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Reception Curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is based on the guidelines provided by the Dept. of Education in England known as the Early Learning Goals and form the foundation stage of the National Curriculum.

The Early Learning Goals are:

  • Communication, Language
  • Literacy (Reading and Writing)
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the World
  • Physical Development
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Communication and Language

Children’s learning and competence in communicating, speaking and listening, being read to and reading and writing is further supported and extended. They are provided with opportunities and encouraged to use their skills in a wider range of situations and for a range of purposes, and are supported in developing the confidence and disposition to do so.


Writing

Children experience a variety of writing genres e.g.

  • Narrative
  • Poetry
  • Letters
  • Lists
  • Labels
  • Instructions
  • Signs

Reading

The children will,

  • Read a range of familiar and common words and simple sentences independently
  • Read texts using phonic knowledge and skills
  • Know that print carries meaning and, in English, is read from left to right and top to bottom
  • Extent their vocabulary, exploring the meaning of sounds of new words
  • Show an understanding of the elements of stories, such as main character, sequence of events, and openings, and how information can be found in non-fiction texts to answer questions about where, who, why and how
  • Re-tell narratives in the correct sequence, drawing on the language patterns of stories
  • Listen with enjoyment to stories, songs, rhymes and poems, sustain attentive listening and respond with relevant comments, questions and actions

Spelling and Vocabulary

Children are taught to,

  • Explore and experiment with sounds, words and text
  • Read simple words by sounding out and blending the phonemes all through the word from left to right
  • Progress from reading simple consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words such as ‘cat’ and ‘bus’ to longer CCVC words such as ‘clap’ and ‘stop’, and CVCC words as ‘fast’ and ‘milk’
  • Read an increasing number of high frequency words
  • Use phonic knowledge to write simple regular words and make phonetically plausible attempts at more complex words

Grammar and Punctuation

Children are taught to,

  • Write their own names and other words such as labels and captions and begin to form simple sentences sometimes using punctuation
  • Use a pencil and hold it effectively to form recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed

Composition and Comprehension

Children are taught to,

  • Attempt writing for various purposes, using features of different forms such as lists, stories, poems and instructions

Literacy

Approaches to Reading and Writing

The five basic skills for reading and witing are:

  1. Learning the letter sounds
  2. Learning letter formation
  3. Blending
  4. Identifying sounds in words
  5. Spelling the tricky words

1. Jolly Phonics is a thorough foundation for reading and writing.  It teaches letter sounds in an enjoyable, multi-sensory way.  In Reception, we begin by teaching one/two letters (name and sound) per week. Children learn each letter by its sound and its name.  For example, ‘a’ in ‘ant,’ and ‘ai’ as in ‘alien’.  This helps in blending.

2. Pencil grip is very important.  The grip is the same for both left and right-handed children.  The correct way, is the ‘tripod’ grip (thumb and first two fingers).  We follow the Nelson handwriting scheme.  Many of the letters have a flick as a precursor to joined up writing towards the end of Year 1.

3. Blending is the process of saying the individual sounds in a word and then running them together to make a word.  For example,‘d’ ‘o’ ‘g’ put together reads ‘dog.’  We start spellings in the second half of the first term and we begin with words that can be sounded out.  Spellings are given out on Friday and tested in school the following Friday.  You will receive your child’s spellings in the homework folder.

4. Games like, ‘I spy,’ are ideal for a child to listen for the initial sound.  Then you can try the end sounds.  The middle sounds are harder.  You can also play, taking away a sound.  For example, ‘What happens if I take ‘c’ away from the word ‘cat’  or, ‘What happens if I put a ‘b’ in front of the word ‘at’ etc.

5. Ways to help with spellings:

  • Look    at the word, which part is tricky?
  • Cover   the word, can you write it in the air?
  • Write   the word down
  • Check   is it right?
  1. Tactile Activities

There are many things you can do with your child to help strengthen their hand and finger muscles. Some suggestions include picking up small objects. Instead of only using 2 fingers the children should be encouraged to use 3 fingers. E.g. When playing with play dough/plasticine to pinch pieces off. They can then roll it in the palm of their hands and then onto their finger tips. Children can also use scissors to cut the play dough.

