Reception: Where learning begins

If you’re the parent of a toddler, you know very well how much they love asking questions. Why is the sky blue, Mama? Why is that cow sitting in the middle of the road, Pa? It can get tiring at times, we know. But at B.D. Somani, we’re all for your toddler’s questions. In fact, our Reception (nursery) curriculum puts children’s questions at the centre of everything we do, following international frameworks that prioritise their spontaneous curiosity, wonder and creativity to prepare them for life ahead.

BABY STEPS

At Reception, children get their first taste of the world outside their homes. To ease the transition, teachers visit each child at their house before school begins, telling stories, playing with them with their own toys, and getting to know them in their own context. When the child comes to school for the first time, they already have a familiar face to look forward to. We also have a staggered start at the beginning of the school year – half a class for half the time period, and parents can accompany their children to school on the bus one way.

Once settled in, our Reception students are offered a wide variety of experiential learning practices to develop their fine motor skills, communication skills, social skills, literacy skills and numerical abilities. Unlike traditional schools that rely on a board-to-book method, we encourage children to learn through their senses, engaging with materials, exploring their surroundings and learning on the go. This means building with blocks, gardening, cooking, visiting real-life locations to learn about them, and taking responsibility within the classroom.

BLOCK BUILDING

Reception classrooms at B.D. Somani are spacious, open areas that allow light and air to create a welcoming environment for our students. The days begin with circle time, which is followed by numerous hands-on experiential learning engagements such as block-building, loose part play, and gardening.
The Block programme is a unique approach that imparts a range of skills in different areas. In the early stages, students build fantastical structures like castles, dragons… Engaging in the building process helps them enhance their creativity and fosters a collaborative spirit between students, which is carried over to group block building in Junior Kindergarten. As they become more familiar with the building materials, students start by building individually before joining their friends. Through block building, they also learn to take responsibility for their work – after the building process, they stack the blocks by shape in four piles (and learn some mathematical skills in the process!).
With time, they start building structures they see around them, like houses, malls, school buses and police cars. This gives us ideas for field trips to places like grocery stores or fire stations, where children can experience and learn about the environments within the structures they build with blocks.
With time, they start building structures they see around them, like houses, malls, school buses and police cars. This gives us ideas for field trips to places like grocery stores or fire stations, where children can experience and learn about the environments within the structures they build with blocks.

CENTRES

Another important component of our Reception classroom are the centres that teachers set up daily, related to math, scientific observation, drawing and painting, writing, handwriting, and reading. Students can choose which centre they want to work in on a particular day, with the option to switch.

LETTERS AND NUMBERS

Literacy skills are imparted through a flexible set of engaging activities incorporating speaking, listening, writing, reading and phonics. To help children learn directly from their environment, everything in the classroom is labelled with words and images so they can learn through correlation. The classrooms also have a diverse range of math manipulatives for the children to explore, fostering mathematical thinking and expression through integrated learning.
In Reception, students read books that have simple messages and illustrations. Julia Donaldson, Mo Willems, Eric Carl, and Marcus Pfister are some of the authors students often want to read. Hindi and Marathi books are read alongside English books, and songs are included in the reading sessions to help students identify rhyming sounds, understand prediction, personalised endings, repetition and so on.

PLANT, SOW, GROW, COOK, EAT

At B.D. Somani, we want to cultivate our students’ interests within the classroom and beyond. Gardening is, therefore, another crucial part of our Reception curriculum. Students dig the soil, plant seeds and tend to them to keep an eye on the plants’ growth. Through this activity, they learn to be caring, patient and attentive. Once the plants grow, they harvest the produce and use them in cooking activities. Needless to say, our students are immensely excited by the entire process from beginning to end.
Each learning task in Reception is characterised by an emphasis on play, inquiry and exploration. Alongside these qualities, we also want to focus on independence, responsibility, compassion, agency, accountability, self-respect and respect for others.

MAKING OUR OWN RULES

At the beginning of each year, Essential Agreements are set by the school community (teachers and students), outlining behaviour everyone should adopt to maintain a healthy and happy environment. To impart a sense of responsibility and recognition for the value of labour, students are made classroom helpers for various tasks such as front-line leaders, back-line leaders, library monitors, classroom cleaners, and so on. Everyone gets a turn because these jobs are switched around each week.
At B.D. Somani, we aim to prepare your child for success in the IB diploma right from these early years. Our teachers guide students with kindness, empathy, patience and a collaborative approach that makes students feel that the classroom is their space. Each activity and classroom feature fosters a sense of belonging and community. For example, when a student comes to class with a question, it is put up in a section called ‘I wonder’, so that every child can discover and learn the answer together.
And that brings us back to the core of our approach for Reception. Your child’s first experience in school sets the foundation for the rest of their life. Under our care, your child’s creative, intellectual, emotional, social, and psychological faculties are encouraged and nourished every step of the way.

Admissions are now open for the academic year 2023-24 and beyond. Write to [email protected] to schedule a call from our Admissions team or call +91 22 2218 7583

1 Comment
July 13, 2022

hi my daugter’s DOB is 26/07/2021 when is she eligible for the admission?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

A new year; a new beginning

Our Head Of School, Dr Geoffrey Fisher, welcomes students, faculty and families to yet another exciting new year at B.D. Somani International School. In his first vlog of the new

Kindergarten at B.D. Somani

At the beginning of their Junior Kindergarten year, students at B.D. Somani are prepared to use their communication abilities to interact in an atmosphere that emphasises inquiry, asking questions and