Our Reception year group has 44 children, divided into three classes (two of 15 and 1 of 14). The majority of children move up from our Kindergarten (KG) and a small number join us directly into Reception from other settings. The transition tends to be easy and seamless. Our KG children are already familiar with staff and routines and enjoy playing with children in other year groups. Reception staff spend time in KG in the summer term so they are well known to the children when September comes. We run a series of familiarisation sessions for children joining directly into Reception and our caring staff ensure they settle quickly into life at RSM. It is very much a fresh start for everyone and all the Reception children make new friends with their classmates and enjoy being part of their new groups.
Reception follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum which has been further developed to suit the children’s needs and reflect the school’s unique ethos. There is a strong focus on the individual, child initiated learning and having lots of fun. Lessons are creative and exciting and the popular characters of Have a Go Hippo, Choosing Chimp and Busy Bee continue to give the children confidence to try new things and learn from their mistakes. We prioritise investment in teachers and teaching assistants, so the children have the support they need and teachers have the time for planning, assessment and feedback of the highest standards. This gives a significant boost to the pace of learning and teachers can gently stretch or support each individual through targeted lessons, experiences and activities. The children also benefit from specialist teaching in Games, PE, Music, IT and Spanish.
The children’s Early Years Scores are exceptional, and they move on to Year 1 with a strong foundation on which to build their learning and the confidence to embrace the challenges of Key Stage 1.
All year round the children make good use of the school’s wonderful 15 acre site and outdoor learning is an integral part of life here. Reception have their own playground with a trim trail and climbing equipment and they are often outside painting, playing with foam and exploring. Tadpole hunting in the pond is a favourite activity. The children also explore the many other playgrounds, the nature reserve, EDEN area (for quiet time), and vegetable patches during their break and lunchtimes and as part of outside lessons.
All Reception children have a timetabled Forest School sessions in a special area located in a secluded part of the school grounds. Forest School fosters independence, resilience, confidence, problem solving and creativity and the children’s progress and development is closely monitored by our highly trained Forest School practitioner, Miss Peters.
Many a time I have observed children do something outside that they had yet to achieve inside. That sense of space for many young children is key.
Sam Selkirk, Head of Lower School
There is a comprehensive and flexible year-round wraparound care programme for all children at RSM from age 2 1/2 to 11 years.