In our school we view the foundation years (3-5 year olds) as a basis for all future learning.
Our Early Years Curriculum is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage and is planned to lead smoothly into the National Curriculum at KS1 in a way in which is relevant and meaningful to all children.
Our Foundation Stage is divided into nursery and reception classes. Our nursery class has 26 places for children aged between 3 to 4 years with an adult ratio of 1 to 13 (1 qualified teacher and 2 qualified learning support assistants). There is 1 Reception class with up to 30 children, for children aged between 4 and 5 years old with1 qualified teacher always present, and additional qualified learning support assistants to support the class throughout the day.
We value a learning environment both inside and outside the classroom, which is carefully organised to enable children to develop and demonstrate characteristics of effective learning. Children are given free access to the outdoor learning space, whenever it is supervised by a member of staff. Adults support children in playing and exploring, active learning and developing creativity and critical thinking. We value resources that promote possibility thinking and offer limitless opportunities for play and learning. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play that is guided by adults. The child and adult engages in ‘sustained shared thinking’
“an episode in which two or more individuals ‘work together’ in an intellectual way to solve a problem, clarify a concept, evaluate activities, extend a narrative etc. Both parties must contribute to the thinking and it must develop and extend” Siraj-Blatchford et al (2002) Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years (REPEY), Dfes.
We believe that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and when parents and practitioners work together in Early Years settings, the results have a positive impact on children’s development and learning. We encourage parents to contribute to our assessments and provide advice and support on how learning and development can take place at home.
Each child is assigned a key person who helps to ensure that every child’s care and learning is tailored to meet their individual needs, to help the child become familiar with the setting, offer a settled relationship for the child and build a relationship with their parents (EYFS 2021: 3.27)
On entry to Nursery or Reception, information is collected from parents to help understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. This information is used as a guide to providing a ‘best fit’ baseline. In Reception the children undertake the Reception Baseline Assessment which is a short assessment, taken in the first six weeks of starting Reception. There are ongoing formative and summative assessments to ensure that practitioners have a clear understanding of a child’s progress across all areas of learning and development. Concerns about individual children’s progress are identified and addressed. Observations and assessments are kept in an individual child’s learning journey, which is available for parents to read and to contribute. In the final term of the year in which the child reaches age five, the EYFS Profile is completed.
Through the Early Years, our Practitioners support the children’s growing independence and self-help skills. They are positively encouraged to do things for themselves. We support children’s growing independence as they do things for themselves, such as dressing and feeding themselves.
In our school and in our Early Years provision, safeguarding is a priority. We look to ensure that children feel safe and we aim to promote children’s welfare and strive to safeguard children at all times. We look to ensure children’s safety, while not unduly inhibiting their risk-taking.
We promote children’s awareness of the factors that support a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, the importance of regular exercise and an active daily routine, including travelling to school, feeling good about yourself and a tolerance and respect for others and their beliefs. In order to lead a healthy life children are encouraged to interact with their world, and to develop a sense of wonder and curiosity. We value the taking of risks in learning and the questioning of the things around them.