At Shawfield, we have chosen to use the non-statutory Development Matters 2021 (DM) as a reference document to support the teaching and learning of the children in Reception class from September 2021. We use this document as an aid to assess the children’s knowledge and skills, then plan their next steps. We chose DM because of it’s clear steps of progress which have examples of activities that can be used to support the learning. Traditionally our cohorts are boy heavy, and children often need to continue to develop their Prime areas (C+L, PSED + PD) to be ready to learn and develop. We provide interventions to support the Prime areas and provide as many hands on, first-hand experiences as we can through taught sessions and Continuous Provision.
Each half term there is a planned unit of work with an overarching theme, such as ‘Fantastic Beasts’ or ‘Let’s Celebrate’ that shows the skills that we will focus on for each area of learning. Each week, a quality text is used as a ‘hook’ and to engage the children in play-based activities. A weekly planning grid then highlights the skills that will be the focus for the week. This document also has suggested questions and assessment opportunities to ensure purposeful conversations and to encourage regular recording of learning in all areas. Continuous Provision is also enhanced through carefully chosen resources and in developing children’s engagement in learning, e.g. - Growth Mindset sessions across the year. There are opportunities to follow children’s own interests as during the week we record any resources they have specifically asked for on the weekly planning grid and use this, along with our Tapestry observations during the week, to inform future teaching and learning.
Throughout the year we aim to develop the children’s skills in the Prime areas of learning to enable them to access the Specific areas of learning (LIT, MATHS, UTW + EAD). We aim for a Good Level of development (GLD) for all children, to prepare them for the National Curriculum in Year 1 onwards. We run a comprehensive Induction programme to help settle the children into school life and its routines. We aim to develop a love of learning and the skills needed to be a resilient, aspirational learner for life.