Reception (age 5 to 6)
Our aims in teaching English are to equip all children:
- To develop the necessary skills to use the English language confidently, appropriately and accurately to the best of their ability
- To be able to speak clearly and fluently
- To be able to listen to the spoken word attentively and with comprehension, pleasure and empathy
- To be able to read a range of materials with developing fluency and with understanding for information and enjoyment
- To be able to write effectively for a range of audiences and purposes
English is taught by the Class Teacher. Whole class, group and individual teaching strategies are employed and work is differentiated as necessary. Elements of the subject are Speaking, Listening and Responding, Spelling, Reading and Writing. There are clear intrinsic links between the various aspects of the English curriculum and no one area is taken in isolation.
There are many opportunities for children to develop their skills in Speaking, Listening and Responding. Children are encouraged to express their opinions and knowledge in all areas of the curriculum. In sessions such as Circle Time the ability to listen to and respect others’ opinions is developed. Drama is often linked to the English syllabus and is another area in which Speaking and Listening skills are enhanced. The range of work includes:
- Circle time
- Instructions and directions
- Listening to stories
- Telling stories both real and imagined
- Reading aloud to a group
- Describing events and experiences
- Speaking to different people including friends, class, teacher
- Listening to each other
- Listening to adults giving detailed explanations and presentations
Children should be able to:
- listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
- ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
- use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary
- articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
- give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
- maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
- use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
- speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
- participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play/improvisations and debates
- gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)
- consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
- select and use appropriate registers for effective communication
During the year events such as class presentations, music performances and the end of year Musical, where the children recite and sing, provide invaluable opportunities for performance and confidence-building.
Our aim in the teaching of reading is that children should be equipped with the strategies to read with fluency, accuracy, understanding and enjoyment. They should gain an appreciation that reading is an intrinsic aspect of educational progress and learn to value a wide range of reading material, both fiction and non-fiction. The children have the opportunity to visit the Early Years School Library.
Children’s individual progress in reading is carefully monitored. Reading homework is set on a weekly basis. A partnership between home and school is essential to promote motivation and progress.
It is vital to ensure that comprehension skills keep pace with mechanical reading skills and children’s progress through the reading schemes reflects this.
Ability groups of 4 to 6 children follow the same text with the teacher and study content and aspects of language. Prediction and comprehension skills are developed in these sessions through group discussion.
A whole class activity in which the teacher reads with the class and focuses on features such as spelling, punctuation and sentence structure.
The range of literature followed throughout the course of the Reception class:Fiction
- Stories with familiar settings
- Stories with repeating patterns
- Traditional Tales
- Fairy Stories
- Fantasy Stories
- Poems and plays
- Labels, Lists and Signs
- Information texts
- Simple dictionaries
- Information books
Children write in many and varied contexts and have opportunities to undertake sustained, independent writing. They write in a variety of styles and for a variety of purposes e.g. narrative, report, recount, instruction, explanation, poetry. Subject areas other than English present opportunities for writing, particularly linked to non-fiction subjects.
Correct pencil grip, letter formation and posture are reinforced throughout Reception.
Children are taught the processes of segmenting, blending and phoneme manipulation for reading and writing through the systematic, multi-sensory, high quality phonics programme International Phonics. Children are taught sounds in the alphabet and sounds represented by more than one letter. This does not occur in alphabetical order. Children quickly learn how to recognise these sounds and use them to blend and segment simple words.
In Reception spelling work is varied. Most Reception children will be at the phonetic stage but it is important to build visual memory too.
Some children are invited to join small group support sessions where they have the opportunity to practise those sounds they have not yet mastered.
Phonics covered over the course of the Reception class:
- /ae/: ai, ay,
- /ee/: e, ea, ee, y
- /oe/: o, oa,
- /er/: er, ur
- /e/: e,
- /ow/: ou, ow
- /ow/: ou
- */ie/:ie, igh
- * /oo/:oo
- /u/: u,
- /l/: l, ll,
- /or/: or,
- /air/: air,
- /ue/: ue,
- /oy/: oi, oy
- /ar/: ar,
- /o/: o,
Using the Primary National Curriculum and the Mathematics Mastery approach, it is our aim to teach using an engaging and accessible style of Mathematics. It is designed to enhance understanding and enjoyment, as well as raise attainment for every child.Key principles of the Maths Mastery Curriculum:
- Problem solving
- High expectations
- Concrete - pictorial - abstract
- Depth before breadth
- Growth mindset
- Mathematical language
Problem solving is central to the teaching of Mathematics. Children learn to identify, understand and apply appropriate mathematical principles and make connections between ideas. They learn to tackle new problems instead of repeating routines.
Children should not be left behind in Mathematics. We set high expectations for the children and we emphasise the importance of Mathematics education. Children are encouraged to become confident and resilient learners.
Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract
Concrete - the doing: Children are first introduced to an idea or a skill by acting it out with real objects. Concrete refers to objects such as base ten blocks, fraction tiles, markers, or other objects that can be physically manipulated.
Pictorial - the seeing: When children have sufficiently understood the hands-on experiences performed, they can now relate them to pictorial representations, such as a diagram or picture of the problem.
