Early Years (Nursery and Reception)
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory framework that all early years settings must meet to ensure that children learn and develop. In school this refers to both the Nursery (Pixie class) and Reception (Unicorns and Sprites classes). It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children are ready for school and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
The framework can be found here Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) - Schools.
EARLY YEARS PRINCIPLES
To ensure all pupils have the best start in their education, Cooks Spinney sets out Early Years Principles.
1. Settling In
Children are likely to settle when they feel safe, secure and have a strong relationship with staff members. Cooks Spinney understands that settling in can be one of the most challenging aspects of school for young children. In order to ensure children settle, Cooks Spinney will; conduct home visits so pupils and families have the chance to meet their key workers; children will be invited to visit the school and classrooms prior to starting during our 'stay and play' sessions; children will have a settling in week of partial timetable to get used to the daily routines at school, and finally; learning environments are made to be interesting, welcoming and fun.
Settling in also affects parents and carers. This can be a difficult period, even if your child has attended nursery or pre-school beforehand. Cooks Spinney will ensure parents are helped to support their child's development at home. We encourage parents to share important information and/or concerns about their child. The school will value this information and use it to help plan the learning and development for each child.
2 . Learning Through Play
'Play is the work of the child' - Maria Montessori
Play and exploration gives children opportunities to develop a range of valuable skills. Cooks Spinney will provide children with opportunities to play that are satisfying and successful, helping children to remain enagaged. Staff will plan to support the children in making their own choices and the learning environments have easy access to toys, books and other resources.
3. Behaviour Expectations
Children will be happy and emotionally secure when they are supported in managing their feelings and behaviour. The roles of the class teacher and support staff are critical in supporting the management of childrens' feelings and behaviour. Clear expectations of behaviour are shared and modelled with all children on their first day. Teachers and staff will carefully observe interactions and behaviour to ensure we support children to manage their feelings.
4. Language and Communication
Children are more likely to suceed if they are able to listen, understand and share their thoughts and feelings. Children's communication and langauge skills will develop rapidly during the Early Years stage of education. Our learning environment is designed to support this. Children will learn to communicate at various phases of the day for example whilst playing or through structured 'carpet time'. Children's communication skills will also be developed through interactions with teachers and support staff.
5 . Physical Development
Cooks Spinney believes children will have more opportunities to learn when their movement and coordination is allowed to flourish. Being able to run, climb, jump and balance is important to children's overall development including thier health and well-being. Cooks Spinney's learning environments provide ample opportunities for children to develop fine and gross motor skills. Children are also taught twice weekly by specialist PE teachers.
6 . Understanding Learning
Children are more likely to gain an understanding of learning when they develop a growth mind set. We encourage children to see mistakes as valauble learning opportunites. This form of thinking will be incredibly important for each child's future learning at Cooks Spinney.
For more information about Cooks Spinney's EYFS Principles - please see the downloads section at the bottom of this page.
THE EARLY YEARS CURRICULUM
The Early Years curriculum comprises seven areas of learning covering each Early Learning Goal (ELG).
The prime areas of learning:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
The specific areas of learning:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
Characteristics of effective learning:
- playing and exploring
- active learning
- creating and thinking critically
This is based primarily on observation of daily activities and events. Teachers and EYFS co-educators note in particular the learning which a pupil demonstrates spontaneously, independently and consistently in a range of contexts. Accurate assessment takes account of a range of perspectives including those of the pupil, parents and other adults who have significant interactions with the pupil.