Early Years and Foundation Stage
Beginning school is a major event in the life of a four year old. At South Bersted CE Primary School, we strongly believe in encouraging our children to be independent learners through a range of practical activities. We follow a thematic curriculum which allows us to be creative with our lessons and lets the children follow and develop their own interests.
Throughout the year, there is a clear structure to the day that is focused on the 7 key areas of the Early Learning Goals:
- Communication and language,
- Personal, social and emotional development,
- Physical development,
- Understanding the world,
- Expressive arts and design.
In capturing your child’s progress, we produce a Learning Journal, which will include observations, your child’s work and pictures of their achievements against the Early Learning Goals.
We recognise and value the importance of working collaboratively with parents and carers to ensure children make the best start to their education at South Bersted. Therefore, through the use of ‘WOW Moments’ we encourage you to record and share observations at home.
During the first half of the Autumn Term, pupils will learn the routines and expectations. Creative themes focus initially on ‘Who am I?’ Children begin by getting to know their new classmates and sharing stories about their families and the things they like to do. We also create self-portraits and learn to see ourselves as a valuable individual and member of the community. This leads into thinking about ourselves and the things that make us unique. We explore our cultural diversity in the classroom and the community by plotting where we come from on maps and we will then spend time learning about different cultures through lots of experiences such as visitors, food tasting and dancing. Through different stories we learn about our similarities and differences and are able to articulate these to others. We also read The Colour Monster where we learn to talk about and regulate our different emotions. During this half term parents and pupils share a Bedtime Breakfast to enable parents to meet other parents and allow pupils to demonstrate some of the things they have been doing in class.
During Autumn 2 we move onto the topic ‘People Who Help Us’. Through lots of learning experiences such as visits from the Police, Fire Service and other professions we learn to talk about different ways of life. We will have a ‘Firefighter Day’ where the children will learn the skills needed to become a firefighter. We link this topic with Superheroes and we read a fantastic book called ‘Supertato’ in which the characters begin to come to life in our classroom and the children have to build traps to catch the Evil Pea! We also have a ‘Superhero Day’ where we complete challenges to build up our resilience and skills in order to help others.
Alongside this, pupils are busy learning lines and songs for their first school Nativity. This term also sees an Outdoor Learning Day based on the theme of Autumn. Pupils begin to attend Collective Worship with the rest of the school.
Children start this half term with our new topic ‘Once Upon A Time!’ We will answer our big question ‘What are our favourite fairytales?’ by becoming familiar with traditional fairy tales such as The Gingerbread Man and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We will be learning how to recall and retell stories with lots of focus on imaginative play and acting out through the use of drama to extend our vocabulary. We will be talking about right and wrong linked to the Three Little Pigs and we will be using connectives to develop our sentences when sharing our ideas. We will also use our problem solving skills to solve a mysterious crime scene when a familiar character from our story spills porridge all over our Three Bears cottage!
In the second half of the term we answer our big question ‘How do living things change?’ We will answer this question by having lots of different animals in our classroom to observe their lifecycles and learn how to look after them. This will include chicks, tadpoles and butterflies. We will learn about plants and what plants need to grow by planting our own beanstalks and looking after them whilst reading Jack and the Beanstalk. We will also read How to Catch A Dragon and find a dragon egg in our playground that we need to look after , which will help us learn about what living things need to survive. We will also spend a week learning about animals on the farm and to support this learning we will visit Staunton Country Park where the children will get to meet some of the animals up close. A second outdoor learning day this half term focuses on signs of Spring.
Our next half term brings us to another big question ‘What do we need for an adventure?’ and we will find out about different modes of transport and read exciting stories involving different exciting adventures. Children will look at different modes of transport and have the chance to go on both a bus ride around the town and a train trip further afield. We will have a space week during the term which will involve an exciting astronaut training day consisting of different challenges! One of the texts we will be learning about is The Hundred Decker Bus which will provide lots of writing opportunities for describing our own journeys!
The second half of this term brings us to our final topic ‘Treasure Island’. This half term will involve pirates and dinosaurs! The children will take part in a dinosaur explorer themed day where they will become paleontologists by hunting for dinosaur fossils and then make their own. We will also find a dinosaur egg which will hatch and the children will have their own baby dinosaurs to look after! We will think about what we would do if we had a pet dinosaur and we will write instructions for how to bath a dinosaur! We will read a non-fiction book called ‘There’s a T-Rex in Town’ and we will then create our own class dinosaur fact book with everything we have learnt about dinosaurs. We will also have a pirate themed day where the children will learn to follow maps and create their own simple maps to go on a quest to find treasure and help Pirate Pete!
During this term children begin their transition to Year 1. In class, learning is adapted with more whole class session taking place in preparation for the Year 1 curriculum and timetable. Children begin to play outside on the big playground and field with the rest of the school during break and lunchtimes. Children also make a number of visits to the Year 1 classroom to meet the teacher and experience their new environment.
A final outdoor learning day takes place with a focus on Summer and is a chance for the children to look back and celebrate their achievements during their first year at school.