EARLY YEARS (ACORNS, NURSERY RECEPTION) CURRICULUM AT ST RICHARD'S
Below is a selection of images that reflect all of our busy learning in Early Years.
The school's Early Years Foundation Stage begins aged 2-3 years in Acorns, through to aged 3–4 years in Nursery and finishing aged 4–5 years in Reception Class. We passionately believe that a child's experience in the early years will have a significant impact on their future life and that early experiences will shape their lifelong love for learning.
The intention of our Early Years curriculum is to provide a learning environment which enables all children to to achieve their full potential regardless of their starting point and experiences. It is our intent to develop the whole child and enable all pupils to start their lifelong school journey by developing physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally while embedding a positive attitude to school and a love of learning.
As an Early Years team we worked together to create our intent, discussing what we feel is underpinnng our Early Years ethos and what our vision is for our Early Years family.
We ALL agree that our intent for our Early Years is:
We follow Development Matters which outlines seven key features of effective practice which underpin our curriculum delivery at St Richard's School. There are 3 prime areas and 7 specific areas:
It all starts with a home-visit.
At St Richard's we pride ourselves on the warm, caring and nurturing environment. We work closely with families to ensure that all pupils feel settled and secure in their environment. An essential part of this is home-visits. These form the start of our joint journey of parent/school partnership and help foster valuable relationships which will continue throughout your child's time at the school. We know that our job as educators is enhanced by the hard work and support you give to your child at home. It is useful for your child to see you welcoming us into your home as it shows that we are not strangers, but trusted adults. The children usually like to meet their teachers and put a face to the name, it also is a good opportunity for you to ask any questions that you might have.
How Learning Takes Place
Within the Early Years we have a balance of adult-led, adult-initiated and child-initiated play. Child-initiated play enables the children to self-select from the environment and lead their own learning and the various topics that they will encounter will be driven from the children's interests, thus allowing the children to plan their next stages of learning. Often the children transfer their toys and resources from one area to another, for example taking play dough into the home corner or mixing mud in the water tray. The adults will engage in the learning with the children becoming part of the play. Through these interactions and focused observation, adult-initiated and adult-led activities are carefully planned for each individual child's needs, taking into account the children's interests.
We are passionate about providing opportunities for children to learn in an outdoor environment and are very lucky to have such an amazing outdoor learning space, our own ‘classroom without walls’. As well as an appreciation for nature and the environment and ensuring an active lifestyle we know that the learning outdoors has many benefits. It develops essential social skills, encourages independence and promotes resilience to enable our pupils to become risk takers.
The characteristics of effective learning underpin everything that we do and we strive to ensure that we provide the pupils an opportunity to demonstrate and grow in these areas. We are passionate about providing fun, engaging and memorable moments for the children that help them to become sociable, confident and motivated thinkers and explorers who love coming to play at St Richard's.
When our children graduate from our Early Years classes they have developed a love of school and of learning. They have mastered the basic skills they need to begin the National Curriculum and, most importantly, they have developed the personal, social and emotional skills to allow them to progress through school.
'What to Expect and When' is a really useful document which helps you as a parent/carer find out more about how your child is learning and developing during their first five years, in relation to the EYFS.