Learning in the Foundation Stage
At St Saviour’s School we have 1 Nursery Class and 1 Reception Class taught by two teachers and three Teaching Assistants/ Nursery Officers. The curriculum we follow is the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for children aged 0-5. Your child may have already have been following this so we build on the good work started by our feeder Pre-schools to enable them to reach their full potential, both academically and emotionally.
We know children learn best through play and by initiating their own activities and they are given every opportunity to do so whilst they are with us. With access to indoor and outdoor facilities children are able to develop their play throughout the day through child initiated and adult directed challenges. Ideas are often sparked by our topics and we engage parents and children alike in developing these. Children can find resources and books accessible to them and are encouraged to be independent and select their own tools and materials.
Our independent learning is interspersed with discrete teaching inputs for either groups or the whole class. For example we place great importance on the basic skills so phonics and number work are taught every day. Other inputs include reading Big Books together, shared writing on the Smartboard, Jigsaw circle time, singing and stories.
Within the Foundation classrooms the environment is an important consideration affecting our children’s learning. Our classrooms have been designed with the children in mind. The colours chosen are light and inviting yet calming and appealing. The displays showcase the children’s learning as well as providing useful access to the phonemes, numbers and tricky words the children have been learning.
Our furniture is especially designed for the size of the children in the Foundation Stage. The height of the tables and chairs, as well as working surfaces and play equipment, are all size appropriate. Our resources are fully accessible to the children and they are encouraged to select their own resources as well as tidy them away again!
The Foundation classrooms open onto an outdoor space. This was enhanced last year with a redesign and a considerable amount of new equipment purchased. There is a garden area with raised beds. Here children take responsibility for looking after plants from planting and watering to picking off the snails. Eventually they reap the rewards when they get to pick and eat their own healthy snacks. A recent and very popular addition has been the mud kitchen where all manner of meals are served each day. Whilst ‘cooking’ the children practice important skills such as mixing, separating, measuring, counting, transferring, etc alongside incorporating others into their play, turn taking, establishing roles and sharing.
We also have access to a large sandpit. We use our own playground for large motor activities. Children access wheeled toys and large building equipment. We firmly believe all aspects of the curriculum can be delivered outdoors and encourage children to use outdoors daily to support their learning.
The hall is also used for P.E., games, dance and gym activities where the children are able to learn and practice their movement skills indoors.
We encourage healthy eating at school at snack and lunchtime and talk to the children about the importance of drinking water throughout the day to help them learn and stay hydrated. On a Friday we have a special snack time where we cook something together as a group to share. Snack time is a really social time in school and teachers the children many important skills such as spreading, cutting, weighing, measuring and reading of labels and recipes.