St Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School

'A welcoming and vibrant place in which children develop their skills well'  — Ofsted 2015

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Pre-School - Topics & Learning

Home Learning 

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Current School Year

Autumn Term 2: 2019

This half term our Topic is Space! Preschoolers love to look up. The moon is a favourite object for many little ones, its bright face changing all the time. Just standing outside under the night sky and quietly observing together will trigger an instinctual knowing in your child. They will know the stars are farther away and the moon is closer. The phases of the moon will not escape your child’s notice. Spend some time finding an explanation you both understand. You may be surprised. For now it is enough to know we have a vital relationship with the Sun and that we live on a planet we’ve named Earth. We will be reading books such as Whatever Next, Man on the Moon and Winnie the Witch in Space. We will be using these books to explore how to walk like an astronaut, how to write a space diary and live in space as well as inspiration for our Art work.

Later on in the term we will be looking at Christmas. We celebrate a range of festivals throughout the year and now we will be looking at the story of Christmas and the birth of Christ. We will be learning about how we celebrate this wonderful time and a variety of different Christmas traditions, such as why we have Christmas trees and stockings.

We will also be preparing for our Christmas Nativity play with Reception.

Please take a look at our topic web below to see all the other fun and exciting activity.


Autumn Term 1:  2019

The topic this term is ‘All about me’. We will be looking at similarities and differences between each other such as our height, interests, clothes, faces and how our emotions make us feel about the world around us.

We want the children to be self-aware as we feel that this is an important skill to have. Self awareness is the ability to tune into your own feelings, thoughts and actions. Self awareness doesn’t develop all at once. It happens over time. The process begins when children start to recognise and name their emotions, strengths, likes and dislikes.

A positive sense of identity is crucial to the development of self esteem and confidence. A healthy sense of identity also helps children to be more open to people from other backgrounds because they are less likely to fear differences between them.

We will be observing the change in the seasons – the change in colour and look of the leaves, and their covering of the ground. This will included a walk in the school grounds to collect leaf samples and create drawings / pictures in the classroom. We will be talking about the change in the weather.

This term will include learning about Divali, the Festival of Light We will look at dot mandala paintings and even colour in some Rangoli patterns with coloured sand!



Spring Term 2: 2019

This half term we are exploring Traditional Tales.  We will read 'Jack and the Beanstalk', 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' and many other well loved stories 

These stories will help us to learn how to be good friends. We hope to have a blossoming friendship tree by Easter. A friendship tree is a display in the classroom, which we will add leaves too, every time one of the children is helpful or kind to another. This activity will help to give the children confidence to see that they are valued members of the wider school community.

 We will also have the opportunity to make bread, build houses and even build bridges!

 We are also hoping to grow some vegetables to learn about where our food comes from and explore the use of spices like ginger (we will be extra careful with this one) and cinnamon.

This is set to be a very busy half term, indeed, especially as we will also be continuing to practise our counting, letter formation, addition, subtraction and storytelling skills, to name but a few.

Spring Term 2: Topic


Spring Term 1: 2019

This half term, we will be exploring the topics of Snow Animals and winter with the children. We are going to conduct many fascinating science experiments about freezing and melting water, digging objects out of ice, how lard can keep your hands warm and what happens to ice if you pour salt on it?

We will also explore how our environment changes in winter. We will talk about how animals survive the cold, how we can keep warm and the different weathers we experience.

We are also going to compare our way of life to the Inuit People of Arctic Canada, Northern Alaska and Greenland. We will discuss how their environment has shaped their lives and culture.

We will learn about the life cycle of the penguin, how animals keep warm in extreme cold and which animals are found in both the Arctic and Antarctic.

Additionally, the Chinese New Year falls on 5th February, so we will be teaching the children all about this festival. We will read the story of the Chinese Zodiac, make lucky red envelopes and learn about life in China.

  Spring Term 1 Topic


Autumn Term 2: 2018

Our autumn term 2 topic was 'Aliens'. With the help of some of our favourite books “Alien Tea on Planet Zum-Zee” and “Aliens Love Underpants” we learned about sharing and teamwork, how to add or subtract one from a given number (with the help of a washing line of underpants!), junk model some spaceships and even program the Bee Bots to travel to Zum-Zee.

We also learned about Diwali, Bonfire Night and Christmas. We had lots of fun developing our co-ordination toasting marshmallows, learning about gravity, painting fireworks and re-capping our safety rules for Bonfire Night.

We made clay divas, dot mandala paintings and even coloured in some Rangoli patterns with coloured sand!

For Christmas we made cards, decorations and practised our Christmas Nativity and learned about the real meaning of Christmas.

Please take a look at our topic web below to see all the other fun and exciting activities we did.

