Early Years Curriculum
In the Early Years, children learn through playing and exploring and we build our day to day practice to reflect the children's interest, meeting the key areas of the curriculum while responding to where their curiosity and exploration take them.
The curriculum is statutory and is separated into seven areas of learning and development, three prime - Personal, Social & Emotional Development; Communications and Language; Physical Development - and four specific areas - Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World and Expressive Arts & Design. All of these are explained in more detail in the presentation below.
We work really closely with our families to help Ellingham children achieve in these key areas. Our observations and conversations in school help us make assessments and we record our photos, videos and comments on Tapestry, an online app, which is shared with families weekly. The app also enables families to contribute to their child’s journal making the assessment process a shared record.
There are two parent/carers' consultations as well as curriculum briefings and a report at the end of the year. The team are always available to talk at the beginning and end of the day or via their year group email.
Learning through play
Throughout the morning and afternoon sessions, children have plenty of opportunities to explore their learning through self-directed play and discovery. We are lucky to have an engaging and exciting outdoor learning space and children are free to choose whether to play and discover indoors or outdoors.
There are three short 5 to 10 minute carpet sessions throughout the day when teachers share a learning concept with the children. These learning sessions may introduce a new sound (phonics), explore a number concept, bring a story to life and look closely at the world around us.
Resources are available to develop all areas of the curriculum and are adapted to follow the interest of the children, whilst offering challenge and encouraging the children to follow their own enquiries and interests.
Fruit and water is available for the children throughout the day and children are encouraged to develop their independence by selecting this themselves, but staff are always available to lend a helping hand!