This half term, Reception have been exploring how history can reveal to us an understanding of animal life throughout the ages. We have read the story of Mary Anning, the amazing British paleontologist, and her work has fascinated the children. Learning about the past through stories about people really brings history alive and the children have had so many questions about Mary and her work. It was very exciting to hear that one of the class is going to be visiting the Natural History Museum where some of Mary Anning’s fossils are kept and everyone is very envious. The classroom has been filled with fossil-related activities which have led us to learn about the ages of the dinosaurs and to begin grouping types of dinosaurs by which age they lived in.
We have also been interested to learn more about animal classification this term and have some hands-on experience with our very own reptile – Gorky the tortoise, even learning to draw and paint fabulous tortoise pictures. We learned that reptiles, among many other animal groups, lay eggs and when we found a mysterious egg in our garden, it gave us much food for thought about what might be inside it. Every day we watch for signs of hatching, but as yet there are very few. Our egg encounter inspired some more fantastic art and craft work.
Learning about the tiniest organisms in our world has led us to investigate minibeast life in our gardens with a hunt under logs, in leaf litter and in bark around the school grounds. With lots of patience and with the aid of magnifying glasses, we were able to identify millipedes, woodlouse, ants, spiders, worms, slugs and beetles. We have even been discussing bacteria and viruses, seeing images of them and understanding their role in our world.