Foundation

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'Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. A child's experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right, and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.'

Department for Children Schools and Families 2007

The Foundation Stage:

The Foundation Stage is divided up into nursery and reception. Your child will start nursery once he/she has turned three years old. Some children will spend longer in a nursery setting than others, but all children start full-time school (reception) in the academic year he/she turns five.

Children's play reflects their wide ranging and varied interests and preoccupations. In their play children learn at their highest level. Play with peers is important for children's development. At Frederick Nattrass we do not make a distinction between work and play. We support children's learning through planned play activities, and decide when child-initiated or adult-led play activities would provide the most effective learning opportunities. We believe that it is important for adults to support children's learning through play, by getting involved in the play themselves.

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The Learning Environment

A rich and varied environment supports children's learning and development. It gives them the confidence to explore and learn in secure and safe, yet challenging, indoor and outdoor spaces. We aim to create an attractive, welcoming and stimulating learning environment which will encourage children to explore, investigate and learn through first hand experience. We also aim to make it a place where children feel secure and confident, and are challenged to develop their independence. Activities are planned for both the inside and outside; children have the freedom to move between the indoor and outdoor classroom throughout the school day. The learning environment is divided into a variety of different areas: role play, book corner, writing area, Numeracy area, topic display table, listening centre, computer, creative, malleable, sand, water, outside, construction, small world and puzzles. These areas are carefully arranged to encourage quiet areas and more active areas within the learning environment. Children are encouraged to become independent learners and to take some responsibility for initiating their own lines of enquiry and investigation. Each morning children select focussed play activities. During the afternoon, the children undertake activities which revolve around a choosing board which offers more independence and flexibility.



Staffing and Organisation

We have a 52 place nursery class that offers parents and carers flexibility. There is one reception class at Frederick Nattrass, with a maximum intake of thirty children. We maintain a minimum adult/pupil ratio of 1:13 within the nursery class and 1:15 within the reception year. The children have daily opportunities for structured and free-flow play both in the classroom and in the custom built EYFS outdoor area. This time is supported by an adult, who acts as a facilitator to the child's learning. The teacher liaises with the teaching assistant, regularly involving them in planning, preparation and assessment.

Learning and Development

The new foundation stage curriculum is divided into seven categories; three prime areas and four specific aspects

The three prime areas of learning and development are:

- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

- Communication and Language (C& L)

- Physical Development (PD)

The four specific areas of learning and development are;

- Literacy (L)

- Maths (M)

- Understanding of the World (UtW)

- Expressive Arts and Design (E A & D)

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At Frederick Nattrass we believe these seven areas are equally important and depend on each other to support a rounded approach to child development. We aim to deliver all the areas through planned, purposeful play, with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities.

Learning through play

Children's play reflects their wide ranging and varied interests and preoccupations. In their play children learn at their highest level. Play with peers is important for children's development. At Frederick Nattrass we do not make a distinction between work and play. We support children's learning through planned play activities, and decide when child-initiated or adult-led play activities would provide the most effective learning opportunities. We believe that it is important for adults to support children's learning through play, by getting involved in the play themselves.

Home/School Links

We recognise that Parents/carers are the child's first and most enduring educators. When Parents/carers and practitioners work together in early years settings, the results have a positive impact on the child's development. A successful partnership needs to be a two-way flow of information, knowledge and expertise. We aim to develop this by:

- outlining the reception curriculum to Parents/carers during the new parents meeting in July, to enable them to understand the value of supporting their child's learning at home

- topic webs and curriculum letters are sent home each half term to keep parents informed of their child's current curriculum and learning needs, with an outline of activities which could be undertaken at home to support this

- encouraging Parents/carers to complete the home/school admissions booklet

- inviting Parents/carers to help in the reception class or other classes in the school

-encouraging Parents/carers to listen to their child read each night and to comment on reading progress in a home/school reading diary

- encouraging relevant learning activities to be continued at home e.g. maths games and library books, and ensuring that experiences at home are used to develop learning in school

- providing an annual written report to Parents/carers in July summarising the child's progress against the early learning goals and EYFS assessment scales

- holding child/parent open days and workshops to enable parents to work alongside their children.

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Equal Opportunities

At Frederick Nattrass we aim to provide all pupils, regardless of ethnicity, culture, religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities, gender or ability, equal access to all aspects of school life and work to ensure that every child is valued fully as an individual. Practitioners, as role models, are aware of the influence of adults in promoting positive attitudes and use that influence to challenge stereotypical ideas.

Inclusion

Children with special educational needs will be given support as appropriate to enable them to benefit from the curriculum. This includes children that are more able, and those with specific learning difficulties and disabilities. Additional adult support may be provided for children with special medical needs e.g. allergies, thus increasing the adult/pupil ratio. Individual Education Plans identify targets in specific areas of learning for those children who require additional support, in line with the school's Special Educational Needs Policy. The EYFS leader would discuss these targets with the child and his/her Parents/carers. Progress is monitored and reviewed every term. The school's SEN co-ordinator is responsible for providing additional information and advice to practitioners and parents, and for arranging external intervention and support where necessary.