Welcome to the Reception area. We would like to share what your child will be doing with us during the year. We encourage daily routines and display a visual time table, so that children feel secure in knowing what will happen next during the day. We have a balance of adult led and child initiated activities and plan from children’s interests and next steps. We love to hear what your child has enjoyed so that we can continue to meet their needs.
Autumn Term Topic Overview
You may also wish to take a look at the Reception Curriculum Map below, which shows you the topics we will be covering in different subjects over the course of the year. Please talk to us if you would like more information.
Queen Edith’s Foundation Stage
‘It is not what we do to the child or for the child that educates him, but what we enable him to do for himself, to see and learn and feel and understand for himself. The child grows by his own efforts and his own real experience.’ Susan Isaacs
During their time with us we aim to be:
- Supporting each child to make the most of every opportunity
- Working together with each child’s family
- Enjoying learning for life
Our Foundation Stage has one Nursery class and two Reception classes. Each year group has an indoor and outdoor area which children can access for the majority of the session.
We operate a ‘keyworker system’ so that each child can build positive relationships with a particular adult and have the opportunity to be in smaller groups. All staff will also be working with all children within each class. For more information please read our ‘Keyworker Policy’
We use Tapestry online learning journals for each child as a record of their play and learning. These help us to understand what each child needs to know next and plan appropriate activities.
We believe in positive behaviour management and encourage children to develop social skills and work as part of a group.
We take safeguarding seriously and ask all visitors not to use mobile phones in school. Paediatric first aiders are always on site if needed.
The way children learn:
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically
We help children develop positive characteristics in their learning which will enable them to ‘learn for life’.
We encourage children to work together, keep on trying, concentrate and ‘have a go’! We use animal characters such as Go for it Gorilla and Concentrating Crocodile to help children understand how to learn effectively.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Making relationships Children are supported and encouraged to form positive relationships. Children are helped to understand feelings by talking about emotions through stories and puppets etc. Collaborative activities are planned to encourage children to play as part of a group
- Self-confidence and self-awareness Children are encouraged to become increasingly independent, through carefully organised areas. Through praise and opportunities to carry out small tasks, children gain the confidence to learn and grow. Children are encouraged to ask adults for help. We provide opportunities for children to talk and share their interests.
- Managing feelings and behaviour Children are taught how to manage their feelings. Many activities provide opportunities for sharing and turn taking. Clear consistent boundaries are set and routines help children to know what is expected of them.
Communication and Language
- Listening and attention Children develop good listening skills. They regularly listen to stories and join in with rhymes and songs. Children are encouraged to concentrate and sit together.
- Understanding Children learn to follow simple instructions. The wide range of experiences helps them to understand the use of objects and prepositions. Staff will talk and ask children questions during the sessions to help them develop their own learning.
- Speaking Children are given opportunities to speak in a variety of contexts. They learn to talk to peers and adults both individually and in larger groups. They learn to ask questions and to give explanations and retell stories. Children are constantly learning new words and expressions which enable them to become increasingly confident at communicating effectively. Children with English as an additional language are supported through a range of resources and small group activities. We celebrate the wide range of languages represented at Queen Edith.
- Storytelling We use storytelling to develop activities to enhance children’s learning in all areas, introducing a story each term in the Foundation Stage.
- Moving and handling Children have access to both our classrooms and our gardens during each session. They learn how to move in a range of ways, climb, balance and kick and throw balls. Using a variety of resources they learn to pour, hammer, turn pages and make marks. In Nursery they use the hall for movement sessions. In Reception children take part in PE sessions weekly and learn how to form letters.
- Health and self-care healthy eating Children also learn to take care of themselves and gain increasing independence. Both year groups take part in cookery activities relating to their topic. In the Nursery daily fruit group sessions give children the opportunity to eat a variety of fruit and vegetables and pour their own drinks. They eat lunch in the Nursery and may choose a school meal or bring their own lunch. Reception children have the chance to eat lunch in the school hall and both classes are given a range of healthy options to eat.
- Reading Children share in the enjoyment of books through daily story and rhyme sessions. By using a range of story props all children can enjoy this time. Children learn how to handle books appropriately and can independently use the book area. They begin to learn how stories are structured and we talk about what might happen next. Children begin to learn that print has meaning. Children are able to borrow a variety of books from Nursery and also Story Sacks. We regularly have book sessions in our library where children may borrow a non-fiction book. Parents are invited in to share a book with their child on a regular basis. In Reception, children learn to read in guided reading groups or individually. They read daily as part of our activities in different contexts. Parents are invited in to Share a Book once a month.
- Writing Through lots of different opportunities, children are encouraged to mark make in a range of ways. Children are encouraged to give meaning to their marks by telling us about their pictures. Adults support children at their own level. In Reception, daily phonics teaching using Letters and Sounds supports children with both reading and writing. They are encouraged to ‘have a go’ at writing for meaning during their play and write with their teacher regularly. We follow Talk for Writing, using our class stories to help children learn how to develop their own stories.
- Numbers Through a wide variety of activities and resources children begin to use number names accurately in their play. They learn to recite number names in order and understand that numbers represent how many objects are in a set. Children begin to recognise numerals and match them to the correct number of objects. Adults show how to use mathematical language by asking questions such as ‘How many more do we need?’ Children have access to maths areas where there are a variety of exciting mathematical resources. Mathematical activities can also include games stories and songs. In Reception, children also work in small groups with numbers to 20 and beyond. They take part in daily mathematical sessions where they are encouraged to focus on a number of the week with ‘say it build it, draw it, write it’.
