In EYFS, we believe that children learn best through practical, hands on experiences in a nurturing and stimulating environment. The best outcomes for children’s learning is where they are in charge, leading the way, exploring their interests and developing a depth of understanding with the support of an adult. We aim to provide a safe, inclusive environment with a welcoming atmosphere, giving our families a sense of belonging and our children the confidence to grow and learn.
Learning takes place through carefully planned, play-based learning opportunities, both inside the classroom and also in our specially designated outdoor play area.
Activities in Reception are carefully planned, organised and observed in order to provide a range of learning experiences to meet the individual needs of all our children. This year Reception staff will collate examples of your children’s work and send these home monthly to give you and your child an opportunity to celebrate and discuss their learning. These can then be cherished in their own 'memory books' which one day they will look back on and remember.
The 7 Areas of Learning
We know your child will make the greatest progress with the support and encouragement of their families. Reading to your child as often as possible is an excellent way to promote an early love of reading and is essential for the early language development your child needs to make a great start to their school life. This does not just solely include bedtime stories. You can read to your child when you’re out and about by pointing out signs and labels, and encouraging your child to spot letters in their environment, such as street signs and car registration plates. You could play ‘I spy’ games to encourage your child’s awareness of initial sounds in a fun way. It is also important to practise writing skills with your child at home. You can practise writing with just about anything, this does not have to be done sitting at a table with a piece of paper and a pen.
Remember to be creative! Practise writing and mark marking with chalks outside, make letters with play-dough, or practise mark making and writing skills with water and paintbrushes, or even (for the brave) with shaving foam on windows! You could ask your child to help you write shopping lists and talk about the initial sounds in words. You could make a scrap book about a holiday or special event and help your child record their favourite activities by writing in words or picking out sounds that they can hear. This will give them a great start when they begin to learn about letters and the sounds they make when the children start their daily phonics sessions.
In the same way, it is a great idea to encourage your child’s mathematical thinking too. You could spot numbers together on clocks, buses or telephones. Help your child count accurately by chanting numbers in order and sing songs and nursery rhymes together to help promote this learning. You should encourage your child to practise writing numbers in the same way they will practise their letter shapes. While out and about you can encourage ‘real life’ mathematics, such as helping them to recognise coins, talking about times in the day, days of the week, months of the year and also spotting shapes in their environment. As you can see, mathematics in Reception is not just about counting! The children cover so much in their sessions throughout the year from addition and subtraction, to doubling and halving numbers, to counting all the way to 100!
All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development and have a long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school. Here are a few more ideas of things you and your child might enjoy together.
Ideas for developing gross and fine motor control:
• Give your child time to run, jump, climb and play outdoors!
• Encourage your child to build with blocks, draw and thread beads.
• Let your child explore water and sand by filling and emptying containers and introduce language such as ‘full’ and ‘empty’.
• Work together to complete a puzzle or jigsaw
• Let your child paint with brushes and make big patterns on different shaped paper or surfaces then talk about the patterns they have made
• Paint with water on a wall or a fence
• Encourage your child to strengthen their fingers by using clay, play dough or plasticine for modelling
• Play and sort using tweezers to pick up sequins, buttons or small beads
Ideas for helping your child socially:
• Encourage your child to use the toilet independently, wash their hands and get dressed themselves especially fastening their coats.
• Play games that encourage sharing and taking turns, help your child to understand its okay to lose!
Ideas for helping with mathematics:
• Talk about the shapes you see in and around your home • Compare weights when picking things up and model the language ‘heavier’ and ‘lighter’
• Point out numbers you see in the environment
• Play board games that involve moving a certain amount of steps on and play with dice and dominoes
• Sing counting rhymes
• Handle real coins and play shop Ideas for helping with language and literacy:
• Sing songs and nursery rhymes regularly
• Read regularly to your child and share books together, let your child choose the books, talk about the books and find a great place to snuggle up together to read
• Allow your child to see you reading for pleasure or writing for a purpose such as making shopping lists or writing birthday cards.
Ideas for helping with Understanding of the World:
• Plant seeds or bulbs in a pot or garden patch, look after them and watch them grow!
• Cook and bake together.
• Talk about and explore the weather, for examples shadows, rain puddles, snow, wind, mist and sun to help extend your child’s vocabulary.
• Explore the park at different times of the year – go off the beaten track!
We know you already give a lot of support to your children, and we love to see what your child has been learning at home. Each child will have a focus week which will give them an opportunity to share their personal interests through show and tell in class.