Children start their school journey in Reception and it is in this year that they develop the foundations of learning. Many new concepts and much new vocabulary will be introduced to them, as will good learning habits and the expectations placed upon them. Throughout their year in reception the children are made aware that it is the quality of their learning journey that is of primary importance.
Learning Agreement Time
From 8.55 to 9.15 parents and carers are invited into class, to either share a book with their child, or look at their child’s Learning Agreement and help them work out how they are going to achieve a certain objective. The Learning Agreement is the document that shapes your child’s independent learning for the week: it sets each child tasks that they complete on their own, usually building on a new skill they have acquired recently or reinforcing an area that needs further development. Generally, the tasks are open-ended, so that your child can choose how they reach the objective. When your child has completed a task, they show what they have done to their teacher, who then signs it if they have successfully achieved it, or gives them any extra support they may need to reach completion.
From 9:00am until 9:20am parents can join their children in class for shared reading. This allows for quality time to enjoy and converse about a book chosen by the child. Through targeted teaching of synthetic phonics children are exposed to common sounds, sight-words and new vocabulary that directly links with known children’s books. The unique feature of our chosen Reading Programme, Optima Reading, is that children learn a small number of easy to learn, essential skills that enable them to generalise and apply their knowledge widely. Through three short lessons a day and an inclusive ethos children are given differentiation without labelling them in ability groups. This enables teachers to ensure that all children have their needs met without ever having to be withdrawn for individual or small group work. The impact of this style of teaching and inclusive practice has been confirmed through the research undertaken by founders, Optima Psychology. This has demonstrated that, contrary to accepted practice, lower and higher achievers typically make better progress through differentiated whole class teaching rather than onetoone or small group teaching.
At Peter Hills we recognise that not all children have the same life exposure as others. It is for this reason that we immerse our children in creative writing experiences by writing through an emotion. Writing across the school enables children to make personal connections with good quality texts and their own writing. They are exposed to a range of books and an experience that enables them to identify the emotion an inspire their creative writing.
KS1 attend worship Monday, Tuesday and Thursday which is led by various staff members. Every Wednesday we have Eucharist, led by Father Mark or Father Andrew. Year 1 begin attending in small groups from summer term allowing them to learn the process before attending weekly in year 2.
Children begin having formal PE sessions in the Summer term of their Reception year. At Peter Hills we have a dedicated PE coordinator, Mr Talabi, who with various other coaches teaches PE across the school on a weekly basis. Children are expected to have their full PE kit in school every week.