Harlequin overview

Harlequin is our Year 1 and Year 2 class for children aged between 4 and 6, led by  Miss Oliver and Mrs Rushbrooke and Teaching Assistant Miss Imgram. We offer:

  • Blended classes which give your child a happy, seamless transition through the Early Years Foundation Stage and into Key Stage 1
  • Excellent support for children of different ages and abilities, with streamed workgroups, continuous assessment and tailored targets
  • Progressive teaching methods and increased emphasis on balancing play-based and teacher-led learning, to increase children's engagement and focus

Teaching Reception and Year 1 together enables us to spend more time focussing on building confidence and skills, and less time adjusting to new teachers, new classrooms and different teaching styles, as children progress through the Early Years Foundation Stage and into Key Stage 1. It also enables a more gradual transition into more formal learning styles.

Many children, particularly boys and ‘summer babies’, can struggle with the traditional transition from play-based learning in Nursery and Reception, to more formal, adult directed activities in Year 1. For many, it can be a difficult adjustment and the point at which school becomes less enjoyable. It’s hard to sit still all day when you’re used to lots of free-play! This in turn can affect children's receptiveness to learning. In Harlequin, Year 1 children benefit from a more progressive balance of practical learning through play combined with adult-led sessions.

Every day our Reception children access small-group focus activities with an adult to develoip their phonic, literacy and mathematical skills.  The children also have free choice of a variety of continuous provision activities which reflect all EYFS seven areas of learning.  These activities are both adult-supported and child-initiated to provide a range of evidence for children's personal 'Learning Journey'. At Newton Regis we are lucky to have an outdoor Learning Area, which can be freely accessed by both Reception and Year 1 children, as we recognise some of the best opportunities for learning happen outside.  We encourage 'Parents as Partners' and communicate with parents through our SeeSaw app to instantly share photographs of your child at school and private messages to build good relationships with this invaluable home-school link.

We have two key incentive schemes to encourage our young learners:

  • Merit points
  • Star Chairs

Good work and good behaviour is rewarded through individual merit points, which the children collect to achieve merit certificates, and this scheme is followed throughout the school. Children receive a certificate every 25 merits, which is presented at our Friday celebration assembly, and the certificates represent precious stones or metals: 25 merits = Topaz, 50 merits = Emerald etc, up to a top award of Platinum.  Once 100 merits have been collected, the children are also given the opportunity to pick from the "prize table".   Above all, while your child is with us we do all we can to ensure that they feel safe and respected, and have the best opportunities to develop their learning.  The children also respond well to small responsibility tasks, such as sharing out fruit and milk, taking the register to Mrs Pick in the office and looking after our class pets - two Giant African Land Snails!