We believe that a child's experience in the Early Years will have a significant impact on their future life and that early experiences will shape their lifelong love of learning. We understand the importance of your role as a parent or carer has on your children and so we work very closely with families to provide the best possible learning experiences for them. Our Early Years Foundation Stage is made up of 2 Nursery classes, including space for 8 two year olds, and 2 Reception classes. Children at our school come from a wide range of backgrounds and we celebrate the diverse range of children and families that work together, resulting in a very strong community based school. Our Early Years team are committed to planning and delivering an exciting and stimulating broad-based curriculum that meets the needs of all our children.
The intent of our Early Years curriculum is therefore as follows:
Within our Nursery we have a balance of child-initiated and adult-initiated play that allows us to be led by children’s interests. We follow an ‘In the Moment’ learning approach in our Nursery which allows children to lead their own learning in their own way. By observing and interacting with children as they pursue their own interests, we are able to assess and move them on in their learning, in that moment. We embrace the idea that all children are different and all children have different learning styles - our approach and focus on the Characteristics of Effective Learning, celebrates that.
Both our indoor and outdoor learning environment is set up in a way that allows the children to have access to all of our resources, all of the time. Often the children will transfer their toys and resources from one area to another, for example taking play dough into the home corner or the outside area, or mixing mud in the water tray. The adults will engage in the learning with the children becoming part of the play. Through these interactions and focused observation, adult-initiated activities are carefully planned for each individual child's needs, taking into account their next steps.
We pride ourselves on having strong community links with the local children centre, Kingston Community Garden and other professionals within the Local Authority such as health visitors, Speech and Language therapists and other local childcare settings. We aim to provide a holistic approach to learning and we feel that working together with a range of services, allows us to provide a rich and varied foundation to each child’s school journey.
In Reception our curriculum is planned in half termly themes, such as ‘Celebrations’ or ‘Fairy Tales.’ We carefully structure our day to balance short adult-led learning, with longer child-led sessions. At the start of each topic, we ask for the children’s input and ideas to support our flexible and responsive planning of each theme. We take into account the different experiences and backgrounds of the children at our school, valuing their perspective and cultural influences, and building on these to deliver enriching and relevant teaching and learning. Our classroom environment is set up to support independent and open ended learning, with a strong focus on the Characteristics of Effective Learning. Our outdoor learning environments are often an extension of the indoor classroom activities and children always have access to all of the different areas of learning including, mark making, reading, problem solving, maths, creative activities and loose part play where children can construct using real objects such as tractor tyres, bricks, planks and crates.
At the start of the year, each child will have their own individual Learning Journey. This book will demonstrate significant achievements that your child makes and reflects their own interests and learning styles. Each book is filled with photographs, individual pieces of learning, work from home and WOW moments. Staff will annotate each individual book as well as recording what the child says about their learning. We provide opportunities for parents and carers to come in and observe learning taking place, as well as workshops on literacy and maths. We also hold two parents/carers evening consultations and an end of year written report.
Please see the EYFS Curriculum Documents tab for a more detailed look at King Athelstan's EYFS Curriculum - click here for shortcut
Here are two links to documents that we think you will find really useful:
The first is 'EYFS Framework'. This is the document that sets out the Early Years Curriculum. We use this as a basis to plan and assess your children. In this document you can read about the 'seven areas of learning' and the 'Characteristics of Effective Learning' mentioned above. If your child is in a preschool or child minder setting, this will be the curriculum that your child is already following.
The second is a really useful guide for parents called 'What to Expect When?’ This will help you know how your child's learning and development is progressing.
Click the image below to learn more about our Phonics Programme:
Click here to learn more about our English Curriculum
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