Foundation Stage Curriculum
The curriculum that we teach in the Nursery and reception classes meets the requirements set out in the revised National Curriculum at Foundation Stage. The Nursery and reception classes use Read, Write, Inc, as a phonic and handwriting scheme. We use RWI reading books and Bug Club books as our home readers.
New Reception Parents
My name is Miss Turner and I am the Foundation Stage leader and one of the Reception class teachers. Firstly can I thank you for choosing St Michael’s Catholic Primary School. We are really looking forward to welcoming you all to our school. We are going to have so much fun playing and learning together. Starting school is a really big milestone and can be time that causes both children and parents to feel a little uneasy. So here are a few tips to try and help get you ready for the big day.
- Pointing out the school when you are out for a walk and saying ‘That’s your school’ so your child can start to take ownership of it.
- Work on personal interdependence at home, by letting them have a go at doing thing for themselves. (If they are able) don’t dress and undress your child at home, even if it is quicker. Encourage and support them but allow them time to do it by themselves. We can’t dress/change 30 children for PE.
- Make sure your child’s name is labelled on everything they bring to school, including PE kits and outdoor coats.
- Send in spare clothes. Nobody is going to blame your child for being so interested in something that they forget the signals from their body, but you can make it easier.
- Introduce them to cutlery at home and let them feed themselves. Let them have a go at cutting food up. We’ll always help them cut the trickier things.
On their first day
- Up your acting skills- Even if you’re feeling emotional that your ‘baby’ is now old enough to go to school- don’t let them know. Don’t cry in front of them. Put on a smile and tell them they will have an amazing day.
- Try and let them be as independent as possible – carrying their own bags, hanging up their own coat – if they get upset try (I know how hard it can be) to let school staff deal with it. Remember we want to work with you.
When you collect your little one
- Expect them to be tired when they come home – It helps if they have a regular bedtime routine.
- To find out how their day was when you collect them remember that “What did you do in school today?” is too wide. Try “What made you smile today?” or “What story did you listen to today?” that kind of thing. (seriously, as a teacher, we never do “Nothing”!)
Communication with staff
- Do communicate with staff. We are here to help and the more we know about your children the better equipped we will be to support them.
- Tell the staff anything that has happened at home, if a child is upset, or perhaps they didn’t sleep very well, as this can help us to understand how a child is behaving. (We are not here to judge, it’s not your fault!)
The Foundation Stage includes the Nursery and Reception years of child’s education. It is a distinct stage and important both in its own right and in preparing children for later schooling. The stage places emphasis on how children learn and engage with their own learning journey through;
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically
There are seven areas of learning that make up the curriculum:
The Prime areas
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Communication and language
- Physical development
The Specific areas
- Understanding of the world
- Expressive arts and design
Here at St Michael’s we ensure a broad and balanced curriculum by planning a variety of topics and themes. We also believe it is vital to follow the interests of the children and therefore plans will also be guided by these possible lines of development.
Here at St Michael’s we are committed to providing an enabling environment both indoors and out. This contributes greatly to children’s learning and development, allowing them to become more independent learners in a rich, varied and safe space.
All staff endeavour to develop positive relationships with the children in our care. Each child will be allocated a key person who will have responsibility for ensuring that each individual feels safe and cared for.
We also work in partnership with parents to encourage independent happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential.
We recognise that every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. Young children mature in every area of development at their own pace and in their own individual ways. We value and respect the diversity of all and place great emphasis on keeping children safe. We also pay due regard to children’s health as this is an integral part of their emotional, mental, social, environmental and spiritual well- being.
At St Michael’s we are fully committed to ensuring that we fully meet all of the requirements and guidelines set out in the EYFS. Our Foundation Stage consists of a Nursery and two Reception classes. The Reception classes are open plan and we work very much as one team.
Regular observations are carried out on all the children, which help us to monitor their progress, identify their interests and give us a starting point for planning. Planning is carried out to ensure that the children’s development is progressed and that the children are being stimulated and any specific areas of focus can be identified and necessary steps can be taken.
We recognise that you as parents are the most knowledgeable about your child. We appreciate the extra insight you can provide. Please tell us about things your child has done and is interested in, so we can include it in the assessment, observation and planning process.
We are open to you at any time to discuss your child, whether this is an informal or a more structured chat. Your child’s Key person is there to discuss your child’s achievements or any concerns you may have. Parents are invited to look at, comment on and contribute to all observations and assessments carried out on their child, and these are available for you to look at any time.
The school has a SENCO which is the person who will work in partnership with parents, Key persons and a range of other agencies to enable children with additional needs to make progress.
Play is one of the main ways in which children learn and develop, it is an integral part of a child’s Early Years Foundation Stage and supports their learning journey to. Young children can develop many skills through the power of play. They develop language skills, emotions, creativity and social skills. Play helps to nurture imagination and give a child a sense of adventure. Through this, they can learn essential skills such as problem solving, working with others, sharing and much more. In order to ensure that children progress in all areas of learning we provide a balance of child initiated and adult led activities.
Teaching of phonics
We use Read Write Inc (RWI) as our synthetic phonics scheme to teach children to read quickly and easily.
Synthetic phonics – is simply the ability to convert letters or groups of letters into sounds that are blended into words.
Stay and Play
We run regular stay and play sessions for parents each term.
Stay and read/Story Time
We invite parents in each week to stay for these sessions to help promote a love of reading.
We run a range of parent workshops throughout the year to help parents support their children’s learning and development. If you have any suggestions for future workshops, please let us know.
We look forward to being part of your child’s learning journey and working in close partnership with you.
Miss AM Turner
Assistant Head Teacher & Lead for Early Years
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