The Early Years Foundation Stage is a national birth to five curriculum. In the Nursery and Reception classes the children follow a planned programme of learning experiences which support child development and ensure that children make good progress toward end of key stage 'learning goals' for the first stage of their education. Staff identify what they can do and what their next steps should be in 7 areas of learning and development:
There are 3 Prime areas:
Communication and Language
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
There are also 4 Specific areas, through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied:
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
While planning and delivering activities across these 7 areas, we are also observing how children approach school life and we are supporting their development in the characteristics of effective learning, identified as:
Playing and Exploring
Creating and Thinking Critically
At The Grove, Nursery and Reception make up almost half of our school, and we use our knowledge and experience of the Early Years to craft a learning programme that is meaningful and relevant.
We ensure that the curriculum the children enjoy is a balance of child and teacher led activities, structured to build key personal and social development skills whilst making the most of children's starting points to extend their knowledge and skills. We pack a lot in and have high expectations which is reflected in excellent outcomes for pupils.
A typical day/session in an Early Years classroom will include some whole class activities, and also time for children to work in small groups or individually, either with a teacher or teaching assistant, or independently. Children have extended opportunities to choose their own learning pathways and explore the resources provided, both inside and outside.
There is an established 'Forest Schools' programme for pupils throughout the year: we believe that learning outside in the natural environment supports excellent personal, social and emotional development.
Not all children arrive at school with the same experiences, and staff assess children to see what they already know and what they need to learn next. They record their learning in an online 'Learning Journal' that includes photo and video observations documenting this journey.
Teachers organise the teaching opportunities around themes that allow the children to make links in their learning. The themes are chosen based on the children's interests. Please read the Parent Information notes to see what the children are learning about this term, and how parents can help.