Early Years Curriculum
During Nursery and Reception, pupils do most of their learning through exploration and play as well as taking part in adult directed activities. Staff encourage pupils to become active learners by providing a stimulating and exciting environment where children can ask questions and find out more. The classrooms in our Foundation Stage are set out according to the 7 different areas of learning: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication and Language, Literacy (Reading and Writing), Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. We track pupils learning in all 7 areas using a Learning Journey which parents and carers are encouraged to contribute to. When the pupils start with us, we assess their knowledge and understanding of key aspects in the curriculum during home visits and the first few weeks at school. They are then taught on a personal level according to their stage of learning rather than their age. This means we can tailor our approach to ensure all pupils make outstanding progress in all areas.
We take a topic based learning approach which enables pupils to find relevance in their learning; making it meaningful and purposeful. Pupils are given the opportunity to choose the topics they would like to learn about linked to their current interests. For example, last year, the children came dressed up for our Hero day and many were wearing nurses and doctors outfits. They were very engaged and chose to learn more about it. Topics we have covered in the past include: dinosaurs, bones, artists, space, the weather and many more. As the pupils are new to the school in term 1, we always start the year learning about traditional tales. Nursery learn the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Reception learn The Little Red Hen and The Three Little Pigs. Regardless of what we are teaching, we always start our topic with a Wow event. When we covered dinosaurs this year, we hatched dinosaur eggs! Each topic is linked to at least one story which we learn off by heart and use to introduce new vocabulary. We finish our topics with a reflection piece of work which may be a showcase for parents or even a trip. Below are the overviews of the topics for the year:
Find out what your child is taught in school, the expectations for their age and how you can support your child at home here: 4Children Parents Guide: What to expect, when?
Most importantly, pupils have fun with us and enjoy their days. Staff love teaching the pupils new things and we often learn things from them too. With support from home and school, we know that our pupils will leave the Foundation Stage with a sound and secure basis ready for the next stage in their lives. They graduate from Foundation Stage with a ceremony to celebrate their successes.