Our Daily Routine
We try to keep our daily routine as consistent as possible, providing the children with a level of security that comes from knowing what to expect from the day ahead. The daily timetable is also displayed in the classroom in picture form which alerts the children to any changes and provides us with an opportunity to discuss them in advance so that they are well prepared.
Typically, a day will consist of the following: Morning: Registration and Welcome, Read Write Inc. (Phonics) in Small Groups, Child Initiated Learning, Snack Time, Whole Class Maths followed by either Child Initiated Learning or an Adult-directed activity (on a rota basis). Lunch break is for 1hr 10mins, beginning at 12.00pm.
Afternoon: Busy Fingers, Whole Class Literacy or Topic lesson followed by either Child Initiated Learning or an Adult-directed activity, Story Time, Home Time.
The weekly timetable includes a P.E. session in the school hall and a Music lesson in the music hut with which the children become very familiar.
Registration and Welcome: Children are welcomed, self-register and select their lunch choice. While everyone is arriving and settling, they are encouraged to practise some of the skills they have been acquiring in phonics lessons on their whiteboards, such as letter formation or writing words and sentences. The register is then taken formally and the children often share their news from home.
Read Write Inc: This is the scheme selected by our school for the teaching of phonics, a strategy for teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. Following an assessment of their reading ability when they first join Reception, the children are placed into groups to enable them to make the best possible progress. These sessions are fast paced and popular with the children, providing them with the confidence and ability to attempt reading and writing at an early stage.
Child Initiated Learning (CIL): As in Nursery, CIL remains a significant part of the day in Reception. A crucial part of Early Years education, it allows the children to explore, practise and extend skills at their individual stage of development. The environment is organised into distinct areas to support their learning, and activities are carefully planned to provide the necessary challenge to move them forward. During this time, teaching staff observe and interact with the children, modelling and providing ways to develop them further. The outside area is similarly set up and supervised for CIL and the children are free to move between the activities in the classroom and outside environments.
Snack Time: In Reception, there is an organised snack time in which all the children have their snack simultaneously. This provides them with the opportunity to re-group and share their successes from the morning. The children are encouraged to share the responsibility of preparing for snack and clearing away afterwards.
Whole Class Maths: Maths is taught as a whole class session on four days of the week. Maths concepts are taught very practically with lots of resources so that the children can readily make links between number, shape and measure, and the world around them. Following a maths lesson, the children will work with an adult in a small group twice a week, engaging in a game or activity that supports the focus of the maths lessons that week.
Lunch break: Children in Reception have their lunch in the dining hall with the children from Years 1 and 2. During their induction period in September, they go to lunch slightly earlier than the older children and are accompanied by the Reception staff to enable them to become familiar with the mid-day supervisory staff and lunch routines without the distraction of other children. After eating, they are accompanied to the infant playground were they spend the remainder of their break as playtime.
Busy Fingers: This is a circuit of activities that the children complete over the course of a week that are planned to develop their fine motor skills. Guided reading sessions with a member of the Reception staff are also run in parallel with this session to promote their reading skills.
Whole class Literacy: Literacy is taught once a week as a whole class session to expose the children to text in different forms such as lists, letter writing, cards etc. It provides an opportunity for them to use the phonics skills they’ve acquired through Read, Write Inc. to read and write for a purpose. Whole class sessions are followed by guided group sessions with an adult to encourage the children to have a go for themselves, developing their confidence as readers and writers.
Topic Lessons: These take place on the remaining four days and are cross-curricular, aimed at developing skills in Communication and Language, Personal and Social Development, Understanding the World, and Expressive Art and Design. Topics are chosen that are varied or linked to annual events such as Chinese New Year or Easter. Lessons planned deepen the children’s understanding of that topic through different experiences such as art and craft, cooking, food tasting, role-play etc.
Story time: Books are carefully selected that are good quality, age-appropriate and where possible, link to our topic. A key story is read repeatedly over the course of the week, allowing the children to become familiar with the text and to begin to join in for themselves. Often the children will recite key phrases and are encouraged to re-tell the story as they become more familiar, using props and puppets.