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Christ Church Primary

Early Years

Components of the school day for a child in Reception

Learning Agreement Time

From 8.55 to 9.15 parents and carers are invited into class, to either share a book with their child, or look at their child’s Learning Agreement and help them work out how they are going to achieve a certain objective.  The Learning Agreement is the document that shapes your child’s independent learning for the week:  it sets each child tasks that they complete on their own, usually building on a new skill they have acquired recently or reinforcing an area that needs further development. Generally, the tasks are open-ended, so that your child can choose how they reach the objective. When your child has completed a task, they show what they have done to their teacher, who then signs it if they have successfully achieved it, or gives them any extra support they may need to reach completion. 

KRM Reading Sessions

KRM stands for Kids Reading and Maths and is our teaching scheme developed by instructional psychologists who have worked with us to design a bespoke and targetted approach which has delivered exceptional outcomes for our children.

The reading strand is taught in separate 15-17 minutes sessions across the school day rather than one block.  Distributed learning like this means that skills are regularly repeated and this helps the children consolidate their understanding so they move to accuracy and fluency at a rapid rate.

Each session is broken down into skills building and applied learning with the children focussing in short bursts on synthesis and segmentation, phonic awareness and high frequency word recognition.  These skills are then instantly applied as the whole class read a text together using their acquired skills to decode and make sense of what they're reading.

We have a 'real book' approach meaning that we use proper story books rather than designated reading scheme books because we want to expose our children to a richer vocabulary and less formulaic writing.  For us we want the children to develop a love of reading rather than just being able to decode, this comes about from active engagement in stimulating stories where children are drawn in to the text and are excited to find out what happens next!

Learning to read in Christ Church is a shared experience. In Reception  we encourage parents/carers to join us every morning and spend 15 minutes reading with their child.  The more pleasurable the reading experience, the more likely they will quickly develop into independent and inquisitive readers.  In Key Stage 2, the children enjoy whole class reading sessions every day.  We are ambitious with our choice of books to expose the children to as many different authors and genres as possible.  This can lead to some very stiumlating discussions and acts as catalyst to help our children become stronger writers.

Negotiated Learning

In Reception, the curriculum is presented as a range of teacher-designed activities and child-initiated learning.  Teachers plan for a range of activities during the week, which are laid out and presented to children as learning provocations.  Provocations include things such as: little books to entice children to write; matching one-to-one activities to develop number skills; small world activities to develop language skills and many more.

We also focus strongly on child-initiated learning, where children self-select resources or use resources that have been set out in different ways to enhance their learning.  Staff within the class interact with children to help them describe what they are learning and to help the child understand their learning journey.  The staff have a very clear framework of expectations for each child, and an excellent knowledge of how best to support and extend them. The learning a child does in the home corner about sharing, taking turns and positive social interactions is as valuable as the time they spend learning how to form their letters.  Where possible, we also include child-led provocations, such as when a child has brought in an item from home that stimulates some sort of learning response.  A good example of this is when a child brought in a Lego castle they had made with knights and princesses.  Soon the classroom was full of similar castles, children making knight’s helmets from cardboard, children designing outfits for princesses, role playing, story telling and writing all from something brought in from home!

In order to provide as broad a curriculum as possible, we embrace ‘free-flow’ learning in Reception.  This means that, apart from whole-class sessions, children will be able to move freely between the classroom and the outside area.  This allows the children to experience learning with many different pupils, thus extending their friendship groups as well as allowing them to access different learning experiences. Children will be developing the same writing skills, e.g. using initial letter sounds and leaving finger spaces, but will be applying those in a context that interests them.  Each child is expected to complete the objectives listed on their Learning Agreement during the Negotiated Learning session throughout the week.  During some afternoon Negotiated Learning sessions, we have whole-class RE lessons, whole-class circle time and whole-class music lessons on different days of the week.

Workshop time

Once the children have fully settled into the routine of the week, we will introduce workshop time.  This involves pupils working in small groups on an adult-led activity that is designed to introduce new learning at a level that is appropriate to them, or to practise skills and move their understanding forward.  These will be led by Miss Burness, Ms R, or Mrs Freitas.  Very often they will be play-based learning activities, as this is in keeping with the Early Years Framework as set out by the Department for Education.

Collective Worship

Reception has a daily act of collective worship together in class.  This is led by various members of the school team, SLT, class teachers and TAs.  There is at least one singing collective worship per week.

PE

There is not an allocated time for PE for this year group.  Following guidance from Lambeth Council, the children have lots of opportunities for physical development available at all times. This might mean that in the outdoor area they may use bikes, climbing frames and hula hoops, or develop dancing and bat and ball skills.  There are also opportunities to develop fine motor skills such as threading, weaving, cutting out, mark making (writing) and modelling.

Maths 

The early stages of acquiring Maths skills is very much play-based and song-based.  Every day we have our KRM maths sessions where we practise our number sequencing, patterns, correspondence, and all of the basics the children need to understand before moving into the world of calculating and applying and using numbers.  Once the basics have been established, pupils will learn how to apply these skills in small group workshops and, from there, will be able to independently apply them to the environmental provocations set up around the room and outside.  

For more information about the Early Years Curriculum for Reception please click on the link below.

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/a0068102/early-years-foundation-stage-eyfs