We are always very busy learning in Acorns and Chestnuts and we know that our parents understand how important it is for children to carry on learning at home in order for us to complete the EYFS curriculum. Take a look at our Acorns and Chestnuts blog to see our latest projects and sign up to your child’s Dojo account to be able to follow our Class story and see ways you can help consolidate your child’s learning.
In Chestnuts children build on their prior F1 knowledge to develop characteristics of an effective learner as well as the 7 areas of the EYFS curriculum. Children primarily learn through carefully planned play based activities in the indoor and outdoor environment. Staff then gauge the children’s interests and next steps in learning in order to plan further adult led group opportunities.
Each topic planned is included in the curriculum for specific reasons and we want to ensure that all children leaving our Foundation Stage 1 (Acorns) are ready for the change to Foundation 2 (Chestnuts) and children at the end of Foundation 2 are ready to start the KS1 curriculum. All the topics have resources and activities ready to use in the enhanced provision for child initiated learning. Topics are introduced with a good quality storybook or non – fiction text. Using books in this way teaches children that books and reading form the basis of all learning. This ambitious Early Years curriculum aims to teach all children the skills and knowledge in order that they achieve or exceed age related skills in all areas of development. We teach through a range of teaching methods including child-initiated learning, whole class teaching, group teaching, investigations and problem solving together, and independently. We have created a good balance of child initiated and direct teacher led activities to ensure children gain essential knowledge and skills from their teacher. All activities are expertly modelled, and children are given sufficient time, support and resources to repeat and practise them.
Personal Social and Emotional Development
We strive to enable children to be safe, happy, confident individuals. We also encourage self-regulation as much as possible and introduce rules and boundaries through modelling good behaviour and reflection time. Scaling helps children to begin to identify different emotions they are feeling. We want our children to explore concepts, ideas and the world around them. We want them to have access to a curriculum that inspires them and encourages them to strive for excellence. Most of all, we want every child to be a lifelong learner and we seek to encourage them to become reflective so they are able to recognise the value of resilience and determination. These values underpin our whole curriculum and teaching style throughout the EYFS. These values then follow on throughout the school.
Our newly refurbished outdoor environment and expansive grounds enables us to make the most of the outdoors and we encourage children to play outside as much as possible. Our intention is that children learn how to take measured risks and they are given access to our playground and nature area. We encourage children to learn about nature and look after their environment through regular outdoor activities and educational visits which provide vital first hand experiences. There is a well-established and comprehensive PE curriculum, which includes dance, gymnastics and athletics. Children are taught about the importance of regular exercise and healthy eating, and are encouraged to join in with whole-school sports initiatives such as sports days and walk to school week. Daily toothbrushing also teaches children the importance of looking after their teeth.
Communication and Language
Children are encouraged to listen and communicate appropriately. We enhance the classroom and outdoor area to reflect the topic learnt. Each topic encompasses enhancements to the learning environment that include immersive reading areas, role-play areas, small-world play and story corners to encourage the children to act out scenarios and discuss concepts being learnt. We have a strong focus on oral storytelling and talk for writing/helicopter stories. We expose children to high quality texts which reflects the diversity within our school and community. This helps children learn and use new vocabulary introduced through the topics. Children are encouraged to ask questions and contribute to whole-class and group discussion whenever possible. Children who struggle to communicate are targeted in the provision and learning interventions are used when children lack confidence or do not have the age-appropriate skills.
Key documents for Parents
We hope this is helpful for you, if you have any questions about the way your child is taught within the foundation stage please do not hesitate to ask a member of the team. Similarly if you have any evidence of your child’s out of school learning and achievements please share this with us to be included in their personal learning journey of progress