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Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education

The early years environment is stimulating and exciting. Children get off to a flying start. A higher than national proportion of pupils achieve a good level of development, which prepares children well for Year 1.

Ofsted, 2017

Getting it right from the start

We believe that the early years of development are the most important as this is when children form who they are as individuals. Equally we place a high importance on transition to and from reception and nursery.

At Someries Infant School and Early Childhood Education Centre, nursery and reception pupils begin school on a part-time basis initially, to settle them quickly and to develop good relationships. Our staff members get to know each child personally in their first weeks of school and this allows our staff to help them make rapid progress and ensures we are adequately supporting each unique child.

Children in our nursery and reception classes access the early years foundation stage curriculum and engage in learning primarily through first-hand experiences.

Within the early years foundation stage, learning concentrates on seven areas split between prime and specific areas of learning.

Prime areas of learning

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

Specific areas of learning

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Learning through play

Each of these areas is implemented through planned and purposeful play and a careful mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Pupils experience this exciting curriculum, both indoors and outdoors, and it is designed to age appropriate and to meet the needs of all our children. The curriculum is creative and play-based and challenges each child to achieve their individual potential. Whilst in nursery and reception, pupils are encouraged to become independent and active learners through effective teaching and learning opportunities. This is delivered through play and exploration. Active learning and creative thinking are critical to each child’s development.  We ensure that there is a balance of creative adult-led activities and opportunities and resources for children to initiate their own learning both indoors and outdoors. This inspires them to gain a curiosity of the world around them, develop their social skills and be motivated to try new activities.

A great emphasis is placed on the notion of play as it is through this means that children experience stimulation, well-being and happiness. To ensure that children are continually stimulated and interested, we plan and provide suitably challenging and motivating activities to their individual interests and support them in these through careful and sensitive adult interactions.

Learning and teaching is planned to enable the majority of pupils to achieve the Early Learning Goals for each area of learning by the time they transition from reception into key stage one. Pupils’ progress is regularly assessed so that staff can plan effectively to support the development of each child.

Children are given opportunities to talk and communicate in a widening range of situations, respond to adults and each other, listen carefully when appropriate and have opportunities to explore, enjoy and learn through a language-rich environment.

Pupils attending our Early Childhood Centre engage in high-quality learning experiences both indoors and outdoors.

Outdoor learning

All pupils attending our Early Childhood Education Centre have continuous access to our bespoke early years outdoor learning environment which enables us to facilitate an increasingly flexible approach to the way we teach our youngest pupils.

Our Early Childhood Education Garden and Outdoor Classroom includes features such as a giant water wall, an outdoor texture kitchen, a giant stage, a giant step-in sandpit, a bespoke workshop and large construction area, a private story-telling area, and an outdoor den making area.