Communication and Language
Communication and language is one of the three prime areas within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Each prime area is divided into early learning goals, for communication and language these are: Listening and Attention, Understanding and Speaking.
As children develop speaking and listening skills, they are building the foundations for literacy and learning. They are learning key skills such as how to express themselves and make friends. Reception children are provided with lots of opportunities to have conversations with staff and peers. They hear staff modelling language and introducing new words. They learn language better when they're engaged with things that fascinate, challenge and excite them. Children need to hear and say new words often to strengthen the connections in their brains and to keep building their vocabulary.
Reading is integral to our rich and diverse curriculum and begins as soon as children enter our school in Year R developing their use of language through role play, familiar stories, storytelling and child initiated play.
Phonics is key to successful reading. Our early readers will begin their reading journey through the structure of the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme. Initial sounds of the alphabet are taught and used in a variety of ways to enable children to blend sounds together to read individual words. As the children progress through the year they learn to recognise and read digraphs (/oo/ /ai/) and trigraphs (/igh/ /ear/) as they develop their fluency to read whole sentences. Running alongside the teaching of phonics children improve their visual memory skills and sight vocabulary by learning key words that cannot be read phonetically e.g. was, the, said.
As soon as children enter our school they are encouraged to write through the extensive and enriching role play opportunities within the Early Years environment. Early writing is a powerful means of communication and may take the form of mark making through child initiated play.
Throughout the year children are taught to apply their phonic knowledge to write initial sounds in words, progressing on to CVC words (consonant vowel consonant words e.g. cat / hen) then rehearsing and recording simple sentences.
An important element of early writing at our school is to develop children’s fine motor skills. It is essential for them to develop an appropriate pencil grip that will enable them to write letters of the alphabet using the correct formation.
By the end of the year children will be able to construct and write simple sentences and phrases often extending the meaning by using conjunctions such as ‘and’.
Through our rich and varied curriculum, we offer our children a wide variety of experiences, so that they become familiar and confident in using mathematics in everyday life.
Counting is an essential part of early mathematical understanding and this is developed across the reception year through child initiated play and adult led learning. Children are taught to recite and recognise numerals zero to twenty in order to compare numbers and solve practical problems.
Through rich first hand experiences the children will also explore 2D and 3D shapes and compare measures in a variety of contexts. The children are taught the use of correct mathematical vocabulary in order to help them reason and explain their thinking.