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Reception Topics 2017/18

Below are the whole school topics for the year in which all children in reception will participate. In addition to these planned activities children will regularly be encouraged to think of some of their own ideas which we incorporate into our planning. Children’s ideas are collected by use of termly ‘topic webs’ and through weekly class discussions. We value all children’s contributions towards our planning, and by allowing children to share their own interests and ideas they continue to be motivated learners. Alongside the topics below we also look at a wide range of seasonal and religious festivals throughout the year such as Diwali, Harvest, Christmas, Chinese New Year, Easter, Holi and Tanabata.

Autumn Term (First 3 weeks)

Starting school and Art Attack!

For the first two weeks Reception children will be introduced to each other, staff, routines and the different areas in the school. They will learn about different areas in the Early Years classrooms and how to use equipment purposefully. The following week will be spent looking at Art Attack! The children will have opportunities to explore their creative side by mixing paint, making collages, experimenting with playdough and using laptops to create art. They will learn about patterns and will be creating their own patterns using paint and sponges. The children will be introduced to two books, ‘Art and Max’ and ‘The Magic Paintbrush’, and will be able to recreate pictures, stories and ideas from these books.

Autumn Term (Part 2)

What a Wonderful World

During this topic Reception children will be looking at different people in the community and around the world. In Maths the children will learn about positional language and ordering objects by size. We will also learn about 3D shapes, go on shape hunts and make models using shapes. The children will practise their counting, number recognition and number recording. In Literacy we will have a visit from Barnaby Bear and his suitcase from around the world, and the children will write about where he has been. We will also be looking at the books ‘The World that Loved Books’ and ‘My World, Your World’, using these stories to build their imagination and encourage them to pursue their own ideas. The children will learn about different cultures, traditions and customs from around the world, including Diwali and Harvest, as well as reflecting on their own culture and traditions at home.  Towards the end of this term, we will be thinking about Christmas and how and why it is celebrated.

Spring Term (First Half)

Hocus Pocus

In this topic the children will have the opportunity to experiment with some basic scientific concepts including floating and sinking. They will create their own ‘potions’ and will write instructions describing each step. In Literacy the children will also be looking at traditional stories, such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, as well as our focus book for the term, ‘Return’, where we will create imaginative stories using magic chalk. We will continue the idea of ‘potions’ into Maths, where the children will be learning about capacity and weight, as well as 2D shapes and addition. The children will have the chance to learn about Chinese New Year and Lent, where they will taste different foods and learn about key cultural aspects.

Spring Term (Second Half)


In this half term the children will be looking at different families and thinking about their own family. In Literacy we will be looking at ‘The Family Book’ and ‘Home’ to inspire our own writing on different families. The children will have the opportunity to write for different purposes, including writing and sending a postcard. Reception children will look at and compare different homes and will be able to create their own home using junk modelling. In Maths the children will be learning about different units of measurement and will measure length and height with standard and non-standard units. We will also be learning about subtraction and will be using practical resources to solve problems.

Summer Term (First Half)

Let’s Go Lego

In our penultimate topic the children will use tally charts and pictograms to collect and record data. They will be consolidating their knowledge of height by measuring and comparing their own Lego towers. During Literacy we will be looking at ‘Iggy Peck, Architect’ and will be writing our own rhyming verses. We will use Lego comic books and movie clips to influence our writing and will write our own short stories about Superheroes. The children will also be using Lego in their artwork to produce different patterns and textures.

Summer Term (Second Half)

The Living Planet

In the final topic we will be thinking about our natural environment. The children will observe changes in the local environment and will consider why and how these occur. They will be looking at animals and their young, and will write fact files to describe these animals. We will be looking at clips from Planet Earth and will be using the text ‘Varmints’ to learn about how we need to look after our planet. In Maths we will be learning about doubling, halving and sharing, and will be solving word problems. Towards the end of the summer term, the children will start to think about Year 1 and will participate in a range of transition activities.