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The Foundation Stages in a child’s development are a key time when a wide range of skills will be learnt which gives each unique child the tools they will need to shape their future. We believe every child has the right to succeed at every level throughout their education. In order to support this work we encourage parents to take an active role in their child’s education at home too which helps the children consolidate their understanding and build confidence applying these skills independently.
We know how important exploration is in the Early Years and we always have opportunities for inquisitive young learners to have a hands-on approach to find out more about the world around them. We love to get messy and ask questions – which we can then answer by working scientifically!
Our Numeracy curriculum is broken down into two parts; Numbers and Shape, Space & Measurement. This covers a wide range of mathematical ideas but the fundamentals stay the same, using number / shape / measurement to count, sort, describe, organise and record. To support your child’s learning we
Fine and Gross Motor
Fine and gross motor skills focus on small (fine) and large (gross) movements with our bodies. These help us to build co-ordination which we need to negotiate space safely as well as hold pencils and correctly form letters. Here are some ideas of things you can do at home to support the skills we will develop at school. We know practising these skills can frustrating at times and so we aim to provide a range of opportunities to support these skills using simple resources which can be found relatively easily for little to no cost.
We follow the Read Write Inc. phonic programme, which gives us the skills to use letters and sounds with our reading and writing. In your welcome pack you will have a more comprehensive guide to our phonic sessions but remember we are all learners (even us adults) so if you have any questions the Early Years Team will be happy to help. We also run weekly phonic drop in sessions after Christmas which we will explain more about in a letter closer to the time.
A Day in the Early Years
Learning through play
At Alexandra we believe the best approach to learning is through through play. We encourage children to explore ideas by selecting the resources they will need within our learning environments. We regularly share stories which give insight into new ideas and provide opportunities for ‘real world’ experience which can give the children a basis for forming new ideas and intrigues.
Within in EYFS Reception children can decided which learning environments they spend their time in from the three classrooms, quiet middle room and outdoor learning space. Nursery children can choose between the indoor or outdoor learning environments. Each of these environments will have the resources to support learning across the 17 different areas of learning.
We know important routines are to support the children’s learning and establish a secure and productive learning environment. Our timetables will start to be implemented gradually and may occasionally change for special events but a day in Reception will typically look like this:
9:00 – 9:30 – Settling in / active wake-up / dancing / speaking games / creative storytelling
9:30 – 10 – Phonics
10:00 – 11:05 – Playing in the environment
11:05 – 11:15 – Tidy up
11:15 – 11:40 – Literacy (reading a story/share writing/retelling stories/singing/acting)
11:40 – 11:45 – Washing hands
11:45 – 12:45 – Lunchtime
12:45 – 12:50 – Register
12:50 – 1:10 – Numeracy (counting games/number songs/practical partner work/discussions)
1:10 – 2:00 – Playing in the environment
2:00 – 2:20 – Topic/circle time/reading a story
2:20 – 2:50 – Playing in the environment
2:50 – 3:00 – Tidy up
3:00 – 3:20 – Reading a story/singing/social games
3:20 – 3:30 – Getting ready for home time and lining up to be collected
We know that the right start to a day can make all the difference in the classroom so we offer a special EYFS breakfast club each day. This is available between 8am- 9am where children have the opportunity to enjoy a healthy varied selection of breakfast foods with their friends. Once finished they have the opportunity to play within the Nursery classroom with a member of the EYFS team and get ready for the start of the school day where they will be lead to their classrooms to meet the rest of their class. The cost is £2 per day which can be paid at the beginning of each week in cash.
How can I get involved
Parent / Carer reading
Each week we invite our families to share their favorite stories with us on a Thursday morning between 9-9:30. We have a whole range of books in our EYFS library for you to choose from or you can even bring in new stories from home to surprise us!
We love to have parents volunteering with us, we have a particular need for any parents with carpentry, gardening or cooking skills but we love to have any skills from our local community to share with the children. In order to safeguard our volunteers and children, please see the main office to find out more about the process of becoming a volunteer.
Tapestry is our online learning journal which shows parents all of their children’s accomplishments in real time. We upload photos and videos of the children’s work for you to see at home using any device with an internet connection. We love to see content uploaded from home too which allows the children to share their weekend news and home projects with their friends. If you forget your unique log-in details once they ave been provided in September please see a member of the EYFS team and they will help you.
We know how important nutrition is for effective learning and an important part of our Early Years curriculum focuses on knowing about healthy food choices. We have made put together a collection of our top-tips to support maintaining a balanced diet with young children.
In the Early Years we have lots of time for active learning where we develop our physical co-ordination and confidence. Our day is filled with opportunities for the children to take their learning outside as well as having weekly P.E lessons in Reception. We also have special events throughout the year to highlight the importance of getting active and always champion small changes to our lifestyles which can have a big impact. Why not walk, scoot or bike to school? If the journey is too far could you get off the bus a stop earlier to boost the distance you walk each day?
Healthy Early Years London
We are proud to be part of the new Healthy Early Years London initiative which shows many of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to healthier living. We have received our first certificate for the award and eagerly await our next accreditation.