St Edward’s Reception class is where learning starts in earnest, an exciting, stimulating environment full of new experiences and opportunities. With a clear focus on building a love of learning, we feed our children’s natural curiosity, gradually introducing a more structured approach to early learning.
For many children, Reception is a natural progression from our Little Griffins nursery class, and the school setting is already familiar and comfortable. However, we warmly welcome children from other nurseries too, and our focus on creating a nurturing and fun experience ensures children quickly settle in, make friends and become part of the wider St Edward’s family.
An exciting place to learn
Our Early Years curriculum encourages independence and curiosity, and starts children off on the road to lifelong learning. The key areas of focus are Literacy, Numeracy, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design, and our engaging and rewarding approach helps lay strong foundations for everything that is to come as they move up the school.
Key to this is plenty of practical, hands-on exploring, and the classroom is full of interactive equipment, including computers, a craft area and the ever-popular book corner. In the Autumn term, in order to make the transition from Little Griffins as smooth as possible, children choose freely from the toys and equipment. They are encouraged to think about the activities they choose and explain what they would like to do with them.
A structured approach
Gradually over time, and guided by when the children are ready, learning becomes more structured, with the introduction of individual subject lessons. The children grow in confidence with their words and numbers. Daily discrete Phonics, Writing and Maths sessions begin with whole class, while smaller group activities focus on exploring, understanding and developing practical skills. The number of teacher-led tasks increases, with the children completing either practical or recorded activities each day. However, they still have the opportunity to explore and discover for themselves during child-initiated learning time.
As in Little Griffins, our Reception children benefit from specialist teaching for PE with the Director of Sport, Music and Drama with our Head of Music and Drama, French lessons during the second half of the Autumn Term, as well as weekly swimming lessons.
Reception children also have access to the extensive Early Years Outdoor Classroom and are able to extend their learning in a woodland environment off site once a month in their wellies and forest kit.
Part of the wider St Edward’s family
The strength of relationships across the school, with the older children looking out for the little ones, is fundamental to St Edward’s ethos. Reception have three outdoor play sessions during the day. They enjoy the playground and the wooden fort and slide alongside Little Griffins, Year 1 and Year 2, with whom they also sit for freshly cooked, healthy and appetising lunches.
Reception children attend Assembly on Fridays. They join in with some of the whole school annual events, such as the Cross Country Competition in November and the Sports Day held in June, as well as the annual Pre-Prep trip to the pantomime.
Working with parents
Nobody knows your son or daughter as well as you do. Your input is crucial to building up the full picture of your child’s knowledge and experience, so each, individual learning journey is created in partnership with parents. Reception teacher Mrs James continues to cultivate the close links with parents that Miss Turner works so hard to develop in Little Griffins, sharing the exciting activities that have taken place during the week on Tapestry, our online learning journal for Early Years.