At Ark Conway, we value every child as an individual and believe all should leave Reception with the knowledge, skills and personal characteristics needed to make a smooth transition to Key Stage One and ultimately become life-long, curious learners, and healthy, active members of society. It is our intent that children who enter our Reception Class build on their early experiences, beginning their learning journey by developing physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally, whilst building positive relationships with peers and staff, embedding natural curiosity and a love of learning.
When pupils join our Reception class, we consider children’s individual starting points, interests and needs, to ensure the curriculum can be adapted to ensure good progress of all. Every child has access to a broad, balanced curriculum based in academic rigour and the knowledge needed to make meaningful links in their learning both now and in the future.
It is our intent to ensure all pupils have a rich and varied cultural capital, developed through meaningful experiences that they may not have access to at home. Creating a sense of awe and wonder when exploring the world around them is key to ensuring our pupils develop their understanding of the world.
Our pupils leave Reception class with a good understanding of what a healthy lifestyle is, in terms of physical activity, diet and mental health. We intend to equip children with the knowledge and skills needed to make healthy lifestyle choices, recognise and cope with their emotions and take care of their own basic needs.
Through our Early Years curriculum, pupils take part in a careful balance of adult-led and child-initiated learning. English, Maths and Phonics lessons, led by the class teacher, take place every day. During these lessons, pupils take part in a range of individual, group and partner work, and build skills such as evaluation, co-operation and perseverance alongside their academic knowledge. Periods of exploratory play follow these lessons, where enhancements to the learning environment are planned, allowing pupils to deepen their understanding through real-world experience.
In line with the rest of the school, we prioritise Reading in all areas of our provision. From the first day, pupils are taught Phonics through the Read Write Inc. Programme. Teachers carefully track pupils progress and intervention is provided swiftly should pupils be at risk of not making sufficient progress. This work is supplemented by a range of songs, rhymes and games throughout the day that build pupils phonological awareness. To develop their comprehension skills and to foster a love of reading, child are read to by an adult multiple times a day, as a class, in smaller groups and individually. Each week, pupils take home at Phonics booked matched to their individual level as well as a picture book of their choice, so that they can build on their skills learnt in school at home.
In Maths, we follow the Maths Mastery approach, in line with the rest of Ark Conway. An emphasis on learning key skills in number sense, calculating and shape, space and measure and work that is based in songs and games, using concrete manipulatives alongside pictorial and numeric representations enable pupils to develop the conceptual understanding and the mathematical language needed for success in Year One and beyond.
Our curriculum should meet the needs of all children, regardless of their background or individual needs. We see every child as an individual and, where pupils are at risk of not meeting their individual targets, swift and appropriate intervention is provided. Assessment is based in staff’s interactions with pupils during child-initiated activities, as well as by looking at pieces of work they have created and conversations they have had with their peers and other members of the school community. Experiences and enhancements to the environment are then planned with pupils next steps in mind. Data is tracked using the Early Excellence Assessment Tracker (Eexat), which gives us access to a national data set by which to make our judgements. Regular moderation of our pupils’ level of development takes place at Network-wide events and assures that judgements made are accurate. Evidence of children’s learning including observations, work samples, photographs and contributions from parents are kept on our online journal ‘Seesaw’, which children use to reflect on their progress share their home learning with their peers.
Our provision ensures all pupils make good progress against their starting points and, where there is no Special Educational Need that prevents it, achieve a Good Level of Development against the Early Years Criteria. Our high expectations of every pupil, alongside rigorous assessment and subsequent adaptations, allow us to achieve this.