  1. Big Talk

We use a teaching method called Big Talk. This comes before Big Writing, which was developed by Ros Wilson based in the UK.

Throughout the year we will be focusing on Big Talk. Ros says that it should be all about talk in Reception. If they can’t say it they won’t be able to write it. We cannot stress enough the importance of talking with your children at home.

As the year progresses, your child will be able to write more independently.  We use whiteboards and wordbooks in class, to help develop independent writing.  We offer a wide range of writing opportunities. Remember the value of talking with your children on a daily basis as your child’s vocabulary will further develop.

All children in Reception start to read.  We do Guided Reading (shared reading) and Individual Reading (1 to 1 reading).  Flashcards are sent home, to practise with the book on a daily basis and they will also be taught in class.  These words are the 45 high frequency words, taken from the National Literacy Strategy.  Your child will be assessed on these words during the year.

Children read with a parent helper, the learning support assistant and the class teacher throughout the week.

Read with your child on a daily bases. It is important for your child to show you the cover, title and author. Allow your child to use the pictures as clues when talking about the story and when attempting to read words. Spend time asking questions and discussing the story e.g. What do you think will happen next? Why do you think the cat ran away? Etc.

Understanding of the World

 Children are supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. Their learning is supported through offering opportunities for them to use a range of tools safely; encounter creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments and in real-life situations; undertake practical ‘experiments’; and work with a range of materials.

  • The children will be taught to,
  • Investigate objects and materials by using all of their senses as appropriate.
  • Find out about, and identify, some features of living things, objects and events they observe.
  • Look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change.
  • Ask questions about why things happen and how things work.
  • Build and construct with a wide range of objects, selecting appropriate resources and adapting their work where necessary.
  • Select the tools and techniques they need to shape, assemble and join materials they are using.
  • Find out about and identify the uses of everyday technology and use information and communication technology and programmable toys to support their learning.
  • Find out about past and present events in their own lives, and in those of their families and other people they know.
  • Observe, find out about and identify features in the place they live and the natural world.
  • Find out about their environment, and talk about those features they like and dislike.
  • Begin to know about their own cultures and beliefs and those of other people.

Mathematics

The Junior School has implemented a new programme called Big Maths which focuses on improving children’s mental recall of facts and using numbers. During the first term in Reception children are introduced to these facts and practise daily.(1+1=2, 2+2=4, 3+3=6, 4+4=8, 5+5=10, 2+1=3, 3+2=5)

After the first term children are given a timed Big Maths Beat That Quiz, which will challenge their mental recall of the facts they have already learned. The aim is that as the weeks progress the children will improve their score. It is not expected that children will be able to memorise all of the facts at once and will need to see, chant and write-out the facts many times before they can recall them instantly.

The second area of Big Maths is CLIC and focuses on four main areas.

  1. Counting e.g. ordering numbers, one more one less, count up to ten objects
  2. Learn It’s/Doubles and halves of numbers
  3. It’s nothing new, jigsaw numbers
  4. Calculations/addition and subtraction

We also use different schemes to supplement the curriculum such as The Collins Primary Maths Scheme which encourages the children to use problem-solving techniques. The Numeracy lesson consists of mental/oral activities, recorded work and practical activities. At the end of the lesson the main teaching points are reviewed and reinforced.

The other mathematical topics that we will focus on include: time, weight, capacity, shape, measurement and money. We will also focus on the understanding of mathematical language, e.g. add, and, plus, subtract, take away, minus, makes, equals.


Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy (PSRN)

Children are supported in further developing their understanding of Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about their developing understanding. They practise and extend their skills in these areas to gain confidence and competence in their use.

