Early Years at Rossmere

  • Our Vision for Early Years at Rossmere Primary School

    Welcome to our school family. We know this is such an important time in your child’s school life, where routines are established and relationships are built between home and school. We will always do our best to work closely with you, to ensure that your child has a smooth start to their school career in such a way that you as well as the children feel comfortable, supported and respected.

     

    Our Children

    In our early years, children are well behaved and happy, this is something our visitors always notice. They are excited and motivated to learn through rich and challenging learning experiences; opportunities to explore and take risks, and first-hand experiences. We are ambitious for all our learners to be successful that’s why we recognise that children have different starting points to their learning. We plan according to children’s stage of development so all can thrive and develop. We aim for children to be well-rounded individuals who are independent, resilient, and confident in themselves and with others.

     

    Our Parents and Families

    Our strong partnership with parents and families means that we can ensure a strong bond around a child from the very start of their journey with us. This always begins with a practitioner visiting the home setting as this is where the parent and the child should be most comfortable. Our parents are welcome to be actively involved in their children’s learning in early years and they are able to share learning experiences through a series of ‘stay and play’ sessions to aid transition, contributing regularly to learning journeys and interacting daily with staff through an ‘open door’ policy. We recognise that parents are the first educators in children’s lives and value contributions to judgements about children’s development. We use this information to support our assessments and share information about what children need to do next to develop and thrive.

     

    Our Learning Environment

    Our learning environment is a place we are very proud of. It facilitates child-initiated play and carefully planned adult led experiences which allow children to explore, create and learn through exciting, stimulating, interactive and accessible resources. Every day, we provide opportunities for children to come together to share their experiences and have fun. Our children feel proud and secure knowing that we celebrate their successes and value their achievements. The curriculum is centred around children’s interests with a balance of child-initiated and adult-led learning.

     

    Our Early Years Practitioners

    We are an experienced team with play-based child centred learning at the heart of our practice. Our staff are determined and driven ensuring they take excellent care of our children and each other. There is a sense of calmness, passion for learning and love within our setting, relationships between practitioners and children are so very strong.

     

    Early Years Foundation Stage

    We know the EYFS is a very important stage in a child’s life as it helps prepare for school ‘readiness’. We aim for experiences to be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure while supporting a child’s development, care and learning needs. Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Learning can be very rapid in early years and a child’s experiences before the age of five are paramount to their future success in adult life.

    The EYFS framework explains how and what children will be learning including the specific requirements for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.

    Children will learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

     

    The 3 prime areas – a starting point for our youngest children in setting and vital for future learning and success.

    · Communication and language
    · Physical development
    · Personal, social and emotional development.

    As children acquire knowledge and grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas.

    · Literacy
    · Mathematics
    · Understanding the world
    · Expressive arts and design

    These prime and specific areas are used to prepare children’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting young learners at Rossmere will ensure activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. Embedded throughout are the Characteristics of Effective Learning these being:

                                                    

    These are guiding principles that shape our practice. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. It is very important that they develop social skills, such as turn-taking, sharing and independence, which help them greatly in the next stages of their learning. By keeping these principles strong and alive, our children can develop uniquely having the opportunity to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.

     

    Assessment

    Assessment is an ongoing process throughout your child’s experiences in EYFS. When possible, it is our expectation that your child’s records will be passed on from Nursery and/or Pre-school settings. This enables us to ensure continuity and gauge a starting point for teaching and personal interests. Where this documentation isn’t available, we ensure practitioners liaise with parents and family during home visits so that we can begin to build a profile of children starting their journey in our EYFS setting. Assessment is a key focus throughout our 2 year old setting, Nursery and Reception classes. This will be through observation (watching your child play and learn) dialogue between colleagues and some written evidence to support our judgements. We encourage parental contributions and love to see learning and experiences your child may have outside our EYFS setting, these can then be added to your child’s learning journal of building their profile. We will always share assessment judgements with parents during our termly parents’ evenings and/or end of year reports.

     

    Assessment at the end of Reception

    Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and intervention as required. Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations. We are then able to make systematic observations and assessments of each child’s achievements, interests and learning styles using these to identify learning priorities and plan relevant and motivating learning experiences for each child.

    Each child’s level of development is assessed against the Early Learning Goals. The EYFS curriculum consists of 17 aspects of learning, at Rossmere we provide our pupils with the opportunities the meet the Early Learning Goals in all of these aspects.

    To find out more about the Early Learning Goals click the link below.

    https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Early_Years_Outcomes.pdf

    Practitioners will then indicate how well each child has performed. Practitioner judgements will be as follows:

    Emerging – the child’s learning is developing in an area but is not yet at the expected level
    Expected – the child’s learning is at the expected level
    Exceeding* – the child’s learning is beyond what is expected.
    *The guidance states: ‘Where a child’s development exceeds what is expected at the end of the EYFS, attainment should be recorded within the EYFS Profile as being at the ‘exceeding’ level for that ELG.

    As part of the next transition phase, Year 1 teachers will have access to the Profile report together with a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning. These will inform transition meetings between Reception and Year 1 teachers about each child’s stage of development and learning needs and assist with the planning of activities at the start of Year 1.

     

    Our Setting for 2 year olds

    Very integral in our EYFS is our ‘Sparkles’ 2 year old setting. We work in liaison with the local authority to offer places for 24 children who meet the specific criteria for eligibility. Our Sparkles setting is very sought after, it is easy to see why when viewing this environment. We offer morning and afternoon places which allows us to begin developing profiles of children from a very young age. To date, all Sparkles children enter our school nursery.

         

     

    Phonics & Early Reading

    · Phonics and early reading are integral and systematic daily throughout our EYFS. In our 2 year old setting and nursery, practitioners ensure a language rich environment is seen and heard. Strong modelling is the key in developing early language and literacy skills. There is a clear emphasis on
    promoting attention & listening, receptive language – understanding, expressive language – talking, communication and engagement, auditory discrimination, visual discrimination, narrative and phonological awareness. We are clearly embedding the Talk Matter Agenda – a project designed to improve early language and early literacy outcomes for children. In Reception, there is a well-organised system for teaching phonics and early reading. Staff are well trained and ambitious ensuring ‘expert’ teaching. Direct, focused systematic phonic sessions are taught daily and children read from books with the sounds they know, while they are learning to read. We foster an environment that encourages a love for reading. Even at this early stage we are aiming to get our children off to a flying start that should be reflected in their ability to meet the expected standard in their phonics screening check in the Summer of Year 1.

    Early Adopters of the revised Early Learning Goals

    As a school we have expressed our interest in becoming an early adopting school of the revised early learning goals. By adopting the changes that the Department for Education are proposing, this will give us the opportunity to strengthen our practice a year ahead of the statutory implementation. We will continue to follow guidelines with regards to this implementation.