Octopus: Mrs Julie Jewell, Mrs Jenny Walker
Starfish: Mrs Amanda Powell
Teaching Assistants: Mrs Maryevonne Black, Mrs Rachael Hilton & Mrs Kate Pullin
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
Since September 2000 a ‘Foundation Stage’ has been established for our youngest children. It gives this very important stage of education a distinct identity and is rooted in play based learning and practical activity both indoors and out of doors. There are:
Three Prime areas which work together to support development in all other areas
- Personal Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language Development
- Physical Development
Four Specific areas which include essential skills and knowledge
- Literacy – we use the ‘Read Write Inc scheme for phonic learning which continues into KS1.
- Mathematics – in line of the rest of the school we the White Rose scheme of work
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Our curriculum is delivered through topics that change each term. These are as follows:
We get to know about ourselves, each other, our school environment and our wider school community. In addition, we enjoy exploring the season of autumn and harvest. We will look at and discuss signs of autumn in our environment.
We then move on to looking at toys, based around literacy texts by the author Mick Inkpen. In particular Kipper’s Toy Box. We especially explore the concept of ‘past and present’. In addition, we think about Fireworks, explore the season of Advent and of course… Christmas!
Out of this World
We begin our first half term of the New Year by exploring the season of Winter before launching into ‘Out of the world…’ a topic based upon our own village of Henfield, space adventures, nursery rhymes, traditional fairy stories and space adventures. We focus on some well-known traditional tales including Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Gingerbread Man. In addition, we look at two more modern related texts: Beegu and ‘Supertato.
Also during the half term, our thoughts turn towards the traditional Easter story and the customs surrounding this religious spring festival.
All things bright and beautiful
We embark on All things bright and beautiful our topic for the summer term. While the main focus is on plants ann animals, we observe changes in the weather and signs of new life in the environment, look at plant growth and later the development of baby animals into adults. Our Literacy texts each week link to ’new life ‘and ‘growth’ and include ‘Jasper’s Beanstalk’ by Nick Butterworth.
We continue this term looking at eggs, frogs and caterpillars. Through discussion and our Literacy texts, we look at a variety of other animals including our pets. We especially hope to encourage care and concern for living things and the environment. We also think about the work of the RSPCA/Cat’s Protection League. Literacy texts are linked to our animal theme and will include Dear Zoo’ by Rod Campbell, The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle and Elmer’ by David McKee and of course Noah’s Ark.
Visits and Visitors
Outings and visiting speakers are arranged to support our topics. During the year we visit St Peter’s Church, walk to the local post box and enjoy a village walk as well as our main outing to Tilgate Park. Other trips may also take place during the year. Parents are always given details of forthcoming visits.
Reading is an integral part of our daily literacy sessions. Children read with a teacher weekly in group guided reading sessions and regularly on a one-to-one basis. Your child bringing home a book to share supports much of this work in class. Children can choose a new book for home as often as they wish; you may wish to come into the classroom to ensure your child selects a new book from the appropriate coloured band.
Please try to set aside a few minutes each day to share your child’s reading book and complete the record book on a regular basis. This enables them to move up our ’Reading rocket’ in the classroom.
PE usually takes place on Fridays. Throuout the year we cover units in gymnastics, games and dance. We ask that your child’s named PE kit is kept in a roomy draw string bag and stays in school at all times. We will send it home at the end of each half-term to enable you to wash it and to check that plimsolls still fit!
If your child has pierced ears, please remove earrings on PE days.
Show and Tell
Although we do not have a dedicated ‘show and tell’ session on a weekly basis, there will be a variety of opportunities throughout the year for the children to share special items or experiences with the rest of the class. Please look out for details on the half-termly newsletters.
At the beginning of the day, the children chose from a selection of activities called ‘Funky Fingers’, selected to develop their fine motor control ready for writing. These are carried out in in their own classroom.
At 9 o’clock we will shake a tambourine as a signal for the children to stand still while we call the register.
For your children’s security, the school gates will be locked at 8.55 a.m. Parents still in the classroom after this time will need to leave via the main entrance.
Partnership with Parents
- If you are interested in contributing to the life of our school in this way, please see Alice Timmins in the school office to discuss having a DBS check processed.
- Parent helpers don’t usually start until the second half of the Autumn term. If your DBS check has been processed, please talk to your child’s teacher to arrange a mutually convenient time to come in and help.
- There are many other ways that parents can help us at school e.g. gardening, sewing nativity costumes, ‘one off’ talks to the children about occupations or skills/hobbies etc. Please see Mrs Jewell if you think you could help us in any way.
Occasionally we may publicise notices and reminders on our classroom doors or on the notice board outside Octopus classroom.