In our Nursery and Reception classes, we provide welcoming, supportive, caring, happy, secure and stimulating environments where children are given equal opportunities to develop and learn, in a way and pace appropriate to them as individuals.
During their time spent in the EYFS, children will be following the Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS) achieving the Early Learning Goals by the end of the Reception year. The Early Learning Goals set high expectations in the seven areas of learning and at Westbourne we aim to meet the diverse needs of all children so that most will achieve and some, where appropriate will exceed the goals by the end of the Reception year.
The aims of the curriculum are to help develop the whole child and to place the foundation for happy, confident, well-adjusted, independent and educated individuals. Children will be encouraged to explore, question, reason and communicate – also to express their ideas and feelings through music, drama and imaginary play.
Home Visits in Nursery and Reception
We offer all families a home visit as part of our admission process. These visits enable the child and family to meet the staff on home territory. This supports in a positive way the settling in process.
Starting Nursery and Reception
The nursery and reception classes will be a new environment for your child who will need to adjust to the new people, experiences and a change in their normal routine. This can sometimes cause anxiety for you and your child. All children are individuals and may take some time to settle. We try to make the adjustments as easy as possible for everyone – this sometimes involves making arrangements for your child to settle at their own pace. We ask all families to work in partnership with us to ease this transition from home to school in the best possible way that meets your child’s
Our Early Years programme has been developed to offer your child positive learning experiences. Young children learn best through play and first hand experiences. With this in mind, structured and spontaneous play situations provide the opportunity for individual development in the seven areas of learning and encourage children to learn by playing and exploring, being active and through creative and critical thinking both indoors and outside. Topics and themes are frequently changed according to the children’s needs and interests.
THE PRIME AREAS:
These are the areas children should mostly develop first and are those most essential for children’s healthy development and future learning They are closely linked to one another and are central to all other areas of learning and development.
THE SPECIFIC AREAS:
These areas of learning are linked to certain domains of knowledge and skills which are necessary for children’s successful engagement with that area of learning. They support the young child’s interest in the world around them and are influenced by the times we live in and society’s beliefs about what is important for children to learn.
Emphasis is placed on learning through well-structured and purposeful play, developing not only future academic potential but also the equally important emotional and social skills of the child.
There will be regular opportunities for you to discuss your child’s development and progress the class teacher.
In the Nursery and Reception classes, all observations, assessments, photographs and child initiated work are kept in a Learning Journey which documents their learning and development whilst they are with us. You are invited to come in and look at your child’s Learning Journey throughout the year. An important part of the Learning Journey is your knowledge about your child’s learning and development, so do let your child’s class teacher know about what your child does with you: such as how confident your child is in writing their name, reading and talking about a favourite book, speaking to people your child is not so familiar with or their understanding of numbers. We send home ‘Magic Moment’ or ‘Parents’ Voice’ sheets regularly for you to record this information on. These are a valuable contribution to your child’s Learning Journey and we believe that by working in close partnership with parents we can build a more detailed and complete picture of your child’s development and learning.
Assessment and Tracking Progress
Children’s individual progress within each area of learning is assessed on a termly basis and at the end of the nursery or reception year. In this way practitioners are able to consider children’s individual progress across all curriculum areas and provide targeted support for areas of need. Practitioners endeavour to work in partnership with parents and families to ensure that the child’s ongoing development and progress is supported at home and at school to strengthen the learning taking place.
At the end of the EYFS (in the Summer term of the Reception year), teachers complete an assessment which is known as the EYFS Profile. This is carried out by the Reception teachers and is based on what they, and other staff caring for your child, have observed over a period of time. All of the information collected throughout the year is used to judge how your child is doing in the 7 areas of learning and development. You will receive a report at the end of the year which will explain your child’s progress, including information from his or her EYFS Profile.
Our friendly and enthusiastic EYFS team is constantly updating their knowledge and experience of the Early Years and are committed to making sure every child reaches his or her full potential by setting work which is challenging, motivating and fun.