Early Years Curriculum
At Ealdham we recognise that active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children learn through play and first-hand experiences, having a natural desire to explore, discover and learn. We know that all children can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured, and seek to provide an environment for them to reach their potential.
We use children’s interests as a starting point to plan with the children, spotting any teachable moments and moving them on in their learning. Learning is therefore unique to each child and personal to them. When planning we also naturally follow the rhythms of the year and significant festivals and events. We tap into the awe and wonder that nature provides us by exploring the outdoor area in all weathers, for example.
Our Early Years environment is set up to maximise opportunities for children to build on, explore and extend their skills and knowledge in all areas of learning. In both Nursery and Reception, children spend time indoors and outside with staff actively playing and interacting with them. We have a workshop approach and children are encouraged to select their own resources from a carefully planned environment. This way children are developing their independence, their resilience, problem solving skills and confidence.
Children’s wellbeing is central to our work in the Early Years. We know that children will succeed in life if they are happy, feel secure and valued, and ultimately feel good about themselves. We invest time and resources in helping children to relate well to others, to make friends and to both recognise and manage their feelings. Collaboration is key. We value children working together, being inclusive and helping others.
We have a “Focus Child” system where each child is a focus for a week or two at least once a term. All staff work together to observe, interact, support and extend the children in their play. Parents and Carers are invited to share information about their child’s interests, special moments and successes. Together, this celebration of learning and achievement is captured in each child’s Special Book and online in their Target Tracker learning journal.