Children in Reception follow their own curriculum; the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This curriculum comprises of three core areas: Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Health Education and four further areas: Literacy, Maths, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design. At Baines Endowed, we value the transition period between nursery and school. The school currently conduct nursery visits for each child before they arrive in September, and then home visits during their first two weeks at school to make the jump from pre-school to Primary school as smooth as possible.
When entering Reception, children spend their first term concentrating on settling in activities such as finding their coat pegs, learning how to make friends and grasping school routines such as dinner times and assembly times. The first topic children enjoy is ‘All About Me’. Within this topic, children are encouraged to talk about special events and occasions at home such as birthdays and holidays and discuss who they live with, what pets they have and draw themselves. During this term, we encourage children to have the confidence to speak within small groups and the class and describe themselves in positive terms. Children are encouraged to initiate conversations with their peers, play cooperatively, take turns and talk about and manage their feelings. These activities are completed through a range of activities such as craft, discussion and games.
Reception works on topics including Christmas, Spring, Superheroes, Plants and Animals, Pirates, Traditional Tales, Our Local Area and many more. Many of these topics are initiated by the children through their interests, wants and needs and through our rigorous assessment processes. Children explore these topics through practical activities, outdoor learning, role-play, looking at patterns, observing changes and creating pictures, models and more.
Continuous provision is set up within the classroom which include; sand and water, home corner, reading, music, snack, messy, malleable, writing and small world. Although there are lots of permanent activities on offer to the children, these areas are enhanced over the weeks to gain the interest of the children and challenge children based on their development. Children are able to access these areas freely and independently and members of staff are used to play with the children and steer their learning where possible. We encourage children to be as independent as possible in Reception; children are reassured to ‘just have a go’ and take a willing and ‘can do’ attitude to all aspects of independent activities such as changing, fastening buttons and zipping up coats, toileting, washing hands, cutting up food, changing their own reading book and using a knife and fork correctly.
We encourage the children to make links with the wider community and have regular visitors within school to speak and inspire the children. These include Fire and Rescue, the Police, dental nurses and health visitors. We also encourage great links between parents through Parents’ Evening (twice a year), school reports, Maths and English information evenings, Stay and Play mornings (once every half term), Open Afternoons (once every half term), class assemblies and music performances. We also use Class Dojo; a fantastic online tool and app that can be downloaded at home or on a phone that allows parents to connect with their child’s reward system. We update parents regularly using this app with reminders and information about the children’s activities throughout the week.