Using and applying mathematics

The children will be taught to,

  • Use mathematical ideas and methods to solve practical problems
  • Match sets of objects to numerals that represent the number of objects
  • Sort objects, making choices and justifying decisions; talk about, recognise and recreate simple patterns
  • Describe solutions to practical problems, drawing on experience, talking about their own ideas, methods and choices

Counting and understanding number

The children will be taught to,

  • Say and use number names in order in familiar contexts and count reliably up to 20 everyday objects
  • Recognise numerals 1 to 9; know that numbers identify how many objects are in a set
  • Estimate how many objects they can see and check by counting; count aloud in ones, twos, fives or tens
  • Use language such as ‘more’ or ‘less’ to compare two numbers; use ordinal numbers in different contexts

Knowing and using number facts

The children will be taught to,

  • Observe number relationships and patterns in the environment and use these to derive facts
  • Find one more or one less than a number from 1 to 10
  • Select two groups of objects to make a given total of objects

Calculating

The children will be taught to,

  • Begin to relate addition to combining two groups of objects and subtraction to ‘taking away’
  • Begin to use the vocabulary involved in adding and subtracting
  • Count repeated groups of the same size
  • Share objects into equal groups and count how many in each group

Understanding shape

The children will be taught to,

  • Use familiar objects and common shapes to create and recreate patterns and build models
  • Use language to describe the shape and size of solids and flat shapes; describe position

Measuring

The children will be taught to,

  • Use language to compare quantities, related to time; order and sequence familiar events and measure short periods of time

Handling data

The children will be taught to,

  • Sort familiar objects to identify their similarities and differences
  • Count how many objects share a particular property, presenting results using pictures, drawings or numerals


Understanding of the World

Children are supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. Their learning is supported through offering opportunities for them to use a range of tools safely; encounter creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments and in real-life situations; undertake practical ‘experiments’; and work with a range of materials.

  • Investigate objects and materials by using all of their senses as appropriate.
  • Find out about, and identify, some features of living things, objects and events they observe.
  • Look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change.
  • Ask questions about why things happen and how things work.
  • Build and construct with a wide range of objects, selecting appropriate resources and adapting their work where necessary.
  • Select the tools and techniques they need to shape, assemble and join materials they are using.
  • Find out about and identify the uses of everyday technology and use information and communication technology and programmable toys to support their learning.
  • Find out about past and present events in their own lives, and in those of their families and other people they know.
  • Observe, find out about and identify features in the place they live and the natural world.
  • Find out about their environment, and talk about those features they like and dislike.
  • Begin to know about their own cultures and beliefs and those of other people.

Physical Development (PE)

Children are provided with opportunities to be active and interactive and to improve their skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement. They are supported in using all of their senses to learn about the world around them and to make connections between new information and what they already know. They are also supported in developing an understanding of the importance of physical activity and making healthy choices in relation to food.

The children will be taught to,

  • Move with confidence, imagination and in safety.
  • Move with control and coordination.
  • Travel around, under, over and through balancing and climbing equipment.
  • Show awareness of space, of themselves and of others.
  • Recognise the importance of keeping healthy, and those things which contribute to this.
  • Recognise the changes that happen to their bodies when they are active.
  • Use a range of small and large equipment.
  • Handle tools, objects, construction and malleable materials safely and with increasing control.

Expressive Arts and Design

Children’s creativity is extended by the provision of support for their curiosity, exploration and play. They are provided with opportunities to explore and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings, for example, through a variety of art, music, movement, dance, imaginative and role-play activities, mathematics, and design and technology.

The children will be taught to,

  • Respond in a variety of ways to what they see, hear, smell, touch and feel.
  • Express and communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings by using a widening range of materials, suitable tools, imaginative and role-play, movement, designing and making, and a variety of songs and musical instruments.
  • Explore colour, texture, shape, form and space in two or three dimensions.
  • Recognise and explore how sounds can be changed, sing simple songs from memory, recognise repeated sounds and sound patterns and match movements to music.
  • Use their imagination in art and design, music, dance, imaginative and role-play and stories.

International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

The principle of the IPC is to focus on a combination of academic, personal and international learning for children worldwide, combined with innovative and exciting ways to learn.

We will begin by teaching the topic ‘All About Me’. Other areas covered in topic include, the Senses, Growth and Development, People Who Help Us, Around our School, Simple Maps, Seasons and Materials.


 Greek

Through the study of Greek, children learn to appreciate and understand more deeply the country they live in. By linking to other curricular areas with a thematic, topic-based approach, and using the Communicative Method of language teaching, children of all Greek ability levels will expand their Greek skills by manipulating the language in fun and creative ways and learning how to apply it flexibly and confidently for real and effective communication with the world around them.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it
Aristotle