Our overarching aim in Early Years is to instil a love of learning with enthusiastic, motivated, happy and engaged learners who accept challenges, are able to cope with making mistakes and have high aspirations. Our continuous provision and adults offer a knowledge-rich, vocabulary driven, skills-based learning environment which is enhanced and adult led/linked to enable all children to achieve. The curriculum and learning environment is ever evolving and adjusted to reflect the needs of our children, their interests and next steps in learning so that all children can thrive. Our combined Nursery and Reception class ensures a smooth transition, into the Reception year and children settle really well.
Our practice and pedagogy is research-driven, working with our EYFS ambassadors group within the Trust, to ensure our teaching and learning is empowering, nurturing and offers hands-on learning where children are independent, accessing open ended, authentic resources and are confident and engaged learners. We offer a balance of child and adult initiated play which is responsive to the children and their developing needs and we value play as a vehicle for learning.
Our combined Nursery/ Reception space offers distinct areas reflecting the seven areas of learning and the children have ownership over the class, access high quality resources and learn new skills and knowledge in a safe, familiar, stimulating and inspiring learning environment. The Nursery outdoor area offers a hill for the children to climb, roll, crawl up enabling them to develop their overall body strength. The addition of a wooden castle, mud kitchen, crates, planks, water play, sandpit and dinosaur garden encourages imaginary, creative, collaborative and language play where the children share many adventures. Early literacy skills are taught through stories, songs, rhymes and environmental sounds and stories are an important and daily part of nursery life. Children are also immersed in language evolving from back and forth conversations, children’s interests, stories and topics. Our adults are skilled in scaffolding, facilitating and extending children’s language and share life and its adventures together both in indoor and outdoor play and share magical adventures in our forest schools area.
In Reception, children have access to open-ended, authentic resources and the continuous provision allows new skills to be learnt. Targeted, key, rich vocabulary is planned for and modelled by all adults and the children’s acquisition of new vocabulary is promoted through stories, rhymes, songs, historical events, experiences and planned visits and visitors to the class. The small world, domestic area, workshop and block play areas are places in the class that are rich in conversations and creative and critical thinking. Adults share thinking and carefully question the children to extend their knowledge, make links and embed new vocabulary. Snack time is also a lovely time for conversations. Our Reception children also have a 1 hour session weekly in our forest school, which is a highlight of the week for many children.
Our early reading and phonics is taught through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds scheme of work and children are exposed to cultural diversity through high quality chosen books and texts. Maths is taught through the White Rose Hub scheme of work which supports the acquisition of the five principles of counting, 1:1, stable order, cardinality, abstraction and order irrelevance and composition and subitising. Over the course of the year, enrichment opportunities through visits and visitors are planned to expand on our children’s life experiences. Our children have enjoyed visits to the local bird hide, Holkham Hall, the sea side at Hunstanton, had visits from a local vet, and the Dog’s Trust. Children enjoy two P.E. sessions each week focusing on their gymnastics, dance and games skills and weekly forest school sessions provide experiences of climbing, rope swings, den building, nature art, hot chocolate and cookies and the chance to be at one with nature, exploring the world hands on, whatever the weather.