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Ogbourne C of E Primary School

Our Early Years Curriculum

Mrs Lucy CrumpMrs Louise Procter

We follow the "Essential Letters and Sounds" scheme and an entire programme of lessons, for those who would benefit from a little revision at home, can be found here: Essential Letters and Sounds

Welcome from our Reception Teachers

Our EYFS Curriculum Intent - 2022-23

In Reception, we are laying the foundations for a lifetime of learning. It's a place full of warmth, energy and activity, with children learning the fundamental skills they will need to begin the National Curriculum in Year One.

The Prime Areas of Development: these lay the foundations for children’s success in all other areas of learning and of life:

  • Communication & Language - plenty of opportunity to grow vocabulary and to develop confidence in speaking in front of others. We also work on listening, which can be quite tricky. 
  • Physical Development - developing and improving coordination and control of our bodies. This includes gross motor skills (big movements such as jumping and balancing) and fine motor skills (holding a pencil or a paintbrush to enable delicate small movements). 
  • Personal, Social & Emotional Development - learning how to handle all those big emotions that little children have. We spend a lot of time learning how to behave appropriately in school, how to be a good friend and how to resolve conflict.

The Specific Areas of Development: these provide the range of experiences and opportunities for children to broaden their knowledge and skills

  • Literacy - learning letters and sounds and using that knowledge to learn to read and write simple words. In phonics we follow the "Essential Letters and Sounds" scheme. 
  • Maths - understanding and using number, as well as exploring shape, space and measure. 
  • Understanding the World - learning about the world we live in and the people, places and creatures that make it so exciting.
  • Expressive Arts & Design - experimenting with different media and construction materials. 

At Ogbourne, however, our biggest goal is for children (and their parents) to feel safe, welcome, loved and excited to come to school. We look forward to welcoming you into Acorns class.

"You can discore more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

Our EYFS Curriculum Implementation - 2022-23

At Ogbourne, our intent is implemented in accordance with the government’s document, ‘The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage’ (EYFS), the equivalent to the national curriculum for younger children, and work towards the Early Learning Goals.    

The key subjects we teach in Reception - Acorns Class - are Phonics and Maths.

Phonics is how children learn to read. We follow the Essential Letters & Sounds Scheme, teaching sounds in a set order and helping children blend sounds (read) and segment sounds (spell out and write) words from the beginning of Term 1. By the end of Term 2, we aim to have taught each of the single-letter phonemes so the children should know each letter of the alphabet and the sound it makes. In Term 3, we teach digraphs - two letters that make one sound (such as oo and ch). In Terms 5 and 6, we introduce consonant blends and start Phase 5. We support phonics by sending children home with reading books throughout the year, for which parental support is both crucial and invaluable. 

In Acorns, we teach maths using the Can Do Maths Scheme, as taught across the whole school Years R-6. The Reception Maths syllabus aims to give children a deep sense of number from 0 to 20. We count by rote every day, we learn to recognise, write and order numbers to 20, we count objects and actions. In Terms 3 and 4, we introduce addition and subtraction and, in Terms 5 and 6, we look at doubling and halving. In addition, throughout the year, children learn about patterns, shapes (2d and 3d), sequencing actions and events, simple coinage, and measurement of length, weight and capacity. 

Both Phonics and Maths are taught daily in specific teaching sessions. They are then supported and developed further by Continuous Provision - a range of hands on activities both around Acorns classroom and their dedicated outside area, which gives them the opportunity to put their new knowledge into action. We call this ‘Exploring Time’. This provision changes every day and includes Fine Motor and Gross Motor Skill activities, art, music, construction and role-play opportunities. Every activity in these sessions is planned so that children have the opportunity to develop academic skills (e.g. practising number order, spatial awareness) or social skills (e.g. conflict resolution, conversation, building relationships, etc).

Throughout the year, the children’s learning is supplemented with termly topics such as Polar Regions or Traditional Tales. They start learning simple French from Term 3. We teach RE, sharing about faiths and cultures around the world using the Discovery RE and Understanding Christianity curricula. They also have weekly PSHE lessons. They use iPads to enhance their learning. Art and Music are integral parts of the week. And the daily highlight is always snack time in the morning, where the class stops as a whole group, eat their snacks and listen to the day’s story.  Acorns class love books – they listen to at least one story a day and the library area is always available as part of Continuous Provision. 

"Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn." - O. Fred Donaldson

Our EYFS Curriculum Impact  

Our Reception children are assessed on an ongoing basis by their class teacher. Their phonics are checked weekly - both their knowledge of the phonemes and how well they can read and write. Their maths is assessed in a one-to-one session on a weekly basis. Their class teacher uses photographs to capture key moments of learning. Every day, their teacher is watching how they work so she can move them forward to the next step.

In academic terms, we assess Reception children at the end of the school year against the 17 Early Learning Goals set by the government. You can find them in more detail here. Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (publishing.service.gov.uk).

In summary, children should end Reception being able to:

  • Listen, respond and hold proper conversations with peers and adults.
  • Speak using full sentences with correct tenses and have a wide vocabulary, including vocabulary they’ve learned from books read in class.
  • Show focus, follow instructions and understand the impact of their behaviour on others.
  • Be independent in toileting and dressing, be brave trying new activities and understand why we have the rules we have.
  • Work and play cooperatively, taking turns where appropriate.
  • Have secure age-appropriate gross motor skills.
  • Use a pencil, scissors and cutlery correctly.
  • Show good comprehension of stories, anticipating events and being able to retell a story in their own words.    
  • Read simple sentences and books that use the phonics taught in Reception (Phases 2-4)
  • Use correctly-formed letters to write words and simple sentences.
  • Have a secure understanding of the numbers 1-10 including number bonds and how each number can be made.
  • Count beyond 20 and recognise numerical pattern.
  • Talk about the lives of people round them in both the past and present.
  • Understand how their lives differ from others around the world.
  • Know about different environments and how they compare, and understand environmental processes such as seasons.
  • Make art and models, explaining how they’ve done so.
  • Sing a range of songs and perform songs and poems.

However, beyond the academic, the impact we hope to make is much deeper and more significant. We want the children to have enjoyed their Reception year,  to feel confident in their new-found abilities and to feel immense pride in the progress they’ve made. We want to send them up to Year One loving school, feeling safe and valued and excited for the next chapter in their school careers

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