Early years

Early Years Education

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in it’s own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.

Fal Class

At Constantine we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. This is a statutory requirement for all schools. Our team of Foundation practitioners use on going assessment and observations of the children to develop a flexible curriculum. The curriculum is based on the children’s interests. This is ensures that they are enthusiastic and motivated about their learning. Our foundation stage children have continuous access to both inside and outside throughout the day. We provided a carefully planned play based curriculum which also maximises opportunities for children to develop their own lines of enquiry.

Phonics and reading are taught through the structured Read, Write Inc programme. This is a recognised scheme that ensures that all children become confident, independent and enthusiastic readers.

Progress is monitored according to the Foundation Stage Profile and reported to parents regularly through parent/ teacher meetings. Fal Class actively encourages parental involvement in activities such as reading and trips and staff are available to speak to parents daily at drop off and pick up, via the home/school book and Class Dojo.

Four guiding principles shape practice in Fal Class. These are:

  • every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
  • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  • children learn and develop well in an enabling environment, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
  • children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The  education and care of all children in early years provision is paramount, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Learning in the Early Years

We believe that children learn best from practical experience and all areas of the Early Years curriculum will involve plenty of hands-on learning both inside and outside.

There are seven areas of learning and development:

Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.

Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology

Each area of learning and development must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults

Transition

Before entry to the school in September children will have opportunities to visit Fal class on a regular basis to become familiar with the new staff and surroundings and parents will have meetings to familiarise them with the procedures. Please see the Early Years Policy (at bottom of page) for more details.

Constantine School maintains strong links to Constantine Pre-school which shares a site, so children who attend the pre-school are familiar with the staff and setting on entering school.

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