What learning is like in Nursery, Reception and Year 1
In our Nursery, Reception and Year 1 classes, our staff carefully and creatively set up the rooms and outdoor spaces to provide high quality learning experiences that continually cover all aspects of the curriculum and meet our pupils' developing interests. Each age group has their own designated outdoor space, and for most of the day, children can free-flow between their classes and outside area. Children have a lot of independence in the choices they make about their learning. Much of what they do is play-based, as play is the natural way to learn. The benefits of play include:
- Social and Emotional Development: Play involves learning about collaborating, compromising, communicating, competing well, resolving disputes and caring for friends. It is a key way in which children develop self-regulation and social skills.
- Well-being: Great play is enormously absorbing and fun.
- Learning: Play is a laboratory of life, in which children practice and explore the wider world. They embed learning, develop understanding and discover personal interests, talents and identities.
- Creativity: Play is an intrinsically creative activity, which stretches learners’ imaginations.
- Rights: Play is a right under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Our skilled staff actively engage with our children's play throughout the day, seeking opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in personalised ways. It is the combination of a highly engaging, creative and provoking environment, alongside well-timed interventions from staff, which grows pupils' understanding and challenges their thinking. You can find out more about play-based learning here. As children develop through our Nursery, Reception and Year 1 classes, we gradually introduce more whole-class teaching and teacher-led, group activities, to ensure pupils master the full curriculum.
In our Early Years and Year 1 classes we follow a key person system. A key person is a named member of staff with responsibilities for a group of children. They help those children to feel safe and settled. They set children's next steps, complete observations and hold weekly meetings with parents. Every child in the class will be assigned to a key worker and will be a focus child for one week every term. When it is a child's focus week, parents will be invited in for a meeting to discuss their child's progress, look at their learning journal and ask any questions they may have. We really value parents' input into their child's learning journey. We aim to work with parents as partners, focusing on children's progress and wellbeing.