Our Reception classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The seven areas of learning within the EYFS are:
- Personal, Social & Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication & Language
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts & Design
Reception children are taught phonics and literacy more formally in a daily lesson following the Jolly Phonics scheme, which continues through the Junior School. They also have a lesson with a mathematical focus each day.
All other areas of the curriculum are integrated into a topic-based approach, which enables the children to develop a wide range of skills and increases their general knowledge by exploring topics that have been sparked by their own interests. Recent topics have included, Space, Castles, People Who Help Us and Life Cycles.
There is a balance to the timetable between adult-led learning activities and lessons with opportunities and time for the children to participate in child-initiated learning, where they can follow their own interests and are supported by the teaching staff.
The children take part in lots of seasonal activities that allow them to observe the natural changes that occur during the year. This gives them time to enjoy exploring, working as a team and building resilience and self-confidence in our fantastic grounds in OWL Time (Outdoor & Wildlife Learning Time).
The children's weekly timetable is enhanced by specialist lessons, led by subject specialist teachers, including PE lessons (PE and Dance), Music, Drama and French.
Progress & Reporting
We use Tapestry which is a secure online Learning Journal to record photos, observations and comments, in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, to build up a record of your child's experiences during their time with us. This is also used to assess children's progress and achievements in the EYFS curriculum and provides parents with an ongoing insight into the activities you child is experiencing at school.
A Reception class parents’ evening is held each term for parents to meet the class teacher to talk about their child’s progress, look at their Learning Journal and discuss the next steps for their child’s education.
Parents of children in Reception receive two reports during the year; a written report in the Autumn Term, detailing how they have settled in and the progress they have made in Literacy and Maths. A full report is written at the end of their Reception year and includes progress in all seven areas of learning and development. Specialist teachers also report on the progress made in PE, Music, French and Drama.
“Our daughter has just moved into Year 1 and is enjoying school life immensely. The caring and friendly environment provided by both staff and other pupils is very welcoming. The varied and interesting curriculum challenges and engages young minds, whilst allowing them still to be children. The school has fantastic grounds and facilities for both outdoor learning and sporting opportunity. We would highly recommend St Gabriel's to any prospective parents.”