Early Years (Nursery and Reception)
Nursery Topics for the Year
Reception Topics for the Year
Pupils are provided with opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors. Adults support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, coordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye coordination which is later linked to early literacy. Pupils are given repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, which allows pupils to develop proficiency, control and confidence.
Personal Social and emotional development
Pupils are supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.
Communication and Language
We provide pupils with a rich language environment and support them to develop their spoken language which underpins all areas of their learning and development. Adults have a number of quality conversations with pupils in which they frequently comment on what pupils are interested in or doing. They also echo back what pupils say with new vocabulary added, which helps to build pupil’s language effectively. Staff frequently read to pupils and engage them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, as well as providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts. Through conversation, language modelling, storytelling, sensitive questioning and role play, pupils become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. We provide pupils with the opportunities to talk to adults about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Pupils are also taught skilled word reading, by learning pure sounds and how to blend them together to read words as well as a knowledge of some common exception words. Pupils have 25/30 minute daily phonic sessions using Read Write Inc programme. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).Reception weekly Literacy sessions allow pupils to listen, retell, role play and write about stories in both a guided small group focused task situation as well as in independent child initiated play. Writing opportunities are also offered as part of continuous provision throughout the day.
Pupils are supported to develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. The curriculum also includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes. We use the 'Maths No Problem' approach where pupils are provided with a hook and context in which to learn. Pupils have child initiated opportunities, 20 minute daily carpet sessions and a weekly focus task for 30 minutes.
Understanding the world
We support and guide pupils through continuous provision and weekly planned activities, both independent and focused, to make sense of their physical world and their community. We do this by providing them with experiences such as visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, we expose them to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems which help to foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains.
Expressive arts and design
We encourage pupils to develop their artistic and cultural awareness which supports their imagination and creativity. Pupils have regular opportunities to engage with the art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. This also allows pupils to further their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. We also provide pupils opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities. We encourage pupils to be imaginative and expressive and invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories.