Our Early Years Foundation Stage (“EYFS”) curriculum in Reception follows the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (2012) and is planned to provide children with a varied and stimulating balance between learning through play and structured learning activities that cover the 3 Prime areas of learning and the 4 specific areas of learning.
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
All areas of learning and development are important and interconnected and many activities will cover many of the areas. Each area is divided into stages of development and our team are able to identify resources and learning opportunities for individual children dependent on their developmental needs.
Topic-based learning gives children depth to their understanding of a topic as it allows them to engage with their learning over an extended period of time. Children can apply what they have learned across the curriculum and it enables children to make links between what they have learned in different areas. In the EYFS ‘learning through play’ opportunities are often linked to the topic and this has a profound impact on children’s spoken language and vocabulary.
At Judith Kerr Primary School the Reception team constantly observe and assess children and plan activities for the needs of all individual children in their care. Topics for the year are loosely planned however they change according to the interests of the children.
Examples of half termly topics include ‘Ourselves’, ‘Light and Dark’, ‘Transport’, ‘Mini-beasts and Mega-beasts’, ‘Fairy tales’, ‘Winter and Snow’, ‘Festivals’. The topics chosen will depend on the children, their needs and their interests.
Along with the opportunities for outdoor play throughout the week in our outdoor area, Reception children have a 1 hour PE lesson once per week with a specialist coach.
Phonics and reading
At Judith Kerr Primary School we follow the Read Write Inc. phonics and reading scheme. Our Reception children begin their reading journey by learning all of the Set 1 sounds as class. This gives them the sounds that will enable them to become confident, fluent readers. Once all children have been taught these sounds they are then allocated small groups according to their individual needs. The children are regrouped every 6 weeks.
Children are given reading books to bring home and share with their family. They have an opportunity each day to change these books. They also take home a picture book which can be read by a family member in order to encourage reading for pleasure.
German in Reception focuses on introducing children to spoken German for beginners and building language and vocabulary for the more advanced speakers. The children have one discrete German lesson per week along with other regular opportunities to hear German stories and sing German songs. We celebrate German culture throughout the year by partaking in festivals both with the rest of the school and in our EYFS setting. The German-speaking staff encourage children to speak in German throughout the day.
Organisation of classes
Our Foundation Stage consists of two Reception Classes. Each class has 25 children with one class teacher and one teaching assistant in each. There is often a German-speaking intern also who works between both classes.
The Learning environment
In Reception we place huge value on both the indoor and outdoor learning spaces. Children have access to both learning environments throughout the day whenever they are supervised by a member of staff. Children have access to both Reception classrooms and when the children are ‘choosing’ the classrooms operate as one large unit.
Partnership with parents
Our EYFS team aims to involve parents as much as possible and keep parents informed. Parents receive a weekly newsletter specific to Reception informing them of key learning that the children have been doing during the previous week. The newsletter offers suggested activities for home learning aimed at consolidating what the children have been learning at school. Key dates and reminders are also included so that all parents have timely information about what’s happening over the next few weeks.
Parents are often invited to help out with activities such as arts and crafts. We like to invite parents in to present to the children on things such as occupations and hobbies especially when relevant to our topic. We are open to suggestions from parents for exciting opportunities to come in to do an activity with the children. Parents are also invited to partake in individual reading with Reception children on a weekly basis.