We set up a role play doctor’s area where children took turns being the doctor or the patient. They made appointments for each other to see the doctor and wrote prescriptions for medicine.

Outside the children have enjoyed using the open ended resources in the construction area. They have made houses with beds and moved planks and crates under the tent to make a living room with sofas. The mud kitchen has been very popular. Children make a wide variety of food, pretending it is a McDonald’s drive thru one day or a take away pizza restaurant the next. The children decided to make pizzas using natural materials as toppings e.g. conkers, twigs, bark for ham and put them in pizza ovens made from the big bricks. We will be going to MOD Pizza to enrich this learning.

In Phonics the children have started learning sounds and blending and segmenting them for reading and writing. In Literacy we retold the story of The Enormous Turnip using Talk for Writing. We changed the characters and the children drew their own story maps where, instead of pulling up a turnip, the characters dug for treasure.

We have been doing lots of Active Maths games outdoors, matching shapes, numbers and objects. The children have practised counting different numbers of objects to match dice pattern and numerals. Many children have had lots of fun using the art area independently and experimenting with mixing colours.