Early Years Curriculum (Pre-school and Reception)
We are the youngest part of the school and we have lots of fun whilst we learn! We are a pre-school (for more details click here) and Reception unit where we work closely together, following an emergent curriculum that is based around the interests of the wonderful children within our unit.
Early Years can be the child’s first experience of the wider world, outside of the family home. It is therefore essential that this experience is varied, rich and of the highest quality to ensure that strong foundations are built to enable our children to progress through life successfully. Our classroom environment is divided into different areas of learning - see below.
Our outside area has been designed for the children to be able to access their chosen resources independently. It was recently refurbished and is very popular with our children. We have a gravel pit, a large-scale construction area, a writing shed, mud kitchen, ride on toys, a sand shed, climbing frames and a slide as well as lots of other equipment and toys. We learn outdoors all year round - wellies are a must!
Creativity is a skill we aim to develop through a range of planned and child-initiated activities. A variety of materials, tools and resources are available for the children to develop their creative skills in many ways. We encourage our children to consider colour, texture, design, form and function when creating models and artwork.
Our aim is to foster a life-long love of reading within our children, beginning in the Early Years. We share stories every day and have a vast choice of fiction and non-fiction texts accessible in our reading area. Sharing stories in the EYFS class often leads to impromptu puppet shows, small word re-tellings and role play performances!
In EYFS, we use our role play area to act out a variety of real-life scenarios as well as imaginative games and stories. The theme of our area changes termly depending on our topic and the interests of the children. In the past, we have had: a cafe, hairdressers, toy workshop, spaceship, a bakery and many more!
We use a range of practical resources to develop children’s number sense, mathematical skills and understanding of shapes. These include: Numicon, multi-link cubes, number tracks, peg boards and geoboards. We aim to keep maths real and purposeful by offering opportunities to develop skills when baking, playing board games, building models etc.
We encourage children to write independently in all areas of the provision. Whiteboards, chalks, clipboards and paper are always close by to encourage children to record their ideas using marks. We design purposeful mark-making tasks to allow children to practise their writing; these include; writing postcards, letters, shopping lists and lots more!
In Class 1, children engage in malleable play with sand, paint, shaving foam, playdough and much more. We do this to develop children’s fine motor skills to improve their readiness for mark-making and writing. Being expressive through malleable play develops a positive attitude towards early writing skills.
We use Tapestry to collate evidence over the year about the children's progress and share this with parents. This is a two-way process. We also collect work into a learning journal and share this with parents (in the form of a scrap book) at the end of the year. We like to be involved with the wider community and have recently built links with Dufton playgroup. The plan is for them to visit each half-term and spend a morning in our Early Years area.
See below for further details about what our children learn in the Early Years (Class 1).