Children start their school journey in Nursery and Reception and it is in this year that they develop the foundations of learning. Many new concepts and much new vocabulary will be introduced to them, as will good learning habits and the expectations placed upon them.
Throughout their year children are made aware that it is the quality of their learning journey that is of primary importance.
The curriculum will be presented as a range of teacher-designed activities and child initiated play. Teachers will plan for a range of activities during the first two days of each week, this is to allow for children’s interests to drive the learning as the week progresses. The initial plans and learning opportunities will be presented to children as learning provocations during the morning sessions of each day. These provocations will be short teacher led sessions, during which the teacher will present an idea, topic or skill to the children to excite and motivate the children to learn. The environment will then have a
range of provocations which will reflect these ideas, topic or themes. There will also be a range of activities which may not reflect the themes and will simply be stand-alone activities.
Provocations include things such as: story books to entice children to write; matching one to one activities to develop number skills; small world activities to develop language skills. It is vital that children are introduced to the language of learning right from the very beginning of their school journey. A written statement describing the learning that accompanies each activity must accompany each teacher-designed activity. “I am learning to use my sounds when I write” is an example of such a learning statement. For children in reception a small recording device will be placed at each provocation and children will be encouraged to listen to the playback of the learning outcome/statement constantly and then begin to verbalise their own learning.
In addition to the teacher provocations there will also be lots of child-initiated learning, when children self select resources or use resources in unintended ways to learn. Discussions with children to help them describe what they are learning have enormous value to develop both child and adult understanding of a learning journey and how best to support and extend it. Never underestimate the power of an adult interacting with a child in their play and modelling language and skills for the child. Working in the role play area modelling a particular language structure is an excellent way for children to learn.
In order to provide as broad a curriculum as possible, there will be ʻfree flowʼ learning in Reception. This means that, apart from whole class sessions, children will be able to move freely between the outdoor and indoor environments.