Here at Holy Cross CofE Primary School we understand what a daunting experience it can be for children and parents at the beginning of primary school, so we ensure we make it a positive and happy start. Every teacher in the school has worked in a reception class so we are all familiar with how to welcome new reception children.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework and the Development Matters Guidance underpin the experiences and learning that we provide. We ensure that there is a daily mix of direct, first-hand experience and play-based exploration to prepare our children with the foundation knowledge and skills they will take with them into key stage 1 and beyond.
The children engage in purposeful activities which build on what they already know and allows them to take risks whilst developing independence in their learning. Our safe and positive learning environment promotes a ‘can do’ attitude and support the development of the whole child throughout the year.
We pride ourselves on positive and supportive relationships with parents and families so that we can share in the growth, development and successes of the children. Parents are invited to join us in school to see their children showcasing their learning and taking part in themed activities.
AUTUMN 1 – COMMUNITY
Settling into primary school is a big deal in September and so we spent a lot of time getting to know each other, making friends and finding out how we belong to and contribute to the school. It is important that the pupils feel like a valued and included member of the classroom and wider school community from the very first days. It also includes getting to know the school environment and the new routines and expectations. We explore what it is like to be a part of a community and talk about our wider community. There are opportunities to discover the key people in our community, what they do and why we need them – such as doctors, emergency services personnel, vets, teachers, businesses etc. We also look at different communities and how similar and different we are to others.
AUTUMN 2 – MACHINES AND ME
This is an exciting topic where children will have an opportunity to discover different modes of transport and what they might be used for in the UK and around the world. We will develop understanding of the wider world and how the world is connected. We will explore and use ICT equipment to understand technology that is around us and how this can be used to keep the world connected and communicating. There will be some creative opportunities for making vehicles and fun activities programming Beebots.
SPRING 1 – AMAZING ASIA
Asia is such an interesting continent that we have dedicated a whole half term to enjoying some of the cultures, traditions, artwork and architecture from different parts of Asia. We attempt using chopsticks to pick up objects and create beautiful artwork Chinese style. There are opportunities to discover and create flags and design our own kimono. We look at the beautiful buildings around Asia and recreate these using junk modelling which can be decorated and painted. Our Asian Airlines plane will take us across the continent week by week to discover new places and things!
SPRING 2 – LIVING PLANET
This topic will explore different aspects of the living world. It follows our Amazing Asia topic really well as we move around the globe looking at extreme and fascinating parts of the planet. We visit the polar regions, go back in time to the Land of the Dinosaurs, explore life above the land and life below the sea and then discover some of the world’s most deadly or unusual creatures and plants.
SUMMER 1 – PHENOMENAL FORCES
Our planet is full of marvellous wonders and things we take for granted. None more so than the forces that are in play every day. Gravity, friction, floating and sinking provide ample opportunities for exploration and play. We discover extreme weather and the wild and active volcanoes around the world. Using what we know we build vehicles that can be powered by air and water and see how far we can make them travel!
SUMMER 2 – ENCHANTED WOODLAND
This is by far the most magical of the topics on offer to our reception children and pulls together the knowledge we have gained from other topics. It provides a perfect setting for our fairytales and creative writing and we have a go at composing our own music to accompany the stories. We discover the minibeasts that live in the fields and hedgerows around school and create stunning nature art projects. This topic wouldn’t be complete without some learning about baby animals and life cycles.