Over the course of lockdown, the teaching staff at Akaal Primary school have endeavoured to provide education and home learning to help the children at home with routine, structure and education.
We have used the Zoom application to provide a safe education space for children and host four meetings a day, one each for literacy, maths, word study and topic.
Special Zoom videos have also been recorded for other subjects or updates on other topics too. This resource has provided us with a fantastic bridge to communicate, educate and protect our children.
Along with the assistance of these and other Youtube videos to provide subject overviews in case children cannot attend live meetings, we at Akaal have tried to promote our learning in the best possible way.Click Here to View an Example Video (External Link)
The EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) curriculum at Akaal Primary School is based from the Early Years Statutory Framework that sets the standards for learning and development for children within our Reception Year. There are seven areas of learning and development which are divided into the prime areas: communication and language, physical development, personal, social and emotional development and the specific areas: literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, expressive arts and design.
Underpinning how children learn are the characteristics of learning which include: playing and exploring where children investigate and experience; active learning where children concentrate and keep on trying as well as enjoy their achievements; creating and thinking critically where children develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop ways for doing things.
Our children learn through a play based environment, where they explore and access challenges throughout their learning day. The children are encouraged to become independent learners and apply skills they have acquired. Skills are taught through a range of approaches and include, whole class based activities, small group activities and independent learning. We also encourage our children to share their interests and contribute to what they would like to learn next, especially through their topic learning.
As children enter the Reception year at Akaal Primary, a Values book is created which records special learning experiences throughout that year. This book then follows the class as they go through the school. It’s a wonderful celebration of the unique experiences and learning opportunities for the class that year, which include trips, school performances and special assemblies that the children have actively taken part in.
Tapestry is a secure online Learning Journal to record photos, observations and comments, in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. We use Tapestry at Akaal Primary School to build up a record of your child’s experiences during their time with us in Reception. We record the children’s play and learning and share this information currently with parents during parents’ evenings to celebrate each child’s achievements.
Our reception children have access to a large outdoor space to further develop their skills throughout their learning day. The outdoor learning is an opportunity to further develop the provision that takes place indoors and create new learning opportunities also! The children have access to a range of equipment that includes bikes, climbing equipment, maths and literacy resources, balls, skipping ropes, large construction building as well as a mud kitchen!
At Akaal Primary School, we have a forest school on site and the reception children visit the forest weekly! At the beginning of our learning week, the children put on their wellies and waterproofs and take part in a range of sessions in the forest. These include free exploration activities as well as reading stories, counting activities, STEM based activities and learning about the seasons as the forest and the weather changes. This is all finished with a warm cup of hot chocolate, which the children love!
Autumn Term - Once upon a time… Knights and Princesses
Children learn the routines of the class and the expectations of the school as they settle in. They get to know one another and work on listening and speaking skills.
We move into our topic by visiting a real castle and learn about its features and the uses of different rooms. We compare this to what life is like now. Also we read and enjoy stories that include Castles.
We celebrate our learning with the Mission Impossible, ’Who will come to our ball?’ The children make food for a tea party and prepare and perform a ballroom dance for their grown-ups!
Spring Term - Under Construction
Children continue to explore and learn traditional tales based around structures and buildings. They compare different buildings and look closely at the similarities and differences. Within this topic children will explore different machines that are used in constructing buildings.
We celebrate our learning with the Mission Impossible, ‘Can we build a den?’ Children will work collaboratively with their grown-ups and apply skills in constructing a den in the forest!
Summer Term - The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch
The children will read stories from the Lighthouse Keeper’s collection and learn about healthy eating. They will visit a seaside and experience a real lighthouse as part of their learning. Also, the children will explore the seaside its features.
We celebrate our learning with the Mission Impossible, Can we bring the seaside to Derby?. The children plan and design a seaside within their outdoor learning space and invite their grown- ups to join in the fun.
Children in Reception will start learning to recognise and say sounds through the Read, Write, Inc programme. The children take part in daily sessions and built into the programme is daily handwriting practise to learn how to write the sounds and eventually build up to reading and writing short words. The children have lots of opportunity to read and write sounds whilst learning through play within their day also.
Our children access reading books from our school that are matched well to the Read, Write Inc scheme. Children are supported and encouraged to talk about the pictures within their books that helps build up good story language and storytelling. As the children progress through their reading, their books will have simple words that the children can decode and blend to read. All our children take part in a whole weekly reading session, where we closely look at sections of a familiar book they have enjoyed in the week and to apply reading skills such as: Prediction, Inference, Retrieval, Vocabulary, Explanation, Sequencing and Summarising.
Our Reception children take part in a weekly bikeability session and yoga session. These are led by trained expert tutors. The children really look forward to these sessions! They learn essential skills of balance, co-ordination and mindfulness.