Starting School at Highfields
Well-being and Communication
Physical Development and Literacy
Reception Class at Highfields
The curriculum for our Reception class (Navigators) is carefully planned and layered to meet the bespoke needs of every child in our setting. We use key experiences which inspire and engage our youngest children to learn and support them in achieving the key skills and Early Learning goals within the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Our specifically designed curriculum underpins all future learning and prepares children for more formal schooling by supporting, fostering, promoting and developing learning behaviours, inquiry skills and a thirst for learning and discovery.
Over the course of the year, learning and expectations are layered to ensure the children are fully prepared for life in our Pre-Prep, both academically and personally, ready for a slightly more formal educational experience.
The EYFS at Highfields encompasses the following Areas of Learning:
1. Personal, Social and Emotional Well-being
Highfields promotes a strong inclusive ethos and provides the opportunity for each child to become a valued member of a very special community. Here strengths are identified and celebrated so that a confident self-image and self-esteem is promoted. Positive attitudes and dispositions towards learning are fostered by developing self-regulation, enthusiasm for knowledge and learning, and a confidence in each child’s ability to be a successful learner.
2. Communication and Language
Highfields is a language rich school. Our children have endless opportunities to talk and communicate in a widening range of situations and contexts, to respond to adults and to each other, to practise and extend the range of vocabulary and communication skills they use and to listen carefully in small and whole class situations. Children’s language development is carefully monitored and interventions are on hand should a ‘boost’ programme or specialist language input be needed.
3. Physical Development
We are very proud of our Sport and PE programme in addition to the integration of all aspects of children’s physical development into our curriculum.
We understand how crucial physical development is to optimise cognitive and neurological development, so we make it a priority by providing opportunities for all children to develop and practise their fine and gross motor skills in a wide range of contexts, both indoors and out with a carefully planned increase in autonomy.
We support children in increasing their understanding of how their bodies work and what they need to do to be healthy and safe in a developmentally appropriate manner.
We want children to love reading and writing and to find it easy! We provide all children with the opportunity to explore, enjoy, learn about and use words and text in a broad range of meaningful contexts. This enables them to explore, enjoy, learn, practise mark-making and talk about what they have done, nurturing in them a joy of literacy.
Throughout Nursery and Reception, we follow the Ready Write Inc phonic programme which continues as the children move into Pre-Prep (Form 1). We support families in how to promote reading and writing at home at each stage of their child’s journey.
We also help children love and understand numbers, patterns and mathematics from a very young age. We make Mathematics fun and use real life problems to make it contextualised and meaningful. All our children have the opportunity to experience all facets of Mathematics in a creative and exciting manner, both indoors and outdoors. Early problem solving and reasoning strategies are introduced from a young age and collaboration in finding a solution is very much encouraged.
6. Understanding of the World
We provide a myriad of contextualised opportunities for our children to solve problems, make decisions, experiment, predict, plan and question whilst exploring their environment, and people and places that are most significance in their lives. Our language-rich culture and wonderful grounds give bountiful opportunities to do this. When the children are ready, we start to explore the world further afield and embark on school trips and visits, frequently using our own school minibus, which is always an adventure! In addition, pupils in Reception enjoy weekly swimming sessions at the local pool, commencing in the spring term.
7. Expressive Arts and Design
Highfields delights in providing opportunities for all children to use their imagination to explore and share their thoughts, and express their ideas and feelings through a variety of art, design and technology, music, movement, dance and imaginative and role play activities.
Music and Drama are both strong areas of focus in the Highfields School curriculum and we have specialist teachers who support and inspire our children. Children are also encouraged to share their expressions and perform to each other from an early age which develops confidence and a strong sense of identity and self-esteem.