The EYFS curriculum is divided into seven different learning areas - Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal and Social Development, Literacy ( Reading, Writing), Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. As a Catholic school, we also teach RE.We use high quality core texts, recommended by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), to support our learning across all areas of the curriculum. We work with each text for approximately three weeks, before moving on to the next one. This replaces the old 'topic work' we used to do. LiteracyThis area involves reading and writingOur first CLPE text for this term is called 'Stanley Stick' by John Hegley. During this topic we will engage children with a story with which they can empathise with others. We will explore, develop and sustain ideas through talk. We will visit the Methodist Gardens and collect sticks and then use our imaginations and think of things that the sticks can become. Children will also have lots of opportunities to write for meaning and purpose in a variety of forms. We will continue to recap phases 1, 2 and 3 phonics and children will be applying this in their writing. To help support your child, please continue to revise the sounds we have taught and discuss them when reading daily with your child.
We will continue to change the children's reading books and read with them twice a week so please make sure your child has their book bag and reading books in every day.To continue to develop a love of reading we will be sharing lots of stories in class and discussing what has happened in the story in the beginning, middle and end, how the characters are feeling, where the story takes place etc.To help support at home, please read a range of genres and if possible visit your local library. Communication and languageThis area involves developing Listening and Attention, Understanding and Speaking.We will be placing a big emphasis on using language in the classroom. We will be encouraging the children to develop their speaking skills through a wide range of activities across the curriculum and modelling language and vocabulary as they play. Sharing stories and songs at home will also help them to develop their language skills. As your child plays and you play with them, model the use of language and introduce new words. A great deal of our language work will be linked to the texts we will be using. Our role play areas inside and outside play an important part in developing children's communication and language skills. We will change these areas depending on children's interests and needs. For example having a home corner, hairdressers, cafe, police station etc.Physical Development This area involves developing Moving and handling and Health and self-care.We have PE on a Friday morning, with a specialist PE teacher. Alongside this, we will be developing fine and gross motor skills through a range of activities. Activities such as play dough, using tweezers, hammers etc will develop your child's fine motor skills, which is essential for developing a good writing grip. The whole school is focusing on improving handwriting. To help develop children's handwriting we are focusing on developing their core strength. To do this we will be using the play village to develop our muscles which will help children when writing. We will also continue to practice the correct letter formation. Please speak to your children and ask them what they have been doing in their handwriting lessons.We use our wonderful outside area to develop gross motor skills using a wide range of apparatus. We use the climbing equipment, bicycles, hoops, sandpit etc.Personal and Social DevelopmentThis area involves developing Self-confidence and awareness, Feelings and behaviour and Making relationshipsWe will focus on developing good relationships with the other children and staff, through various games and whilst facilitating play. We will also be encouraging your child to talk about how they feel and giving them strategies to use to deal with various feelings.Buddy time will play an important part in developing your child's personal and social development as well as speaking in larger groups. MathematicsThis area involves learning Numbers and Shape, Space and Measure.We will continue to count, order and recognise numbers to 20. We will also be learning 1 more and 1 less than a given number and the different ways of making numbers. For example 2+3=5, 4+1=5, 5+0=5 etc. It is really important that children understand the value of each number so counting socks, helping set the table for dinner whilst counting the number of plates, forks etc are good ways of making maths fun! Understanding the WorldThis area involves learning about People and communities, The world and technology.Children will continue to have access to a variety of technology resources such as light boxes, cameras, Ipads/tablets, recordable devices etc which they can use independently to extend their learning. We will continue to carry out a scientific investigation in class and talking about how and why things happen. We will also be using our local area to visit the wooded areas around Muswell Hill and see first hand how our natural environment changes. Expressive arts and designThis area involves learning about media and materials, and being imaginativeChildren will have the opportunity to use a range of media both inside and outside to be creative and imaginative. This will be through drawing, painting, junk modelling, using building blocks, tools and role play.We will be responding to music through dance, sing and using various musical instruments.We will continue to attend weekly hymn practice sessions with our music teacher. R.E.
We follow the 'Come and See' scheme of work to teach teach R.E. Each topic usually lasts for four weeks. We begin each topic by exploring what each topic means to us before moving on to how it relates to religion. During the year we also learn about other faiths. At OLM we focus on Judaism and Islam. This is a brilliant way to teach respect for our community as a whole, regardless of cultures and beliefs.
The topics we will be covering in the Spring term are as follows;
Topic 7: Good News
In this topic we will begin by recognising what good news is and children will have the opportunity to share some good news with their friends. We will then learn about the story of Pentecost and how is it a celebration of the good news of Jesus. As it is difficult for children of this age to understand the abstract concept of the Holy Spirit we will use images such as air and wind to help us explain the power of the Holy Spirit.
Topic 8: Friends
In this topic we will begin by talking about what friends are and what it means to be a friend. We will then learn about Jesus' friends and what they did together. Children will then have the change to think about how they can be a friend to Jesus.
Topic 9: Our World
In this topic the children will begin by talking about what we love and wonder about our world using CAFOD global images. Children will learn that God created the world and that everyone shares Gods world. We will then learn about fairtrade. We will then focus on praising God for our wonderful world and talk about the things in our world that we have and other people struggle to get.
Throughout the year, OLM focuses on different elements of Catholic Social Teaching (CST). Each month we look at a different value and discuss what each one means:
September- We are Called to Live as Family and Community
October- Rights and Responsibilities
November- Promotion of Peace
December- No CST- focus on Advent
February- An Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
March- The Dignity of the Human Person
April- No CST- focus on Lent
May- The Dignity and Rights of Workers
June- We are Called to Stewardship
All children need to have a book bag in school every day, which are to be kept in their trays. We ask that no children bring back packs to school as we do not have the space available for them.
As the weather is getting warmer, please make sure that you apply sun cream before children come to school and children should have sun hats and water bottles in school.
All uniform, including book bags, P.E. bags, coats and water bottles need to be clearly named. It would really help your child if you could show them where their name is and encourage them to look at it when they dress themselves, so that when we are changing for PE, they are able to put the correct uniform on!
Please encourage your child to dress, undress, feed and use the toilet independently as this will also help them hugely in school.
How to help at home
You can help your child's social and emotional development by:
- Talking with your child and encouraging your child to talk with other children and other adults.
- Encouraging and supporting your child to play cooperatively with other children.
- Regularly discussing with your child feelings and the consequences of different actions.
You can help your child with the early stages of reading, writing and mathematics by:
- Continuing to encourage an enjoyment of books, stories and poems; visiting the local library and sharing stories with your child.
- Continuing to encourage your child to join in with rhymes and songs.
- Practise the letters and sounds learnt in school. You can also help by sounding out a three letter word (segmenting) using the sounds that they have learnt so far and asking your child to put them back together (blending) to make the word.
- Continuing to provide your child with a variety of writing equipment to encourage drawing and writing skills, encouraging your child to give meanings to the marks that they make.