Our Vision and Ethos
“Learning is a journey, not a race.”
At Cliff Lane we value the individual learning journey of all children. We understand that they all acquire skills and knowledge at different times: every child is unique.
Our teaching team recognise and celebrate the journey and successes of all our children, big or small, instilling in them the ability to become confident, resilient and resourceful learners. The EYFS lay the foundation for all children’s future learning.
Teaching and Learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage
In Reception, our long-term plan offers a considered balance of both pre-planned and child-initiated topics (topics which are based upon the child’s interests). Both are informed by the ongoing cycle of observation and assessment and are planned to ensure a broad coverage across the curriculum. They are adapted to suit the individual needs of each unique child.
In the short-term, we recognise that whilst many valuable skills can be learned through play, some need to be taught directly. Therefore, the children will have short daily carpet sessions in phonics, maths and English and regular times where they work in small groups with their class teacher. In addition to this, discreet activities based upon acquiring new skills may be led by adult facilitators in the classroom as and when they are required.
Our continuous provision is planned and resourced with stimulating and relevant (linked to the learning, interests or next-steps of the children) activities. Children are encouraged to challenge themselves through self-selecting these tasks and activities. The activities offer opportunities for extended learning and are structured to develop their learning.
An Enabling Environment
We strive to produce a stimulating environment where children are inspired to use their imagination and natural inquisitiveness. Progress and development occur when children show high levels of involvement. Therefore, we ensure that group work and planned for resources are enticing, engaging and purposeful so that children are unable to resist them. All are underpinned by the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning.’ The variety and balance of resources in fundamental in assisting the holistic development of the child.
The Characteristics of Effective Learning
- Playing and Exploring – do they investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’?
- Learning Actively – do they concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements?
- Creating and Thinking Critically – do they have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things?
The Role of the Adult
Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play, and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Practitioners respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction.
As children grow older, and as their development allows, the balance gradually shifts towards more adult-led activities to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for year 1.
Progress and Development
On-going formative assessment is at the heart of our effective early years practice. We make regular assessments (assessment in the EYFS takes the form of long and short, photographic and video observations taken by the teacher and other adults, as appropriate)
of children’s learning and use this information to ensure that future planning reflects identified needs and interests. By working this way, we ensure that children’s learning is always being moved on. Parents are regularly informed of their child’s next steps and encouraged to support this at home.