In the Early Years, children learn through a wide variety of approaches. This includes:
- Direct adult teaching input
- Learning through play in a carefully planned environment
- Learning through peers
- Learning through scaffolding during play
- Learning through small groups and focus activities
- Experiences, trips and visits
Children in the Early Years need a balanced curriculum which includes teaching which has been carefully planned according to their developing needs and interests, as well as allowing plenty of time for spontaneous child-initiated learning. They need organised, adult-guided learning to bring new ideas and experiences into their lives and for the direct teaching of new skills and concepts. These will deepen or consolidate their learning over time.
At this stage we offer:
|Bookwings phonics||Small focus group activities|
|Reading, writing and maths||Listening to reading 1:1|
|Independent and scaffolded learning through play||Assembly|
|Access to the indoor and outdoor environments||Forest school|
Overview of Teaching and Learning
Phonics is taught using BookWings, an interactive, multi-sensory approach which teaches new sounds through real books written by well-known authors and illustrators who know how to engage children. In each session, children have the opportunity to read and write a new sound and practice previously taught sounds in an immersive way which links to a story, with an aim of encouraging a love of reading. Being able to read opens up the whole world for children. Being able to decode is only a part of reading. Wanting to read, wanting to find things out, wanting to find out what happens next, these are the behaviours that propel children to become readers hence the need to incorporate using real books.
(To find out more, please see our Reading and Phonics curriculum page Reading and Phonics - Oasis Academy Warndon)
Each day, children have the opportunity to hear stories read aloud to them and to discuss these stories further. There is also the opportunity to read in groups and to read to an adult 1:1 at least once across the week.
In Reception, we use The Write Stuff to develop writing skills, which again centres around a high quality text to capture children’s interests. The focus is placed on a love of story, enrichment and language in order to create ‘impact writers’. Learning to write is a complex process and it is every child’s entitlement. To engage children in writing, we provide purposeful reasons to write where pupils learn to enjoy writing expressively, imaginatively and informatively for purpose. We make writing part of daily life, linked to play, fictional and real experiences. Writing is encouraged through children’s play and opportunities to write can be found in all areas of the environment.
The development of vocabulary and linguistic skills are integral to our practice, and The Write Stuff promotes the introduction of new language each day which the children can explore and write in context.
(To find out more about The Write Stuff and how it is taught across the academy, please visit the curriculum writing page. Writing_in_the_OCL_Primary_Curriculum.pdf (oasisacademywarndon.org))
Maths is strategically planned and sequenced across the year to build on children’s prior knowledge and introduce new skills in small steps. Maths sessions in Reception are interactive and practical, encouraging children to explore, problem solve and investigate things independently. Short, adult-led sessions which explicitly model and teach a new skill are then supported through enhancements in the environment which encourage children to revisit what they have previously learnt and apply it with increasing skill.
Carefully considered enhancements or learning opportunities are added to the environment and adapted regularly. These are planned to support children’s next steps in learning and provide challenge, based on staff observations of the children.
There is a specific PE lesson once a week which teaches children not only a variety of physical skills such as throwing, catching, balancing and climbing, but also the skill of changing into our PE kits and then back into our uniforms with increasing independence.
Physical activity is also promoted within our environments, with dedicated fine motor skills area in each classroom, the use of the Kinetic letters handwriting scheme which promotes the development of core strength, as well as a carefully developed outdoor area which offers opportunities for digging, climbing and building amongst many others.
Forest School is conducted weekly, and will be part of our Reception Enrichment mornings. Small groups of children will be able to attend Forest School for 6 weeks to learn a variety of new skills such as tying knots, climbing trees, sawing and den building. When not attending Forest School, children have the opportunity to cook, develop woodwork skills, grow fruits, vegetables and flowers in our grounds and enjoy themed mornings that link to our topics.
A variety of trips and experiences are offered to children throughout the year.
Home learning in Reception consists of:
- Reading books sent home weekly for children to read 5 times a week
- Name writing packs
- Phonics packs with sounds and tricky words to practice at home
- BookWings Fairyoke App with songs linking to phonics (coming soon!)
- Access to Sumdog maths activities
- Knowledge Organisers outlining our topic with suggestions of things to do at home to support children’s learning
- Stay and Play sessions and Workshops
At Oasis Academy Warndon, we believe that Early Years education is important in its own right and should not be viewed simply as preparation for the next stage of children’s education. We believe that the Early Years framework allows a natural progression into the National Curriculum during the Autumn term of Year 1.