Hello and a huge welcome to all our new Reception children and their families! We are delighted to meet you!
We will be focusing this term on All About Me! This will involve us getting to know your child and you, and your child getting to know their new teachers, friends, school environment, and daily routines.
At first, we will be spending short (and slowly increasing to longer periods) periods on the mat together, for our register, singing songs, listening to stories, games and rhymes, developing confidence in talking to each other about what is special to us, and learning new things. The majority of our day will be spent allowing and encouraging your child to explore and develop their play and learning in the indoor and outdoor environments. It is very important for your child to have the skills they need to be successful, life-long learners. We call these skills the Characteristics of Effective Learning. These are:
Playing and exploring – engagement
Active learning – motivation
Creating and thinking critically – thinking
As well as these important foundations for learning, we will also be looking at your child’s current development in their Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Skills (both large movements and finer movements), and their Communication and Language (listening, attention, understanding and speaking). Each child may well have different starting points, and we will build on these to help your child on their learning journey. These three areas of learning are crucial in order for your child to be ready for learning in more formal areas, which are Phonics & Literacy (reading and writing), Maths (number and space, shape and measure), Understanding the World (the world they live in and the people), and Expressive Arts and Design (using different materials and being imaginative).
In Reception, we are constantly learning. Learning may be a short, formal input session on the mat, or a small group session. This learning is then applied in the class and outdoor environments, which are designed to give your child lots of opportunities to put their new learning into practice, to try things out and find things out themselves. This is so important for your child, as the repetitions in their learning help new ideas to be firmly developed, so that learning can be applied, both in Reception and throughout their school career.
Phonics and reading
We follow the Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc (RWI) programme of phonics learning. As soon as your child is ready to begin formal learning of letter sounds, they will learn individual sounds and how to write them. Once they know several sounds, they will begin to read and write simple words.
Your child will bring a book home to read with you at home. At first, the books will have no words inside-the importance with these is to talk about the pictures. Once your child is ready, they will start to bring home books matched to what they are learning in RWI. Please read with your child every day, even if it is just for 5-10 minutes.
We use the White Rose scheme of learning. The focus for this term is understanding routines, using mathematical language, matching and comparing, and introducing all about numbers 1,2, 3 (it is so much more than just the numbers!)
Please note that we will have PE each Thursday. Due to Covid-19, please could your child come into school each Thursday wearing their PE kit, which they will wear all day.
How you can help your child
*Encourage your child to develop their independence, e.g. in dressing themselves, using a knife and fork, pencil and scissors;
*Talk to your child about school, what they are doing and how they feel
*Enjoy sharing books, comics, online reading games with your child. Look at packaging of favourite foods from shops and the words and pictures on them
*Sing and share songs and rhymes with your child, either ‘live,’ or via the Internet (Super Simple Songs is a class favourite already!)
*Notice and talk about numbers, patterns and shapes around you, e.g. the wallpaper has stripes, the rug has swirly patterns, the dog has spots! I have 5 fingers an each hand, two ears, etc.
*Practise reading and writing your child’s name with them. This can be in chalk, pencil, paint, in the mud!
*If you have magnetic numbers and letters at home, put some on the fridge and play games with them.
*Encourage your child to explore and find out about things they are interested in.
Further information and useful websites:
Phonics (reading and writing): https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/
You should have received an activation email so you can see observations about your child, and even add your own!
We look forward to working with you and your child this year.
Mrs Ward, Mrs West & Mrs Callow.