Following the changes to the Early Years framework in September 2021, we have a flexible curriculum that suits the needs of our children and community. The Reception children learn through an engaging and exciting curriculum that has a balanced approach using continuous provision and adult-led activities. We use the Development Matters framework to support our own professional knowledge of child development, and we plan cross-curricular activities that allow children to develop the skills they need to be successful learners. Our flexible cross-curricular approach allows children to develop their skills across all the prime and specific areas of learning for the early learning goals, which will prepare them for their learning journey into Key Stage 1 and beyond.
Early Learning Goals
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal Social and Emotional Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Focus on Early Reading
We prioritise early reading and phonics here at Giles Brook Primary School and, as such, start learning phonics early in the first half term. We follow the 'Essential Letters and Sounds' scheme. Whilst we teach the children sounds and reading, parents/carers still play a vital role. It is important that children have plenty of practise reading at home in order to become fluent, confident readers. The reading books sent home each week are matched to the phonic sounds they have been taught in school and are fully decodable. If children are to become lifelong readers, it is essential that they are also encouraged to read for pleasure, and as such we ask you to share a range of stories that they enjoy.
The Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) is a statutory assessment from September 2021 onwards. It provides a snapshot of where pupils are when they arrive at school. It will provide a starting point to measure the progress schools make with their pupils between reception and the end of primary school. This assessment is done alongside our own in-school assessments which allow us to identify each child’s starting point and devise activities that are targeted to develop each child in accordance to their needs.
Sharing with home and school through Tapestry
Tapestry is our dedicated communication platform for our EYFS children. It is here that we share messages, news, pictures and comments of the activities that are happening in school, and it offers you a direct window into the life of your child. In addition to us sharing with you, we encourage you to share home learning experiences on Tapestry, as you too can upload pictures and comments to share with the class teachers, who love seeing what the children get up to at home.
Butterflies and Ladybird Classes
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Giles Brook Primary School provides children with the opportunities to experience the best possible start to their education and future years at school. Through grasping opportunities in child initiated learning, as well as direct teaching the children build a solid foundation to build on as they progress through their journey in KS1 education and beyond.
The Reception year will build on any experiences within nursery settings. During this year, there is time allocated for direct teaching – short sessions of phonics, literacy, maths and some topic. Children will learn to read and write with the ‘Essential Letters and Sounds’ phonics approach.
In addition to this, each day the children will have access to indoor and outdoor provision. Here, there are areas to support their development through play in each of the 7 EYFS areas of learning. Similar to the nursery approach, during this time, the children will experience an area they are interested in and their learning moved on through ‘in the moment’ opportunities in a practical and hands on, child led approach.
We also plan the classroom and outdoor environment around the characteristics of learning. These underpin everything we do with the children, to ensure we allow the children to be themselves while staying happy and healthy within our school.