Children in the Reception Year continue to work towards Early Learning Goals which prepare them for the National Curriculum programmes that begin as they move into Year One and then Year Two. The Early Years Curriculum places great emphasis on practical and social activities. A lot of learning takes place using play as a vehicle: ‘play is the child’s work’, and learning in this manner is an important feature throughout the school.
Reception Classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which is organised into seven areas of learning. The three PRIME areas are: Communication and Language; Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. There are a further four SPECIFIC areas which are: Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World; and Expressive Arts and Design.
In particular, speaking and listening is central to all learning. We use 'Jolly Phonics' and 'Letters and Sounds' as the programmes for developing children’s basic writing, reading and spelling skills right from starting school. Home learning activities will be promoted so that you can join in early reading and spelling activities with your child.
The ability to read requires a good basis of spoken language and everything you discuss with them will prove useful to your child. Share nursery rhymes, verses and songs together. Talk with your child about your childhood holidays; discuss shopping trips and outings together. This is all very valuable experience and makes a world of difference to how receptive your child will be to the school curriculum. We use a variety of reading schemes such as Oxford Reading Tree, Pearson's Bug Club and Rigby Star, and lend books for home use on a regular basis.
Each half term the Reception children follow a new topic. During the first part of the autumn term there is a heavy emphasis on personal and social skills as the children settle to the rhythm and expectations of school. Most of the learning will take place through play activities as in a nursery or preschool setting, moving on to more demanding tasks as the children become ready later in the school year.