In Acorn class, we value the importance of learning through play. We use a play-based curriculum, which meets your child’s needs and interests. We form positive, strong relationships with your child from the start through home visits and open mornings, and ensure that high quality interactions take place. We focus on fun and purposeful experiences, which will prepare your child for the rest of their school life while instilling a love of learning. We love to learn outdoors and you can find us in our outdoor area most days, even in bad weather conditions, we have sheltered areas and waterproof suits.
The staff plan exciting activities both for the provision and for directed teaching activities, using the children’s interests where possible and focusing on termly topics. Our activities focus on the three characteristics of learning which are:
Playing and Exploring – this is where children investigate, experience things and ‘have a go’
Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying even when they encounter difficulties. Children enjoy celebrating their achievements and are proud of these
Creating and thinking critically – children have their own ideas and can develop on these, make connections between their learning and develop strategies to help them
4 Key Principles:
- A Unique Child; all children are different and have their own strengths and areas of development. We recognise this, celebrate all achievements, and support children.
- Positive Relationships; Our children build strong relationships with their friends and the adults in school. We also form relationships with our parents and community.
- Enabling Environments; Our extensive indoor and outdoor spaces allow the children to explore, investigate and learn. We have displays in class, which celebrate our current learning.
- Learning and Development; Our children make progress from their starting point and achieve well by the end of their time in early years. Their learning constantly builds on their prior knowledge and they foster a love for learning.
The revised EYFS framework is the curriculum we follow. This consists of seven areas of learning. They are split into prime and specific areas.
1. Communication and language – this comprises of three areas: listening, attention and understanding and speaking. We encourage every child to communicate confidently and clearly, speaking and listening in different situations and for different purposes.
2. Physical development – we focus on improving children’s skills in two key areas: gross motor skills and fine motor skills. We work on enabling all children to move confidently in different ways, controlling their body and handling both large and small pieces of equipment. They will also develop an awareness of health and the importance, including healthy eating and exercise.
3. Personal, social and emotional development – This area is split into self-regulation, managing self and building relationships. We encourage the children to make relationships with both adults and peers, manage their feelings and behaviour and develop self-confidence and self-awareness. Interactions with both children and adults will build on these skills as well as good quality play experiences. Children need these skills in order for them to be ready to learn.
1. Literacy: Split into comprehension, word reading and writing. This is where your child will learn the skills needed for reading and writing. Children will take part in daily discrete phonics sessions. Nursery children start with phase 1 activities which is based around rhyme, percussion, sounds and the body. Towards the summer term and when they are ready, they will then start some activities around learning the first six sounds: s, a, t, p, i, and n. Children are read to on a daily basis, are involved with songs and rhymes both as a whole class and through play in the provision. Children will develop their pencil control through funky finger activities, which develop their fine motor skills, enabling them to be able to mark make and write for a variety of purposes.
2. Maths: Split into number and numerical patterns. In the early years, we use stories, songs, games and play based activities to learn many mathematical concepts. Children also take part in daily-directed maths sessions and complete fun and purposeful activities. Children will become confident with their numbers to 10 and beyond and will learn concepts about size, weight and capacity. They will also develop a good awareness of 2D and 3D shapes and spatial awareness. We include weekly problem solving sessions, which allow the children to ‘think outside the box’ and use their own initiative in a creative and engaging way.
3. Understanding the world: Split into past and present, people, culture and communities and the natural world. We learn about people who are important to your child, as well as the environment and community. We encourage the children to explore and find out about the world around them including different cultures and celebrations. Children have opportunities to interact with technological toys and equipment and understand how things work.
4. Expressive arts and design: Split into creating with materials and being imaginative and expressive. We love to allow children to be creative and to express themselves however they wish. Your child will be able to explore a variety of media and materials, explore music and instruments, develop their imagination and respond to a variety of experiences, expressing and communicating ideas.
We plan, assess and resource our provision through all of these areas of learning, making sure the children progress to their full potential. By the end of reception, we aim for your child to have met the early learning goals.
Areas within our classroom:
- A writing area containing various writing materials, colouring pictures, a variety of pens and pencils for the children to use.
- A book corner containing a range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and magazines for the children to access with comfortable chairs and cushions.
- A maths area containing various resources for the children to access and solve problems.
- A craft area containing art materials, junk modelling resources and books with ideas of what to create.
- A construction area containing resources such as Lego, Duplo and other materials to create structures with.
- Sand, water and play dough areas where the children can explore these different materials.
- A Role-play area for the children to act out real life situations with their peers.
- A Small world area for engaging in imaginative play, re telling stories and developing language.
We continually assess the children every day through the activities we carry out, watching the children in their play and through directed adult teaching sessions. Photos are taken of the children completing practical work, and some pieces of work are put into the children’s books. We use Tapestry to record learning moments as well.