Our Early Years
Our vision for Early Years
At Wolvey C of E follow the Early Foundation Stage, which is the statutory framework that sets the minimum standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to 5 years. Through a holistic, play based approach we focus on the development of knowledge and skills through exploration and investigation of children's interests. This is in conjunction with high quality teaching to ensure that all children develop socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually regardless of their individual starting points.
We are developing an exceptionally stimulating learning environment combined with close attention on the development of the characteristics of effective learning - that is learning to be a great learner, and having a thirst for knowledge, provides the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
Our provision is centred on the children and families and they are at the heart of all that we do.
The learning environment in Little Millers and Reception is made up of the indoor, outdoor and emotional environment. Children's social and emotional development is as important to us as the knowledge they acquire.
The Curriculum is everything that the children do, see, hear and feel, planned and unplanned, both indoors and outdoors.
These are the seven areas for learning and development.
Communication and Language
Communication and Language Development includes giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to learn to speak and listen in a range of situations. We work in three areas :Listening and Attention, Speaking and understanding language.
Physical Development involves providing opportunities for children to be active and interactive with the people and environment around them. They will develop the skills of co-ordination, control within different types movement on a large and small scale. Children are supported to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, social and Emotional Development
We work with children to ensure they develop a positive sense of themselves and to form positive relationships and respect for others. It is an important time in which children to develop social skills, learn how to mange their feelings and also to understand the appropriate behaviour for a range of situations. We also build a strong confidence in their own abilities alongside the resilience to to tackle and resolve problems.
This area of the curriculum is broken down into reading and writing. We spend time teaching children to understand rhythm and rhyme and to begin to recognise letters and the sounds they make. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems and other written materials) to ignite their interests and build understanding. Learning to write starts with making marks and knowing that the marks mean something. Children have many opportunities to build their confidence as 'early writers' across the learning environment.
We provide children with many practical opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers. This includes calculating, solving simple addition and subtraction problems in every day situations to make learning relevant.
We also explore shapes, space and measures including time, weight, length and capacity using children's interests as a starting point for our mathematical investigations.
Expressive Arts and Design
This area of the curriculum enables children to explore and investigate a wide range of media and materials, (clay, paint, play-doh and mark making tools).
We encourage children to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology. For example learning about light, dark and shadow through the use of torches and overhead projectors
They learn to be imaginative through both role play and interacting with small world resources and in this make sense of the world around them and their early childhood experiences.
Understanding the World
We plan a range of experiences so that children can begin to make sense of the physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. We make good use of digital tools and media to enhance and extend learning and promote higher order thinking and concept development through acting as partners in play to scaffold new thinking and learning. Children develop confidence using technology and applying this to their learning. Our research is currently focussed upon the use of digital media to enhance learning
Role of parents/carers
We recognise that parents/carers are the child’s first and most enduring educators. When parents/carers and practitioners work together in early years settings, the results have a positive impact on the child’s development. A successful partnership needs to be a two-way flow of information, knowledge and expertise.
We aim to develop this by:
- Completing home visits before starting at both Nursery and Reception to share key information and build relationships;
- Open evenings to welcome new families;
- Curriculum based evenings and stay and play sessions;
- Focus child feedback sessions where parents are invited to play an active role in their child’s learning at nursery by sharing their interests and learning from home.
- Encourage parents to attend Celebration Assembly and look at books, folders at the end of each month;
- Online learning journeys to engage parents in their child’s individual learning – sharing home experiences
- outlining the Foundation curriculum to parents/carers during the new parents meeting in September, to enable them to understand the value of supporting their child’s learning at home;
- Parents have daily opportunities for feedback and a chance to ask any questions about their child’s time in Nursery/ Reception.
- requesting Parents/carers to complete the home/school agreement;
- organising transition meetings;
- sharing topic and skills grids which emphasise the learning focus for each half term;
- encouraging parents to share their children’s achievements in school and outside through WOW sheets which are displayed in the classroom;
- operating an “open door” policy, whereby parents/carers can come and discuss concerns and developments in an informal manner;
- sharing progress at school through regular dialogue between the Foundation staff and parent/carers as part of the open door policy;
- encouraging parents/carers to listen to their child read each night;
- discussing individual targets with parents/carers at parents’ evenings (informed by the EYFS Profile);