  Autumn Term 2 Topic


Autumn Term 1: 2018

Our first topic of the 2018 year was 'People Who Help Us' and it was a lovely topic to begin the year. The children learned about all the people who help them at school so they feel safe and secure. We also learned about all the different people in our community who help us stay safe and healthy every day, for example, dentists, opticians and police officers. Some of these people help us in emergencies, like firefighters, doctors and nurses. The children learned how to contact the right person to help them in an emergency.

Some of our activities included, making firefighter hats, writing thank you cards to people who have helped us, role playing doctors, practising crossing the road (we set up a pretend road in the garden) and lots of matching and counting games.

We can all train to do a job that helps other people, perhaps some of our children will want to do one of these jobs when they grow up.

  Autumn Term 1 Topic


Previous School Years

Summer Term 2: 2018

Our summer term 2 topic flowed on nicely from 'Minibeasts' to 'Growing and Changing' and finally to 'All About Me'. We grew and measured sunflowers, studyed life-cycles and conducted science experiments, including changing the colour of cabbage! We learned a lot about how we experience our world around us by testing our senses and exploring outdoor spaces.

We experimented with paint and colour to produce beautiful portraits of ourselves and our families. There were many stories to read this term that helped us understand how and why we feel the way we do, for example Owl Babies is all about trust whilst Starry Eyed Stan is all about sharing.


Summer Term 1: 2018

This half term kicked off our topic 'Minibeasts' with an exciting visit from Zoolab. They brought in some live Minibeasts so the children got a close-up view of these remarkable creatures. With the warmer weather arriving, this was the ideal topic for early summer, and gave the children a lot of opportunities to explore the world around them, investigate different habitats and learn how to care for our environment. There were also many opportunities for learning about maths, including, patterns, sequencing and symmetry.


Spring Term 2: 2018

This half term we looked at 'Fairy Tales'.  This year we decided not to base the theme around traditional fairy tales but instead to look at other fairy tales that the children may have listened to or even seen in film.  We had already learnt about the Little Mermaid and so continued to learn about at Peter Pan and The Jungle Book.

Fairy tales are good for children for reading and language development.  They help a child's imagination, which is a powerful and unique thing, and throughout their childhood it will help them make up stories and games with their peers.  It is a key factor in their creative thoughts.  With this imagination comes a cultural literacy: fairy tales often include different cultures and ways of doing things.  They teach about cultural differences in the world outside of their own, gifting them a curiosity to learn new things and experience new places.

According to the Telegraph, Mrs Goddard Blythe, director of the Institute for Neuro-physiological Psychology in Chester, said: "Fairy tales help to teach children an understanding of right and wrong, not through direct teaching, but through implication."  Fairy tales teach children that good will always triumph and, while this may not be true in aspects of the real world, the lesson is simple and important.  Be the hero, not the villain.  Learn to hope for better.  This will help the children with critical thinking.  They see the consequences of characters decisions and learn that what will happen to them depends on the choices they make, and hopefully if you make the right decision, everything might just turn out all right. 


Spring Term 1: 2018 - Winter & Snow Animals

Areas of learning

Activities and experiences for children in the Topic

Personal Social and Emotional development

  • To explore protective behaviours

  • Continue to use rocket behaviour board moving up and down as necessary

  • Create a feelings board so children can move their own names into the happy or sad box depending on how they are feeling

  • Encourage the children to be independent when putting on coats, hat, gloves and scarves

  • Labelling a penguin    

Physical Development

  • Pre-school to participate in P.E sessions every Wednesday morning.

  • Marshmallow igloos

  • Snowman button throwing game

  • Penguin movements

Communication and Language

  • Role play – small world snow/white/igloo area

  • Puppets and snow animals for free play

  • Small arctic/Antarctic animals

  • Penguin ice jump


  • Looking at books about snow animals/seasons

  • Matching rhyming words

  • Drawing pictures

  • Mark making in different types of materials eg sand, gloop, foam, paint

  • Learning new rhymes


  • Peg matching

  • Ten little lights

  • Build a snowman game

  • 5 little snowman rhyme

  • Making footprints

  • Penguin making game

Understanding the World

  • Make snow – shaving foam/cornflour gloop/snowflakes

  • Melting and freezing –make fruit ice cubes, ice boats

  • Provide cameras in role play area

  • Keeping warm, hot and cold- how can we keep warm/how animals keep warm

  • Use of internet to find winter/snow songs and to find out facts about real artic/Antarctic animals

  • Exploring ice

  • Pass the ice cube

Expressive Arts and Design

  • Paint snowmen

  • Make hot/cold pictures – placing and arranging/collage materials

  • Look at patterns of snowflakes – make snowflakes

  • Shape penguin


Autumn Term 2: 2017

In the second half of the term we learned about 'Light and Dark' particularly as the day had shortened and the children had witnessed the change with the passing weeks. We looked at images of space and made rockets from junk material.  Following this we used the builder’s tray as a backdrop to outer space – covered in stars and planets – for the children to fly their rockets as part of the “space theme”.

