Early Years Curriculum
We aim to create a safe, secure and caring environment for our children where they will feel nurtured, confident and ready to learn. We feel that our children learn best by practical experience. Through both structured and exploratory play, they have the opportunity to explore freely and practice what they have learnt. At Stranton, we have created a curriculum to help our children to develop in all ways, educationally, physically and socially.
The four themes from 'The Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage' form the basis of curriculum planning at Stranton School. These are:
- A Unique Child
- Positive Relationships
- Enabling Environments
- Learning and Developing
The characteristics of effective learning and the prime and specific areas of learning are all interconnected and move through all areas of learning and in all phases of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
The characteristics of learning are:
- Critical thinking
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
The prime areas of learning are:
- Communication and language
- Personal, Social and Emotional development
- Physical development
The specific areas of learning are:
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Art and Design
Through free and supported play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practise and build up ideas, and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules through guidance and encouragement. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. With support they communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems.
We make regular informal assessments of children’s learning and we use this information to ensure that future planning reflects identified needs. Assessment in the Early Years is based on ongoing informal assessments. This assessment information is used to shape teaching and learning experiences for each individual, reflecting children’s levels of achievement and interests. In their daily interactions with children, practitioners respond to day to day observations about children’s progress and observations that parents and carers share. This evidence is transferred into individual portfolios for every child and is used to support the Development Matters/Early Years Profile.
A two year development check is carried out on all children once they have settled into our Little Stars nursery followed by termly summary reports.
On entry to the nursery, the children are assessed within the first weeks using Development Matters criteria. This is used to provide baseline information and to plan appropriate activities and support. Individual assessment profiles are updated regularly throughout each term.
The Reception Baseline assessment (RBA) is taken in the first six weeks in which children start reception. In the final term of the year, the EYFS Profile is completed for all children. This profile provides parents with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their attainment against expected levels and their readiness for year 1. Parents also receive an annual report at the end of the reception year that offers brief comments on each child’s progress in each area of learning, highlights the child’s strengths and development needs and gives details of general progress.
It is our policy to practise early intervention through continuous assessments and sharing of information with parents and other professionals. Our aim is to provide appropriate support for children and their families as they enter our Early Years unit from the age of two.