At Much Birch we carefully plan each year according to the needs of the current cohort.
We spend time getting to know the pupils through pre-school visits, transition days and speaking to parents to form positive relationships and begin partnerships in learning for the best interests of each and every child.
Planning is flexible and will be adapted if needed.
As an experienced Early Years team we understand the development of young children and their interests and how they should be progressing over the academic year.
Reading begins at home with familiar, family favourites and current children's interests.
Bedtime stories, car journey stories, calming down stories, nursery rhymes and chants all add to the richness of vocabulary, rhythm and rhyme in introducing reading skills to children.
The pandemic has no doubt affected many children. At Much Birch we consider how we can support pupils who may need extra support.
We put development of language as a priority in the curriculum.
Your child will bring home a picture book to share in the first couple of weeks of starting school. They will begin learning letters and sounds as part of phonics from the first day of starting full-time. They will bring home a 'letters and sounds' book with the new sound in and some fun games to play. Please support your child by working through the book, saying the sound, identifying the matching grapheme and practising it's formation.
As the year progresses your child will bring home words to sound out and read. The reading books will start having words matching the sounds that your child has learnt in class. In addition to this, they will also have a book to share and enjoy with more challenging vocabulary to discuss. Extending children's vocabulary is important in promoting reading skills. Talk about the story, characters, plot, setting and resolutions. Use voices for characters, add interest by changing tone, discuss story as you go along and ask children to join in with repetitive phrases.
Writing for purpose. Why do we need to write?
In role-play- shopping lists, materials for builders, birthday cards, postcards, instructions, for example, how to make a sandwich, explain model made, write a story for friend, a message and for expression.
We use a range of creative activities to aid the development of fine motor. Building strong gross motor using ribbons in air and riding bikes develops strong muscles and coordinate and control body movements. We understand that these skills need to develop before holding a pencil.
Children at Much Birch have regular gross motor activities through PE and our outdoor area.
At the same time children's fine motor skills are developed through play dough activities, threading, cutting, pincer grip activities and drawing patterns in cornflour gloop, paint, sand and drawing.
Writing begins with writing their name.
In phonics we practise letter formations and have regular handwriting sessions. Children progress from practising wavy, zig-zag, curly, straight lines and spiral patterns to recognising that a wavy pattern can be made into u, m, n letters.
In writing, through teacher-led activities children begin by writing initial sounds of words and then progress to including final sounds of words. Children then identify medial sounds and vowels. Once this begins to happen children begin to write cvc words such as hat, cap, pin, top. During phonics lessons children will begin to learn 'red' words (non decodable using phonics) and add these into their writing. They will begin to write simple sentences writing the sounds they hear in words in the order they hear them.
Children have purpose in their writing by sharing their weekend and holiday news. They retell stories, write lists, label items and write silly sentences.
Children practise their writing in child-initiated learning. For example, making designs for rockets, adding labels, writing lists of materials needed.
Progression of writing
In the Reception class we have a daily maths lesson. We use NCETM scheme which as a progressive plan for the year. The work is practical and focuses on mathematical language, building on the six key areas of cardinality and counting, comparison, composition, pattern, shape and space and measures.
The NCETM scheme also uses the CBeebies series of animated programmes called Numberblocks. These five minute programmes capture the children's interest and attention which we can then build on in class.
Please see link for further details.