POSITIVITY is key at Abbey Park First and Nursery School.
That’s what I was told by Lydia Roberts, the Reception teacher and Early Years co-ordinator.
Mrs Roberts, 49, who has been teaching at Abbey Park School for six years, said: “Children are like sponges; therefore, positivity is important.”
I entered the classroom and had expected there to be a slight buzz from the children as it being the first day back after half term. I was surprised to witness every child was delighted to be reunited with their class peers.
Mrs Roberts added: “The parents and teachers work together to achieve the best from the children.
“The children think they are playing but they are also learning. We offer different activities to assist their writing, reading and maths. We make a real effort in class to expand the children’s vocabulary. Using long, descriptive words such as ‘glorious’ helps the children pick up on words, rather than them using basic language skills. “They should be having fun and love school at this age.”
Every week, two or three parents visit Mrs Roberts to discuss the home life of the child, any worries, and if there is anything the parents would like their children to learn. Workshops are offered to parents to create a positive bond between home and school. Tips are provided by professionals, such as learning about the importance of healthy nutrition and suggesting food items to be included in the children’s lunchboxes.
Mrs Roberts said: “The children have only had one half term in Reception but have learnt routines really well.
“We will be learning about dinosaurs because they have shown a lot of love for them. We’ll use ‘Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs’ as our main story with non-fiction books too. The children will be very excited by this topic and I have set up a role play corner for them and lots of activities to engage them.”
I was astonished by what the children had already learnt by the age of four and five. Harry Brown, aged 4, was telling me about his love for dinosaurs and showing me how to write his name. I was amazed he spelt his name correctly and with a capital ‘H’.
While he was drawing his own T. Rex, Harry told me he loves to draw. He described to me which part of the body he was drawing, calling his sketch a ‘scary, big carnivore.’ Harry later demonstrated how dinosaurs eat by impersonating the sound. I was impressed to discover the children already knew the difference between a carnivore and herbivore.
Mrs Roberts said: “We teach the children to be kind to each other and be kind to our things. The children will get rewarded if they do something which has impressed us a class. An example of an award would be offering them a ‘dance break’. We would put a song on for the class which they can dance to. Dancing has been proven to make you keen to learn and if you listen to some fun music it makes you happier.
“We have a strong ethos that children should be really inspired by their environment to feel safe, learn through play and exploration and grow in confidence. “We have some structure in our day so that children can learn phonics through a program called Read Write. Our children have been learning their sounds to help them read and write. We also do practical, hands on maths daily too.”
I completed a tour around the building while the children were enjoying their mid-morning snack – a carton of milk and packet of raisins. It was lovely to see such a large outdoor area for the children to let their imagination go wild and enjoy the physical benefit of being outside.
Throughout my time at Abbey Park First and Nursery School, I was thoroughly impressed by how positive and enthusiastic the children are and how much they have learnt in one term during Reception.
Full article with photos and video available on the Worcester News website.