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What do they learn in reception?

(13 Posts)
crystal07 Tue 07-Dec-10 10:47:17

I know how this sounds but was wondering what do they actually learn in reception? the private school my kid attends hasnt communicated anything to do with addition/subtraction. they get reading and homework daily (handwriting practice)and on the weekend a maths activity which has never been anything but counting or colouring (too simple). The mums at the school gate are always on about how well there ds are doing in relation to the other pupils who have been there longer, i am now getting worried that my ds may get left behind, i do a little work with her on weekends at home but dont know if i am doing enough or what i should be doing.

Do you think it is appropriate to ask for more homework catered to her ability, (as it is too easy)?

This is my first thread so not familiar with abbreviatons! sorry.

redskyatnight Tue 07-Dec-10 11:45:58

Reception (even in a private school) is playbased. So there won't be a great deal in the way of "formal" learning (probably just some phonics teaching).

The school should incorporate learning into "play" activities that your child chooses. e.g. if your child likes to play shops can he write out a shopping list, count the money, role play etc. If he likes building things with the blocks, can he design a big castle before he builds it, can he thinks of ways to improve it, can he make patterns with the blocks, identify the tallest tower, make up an imaginary game involving the people living there.

DD (also Reception) likes copying down words from the displays on the wall (I have no idea why either) - the staff have channelled this into trying to make her think about the sense of what she is writing and also working with her to improve her letter formation. When DS was in Reception he couldn't write at all at first, so he was encouraged to develop his fine motor control via "fun" activities.

We don't have any "homework" as such apart from reading. You'll find as your child moves into year 1 and 2 that more formal work will consolidate what he has done in Reception.

I'd ignore mothers who claim their DC are better than anyone else's. They may well be (or even not be) but tbh how your child did in Reception is not going to have a huge bearing on the rest of his life. My own DS was a very slow starter in Reception but has progressed year on year as he's moved up the school.

deepfriedcupcake Tue 07-Dec-10 12:01:59

DS's Rec class if very much learning through play, including phonics, counting, learning about the world, and how to do things for themselves (eg buttoning their own coat, coming home in the right shoes).

No legible letters yet but boosted his confidence in 'writing' loads by sending a letter to Santa, who can read anything, even illegible scribbles by a 4yr old.

Can you ask if you're allowed to come in for a morning?

They also had a literacy parents morning (for a hour) about learning through Rec-Yr2 and said the best thing you can do are to talk lots, read books together, discuss things around you etc, rather than anything formal yet. I found it v helpful - maybe your school could do the same?

And homework is a v short book a week.

seeker Tue 07-Dec-10 12:05:57

No idea in a private school. Presumably it depends on the school - it might have been a good idea to fins out before you sent her there! Loads in a state school.

dikkertjedap Tue 07-Dec-10 12:41:12

Don't know about private school, but in dd's state school: phonics, writing, simple arithmetics (counting, adding, subtraction, division, multiplication), social skills, creative work, cooking, music, ball sports, drama ... so lots and lots of things, not surprising she is knackered when she comes home!

tomhardyismydh Tue 07-Dec-10 12:46:59

division and multiplication in reception??

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 12:48:42

Different perspective here - dd1 in a private Montessori school. The age range is higher than in the UK - all of the children in dd's class of 14 will have turned 5 by the end of this term, some are 6 already (dd turned 5 in September).

They don't learn through play but through "activities". The children can chose their own, and are encouraged to try different things out but not forced to do anything. However, now she is in reception, they are also incoporating more formal teaching. She can read and write now, and is doing simple maths, plus, minus etc. They do a bit of craft/drawing but not much, PE, tennis, swimming etc. Music, French, computer studies.

HTH. (hope that helps). (oh and ds is dear son - if you have a daughter she would be dd).

IndigoBell Tue 07-Dec-10 12:58:47

tomhardyismydh - they teach to the child's level. So if your child is ready they'll teach him multiplication and division.

anonymousbird Tue 07-Dec-10 12:59:03

They "learn", simply by being with others. That is a massive part of it. It's pretty subtle in Reception, this time last year, I thought "what is my son learning" but somehow, in that year, he grew up, became so much more confident and independent, he learnt to cooperate, he learnt to read, he learnt to just get on with life a bit... he was stimulated by being involved in a wide range fantastic school activities, not always aimed at the young ones, but they got involved too and gained so much from it.

He learnt to be able to speak up (in front of the whole school and parents) on numerous occasions. He is learning manners, tolerance and kindness.

It is not so much formal learning per se.... lots and lots of active stuff, gym, movement, music, cooking, as well as some more classroom based stuff. However, that said, by the end of the year he could read and write (from a starting point of nothing whatsoever at the beginning of reception).

Reception is the basis of their school life. A lot of it is play/activity, but boy do they take it all in!

He learnt more than I ever ever imagined he would in one short year

gabid Tue 07-Dec-10 13:23:12

Regarding too easy homework - they are only 4 or so. Does your son enjoy the easy homework? If so it might be boosting his confidence, if it bores and frustrates him explain it to the teacher. But I think in reception they should be having fun and homework is for later when they are a bit older.

strandedatseasonsgreetings Tue 07-Dec-10 13:30:17

Dd1 has homework twice a week or so.She ostly enjoys it. I think it makes a huge difference that all the children in her class are 5+. From my experience, I would like to see the reception age for children change so that they start the term they turn 5.

crystal07 Tue 07-Dec-10 22:19:47

Thanks for the replies very helpful, especially
strandedatseasonsgreetins! i really didnt know what dd and ds stood for. I think i will relax a bit as dd enjoys school and is doing well. I have arranged a meeting with teacher so will get a chance to look at what she does in school, that will give me better understanding of things in general.
gabid- the easy hw i was refering to is colouring or counting up to 10, which is not challenging for a 4/5 year old (my 3 year old can do that too).
I will update this after my meeting. thanks again.

crystal07 Mon 13-Dec-10 21:20:31

Quick update.

I had the meeting with the teacher, we discussed dd's progress which, teacher said is adequate (not what I wanted to hear).

I moaned a bit about hw being too basic and dd needs more stimulation, i dont think teacher appreciated it, but even though the meeting didnt resolve any of my concerns at least the teacher knows i am concerned.

I dont mean to be pushy or competitive but i didnt get to go to a good school and have learned the hard way how important education is, so just want dd to do well and be noticed in class.

in terms on what they do in reception, i have bought reception age books to do at home and subscribed to reading chest, which both kids adore!

I think i will concentrate on doing a little and often at home every day.

thanks for all replies.

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