At Queensgate we aim to instill a love of learning in all children and this begins in Early Years. We recognise children’s interests and prior learning before planning learning opportunities and endeavour to provide first-hand experiences which make our curriculum purposeful, engaging and relevant.
We follow the Early Years Statutory Framework for EYFS which specifies the requirement for learning and development in the Early Years, outlining both the prime and specific areas of learning we must cover. The curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced, taking account of our children’s individual social context and range of life experiences, their personal interests and preferences. The curriculum is taught through mini topics which are enriched with classroom enhancements, trips and visitors. Topics are supported by quality core texts. These are chosen carefully to encourage children's speech, language and communication development. All planning however, is flexible and responsive to children’s needs so plans can be changed and adapted dependent on children’s interests. A robust cycle of observing, teaching and assessing gives an accurate picture of pupils’ learning, development and progress allowing staff to challenge pupils and plan effectively for the next step in pupils’ learning.
Children are encouraged to become early readers through enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of phonics. The children learn nursery rhymes and develop their mathematical thinking through direct teaching and exploration. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences. We follow a mastery approach to maths using the White Rose concepts.
A vital aspect in the development of essential knowledge and skills is the use of continuous provision. This means that children are using and developing taught skills throughout the year on a daily basis during their COOL time (Choosing Our Own Learning time). Areas of continuous provision are resourced imaginatively and enhancement opportunities are provided to engage learners and link to our topics and core texts Children are encouraged to be independent in continuous provision and take ownership over their learning both indoors and outdoors. High quality adult interactions with children during both their COOL time and adult led activities are at the heart our practice. Children take part in a range of adult led sessions during their time in Early Years. Phonics, Literacy and Maths are all taught discretely through adult led sessions during which children are taught discrete skills.
At Queensgate we work closely in partnership with parents / carers and are kept regularly updated about what their child has been learning, their progress and how to support their learning through Seesaw, updates on Twitter, workshops and Parents’ Evenings. Parents are also encouraged to contribute to their child’s assessment through their online access to Seesaw and they can celebrate their child’s achievement by contributing work to our WOW Wall. It is through this partnership with parents that we aim to ensure that our children become independent, knowledgeable and resilient learners in order to prepare them for the transition to Year 1.
For more information please see the Nursery and Reception class pages or follow us on Twitter @QueensgatePS to get a true picture of what life is like in Early Years at Queensgate Primary School.