The Reception year, in which girls turn five and begin full-time education, is the final year of the Early Years Foundation Stage and is the time when solid foundations are laid which serve as a base for all future learning.
The happiness of our girls is paramount and we place the utmost importance on providing a caring and nurturing environment in which they can develop and mature at their own pace.
We have two parallel, mixed ability classes with a maximum class size of twenty. Pupils are taught by their form teacher and each class has the benefit of a full-time classroom assistant to support the girls in all areas of their learning and development.
In the Foundation Stage, there are seven areas of learning, which are divided into Prime and Specific areas of learning:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
In Reception, pupils have the opportunity to develop in all seven areas of their learning through creative play, both indoors and outdoors. The girls have access to their own outdoor area, which contains a range of resources including a sand and water area, chalkboard, painting easel, construction resources and topic related provision. The girls also have more structured class based activities with a Phonics and Numeracy lesson every morning. The afternoons are more relaxed and are when we focus on our topic for the week through a range of creative work. We tailor the topics to the interests of the girls, as well as covering celebrations and events which take place throughout the year.
Girls learn to read and write using Synthetic Phonics and they use their phonic skills to support both their reading and writing. The girls learn a new sound each day which they learn to read and to write, using a cursive script from the start. We support the girls on their personalised reading journey by, first of all, working with them on their sounds on an individual basis every day, moving on to hearing them read every day, again, on an individual basis. Reading material (or work on sounds) goes home with the girls every day. Our Mathematics learning is very practical and we use a range of concrete resources to help familiarise the girls with mathematical concepts up to the number twenty. We use egg boxes (in tens) as a way of introducing counting and to help the girls visualise and understand what a a number really means.
High March pupils enjoy a rich and varied curriculum and benefit from having specialist teachers for Music, P.E, Swimming, Computing and French, as well as for optional ballet lessons. The girls love exploring different areas of the School as they move around the building for some of these lessons; they are supported in this by their Classroom Assistant, who stays with them for the specialist lessons. The girls also have the excitement of visits to many local places of interest such as Windsor Castle, Cotswold Wildlife Park and the Roald Dahl Gallery. Forest School at Shortenills Activity Centre is also on offer in the Summer Term.
There are a number of important dates in the Reception calendar, one of which is the Nativity play, which is performed to parents. Other annual events include Sports Day, our Art Exhibition, Harvest Festival, Christmas parties – to name a few!
At the end of the Reception year, the classes are mixed to help build a cohesive year group and to encourage girls to broaden their circle of friends. The girls spend a good deal of time together as a year group in Reception and there is much excitement as they look forward to being part of a new class in Year 1.
We aim for all pupils to fulfil their potential in a happy, caring and stimulating environment.