Swans (Reception)

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

Children are encouraged to develop their individual interests, knowledge and talents, supported by our small class sizes (a maximum of 20 pupils) and our highly experienced and inspiring staff.   Rose McInnes, qualified teacher and Georgina Gregory (NVQ Level 3, Nursery Nurse), teach and enable our Swans children.

Our Swans Curriculum

We follow the Early Years curriculum, encouraging children’s learning in all areas. What really stands our Reception curriculum apart, is our focus on child-initiated learning.  This means that pupils have the autonomy to take their learning in any direction that interests or inspires them!  We focus on active learning and engaging the children in critical thinking – encouraging them to develop a ‘can do’ attitude. The main areas of learning we cover are from the Government Document ‘Development Matters’.

There are three prime areas:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Physical development
  • Communication and Language

And four specific areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

We spend the first six weeks getting to know our children, finding out their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses.  From this we get a baseline for each child and can then provide a curriculum based on individual interests and set up the learning environment to encourage and enhance each individual’s education. This is supported by differentiated objective led activities each week in literacy and maths, daily phonic sessions, RE and PSHCE.  Our aim is to enable each child to develop their own interests and feel in control of their learning; this promotes confidence and engagement, supported by providing an appropriate rich and safe environment, promoting positive learning and investigative opportunities.

The Reception children at Grace Dieu also take part in specialist classes – Music, PE, Swimming, Outdoor Learning and French – all taught by qualified teachers.

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 that progression is natural and effective.  Children are familiar with the environment and staff.

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