At Falcons Prep, we have an ethos of “learning through adventure’ and this starts with our youngest children with emphasis placed on child-led play and exploration where children have the opportunity to be curious and follow their interests. This can be seen in the classroom, our free-flow outdoor area and through regular visits to our on-site Forest School. As well as placing importance on the children becoming resilient, creative, keen to take risks and be curious, our belief in small class sizes, highly trained staff utilise their experience and knowledge in child development to build strong, positive relationships which enable children to settle quickly, build friendships and become confident individuals who make rapid progress across all areas of learning.
The Early Years Foundation Stage
Our Nursery forms part of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Four key themes will underpin all that we do in the Early Years Foundation Stage at Falcons Prep:
a) A Unique Child: each child is treated as an individual, they are recognised as someone who is always learning.
b) Positive Relationships: these are developed between children and familiar adults, and between each child. We recognise the vital role which positive partnerships with parents can play. This includes sharing information, having open conversations and encouraging the parents to contribute to their son’s Learning Journey.
c) Enabling Environments: our environment is developed to provide varied opportunities for children to take part in adult-led and play-based activities. This provision will change and develop depending on the children’s needs and interests throughout the year.
d) Learning and Development: We understand that children learn and develop at different rates and this can be influenced by their age, background and any additional needs. Planning and teaching are tailored to meet the needs of each child.
It is important that children thoroughly enjoy their time in Nursery and therefore transition into Reception with an enthusiastic attitude to learning, positive learning dispositions and the relevant skills and knowledge required.
Areas of Learning
The Early Years Foundation Stage outlines seven Areas of Learning which describe skills, knowledge and dispositions children will develop. This includes the three Prime Areas which form a key foundation to all learning and four Specific Areas which include vital skills and knowledge to be developed. These areas of learning are equally weighed and are strongly linked. The seven areas of learning are broken down into 17 Early Learning Goals (ELG) which it is expected that children will have reached by the end of the Reception year.
Opportunities for children to develop in these areas is supported through a combination of child-led play and adult initiated. Nursery children will take part in daily Phonics, English and Maths sessions as well as regular circle times and visits from our Specialist Teachers as we take part in PE, French, Music and Art. They will also regularly visit and learn in our own Forest School, Tumbledown Woods.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED). ELG: Self-Regulation, Managing Self and Building Relationships.
Here, we aim to develop each child’s self-confidence as they try new things, talk and share feelings and experiences. We support boys as they develop positive relationships with others and as they develop an awareness of how to regulate their behaviour with other children’s feelings in mind, for example through Life Skills sessions and circle times. They will develop an understanding of the routines and expectations in school as they transition and settle in and are encouraged to be independent, for example as they manage their own personal needs such as eating, dressing and using the toilet.
Physical Development (PD). ELG: Gross Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skills.
Development of gross and fine motor skills is a vital part of our pupil’s holistic development. Gross motor skills include building strength and coordination as children are encouraged to move in different ways and can form a key aspect of social and emotional well-being. Fine motor skills include developing precise control for example as children use pencils and other tools safely and effectively. These skills are developed through various activities such as using play dough, playground equipment, tweezers and tasks in Forest School and joining in with specialist lessons such as PE and Games with a focus on age appropriate skill development.
Communication and Language (C&L). ELG: Listening, Attention and Understanding, Speaking.
Children will be supported as they develop their vocabulary and the confidence to express themselves clearly as they tell stories, recount events and act out role-plays. They will listen to stories, each other as they share experiences, follow instructions and are supported as they ask and answer questions. The Helicopter Stories approach will play a role here as develop speaking and listening skills and learn new vocabulary as children create their own stories and collaborate to act them out.
Literacy (L). ELG: Comprehension, Word Reading, Writing.
Children will be encouraged to explore a range of books, share stories to develop a love of reading and are encouraged to show and understanding of what they have read or heard. Through daily Phonics lessons, they will become aware of the sounds which make up individual words and over time will read words and sentences. Children will be encouraged to make marks and to give meaning to these marks as they use pencils, chalk and paint and later use their developing knowledge of sounds to write words and statements which can be read by themselves and others.
Mathematics (N). ELG: Number, Number Patterns.
Children are supported to develop depth of understanding as part of our mastery approach and will become confident as they count, recognise numbers and start to add and take away as they take part in practical play-based activities using a variety of manipulatives. They will also have opportunities to explore shapes and discover different methods of measuring as they explore in the classroom, outdoor area and Forest School.
Understanding the World (UW). ELG: Past and Present, People, Culture and Communities, The Natural World.
Our children will have opportunities to find out about the lives of people from the past and make comparisons with life now. They are encouraged to talk about themselves, their families and their experiences and, importantly, to listen to each other and share books and celebrations as they build an understanding of different religions and cultures in this country. Children will also develop an understanding of the world around them which includes plants and animals and look for changes as we move through the seasons. Children will have the opportunity to explore a range of technology and develop an understanding of how to use it during our computing sessions.
Expressive Arts and Design (EAD). ELG: Creating with Materials and Being Imaginative and Expressive.
All nursery children will have the opportunity to express themselves as they explore using a variety of materials to create art and construct, as they sing songs, make music and use their imagination to act out stories they know and as they create their own.