Early childhood education

Home Quality of education Early childhood education

The early years environment is stimulating and exciting. Children get off to a flying start. A higher that national proportion of pupils achieve a good level of development, which prepares children well for Year 1.

Ofsted, 2017

 

Getting it right from the start

We believe that the early years of development are the most important as this is when children form who they are as individuals. Equally we place a high importance on transition to and from reception and nursery.

At Someries Infant School, reception pupils begin school on a part-time basis initially, to settle them quickly and to develop good relationships. Our staff members get to know each child personally in their first weeks of school, this allows our staff to help them make rapid progress and ensures we are adequately supporting each unique child.

Children in our nursery and reception classes access the early years foundation stage curriculum and engage in learning primarily through first hand experiences.

Within the early years foundation stage, learning concentrates on seven areas split between prime and specific areas of learning.


The prime areas of learning are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

The specific areas of learning are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Learning through play

Each of these areas is implemented through planned and purposeful play and a careful mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Pupils experience this exciting curriculum, both indoors and outdoors, and it is designed to age appropriate and to meet the needs of all our children. The curriculum is creative and play-based and challenges each child to achieve their individual potential. Whilst in nursery and reception, pupils are encouraged to become independent and active learners through effective teaching and learning opportunities. This is delivered through play and exploration. Active learning and creative thinking are critical to each child’s development.  We ensure that there is a balance of creative adult-led activities and opportunities and resources for children to initiate their own learning both indoors and outdoors. This inspires them to gain a curiosity of the world around them, develop their social skills and be motivated to try new activities.

A great emphasis is placed on the notion of play as it is through this means that children experience stimulation, well-being and happiness. To ensure that children are continually stimulated and interested, we plan and provide suitably challenging and motivating activities to their individual interests and support them in these through careful and sensitive adult interactions.

Learning and teaching is planned to enable the majority of pupils to achieve the Early Learning Goals for each area of learning by the time they transition from reception into key stage one. Pupils' progress is regularly assessed so that staff can plan effectively to support the development of each child.

Children are given opportunities to talk and communicate in a widening range of situations, respond to adults and each other, listen carefully when appropriate and have opportunities to explore, enjoy and learn through a language-rich environment.

Pupils attending our Early Childhood Centre engage in high quality learning experiences both indoors and outdoors.


Learning Phases

Our curriculum is divided into three learning phases called:

  • Discover Learning Phase
  • Explore Learning Phase
  • Create Learning Phase

Within each learning phase, planned Prime Learning Challenges form the basis of teaching and learning within the areas of learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage. 

Our dynamic and bespoke curriculum is tailored to ensure that pupils make the best progress. Progression is inherent in our planning and through sequential lessons and Prime Learning Challenges.

'I liked learning about the savannah, there are lots of animals there like lions, tigers and giraffes. We saw them at the zoo!'

- One of our pupils referring to the Prime Learning Challenge 'Who is on the savannah?'


Outdoor learning

All nursery and reception pupils have continuous access to our bespoke early years outdoor learning environment which enables us to facilitate an increasingly flexible approach to the way we teach our youngest pupils.

Our early years outdoor learning environment includes features such as a giant water wall, an outdoor texture kitchen, a giant stage, a giant step-in sandpit, a bespoke workshop and large construction area, a private story-telling area, and an outdoor den making area.