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Inspiration Needed!


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I am ( if a little prematurely) thinking about our September intake and need a new and gripping theme to link our learning too. We cover celebrations, buildings, toys, bears, plants and animals through the course of the year and usually kick start the new year with 'ourselves / our school'

Frankly we're bored of it and think all in the team could do with new inspiration - we also have a large group of boisterous boys coming in... what themes do members use in September time (We have an Early Admissions unit) and what has gone well for you ? :)

 

Many thanks, June :)

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Hi June

 

My favourite topics are

 

- What's Inside?

- Under The Sea

- The Jungle

- Our Environment

- Transport

- People Who Help Us

 

We are open all year round so we don't do specific intake topics.

 

Sarah

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In September we are going to do 'Ourselves' as, strangely enough, we have never done it at this time of year!!

One of the topics I particularly like is 'Journeys'. We journey to the local shops and we do space journeys (boys especially like this one), holiday journeys, story books about journeys, transporting objects and moving people. We also talk about our town, the roads, and travelling to Pre-school etc.

 

Sue J

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A topic I have found really entrances the boys and the girls is On the farm- during Sept/oct it is harvest time and it fits in well. I know the farms around here offer hay rides too! The children love it- it would be totally different from ourselves and it offers lots of fantastic role play and small world opportunities. Hope this is of some use x :o

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Why not try the stories/books as re Chris' thread.

You could plan a few and then see what happens and what takes off, ending of course with the Christmas story in December?

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I usually start with a story that will link into role-play like The Three Bears, or Three Little Pigs. I have also used Elmer. These are stories the children are familiar with and they l;end themselves to all sorts of other activities as well. when they come on their summer term visits i make sure I read the story i am going to use to them. It means that they find something familiar in our setting when they start.

I do do some activites based on Ourselves as well relating it to their homes and families and their likes and dislikes.

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We do bears and colours, which both lead in nicely to toys (past and present) when it get's nearer christmas.

 

Always fun.

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We have changed the slant of our 'Ourselves' topic as it is good to have a change and do an 'Our surroundings' focus. We used the whole school grounds, (we are Nursery and Reception classes in a Primary School) met all the new adults who came to visit with various props of their trade e.g. the cook with cooking equipment and the caretaker with his tool box.

 

We used a disposable happy and sad camera (2 cameras one with a happy face stuck on it to take pictures of things we liked in our school grounds and one with a sad face on for things we do not like in our school grounds e.g. litter, ugly windows, holes in the playgrounds etc !)

 

We also did a journey card (thick card piece from a box with carpet tape stuck on) Take around the school grounds and stick things on e.g. leaves, flowes etc. but nothing living !! (One child attempted to attach an ant !)

 

We painted pebbles with patterns on (2 of each pattern) and hid 1 of them in the garden and the children had to find the other one. We have drawn a VERY simple map of our outdoor area and developed this to mark the places on the map, which the children then had to find. As you demonstrate these skills they can then do them independently for each other ... great fun !

 

We also compared our local shop (took photos, talked to the owner etc) to our local Tescos (bought objects on a shopping list to later bake at school)

 

We have found a more active start to the year helped the children get a sense of their new surroundings and helped them settle and understand their place in it and their feelings about it !

 

 

Hope something here is useful for somene !

 

Galleon :o

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We used a disposable happy and sad camera (2 cameras one with a happy face stuck on it to take pictures of things we liked in our school grounds and one with a sad face on for things we do not like in our school grounds e.g. litter, ugly windows, holes in the playgrounds etc !)

Galleon  :o

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What a great idea, Galleon. I'm going to use this one! :D

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I too have been struggling to come up with some exciting themes. I have inherited Colour - Toys -Growing and I too feel a bit bored and need a change and something gripping. The task of planning from scratch is a bit daunting tho.

I have considered splitting into six themes. The Toys in spring, seems to drag

 

Maybe we can share ideas, come up with similar themes and the load a bit???

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We are doing People Who Help Us at the moment, which is something we have never done before. And I have to say we are all enjoying it! I think because it is new for the staff we have come at it with more enthusiasm than a topic we have done before. We were originally going to look at Ourselves this term but some of the children had been really into role playing fire fighters and police officers last half term that we decided to develop their play with this topic.

Sometimes it is just a case of doing something different which gives staff a lift and their enthusiasm rubs off on the children.

Linda

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Linda,

 

We are doing People Who Help Us too. :D

 

As regards starting themes, homes is a pretty loose theme which can lead you anywhere but a favourite book/rhyme theme would be good too for getting to know the children. :D

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not long finished people who help us... had to change topic when a child set fire to his house!!! (Completely destroyed...nothing much salvagable.... but all managed to get out safely)

had fire safety officer visit here (and his home) fire engine and all associated visit... lots of input from children and staff RNLI were good (helps living in seaside town)... St john Amb. came later as she was ill. police cancelled twice but have now arranged a visit with a car, bike and dog as they felt so guilty about cancelling......always worth asking around for visits with this one......

we started by looking at who helps us at home and school.

 

just finished 1 month on bears and had to change to journeys because of Callum giving children ideas about whre to travel where he could have gone ETC...

 

we tend to do a topic half termly (unless it chnges because of child input)otherwise they do get very tiring for the staff and children.

 

favourite books as discussed elsewhere works well they can have input by bringing in stories. planning can be a bit retrospective with this one.

 

Inge

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What about "Friendship"? A nice book to use is "The Rainbow Fish". You can even use "Under the Sea" as a the topic, since summer season is finishing and they can share of their personal experiences during their holiday.

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We're doing Change this half term which is lovely because you can do a bit of everything! People, plants, animals (we're currently looking at tadpoles and caterpillars), water, cooking, camouflage etc etc

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Some great ideas thanks you folks :)

I particularly like the idea of 'friendships' and I'm sure the right 'books' could make this very 'boy' friendly as well as addressing the host of PSE issues that we expect to arise in September with a large intake!

Love the ideas about the camera and might fit this in with an idea I found a week or so ago to link PSE and RE - a class 'feelings' book with photos in of the children feeling sad, happy, OK etc.... not sure it moves me far from Ourselves but maybe puts a new slant on an reliable old theme!

I find that one theme can so easily lead into all the rest we cover through the year.

Anymore ideas would be great !

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