Our parent workshop 2023

Our parent workshops are designed to provide you with as much information as you need at this time to support your child as they start Reception. We aim to give you an overview of what we teach and how we teach it and why. Of course, there's a lot to take in so we hope these notes will be a reminder for you to look back over. 

If you have a question you need answering or any further support throughout the year, please do come and speak to us!
We follow Read, Write Inc in Reception. The videos below will provide you with more information about this scheme and how we use it in school and how you can support your child at home. 

We begin by teaching letter sounds and a matching picture which also relates to a letter rhyme for how to form the letters. At the same time we start to teach the children the skills they need to be able to read. They need to be able to blend - c-a-t when blended together says cat. At first we do this orally so they need to hear the sounds, push them together and then say the whole word. To do this we have Fred the frog!
The children also need to be able to segment words to spell them - so to know that dog is made up of d-o-g. We do this by playing games and using magnetic letters spelling simple three letter words. 
Once the children can blend sounds together to make words and they can recognise some of the letters, we can start to teach them to read simple words
. Once we are confident reading three letter words, we then try four letter words and this is a more complicated skill. 
Obviously English isn't a straight forward language so we have words like 'some', 'the' and 'my' that can't be sounded out using phonics. We call these red words and we teach the children to read these in this way "My - m - I, tricky letter I, my". 
The children will bring home a green sound book in their book bags. We don't date to say which sounds we are learning each week but we will be sharing this information with you in our newsletters. Please practise the sounds with your child so they are recognising them speedily! 
The children will bring home a variety of reading material during the year. This is very important to remember - CHILDREN LEARN AT DIFFERENT PACES. CHILDREN ARE MOST SUCCESSFUL WHEN SCHOOL AND HOME WORK TOGETHER TO PRACTISE AND EMBED SKILLS. The whole idea of Read, Write Inc is for the children to bring home a text that they can read confidently and can read with some fluency. We want them to read without sounding out and this comes with practise. 
When they are ready, the children will bring home purple word books, paper ditties, red books, then green and purple and so on. 

The children will also bring home a library book twice a week for you to read to your child and just enjoy. Over time you could point out some of the red words and letter sounds as you read but we want children that LOVE books! All the research shows that children who read (and who are read to from a young age) are successful in school not only at English but also maths and ALL other subjects! If you do one thing, read to your child and LOVE books!

We want the children to become confident writers over the year - the expectation is that, by the end of Reception, they can write two or three sentences by themselves using their phonics to spell the words. The children will start by making scribbles and telling you it is their writing - tell them how clever they are and let them tell you what it says. They will then write letter shapes and eventually they start to use their phonics to sound out simple words. We are happy for children to spell words phonetically - so 'some' may be sum or 'said' may be sed etc to begin with. They will learn these specific spellings over time. Please give them reasons to write such as sweets on the shopping list and then you buy them or send a letter or card to a family member and pop it in the post. One child we had wrote 'Plees can we go to smiths toys to get a toy?' How amazing! (And yes, they did go!)
We use the letter rhymes and the pictures from Read, Write Inc to show the children how to form the letters. It is very important that they learn how to form them correctly as they can then join the letters. They are expected to start joining their handwriting in Year 2, so when they are still 6 years old!
As soon as the children are in full time we will start to teach them the letter sounds and pictures and will start practising how to write the letters, one per day!
The children need strong shoulder muscles and a good strong core to be successful writers. Climbing and hanging in the park, yoga, laying on their tummies and leaning on their elbows, standing on one leg and balancing are all important for developing these muscles! We teach the children some yoga poses and these are good for practising whilst you're waiting for the kettle to boil, trying to keep the children busy for a few minutes whilst you change or feed their sibling or even to get rid of that last bit of energy before bed. There are many yoga videos out there aimed at children but we particularly like Cosmic Kids Yoga on Youtube as it is often linked to stories and isn't too long!
In Reception we teach the children a really important skill - subitising! It is the biggest thing that can have an impact on your child's ability in maths not only in Reception but throughout their education years. 
Subitising comes from the latin word that means to 'arrive at suddenly'. Counting is an important skill but subitising comes before counting and it actually something that children are born with the ability to do before they can verbalise their understanding.
We ask our children "what can you see? And how do you see it?" instead of "how many?". This gives them the opportunity to really investigate and challenge their number sense. Knowing that 4 is 2 and 2, or 3 and 1, or 4 lots of 1 is far more beneficial to their long term understanding for calculating; addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions etc. 
Of course, there is still a need to learn to count! We can't subitise sounds we hear such as the church bells chiming the time. Children need to be able to count out loud by rote - up to 20 and then beyond! They must also be able to count with one to one correspondence - that is counting one number for one object. 
We learn number bonds and different ways to make numbers. Again, our super subitising brains help with this. We learn that 7 and 3 makes 10, but so do 4 and 6 or 9 and 1. Knowing our number bonds is essential to be a good mathematician. We use five frames and then ten frames to develop our understanding of place value and in turn, our number bonds. 
The children in Reception also learn 'more' or 'less'. We need to remember that one less object is "one less", more than one less is "fewer" e.g "there are 3 fewer in this group". 
We look at patterns - repeating patterns as well as patterns in numbers such as odds and evens
We talk about shapes, their properties and name them - 2d shapes and 3d shapes
And then there's time and money - these really need your support at home to help develop your child's understanding by practising lots!
Nature Explorers
Our Nature Explorers sessions are designed to develop confidence and self esteem through hands on learning outdoors. Our activities support play, exploration and supported risk-taking. The children develop independence, and confidence as well as physical skills including the development of both gross and fine motor skills and problem solving and risk taking skills. Our sessions promote all aspects of early years development; broaden language and communication skills, social skills, motivation and concentration, physical skills and knowledge and understanding. It endorses children's physical and mental well being by getting them more active and enjoying the fresh air too!

We do Nature Explorers each week, regardless of the weather, so please make sure your child comes prepared for all eventualities! 
We recommend a pair of wellies is kept at school at all times. They will also need to be prepared for being outdoors whatever the weather so may need a warm coat, a rain coat, hat, scarf, gloves, sunhat, suncream applied before school, and always, a water bottle. Some times we may send home things from our sessions for you to talk about with your child. Other times we may photograph things for you to see and discuss. We always 'play by the rules' that we never pick anything growing or hurt any creature and we return the nature area to how it was when we found it. We develop that awareness that our surroundings and home and habitat to many living things and it is a delicate ecosystem that we are part of. Having a growing respect for the world we live in helps to support our children to grow up in a world where they can be the positive change!
PE days for both Classes will be Thursdays and Fridays
A University of Cambridge Faculty of Education Partner School
Elliot Foundation
Smart Cafe
Artsmark - Awarded