St Faith's Prep
St Faith's Prep, Ash near Canterbury, Kent

Reception

Reception is a special and wonderful place to start your child’s mainstream education. In Reception we build upon the rich experiences and exploration that your child has experienced in Nursery and at home. We aim to nurture resilient, confident children who enjoy solving problems and challenges, who find new ways of doing things and have an ‘I can and I will’ attitude. We encourage every child to express themselves confidently and effectively, making links between their own experiences and different areas of learning. It is important that our children can work together, sharing ideas, equipment and their surrounding environment, listening to and learning from each other. All these characteristics of effective learning will provide a strong foundation for learning all the way through school and into later life.

Personal, social and emotional development is of paramount importance; a child who is confident and happy in school is one who will achieve his or her full potential. We foster independence and positive relationships with peers and adults, together with respect and good manners. Self-confidence is built and perseverance encouraged through a carefully planned programme of activities, which are appropriate to each child’s individual stage of development

Physical Development is experienced daily through the outdoor environment and Reception children thoroughly enjoy their weekly specialist sports lessons and swimming in the warmer weather. Our ‘Wiggle Waggle’ sessions are the highlight of the week; not only do they help to keep us fit and healthy but they also encourage listening skills and the ability to follow instructions.

In Reception we continue to follow the ‘Floppy’s Phonics’ programme that is introduced in Nursery. Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds including diagraphs such as sh, th, ai, and ue. Using different multi-sensory methods, children learn how to form and write letters, blend sounds together and read and write new words. Tricky words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately by sight.

The majority of children will be introduced to story building books at the start of Reception; although these books do not have words in they are vitally important for developing the skills that children need in order to become vibrant, competent readers and storytellers. As our children’s literacy skills progress they will be transported into the world of Kipper and his family; including his Mum, Dad, sister Biff, brother Chip and not forgetting Floppy the dog. Through these books children are able to develop their reading skills and acquire a lifelong love of the written word. We aim to read with your child four times a week and also encourage children to read at home; a reading record is passed between school and home so that parents and children can contribute towards their learning and development.

At the beginning of the autumn term we invite parents to come back to school for an evening to learn more about the teaching of phonics in Reception; don’t worry you won’t be tested on what you have learnt!

Story time is a magical time of day in Reception and we always welcome the opportunity to read stories that have been brought in by the children. If we are very lucky we might even have our story read to us by one of the characters (we know that it is only our teachers dressed up but that makes it even more fascinating and exciting!).

Mathematics is taught through investigative play, games, songs and rhymes. Counting, numeral recognition, problem solving, shape work and the development of mathematical language encompasses our daily routine. In Reception the majority of our learning in this area is practical based as this is how we feel young children learn best. We focus on one area a week such as repeating patterns, 3D shape or addition and this is then reinforced through daily activities. We encourage children to take a ‘hands on’ approach to enhancing their skills as young mathematicians; exploring water and liquids to learn more about capacity, cooking to reinforce weights, measures and symmetry, using natural materials to create repeating patterns and acting out songs and rhymes to help us learn more about the concepts of addition and subtraction.

Our children are encouraged to understand more about the world around them by experimenting with technology such as the interactive whiteboard, iPads and cameras. In Reception we regularly utilise technology to support our learning in Literacy and Mathematics alongside the other five areas of the Foundation Stage. Our ‘themed’ work supports the children to make sense of their surrounding environment and the wider community; these are often child-led and have included exploration of the five senses, skeletons and space. Discussions, investigations and experiments inspired by the different ‘themes’ take children on a journey of discovery where they are able to ask questions and find out more.

Christmas and Easter are celebrated together with other festivals such as Diwali and Eid and we always welcome parents to share with us any special celebrations that are of importance to your child and their family. In addition, Reception children enjoy participating in the school’s annual ‘Grandparents Day’ and our ‘Dad’s Space Tea Party’ to celebrate Father’s Day was a huge success (complete with a space quiz and space themed party food!)

Children continue to engage in French sessions in Reception where they are introduced to the puppets of Leo and Lulu who will take them into a world of French conversation, stories, songs and rhymes; quel excitant!

Art and craft is an important part of the curriculum, used to extend and reinforce ‘themed’ work and to provide opportunities for imaginative self-expression. The children are able to access materials themselves and work on their own creations independently when appropriate. Our weekly specialist music sessions are lots of fun and we love nothing more than exploring new instruments, singing songs and learning about rhyme and rhythm.

Throughout the year children in Reception are able to utilise the outdoor classroom to further enhance their learning opportunities.

All too soon we are preparing children for their transition into Key Stage 1. As a department we are confident that our children will take with them the learning, experiences, skills, memories and lifelong foundations that they have build upon throughout their time in Early Years; ensuring that they are fully equipped for the next stage of their learning journey.