Early Years Phase
In our Early Years phase we have a Nursery and a Reception class that work closely together.
We believe that every child is unique and will develop in different ways and at different rates. Every individual is at a different stage along their learning journey. We plan, ‘In the moment‘, where possible, to meet every child’s interests and needs.
Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people and the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however, it depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.
In the Early Years we use, 'Birth to 5 Matters,' as guidance to understand and support each child’s development and pathway along their learning journey.
There are 7 areas of learning and development underpinned by three characteristics of effective learning: engagement, motivation and thinking.
Three areas of learning and development are particularly important for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn and to thrive. These three areas, known here as the prime areas, are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
We also support children in four specific areas of learning and development, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically support children’s learning across the 7 areas of learning.
In the Early Years, the staff learn about individual children by taking the time to get to know them, talking to them, interacting with them and observing them as they play, explore, learn and interact with their friends. Staff use photographs as evidence of observations. They reflect on and analyse their observations and use these to plan further experiences and learning opportunities to support and extend each child’s individual development. This is an on-going process throughout the year.
St Peter’s Early Years Curriculum
Our Aim is that all of our children:
- Are happy and feel safe and secure.
- Develop independence, confidence, perseverance and resilience.
- Develop their creative thinking and problem solving
- Feel valued and listened to.
- Develop an awareness of the ‘cultural capital,’ of our setting and respect for others.
- Develop an understanding of emotions and how to regulate them.
- Have freedom to explore their interests to enable them to make sense of the world in which they live
- Develop the skills to take turns and work collaboratively.
- Are physically confident and will take risks.
- Develop a love of books and language.
- Develop their imagination.
- Are equipped with a range of skills they can use in their play and learning including the basic skills needed to read, write, and explore numbers and number problems.
- Become a community that has a love of learning and achieves the best possible outcomes.
How will we achieve this?
- Celebrating that every child in our care is a unique, individual.
- Building up a relationship with each child so they feel safe and secure and ensuring their pastoral and developmental needs are met.
- Building on each child’s ideas, interests and needs, responding to them in different ways to enable us to support each child’s learning and development.
- Developing a close relationship between practitioners and parents so we can work in partnership to support each child achieve the best possible outcomes.
- Provide an environment that motivates, supports and challenges.
- Teaching children a range of skills through both child initiated and adult led activities. Where possible, these skills are related to the children’s interests, so they are developed within a meaningful context. This makes learning fun and relevant, giving many opportunities for independent learning.
- In Nursery, children learn and develop their social skills, communication skills, gross and fine motor skills. In Reception children have daily literacy, numeracy and phonics sessions as well as opportunities to follow their interests
- Interacting with each child, ‘in the moment,’ to support, encourage and move their learning forward.
- We share information with parents daily on our message boards and through termly newsletters.
- Every child is a focus child each term. These focus child forms are shared with the parents at the end of their focus week.
- Our floor books are a celebration of the learning that takes place in St Peter’s Early Years Phase.