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We aim to make Maths fun and relate it to real life experiences. Our sessions focus on the foundation skills of counting, recognising and applying numbers up to 20. The children get to experience numbers in puzzles, role play settings and board games. Maths is spilt into two main sections in the Early Years’ curriculum: numbers and shape, space and measure. We look at learning, creating and using 2D and 3D shapes. We look at different sizes, lengths and measurements in fun activities which we often base on fairy-tales and stories. It is very important to encourage fun activities to develop children’s maths knowledge and practice using maths language in everyday routines.
In Early Years, the children are introduced to letter sounds and taught how to blend them to read and write words. This emphasis on phonics provides your child with the solid foundation they need to become fluent readers as they progress through the school’s reading scheme levels to the point where they become free readers of ‘real’ books in Key Stage 1.
Our aim in our writing lessons, from Early Years upwards, is that children learn to express themselves effectively. The emphasis at the start of this journey is on developing a fluent handwriting style, accurate basic punctuation skills, spelling skills based on knowledge of phonics, an understanding of basic grammar, retelling traditional stories in their own words and using vocabulary for effect. The children are encouraged to ‘write for a purpose’ so in Kindergarten they will probably be sending a letter to Father Christmas, learning to write an investigative report on minibeasts or writing postcards from imaginary holidays.
From Early Years when children learn about the The World Around Us we encourage children to develop a curiosity in all subjects. The areas we cover in these sessions allow a young child to appreciate a sense of history, science and place.
In both Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten we use smart boards for interactive games and to allow the children to use the touch screens to demonstrate their understanding. Our role play areas include pretend appliances, such as washing machines and ovens, to teach how switches, dials and buttons control the technologies we use within our own homes. The schools iPads are used with class teachers for specific lessons where the children are conducting simple surveys for example.
Computing lessons with our specialist teacher begin in Kindergarten when children learn how to use an iPad to produce drawings and write letters and words, they use bee bots or similar technology to introduce the concepts of coding.
With the help of Jigsaw Jenie, our cuddly class friend, we take the children through a range of half termly programmes covering issues such as relationships, understanding ourselves, building self-confidence, being healthy and fit, handling our emotions and being able to articulate how we feel. We work with the children in class to develop their social interactions and sharing skills, encouraging joint play to enhance friendly behaviours and to learn how to speak up for themselves appropriately.
In addition to the songs that our Early Years’ teachers use regularly as part of their interactions with the children, the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes also have regular Music lessons with the school’s specialist Music teacher. In these sessions the children enjoy music and movement, learn nursery rhymes and sing simple songs. Singing and reciting are not only an integral part of children’s language acquisition and development, but also help build confidence and independence. The children recite a poem and sing a simple song in the Harvest Festival Assembly in October, only a few weeks after they have started at Broomfield, and all take part in a Christmas play.
Children in Early Years have a Drama lesson once a week and we explore a range of different themes in order to spark their interest in the world in which they live. We introduce children to a variety of real and imaginary situations and our themes include Under the Sea, Fairy Tales and Pirate Adventures. The children are encouraged to express themselves both verbally and physically, through facial expression and body language. The children also learn rhymes and poems and participate in performances for National Poetry Day and other school events. At Christmas each child participates in a class production in front of their families and has their own individual spoken lines.
As well as the many active sessions the class teachers run as part of the curriculum the classes also enjoy PE and Dance lessons with our specialist teachers. The PE activities are designed to build core body strength, balance and spatial awareness. We teach them to move in different ways; shaping their bodies to improve flexibility, running, skipping and changing directions while sprinting to develop control. Playing with balls, hoops and beanbags we help them develop hand to eye coordination and gross and fine motor skills,
In Dance the children love moving to music, getting into the beat and beginning to express emotion through movement. Dance works wonders with the children in developing balance and coordination.
Our Languages teacher begins Spanish lessons with the children in the Kindergarten class. Before that, in Pre-Kindergarten, she supports the class teacher with speaking and listening activities with the children.