Every half-term we introduce a new topic for exploration. This academic year, for example, the Green Room children are investigating topics such as ‘All About Me’, ‘Transport’, ‘Colour’ and ‘Animals’, while in the Red Room they are looking at subjects such as ‘Our Bodies’, ‘Space’, ‘Traditional Tales’ and ‘Plants and Insects’.
This topic-based approach allows us to cover a broad range of humanities subjects while also laying the strong foundations in English and maths on which the children’s future academic success is built. Whatever topic we are studying, for example, we build in opportunities to introduce key mathematical concepts such as number, measurement, patterns and shape. That way, the children get used to the idea that mathematics is about engaging with the world around them – and that it is challenging, stimulating and creative.
We use the Jolly Phonics system to build up a love of language and reading, and watch each child’s progress closely so that we can introduce reading books when they are ready to gain from them. We then ensure that each child takes home a different book each night, so that they remain stimulated and engaged, and are always practising and extending their vocabulary.
We also build on these reading skills by introducing the idea of writing, helping the children with the technical aspects of letter formation and spelling, but also encouraging them to express themselves with confidence – the single most important attribute that we want the children to gain during the Early Years.