We learn through a series of topics that change half termly. This gives the children the opportunity to access all seven areas of the Early Years Curriculum in a fun, inspiring and creative way. Our main focus for learning and development in reception is Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy and Maths Skills and a more direct focus on Understanding of the World.
The children access their learning through a mixture of adult led input sessions, focussed and child-initiated activities. This balance ensures progress and development, individualised support and child preferred tasks to support them in meeting the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception.
There is an expectation that parents will work in partnership with their child’s learning by reading daily and helping your child to learn to recognise high frequency word flash cards.
The curriculum for Reception has been written following the guidelines from the Department for Education. As we have high expectations for the achievements of our pupils, we have set our own Essendene Early Learning Goals for our children to strive to meet, which directly relate to the Year 1 curriculum in Literacy and Maths.
Children in Reception also participate in weekly French and Music lessons with specialist teachers. Our children also have the opportunity to learn a variety of instruments with our specialist music teachers who visit our school site.
Our small classes allow the children’s learning be tailored to their individual needs, meaning children who are excelling in areas of the curriculum can be pushed on to do more and those with individual difficulties can be supported to ensure they gain a good level of learning, development and understanding.
Moving to or Joining Reception
For our children in Pre-school, the transition to Reception is seamless, as the children are already familiar with the Reception Class teacher and classroom from our whole unit learning sessions and free-flow play.
Children new to Essendene Lodge school, will be visited by the Reception Class teacher, either in their home or if at Pre-school, at their familiar setting. The child will also be invited to school for a transition morning in July before they are due to start school. At this session they will have the opportunity to meet the rest of their class and the class teacher and spend the morning exploring the classroom and the Early Years Setting. Further to this, you will be invited in to school on a separate occasion to meet with the Reception Class Teacher to have a parent interview to help us to get to know more about your child.
Links with Parents
In Reception we are very keen to have parents involved in their child’s learning. At the beginning and end of each day there is the opportunity for an informal conversation about any achievements, issues or general information sharing. Each term we have Parent Consultations to share the child’s learning and progress.
We maintain regular contact with parents through our tracking, monitoring and communication system, ‘Famly’, which allows us to share photographs and videos of children with their adult, privately.
We welcome parents to come in and help with an activity, during our whole school theme weeks and on occasions to join us on school trips. The Early Years unit operates very much on an ‘Open Door’ Policy and like to draw on parent’s expertise when these may be relevant to our topics.
Throughout each session during the day there is the opportunity for children to access the Outside Learning environment where they can use a range of equipment to develop their skills.
Each week the children have a dedicated PE session and Swimming lesson that is taught by specialist teachers.
The children experience a lot in our community as we regularly take the children on local walks, to the library, local shops and the park. Each term the children also experience a visitor in school or a trip out relating to our topics, such as Sea-life Centre for Under the Sea topic, or Chessington zoo for our zoo topic.
Pastoral Care in Reception
Throughout Reception we provide support with transition from Pre-school to Moving up to Key stage One. Open dialogue with parents and keyworkers ensures the needs of the children are met and individual learning journeys are undertaken.
Moving to Prep School
In preparation for moving to key stage one, learning becomes more formal throughout the school year. This prepares them for a structured learning environment in year 1. Children are given activities once a week to complete at home in readiness for homework tasks to support their learning, from the Summer Term.