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The working, teaching and learning language of the school is English. We create special personalised programmes to help newcomers to English adapt as quickly as possible.

Head of EY

Dominika Braithwaite  – Early Years Teacher

 

Agnieszka Kulak – Early Years Assistant Teacher

 

Reception

The teachers all attend a staff briefing at 8.15 together in order to stay aware of all news for the day and immediate organisational matters.

 

The children can be dropped off from 8.25 in the classroom.

 

For Reception, the school day starts at 8.35 with Registration and then ‘Circle Time’. This is where we gather in a circle together, sing a good morning and welcome song and talk about what is going to happen during the day, introducing our topics for learning and the key vocabulary we are going to practise. This lasts about 25 minutes and is followed by a short session of either English/Literacy or Numeracy. This is a key moment when we remind children of their very short term learning goals – which number facts to remember, which new words they have been learning or new reading techniques. Jolly Phonics is a well respected, multi-sensory approach to learning to read and write, and in the first half of the year we work through this programme, where 25 minutes is an ideal length of lesson to introduce new sounds for revision and further work during the day.

 

At 9.25, we have our first session of the day on the International Primary Curriculum. We explore a variety of learning areas in these activities in a structured way and through topics such as ‘family’, ‘people who help us’, ‘the garden’, ‘wintertime’, ‘food’. This lasts until snack time at 10.15. We go to our eating room and have our snacks that were brought from home. After this we go out into the school garden for outside playtime, which we enjoy together with the Nursery children. One day per week we have computers at this time.

 

Twice per week, at 11.30 we have music, on other days another English or numeracy lesson. We also have Physical Education once per week. This means learning to control our bodies through specific activities and also team sports, traditional dance.

 

On Tuesdays, between 12 and 12.40 we have another computer lesson. At this stage in our learning we are finding our way around the basics of using a computer and enjoying specific age appropriate learning games which contribute to our numeracy, literacy, language skills, hand-eye coordination, logical thinking and spatial intelligence.

 

Lunch is from 12.40-1.30.

 

The afternoon is dedicated to two main activities, which are managed on a day to day basis depending on weather, learning topic and class needs. These are another IPC session and play – either outside play (weather permitting) or inside structured play.

 

Long lessons feature a natural and carefully managed rotation of activities in recognition of the attention span of small children, but not forgetting that momentum is also important. The spiral nature of the IPC learning approach lends itself to frequent rotation of task and activities whilst exploring a specific topic area.

 

At 3.10 we wrap up with an end of day Circle Time and bye bye song.

 

The day is structured to recognise the way small children function and learn, includes many opportunities for repetition of learning themes and activities, chances to build vocabulary, self confidence, team work, time for gross motor development as well as fine motor development, outside learning and also rest.

 

The breakdown of subjects in terms of number of lessons in the week is as follows:

 

English/literacy – 6 (direct instruction)

Numeracy (Maths) – 5 (direct instruction)

PE – 1

Outside play – where games are organised as well – 5 to 10 weather permitting.

Music – 2

ICT (computers) – 2

IPC* – 19

Circle Times – 10 half lessons

 

*It should be noted that IPC includes reinforcement and extension of language, literacy and mathematical learning. IPC also includes art activities, history and science learning, integrated into a single programme.

 

Another way of saying this is that our English and Maths strategies feature a high level of direct instruction, which is then reinforced and validated through inquiry-based learning in the IPC sessions. This ensures a balance between highly structured learning and learning through discovery, both of which are vital at this age in order to be sure the children are learning well and making the progress we think they are making, but also that school is great fun and a joyful adventure.

 

Music also features a high level of direct instruction in specific music skills. These music lessons are not the same as music activities, which many schools offer. They are lessons, during which children are taught transferable skills such as active listening, predicting, rhythmical and pitch solfege (our methods are derived from the Kodaly method), audiation, vocal emission techniques (yes, children at the age can and should be taught how to sing – there is no such thing as a child without musical talent). Children feel great when they can hear themselves sing nicely and know it is good. We use songs in many subjects, including in IPC lessons.

 

Circle times include metacognition. From this age onwards we teach the children how to learn. Metacognition is learning about learning and this not only helps children be as effective as possible in learning, but also gives them motivation and helps them feel determined to keep trying and overcome difficulties when they encounter them.

 

EMBASSY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL TIMETABLE – RECEPTION

 

Tabela Timetable Reception a

 

Science covers topics such as:

  • What humans can do, how they grow, move, feed and take care of themselves
  • How plants and trees grow and change and the conditions needed for growth
  • How to take care of the environment
  • What things are made of and what they can do
  • How heat and cold affect things
  • How things move – roll, slide, bounce, slither etc
  • What causes movement – pushes and pulls
  • Different types of sounds
  • Mirrors and simple reflection
  • Making shadows
  • Magnetic games
  • Torches and simple light sources

…….and many more.

 

Our weekly theme is exactly what the name suggests – a different theme each week which we use as a fun way of combining and practising the skills we have learned in our language, literacy and numeracy lessons as well as developing our art skills, our design and technology thinking, creating displays, going on field trips, learning about geography, the past, people, and of course our science learning. This approach prepares us for the International Primary Curriculum that the school uses later in Primary and also ensures that we integrate our learning whilst having great fun!

 

Once per week, on a Friday afternoon we make a short presentation of our week’s work for parents and teachers, which of course we also practise in the morning. This is not just to show how much fun we had but also to learn essential communication skills, take pride in our work and let you know what we have been doing. This is also a moment to recognise extra special efforts during the week with a certificate.

 

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