Early Years at Bolton Primary School
At Bolton Primary School, the reception children work in a class with year 1 children for 50% of the week and with year 1s and 2s for remainder of the week. Most children attend the privately-run nursery for their pre-school years that is located next to the school. The school has great links with the nursery, and this has led to a very positive transition process for children for the past several years from pre-school to reception. This year the school has introduced the opportunity for pre-school children to join reception and year 1s for a stay and play session, with the intention to increase these visits throughout the year.
We have high ambitions for all our children and recognise that children have different starting points to their learning. We plan according to children’s stage of development so all can thrive and develop. We aim for children to be well-rounded individuals who are independent, resilient, and confident in themselves and with others.
The reception children are excited and motivated to learn through rich and challenging learning experiences, opportunities to explore and take risks and first-hand experiences.
We work closely with parents which helps to support children’s transition into Bolton School. We would like parents to feel secure in the knowledge that their child is well cared for and happy at school.
Our parents are welcome to be actively involved in their children’s learning in school and are able to share learning experiences through contributing to their child’s learning journey through Tapestry and also through parent workshops. We recognise that parents are the first educators in children’s lives and value contributions to judgements about children’s development. We use this information to support our assessments and share information about what children need to do next to develop and thrive.
Every day, we provide opportunities for children to come together to share their experiences and have fun. Our children are happy, proud and feel secure knowing that we celebrate their successes and value their achievements. The curriculum is centred around children’s interests with a balance of child-initiated and adult-led learning.
Our learning environment facilitates child-initiated play and provides children with carefully planned opportunities which allow children to explore, create and learn through exciting, stimulating, interactive and accessible resources.
Children learning in Reception are known as the Early Years. We follow the national Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The EYFS is a very important stage in a child’s life as it helps prepare for school ‘readiness’ as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. Children’s early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs. Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences before the age of five will have a major impact on their future life chances.
The EYFS framework explains how and what children will be learning to support their healthy development and provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
The EYFS specifies requirements for learning and development and for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.
Children will learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
These prime areas are those most essential for a child’s healthy development and future learning.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
All 7 areas of learning are used to plan children’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child at Bolton School will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. It is very important that they develop social skills, such as turn-taking, sharing and independence, which help them greatly in the next stages of their learning. The guiding principles that shape our practice in the Early Years are that children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.
This does not mean that all your child's learning is divided up into specific areas. One experience may provide a child with opportunities to develop a number of skills and concepts across several areas of learning. Our expectation is that your child's records will be passed on from Nursery and/or Pre-school groups, enabling us to ensure continuity throughout the Early Years Foundation stage.
Phonics teaching and learning are a key part of the Foundation Stage and help to develop early reading and writing skills. If you visited a Reception class, you would see a range of activities taking place such as role-play, practical games, painting, cutting and sticking and reading in the book corner. You would also see the outdoor classroom in operation, with equipment such as bikes, role play, sand and water.
Children work and play independently, with a strong emphasis on choice and being able to sustain concentration on projects, as well as joining a variety of teacher-led activities.
Early Learning Goals
The EYFS curriculum consists of 17 aspects of learning, at Bolton we provide our pupils with the opportunities the meet the Early Learning Goals in all of these aspects.
Assessment at the end of Reception
Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations. In their interactions with children, practitioners should respond to their own day-to-day observations about children’s progress, and observations that parents and carers share. To this end we make systematic observations and assessments of each child's achievements, interests and learning styles. We then use these observations and assessments to identify learning priorities and plan relevant and motivating learning experiences for each child.
Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals (above). Practitioners will indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development:
The Year 1 teacher is also the reception teacher, therefore has a full understanding of the reception end of profile assessments leading to a positive transition for children between reception into year 1. Teacher will have a clear understanding of each child’s stage of development and learning needs and assist with the planning of activities at the start of Year 1.
Parents will have access to the Profile report together with a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning.
Year 1 at Bolton Primary School
At Bolton Primary School, the year 1 children work in a class with reception children for 50% of the week and with reception and 2s for remainder of the week.
