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Findings From Our Baseline Autumn 1

Findings from our Baseline Autumn 2017


We have completed our Baseline tasks and observations, and have identified some areas to focus on, in order for our children to be successful in their next steps for learning:


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This year we have had children joining our Reception classes from more settings than ever before. Obviously, it takes time for the children to get to know each other, and become familiar with the St Michael’s routines and ways of doing things. We will continue to plan lots of co-operative group activities, to enable the children to see the value of working together, and to build positive relationships with both children and adults. Our Philosophy for Children activities are great for this as everyone has a chance to express their opinions and ideas. The children learn that they can still be friends, even when they don’t think or enjoy the same things, and learn to treat each other with respect. We make sure that the P4C activities we plan are at an appropriate level for our children, and often follow the children’s own ideas for development.


More information about P4C here:


Speaking and Listening Skills

Our children need to be able to listen in a variety of situations, in small groups, during carpet inputs and in a whole class group. They also need to be able to listen to each other, taking turns in conversation. Some of our children are confident speakers, but are less good at listening to each other. Again, we will plan activities where the children have to listen carefully. We also praise children who show good listening skills, to encourage others to copy their behaviour.


You can find out more about supporting children’s listening skills at:


Some of our children will benefit from working in small groups that focus on spoken language, encouraging the children to speak in full sentences. We encourage them to extend what they are saying, for example giving reasons using ‘because’ or linking events by using ‘then, next, after’. We do not correct the children’s speech, we model good speaking, and, by being in a language rich environment, the children’s spoken skills develop. Many of our activities during our Julia Donaldson topic build speaking skills.



Writing is always an area that takes time to develop for young children.

There are two different components that we will be supporting:


The first is listening for and identifying the sounds (phonemes) heard in words, and knowing, or finding on a letter mat, the letter or letters that represents them (graphemes). Every child is part of a phonic group for their first activity each morning. The group supports their particular current knowledge and next steps. Children will also practise their phonics knowledge during group time each week. The link below will take you to documents that give information about the order in which we learn the sounds, and lots of activities to learn them:


The other element to writing is being able to use a pencil to effectively form the letters. Some children really enjoy paper and pencil activities, but for others we need to find ways to develop the strength and control of the muscles in the hand and arm. Playing with playdough, threading activities, using tweezers to pick up small objects and writing in shaving foam are all fun ways fop building these skills. More ideas can be found at:


At the moment we are particularly focusing on writing anticlockwise curves (like writing the letter c) and writing lines that go down and back up again (like starting to write a letter r). We will start of making big movements, sometimes working outside with chalks or water, and gradually help the children to make their writing smaller.


Children who are learning to write their name now have a name card to copy.