In the Early Years, our curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning from previous settings and their experiences at home, whilst providing first hand learning experiences which allow the children to build resilience, ambition and curiosity.
At Albion we believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage are crucial part of a child’s development. Children are born ready to learn and are like little sponges that soak up everything around them and the things they absorb can become part of who they are.
We set high expectations throughout all areas of school life and beyond and we introduce our children to our school values right at the beginning in Nursery and Reception.
Ambition, Resilience, Respect, Creativity, Kindness, Responsibility
Albion’s values help children understand right from wrong and also help to shape the mind sets and behaviour of future adults. Which is why they are embedded throughout their day to day lives as well as being explicitly taught.
Every child is recognised as a unique individual and we celebrate and welcome differences within our school community. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values. We provide enhancement opportunities to engage learning and believe that our first experiences of school should be happy and positive, enabling us to develop a lifelong love of learning.
At the end of Reception, we want our children to have gained the confidence and skills to make decisions and self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.
Our Early Years Curriculum is defined by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Profile which sets out the seven areas of learning and what children should be able to do by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (the early learning goals).
We teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across both the prime and specific areas of learning.
Prime areas: Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Specific areas: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
It’s important to note that none of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult led and child initiated activities. Through play and practical experiences children learn about the world and their place in it.
We recognise that all children develop and learn at different rates and so our EYFS curriculum is designed flexibly to meet the needs of all individuals. We support individual learning through our skillful interactions and observations which lead to detailed next step planning.
The characteristics of effective learning underpin our curriculum and children’s learning, through an enabling and well planned environment we ensure that we provide meaningful opportunities for playing and learning, active learning and thinking critically. As children utilise and develop these characteristics they become effective and motivated learners who demonstrate high levels of well-being and involvement.
A Unique Child
At Albion we pride ourselves in knowing our children really well. We focus on personalising care and education for individual children, and on taking a holistic approach to nurturing their social and emotional wellbeing. We know that children learn best when they are interested and enthusiastic about a topic which is why we listen and observe carefully their current interests and plan around them. We guide children by posing questions, building on what they already know and encouraging them to explore and challenge themselves.
In the Early Years we use an approach to planning called PLODs (Possible Lines of Development). We start by taking the children’s interests and then think of a range of activities that could take place, linking them to the EYFS Curriculum. The children then use floor books to document their learning and discoveries.
When children arrive at Albion they are already competent learners with 3/4 years’ worth of experiences. We believe that building good home links and strong parent partnerships are key in impacting a child’s learning in a positive way as well as providing a level of consistency between the home and the school learning environment. Embedding this strong partnership between parents and the school ensures that you are kept up to date with your child’s development and learning.
We encourage children to become autonomous learners, making independent choices and decisions. We respect the decisions that children make and encourage them to work collaboratively with each other, sharing their thoughts, ideas and enquiries.
Our classroom environments allow children to explore whatever captures their interests. Space and flow are important elements to our play-based environment. Teachers provide areas with construction, art, dramatic play, writing, maths, reading, creativity. As the children play they get to know each other. The teachers discover the children’s interests and create themes based on them.
We strive to ensure that our children make rapid progress across the EYFS curriculum from their varied starting points. We also strive for children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and to be at least in line with National Expectations.
The impact of our curriculum is measured by assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally.
We measure the percentage of pupils achieving age related expectations throughout the academic year, put supportive interventions in place if and when needed. Class teachers use observations to make formative assessments which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace
Our assessment judgements are moderated both in school and externally with local schools and others in our trust.
The impact of our curriculum will also be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well-rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. We endeavour for pupils to be ready for the next school stage and have all six of our school’s core values embedded by the time they leave Reception.