The youngest children at Loughborough Amherst School start in Reception Class (4+) and do a lot of their learning through carefully designed play and continuous activity. Our Reception Class Teacher, Mrs G. Olaleye, is able to adapt the learning of the children to their individual needs and current focus.
The school largely follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum but enhances it with specialist Music, Languages (Spanish) and PE teaching. The children also benefit from weekly swimming lessons and Forest School access as well as a weekly session with the School Librarian in the Preparatory Library.
Our small class sizes and community focus mean that children in the Reception Class are immediately welcomed into the Preparatory School family and join in as many of the activities as they can. The annual visit to the Pantomime for example is one such activity that involves the whole school. Visits that involve just the younger children also take place; the visit to a local farm is an event that always brings a smile to everyone’s face. Our small class sizes also mean that we know the children in our care exceptionally well and are therefore able to tailor their learning ensuring that, even from this early stage, children are developed in areas they show talents and nurtured in areas they find more difficult. Our calm environment allows us to provide purposeful learning experiences particularly for those who do not like large and noisy environments
Our classroom has been designed with younger children in mind. Display walls have been lowered in our classrooms to ensure that they are useful and accessible for children and toys and activities are also stored and labelled at appropriate heights. We have also been careful to tie in subtle elements of the classroom decor with other year groups to ensure that, come transition time, there is a feel of cohesiveness between where children move on to.
As well as our curriculum, Amherst school is known for the pupils’ confidence and thoughtfulness towards others. This learning in areas such as team work, resilience and giving new things a try begins right from the Reception Class. We build into our year opportunities for the students to perform such as with small roles in the annual nativity play or the opportunity to share their work in Achievement Assemblies.
Working with parents is key in any year group and none more so than in the Reception Class to ensure that we gain the very best for every child. We use the Tapestry App to continually involve parents in their child’s learning and strongly encourage parents to come and join in with school events at every opportunity. A good year in Reception Class is a building block to continued achievement and Loughborough Amherst School is proud to provide the solid and secure environment that young children need.