Welcome to the Early Years at Alverton School.
At Alverton we want every child’s first experience of Nursery, Pre-school and school to be positive and memorable. We aim for our EYFS setting to be a place where children are excited to learn, show curiosity and look forward to coming to Alverton where, in a stimulating environment, they feel safe and valued.
We are proud of our Nursery and Reception settings and believe that we offer all our children in EYFS at Alverton an enriching curriculum which promotes children fully immersing themselves in a love for learning. Our indoor and unique outdoor environments are inclusive, calm, well organised and promote independence, ensuring children develop in their confidence and want to challenge themselves, problem solve and take risks.
Our curriculum centres itself around the Characteristics of Effective Learning and Development Matters, which underpin how children learn and the progression of skills needed to support children achieve the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception. We provide a careful balance of child-initiated, adult-initiated and adult-led learning so that children can engage in a balanced curriculum, which includes focused planned teaching sessions as well as spontaneous learning opportunities too. In addition to our teacher-led session, continuous provision and enhancements offer the children enriching learning opportunities throughout their day.
In our Nursery, we have two rooms. Our toddler room (2-3 year olds) is called 'Little Foxes' and our Pre-school room (3+ 4 year olds) is called 'Little Owls'. Our curriculum is focused around high-quality key texts that are of relevance to the age and stage of the children and our EYFS long term plan reflects this. Adult led teaching/activities and enhancements within the provision provide opportunities for children to develop within the seven areas of learning from Development Matters. Alongside this, we want all children have the opportunity to follow their own interests and own lines of inquiry.
We ensure that children are well supported by an adults as they explore and discover for themselves. Our environment is key to providing the children with meaningful learning experiences. Independence and resourcefulness are encouraged by making resources available to the children all of the time.
Children in Foxes Room are supported to separate from their carers, form relationships with others and begin to self regulate their feelings and emotions. They have open access to an indoor and outdoor learning environment which is stimulating, well-resourced and enhanced with engaging activities. Learning and enhancements can also come directly from the children's own interests, and playful opportunities to extend children's understanding through stories, sensory experiences and real life experiences are readily taken.
In Little Owls Pre-School room, learning is based around a story text, usually lasting about two weeks. There are also lots of additional enrichment opportunities that link in with our outdoor woodland setting, our school calendar, seasons and the wider world as well as opportunities for one-off events where visitors are invited into the Nursery. Children are encouraged and supported to follow their own interests and the classroom and outdoor areas are well-resourced and equipped to enhance and extend the children's play.
In Reception, our curriculum is also centred around Characteristics of Effective Learning and Development Matters. We follow a topic approach where short topics are planned around knowledge and understanding of the world, giving children the opportunity to learn about themselves and others, seasons, changes, people and jobs around them and events in the calendar. The topics are relevant and within their context of understanding so that the children are able to actively access and engage in their learning.
We want our children to be enthusiastic and inspired learners, taking the day’s learning home with them and then bringing things from home that link to what they have been doing at school not because we have asked them, but because they have initiated it themselves. Some of our planned learning includes visitors coming into school, trips, one-off wow days, a special reward time and links with whole school events.
Planning across the EYFS is sequenced and progressive, building on prior knowledge and acknowledging future learning. We want our whole curriculum to be an enriching and positive memorable experience that can be built on the children move into Year 1 and beyond.
The ‘Golden Thread’ which runs through our whole-school curriculum is that:“we endeavour to give the children the academic knowledge, skills (especially reading) and cultural capital they need to allow them to progress confidently onto their future learning and into the world”.
Our outdoor settings in both Nursery and Reception offer a unique opportunity for children to explore within an enriching environment both inside and outside everyday. Continuous provision is planned for each week in line with the seven areas of learning in mind, the interests of the children and the needs and abilities of the current cohort’s. Our EYFS staff are all involved in this and are constantly reviewing and incorporating their ideas, adapting the continuous provision to suit the ‘now’ in children’s development. The areas are well organised, safe and inclusive, ensuing everybody can access the opportunities within them. Adults who engage in these experiences with children use questioning to extend thinking, develop vocabulary and promote development. They may also use modelling where necessary to support and extend the learning if it is relevant or necessary.