- Shape space and measure Children’s interest in shape and space is stimulated by varied resources and activities. They are encouraged to hear and use the language for shape, position, size, time, pattern, money in all areas of the environment as part of their play. We use real life experiences such as going shopping, cooking, building, creating and comparing to enhance learning.
Understanding the World
- People and communities Children are encouraged to talk about significant events in their own life. Parents and carers are invited in to share special celebrations with us. We learn about different occupations and ways of life and celebrate our similarities and differences.
- The World Children are encouraged to explore our natural world. They learn to talk about what they have seen. We use our exciting outdoor environment to talk about what we see, from digging in the garden for worms, planting bulbs, vegetables and observing seasonal changes.
- Technology Children learn how to operate simple equipment such as an interactive whiteboard, technological toys and have opportunities to access iPads or computers to use appropriate programs which support other areas of the curriculum.
Expressive Arts and Design
- Exploring and using media and materials- Children use a variety of materials to explore colour and texture. They have opportunity to construct and build using a range of tools both independently and with adult support. They enjoy exploring a range of music and instruments and learn about sounds and rhythms.
- Being imaginative- Children sing familiar songs and learn new songs, rhymes and poems. Nursery children regularly take part in dancing and ring games in the garden or our school hall. All children learn about a variety of experiences through role play. They enjoy using their imaginations by taking on a range of roles in their play.
For more information please look at the Early Years Policy.
How you can help at home:
Research shows that children learn most effectively when parents/carers and school work in partnership.
You can help your child by:
- Sharing books together
- Playing games together
- TALKING and enjoying activities together
EYFS Phase Leader
EYFS Phase Leader
Floating and Sinking
In Reception this half term, we had a visitor in to teach us all about floating and sinking. The children made balls and then boats using playdough and were surprised to discover that the boats could float but the balls couldn’t. They also tested bottles that had sand in compared to empty bottles and found out that the empty bottles could float.
Helping the Hedgehogs
Following children’s interest in hedgehogs we invited Darren the rescued hedgehog to come and visit. This was very popular and we decided to find out more about hedgehogs and how the children could help them. They raised £75 for the Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital by making cakes to sell after the Reception assembly and this was delivered to the hospital who were grateful to the children for their care. We will be continuing to find out more about hedgehogs, what happens to them during the year and how we can help to protect them.
Three Billy Goats Gruff
This half term, children have been learning the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. The children learned the story and actions. Some children also had a go at writing the whole story independently. In our workshop area, the children painted their own trolls and cut these out carefully. We also looked at bridges from around the world and the children had a ‘task of the week’ to build their own bridge for the three billy goats. Our story has also linked to spring and children have been exploring the outside area for signs of spring.
Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6
World Book Day
To celebrate World Book Day on Thursday 7th March, all pupils at Queen Edith dressed up as animals! Look below at some of our lovely photos.
We all linked our English work to the book Welcome by Barroux. Reception children made their own islands inspired by those in the book. Year 1 designed a welcoming place for the monkeys from the story to stay in. Year 4 wrote inner monologues imagining that they were in that situation. Later Years pupils looked at Welcome and also Leaf, The Day War Came, The Island and The Arrival and found out about refugees around the world before writing diary entries, imagining that they were in that situation.
The Snow Queen
Children have been learning our own story of the snow queen who turns everything to ice and snow. They were very excited to find real snow and loved exploring it. We also discussed ice in the water tray and how long it would take to melt. Children went outside to find out about winter weather and use the thermometer to see if it was freezing. They made their own ice palaces for the queen and after she sent them an email they researched animals that come from cold climates. They thought of words to describe the queen’s palace and then told their parents the story in their assembly. Afterwards, children celebrated with a Snow Queen party when they ate chocolate Crispie Cakes and Apple Sorbet which they had made.
Celebrating in the Autumn Term
This term we have been celebrating family festivals with our children. They made group fireworks, shouting out the sounds that their firework made as they made paint splashes. We learnt how to dance to Indian music for Diwali, made cucumber raita, and took part in different activities in the Foundation Stage.
Children also celebrated Christmas with a concert for their parents and carers. They told the story of ‘The Gingerbread Man’ and sang some songs about getting ready for Christmas. Children made cards on the computer and prepared their own food for their Christmas party. They also joined together for a Christmas Activity Morning with Nursery.
The Gingerbread Man
This half term, Reception have been learning the story of ‘The Gingerbread Man’. We discovered some footprints and crumbs in our garden and the children decided it must have been the fox from the story! The children enjoyed re-telling the story using actions. We have taken part in a range of activities linked to our story including: making gingerbread men out of clay, making houses for our gingerbread men in the workshop, learning songs and using technology to decorate gingerbread men. We also went to the shops to buy the ingredients to bake our own gingerbread men.
The Enormous Turnip
Children helped to pull up some vegetables form our garden area. They then learnt the story of ‘The Enormous Turnip’ using storytelling actions. They cut out and ordered different sized turnips, investigated and printed with different vegetables, wrote shopping lists for turnip soup and then chopped up the vegetables to make their own. It was very popular! Children also had a kitchen in their role play areas where they pretended to cook their own soup. Each class created their own story based on The Enormous Turnip and wrote about their new vegetable.
Settling into Reception
Children have settled into Reception after visits with their parent or carers. They started in each class during the first week of the school year and either came full or part time, depending on their parent or carers choice. Activities reflected children’s interests discussed at each child’s personal visit with their new teacher. During the first few weeks, we got to know each other. Children began by learning routines and exploring the classrooms both indoors and outside. We introduced animal characters to help them begin to understand how to learn- such as ‘Concentrating Crocodiles’, ‘Go For It Gorillas’ and ‘Exploring Elephants’. These learning skills will be developed during the year.