Early Years - Reception
Learning in the Early Years
We believe that children learn best from practical experience and all areas of the Early Years curriculum will involve plenty of hands-on learning both inside and outside.
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. This is a statutory requirement for all schools. Our team of Foundation practitioners use on going assessment and observations of the children to develop a flexible curriculum. The curriculum is led by the children’s interests as well as carefully chosen themes that we know allow for our pupils to develop core skills and knowledge. This approach to the curriculum design ensures that our pupils are enthusiastic and motivated about their learning. Our foundation stage children have continuous access to both inside and outside. We provided a carefully planned play based curriculum which also maximises opportunities for children to develop their own lines of enquiry.
Phonics and reading are taught through our structured Read, Write Inc programme. This is a recognised scheme that ensures that all children become confident, independent and enthusiastic readers.
We adopt a ‘free flow approach’ which allows children to access both inside and outside throughout the day.
There are seven areas of learning and development:
· communication and language;
· physical development;
· personal, social and emotional development;
· understanding the world; and
· expressive arts and design.
Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities. All of these are so important as they develop their awareness of being citizens.
Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest. We love seeing our pupils being early readers and authors.
Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures. This is the foundation for their development as mathematicians.
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. Our pupils enjoy being early historians and geographers!
Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology. We love seeing our pupils develop as musicians, artists and designers!
Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults. As children grow older, and as their development allows, the balance will gradually shift towards more activities led by adults, to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for Year 1.