Learning/Guide to Reception
A Parents Guide to The Reception Class
The Reception curriculum includes:
Language and literacy
This will focus on children developing competence in talking and listening and in becoming readers and writers. In small groups and in large groups children will be encouraged to listen attentively and talk about their experiences. They will also start to make up their own stories and take part in role-play with confidence. They will learn to recognise their own written names and some familiar words and show awareness of some of the different purposes of writing.
This will focus on children being provided with practical activities to help them compare, sort, match, sequence and count. Through such first-hand experience, children will develop an understanding of numbers and will learn to record and use the appropriate mathematical language involved. They will learn names and properties of 2D and 3D shapes and look at measures such as length, mass and capacity.
Personal and social development
This will focus on children learning how to work, play and co-operate with others and function in a group beyond the family. Children will be helped to become more self confident, to express their feelings and to show respect for people of other cultures and beliefs.
This will focus on children's development of mobility, awareness of space, and manipulative skills in indoor and outdoor environments. Children will be encouraged to move confidently and imaginatively with increasing control and co-ordination.
This will focus on the development of children's imagination and their ability to communicate and to express ideas and feelings in creative ways. Through art, music, dance, stories and imaginative play, children will develop an increasing ability to use their imagination, to listen and to observe. Children will be encouraged to explore sound, colour, texture, shape, form and space in two and three dimensions.
Knowledge and understanding of the world
This will focus on children's developing knowledge and understanding of their environment including their families and communities and features of the natural and made world. Children will be encouraged to recognise features of living things, objects and events and to look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change. They will talk about their observations, sometimes recording them and be encouraged to ask questions to gain information.
What can I do to help my child before starting school?
Before starting school, you can support your child's learning and development in many ways.
When starting school your child will be encouraged to be personally independent. You can help by:
You can help your child's social and emotional development by:
You can help your child with the early stages of reading, writing and mathematics by:
What can I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
Sometimes, it is possible to know that a child may have a disability or difficulty in learning when they are very young. For other children, it is not apparent until later.
Parents and carers know their children best. They often realise that there may be a problem with learning, long before their child starts school. Doctors and health visitors will be able to refer to an appropriate specialist if it is likely that a child may need extra help in school. Early assessments on entry to school may also alert us to any potential problems.
If you are already concerned that your child may have special educational needs, you are strongly advised to contact us as soon as you are offered a place and ask for advice.
If you are in doubt, please ask for help.
What can I do to help my child in the reception year?
In the Reception year the children are encouraged to have a positive approach to learning and to believe that learning is fun and enjoyable. We have high expectations of our children and believe in the 'can do' approach to learning by always encouraging them to 'have a go' and do their best.
Once your child has started school, your involvement and support remains vital to his or her development. Your encouragement will help your child to settle into school happily and confidently and show that home and school are working together.
In order for your child to get the best from their education we need to work together to promote the right approach to learning. To do this we would like you to encourage:
You can also help your child by:
An effective curriculum for young children recognises that they often need to repeat experiences. This is a necessary part of the learning process, which develops confidence and leads to a greater understanding.
In the reception class, we are building on the children's previous knowledge. Practical experiences are more valuable and appropriate at this stage of learning. Play provides important opportunities for learning in many ways; observation, exploration, discovery and communication. These opportunities are developed through both indoor and outdoor activities.
For the child, model making develops a wide variety of skills in the curriculum areas of design technology and creative art. Children will experiment with various two and three-dimensional shapes and at the same time develop an extensive vocabulary. The first stages of model making involve sorting and selecting appropriate materials for the tasks in hand. Using their imagination, children will then develop their skills of planning, cutting, sticking and measuring in creating their own designs. The children will have access to a range of tools to enable them to cut and arrange their final model. Model making encourages children to make choices and produce independent pieces of work. It also involves co-operation, sharing and exchanging ideas when working in a group.
These skills are also developed by the use of other construction toys such as Lego, Meccano, large block play etc.
We use Plan-Do-Review to encourage effective communication and independence. In these sessions, children talk about or draw what they are intending to do or make and review or evaluate how it went after completion.
Language and literacy - Learning to read and write
Children will enter their nursery or infant classes with a variety of early reading experiences, for example: recognising names and signs as well as, advertising logos, video titles and book titles.
Experiences that develop early reading and writing skills include, sorting and matching activities, jigsaw puzzles, lotto games and activities involving language and singing. When your child enters the reception class these activities will continue and develop alongside a more structured programme of learning.
The reception class will build upon story telling and reading experiences developed at home and in the nursery class. Your child will learn to read using a variety of different methods. It is important to be aware that children learn at different rates and that children all learn to read in different ways.
The children are taught to link letters to sounds (phonics teaching) through a wide variety of actions and games. At the same time as learning to say a sound they match the sound to the letter shape, which will then help them when they are trying to write, breaking down words into their component sounds.
Another strategy is to learn key words (most commonly used words). We build these into our reading and writing sessions and encourage the children to read them. These will be sent home for you to learn together a few at a time.
During the day many activities will help your child to read, these might include the opportunity to
It is most important that children view reading as a pleasurable activity and feel positive about their achievements.
Here a few suggestions as to how you can help your child to read:
When your child is confident enough to read to you:
In order to write, children need well developed hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. The reception team will provide a variety of activities to help to develop these skills; for example, tracing in sand, big patterns in paint, felt-tip pen, chalk, threading cutting, etc. Children may also be encouraged to play at being writers by having an office, travel agent or other play area, that encourages writing. As their confidence and interest develops they will be taught to form letters correctly and to write simple words. We teach a cursive script from the beginning of the reception year.
Here are a few suggestions as to how you can help your child to write:
Early mathematical experiences are not just "sums" they include the following areas and concepts:
To help children understand these concepts, they need plenty of practical, first hand experience such as:
These activities offered in the reception class will help to give secure building blocks for future mathematical development.
Here are a few suggestions as to how you can help your child with early maths:
Our contact with you
You will have regular opportunities to meet members of our team during the year to discuss your child. These will range from formal parents' evenings to open afternoons and day-to-day liaison. We also have a Tuesday surgery after school for any help and advice you may need. Don't forget, you are always welcome to make an appointment to talk about any other concerns you may have.
End of year report
Your child's progress will be continually monitored throughout the year. At the end of the year, you will receive a written report on your child, and again this may be discussed by appointment if required.
All children benefit from extra adult help in their classroom. Your help will be valued greatly. If you wish to help in school, please ask. We usually encourage a settling in period for your child before you begin to help in school.
Parents might help in the following ways:
If you are interested in helping, please dont hesitate to ask us.