At Robert Blair Primary School and Children’s Centre Services we have the highest possible expectations for all our children. We want children to be confident, to love learning and to achieve well.
Children in our reception class are entering the last year of their time within the Early Years Foundation Stage. We firmly believe that they should continue to benefit from a play based learning environment, whilst being equipped with the knowledge, skills and dispositions that will make them successful in the next phase of their education. We are rigorous in ensuring that we:
- Get to know your child very well.
- Build strong and positive relationships with your child and your family.
- Provide an environment for your child both inside and outside that nurtures, challenges and excites.
- Build on their on their previous experience and secure the key skills, knowledge and dispositions that will equipment for learning in KS1 and beyond.
In reception class we offer 30 places for children aged 4-5 years including 3 places for children who attend the LCR (Language and Communication Resource). We have a Reception Class Teacher, Level 3 qualified Early Years Worker and Early Years Support Worker who skilfully support our reception aged children.
The reception class is a purpose built space adjacent to our nursery class with direct access to the outside area. The physical building and close working relationship with nursery promotes very effective transitions for children. Children settle in class quickly and this is effective in ensuring their learning is not interrupted. Transition arrangements are in place for children who do not attend our nursery class but would like to join us in reception. Please contact the Under Fives Manager for further information or advice.
Reception class offers a range of well organised and resourced workshops areas for children to explore including: writing area, maths area, bookcorner, snack area, sand/water area, block play, home corner/role play and 3D modelling. It may look and feel similar to the environment children have experienced in nursery (this is our intention), however, the planned experiences on offer, level of challenge and degree of independent thought and organisation expected of children are increased.
The “pitch” and content of what we teach to reception age children clearly increases and we encourage parents to continue to support this learning at home through: reading regularly, writing in the reading diary, supporting your child with their “project based” homework, attending sessions in class for children and attending workshops for parents and/or accessing the website for ideas about how to help at home.
We continue to ask parents to provide information and feedback regarding children’s interests and needs at home (see Focus Child Forms) and make weekly observations of children so we can shape learning to meet children’s needs. However, we maintain a focus on the prime areas of learning (Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotion development and Physical development) and the key skills in terms of reading, writing and maths that are crucial in becoming a successful learner.
Children will experience a greater number of carpet sessions throughout the day and will be expected to attend specific focused activities/experiences which are carefully planned to extend and develop their learning. We place an emphasis on phonics, building on the daily sessions taking places in nursery and continuing with the letters and sounds programme (see phonics information on the Reception class page). We provide termly sessions for parents focused on phonics, reading and writing throughout the year and we are always available to parents at the end of the day to provide support on how to help your child at home. We continue to use Profile books in reception to record children’s achievements/ progress, as well as “Parent Voice” stickers to capture the learning that takes place at home.
We believe it is important for children to continue to have access to learning experiences outside. Reception children have daily access to the outside space and in addition fortnightly sessions at “Haywards”, a local adventure playground which provides greater scope and challenge for both exploring the natural environment and larger scale “risk taking” outside. Children make the regular trip to Haywards on foot and we see the benefit across all 7 areas of learning, as well as, the impact in terms of building confidence, working co-operatively, developing a “growth mindset” and learning how to keep themselves and others safe. Children also have weekly PE sessions and access to the ICT suite. We ensure that children have opportunities for visits and visitors that support and enhance their learning.
We are proud of our reception class and our reception children but are always seeking ways to improve opportunities for children and families. If you have any comments or suggestions we welcome feedback from children and parents. Please come and speak to the class teacher, reception team or the Under Fives Manager.