In year 1 the children enjoying learning in lots of different ways. The classroom is always busy with lots of exciting learning happening. The children transition in year 1 really well, as when the children are reception, they are able to observe the expectations of being a year 1. The children are ready for a challenge. There are more teacher-led opportunities, however children continue to have opportunities to be challenged through continuous provision. The children complete challenges independently in the areas linked to learning objectives we are trying to master. This allows them to practice and show their understanding and skills from their learning in core and foundation subjects. Year 1 children have the opportunity to do a session of plan, do and review once a fortnight.
Year 1 children enjoy learning in lots of different ways, such as in groups, partners or on their own. The children learn through a topic each term and they have daily sessions of English, Maths and Phonics and weekly sessions of Science, Geography, History, Design Technology, Art, Computing, PHSE and RE. They develop their physical skills through weekly PE sessions and games at playtimes.
The year 1 children enjoy taking part in after school clubs, such as archery, baking, crafts and many more throughout the year with reception and year 2 children.
All information about the curriculum coverage and learning objective for all subjects can be found on our curriculum page – please click here https://www.bolton.cumbria.sch.uk/curriculum-new/
CLASS 2 BY CLASS 2
We are class two and, in this class, we have three-year groups, which are year 2 year 3 and year 4. We all work hard to do our best and get house points, or if we go the extra mile, we get a raffle ticket. If we do something we shouldn’t do, we might get a warning! When Miss Jorysz wants to speak to us all she calls statues - we sit or stand still ready to listen. We have a class representative who takes our ideas to School Council.
Reading in our class is fun, we have lots of books. We have books for boys and girls. We all do a reading group with our teacher and we are given some follow up work to do at home. Sometimes we read with our buddy, who might be in a different class.
Most days we do some grammar. We have three groups: nouns, verbs and adjective. Sometimes we have to work independently but we always get help from our teacher. We always have spelling tests on a Friday. We have ten spelling words which we write in sentences.
We have been doing story writing. We have been reading The Snail and the Whale - it was very good. After we read it a number of times, we made a big poster on the wall. Everyone enjoyed it very much. We loved the rhyming.
When we do maths we work in three groups: Speedy Col, Super Fab and Super Super Fab.
In Speedy Col we do all sorts of stuff like number bonds to ten, times tables, fractions, adds, and shape. Sometimes we play ‘around the world’ and other games to help us learn. We get given a few sums and if we get them all right, we get a house point.
Super Fab are learning their three times table. Maths is great fun. To help with our three times table we use number towers, cards and quick recall. At the moment we are learning to tell the time including 24 hour clocks. On Friday we do clic, learn its and safe - these are our challenges.
Super Super Fab have been doing table grids. We also learn how to use jigsaw numbers to help us find missing numbers to 1000. We use our maths to solve problems.
Year 2’s have been learning about floating and sinking in science. We used modelling clay and we shaped it and put it in water. Everyone had fun and enjoyed it.
Year 3 and 4’s have been learning that water can be a solid, a liquid or a gas. We have learnt how to use a thermometer. We all love doing science.
Year two join with class one in the afternoons with Mrs Tinkler. In history we have been learning about Christopher Columbus. It is very interesting. We all think it’s amazing. PE is on Fridays and Wednesdays. We play ball games and dance. We have been practicing our winter performance. In our art lessons we made an ‘under the sea’ diorama. First, we designed it. Then we painted a background and thirdly we glued some tissue-paper on. We hung cut outs of sea creatures in the box. We do music with Miss Jorysz. Everybody listens to the song. Then we sing the song very nicely. We sometimes play the instruments. Year 2’s are learning to play the recorder.
In history the year 3 and 4 have been learning about Tudor galleons and Sir Francis Drake. We played a game that helped us to learn more about Tudor explorers. In PE we do lots of fun sports like hockey, netball and circuits. On Friday Miss Jorysz teaches us, on Wednesday Mrs. Cousin teaches us. We are learning skills like throwing, running and jumping. PE keeps us fit and healthy. Every Wednesday we do music with Mrs. Tuffin, she’s teaching us to play the clarinet. It’s fun. Sometimes we sing and dance. The year 3 and 4’s did some art using water as our inspiration. We experimented with different ways to create water on paper. One way was to put washing up liquid with the paint and blow bubbles with a red straw. Everyone gave it a thumbs up!