Fun, Creativity & Achievement

Phase 1

Reception & Year 1


Our Philosophy:

At Preston Hedge’s we really value the relationships we form with parents as well as the local community and work hard to ensure our children have a happy and secure start to school. As a Phase, we strongly believe in the nurture and development of the child as a whole. Our staff are fantastic at building a fun and creative environment to stimulate valuable learning experiences, which lead to high and increasing outcomes for all our children.

Within Phase One, we enjoy learning by investigating the world around us as well as building upon real life situations. By stimulating and challenging the imagination of our children, we hope to lay the foundations for a lifelong love of learning. It is important to us to encourage, develop and support every child’s growing independence throughout these first formative years of their education.

Your children are given the opportunity to explore their surroundings through creative and independent learning experiences. Throughout Reception and Year One, we encourage, enjoy and enhance our learning through the use of our fantastic “Big Outdoors” environment. Our children are always thrilled to explore our vast outdoor areas in all weathers, which lends itself to developing a range of skills and abilities.

Our aim is to continually enhance the start we give our children to ensure they achieve their full potential and gain a love for learning.

We are extremely proud of our achievements in Phonics across the Phase. We are fortunate enough to have the resources to structure learning in small group settings and in July 2018, 98% of our Year One children passed the national screening test.

Should you have any questions or queries about Phase 1, or your child’s learning, please feel free to pop in and speak to me.

Mrs Becky Dyson

Assistant Principal


A Day In Year R

In Reception each day begins with the children coming into the classroom and self-registering before choosing their independent learning around the classroom. Each morning the children will take part in small group phonics sessions and whole class handwriting sessions. Following this the children will have the opportunity to choose their independent learning in both the indoor and outdoor areas and work in small groups for maths and literacy.

One morning each week the children will join in a PE lesson and one afternoon each week the children will have fun in the big outdoors followed by hot chocolate!



A Day In Year 1

In Year 1 each day begins with our phonics and handwriting sessions. During the morning, the children will then take part in both maths and literacy lessons and one morning a week they will have PE. In the afternoon, the creative curriculum is taught, providing exciting experiences for the children to learn about their topic. One afternoon each week the children will put on their wetsuits ready for a fun afternoon in the big outdoors.


The Big Outdoors

We actively encourage, enjoy and enrich our learning through the use of our fantastic outdoor environments. Our spacious outdoor classroom encourages imaginative play which in turn helps to develop your child’s fine and gross motor skills.

All of our children thoroughly enjoy our big outdoors sessions in Year R which take place in all weathers. The children are encouraged to study their natural environment, to find things for themselves and create art and other objects from the available natural materials. We support our children to challenge themselves and to take risks in the environment.

Each session begins with some quiet listening time, lying immersed in the tall grass using all of our senses. We then take part in activities such as making bird feeders with fir cones and raisins, natural sculpture, den building on a large and small scale, pond dipping and mini-beast hunts. We always finish each session with a warming cup of hot chocolate which is enjoyed by all.

Year 1 continue the Big Outdoor sessions exploring knots, making stick frames, looking at seasonal changes and linking their learning and exploration to their curriculum.


At Preston Hedge’s Primary School we follow the ‘Letters & Sounds’ phonics program. This scheme is broken down into 6 ‘Phases’ and each of these Phases is aimed to support reading and spelling at various stages of a child’s development.

  • Phase 2, 3 & 4 are ideally complete during Reception.
  • Phase 5 is the longest of all the Phases and should begin at the start of Year One.
  • Extra afternoon phonics provision is given to those children who require additional support in meeting end of year national requirements.

The teaching of phonics begins as soon as the children join us in Reception and are settled into their new daily routine. We believe that to teach phonics in the most effective way, it should be taught in smaller adult led groups. Therefore, we alternate phonics and handwriting between each class, enabling us to utilise all adults effectively. We have found a rapid, quick fire method of revising, learning and applying to be highly effective. This method is also followed throughout Year One.




Phonics & Reading in Year 1

In phonics the children work in small groups, focusing on specific sounds each day. The groups are very flexible and children are able to move to a smaller or larger group to support individual needs. By the end of year 1, we aim for all children to be working within phase 5 of ‘letters and sounds’ ready for the phonics screening in the summer term. The children will change their reading books once a week, where they will have the chance to read with an adult. We encourage the children to choose their own reading books each week to promote their enjoyment for reading. In reading children will use their phonics knowledge to decode unknown words and discuss what they have read, finding evidence in the text to support their ideas.



In handwriting, children are taught to form both upper and lower case letters using the cursive script. Each letter is taught with an entry and exit stroke to support their transition to joined writing in year 2. The correct formation of letters is then encouraged and practised during their literacy lessons.


Mathematics in Phase 1

In maths the children will cover a range of mathematical areas including number, calculation, shapes, measure and handling data. Our maths sessions are very practical and children will have the opportunity to work both independently and with an adult. In each lesson the children will work on mental maths skills which promote their understanding of number and provide an opportunity to discuss new mathematical vocabulary.


Please visit our  page PH Curriculum 19-20 to see the content of our curriculum


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