Abstract - the symbolic: At this stage the children should be capable of representing problems by using mathematical notation, for example: 22 – 6 = 16. This is the most formal stage of mathematical understanding. Abstract representations can simply be an efficient way of recording the maths, without being the actual maths.
Depth before Breadth
All learners benefit from deepening their conceptual understanding of Mathematics. Children are provided with the time to understand, explore and apply ideas in new, alternative and complex ways.
Mathematics Mastery works on the principle that our ‘abilities’ are neither fixed nor innate but can be developed through practice, support, dedication and hard work. Natural talent is just a starting point and does not determine who has more or less potential to achieve. This encourages our children to develop a love of learning, to try hard and to foster a desire to achieve.
“Mathematical language is crucial to children’s development of thinking. If children don’t have the vocabulary to talk about division, or perimeters, or numerical difference, they cannot make progress in understanding these areas of mathematical knowledge."
Mathematical Vocabulary, DfE 2000
Each lesson provides opportunities for children to:
- Share key vocabulary
- Model clear sentence structures using mathematical language
- Respond using full sentences
- Discuss thinking and reasoning
In Year 1 the children will participate in a Maths Meeting 3 or 4 times a week. These sessions last for approximately 15 minutes and consolidate the key areas of Mathematics. Calendar Maths and Place Value are included in every Maths Meeting.Topics covered in Maths Meetings
- Calendar Maths
- Data Handling
- Shape and pattern
- Capacity, volume, length & weight
How we cater for children who are more able.
More able pupils are taught within their own class and differentiation is carefully planned using the three principles of Mathematics Mastery:
- Deepening mathematical understanding
- Deepening mathematical thinking
- Deepening mathematical language
Children are encouraged to explore and investigate topics in greater depth, so they build a stronger understanding of the main maths concepts within that topic. Tasks are also adapted by the teacher to suit the needs of the individual. Occasionally, children are also extended through individual challenges. They may, at times, be withdrawn from the class to work in a small group on problem solving activities and extension work at an appropriate level.
There are seven areas of learning which give a broad overview of the Mathematics curriculum in the primary phase. Objectives are aligned to the seven areas to demonstrate progression in each area.
- Number and place value
- Addition and Subtraction
- Multiplication and Division
- Geometry: properties of shape
- Geometry: position, direction, motion
During the Reception year the children will have the opportunity to observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They share their ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables. Through the topics studied throughout the year, the children will acquire skills in investigation, research, recording and discussion.
Through their studies in Science in Reception children should be taught to:
- Use simple scientific vocabulary to communicate ideas
- Obtain and present evidence in a variety of ways including using Computing
- Ask questions and decide how to find the answers
- To make simple predictions
- Plan a test and recognise when it is fair or unfair
- Consider evidence by making simple comparisons
- Evaluate their work and explain what they did
- Learn to present their findings in a variety of ways in speech and writing by drawings, tables, graphs and pictograms
- Relate the role of Science to everyday life
The following topics are taught to help children develop these skills:
- Animals (including Humans)
- Everyday Materials
- Seasonal Changes
History and Geography
Through the topics studied throughout the year, the children will acquire skills in investigations, research, recording and discussion.
Through their studies in History in Reception children should be taught to:
- Place events and objects in chronological order
- Use common words and phrases relating to the passing of time
- Recognise why people did things, why events happened and what happened as a result
- Identify differences between ways of life at different times
- Identify different ways in which the past is represented
- Find out about the past from a range of sources of information
- Ask and answer questions about the past
- Select from their knowledge of history and communicate it in a variety of ways
Through their studies in Geography in the Reception class children should be taught to:
- Ask geographical questions
- Observe and record
- Express their own views about people, places and environments
- Communicate in different ways
- Use geographical vocabulary
- Use fieldwork skills
- Use globes, maps and plans
- Use secondary sources of information
- Make maps and plans
- Identify and describe what places are like
- Identify and describe where places are
- Recognise how places have become the way they are and how they are changing
- Recognise how places compare with other place
- Recognise how places are linked to other places in the world
- Make observations about where things are located and about other features in the environment
- Recognise changes in physical and human features
- Recognise changes in the environment
- Recognise how the environment may be improved and sustained
Bruno Munari® Method
The Bruno Munari® BAPS Atelier calls for experimentation, researching and discovering autonomously. It is a method in progress, because it intends to leave plenty of room for creative actions. Each workshop is different and stimulates personal curiosity and the attitude to research. At the heart of the Bruno Munari® atelier is the didactic principle of learning by doing; the teacher acts as a facilitator not telling the children what to do.
Psicodynamic Play Therapy
Pyschodynamic Play therapy at The British American Pre School is educational and relational. It enhances the children’s ability to express themselves (through play), to communicate (understanding boundaries and listening) and to show their creativity (proposing games). The main goals are the development of emotional maturity and thought.
Jolly Music is a multi-sensory music program which incorporates singing, dancing and movement, to help children basic music skills such as rhythm, beat, tempo, pitch inner hearing and music memory. By using their body, an object or an instrument, they showcase the skill which they have learnt and have the chance to reproduce and perform it with the class, as a group, or individually. This gives children an outlet where they ca build self-confidence and performance skills (which is very important in the EYFS framework and has been proven to help the across other learning areas in class).