Welcome to Bumblebees Class
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Welcome to Bumblebees Class, where the learning together and growing together begins at Bressingham Primary School. In Bumblebees Class, we offer a positive first experience of school life. It is based on requirements set out in the 2017 statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is designed for very young children and in our Reception Class, we work very hard to ensure that your child’s learning is driven by their unique needs and interests (please see The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum on our school website or in this pack for more information).
The EYFS values not just what but how a child learns and describes ways of learning as Characteristics of Effective Learning.
These characteristics are organised into strands;
Playing and exploring where children are engaged in their learning
Active learning where children are motivated to learn; and
Creating and Thinking Critically where children think about their learning.
In Bumblebees Class, we appreciate that children have already started their lifelong learning journey and we look for and further promote these characteristics or learning. Children learn how to develop as successful learners. We have four puppets who help us to demonstrate four key learning powers:
Curious Coco the monkey who is resourceful. He is good at finding things and asking questions.
Dogger the dog who is resilient. He never gives up.
Collaborative Clive the fireman who is reciprocal. He works with his friends to get the job done.
Thoughtful Thelma the badger who is reflective. She thinks about her learning.
These dispositions suggested by Professor Guy Claxton, based on research in the field of learning to learn, are embedded into the whole ethos of our Early Years Foundation Stage and our school; we refer to them as our Super Learning Powers. These super learning powers are woven into our school ethos, vision and aims (see Our School on the website for more details).
Our class environment is where we start to engage, motivate and encourage children to think about their learning. We are really fortunate to have wonderful indoor and outdoor spaces to learn with a stimulating range of resources for both inside and outside playful learning opportunities.
Our outside learning area has a hill, a slide and a wobbly bridge to help children develop balance, strength and their imagination as well as a child-safe pond and planting area for children to observe pond life and changes over time.
We have developed a space for Forest School inspired activities where the children can explore and create in a mud pit and build dens using natural materials everyday, whatever the weather. The children also take part in our Forest School which takes place in our school’s small, woodland area. Here the children engage with and learn about nature. The children are given real freedom and time to explore. They play and learn in a higher ratio of adults to children and staff work as experienced companions. The benefits for children’s well-being are endless: increased fitness, strength, independence, confidence, self-esteem, resilience, creativity as well as enhanced practical skills essential for life.
Bumblebee class resources are stored so that they are accessible to the children, enabling them to really choose their playful learning and allow this learning to be led by their own interests. This helps them develop independence and critical thinking as well as to respect and care for shared equipment. Our role-play reflects the children’s ideas and we have been inspired to develop many of these including a ‘magic train’ role-play area and ticket office, a space rocket and hot air balloon. Our continuous provision is the way that we offer learning opportunities and ‘learning traps’ by ensuring that children have engaging resources inspired by them or by events or stories.
Teaching and Learning opportunities are organised into a mixture of independent playful learning where adults plan in the moment according to children’s needs and interests as well as planned, adult-led, 1:1, small group and whole group learning. The learning is practical and ‘hands on’. Children enjoy activities such as mathematical snack and practise their skills, for example they may cook or make playdough independently following simple recipes.
We teach reading through our daily phonic sessions using Jolly Phonics and Cued Articulation (see Curriculum on our website for more information). Reading skills are also taught by engaging children with a rich variety of books, stories and games. Reading books, library books, letters and sounds and words to learn all go home for weekly learning.
We introduce maths concepts through short, adult- led sessions and play experiences.
A typical day may have this structure:
Children can be brought to the classroom from 8.40
- 40 – 9.00 Settling in routine and activities
- 55 Registration closes
- 00- 10.30 Altogether time and Phonics followed by independent playful learning
- 30-10.45 Story, snack and chat
- 45-11.00 Playtime
- 00 – 11.15 Altogether time and Maths followed by independent playful learning
- 00- 13.10 Lunchtime
- 10 -13.30 Altogether time to introduce a planned activity followed by independent playful learning
- 00 – 3.15 Reflection time and story time
- 20 Home time
As the children grow older and as their development allows, children gradually experience more adult-led activities to help them prepare for Year 1.
