Children may join the Reception class the term after their fourth birthday and we offer flexibility in when the start date is - so that children can join mid-year, depending on their 'readiness' for school. Our small school is the ideal starting point for young children to begin their school life. Our compact site, lovely outdoor area and secluded garden means that the children are confident and secure in their surroundings. They move happily around the building and play areas. At lunchtime they have lunch with the whole school and playtimes are shared, with older juniors acting as Buddies to help them.
In Reception, the children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. Learning experiences are planned based on the children's interests and developmental stage. Our classroom and outdoor areas are resourced with continuous provision, which the children access independently throughout the day. These areas are regularly enhanced in response to curriculum themes and children's interests. The curriculum is divided into seven key areas which cover all aspects of the child's development: Personal Social Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication & Language, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World, and Expressive Arts & Design. Children's development is monitored continuously and supported through adult led learning activities. Families are informally updated daily with information about children's progress and development and are invited to share learning experiences happening at home.
Children take part in short daily Phonics, Literacy and Maths teaching inputs followed by supported learning activities and opportunities to explore their learning in play in the classroom and outdoor areas. Twice a week the children take part in PE sessions at the nearby hall along with the Infants to develop balance, movement and ball skills. In the afternoons, teaching follows topics and children's interests and a range of cross-curricular activities and play-based learning.
The children take part in weekly 'Show and Tell' sessions, allowing them to develop their confidence and skills of speaking in front of others. They also work with the Infants in performing the annual Nativity Play and have many other opportunities to perform in front of their peers, the whole school, their families and wider members of the school community. These experiences help to nurture the 'outstanding personal development' Ofsted recognised in our provision.
Children also have weekly music lessons with our specialist music teacher who teaches the basic principles of rhythm and song. Every Christmas, our Reception and Infants children perform their Nativity Play, which is often the highlight of the year for many parents. They also enjoy showcasing their efforts in school assemblies and at other events in front of parents.