In Reception, we explore topics such as all about me and our families, exploring different cultures and beliefs, healthy living and oral health, life cycles and the natural world, our local area and past, present and future. The children are encouraged to develop their knowledge of these topics and their own self-led interests through a range of cross- curricular activities, that will support and tie into all areas of learning. We make sure our topics include lots of hands on activities and give the children real life experiences. We feel the best way for children to learn is when they are engaged and excited about a topic. In Reception we like to give the children ownership and independence over their own learning, this means we will create open-ended activities which get the children exploring and leading their own learning. Recently we have introduced floor-books into the teaching and environment which has encouraged the children to develop their skills in writing for a purpose whilst they extend their ideas and thoughts around a given interest or topic.
In Reception we also have a big focus on encouraging the children to develop their own self-confidence and self-regulation skills and we incorporate talking about feelings and our own skills and strengths into the daily timetable. It is important that the children can confidently articulate their ideas, wants and interests with their peers and teachers so we offer a varied range of opportunities for this throughout the day. We also encourage the children to work towards their own targets and as the year develops we will encourage the children to come up with their own individual targets to enable them to develop further whilst allowing them to stretch and challenge themselves.
In our Literacy lessons the children will principally focus on learning how to read and write using their phonic’s skills. They will be taught how to recognise and read the patterns in sounds and learn how to read tricky words. They will be practicing their handwriting skills and will also be developing their independent writing. It is important for them to participate in speaking and listening activities which involve role play, learning rhymes and poems, and joining in with discussions as this gives them a wide range of vocabulary which they can then take into their writing. We give the children lots of opportunities to write throughout the week, they will have a structured focus task which all children will do in a small group with the teacher. Alongside this we make sure that the children have access to a range of writing materials and are encouraged to write during their play. We encourage the children to try and structure and hold a sentence in their head before they try and write a simple sentence using their phonic skills and knowledge.
Before the children can read they will need to learn and master specific Phonic skills. We will teach them how to hear and say the individual sounds in words and then they will learn how to segment the sounds and then finally to blend sounds to make a word. They will have daily phonics lessons practicing and refining these skills. They will then begin to read words and simple sentences. With practice the children will then be able to use their phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately.
Reading at home and comprehension
It is important to encourage your child to read regularly and to take the time to share books with them. The children will enjoy listening to stories with increasing attention and recall. They will begin to recognise rhymes and alliteration in the stories and will be able to join in with traditional tales, which contain repeated phrases and words. It is important when reading with your child to focus on the comprehension (understanding of what’s happening in the story) aspect of the book as well as the sounding out of words. Some children may be able to easily read their book and say all of the words fluently, but they also need to make sure they have a full understanding of what the story is about. A good way to begin early comprehension skills is to get them describing the main story setting, events and principal characters and suggesting how the story might end. Children get great pleasure from looking at books with you and independently and it is important to allow them chance to look at the illustrations and discuss what they see, this is one of the first steps in understanding the story. In Reception children develop their writing through weekly focus tasks with the teacher, independent writing within their play and their daily phonics sessions. In addition to this from October the children will be given weekly spellings to learn at home as part of their homework, these consist normally of 4 words. We also have handwriting sessions which normally take place in the morning. In Reception we focus on getting the children to use cursive handwriting.
Place value and calculation
Children will be able to count and recite numbers in order to 20 and know that numbers identify how many objects are in a set, representing numbers using fingers, marks on paper or pictures. They will be curious about numbers around them and ask questions about numbers in the environment. Children will estimate how many objects they can see and compare two groups of objects and show an interest in number problems. They will be able to separate a group of three or four objects in different ways, beginning to recognise that the total is the same. They will say what is one more or less than a given number and add and subtract two single digit numbers and count on or back measures. Children will begin to talk about the shapes of everyday objects and use familiar words in practical situations when they compare sizes. They will use language related to time and money and order and sequence familiar events. They will compare and order two or three items by: length, height, weight and capacity. Children will also use everyday language to talk about problems relating to size and weight. In Reception we encourage the children to develop their understanding of the numbers 1-10 to enable them to develop a deep understanding of the composition of these numbers. This will then prepare them to develop their skills in understanding number bonds to 5 and then 10.
Properties of Shapes and Position and Direction
The children will be able to use mathematical names for solid 3D shapes and flat 2D shapes, whilst using mathematical terms to describe shapes. They will be able to recreate patterns and build models and use everyday language to talk about size, to compare objects and solve problems. The children can describe their relative position such as behind or next to and talk about the position of an object.
Our children get a fantastic range of physical development opportunities throughout the year. In Sports which is at the Kingston Grammar fields they focus on ball skills, throwing and catching, hockey and cricket. In addition to this they have Woodland School where the children are able to explore their outdoor environment and gain confidence in their movements. Within the classroom the children will be developing their fine motor skills and dexterity using pencils, scissors, paint brushes, small tools, construction and malleable materials. We offer children to opportunity to take part in “funky finger” activities to develop their hand strength. We also like to visit the dough disco to develop these skills too.