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Early Years Curriculum

We aim to extend the child’s knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, by providing a caring, secure and supportive environment. This includes opportunities for outdoor learning to enable our young pupils to fully experience and engage in a variety of sensory based activities. We provide a carefully planned, structured and monitored curriculum that will enable each child to develop maximum levels of self-confidence and self-motivation, whilst playing and working in harmony with others. We also work towards developing early learning skills, pupils mobility and communication.

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1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Key points taken from under 5’s)

This area of learning promotes and enables pupils to experience and develop skills and an interest, excitement and motivation to learn. The topics will give pupils the opportunity to try new activities, initiate ideas and speak in a familiar group. This runs alongside learning to maintain attention, concentrate and sit quietly when appropriate, self help skills and independence.

2. Communication, Language and Literacy

A verbally rich environment with opportunities and encouragement for the children to elaborate and explore the observations, thoughts and feelings of themselves and others through talk, discussion, imaginative play, stories, poems and drama. These skills assist in developing augmentative communication alongside speech and listening skills.

3. Mathematical Development

Problem-solving shows children how mathematics relates to the world around them. A variety of apparatus is used to give opportunities for sorting, matching, counting, comparison, ordering, sequencing and patterning and to develop correct mathematical language.

4. Knowledge and Understanding of the World

This area provides a framework to meet the children’s growing curiosity and help them to understand that they live in and are an important part of a community, country and world. They will become aware that things change over time through talking about their own growth and family events. Many aspects of the curriculum such as art, music, play and stories contribute to social and cultural development. The children are taught to appreciate their own culture and respect the culture and customs of others. The children will have access to food technology, construction equipment, a computer, programmable toys, television and tape recorders. They are involved in practical learning activities which involve investigating, imagining, planning, designing and constructing. They will be helped to understand information technology.

5. Physical Development

Teaching focuses on improving fine manipulative and co-ordination skills through the handling and use of a range of equipment, materials and tools. Space, suitable toys, apparatus and facilities for movement are provided. Opportunities to develop gross motor and fine motor skills are also incorporated into the curriculum and are an integral part of an Early Years Curriculum.

6. Creative Development

Pupils are given opportunities to develop their creativity through a wide range of mediums. We feel that it is important for the pupils to explore their creativity which we incorporate through projects such as 5x5, visiting artists, including musicians, workshops.

We have a clear view of aims, purposes and intended outcomes of children’s activities. Play and activity based learning is central to the balanced Early Year’s Curriculum provision. We use a wide variety of teaching approaches to support, extend and become actively involved in the children’s learning.

A curriculum map is devised for each term. This map is then used to plan learning objectives selected from the curriculum framework. Our planning objectives are broken down into activities to enable learning outcomes.

The Early Years department works closely with the school’s Music Therapist, Physiotherapist, Speech and Language therapists and other agencies to support the needs of individual pupils. Observation is the key to assessment in young children. Progress is observed, recorded and monitored using the Early Years Profiling system and this links to the School Assessment Policy. An observation board is used and individual profile books by teaching staff and teaching assistants to regularly record pupil’s progress. We place value on parental input as is highlighted through our communication books.
To ensure that we build on the knowledge and understanding a child brings to school, on entry we establish our starting points for the individual child. The Nursery and Reception use a Foundation Stage document. The Early Years Co-ordinator will monitor the development of this policy through planning sessions, classroom and display focused observation and be available to assist in the year groups planning and teaching of the curriculum. The headteacher and governors will make focused visits to observe this development.

Parents are invited and welcomed into the Early Years class on a regular basis. We encourage parents to be an active part of their child’s learning. We communicate by talking to parents, through the home/school books and letters sent home.
All parents are welcomed into the school. It is advisable to phone and book an appointment with the class teacher in advance in order to avoid staff meeting nights and other events.