Reception Class - Muddy Puddles
Starting your Journey at St Clements
Learning in our Reception classroom begins as part of our transition into school. We gain an understanding of children and their needs through hosting a stay and play session for children to mix with others and have an opportunity to play and get a feel for the learning environment. We invite families to come to school to have a meeting about what life is like to be a child in Reception at St Clements. We also aim to visit as many Nursery and Pre-school settings as possible to see your child in their current learning environment.
As the academic year starts in September the children spend time learning to be at school. This includes: following routines that may be new, understanding where and what to play with in the classroom, how to come together for a carpet session and how to interact within a larger group. Learning to be at school is a fundamental part of learning to be at St Clements.
Parental input is key in enabling children to settle into school life. We offer optional home visits or meetings in school during the first two weeks of September to find out more about each individual child, their interests and how we can best support the home - school relationship we strive to create. Home - school communication continues with the use of online learning journeys. We use Tapestry to post observations of your child’s learning in school. We encourage families to post learning experiences from home.
Our Daily Routine
We believe children need and benefit from uninterrupted periods of play so our daily routine allows two sustained periods of time for children to explore the continuous provision indoors and outdoors. We call this ‘Independent Playful Learning’.
8:40 am : Children and parents/carers arrive
8:40 – 8:50 am : Open door, time for parents/carers to talk to the reception staff
9:15 – 9:45 am : Phonics
9:45 am : ‘Independent Playful Learning’ indoors and outdoors
9:45 – 11:15am : Snack is open
11:15 am : Time to 'put things back where they belong', then a direct teaching session.
11:55 – 1:00 pm : Lunch in the school hall followed by playtime outside
1:00 – 1:30 pm : Carpet time, direct teaching - Maths
1:30 pm : ‘Independent Playful Learning’ indoors and outdoors
2:30 pm : Time to 'put things back where they belong', then story time
3:15 pm : Home time
The Muddy Puddles Unit
There are two classrooms and one outside space that form the Muddy Puddles Unit with two Teachers and two Teaching Assistants. Class Teachers are the Key Person in the setting who ensures children’s learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs.
We teach our children to be independent learners who know where resources belong and how to access them. We teach key skills through our continuous and enhanced provision. For example, you will only find primary colour paints as we teach the children how to mix their own.
Here are some photos of our Continuous Provision:
We encourage creative and critical thinkers who come up with their own ideas. Who test and challenge their own thinking. You will often hear our children using the phrase ‘team work makes the dream work’. Collaboration, friendship and teamwork is taught through all that we do at St Clements.
We help our friends and we are a team.
Our Early Years Curriculum
Chatterboxes and stories sit at the heart of our curriculum. Chatterboxes are used to develop personal, social and emotional development in our children as well as supporting speaking, listening and attention. Each week has a focus where children can bring in an object or a photograph to share with a group. Stories act as both a hook and a way into learning opportunities.
Writing and Numeracy skills are carefully developed and children’s progress celebrated. We model letter and digit formation through rhymes and enable children to access this within their independent playful learning. In Numeracy we begin by focussing on specific numbers to wholly understand how to represent them in different forms including as an amount and recognising the numeral. Developing children’s vocabulary is a key priority. Our writing opportunities are always purposeful to children. We use stories, the real world and events as a stem for developing early writing skills.
Progression washing lines enable adults to see how children are developing their name writing. We are passionate that children will be able to write their full name by the end of Reception. We also ask the children to independently draw self portraits each month. From this we look at pencil control, formation of shapes and lines as well as being able to record.
The voice of the child is the centre of what we teach. Our adults observe children in their play, carefully listening to the language and vocabulary that children use. Adults scaffold learning, where appropriate, to extend and stretch children’s ideas. We use the voice of our children alongside family voice and teacher expertise to build a picture of a child’s capabilities. This rich picture is built up over time, linking to the seven areas of learning and development to plan our next steps and to inform our practice and provision.
We use a ‘Focus Child’ approach where children are chosen weekly. We send home an information sheet with families to obtain information about anything significant happening in your child’s life, anything you would like to ask us about your child’s learning and anything else you wish to discuss. In school, we observe our Focus Children in their play to find out more about their interests and how we can scaffold their learning. We also ensure they have the opportunity to ask and answer questions during carpet sessions. Every child has the opportunity to be a focus child one per term. Observations may be uploaded to Tapestry with #FocusChild. We offer families the opportunity to have a face to face or virtual meeting the following week to share their Focus Week, discuss anything written on the Focus Child form and continue to support our home - school relationship.
In addition, Reception children are assessed against the national standard for a Good Level of Development (reaching the expected standard in Personal, Social & Emotional development, Communication & Language, Physical Development, Maths, Literacy). This information is shared with families and Year 1 teachers so that they can prepare relevant and appropriate strategies and experiences when the children move on to Year 1 where they will be ready for the curriculum they are going to face.
Becoming a Reader
It is our passion that every child develops a love of books and stories and so we provide a wide range of books in our classrooms. Our dedicated reading spaces enable children the opportunity to read and engage in stories on a daily basis.
In September we begin to learn new sounds as part of our discrete Phonics sessions. We follow Supersonic Phonic Friends which is a DfE recognised phonics scheme that introduces children to all of the sounds they need to learn to be able to become confident readers. We offer families the opportunity to attend a Phonics meeting in September to discuss how Phonics and Early Reading is taught at St Clements.
Weekly Phonics newsletters are shared online with families. In addition to this, we provide children with flash cards of the sounds that have been taught in school as well as practice handwriting sheets for children to access if they choose. Finally, we will upload videos to Tapestry each week, modelling how to say each sound, the action and how to write it.
Every week the children are invited to choose a story or information book from the library to share and read with you at home. We change these weekly.
Initially your child will bring home wordless picture books to share with you. When your child has learnt the initial sounds your child is ready for a school reading book, we will send one home once a week with a letter outlining how you can support at home. Reading books are placed into an A4 plastic wallet. Your child will not always read on the same day every week, so please make sure their book is kept in the clear plastic wallet we provide you with and this is placed inside your child’s bookbag. We use Boom Reader to record reading in school and encourage families to record reading at home via this online tool.
BoomReader website - https://go-read.co.uk/
Please see the document to help with ‘Top tips for reading together with your child’
Please ensure your child has a spare set of labelled clothes in school at all times. These clothes will be kept in a dedicated space for children to access when they are required. If the spare set comes home to you dirty, please do ensure it is replenished with a new set as soon as possible.
Snacks and Water
There will be a piece of fruit available every day for your child. Please provide your child with a water bottle for them to access throughout the day.
Every Friday, we will share the SuperSonic Phonics newsletter via email. On this you can find details of our Phonics focus during the week. Class newsletters are emailed fortnightly to families along with any key dates and information you need to be aware of and suggestions for activities to support your child’s learning at home.
At the end of each day we choose a ‘Golden Star’ for the following day. Children are chosen based on the values of our school:
T - we always try our best
H - we keep ourselves healthy
R - we are resilient
I - we are inquisitive
V - we feel valued and we value each other
E - we enjoy learning together
Every child will be a ‘Golden Star’ during the school year, so please don’t worry if this doesn't happen in the first or second term.