Our children will be young explorers. They will be interested and motivated to explore, question and experiment with materials in their enriched environment which will nurture every child’s curiosity and enthusiasm. They will be confident to take steps outside their comfort zone which will spark new learning, develop independence, and foster a love for lifelong learning. Through this exploration our children will become skilled discoverers who have responsibility for their unique learning journey. In leading their own leaning our children will innovate, encouraging confidence to explore new ideas, think about problems, take risks, make links, and seek challenge. They will develop high levels of engagement, curiosity, collaboration and cooperation. They will become highly adept at managing their own behaviour in the classroom and in social situations and express themselves with confidence in a meaningful way. Fundamentally, our children will be immersed in a culture which is respectful of the opinions and values of themselves and others.
In Nursery we have a weekly focus, this may be based on a book or a song, which provides a starting point for direct teaching. The learning environments are then planned for and set up to be stimulating and inviting, offering a variety of activities and resources for the children to engage in independently. ‘Planning in the Moment’ is the approach adopted by the adults and replies on them observing, capturing the moment of engagement and supporting and extending the children to deepen the learning experience. This occurs through modelling, scaffolding, questioning, discussions and shared sustained thinking. These ‘teachable moments’ give children autonomy over their learning choices, which in turn, motivates and supports their interest. This child-initiated approach to learning is proven to help children thrive and make accelerated progress.
In Reception we are ambitious in our approach using a continuous cycle of observation and assessment, planning and teaching, alongside structured and systematic lessons and guided group work. Children engage in three whole class teaching sessions a day, the focuses for which are literacy/theme, maths and phonics. We use the curriculum documents ‘EYFS Development Matters’ 2021 alongside ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised and ‘Maths No Problem’ to develop a carefully planned and sequential curriculum which challenges, and is inclusive of, all learners. Short focused groups are purposefully planned for writing, reading and maths; these immediately follow class input sessions and are an opportunity for children to practise skills and consolidate understanding. In addition, children in Reception will still explore and learn through child-led activities which support current themes and learning focuses.
Across the early years indoor and outdoor resources are carefully selected to offer opportunities to consolidate prior learning and support new learning. Environments are thoughtfully set up with resources matched to the developmental needs of the children, while enhancing the potential for developing children’s skills of playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically (the Characteristics of Effective Learning). The early years is a language rich environment where all adults are role models to the children, offering them exposure to a wealth of vocabulary and where developing language skills are championed.
All adults record ‘Wow!’ moments which are shared with parents and carers on our ‘on-line learning’ platform ‘Seesaw’. This platform affords parents the chance to work in partnership with us, sharing their child’s achievements and next steps in learning.
Staff work tirelessly to support the wellbeing and involvement of the children. These act as a measure of deep learning and of the effectiveness of the learning environment. Wellbeing is linked to self-confidence, a good degree of self-esteem and resilience. Involvement refers to being intensely engaged in activities and is a necessary condition for deep level learning and development. Both crucial to children being successful learners.
In September teachers in Reception undertake a Baseline Assessment of each child which assesses the child’s developmental level at the beginning of their reception journey. In addition to the continuous cycle of observation and formative assessment, which advises each child’s next steps, summative assessments are carried out in Reception for phonic development and across early years for each of the seven areas of learning within the early years curriculum. These take place termly and inform planning of subsequent teaching and learning.
The children will have met their full potential and be ready, motivated and excited to enter Key Stage 1 to begin the next chapter of the educational journey. They will be equipped with a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for future progress through school and life. At the end of Reception children will have met the Early Learning Goals and have achieved a Good Level of Development*. They will have secure knowledge of phonics to Phase 4 based on the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment criteria.
*Meeting the Early Learning Goals for the three Prime Areas (Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development), Literacy and Mathematics.