Little Chestnuts Topics - 2020/21
Below are the whole school topics for the year in which all children in Nursery will participate. In addition to these planned activities, children will regularly be encouraged to think of some of their own ideas which we will incorporate into our planning. Children’s ideas are collected through weekly class discussions and observations. 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.
During every term, we will also be cooking and learning about hygiene. The children will regularly use the balance bikes to develop control and confidence as well as an understanding about how to keep safe. Throughout every topic, all the children have opportunities to extend their learning in all EYFS areas of learning.
Autumn Term (Part 1)
We know that starting school can be a mixture of emotions so we will spend the first few weeks ensuring that the children feel happy and settled. During this time, we will play lots of name games, social activities and explore all the different areas in our classroom and outside. As a bright and colourful start to our school year, we will be exploring ‘The Colour Monster’ book. The book is a great way for children to begin to identify different emotions and check in with how they are feeling. We will also use ‘The Lion Inside’ to help the children feel brave in their new school with new adventures. We will spend time exploring the school grounds and creating large scale artwork as a group. It is an important time for the children to begin to share their thoughts, ideas and interests through artwork, photos and speaking activities.
Autumn Term (Part 2)
Earth & Beyond
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, we are going to the moon! Our Autumn topic in Little Chestnuts will encourage us to reach for the stars and go on exciting adventures. We will look at space, planets and even aliens through a range of imaginative stories and songs. We will use our imagination to design our own planets, role-play different stories and create large scale art. Using a range of materials, we will build rockets to help retell stories like ‘Whatever Next!’ and create our own adventures. Through stories such as ‘The Smeds and the Smoos’ we will celebrate differences and think about what makes us special. Through number rhymes such as ‘5 Little Men in a Flying Saucer’ and rocket shape puzzles the children will begin to expand their maths language.
After half term will come back down to Earth and explore our wonderful world. During this part of the topic, we will celebrate different cultures. Music and books such as ‘My World, Your World’ and a unique version of ‘Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush’ will help us explore similarities and differences with different counties. We will also be celebrating different festivals during this half term including Hanukkah and Christmas. We will have winter-based fun through art, music, role-play and celebrate together.
Spring Term (First Half)
Walking with Dinosaurs
Stomp, chomp, big roars, here come the dinosaurs! Using all our familiar favourites and exciting new stories, we will be immersing ourselves into the interesting world of dinosaurs. Throughout the topic, the children will be encouraged to ask questions and give reasons to extend their answers as well as build their maths and literacy language into everyday play. We will also use the topic to think about different ways of moving. Jumping, skipping, crawling, hopping, marching… how many different ways can you move? The children will have opportunities to develop their confidence with moving in different ways, speeds and heights. We will role play different dinosaurs and interpret their movements. During this topic, we will also be exploring our own history and thinking about how all the Little Chestnut children have grown and changed.
Spring Term (Second Half)
Machines and Me!
How would you build the strongest bridge or the tallest tower? During this exciting topic, we are going to work together and become architects like ‘Iggy Peck’ and bring our own wonderful inventions to life! The children will develop their mathematic language of shape and measure while constructing, as well as the literacy skills through purposeful mark making opportunities. We will investigate and experiment with ‘how things move’ using a range of resources including boats in water and kites in the wind. The children will be encouraged to develop their questioning skills as well as expand their communication skills. During this topic, Little Chestnuts will also be exploring different vehicles such as planes, trains and cars and engage in activities based around them. We will create our own fire engines, ambulances and police cars to help us role-play different emergency services and learn about how they help us.
Summer Term (First Half)
Grab your magnifying glass and let’s explore! We will be going on minibeast hunts during this topic and exploring our wonderful outside areas around the school including the field, the rot zone and the bug hotel. The children will create their own minibeast hotel using different materials and will learn about how different creatures live all around us. We will also explore a range of different animals around the world and go on adventures with them using stimulus such as ‘Snail and the Whale’ and ‘Rumble in the Jungle’. We will use large-scale art, construction, music, dance and role-play to recreate different animals and their habits. The children will develop their literacy skills through retelling stories, sequencing, mark making and explaining their ideas and thoughts. During this topic, the children will also observe first-hand how water helps the plants grow which we will plant in the garden and how we can look after our environment.
Summer Term (Second Half)
During our final topic in Little Chestnuts, we will use our imagination to take us on extraordinary adventures. We might become aliens in space, kings in the castle, builders to help the Three Little Pigs or gardeners to help Jack grow the beanstalk. As well as creating our own adventures, we will also role-play familiar stories. Traditional tales are an excellent way to help the children develop their reading skills and expand on their imagination. We will use messy play and role-play to sequence stories, change events, create new characters and join in with repeated refrains. The children will be encouraged to give reasons to extended their answers and continue to build their maths and literacy language into everyday life.
Finally, yet importantly, we will be celebrating everything the children have achieved during their exciting, action packed year in nursery! We will also spend the last few weeks helping to prepare the children for the move up to reception and supporting their transition to a new class in an exciting but reassuring way.