The Early Years Curriculum
We have a separate curriculum for the Early Years in the UK. This covers the development of our children from birth to the end of the Reception year . The children continue the same curriculum used by ourselves in Nursery to their first year in school.
Every three year old is entitled to 15 hours of free education. This starts the term after their third birthday.
In our Nursery, we offer two sessions for the children. Parents can choose whether their child attends on a morning from 8.45 am to 11.45 am or on an afternoon from 12.30pm to 3.30 pm. This gives them 3 hours of education each day over 5 days in the week- 15 hours.
Over the last few years, due to increased need, we have offered parents the option of purchasing extra education sessions at £15 per session (including lunch club which bridges the two sessions).
Early Learning Goals
There are 17 Early Learning Goals which children are expected to have achieved by the end of the Early Years (children will vary from 5 years 10 months old to 4 years 10 months old at the time assessment results are submitted)
Practitioners make a judgement as to whether the children are:
- Emerging (working below the Early Learning Goal)
- Expected (working within the Early Learning Goal)
- Exceeding (working beyond the Early Learning Goal)
Characteristics of Effective Learning
In planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners must reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
- playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
- active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and
- creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
There are four guiding principles which should shape practice in early years settings. These are:
- every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
- children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
- children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
- children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
When children arrive in Nursery they are taken to their Key Group by their parents. During this session, children can tell their news and staff will tell the children what is new to look out for in the Nursery.
Staff will also have key objectives to teach.
This session lasts for approximately 20 minutes (8.45-9.05am or 12.30pm to 12.50 pm)
The children then leave their key worker groups to go and ‘play’ in the Nursery. Areas of learning are set up within the main classroom and the children access these independently. Materials are changed regularly within each area but some things are there all year round for the children to use (continuous provision).
We have 11 indoor areas:
- A Role Play Area
- Maths Area
- Writing Area
- Sand Play Area
- Reading Area
- Building/Construction Area
- A Creative Area
- Small World Area
- Dough/ Malleable Area
- Water Play Area
Staff observe the children at play, taking notes of what they are doing and what their interests are.
This information is discussed at daily planning meetings and we decide how to adapt our areas to provide what the children want and need.
Staff ‘play’ alongside the children, skilfully questioning to develop thinking and to challenge their play.
After a play of about an hour, the children meet together in their group rooms for snack. This is always healthy but varies from day to day. It could be toast, cheese and crackers, fruit or something the children have baked. Children can choose between milk or water to drink.
Mrs. Wilson ensures that all children with allergies have their own individual snack on their own plate.
Group snack time is a great time for reinforcing manners, helping friends by giving out the snack and drinks, number work i.e. counting out the cups or bottles of milk etc. It is a valuable learning time.
More free play
Once snack time is over, the children can choose if they would like to play indoors or outdoors again. They take charge of their own learning by choosing an area to work in and choosing how they would like to use those resources in that area. Staff will encourage, question, challenge and support the children in doing this through skilful questioning and playing alongside the children.
At the end of each session, the children meet in their groups again for a story. This is a lovely way to end the session.
The children have to use their listening skills, show they have understood the story by answering questions and join in with repeated refrains.
Our outdoor area is our best classroom. The children are able to choose whether they would like to play indoors or outdoors, whatever the weather. Most children choose to learn outdoors.
Further information is available in our Nursery Brochure
Find out more about our approach to Reading and Phonics at Oxclose Nursery School.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
At Oxclose Nursery School, we believe that inclusive education means providing all pupils with appropriate education and support alongside their peers. The Curriculum is all the planned activities that the school organises in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. Further information can be found in the SEN Information Report.