What a wonderful first week we have had in Medcroft. From making pizzas, mudpies, and friends to learning our first phonics sounds and being dragons, princesses, and wicked witches in imaginative play. The fun has been endless. The children have all settled in beautifully and it has been lovely to see them eager, engaged, and excited by the activities which have been prepared for them. Our small world area has been a huge hit, and the children have loved playing with the wide range of figures and materials to design their own creations. I have been so impressed with how confident and independent your children have been during their first few days in school and I have loved spending time getting to know each and every one of them better.
Forest School will be on a Wednesday afternoon this year with the first session on Wednesday 22nd September.
Spare clothes – Thank you to everyone who has brought a change of clothes into school as we have very few spares and as I am sure you have found out the children can get wet and mucky during their play. Please make sure that everything is labelled, this helps us to make sure children go home with all the correct items at the end of the school day.
Pick up – Please let us know if anyone different is collecting your child after school, either by letting the adult at the gate know or contacting the office.
Water – A freshly filled, labelled water bottle needs to be in school every day. We have drinking water in the class so we can refill their bottles during the day.
Homework – The most important homework your child will have in the Reception year is reading. This includes listening to stories and bringing reading books home to read. For both Nursery and Reception children, reading stories to your children and talking about their day to extend their communication and language is invaluable. Children in Reception have already made an excellent start to their reading journeys, and it has been lovely to read through all your comments, please remember if you are pressed for time a tick to show you have read is more than acceptable! Books will be changed every Monday and Thursday if they have been shared together at home. It is vital that reading at home is completed to build up a clear picture of the children’s reading interests and development. Book bags and Reading Records should be in school every day.
Finally, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or queries before or after school or via the school office – I am really looking forward to a year full of fun, laughter and learning.
Medcroft Class Teacher
Learning in Reception
The practice in the Reception classroom is based around “In The Moment Planning.” The indoor and outdoor area are organised in order that the children can select any resources they choose to play with. All resources and learning areas are carefully thought out so that they offer the maximum learning opportunities for the children. The adults in the setting are always observing the children’s play to see which areas are engaging them and offering great learning potential and which need to be reconsidered.
As the children play the adults are constantly observing to find the teachable moments, where they can intervene and extend the learning opportunities for the children; offering comments, suggestions, modelling language, introducing new ideas, demonstrating skills and scribing children’s ideas. The adult may choose not to intervene as the play often develops, engages and supports learning without an adult. In this case the role of the adult is to observe and assess where the children are and how they can continue to move learning on.
Each week two children are chosen to be the focus children for that week. The adults record more of the interactions and learning that happens for that child during the week in order to know exactly where their learning is and how to move learning forwards. A letter is sent home to parents the week before, setting out any particular areas we will be focusing on and asking for the valuable input parents can offer. Once the Learning Journey is completed for the week a parent consultation is offered in order to discuss exactly where the child is in their learning and what we will focus on next to move learning forwards. This continues on a rolling programme throughout the year, ensuring children are a focus four times a year and offering four parents consultations each year. All children benefit from teachable moments every week but more is recorded about the focus children for the week.
Teaching of Phonic and Writing Skills
To support the development of writing we teach a regular phonics session four days a week. On top of this we use story telling as a valuable teaching tool. The children are encouraged to tell stories about something they have created, played with or simply something which is in their head at the time! Initially the adult scribes their ideas and as the year progresses the children are encouraged to begin contributing to the story by writing the initial sounds, sounding out simple words and eventually writing their own stories independently. This approach follows the ideas in the book “Princesses, Dragons and Helicopter Stories” by Trisha Lee.
The timetable in the Reception classroom is designed in order that children have long periods of play to develop their ideas, extend their learning, use imagination, language and creativity. Much research had been done around the effectiveness of learning through play and how essential it is to children’s early development.
We aim to make the children’s experiences in the Early Years as exciting as possible ensuring they leave with the tools to be lifelong learners and with a real enthusiasm for learning alongside the concepts and skills to access the National Curriculum as they move through the school.
Parents feel positively about how their children are learning in our Reception class.
“I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the observation notes that were made over the course of the week that my child was the focus child. Meeting face to face to discuss with Miss Malone was a nice personal touch. Still being new to the school, I was pleased to hear that my child had settled in so well and that she has already engaged in a variety of learning experiences. Having an insight into my child’s life at school and the goals that Miss Malone is working towards with her has enabled me to encourage conversations that will enrich her learning at home. I look forward to seeing how my child is progressing at the next meeting.”
Parent of a Reception child