Some people would say that it would be impossible to be a racing car driver, build your own skyscraper, become a scientist and paint a masterpiece in the same day. If they came to Reception at Pokesdown Primary School, they would soon change their mind!
Here at Pokesdown, we are determined to ensure that every child has an outstanding start to their school life; a start that equips them with the fundamental knowledge, skills and characteristics that will enable them to flourish within their education. We achieve this through our creative, exciting and challenging approach to learning, rich in wonder, memorable and purposeful experiences, individualised to reflect the needs and interests of each and every child. From a trip to the farm, wild animals visiting the classroom, the arrival of baby chicks to moving school on the beach, the early years at Pokesdown are certainly exciting ones!
Our children are provided with engaging, safe and enabling indoor and outdoor environments and adults who know them well and work with them individually to help them along their early learning journey. In Reception, children are supported to work towards the early learning goals for each area of learning and development outlined within the Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This is achieved through a combination of purposeful, child-led play-based activities and planned opportunities within our integrated curriculum.
Purposeful play is an integral part of our Early Years setting as it enables children to develop communication, problem-solve, enrich their creativity and imagination, build relationships with others and learn about things they are interested in. This makes their early years experience enjoyable and helps them to learn and achieve remarkable things! Drop in to our Reception Class and you might find children building their own castle, making puppets to re-tell a favourite story, helping each other learn to ride bikes and trikes or even working as firefighters driving their fire engine to the latest emergency!
Our integrated curriculum consists of a series of exciting and innovative learning projects that take place across the year. Children become scientists as they discover the ‘Wonders of the Woodland’, palaeontologists during ‘Stomp and Roar’ and authors during ‘Once upon a time’ just to name a few. Each project starts with a ‘hook’ that sparks children’s curiosity followed by a journey of focussed discussions, experiences and activities that work towards an ‘outcome’, many of which involve parents: from guided tours of the classroom, picnics with Paddington, a workshop all about springtime, a Christmas production and even a dinosaur museum, we love to share learning with our families!
Learning the fundamentals of reading, writing and maths are also an integral part of the Early Years here at Pokesdown. Children are given opportunities to develop their early reading and writing daily as part of our active, multi-sensory, systematic and synthetic approach to the teaching of early literacy. Walk in to our Reception class and you’ll see children forming letters in the sand, using cars to drive between letters to blend a word or even tricky word hopscotch. Learning to read and write is fun, engaging and accessible for all. Children are given regular, individualised 1:1 sessions where skilled teachers help children achieve their own next steps and all children are enabled to make good progress from their starting points.
Children enjoy daily ‘maths meetings’ where you might find them counting their jumps, doubling spots on a ladybird, reasoning about ribbons or even solving a tricky problem. Practical activities enable children to develop a secure conceptual understandings of the foundations of number, shape and measure that enable them to become confident, able mathematicians as they move through the school.
We believe this approach gives children the best chance to become well-rounded, skilled, happy individuals whom are able make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. Children here at Pokesdown leave the Early Years as successful learners whom are fully prepared for the next stage of their education having developed the essential knowledge and skills required for everyday life and lifelong learning. From there, the possibilities for them are simply endless!