Curriculum – What do we do?
The Nursery at River Beach is part of the Early Years Foundations Stage, and as such follows the same curriculum as Reception Year.
Pebble Class follow three general topics each year…
Autumn Term – ‘Pleased to Meet You’/’Time to Rhyme’
This term is all about settling in, feeling comfortable and safe, and getting to know each other. The children explore and learn how to use their environment safely, play alongside others, and gain confidence is expressing their needs and likes. Simple class rules are discussed and agreed by the children themselves; the only rule we add in is to ‘Have fun, and let an adult know if you need help’.
We focus on the three Prime Areas of the Early Years Framework:
- Personal, Social & Emotional Development
- Communication & Language
- Physical Development
Every day, we set up a range of activities through which we can support the children in developing skills in the above areas. These activities will be linked to the topic as far as possible, but focused on what is interesting the children at the time.
If the children have walked in on a rainy day and are talking about the puddles they jumped in, then we might paint some ‘puddle pictures’, practice jumping safely, and talk about the clothing we use to keep ourselves dry. If they have noticed some spider webs on a dewy morning, then we might count their legs, learn how to use a camera to take a picture, and talk about keeping the spiders safe by not damaging their webs.
Although every day is different, we begin to establish a routine for the children. Name cards are on the tables at the beginning of each session to encourage early writing skills (parents/carers are very welcome to stay and help their child with this), and we have a healthy and sociable snack time mid-session. The session always ends with everyone getting together for a story or a song.
Spring Term – ‘Here, There and Everywhere’
Learning expands into the Specific Areas this term, with ‘Here there and everywhere’ giving a wide scope within which to engage and inspire the children.
The Specific Areas are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Once again, we follow the children’s current interests.
We add a little more structure to learning this term, with short but focused sessions on phonics during which the children learn how to make pure sounds and blend sounds together to make words. We introduce the Read Write Inc. phonics programme this term, giving the children an early start in reading and writing.
Through our core texts we look at journeys around familiar places and the children get the opportunity to explore our local environment.
Summer Term – ‘All Aboard’
This term is all about transport from broomsticks to steam trains. Not only do we look at modern vehicles, we also explore how these have evolved throughout history. The children and their families have the opportunity to travel back in time and experience a range of vehicles at Amberley Museum and Heritage centre.
Alongside this we explore growth of animals and plants, as well as how we grow ourselves, including the need for exercise and a healthy diet. The children set-up and maintain their own growing area, learning how to look after different plants and studying the changes they go through.
As the term moves on, the focus becomes preparing the children for starting school in Reception Year. Daily sessions in both phonics and mathematics give the children a firm foundation for their learning in Reception, and are tailored to the children’s progress. We begin to make friends with children who are already in Reception, and play together in the classrooms and areas that they have.