We believe that in Early Years, children learn most effectively through play. The children are encouraged to participate in all of the activities whether indoors in our large and bright classroom or outside in their dedicated playground.
We offer a rich and varied curriculum in a safe and engaging environment. We understand that children develop at their own pace, and our experienced staff use assessment carefully to ensure every child reaches their full potential. Children learn best when they are happy, safe and secure. Our environment is planned to enable children the opportunity to extend and develop their thinking and learning across all areas of the curriculum. Although the resources in each area reflect a particular curricular area, they are planned together enabling children to consolidate and apply their learning in a way that makes sense to them. Your child will learn simple skills such as waiting, taking turns and sharing. With guidance and care they will develop the confidence to access and use resources independently; choosing where to play, finding books, accessing the toilet and putting on their own coat.
Reading in the Nursery Phase
Pupils in Nursery are exposed to a range of traditional stories from a range of cultures. During shared reading, pupil attention drawn to the direction language is read and how pictures can be used to support understanding of the text. The stories have a range of morals within them which are explored as a way of developing pupils' SMSC understanding. The Nursery is equipped with Story Phones that allows pupils to listen through headphones to a wide range of spoken stories. Pupils also have access to the texts whilst listening to the stories to help develop basic book skills.
When Nursery staff deem a child ready, they begin on the first stage of the Rigby Star guided reading scheme. These books are picture books that require the child to discuss what is happening and make predictions about what will happen next. The books are then sent home to be shared with the parents.
In Nursery work is done with parents to encourage the sharing of books at home. Selections of key Primary texts are sent home once a week for parents to share with their child. Many of the books are dual language ensuring that stories can be shared in the home language as well as English.
Phonics in the Nursery Phase
At Alec Reed Academy, Phonics teaching begins in Nursery and continues throughout Year 2 and beyond with the aim of pupils becoming fluent readers by the age of seven. Phonics teaching is divided into 6 Phases.
Phase 1 concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.
In Phase 2, letters and their sounds are introduced one at a time. A set of letters is taught each week. Children will be encouraged to use their knowledge of the letter sounds to blend and sound out words.
By the time they reach Phase 3, children will already be able to blend and segment words. Over the twelve weeks which Phase 3 is expected to last, twenty-five new graphemes are introduced.
When children start Phase 4 they will know a grapheme for each of the 42 phonemes. They will be able to blend phonemes to read CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and segment in order to spell them. The main aim of this phase is to consolidate the children's knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants.
Children entering Phase 5 will already be able to read and spell words with adjacent consonants. They will also be able to read and spell some polysyllabic words. In Phase Five, children will learn more graphemes and phonemes.
At the start of Phase 6 of Letters and Sounds, children will have already learnt the most frequently occurring grapheme–phoneme correspondences (GPCs) in the English language. They will be able to read many familiar words automatically. When they come across unfamiliar words they will in many cases be able to decode them quickly and quietly using their well-developed sounding and blending skills. At this stage children should be able to spell words phonemically although not always correctly. In Phase Six the main aim is for children to become more fluent readers and more accurate spellers.