We have a large early years department that works together to support you and your child to have a happy start to school.
The nursery and reception classes are guided by the Early years foundation stage curriculum. This is a play-based curriculum built around teaching children skills and knowledge in seven areas of learning. The Prime (in bold) and Specific Areas are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional development
- Physical development
- Communication and Language development
- Maths development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Children are taught with a mixture of child led and adult led activities. We encourage independence, creativity and critical thinking.
Children settle in, by gradually increasing the amount of time they stay, to help them get used to the routines and rules, develop relationships with the staff and other children and learn how to use the learning environment. Children do not all start at the same time to allow them to have one to one time with their key person. This is crucial for children’s emotional wellbeing.
There is a minimum settling in time of two weeks, but every child is unique and so we treat each child according to their needs and some children need more time. New families will be offered a home visit to help us get to know you as a family and prepare for your child starting school and to fill in some necessary paper work.
Every child will have a special learning story book that includes observations and photographs and children’s work. Parents and children are invited to be actively involved in this process. Informing us of your child’s learning experiences at home helps us to assess your child’s achievement more accurately.
We have invested in our early years learning environments and staff teams and have excellent learning environments for the children to explore. The emphasis in Early Years is on ‘free-flow’
, where children are encouraged to use both indoor and outdoor space in their play as much as possible. In addition to free play inside and in our outdoor areas , the children will be following the Letters & Sounds
phonics programme to help them learn to read and write. This is started in the last term of nursery and then carries on in to the reception year. Parents of reception children will be given a phonics pack to take home so they can assist their child’s phonic learning.
Children are also offered a variety of additional activities. They will have access to activities such as Forest School, Phonics workshops, Music and Spanish (both taught by specialist teachers) and dance lessons.
Across the early years, children are taught through fun “centres of interest” chosen to ensure that children’s interests and the requirements of the curriculum are taken into consideration. Children are assessed every half term and these assessments help us to decide what to plan for the children. Activities and focussed teaching is planned for half termly, weekly and daily to ensure that children are challenged to reach their full potential. In the summer term, teachers are gathering evidence to support their final judgements for the Early Years Foundation stage profiles. The expectation is that most children will achieve a Good Level of Development in Reading, Writing and Numbers. By the end of the foundation stage children are expected to
- Write simple sentences with plausible phonetic spellings- children who should exceed the good level of development should be writing some compound words
- Read simple sentences relying on phonics and contextual cues
- Work with numbers to at least 20 Parental involvement We have a strong focus in the school on parental involvement and this is very apparent in the early years. There are many opportunities to get involved.
We have a strong focus in the school on parental involvement and this is very apparent in the early years. There are many opportunities to get involved. We have a parent and teacher association that help us to organise events such as school fares and have regular coffee mornings and the day care have a breakfast morning for parents once every month. Staff and senior managers are at the gates every morning and evening. We would like every parent and child to feel welcome and valued in our school. We are there for you, so do not hesitate to share your concerns and successes with us. We will do our very best to support you and your child to have a positive and productive experience of school life.