Proud to be a member of the
Lincolnshire Gateway Academies Trust

Children starting in reception

Early childhood is the foundation on which learners build the rest of their lives. At Waltham Gateway Academy, we understand the important role that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) will play in laying the foundations for your child's future learning and development.

As you can see from the images below, taken from our current primary academies, we are passionate about children enjoying each day by engaging with and leading their own learning.

The learning and development requirements for children in reception, are informed by the best available evidence on how children learn and reflect the broad range of skills, knowledge and attitudes children need as foundations for good future progress.

There are seven areas of learning and development that shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. At Waltham Gateway Academy, we will recognise that the three prime areas are particularly important for building a foundation, for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These prime areas are:

  • Communication and Language;
  • Physical Development;
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

We will also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. These specific areas are:

  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the World;
  • Expressive Arts and Design.

All seven Areas of Development will shape and support the development of our long-term planning at Waltham Gateway Academy. Termly topics will ensure there are opportunities throughout the day for children to explore and develop these areas of learning. Characteristics of effective learning underpin everything and these are considered and recognized when observing children; knowing how children learn best ensures that staff are able to determine next steps through continual assessment.

Prime Areas of Learning are paramount in reception. Daily phonics, Maths and Literacy lessons will be taught with opportunities during independent learning time, for children to apply new knowledge by accessing planned activities that have been set up for them.

We will we use Development Matters as well at Chris Quigley Milestones to support our assessment of children across the year. All staff will use these documents to support with assessment.

We will use a programme called Tapestry for observations, which is linked to and shared with parents. These assessments will help support next steps to ensure children all receive the necessary challenge and support.

Tapestry is a two-way communication tool and we will encourage our parents to add observations from home too. We will send out weekly home learning challenges for children to complete supported by parents, which can then be shared on Tapestry or brought into school to share.

We will work closely with families and professionals to support the needs of all children, especially those with additional needs or disabilities. At Waltham Gateway Academy, we will consider the individual needs, interests, and development of each child in our care, and will use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development.

Class teachers will plan a broad and balanced curriculum to support the needs of all children. During Independent learning time, children will have free access to Continuous Provision when they choose their own resources. When children show a particular interest in something, this is then enhanced by adding different resources, to further develop their learning.

The reception team will have rules and routines in place to ensure children settle into their classes as quickly as possible. Children will know that they are able to access provision during independent learning time and our aim will be to ensure the children are confident to ask for help when they need it.

Parents/carers will be encouraged to share in activities and learning at Waltham Gateway Academy during parent sessions and workshops which will take place, at least once, every half-term. There will be regular parents' evening through the year to inform parents/carers of how their child is doing, alongside daily interactions with parents in the morning and in the afternoon.

We will assess all children at the start of reception, using the government Baseline Assessment tool. This will be completed during the first 4 weeks of autumn term. Children will then be assessed again at the end of autumn, spring and summer term. Teachers also assess children before they start to teach Bug Club phonics and then at points along the year. This helps to ensure every child is fully supported.

Outdoor learning is a crucial part of the curriculum and there will be heavy investment in providing an excellent outdoor learning environment and resources to support engagement and aid development across all areas.

All current primary academies within our Trust value the importance of outdoor learning and each has its own garden and wildlife area, which is incorporated into daily learning. This is also seen as crucial to support the well-being of our youngest children.

Enrichment will be a key focus. The children will go on trips and enjoy regular visits from a range of different providers to support their learning and expose them to exciting and enjoyable new experiences.

Sport will be a key focus for the whole academy and this will start with our children in reception, who will have dedicated PE lessons and be invited to participate in after school sports-related clubs.

As the children reach the end of their year in reception, there will be many opportunities for transition into Key Stage 1 to ensure all children (and parents and carers) are ready for the next stage in their education.

If you would like any further information about how our provision for reception will look at Waltham Gateway Academy, please contact us. We are very happy to arrange a visit to one of our current primary academies for you to get a flavour of what we will offer – though crucially, all our academies have their own identity – we look forward to your child helping to shape our identity for the future.