Early Years Curriculum
For many of our children we are their first experience of education. We aim to provide them with a rich and stimulating curriculum that distinctly meets their needs and interests and provides them with an eagerness to continue their learning journey. In Early Years our curriculum is book led, each half term is allocated a high-quality focus book and is accompanied by other books which are vocabulary rich and full of exciting and varied language. We aim to provide our children with practical experiences linking to each book. The curriculum that we follow is led by the Early Years Foundation Stage Development Matter guidance.
In Nursery children are encouraged to take part in a range of activities. These activities include a high amount of child initiated play and learning, with a balance of teacher led activities and carpet sessions. The planning and activities provided are tailored to the need of the group of children and the children are encouraged to participate in activities which may not always be of their own choice.
The children will have their first ‘school’ experience with us in our Reception class. At this stage it is vital that the children begin to develop the skills that will provide the foundations for future learning. Staff working within the classroom observe the children’s current learning stages so they can carefully lead them towards the next steps in their development. At the same time the environment will encourage them to learn independently, at their own pace, whilst developing the social skills and language needed to work in collaboration with their peers.
In Early Years we assess the children continuously and report to parents on a regular basis about their child’s attainment and the progress they have made. We also use informal assessments and observations to plan the children’s next steps and to see key interests and themes that arise to ensure they continue to develop a love of learning.
The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is split into Prime and Specific areas. Within these there are seven areas of learning and development.
The prime areas are:
- Communication and Language- We support the children’s language development focusing on the two aspects in this area which are listening, attention and understanding and speaking. Staff working with the children use a good level of standard English and encourage the children through modelling to speak clearly and widen their vocabulary by introducing new words through the books we share.
- Physical Development - There are two aspects to this area of learning; gross motor skills and fine motor skills. The children are encouraged to be independent and responsible for their own belongings and basic needs. During P.E sessions and outside play the children work on specific gross and fine motor skills.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development- The children are supported by staff to develop in the three aspects; self-regulation, managing self and building relationships. The children are supported to make positive friendships, manage their own behaviour and develop their confidence.
The specific areas are:
- Literacy - This is divided into word reading, comprehension and writing. All of these aspects are enhanced by Power of Reading programme as well as planned phonics sessions. The children are given opportunities to develop and apply a range of reading and writing skills during phonics, literacy teaching and their own self-initiated learning time.
- Mathematics-This is split into the aspects of number and numerical patterns. The children are taught through a mixture of discrete teaching in a whole class, small groups and through carefully planned play experiences.
- Understanding the World – This is split into the aspects: past and present, people, culture and communities, the natural world. Children learn about the world around them during their theme lessons and the classroom provision. We also learn about a range of festivals and celebrations from around the world and the children are taught to log on to the school’s computers and use age appropriate software.
- Expressive arts and design- This is split into the aspects creating with materials and being imaginative and expressive. The children are provided with a wide range of adult led and child initiated experiences to develop their creativity through art, dance, music and imaginative play.
We use an online learning journal to record observations of children’s learning and achievements. This means staff and parents can view and contribute to children’s journals at any time.