Reception Acorn and Chestnut
Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Lady Boswell’s!
Each of our two Reception classes has 30 pupils. These classes are each led by a full time class teacher and at least one full time teaching assistant. The Acorn Class Teacher is Mrs Natasha Wyatt and the Teaching Assistants are Miss Tish Trowell and Miss Anna Pullen. Chestnut Class is taught by Miss Jo Taylor and the Teaching Assistants are Mrs Sarah Oliver, Mrs Alison Saunders and Miss Anna Pullen. PPA cover is carried out by Mrs Christine Dorricott. We also have many regular parent volunteers as we recognise what a huge impact parents can have, as well as the value of having additional adults in the role of supporting and extending the learning of our pupils on a daily basis.
At Lady Boswell’s all members of staff in the EYFS have an equally important role to play in the learning and development of our pupils. With this in mind, we ensure that we hold weekly team meetings, termly one to one supervision meetings with the Designated Safeguarding Leader and provide regular Continuing Professional Development. All staff in the EYFS understand child development, are passionate, enthusiastic and responsive to children’s needs as well as being sensitive and caring and providing the nurture that young children require.
Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met, and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them. At Lady Boswell’s we provide a high quality environment, which is welcoming, safe and stimulating, and where children are able to enjoy learning and grow in confidence. We take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well including completing daily risk assessments of the learning environment, holding termly one to one staff supervision meetings and closely monitoring children’s wellbeing and involvement. (Please see the school Safeguarding Policy in the Policies section of our website)
Teaching and Learning
The teaching and learning in Year R is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. At Lady Boswell’s we strive to ensure every child reaches their full potential regardless of their background or ability. We have very high expectations of our pupils and ensure that our planning, teaching, observations and assessments enable the children to make rapid progress. We teach the curriculum through a variety of topics and through our responses to the children’s own interests. The Characteristics of Effective Learning are embedded and all our pupils are able to talk about themselves as ‘learners’. We have a strong emphasis on well-being and involvement, both of which are carefully monitored.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage children learn best when they experience learning first hand, through meaningful interactions with others, through physical activity and through play. The Early Years curriculum encompasses three prime areas of learning:
- Personal, social and emotional
- Communication and Language
The curriculum breaks down into four further areas of learning:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Our teaching and learning is organised through a range of approaches and provides a balance of child initiated and adult-led activities:
- Small group teaching of Guided Reading
- Whole class discreet phonics lessons
- ‘Big write’ and handwriting sessions
- PE/ dance lessons
- Music lessons
- Forest School sessions
- Whole class teaching for short periods of time such as storytime, direct teaching (for example of maths or literacy), songs and rhymes, discussions and sharing work.
- Planned focused activities where adults work with a small group of children at a time and children carry out teacher directed tasks independently. (Teachers will differentiate the activity to meet the needs of every child participating).
- Opportunities for teachers to work alongside children as they develop their own interests in particular areas of the curriculum (Independent Learning and Challenge Time).
At Lady Boswell’s we recognise that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development and we view it as the children’s ‘third teacher’. The Foundation Stage classrooms are organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely and we have an enclosed outdoor area with two canopies. The classrooms and the outdoor area have defined learning zones, where children are able to find and locate equipment and resources independently. We provide an enriching and stimulating environment both indoors and outside which offers the children a broad range of resources enabling them to apply and extend their learning in all 7 areas of the EYFS curriculum and far beyond. We operate a ‘free flow’ system where the children from our two classes can move between all the learning areas as they choose. We also have a large forest school area which the children use at least once a week. Being outdoors offers the children opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. They are able to explore, use their senses, develop their language skills and be physically active. Through observation we assess the children’s interests, stages of development and learning needs before planning additional exciting, engaging and challenging activities and experiences in the environment to enhance and extend the children’s learning.