Reception Topics - 2019/20

Below are the whole school topics for the year in which all children in Early Years 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.

Autumn Term (First Half)

Starting school and Colours of the Rainbow

Starting school is an exciting but daunting time for everybody. This is why we spend the first two weeks of Reception getting used to the new environment and meeting new people. The children will play ice - breaker games and go on a treasure hunt to explore their new school grounds. Each area in Early Years has exciting opportunities, where children can start their learning journey. The following weeks will be spent looking at the Colours of the Rainbow. Through art and messy play we will be creating our very own rainbows, mixing colours and creating colour patterns. The children will have opportunities to role play, go on colour hunts and make pictures using natural resources in the environment.

Autumn Term (Second Half)

Fab at 50!

This year Chestnut Lane will be celebrating its 50th birthday and we’ll be throwing a party! We will be joining in whole school celebrations, meeting pupils from the past and looking how the school has changed over the years. The children will also be thinking about they have changed throughout their lives. We will be incorporating numbers into challenges, for example ‘how many things can you find that are 15 cubes tall?’ / ‘how many star jumps can you do in 15 seconds?’ We will also be celebrating different festivals, including Christmas and Hanukkah, and encouraging children to share their experiences.

Spring Term (First Half)

Let's Move

We will be ‘on the move’ in this topic. We will be exploring different types of transport and how it moves, e.g. making our own boats and testing them. We will go on various journeys around the school and we will be creating ‘journey sticks’ to map out where we have been and what we see. The children will explore their bodies and think about different body parts, linking to the Funny Bones books. We will be developing our teamwork skills through science activities, and we will investigate how different things move by testing our ideas. We will do simple addition tasks using practical resources and we will explore numbers. The children will get the opportunity to be ‘engineers’ and design their own vehicle, thinking about which materials are best to use and what it could be used for. We will be learning about ‘People who help us’ and we are hoping to have some visitors in school (Fire Fighters/Paramedics/Police) to talk to us about how they help others and keep people safe.

Spring Term (Second Half)

Blue Planet

Let’s explore our blue planet and the wonders within. We will be diving into the depths of the ocean, finding out about the animals that live there and learning what we can do to look after our planet. We will be putting on our aprons and getting creative with collages, different materials and making our own sea creatures! We will also be developing our writing further using ocean-based books and clips from David Attenborough’s Blue Planet. The children will be splashing around and investigating the capacity of different containers and they will explore many hands-on tasks with size and weight. They will also look at subtraction and solve problems using practical resources. We will be thinking about our environment and how to be resilient recyclers! The children will consider ways to help recycle and create posters to remind others of the importance of recycling. We will go on minibeast hunts and see what great creatures we can find, observing their features and where they live.

Summer Term (First Half)

Ready, Steady, Cook!

Get your chef hats on and into the kitchen! This term we will be looking at food, tasting foods and we will even get opportunities to do some of our own cooking. We will explore foods from all around the world and the children will get the chance to design their own menus. Healthy eating is an important topic and so the children will be considering ways to stay healthy and create their own poster to demonstrate and share their ideas. We will look at a range of food-based stories such as ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ and ‘Handa’s Surprise’ and we will grow our own vegetables in the Early Years Garden. The children will explore 3D shapes and begin to consider simple properties of them such as, if they can roll, slide or stack. We will also be using a range of foods to print patterns with and we will look closely at the shapes and sizes of them.      

Summer Term (Second Half)


Imagine a magical world of kings, castles and dragons… that’s where we’ll be heading off to this term! We will join Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood and many more and we will be using role play opportunities to act out a range of traditional tales. This is also the term where we will be buckling up our seatbelts and going on an adventurous school trip. We will be using different materials to create our own fantasy lands and castles, and we will consider different characters that might live there. The children will explore junk modelling resources and will consider the best way of assembling their chosen materials such as sticky tape or glue. We will also be getting magical and make our own potions! Towards the end of the summer term, the children will start to think about moving up to Year 1 and will reflect on their fantastic year in Reception like Little Miss Proud. We will participate in a range of exciting transition activities which will prepare the children for the next part of their learning journey.

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