The Nursery and Reception classes are in a self-contained unit, which has its own facilities including a well equipped outside space. During the Autumn Term, the children are educated in their own classrooms but after Christmas there is more of an integrated approach to learning. The children in both classes have the opportunity to use all the space and free flow between classes and outside and are taught in mixed ability groups. Both Nursery and Reception classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage, whereby the curriculum is delivered through structured play where learning has been clearly identified.
The Foundation Stage curriculum includes all the experiences, opportunities and activities that are offered to help children learn.
Each child is viewed as an individual with specific needs being met in appropriate ways, and with individuality being encouraged. Independence is fostered and each child is encouraged to reach their full potential. The curriculum balances a range of developmental experiences focussing both on indoor and outdoor activities. Activities are based around themed units which are taken from the Creative Learning Journey.
They introduce skills and concepts relevant to their ability and interests.
The Early Years Foundation Stage focuses on effective learning and teaching within seven areas:
- 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.