It is our aim to excite our young learners and help them grow together – both socially and academically. Every day, a child in turn is chosen to be our ‘special person’ who then chooses a helper. They are our class monitors and focus children for the day. They return the register, count the fruit, hand out the snack and choose the daily snack time story. For this, they are both rewarded with a seat on a special chair during our carpet times. For rewards, the children fly their named rocket to visit the star, the shooting star or the planets. Within this system a child is chosen to take home Bertie Bressingham bear for the weekend. The whole class also work together to earn bees for a honey pot and when it is full, we have a whole class celebration. In addition, ‘Stars of the Week’ are presented in a whole school celebration assembly on a Friday morning.
We offer a rich language environment full of rhymes and stories and our learning themes are projects inspired by these stories. We like to sing across the curriculum. We sing to line up, to tidy up and say goodbye.
Music is a real motivator in our ‘Funky Fingers’ sessions where we strengthen our fingers and practise our fine motor skills as we listen to ‘funky’ music. Children have a weekly P.E. session which enables them to gain independence when dressing and experience games, ball skills, gymnastics and dance.
R.E is taught within the specific area Understanding the World and focuses on the People and Communities aspect. It uses the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus 2019 and follows this multi-disciplinary approach. It is taught in one, whole day per half term to enable children time to become immersed in a range of fun, reflective experiences.
Staff take into account the unique, individual needs, interests and stage of development of each child and use this information to plan challenging, fun learning. Where a child may have a special educational need or disability, staff work in partnership with parents to consider whether specialist support is required and link with relevant services from other agencies, where appropriate.
We aim to create memorable, learning events and memories. We have regularly arranged visits to:
Bressingham Steam Museum and our local garden centre and café
Additionally, we have been supported by parents and the local community to have Farm Days at school with live animals and the chance to learn about crops and real tractors. We often go on walks in the village to learn about the local area and road safety.
Visitors and the experiences we offer are in response to individual and group interests and the cultural context of the class; we have often focused on farming themes because our children have had a passion ignited by our local area and their family occupations. When children have had connections to other countries, cultures and traditions, we have seized the opportunity to invite family members into school to share their experiences.
We actively seek to build partnerships with parents and/or carers, local pre-schools and within the school. Once a child secures a place at our school, we go out to visit them in their existing settings. We then invite parents and children to visit us and then children build confidence to stay without their parents. We always have a summer picnic where current and new parents and children are invited to attend in order to get to know each other and to be welcomed into our school family. Our older children are paired up as Buddies to our Reception children and they meet at this picnic so that there are plenty of familiar faces before they start Bressingham School in September.
We send home our home/school sharing books in which we invite parents/carers to contribute and we update our class blog regularly so that we can share special moments from our learning. Every child has a Learning Journey and these are shared with families in our Family Sessions. The children will each have a Tapestry online learning journal for staff and parents to share significant learning moments. At specific points in the year usually in September, the end of October and February, we make appointments to meet with all parents to discuss children’s development and their next steps.
Ongoing assessment is an integral part of our learning and development processes. Staff observe pupils to identify their level of achievement, interests and learning style. These observations are used to shape future planning. Practitioners also take into account observations shared by parents and/or carers.
This year the government were planning to introduce a new, statutory baseline assessment which we would have completed in addition to the assessment described above. This has been postponed and will not be part of our on-entry assessments until 2021.
At the end of the year in Reception, staff complete the EYFS profile for each child. This summarises and describes children’s attainment. It gives:
- the child’s attainment in relation to the 17 early learning goal (ELG) descriptors
- a short narrative describing the child’s 3 characteristics of effective learning Practitioners’ assessments are primarily based on observing a child’s daily activities and indicate whether they are:
- Meeting expected levels of development (‘Expected’)
- Exceeding expected levels (‘Exceeding’) or
- Not yet reaching expected levels (‘Emerging’)
The profile reflects ongoing observations. The results of the profile are shared with parent and/or carers in a summative report.
If you have any questions or queries about our class, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
We warmly welcome you to Bumblebees.
Mrs Emma Sullivan and Mrs Jackie Fisher.
For more information about our school please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel 01379 687318.