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Autumn Term Learning Topics

We have learnt about the natural world and looked around us for mini-beasts such as ladybirds, bees and butterflies.  For these creatures we have constructed bug hotels and hope to entice other creatures such as frogs, beetles and earwigs into the warmth of the hotels for the cold months of October to February.
Many of us are very interested in finding out about dinosaurs and we have welcomed these huge creatures into our classroom to learn from them. We have loved finding out about their different names, learning facts from non-fiction books, experimenting which dinosaurs floated in the swamp and searching the internet for additional information.  As part of our fine motor control, we found enormous footprints to cut around using scissors safely.  We loved listening to 'Fred fingers' blending different words together which helped us to correctly label some parts of dinosaurs.  Many small dinosaurs appeared for us to count using one to one correspondence and our dinosaur footprint numberline helped us to locate the numbers that we needed to match our careful counting.  Dinosaurs also helped us to learn about 2 and 3 colour repeating patterns so that we were able to create our own.
Observing the real world around us has helped us to identify different 2D shapes and we have learnt about the properties of circles, triangles, squares and rectangles.  3D shape learning has given us many opportunities to model make and investigate the shapes and sizes of faces on these objects.  We have found making cubes a fascinating challenge activity because we were introduced to nets then using magical folding and sticking these 2D shapes became 3D objects.
Halloween visited us and we arrived to discover that the witch had left us a potion making kitchen to explore. We used many combinations of creatures such as slugs, snails, frogs and bat's wings with magical beads, coloured liquids, pumpkin flesh and seeds to write recipes using special magical pencils.  The witch lent us one of her favourite texts called 'room on the broom' by Julia Donaldson and we loved reading this together. We used this text to write labels, captions and emerging sentences about the witch's adventures on the broom.  Pumpkins arrived, we loved using pins and elastic bands to create faces, shapes and patterns on these vegetables.  We discovered the best kind of paints, accessories and fabrics to add to pumpkins to decorate them for the rest of the school to enjoy.
Sparks in the sky were visible after the half-term break and we used this experience to learn about safety around fireworks as well as a stimulus for us to create patterns, shapes and add onomatopoeia words to these pieces of art.  The historical character Guy Fawkes was made from old clothes, straw, string and a balloon. He helped us to understand that he had an evil plan which did not cause actual harm but was discovered early enough for it to be stopped.  Guy Fawkes helped us think of captions and sentences to write about this time of history. Now that we have learned about gun powder and explosives we have a much deeper understanding about the need for safety when celebrating 5th November each year.
Technology is everywhere! It is common-place and perhaps taken for granted by us all. Strange objects appeared on our 'tinker table' and we investigated their features with our senses. It became apparent that bits of broken robot had found their way into Turner class. We concluded that these pieces of technology needed human assistance to rebuild them before they could be returned from whence they came.  So far we have managed to program Ron and Rose so that their internal cogs, brackets, springs and at times voices are almost back in working order. We are figuring out how to protect these inner workings by looking at cubes, cuboids and cylinders so that these 3D shapes form an outer casing to protect both robots. We have worked hard to complete both large robots now and have moved on to making our own mini robots using cuboids, cubes, lots of tape and glue as well as plenty of decorations.
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