Welcome to the Early Years Foundations stage (EYFS). The EYFS consists of Reception, Nursery and 2’s and rising 3’s, where the staff work together as a team.
Our class teachers are Mrs McGregor, Mrs Hancock and Mr Clayton and our teaching assistants and nursery nurses are Mrs Stubbs, Mrs Morris, Miss Smith, Mrs Leach, Miss Hopkins, Mrs Abbass, Miss Foster and Mrs Howgate. Mrs McGregor is the Early Years co-ordinator. Between us we have many years of experience in working with young children and aim to make every child’s time at Rooks Nest Academy positive and rewarding.
Throughout the week we listen to a range of stories at carpet time and get to read one to one with an adult and as a group. The teachers always encourage a love of literature by using the best stories and poems that are engaging for all. In Reception we also take part in guided reading 3 times a week. We start with wordless books and then progress to books with words that match our current phonics knowledge. We also get a sharing book from the book corner that we can take home and share with our family members. We change these books every Friday so it is important that we remember to bring our old books back so that they can be changed. In Nursery and the 2’s and rising 3’s we also get a sharing book to take home each week from our book corner. We can read these with our family members daily and as soon as we are ready for a new one can bring it back to school to swap it for another exciting story to enjoy.
In the Early Years unit we have incorporated, ‘The magic of stories,’ when introducing a book to the children and would like to encourage you to use this format when reading your sharing book with your child/children at home.
Day 1: Adult reads the story to the children.
Day 2: The adult chooses 3 key words from the story and shows the children what they are/mean.
Day 3: The children encouraged to join in with repeated phrases of the story.
Day 4: The children are encouraged to say repeated phrases independently.
Day 5: We act out the story- finding props around the classroom/home.
It is important that we read at home as well as at school to help us develop our reading skills. In Reception we need to read our phonics books daily to support the learning we do at school. All the children in Reception, Nursery and 2’s and rising 3’s should also enjoy a range of stories and books at home on a daily or regular basis to cultivate a lifelong love of reading. This will also help support your child’s cognitive development, improve their vocabulary and language skills, prepare them for academic success, develop their concentration skills, improve their imagination and creativity, and will allow you to further develop that special bond with your child.
‘Simply being able to read does not confer the same benefits as actually enjoying it’, Cowell (2018).
‘Reading enjoyment is more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status’ (Department for Education, 2012) ‘
In almost all countries, students who enjoy reading are significantly more likely to be good readers’ (PISA, 2010)
Reception children also have daily phonics lessons based on the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds phonics Scheme. This helps us to develop our reading and writing skills, something we can also do at home by reading daily with our adults. There are also online resources at https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/ to support parents when helping us develop our phonics knowledge at home. In Nursery and 2’s and rising 3’s we also follow the Little Wandle Letters and sounds scheme of learning to prepare us for Reception and our future learning as we get older. This part of the scheme focuses on environmental sounds, voice sounds and body percussion to name a few.
On Tuesdays (you will be notified which half terms), in nursery and Reception, we get to go and explore our forest school area so we will need our wellies/suitable outdoor footwear as well as our school shoes to change into. These should be named and can be kept in school if you prefer. As it gets colder we will also need our hats, gloves and scarves to keep warm, these should also be named so that they don’t get lost.
On Wednesday afternoon, as a unit, we have music and singing together where we learn lots of new songs and begin to develop our musicality through a range of fun games. It is great fun.
On Thursday Reception have P.E. in the hall. We wear black shorts and a white t-shirt and don’t need any footwear (we will be in bare feet).
On Friday afternoon we have assembly in the hall or in our unit. This allows us to celebrate our achievements throughout the week. It is always exciting to see who has been working hard and we enjoy celebrating our accomplishments together. We also love to see any out of school achievements so please bring in any certificates you have received from out of school activities.
All the staff are very creative and enjoy working alongside the children (following their interests to develop their learning and understanding). We love learning through play and we are always being challenged and enthused by interesting activities. We also take part in whole class lessons, work alongside the teacher in small groups and have lots of time during free play to complete self-initiated tasks based on our own interests and ideas.
All the staff encourage us to have a go at everything, providing support and challenge where necessary. The teachers carefully plan our work in line with the 7 areas of learning identified in the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. They also tailor any work and activities so that it is accessible to all and meets everyone’s needs.
Please refer to the Early Years policy on the website if you would like further detailed information about our Early Years unit.
It’s great being in Reception, Nursery and Pre-school!