Early years education is about feeding children’s curiosity and ensuring that they never stop asking why or how, when or what. Our curriculum is devised to tap into children’s interests and will involve children in the process of devising it. By giving learning a purpose and application, skills for reading, writing and solving mathematical problems will become meaningful and more desirable. The ability to change someone’s mind in a letter, or make a cake by measuring the correct ingredients are the rewards of learning essential skills and are often practised in imaginative play.
The outdoor and indoor areas of the nursery and the reception area are one big classroom. The play that goes on both inside and outside is part of learning and the activities planned by adults are there to challenge and stimulate children – to make them want to learn more.
Learning to learn is a vital part of the curriculum. Understanding how we learn best is a key skill for adults and is something that we will help children identify from an early age. This includes learning to work alongside others to create and improve ideas. Helping children to be resilient, resourceful and reflective will be part of the academy’s ethos as the children move from year to year.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile:
The curriculum is divided into 7 areas: communication and language (CL), physical development (PD), personal, social and emotional development (PSED), literacy, maths, understanding the world (UW) and expressive arts and design (ED). Children in nursery begin by focussing on the first three areas (called the prime areas) and their learning gradually branches out into the other areas (specific areas). This document can be accessed via the Department of Education website or by asking the school office for a copy.
The 7 areas are broken down again so that parents can see how well their child is doing in relation to their age. At the end of reception, each area has a set of Early Learning Goals against which children’s readiness for the next stage of schooling (Key Stage 1) will be evaluated.
The teacher’s job is to create meaningful experiences and activities that enable children to practice and develop in each of their areas. Children will be encouraged to take the initiative for their learning and make choices that help them strengthen areas they feel less confident about while being stretched in their favoured areas of learning.
Early Years Foundation Stage
We use 'Letters and Sounds' as our phonics programme. Phonics are the building blocks for decoding words and writing. Phonics are taught on a daily basis. Our core reading scheme is Bug Club which can be accessed through reading books that are sent home as well as on-line books (accessible via www.activelearnprimary.co.uk). Alongside recognising the sounds letters and combinations of letters make, children are encouraged to practice writing them using the academy’s handwriting style. Many opportunities are given for ‘pretending’ to write. This develops an enjoyment of writing as well as demonstrating the need to master the skill of writing in order to communicate.