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Phoenix Primary School ‘Where We Rise to the Challenge’

Summer 2 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles'

Dear Parents and Carers,


We hope you have had a lovely two week break with the children and they are now all ready for the half term ahead? We have reached the final hurdle and its now a race to the finish line as we approach Summer 2 full steam ahead!


For the first four weeks of term the Reception Class will be working closely with Miss Morris, the Year 1 teacher that will be teaching the children next year. She will be doing lots of fun activities every morning based around reading, writing and phonics getting to know the children before their transition into Key Stage 1.


This half term our topic is ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Are we there yet?’.

This topic will focus on a variety of fiction and non-fiction books related to transport, journeys and the seaside. Some of the fiction books will include ‘The Train Ride’ by June Crebbin, ‘The Naughty Bus’ by Jan Oke, ‘Mrs Armitage on Wheels’ by Quentin Blake, ‘Up, Up, Up!’ by Susan Reed and many more. The children will be able to share their experiences of different modes of transport with their peers as well as learning about different countries along the way.


Shown below are some ideas for each of the areas of learning within Foundation Stage, these may change as we follow the children’s interests and ideas.


Communication and Language.

The children will use talk for writing skills to retell stories and talk about feelings and their own ideas. The children will experience audio books alongside real books and compare similarities and differences showing a preference. The focus for each book will be on the setting and whether or not the children have experienced the seaside, train station, airport etc. Also focusing on how did they get there? What type of transport? Was it far? What did they see? Alongside this we will be talking about the characters and encouraging the children to anticipate key events.

Encouraging discussion during circle time and giving the children opportunities to re-enact the stories through role play, dressing up as the characters. Changing the outdoor baby clinic to a Taxi Depot / Repair garage and the coffee shop to an airport café. The children will listen to each other, have opportunities to express themselves and answer ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions.


Personal Social and Emotional Development.

The children will have opportunities to share their experiences with adults and peers and use their imagination to take them places they have never been before. We will be talking in detail about road safety and how we keep safe when crossing the road, riding a bike or driving other types of transport. The children will talk about bring responsible for their own actions discussing what is right and what is wrong. How can we make a good choice? Children can express their personal feelings discussing likes and dislikes.


Physical Development.

Our PE topic this half term with Mr Finlay is games including parachute games and team games. Activities will inspire friendship, teamwork and personal development. The children will also be negotiating space successfully when playing racing and chasing games with other children, adjusting speed or changing direction to avoid obstacles. Preparation for sports day will also be included in these P.E. sessions developing individual skills and self-confidence.

The Reception children also have an added P.E. session with Connor on a Monday where they will develop their throwing and catching skills. We will also be discussing the importance of staying safe and being healthy and the effect exercise has on our bodies.

The children will also have daily access to the outdoor provision, were they will have opportunities to balance, and climb, as well as ride bikes, throw balls and bean bags. They can also have fun in the mud kitchen and water play. Please see the attached link to help with ideas for getting the children active outside of school.



There will be lots of opportunity for the children to apply skills previously learned independently. Writing their names, captions and sentences through their daily news. They will be writing for different purposes, lists, letters, instructions etc. They will also continue with their daily phonics and reading individually and in groups. The children will be re-enacting their favourite parts of the story retelling through role-play and picture sequencing. They will be writing postcards home telling their families and friends what they have been doing at school, instruction writing on how to make a sandwich for our teddy bears picnic, lists of what they want to buy at the supermarket as well as key facts about different countries linked to the world cup.

Every Tuesday afternoon Foundation Stage will have a visit from the Reading Dog. This provides opportunities for the children to develop their reading skills and use their phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately.



This half term we will be consolidating areas that we have found difficult this year. We will be using standard and non-standard measure such as lego, hands, feet, unifix cubes and bar modelling to measure classroom objects introducing rules, tape measures and measuring sticks to measure the size of children. We will be measuring distance creating ramps of different materials and seeing how far the car will travel on different surfaces. Which car will go the furthest? How far did it travel? We will be comparing sizes such as buses, double decker, single decker, mini-bus etc and ordering from smallest to tallest.

As well as consolidating on all aspects of Number, counting, number recognition, one more and one less and combining two groups of objects. We will be following the world cup and keeping an eye on the points score following Group Stage D which includes Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria. Each child has also selected a team out the sweep to add a little more interest.


Understanding of the World.

This half term we will look at Summer and how the environment has changed over Autumn, Winter and Spring. We will hopefully re visit Botanic Park as we didn’t have time last half term to look at the trees, flowers and the grass. Can the children tell us about the changes in the environment since our Autumn walk? Why have they changed?


We will be focusing on how to look after our world and all its people, having a visit from Year 1 who will talk to Foundation Stage about the Ocean and how we can protect our coasts. Year 1 have carried out a lot of research on this subject following on from their topic last half term. The children will develop an understanding about the need to maintain and improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for future generations.


Linking to the World Cup the children will look at different countries and compare their similarities and differences focusing on weather, landscape, population and religion.


The children will look at the special celebration EID and Ramadan and discuss the similarities and differences in the diverse cultures and religions in Foundation Stage. We will encourage our Muslim children to share their celebration stories with the rest of the children and talk about foods they eat, clothes they wear etc.


Expressive Arts and Design.

Art will be a focus both indoor and outdoor again this half term. The children will look at the season of Summer; do we use the same colours to paint Summer pictures as we did with Autumn, Winter and Spring. The children can make observational drawings of the flowers that have grown in FS over the Spring and minibeasts that we have discovered.


For our Moving on – Transition display the children will paint a portrait of someone who helps them at school choosing their own materials and techniques.


The children will have the opportunity to make their own transport using junk modelling. Mr Pieter’s and Mrs Jones have kindly provided FS with large boxes for the children to design and build their own mode of transport. The boxes are even big enough for the children to get inside! This will enable children to work together as a team, be creative and have endless amounts of fun along the way!


Linking to the World Cup the children paint flags from different countries.


The children will use musical instruments to retell different stories exploring sound, pitch, rhythm and volume. They will explore the instruments and match them to different modes of transport, which instrument has the loudest sound? Which transport will match best? Which instrument sounds best like a train? etc. The children will also learn a variety of songs linking to our transport topic and the season of Summer.


I hope the children are as excited as us to get started this half term,


Kind Regards

The Foundation Stage Team