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Russell Lower School

Spring 2024 1st half

Antarctica – Emperor Penguins

A surprise visit from a small penguin will provide a stunning start to our topic.  The children in Foundation Stage will find out about Antarctica and penguins using non-fiction texts and web sites, they will write labels and factual sentences about penguins.  The children will listen to stories about fictional penguins such as ‘Lost and Found’ by Oliver Jeffers.  They will watch an animated version of this story whilst drinking hot chocolate topped with cream and marshmallows.  They will enjoy eating a McVitie’s Penguin chocolate bar.

The children will be introduced to the concept of zero and will represent and compare numbers 0 to 5 using vocabulary such as more than, the same as and fewer.  They will learn the composition of 4 and 5; how to subitise small quantities and learn that numbers can be composed of 2 or more parts.  The children will weigh objects and discuss their findings using vocabulary such as heavy, heavier than, heaviest, light, lighter than, lightest.  They will use different sized containers (tall, thin, narrow, wide and shallow) to investigate empty, nearly empty, half-full, nearly full and full.  They will represent numbers 6, 7 and 8 and understand that a pair is 2.  They will combine 2 groups and find out how many there are altogether.  The children will investigate length, height and breadth and use vocabulary such as - longer, shorter, taller, shorter, wider and narrower.

There will be lots to discover when the children use maps and globes to locate Ampthill and Antarctica, they will also learn about the life cycle of a penguin.   The children will observe changes when they investigate ice. 

The children will learn songs such as ‘Wind the Bobbin Up’ and ‘Rock-a-bye Baby.’  The children will experiment with cold colours, wax resist and sponges to create Antarctic landscapes.  They will create clay penguins, perform dances and use computer software to create an Antarctic scene.  There will be opportunities for role-play on the terraces and inside the classroom such as retelling the story of Lost and Found using masks or small world play.

As part of a fabulous finish to the topic, the children will come to school wearing white, silver and blue clothing; they will enjoy eating ice pops and completing ice based activities during Ice Day on Thursday 15th February 2024.