Our Early Years Unit
Our Early Years Unit comprises of our Nursery (Little Owls) and Reception (Penguins) classes. During our school day the children experience formal teaching sessions concentrating on early reading development through story and phonics, writing development and mathematics alongside opportunities to learn through play in the shared indoor and outdoor spaces. Young children learn through finding out about the world and our knowledgeable team respond to children’s individual interests and needs to ensure their learning builds over time.
Our Early Years Staff
Mrs Williams, Mrs Fathers,
Mrs Palmer, Miss Brannan
Our teacher and teaching assistants have extensive Early Years’ experience and work together to provide an exciting learning programme for our children, which aims to give the children the very best start to their school career.
Our Early Years Curriculum
We aim to ensure that each child has a positive start to their school life in which they can develop and foster a love for learning.
Communication and language development is a high priority in our curriculum to ensure that children, from all backgrounds can build and expand their vocabulary and language structures through planned and independent activities. We promote teaching and learning opportunities to embed skills and knowledge which can be applied to different situations, including readiness for the next stage of their education. This will promote a foundation for good learning and progress through time in school and life.
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework in Nursery and Reception. This leads into the National Curriculum programme of study in Years 1-6. For Religious Education, the school follows the ’Derbyshire and Derby City Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2020-2025'. For more information on this follow the links below:
Curriculum plans have been built for children to focus on the prime and specific areas of learning from the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework.
- Communication and Language
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Communication and Language
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
· Listening, Attention and Understanding
· Managing self
· Building relationships
· Gross Motor
· Fine Motor
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
· Word reading
· Numerical patterns
· Shape, space, and measure
· Past and present
· People, cultures, and communities
· The natural world
· Creating with materials
· Being imaginative and expressive
Curriculum plans include long term, medium- and short-term plans built around topic themes. The curriculum has been built from the Educational Programmes of the EYFS framework and progression of skills and knowledge documents for Nursery (FS1) and Reception (FS2).
In addition, for Foundation 1 elements of Letters and Sounds – Aspects 1-7. For Foundation 2 the following schemes of work are incorporated,
- Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) for the teaching and learning of phonics.
- White Rose for the teaching and learning of mathematics,
- KAPOW for the teaching and learning of personal and social development, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.
For more information see our curriculum plans in EYFS.
Our Curriculum Provision
We plan a broad range of activities and experiences having regard to the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning,
- Playing and exploring- children investigate and experience things, use what they know in their play and are willing to try new things.
- Active learning- children concentrate, keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy their achievements.
- Creative and thinking critically- children have and develop their own ideas make links between ideas and use what they already know to learn new things and develop strategies for doing things.
We ensure there is a balance of adult led and child-initiated activities across the day. Although time is spent with children self- selecting in our carefully planned environments (continuous and enhanced provision), the interaction between teachers, teaching assistants and children is essential as adult responses build children's understanding and therefore guides knew learning. Our teachers and teaching assistants will model, demonstrate, and question what the child is doing and learning, adding new vocabulary or using questioning to model critical thinking (I wonder why..).
In both nursery and reception rooms teachers and teaching assistants provide learning opportunities for both indoor and outdoor throughout the day. These opportunities are designed to engage children in practical first-hand experiences which will support children to discover, explore, investigate, develop their personal interests and areas of curiosity, and help to make sense of the world around them. As they begin to understand specific concepts, resources within the continuous provision are set up to provide opportunities to apply newly acquired knowledge, demonstrate their skills and level of understanding and to learn new skills.
Children are encouraged to become independent learners and select the resource as they need or want for their chosen activities with confidence while being given plenty of support to extend their learning and understanding.
Most assessments are made through the daily activities for learning that children access. Teachers and teaching assistants will use communication and language and characteristics of effective learning to check progress of knowledge and skills gained.
Statutory assessments will include,
Reception Baseline assessment- completed within the first 6 weeks.
Early Years foundation stage profile – completed in the summer term at the end of reception.
Partnerships with parents
We recognise the importance of working closely with our parents and carers. We encourage parents to support their children in their education through our reading diaries, sharing children’s learning through Class Dojo and inviting parents into school for special events. Children are encouraged to take books home to read with their parents and carers.
For reception pupils we follow the Derby City Admissions Criteria.
If your child has a nursery place you will still need to apply for a reception place as above.
Mon – Fri 8.45 am – 3.15 pm
Nursery Waiting List
To join our Nursery, parents first need to put their child’s name on to our waiting list. Forms are available from the school office, or they can be downloaded and emailed to us. Parents are welcome to come and look around our facilities and can make an appointment with the school office.
Children are entitled to 15 hours free Nursery education in the term after their third birthday if places are available within the Nursery. We aim to admit children soon after their third birthday if places are available. We also offer 30 hours free Nursery education to those children who qualify for this. See https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/ for further details about childcare options.
The sessions we offer
For 15 hour entitlement:
Morning Sessions Mon-Fri 8.45 – 11.45 am
Afternoon Sessions Mon-Fri 12.15 – 3.15 pm
Monday and Tuesday all day and Wednesday mornings
Thursday and Friday all day and Wednesday afternoons
For 30 hour entitlement
Mon – Fri 8.45 am – 3.15 pm
Our 30 hour places are currently limited to 16 children. 11.30 am – 12.15 pm is the lunchtime part of the session. Children may bring their own packed lunch or order a healthy school lunch. Our lunchtime session is run by a Teaching Assistant and two Midday Supervisors
Children can also access our onsite Breakfast and After School Clubs. Please look at the Parents/Carers section for further details.
For further information
Please ask any member of the Early Years Unit team or ask at the office and you will be contacted by a member of staff who can help you.