Our Vision and Ethos
“Learning is a journey, not a race.”
Our teaching team value the individual learning journey of all children, understanding that they all acquire skills and knowledge at different times and acknowledging that this is what makes them both unique and special.
We recognise and celebrate the journey and successes of all of our children, big or small. It is this acknowledgement that allows them to become confident, resilient and resourceful learners. The EYFS lays the foundation for all children’s future learning.
Our yearly planning overview offers a considered balance of both pre-planned and child-initiated topics. The pre-planned topic themes ensure a broad coverage across all 7 areas of the early years curriculum and enable the children to create strong links between their learning. Whereas the direction of our child-initiated topics is informed by the ongoing cycle of observation and assessment.
As with all topics, they are merely a starting point. Flexibility is paramount in ensuring that the topics are adapted to meet the children’s interests and fascinations: incidental learning experiences are an example of how our planning may change to suit a new fascination. Children work best when they are excited and engaged. Therefore, by planning this way we are ensuring that this will be the case.
In the short-term, we recognise that many valuable skills can be learned through play but that some need to be taught directly. Therefore, the children will have short daily carpet sessions in phonics, maths and English. In addition to this, they will have time where they work in small groups with their teacher.
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. We offer a balance of planned for and open-ended resources for children to access. Both reinforce the different elements within 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
The adults are there to teach through a variety of different contexts: daily carpet sessions; focus group work and through quality interactions. Through daily observations (both long and short) in meaningful contexts, our teaching staff know the children very well. Coupled with that and a secure understanding of child development, they are able to enhance and extend the learning at the appropriate level for each unique child.
Progress and Development
When children show high levels of involvement, that is when there is progress and development occurring – when the brain is at its most active. High level involvement occurs most often when children are able to pursue their own interests in an enabling environment, supported by skilful staff.