The Foundation Stage Curriculum has seven key areas of learning.
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
You can find more information about the Early Learning Goals here.
Our vision is that all children are happy, thrive and succeed during their Early Years. A carefully planned curriculum, which is informed by the children’s interests, ensures children are active participants in their learning and development. The Early Years teams meet regularly to plan exciting half termly themes inspired by the children in our settings.
More information can be found in What to Expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage – A Guide for Parents.
Teaching and Learning
Teaching and learning ensures that the opportunities to explore key skills within these seven areas are provided through an enabling, engaging and supportive environment.
Observation of children in their play, by all adults including parents, supports the curriculum and informs next steps in children’s learning and development.
Cross-curricular opportunities are skilfully planned to enable children to maximise on learning together with the opportunity to develop new skills.
We have a topic, or theme, each half term, which you can see in our Topic Overview.
Our Early Years settings are located in spacious grounds with views of Pershore’s beautiful Abbey. We are lucky to have a large car park opposite our entrance where families may park if needed at delivery and collection times, free of charge for that short period. Before the children start in any of our Early Years settings, there are several opportunities for the children to visit their new learning environment and staff. The children are visited at home by two of the Early Years Team when they join our Pre-School Bumble bees and parents may request a home visit once children join our Nursery Squirrels class or indeed, if they are offered a place within our Reception Owls class. Parents and carers are invited to an Information Evening in July to find out more about class routines, uniform, teaching staff and school life. This is when we provide answers to any questions or concerns you may have and provide an essential Information Pack to take home. In addition we enjoy a Teddy Bears Picnic where children and their parents have an opportunity to join the Early Years Team for a fun session in our grounds to get to know each other, meet the team and join their children in some exciting activities.
We strongly believe that parental partnerships can only support children’s learning and throughout the year we run Family Learning Workshops, where parents can find out about how we teach key skills and how to support your child at home. These range from ideas to support potty training, positive behaviour, healthy eating and lunchboxes, physical development as well as sessions to introduce early writing skills and phonics. We provide these free of charge.
We provide regular opportunities for you to join your child for ‘Stay and Play’ sessions where you join your child in a range of activities from outdoor play to sharing a story. These are always popular!
Each Early Years setting also enables parents/carers to meet their child’s key worker at regular intervals throughout the year where we can share information with each other and discuss your child’s development. We actively encourage parents and carers to share any news or concerns about their child and are happy to provide time for this at any time throughout the year. We will also provide a written report all about your child’s achievements at the end of their year in both Bumble Bees and Squirrels.
To enable families to keep up to date with what their child has been doing, our Early Years use Tapestry, which is an online journal recording all the learning and fun of children’s early years education. Parents will be able to access Tapestry to see images and videos of their child. Not only can parents/carers read what their child may have said or done but in addition, may add their own comments to this on-line learning journal. Over 15,000 settings currently use Tapestry and we are proud to part of that. Please note that only authorised parents/carers may access Tapestry which staff will add to and update at regular intervals.
Early Years Enrichment
Enrichment opportunities are experienced throughout the year and provide learning opportunities for first hand, real life experiences.
Such opportunities may include a visitor from someone linked to our learning such as a dentist, nurse, policeman, sportsman/woman, dogs trust etc. We actively use our outdoor areas for gardening from delicious strawberries to a range of vegetables and flowers.
We learn with children from other year groups in the school during learning opportunities like “shared reading time” with some of our wonderful Key Stage 2 children.
Planned visits to a range of stimulating sites are arranged throughout the year for our Early Years children and we inform our families of these at the earliest opportunity. Charges for any trips are kept to a minimum to simply cover costs whilst providing enriching opportunities for our children. We also visit Pershore Library, the Abbey and our wonderful local park. The Early Years team plans shared assemblies for our Early Years children and invite our families to many of these.
Here is our Early Years Team!
Health & Safety and Safeguarding
We appreciate that children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure; when their individual needs are met, and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them. We follow the safeguarding and welfare requirements detailed in the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Guidance (2017) and we adhere to the school’s safeguarding policy.
We are a healthy school and our children under 5 receive free milk whilst all children have access to fresh water and free fruit from a Government scheme (currently until the end of Key Stage 1). Our Reception Class children are eligible for free school meals or can choose to bring in a healthy packed lunch.
The foundation stage settings have access to their own toileting facilities and we teach the children the importance of hygiene and hand washing techniques. Throughout the year we plan cooking activities to give children experiences of a range of healthy food and first hand experiences of preparing food.
Our large Squirrels class can accommodate up to 39 children whilst our Bumble Bees setting accommodates 26 two year olds. Both settings have dedicated outdoor learning spaces which the children really engage with as well as access to our playground, huge enclosed field and Forest School areas. We are lucky enough to have our own wooden play set and slide – just the right size for our younger children to enjoy.