The Statutory Framework (2017), as set out by the government, states that Early Years providers must ‘seek to provide quality and consistency; a secure foundation through learning and development opportunities; a partnership between practitioners and with parents and; equality of opportunity’.
In order to create ambitious little learners, we set up a solid foundation of expectations for them. The Early Years curriculum is set out into 7 main areas of learning. Here we will give you guide to what these look like in the classroom; in real life and; how you can support your child at home.
Please also take a look at the Reception 'Year Group' page under the 'Children' tab on the home page. There you will find more guidance on supporting your child's learning at home in all areas of the curriculum.
Communication and Language
This is where we look at the skills needed for well-developed speaking, listening and understanding. In the classroom, children are encouraged to talk about their play and their classwork in order to develop thee critical skills. It is the responsibility of the adults to model good speaking and listening skills and to teach and support children in learning a breadth of vocabulary. Children are given these opportunities through effective questioning and problem solving challenges. They get to show off these skills when sharing performances or taking part in show-and-tell. At home, you can support your child with these skills by reading with them and having a chat about what you have read. Talk to them about their day; play games with them; get them to explain or describe things to you; ask them questions. It is incredible to see how quickly children begin using and applying new language and concepts in their real life.
The physical development of your child is important in everything they do in school. This covers gross motor skills (big movements such as throwing a ball or climbing) and fine motor skills (using a pencil or scissors correctly or holding cutlery effectively). During PE lessons, we will support your child in developing their gross motor skills through games; ball skills (throwing, catching, kicking); athletics and; gymnastics. We teach them how to do this safely and confidently. In the classroom, we work on their fine motor skills through writing practice; playing board games; cutting practice and; small construction toys. This means that your child has an excellent start point when it comes to legible handwriting. You can support your child at home by playing games with them; encouraging them to use cutlery independently; supporting them in mark-making and crafts and; playing sporty games with them. Physical confidence is key for all-round confidence and supports all aspects of their learning.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The personal, social and emotional development of your child connects with absolutely everything they do in school. We teach your child about their emotions, what these look like in themselves and in others and give them strategies to manage these. These skills are so important for the way they interact with their peers and develop friendships. We also support your child with their behaviour. This means they develop high standards for themselves and can fully enjoy their school experience. This is supplemented by Jigsaw sessions. Jigsaw is a whole-school provision and is delivered through circle time discussions which incorporate fun and meaningful activities with light meditation. You can support your child at home by talking to them about the behaviour expectations of school; discussing how they feel and giving small strategies to help them manage if they are feeling sad or overwhelmed and; asking them about their day. Children become more resilient learners and learn how to persevere.
At Stanbridge we teach phonics and reading using the Read, Write Inc. phonics scheme. All adults are highly trained and skilled in delivering fun, fast-paced and comprehensive phonics lessons to your child. This enables children to begin reading simple words to simple sentences, then more complex sentences to entire stories. It is wonderfully uplifting when your child first comes home to you able to read their first word or sentence. You can’t help but get excited with them. When we feel your child has a good grasp of the basics, we will send them home with a reading book and red words to practice (these are words that cannot be phonically decoded). The phonic and reading skills naturally support a child’s ability to write. They gain the phonic knowledge to be able to find the sounds they need to write independent words and then sentences. By the end of Reception, children begin to write in full sentences and even use punctuation and capital letters. Literacy goes hand in hand with language and communication skills and therefore it is so important to enable children to come up with their own ideas. We inspire them through fun and meaningful classroom experiences and model how to apply this to their writing. Children are given opportunities to be authors during their free play and we celebrate their work at every chance we get. You can support your child at home by reading their school reading book with them and practising phonic sounds and red words.
In Reception, children become Mathematicians through: Number (counting, ordering and recognising numbers; addition and subtraction and, applying these skills to real life) and Space, Shape and Measure (naming shapes and their properties; measuring and weighing and; positional language. We teach children new skills in short, formal lessons and they are given opportunities to practice these skills during their free play and adult-led tasks. We know that children love a challenge so we give them opportunities to practice problem solving and we support them with this every step of the way. We will ask them questions to see how they are using their maths skills during their play and set them ability-appropriate questions to answer verbally or in writing. You can support them with Mathematics at home by practising counting, recognising number, simple addition and subtraction, writing numbers and naming shapes.
Understanding the World
This area of learning is split into 3 areas: People and Communities (talking about themselves and their families’ home lives, cultures and traditions), The World (this is where they get to become Scientists and Geographers and discuss how the world works) and Technology (exploring different types of technology). These aspects of the curriculum are explored through whole-class discussions; fun classroom activities; superb outdoor learning opportunities; exciting real-life experiences and; visits in and out of school. We understand that modern children have access to all sorts of technology at home. We believe that this can be a wonderful learning tool and is something to celebrate when used in moderation. Children will have opportunities to explore all sorts of technology in the classroom for many different purposes such as photography, video-making, research and an introduction to software such as those for coding and game making. We also teach children about safe use of technology and the internet as we believe digital literacy is the key to children enjoying themselves online safely. You can support your child at home by keeping dialogue about online safety open.
Expressive Art and Design
Do you have a budding artist at home? At Stanbridge, we believe all children are artists and that this can mean a lot of different things for the way that children express themselves. This part of the curriculum covers Exploration of Media and Materials and Being Imaginative. We teach art concepts such as colour mixing and texture and give children lots of experiences with exploring different ways of creating art in 2D and 3D. We also look at children’s imaginative play and observe how they develop a narrative for their games. Your child can choose the ways that they express themselves and collaborate with friends and adults in order to play out ideas that they have. This works wonders for their social and problem solving skills and overall confidence and self-esteem. You can support your children at home by also giving them opportunities for expression.