The Early Years Foundation Stage covers the following seven areas of learning. The prime areas; Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication, Language and Literacy and Physical Development. The specific areas; Literacy, Mathematical development, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
At Lavendon School we are committed to providing a balanced curriculum which develops a child’s love of learning across all seven areas. Our setting is designed to promote an environment where children feel safe, motivated, intrigued, confident and increasingly independent in their learning. Learning is planned, developed and adapted to meet the specific needs and interests of the children.
We promote a learning culture where all children feel safe, secure and valued and actively encourage children to develop resilience and a growth mind-set. Children are taught that it is “Okay to make mistakes” and staff model and support so children can learn from these situations which may sometimes reflect the process rather than the final outcome. The school adopts a restorative approach to behaviour and these values and methods are evident in the Early Years. We celebrate diversity and create a culture of respect and support amongst peers by actively embracing similarities and differences. Children are quickly taught that learning will be different for each child and that we support each other and learn in an environment where everyone’s contributions are valued.
We deem our Early Years to be very reflective and adaptable and offer a curriculum which balances structure and exploration through play. We highly value the impact of a play-based curriculum and savour the ‘wow’ moments that occur with children’s natural levels of intrigue and curiosity. Where possible we promote the use of real life resources to allow children the opportunity to engage with things that they will encounter in the world around them.
We actively encourage regular communication with parents to support the children’s learning and staff are always available to address queries and concerns. We use home visits as a tool to build relationships with the families in our setting. We truly value this as an opportunity to support parents in their transition and also as a great opportunity to get to know families and their needs, aspirations and interests. From this, we can build a curriculum that reflects each individual child ensure this best supports their progress. We love to celebrate and reward children for their achievements – be that success in activities in school or outside of school such as gymnastics or swimming. A weekly assembly is held to celebrate children who have gone above and beyond our high expectations and have truly shone. House points are also awarded for children who have stood out to a member of staff around the school.
We are fortunate to have our own designated, secure outdoor space and children are encouraged to access it as much as possible as we believe that outdoor learning adds a new dimension to learning which is not always available indoors. Children are more independent and feel confident to take more managed risks when they learn outdoors. We also take the children on trips and visits outside school and invite visitors in to speak to the children and enrich their learning.
We strongly believe that the learning which takes place in Early Years will stay with the children forever and will provide them with a strong, firm foundation on which to build their education during the rest of their time at Lavendon School.