In Nursery, Kindergarten and Reception we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum although we are able to work above and beyond the national expectation due to small class sizes and specialist teaching staff. The objective of the Early Years Curriculum is to prepare children for future learning in the fullest sense, ensuring that children become well-rounded, independent and confident learners.
The teaching and learning of key skills and knowledge is delivered through a topic or cross-curricular approach with the topic used as an umbrella for all subjects. Information regarding the learning your child is undertaking is sent home in the form of a newsletter as well as being displayed clearly in the classrooms.
Other areas such as phonics, letter formation and number skills will be taught in the form of a ‘lesson’ with a specific focus or learning objective. Children are then given plenty of opportunities to practise, develop, extend and reinforce their emerging skills.
All aspects of learning are carefully considered by staff when planning activities for the children. The provision of indoor and outdoor learning, free exploration and investigation, adult directed and child initiated learning all feed into carefully structured tasks that enable children to develop the skills needed in order to become lifelong learners.
We cater for gifted, talented and able children through clearly defined extension tasks and carefully made observations feed into the children’s individual online learning journeys. Children who display particular needs in any area of learning are monitored and their progress is staggered so that they have every opportunity to flourish and succeed through consolidation of key skills.
Areas of Learning
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is made up of seven areas of learning. These have been divided into Prime areas and Specific areas.
The Prime areas of learning are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
The Specific areas of learning are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult led and child initiated activities. In each area there are Early Learning Goals (ELGs) that define the expectations for most children to reach by the end of the EYFS.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Very young children will need a great deal of adult support in learning how to function, play and co-operate with others in a group outside their own family. Support from teachers and teaching assistants is essential.
An important aspect of Personal, Social and Emotional Development is moral and spiritual development. This includes the development of personal values and an understanding of themselves and others.
Communication and Language
In order to learn to read and write with enjoyment and as easily as possible later on, the foundations of literacy are laid in the Early Years. Children need a variety of appropriate experiences of language, listening and speaking opportunities and the chance to explain their own thinking and thoughts.
It is of vital importance to focus on young children’s needs to develop physical control, mobility, manipulative skills and awareness of space in both indoor and outdoor environments. This also includes a positive attitude towards a healthy way of life.
Literacy development involves encouraging children to read and write, both through listening to others reading and being encouraged to begin to read and write themselves. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials – books, poems and other written materials to ignite their interest. Each strand of literacy plays an important part in developing a well-rounded individual and all aspects are of equal importance in order to develop good literacy skills.
We hope that children will enjoy mathematics and the exciting challenge it offers. Through practical first-hand experience, we develop the children’s knowledge, understanding and use of numbers, algebra, measurement, shape and data handling. We also develop a positive attitude to mathematics, an ability to follow new steps in logical thinking and the confidence to apply mathematical knowledge to everyday situations.
Understanding of the World
In this area of learning, children are developing the knowledge, skills and understanding to make sense of the world. Children learn of other cultures, of past events, of the work that people do, of the environment and of animals and other living things. They find out how things work by experimenting, building, digging and so on and these experiences provide foundations for confidence in Science, History, Geography and Information Technology.
Expressive Arts and Design
We aim to develop the creative ability of the child by encouraging experimentation with a wide range of materials, followed by the teaching technique. Aesthetic appreciation is developed by observing and discussing the work of great artists, together with evaluation of their own work. It is important to develop children’s imagination and ability to communicate and express ideas and feelings in a variety of creative ways.