In Dragonfly (Reception Class) we begin each day with the children settling in and choosing their own activities (free choice learning). Parents are welcome to come in and chat to us if they have anything to share in relation to their child. We plan lessons based on the children’s needs and interests so this is an important time for both children and parents to communicate and offer input. After the register, we follow the daily ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonics programme, this is successful in building the children’s phonic knowledge to be able to read and write. There are adult led activities and self-directed play.
At playtime the children have the opportunity to play on the wheeled toys, draw with chalks, or take part in more structured games with staff. After playtime they have a healthy snack which they help to prepare and tidy away. Eating together is an important time to develop social skills.
We then have our daily puja (circle time) where we all sit quietly and listen to the sounds around us, becoming aware of our breathing. We use this time to introduce the key elements of the school’s ethos such as ‘being kind and caring to others’. We may begin with a relaxation session, after which the children are invited to talk about their feelings and emotions. They also begin to learn the important skill of listening to others. We usually end with a chant or song.
Our next session is usually numeracy or topic based and encourages learning through play, with adult-led activities to focus their understanding and interest. We plan lots of exciting trips to tie in with our topics including visits to Shoreham Lifeboat Station, Drusillas, Paradise Park and a pirate expedition to Brighton Marina! We also have visits to the school from the fire brigade, animal charities (with furry friends) and many more. The class perform their own Nativity play at Christmas and an end of year production in the Summer Term. On Friday mornings we visit the local woods to for ‘Woodland Learning’. This helps the children develop a love and understanding of nature.
Every Tuesday the class prepare and cook their own lunch and have a menu of meals for the term. This has proved to be very popular and helps motivate the children to try new food. On the other days Dragonfly join the rest of the school for lunch in Lotus class.
After lunch we have ‘quiet time’; this is when children read stories and each child has time to read individually with the class teacher. They also have a reading partner each from Lotus class (Years 5 and 6) whom they form a special relationship with. This helps both their reading progress and their confidence and social skills. In the afternoons there is free choice and children also have the opportunity to engage in activities such as P.E. games, yoga, relaxation, music and movement, French and gardening. We end the day with stories and singing, and talking about what the children have enjoyed most. Their suggestions often inform the next school day’s activities.