The curriculum is developed around a theme or topic, implementing the guidelines set by the DFE 2012 in the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.’ Most of the children will achieve early learning goals before they reach the end of their reception year at primary school but some will be achieved whilst at nursery. Experiences are provided in nursery in the following areas:
Personal, social and emotional development
- Self-confidence and self-awarenes
- Managing feelings and behaviour
Focusing on how children learn to work, play, co-operate with others and function in a group beyond the family. Important aspects of personal, social, moral and spiritual development also include the development of personal values and the child's understanding of themselves and others.
At Birchfield ‘Children’s personal development and well being, including their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, are outstanding.’ (OFSTED).
- Moving and handling
- Health and self-care
The development of children's physical skills is encouraged. This includes the use of large climbing apparatus, push/pull and pedal toys, small PE equipment to aid co-ordination and music, movement and dance to encourage control, mobility and awareness of space.
Small manipulative skills are developed using scissors, tools, instruments and carefully selected play equipment throughout the nursery.
We encourage our children to learn how to look after themselves at nursery and outside and how to keep themselves safe.
Communication and Language
- Listening and attention
These experiences provide the foundations for literacy and help children to develop skills in talking, listening and eventually becoming successful readers and writers. Children are encouraged to listen to stories and each other and to learn songs, rhymes and stories.
Early mark making skills are encouraged and a love of books and stories.Children have many opportunities to learn about letters and sounds and use them in their play.
- Shape,space and measure
A wide variety of activities enable children to become confident in various aspects of mathematics - matching, sorting, counting and ordering. Relevant language is developed and understanding of basic mathematical concepts is encouraged through a wide and varied range of practical activities.
Expressive Arts and Design
- Exploring and using media and materials
Encourages the development of the child's imagination, expression of ideas and feelings and responses to items of beauty and wonder in the child's world. These skills are encouraged in painting, modelling, drawing, imaginative play and music.
Understanding the World
- Peope and communities
- The World
These skills form the foundation of history, geography, science and technology. Through practical experiences and a wide range of materials the children become more aware of their immediate environment and world around them. Technology is used to support their learning, as are tools, reference materials and visiting speakers.
Parents are encouraged to discuss their children's progress with members of staff on an informal basis, or may make an appointment if more time is required.
Each child's progress is monitored throughout the year and completed profiles are regularly discussed with parents and finalised before the child transfers to reception class.
The 5 key elements of ‘Every Child Matters’ (DFE) which ensures that children are healthy, safe, enjoying and achieving their potential in school and enabling them to make a positive contribution and economic well-being in their future lives, are fundamental to the work of the school.
Christian festivals of Christmas and Easter are celebrated and also special events of other key faiths. (i.e. Diwali, Eid, Chinese New Year). Please let us know of any festivals or celebrations in your family or any cultural or religious needs or preferences. Our celebrations are usually in the form of artwork, stories, food tasting, visiting artists and watching families on DVD’s. If you do not wish your child to participate please let us know but all our activities are carefully chosen to value cultural diversity.
At Birchfield ‘Children enjoy the highly stimulating activities and acquire self-confidence and a strong desire to learn. They are continually provided with opportunities to develop their language for thinking, early reading, writing and mathematical skills in everyday situations. They make good progress in ICT. Children have many opportunities to explore and extend their skills. This is particularly evident in the opportunity for all children to learn to speak French which they do with confidence and enjoyment.’ (OFSTED).
The governors have agreed that this is not a subject to be taught formally at this age, but staff will address children’s questions honestly and sensitively and inform the parents to follow up at home.