Swans (Reception)

The first year of Grace Dieu School begins in our Swans class.

Children are able to grow their interests, knowledge and talents, thanks to our small class size (a maximum of 20 pupils) and our highly experienced and inspiring staff. Judith Broadley, a qualified teacher, and Lisa Woolley, a NVQ Level 3 Nursery Nurse, teach our Swans children.

Our Swans Curriculum

We follow the Early Years curriculum – encouraging Early Years reading and writing. What really stands our Swans curriculum apart, is our focus on topic-based child-initiated learning. This means that pupils have the autonomy to take their topics in any direction that interests or inspires them! For example, whilst they are studying their Animals topic, if they want to learn about Tigers rather than Elephants, they do! And if they want to learn all about mixing colours rather than rainbows, they can!

We focus on active learning and engaging them in critical thinking – encouraging them, at all times, to have a go. The main areas of learning we cover are:

  • Personal social and emotional development
  • Physical development
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Above and beyond the EYFS that all children need to learn, pupils at Grace Dieu also take part in specialist music classes, PE, Outdoor Learning, Swimming and French. All taught by qualified teachers.

Over the course of the year Swans have studied the topics of Animals (their habitats and colours) – visiting Twycross Zoo and making their own hand puppets. They’ve had great fun studying ‘Traditional Tales’, bringing the Enormous Turnip to life by acting out the story, baking and decorating their own Gingerbread men, and creating a giant for their Jack and the Beanstalk display. They also made bread and visiting a bakery to learn how to make Hot Cross Buns, as well as visiting a farm – all inspired from reading The Little Red Hen!

The School year:

As we encourage children to join us in Cygnets to develop school readiness, all our Swans begin full time from their first day in September. We can help parents to plan their child’s phased entry by building up sessional hours in Cygnets.

The transition from Cygnets to Swans is smooth and straightforward – with many opportunities for both parents and children to meet their new teacher. Being in one building also ensures the progression is natural and effective.

Our Swans class is term time only, however we do run a number of holiday clubs to support working families.