Early Years Foundation Stage

In both Nursery and Reception we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. There are seven areas of learning and development. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.

Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

These three areas, the prime areas, are:

• Communication and language
• Physical development
• Personal, social and emotional development

There are also four ‘specific’ areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

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

Every child in the Foundation Stage has a Key Worker who takes responsibility for tracking children’s progress across the seven areas of learning. Your child’s Key Worker will be your first point of contact in the school.

Children in the Foundation Stage have access to all areas of the curriculum simultaneously throughout the day. They can learn both in the classroom and in their own outdoor areas.  We provide a stimulating environment in which they can discover and learn about the world around them via their own exploration. There are also adult-led group activities and whole-class carpet times.

An important part of our approach to the development of reading and writing is the use of a phonics scheme. This is introduced in Nursery so that by the time our children move into Reception they are familiar with sounds and are already beginning to use them in their reading and writing.

PSED is a key area of the Foundation Stage curriculum. We aim to ensure that the children feel secure and valued so that they can develop confidence in themselves and form secure, constructive relationships with others. We also encourage the children to make independent informed choices in both their actions and their learning.

The Nursery and Reception curriculum is further enhanced through visits, trips and workshops. We welcome parental contributions too and have had several parents share their skills (art, music, gardening etc) with the class.

Outdoor Learning at Heber allows children time and space to explore and develop their learning styles. It lets our children develop a relationship with the outdoor environment, through frequent, and relevant experiences. Our aim is to encourage independence, and raise self-esteem within our children. It offers opportunities to develop thinking, speaking and problem solving skills through small achievable tasks such as bug hunting, leaf matching, mud painting and den building.

The Heber Early Years team facilitate activities in this safe learning environment, allowing freedom, exploration, and play. All sessions follow a routine, starting and finishing at a log circle called base camp. This is the central meeting point where information about the environment and activities are discussed. Base camp is also where children may be called back to at various points during the session in order to review their learning that has taken place.