A dark den gave the children a space to play with colour changing blocks and experiment shining torches to see in the dark.

For bonfire night we sat around tea lights, ate toasted marshmallows and drunk hot chocolate while learning about safety and treating hot fire with respect. The class made a large firework picture through flicking the coloured paint at a shower sheet creating the many hot colours that make up a firework display.

In the run up to Christmas we were had many activities including art and craft as well as learning seasonal songs and preparing for the Christmas play.


Autumn Term 1: 2017

In the autumn term our topic was 'Ourselves'. We looked at the difference between us, such as our height, interests, clothes, faces and how our emotions make us feel about the world around us.

We observed the change in the seasons – the change in colour and look of the leaves, their covering of the ground; the mini-beasts on the ground, and the change in the weather. This included a walk in the school grounds to collect leaf samples and create drawings / pictures in the classroom.

We learned about Divali, the Festival of Light, and we made Diva Lamps which were taken home to share with families.


Summer Term: 2017

Our summer term topic was 'Minibeasts'. This was a perfect topic for the end of Spring and the beginning of Summer, with lots of scope for play and investigation in outside spaces.  Looking at minibeasts provided opportunities to learn about how we care for other creatures and for our environment as well as plenty of counting and sequencing activities.  There was a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books related to minibeasts that we looked at to.

 A few of the activities that we did are:

  • A minibeast bug hunt

  • Circle times – talking about caring for creatures, stories and poems

  • Small world tray with earth, gravel, small pond and plastic minibeasts

  • Following minibeast patterns – spiral, stripes and wiggly lines

  • Over and under instruction games – moving like a worm/caterpillar

  • Minibeast counting games – spots legs and wings

  • Water tray – 5 little speckled frogs

  • Symmetry – butterflies

  • Weaving making a spiders web

  • Drawing and painting minibeasts.



Spring Term 2: 2017

Our topic this term was 'Traditional Fairy Tales'.  Fairy tales help to develop a child’s imagination by introducing new ideas into their world – ideas about fantastical worlds, other planets, different points in time and invented characters.  It helps encourage the children to realise that they can, and should, imagine anything they want.  A child's imagination is a powerful and unique thing. It's not only used to make up stories and games, it's a key factor in their creative thoughts. Fairy tales teach children about cultural differences in the world outside their own gifting them a curiosity to learn new things and experience new places. Reading traditional fairy tales are a great way to introduce new words and ideas into a child’s vocabulary. During this topic we encouraged the children to listen to others in small groups, and to retell part of the story and remember key events and phrases from them.

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein


Spring Term 1: 2017

Our spring term 1 topic is all about 'Rhyming Stories'. We looked at books by Julia Donaldson, who is famous for her rhyming books such as The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, A Squash and a Squeeze and The Smartest Giant in town as well as many more. Rhyming helps children notice the sounds within words. Most children enjoy hearing and participating in rhyming activities, and when they are exposed to rhyming, they usually pick it up naturally.  Children enjoy participating in stories – acting parts in them, and joining in choruses. As well as being fun, performing is, tremendously good for children’s confidence and increases their enthusiasm for books.

Children don’t just start off rhyming. They generally go through three stages. In the order of easiest to hardest, those stages are:

Stage 1: Hearing rhyme (the child grows accustomed to hearing and repeating rhyme)

Stage 2: Recognizing rhyme (the child can identify two words that rhyme)

Stage 3: Producing rhyme (the child can think of a word that rhymes with another)

  Parents' Questionnaire - February 2016


Autumn Term 2: 2016

Our Autumn Term 2 topic was 'Dark and Light' and celebrating Christmas. The children explored and understood why the evenings have become darker earlier. They are able to explain why we need to wear warmer clothes in the winter. The children have used torches to help to understand and compare the difference between light and dark. The children have learned why we celebrate Christmas. They have acted out getting ready for Christmas in role-play, created Christmas decorations and make a Christmas list.

  Dark and Light, Celebrating Christmas


Autumn Term 1: 2016

Our Autumn Term 1 topic was 'New Beginnings & Harvest'. The children learned about themselves and each other. They have created some images of themselves. The children have enjoyed acting out in role cooking and sharing meals together in the role play area. To celebrate harvest festival the children have been buying and selling fruit and vegetables in a grocers shop and made some bread.

  New Beginnings and Harvest Festival


Spring Term 2: 2016

Our Spring Term 2 topics were 'Goldilocks & the Three Bears' and 'Celebrations for Mothers Day & Easter'. Click on the links below to look at all the wonderful activities our Little Angels have learned.

  Goldilocks and the Three Bears


Spring Term 1: 2016

The children learned about 'Nursery Rhymes', played musical instruments, danced and listened to different types of music. The children 'celebrated Chinese New Year' and 'Shrove Tuesday'. Click on the link below to see what our Little Angels have learned.

  Nursery Rhymes