The Lower School is the UK Key Stage 1. It begins with the Reception class (ages 4 and 5), which completes the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Children then move into Year 1 (ages 5 and 6) and Year 2 (ages 6 and 7 which have their own defined Aldenham curriculum.
Our Reception Class, offers an excellent start to children as they begin their first year of formal schooling. The children at Aldenham are offered every opportunity to flourish and explore in a creative environment to encourage curiousity before moving on to Year 1.
Children in Reception at Aldenham benefit from highly qualified teachers and the space to develop without being overawed by the larger children.The children also have access to specialist teachers for Arabic, Islamic and Social Studies, Music and PE. There is a wonderful outdoor play area, vegetable garden and access to the large indoor sports hall and theatre.
Highly Targeted Fun
In Reception, the children have a lot of fun and there is still the feel of ‘play’. However, there is also the shift to more formalised learning and at Aldenham we focus on ensuring that we know each child’s skills and abilities so that we can support their development. We make baseline assessments of each child based on observations, assessment of class activities and on records received from Aldenham (or other) Nursery.
During the first half term we use BASE as part of our baseline assessment of each child. This is repeated in the Summer Term as an indicator of progress. There is also on-going assessment from specialist teachers by observing the children at play and at work.
Every child participates regularly in small group phonics activities and works individually with an adult. Our phonics programme is Letters and Sounds, using the actions and pictures of the Jolly Phonics materials.
We have books available from many reading schemes to provide breadth of interest and stretch for the most able.
Children work with specialist teachers who find exciting ways to help them experience and understand the foundations of mathematics in preparation for the rest of their school career.