Welcome to Reception!
We would like to say a big warm welcome to all our new families and children, we can't wait to meet you all in person in September!
In Reception at Carden we believe in giving children lots of rich, exciting, wide ranging experiences which help them develop secure and positive friendships, builds their confidence and gives them a secure foundation to base all their future learning upon. Reception is a busy and fun packed time for children, it might look like lots of fun and play but look a little closer and you will see how this play really supports our children's depth of understanding and skill.
Children's communication, language and literacy skills are at the heart of all we do. We know a language rich curriculum is the cornerstone for the wider curriculum, and that is why we spend so much time immersing ourselves in stories, poems and non-fiction texts in school. The children learn to retell a number of stories and poems during their time in Reception, it helps them build up a range of vocabulary and it supports and develops their ability to construct ever increasingly complex sentences themselves. It's also great fun! We often draw story maps to help the children retell the story and we invite parents and carers into school throughout the year to see us perform. When it comes to teaching reading, we make sure the children bump into opportunities to read throughout the environment. We have daily phonics lessons, reading sessions and we send books home for children to develop their reading skills with you throughout the week.
Outdoor learning is a key component of Reception life. We use our outdoor space as an extension of the indoor classroom. We use it all day, every day, whatever the weather! We are incredibly lucky to have a wealth of outdoor space, we have plenty of grass areas, a mini orchard area, our own Nursery and Reception outdoor area and a huge playground we use at lunch time. We know our children learn best through engaging in practical activities both indoors and out. The outdoor space is used for much more than ball games and riding bikes (of course we do LOTS of that too!) All areas of the Reception curriculum are catered for in the outdoor learning environment, we love observing and learning about the seasons as they change through looking at how our outdoor environment changes. We get to meet a range of wild life along the way too.
Maths is all around us, so we need to engage with maths in a variety of ways too. We provide practical learning opportunities as well as planning for children to revisit, and revise key mathematical skills such as careful counting, counting in 2's and 10's, counting on from the smallest number when adding and much more. We know the children need to have a solid understanding of the concept of number before they can start to manipulate numbers in their heads. Children often start Reception at different levels in all curriculum areas, including maths so we make sure we identify each child's learning needs and provide opportunities to develop their mathematical understanding from their starting points.
We really believe in giving our children a range of first hand, exciting experiences to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. We have visiting student doctors, the fire brigade, police offices, nurses, crossing patrol offices, visits to the farm, trips to the post box, pretend flights to the north pole, watching the life cycles of caterpillars turning into butterflies and much more. By making learning purposeful, engaging and fun the children start to build links in their learning, their natural curiosity helps them explore things in new and exciting ways. These experiences build the children's confidence, helps them develop new interests and gives them an exciting and memorable way to learn about their world.
Becoming a writer is a complex and challenging process, there are so many different things children need to be able to know, and do, in order to become proficient writers. Physically they need to be able to have enough control to form the letters correctly. They then need to know what each letter looks like, what sounds they make, how to blend them together to make words, how to spell tricky words, how to leave gaps between words and how to check they have written the word correctly. They then need to be able to compose a sentence which they wish to write in their heads, and then use all the skills they have learned to write it. It's a very tricky business! We break down each stage, and support the children to build up all the knowledge and skills they need to be able to write sentence by the end of Reception and it's mainly done through structured play activities and focus groups, carefully sequenced throughout the year. We make sure children can engage with writing inside and out, building up their skills and understanding each day so the process is organic.