Five Acre Wood School has an Observation and Assessment Nursery and Early Years classes. Starting education is a very exciting time and we aim to make learning fun and challenging. Based on the revised EYFS curriculum and Development Matters we provide a structured and stimulating curriculum in a caring and secure environment where the children can feel safe to explore, investigate and learn through first hand experiences.
Transition into Five Acre Wood
At Five Acre Wood we recognise, value and encourage the contribution of parents and carers and from the beginning we aim to work in partnership with them to give their child the best possible start to their school life.
Children and their families are at the centre of our transition process. During the Summer term a meeting is set up for each individual child to which we invite parents/carers and representatives from pre-school and multi agencies involved with the child. This meeting is a perfect opportunity to share valuable information, providing a detailed picture about the whole child thus allowing a smooth transition into school.
Also during the Summer term new children and their parents/carers are given the opportunity to meet staff, current members of the class and their parents/carers at a transition taster session.
Once at school, parents/carers are continually informed of what their child has been doing at school and their progress via the home/school diary, weekly photo diary, parent evenings, consultation meetings, Annual Reviews and by telephone or email. We welcome parents/carers to become fully involved in their child’s education and to continue sharing information about their child’s interests and achievements at home.
The revised Early Years curriculum is based upon four principles:
- A unique child – developing resilient, capable, confident and self-assured individuals.
- Positive relationships – supporting the children in becoming strong and independent.
- Enabling environments – where opportunities and experiences respond to the individual needs of the child by developing a strong partnership between practitioners, parents/carers and the child.
- Learning and developing – An acknowledgement that children learn in different ways and at different rates
Three characteristics of effective learning are identified:
- Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
- Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
- Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
The curriculum is organised into three ‘prime areas’ of learning and development and four ‘specific’ areas:
The ‘Prime’ areas are:
- Personal Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
The ‘Specific’ areas are:
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Teaching and Learning
At Five Acre Wood the children are supported in all their learning by experienced staff who provide activities that build upon the children’s experience and interests. Our Early Years school aged classes cater for Reception and Year 1. Our curriculum planning allows the child to take part in both child initiated and adult led learning activities which are evaluated and used to inform our future planning. We use both the indoor and outdoor environments to provide opportunities for exploring and for the children to be actively involved in their learning. They are encouraged to make their own discoveries and communicate their ideas. We recognise that opportunities for learning occur spontaneously and so these are encouraged and embraced.
Structure and routine are built into the day so that the children begin to understand what is expected of them and consistent approaches supported by visual cues are used so that anticipation of routines and activities is developed.
Makaton is consistently used to support communication. Additionally children are supported to communicate through the provision of a variety of different communication aids according to their individual need. Opportunities to practice and develop communication skills are planned into the day including sessions such as snack time and play times. The children are given regular opportunities to make choices and show preferences.
The children are supported to interact and build relationships with those around them through planned activities and experiences. Each child, their thoughts and their interactions are valued and they are encouraged to have confidence in themselves, and in their own ability and worth.
It is recognised that each child is an individual who will develop in different ways at varying rates. In Early Years at Five Acre Wood we lay the foundations for each individual child to build on as they progress through their learning journey.
At the end of their time in Early Years we complete the EYFS Profile and put together a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning. This information, along with any individual plans/equipment, reports from other professionals and information from parents/carers, is then used as the basis for discussion with the next class teacher in specific transition meetings.
In this way we ensure that each and every child benefits from a smooth transition into Learning Approaches.