Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

Early Years

In Reception, we follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage issued by the Department for Education (DfE).

The curriculum consists of seven areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

There are then 17 Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which are part of these areas of learning. If a child achieves these goals by the end of the Reception year then they are said to be working at the expected level.

To support children with working towards these ELGs we use a document called Development Matters. This breaks down each goal into different age bands and is used by staff throughout the year to assess how close children are to reaching the goals.

All of these documents, and many other useful resources, are available from this website: http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/

In the classroom

Early Years learning and development is provided through purposeful play and through adult led structures and routines that build confidence and provide intellectual stimulus and challenge.

Throughout the day, children will have direct teaching sessions for maths, literacy and phonics, either as the whole-class or in small groups. The rest of the time they will be taking part in activities inside and outside the classroom. Some of the activities will have been prepared by the teacher and will focus on specific objectives. They may be led by an adult or modelled initially and then the children can access them independently. The children will also be able to choose activities from any of the other resources available.

Teachers choose which activities to set-up by assessing the children’s levels of understanding across all areas of the curriculum and identifying any ‘gaps’ in their learning. Teaching inputs and activities are then planned to address these gaps and evidence is then gathered to show the children have then achieved this learning.

All the teaching staff will be engaging with the children during the activities and helping to support their learning and development. Children’s learning is assessed by observing what they say and do during these times. These are recorded and are then shared with parents.

 

Teaching and Learning

Topics:

The learning in Reception is based around a theme for each half-term

 

Autumn Terms

All About Me

Celebrations

Spring Terms

Traditional Tales

Dinosaurs & Space

Summer Terms

People Who Help Us

Growing and Changing

 

 

Phonics:

Phonics is the method used in most primary schools to teach children to read. We follow the ReadWriteInc program which is a linguistic-based scheme that teaches children to hear the sounds that are used in words and then the letter or letters which make those sounds. Children are taught to apply this knowledge for both reading and spelling words. In Reception, children have daily teaching sessions for phonics and this will continue into Key Stage 1.

Reading:

As well as taking part in daily phonics sessions, children have a 1-1 reading session with their class teacher each week. This is where their phonic skills can be assessed and supported and they will also be asked comprehension questions to develop their understanding of texts. Comments are made in the children’s Reading Records which are then sent home for parents to read and contribute to. This way, a dialogue about the child’s reading is established between home and school so there is a consistency of approach.

To help develop a love of reading, children will have stories read to them frequently in class and books will often be the basis for an entire unit of work. They will also be allowed to take home library books to read with an adult as this will help improve their understanding and comprehension. Research has shown the significant positive impact that reading at home can have on children’s ability and understanding so we encourage families to read with their children on a daily basis.

Writing:

Children will be taught spelling, handwriting and writing for purpose. Some of this will be delivered as part of the daily phonics sessions and also as part of the focused and independent learning activities.

In Reception, children will be given opportunities to write for different purposes e.g. shopping lists, instructions, stories and captions. Writing will be encouraged in a range of contexts in order to engage all children.

We will be using a pre-cursive handwriting script which teaches children the correct letter formations and also the different families of letter joins. Every letter starts on the line with a 'lead-in' and finishes with an exit stroke. This technique provides the foundation for children to write using a cursive script in the future.

Maths:

The focus of the maths curriculum in Reception is on ensuring children have an excellent understanding of the basic concepts of number along with a real-world understanding of maths through shape, space and measurement. Children will be taught how to write numbers but the focus is on the understanding of the concepts.

We will be using an innovative, focused program of work which teaches children mathematical concepts practically first, before moving on to pictorial representations and finally the abstract recording. It is based on the maths curriculum that is delivered in Singapore and is proven to be incredibly effective for children of all ages and abilities. The curriculum covers all the objectives from the UK National Curriculum including the renewed focus on problem solving, reasoning and number fluency.