In the early learning Reception classes, there is a strong emphasis on play-based learning as the best vehicle for young children’s learning and stimulus for brain development. There is a focus on communication and language - including early literacy and numeracy - and social and emotional development.
Reception is a pre-Kindergarten program for boys and girls who will be starting school the following year, i.e. for children turning 4 before 31 May of the year in which they have enrolled in Reception.
There are two Reception programs: a three-day program from Monday-Wednesday, and a two-day program from Thursday-Friday. Students are either enrolled in the three-day or the two-day program, not both. The programs cover the same, high-quality content.
The Reception classroom is located in the beautiful Jacaranda Cottage. Reception students have their own routines, schedules and play areas so that they feel at home within the School. School hours for Reception are 8.30am to 2.30pm.
Reception students are encouraged to work towards becoming independent learners as they prepare for the start of formalised schooling. When children are given opportunities to develop their independence and are encouraged to do things for themselves, they are rewarded with great feelings of success.
As part of building confidence, each child is allocated a Classroom Sharing time. The purpose of this experience is for the children to have the opportunity to share information about themselves, their families, their hobbies and interests, and to start to get to know their own characters.
The Macquarie University PreLit program is used to teach Literacy skills in Reception. PreLit is a skills-based, early literacy preparation program for children in the year before starting Kindergarten. It is designed to complement a play-based learning environment and provides children with a sound foundation for learning to read. The program is systematic, skills-based and taught in a hierarchical sequence.
There are two main components to the PreLit program:
The program provides students with solid preparation for the start of WRAP in Kindergarten.
The Reception Numeracy program is designed to teach children to describe mathematical situations using everyday language, actions, materials and informal recordings. Students are exposed to numbers, patterns, sequences, positions, shapes and mathematical groupings in a fun and age-appropriate manner.
Reception students participate in weekly Sport lessons in order to learn the importance of movement and to help children build up their fine and gross motor skills and coordination. In addition to these lessons, the students participate in sensory motor exercises within their classroom setting in order to further enhance these skills.
Reception students participate in Music lessons once a fortnight in order to provide them with an appreciation of rhythm and sound. They also have story time in the School Library with the opportunity to borrow books once a week.
Catholic traditions and acts of piety are integrated throughout the Reception curriculum. Students participate in an Infants Mass with Kindergarten and Year 1 once a term, and learn prayers, hymns and stories from the Bible throughout their day-to-day learning. There is a strong emphasis on virtue education in all aspects of the curriculum.
Reception students also have scheduled times for free-play, structured games, and both outdoor and indoor exploration.