All about Early Years
We are committed to providing a purposeful and empowering Early Years Curriculum that fully prepares our younger learners for the next steps in their school career, as well as the challenges of the wider world. A curriculum in which prime areas of learning are at the heart of all we do. We believe that knowledge and skill are intrinsically linked and therefore balance our curriculum on the acquisition of prepositional and procedural knowledge: our curriculum is skills based and knowledge-rich.
In the Early Years, we recognise that creativity and play contribute significantly to children’s thinking and understanding. Children are made aware of the wide range of devices in the home, school and wider world through free play and role play, as well as adult-led activities. These activities are based on pupils’ interests and current themes. We constantly provide enhancement opportunities to engage inquisitive minds and believe that childhood should be a happy, investigative and enquiring time in our lives where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new experiences and knowledge.
At Grange View, we do not make a distinction between work and play. Children learn through planned play activities and staff will decide when child-initiated or adult-led play activities would provide the most effective learning opportunities.
A Day In Early Years At Grange View?
The Early Years curriculum is centred around children’s interests with a balance of child-initiated and adult-led learning.
Every day adults lead directed teaching across the curriculum; with a focus on phonics and reading, mathematics, writing and oracy. Children come together for whole class, group and individual teaching and are then given the widest range of opportunities to apply and develop their skills and knowledge.
Through planned, purposeful play, children are able to discover, practise and refine their skills in literacy and mathematics as well as find out about themselves and their environment. In a broad and balanced way, our provision ensures coverage of the seven areas of learning and responds to the needs and interests of all our children.
At all times, we consider characteristics of effective learning which promote positive attitudes to learning, and enthusiasm. Every day, we provide opportunities for children to come together to share their experiences, celebrate their achievements and enjoy being at school.
Children who demonstrate strong characteristics of effective learning are more likely to enjoy and achieve at a higher level as they get older. Support your child to develop these characteristics just as much as you support the academic side of things.
We follow the principles set out in:
Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage - setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five (Last updated by Department for Education, March 2017)
Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage - Early Education 2012
What to expect, when? - Guidance to your child's learning and development in the early years foundation stage
Bold Beginnings - A research and analysis document by Ofsted. The Reception curriculum in a sample of good and outstanding primary schools. This report looks at the Reception curriculum in successful schools and how well it prepared 4 and 5 year olds for the rest of their education and beyond.
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skillfully. They are taught how to:
- recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes.
- identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make.
- blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.
Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.
Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.
Nursery begin their phonics journey through focusing on developing their listening skills.
In Nursery, children are taught about:
- Environmental sounds
- Instrumental sounds
- Body percussion (e.g. clapping and stamping)
- Rhythm and rhyme
- Voice sounds
At the end of Nursery and the beginning of Reception children embark on our Read Write Inc programme. More information can be found on our subject leader page under Phonics.
We have developed a maths curriculum that is creative and engaging. We appreciate that fluency and a confident number sense are essential for our pupils to flourish and progress in their Mathematical learning based on their starting points. We fully value offering our children the opportunity to work with a variety of concrete and pictorial representations to facilitate and support the teaching and learning of Mathematical concepts.
Ways you can support Maths at home:
Teach your monster to read – a fantastic app/website. Phonics single letter sounds, special friends, reading cvc words, reading sentences. https://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/
Topmarks – a website or app containing free maths games for every mathematical concept. https://www.topmarks.co.uk/Search.aspx?Subject=37
BBC Supermovers – a programme on BBC containing dances and exercises for children. https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/supermovers
CosmicKidsYoga – A YouTube channel containing yoga sessions for children. https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga