As Albert Einstein once said: “Play is the highest form of research.”
We learn to play and play to learn!
Teachers and support staff in our Reception Class use the Early Years Foundation Stage programme to help plan and organise the children’s play.
This is done under the seven areas of learning:
Personal Social and Emotional Development
Children are individually supported to develop a positive sense of self, respect for others, to build relationships and social skills.
Communication and Language
Children are provided with opportunities to become good communicators. This is achieved through learning to listen and speak as well as extending their vocabulary.
Children are provided with opportunities inside and out that make them active and interactive and improve their skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement.
Children are provided with opportunities to experience a wide range of stories, books and rhymes and will develop an understanding of the relationship between the spoken and written word, ascribe meaning to their writing and begin to form letters.
Children are provided with opportunities to practice and extend their problem solving, reasoning and numeracy skills to gain confidence and competence in their use.
Understanding the World
Children are provided with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding that help them make sense of the world.
Expressive Arts and Design
Children are provided with opportunities to explore and share thoughts, ideas and feelings, for example through a variety of art, music, dance and role-play activities.
Running through and underpinning the seven areas of learning are the Characteristics of Effective Learning (CoEL). The Characteristics of Effective Learning represent processes, rather than outcomes, and describe factors which play a central role in a pupil’s learning and in becoming an effective learning.
- playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
- active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
- creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
These elements underpin how we reflect on each child’s development and adjust our practice accordingly. Supporting children in their individual learning behaviour and observing the context of children’s play is essential. We work with parents constantly throughout the year to build up a picture of the ‘whole child’. This enables us to understand what the children achieve out of school as well as in school. We use an online learning journal called ‘Tapestry’ which is an excellent way to keep you updated on your child’s progress. Parents are encouraged to add any photos of fun activities they do or pieces of work they do at home via the app.
Our long-term plan is organised around the themes and interests of the children to ensure there is curriculum coverage, as well as this, we use specific schemes. For phonics, we are rolling out the ‘Twinkl Phonics’ scheme, for maths we use ‘White Rose Maths’ , to deliver RSE we use ‘Life to the Full’ by ‘Ten Ten’, for RE 'The Way, The Truth and The Life' & 'Come and See' and for PSHE, we use ‘PATHS.’
As the first year of school our main priority is to settle the children and create a warm and happy environment. Learning in the Early Years is fostered through play and a topic-based approach. Children in Reception learn through a range of activities, which include whole class taught sessions, focused group activities, child-initiated learning both indoor and outdoor. Much of the learning is practical and based on real-life experiences.