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All Saints C of E Primary School

Early Years

In Nursery and Reception, there is a strong emphasis on our school values: Creation, Compassion and Community. We work to embed these values through a well-planned, progressive curriculum that allows the children to learn new skills, develop their knowledge, and applying this through child-initiated activities and continuous provision.

Our EYFS curriculum is centred around seven core areas (The first three being prime areas, the last four being specific areas):

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

The foundation stage's primary goal is to establish a strong and stable base to grow from. We believe that the three prime areas of learning should be matured first, in order to support the early development of our children.

We ensure that the 7 areas of learning are successfully reached by putting the Characteristics of Effective Learning at the heart of all we do. The focus is on how children learn, rather than what they learn. That way they develop into motivated learners that welcome challenges, are eager to learn, and ultimately have the skills necessary for success. These major characteristics are:

  • Playing and Exploring – children investigate and experience things, and have a go.
  • Active Learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.
  • Creating and Thinking Critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and create strategies for doing things

 At All Saints we use a combination of ‘in the moment’ planning, topic themes and enrichment opportunities to build a curriculum that is broad, balanced and builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children from their own individual starting points. The children in our setting engage in both self-directed and free flow activities as well as planned and adult-directed ones.  At All Saints we are passionate about outdoor learning. Our curriculum is planned for the inside and outdoor classrooms and we give equal importance to both areas. In Reception weekly forest school sessions take place at our local park where the children get to explore and experience the natural world through practical activities.

 Every half-term, we introduce a new theme to provide inspiration for learning, whilst giving the children the flexibility to follow their own interests and ideas. Our timetable is carefully structured to allow some sessions of discrete teaching throughout the day but at the same time providing plenty of uninterrupted play that allows high-levels of involvement – a key element of the Laevers scale. Other core concepts of Laevers scale that we consider within our planning include being present, concentration, creativity, energy, and persistence. We update our timetable each year to maintain a fresh approach that caters for the needs of the children. The teaching sessions are sometimes followed by focus group work, allowing adults to identify the children’s understanding and respond to next steps in that moment. In doing so it helps to create a stronger impact on the acquisition of new learning.

 Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum and we plan to encourage a love of books right from the start of schooling. In Nursery and Reception, we try to expose the children to a variety of books that not only foster a love of reading but were also picked with their oracy, vocabulary, and comprehension in mind. We follow the Essential Letters and Sounds programme across the school to ensure consistency and fidelity. In Reception we teach daily phonics session following the review, teach, practice, and apply method of teaching. This provides an opportunity for children to recap and over learnt phonics and embed them into long-term memory. In Nursery, children focus on Phase 1 which concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonics work which starts in Phase 2 of Reception.

We follow the White Rose Maths Scheme of work. We provide the children with high quality learning environments and meaningful interactions with adults, developing mathematical thinking and conversation. The children learn through activities using concrete manipulatives which are then rehearsed and applied to their own learning through play. The children in Nursery begin to develop these key skills during daily maths meetings where they explore sorting, quantities, shape, number and counting awareness.

Our wider curriculum is taught through the learning areas Physical Development, Understanding of the World, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Expressive Arts and Design. The staff in our Early Years setting have a strong understanding of how the Early Learning goals feed into the National Curriculum through our in-depth planning. The KS1 and KS2 staff at our school are also aware of the key Early Learning goals that link to each of the subjects and how they progress from Nursery through to Year 6.

Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together with a variety of additional intervention and support, meaning every child has the potential to progress and work at a greater depth. This includes, for example, sessions for developing speech and language, social skills, fine motor skills, phonics, and mathematics.

We provide regular opportunities for parents and carers to come into school and support their child, share their learning. We do this through weekly Google classroom updates, parent consultations, transition sessions, home visits, stay and play sessions, parent information workshops, online (Tapestry) based learning journeys, celebration assemblies, as well as more frequent informal communication – we operate an ‘open door policy’.