Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception)

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At Tree Tops Primary Academy, our aim is to provide a learning environment in the Early Years that enables all children to develop a lifelong love of learning through positive relationships, a mutual respect and curiosity about the world in which they live. Developing relationships with parents and carers is core to our success in supporting children to be the very best they can be. Through the Early Years curriculum, we take a holistic approach to the education of the child, providing opportunities for physical, cognitive, verbal and emotional development.

As a PYP (Primary Years Programme) school, our curriculum is designed to enable children to succeed through collaborative learning principles and attributes. We place a strong emphasis on the Prime Areas of Learning. We recognise that to ensure the best learning outcomes and attainment for children, an environment that provides a high level of engagement will maximise links across the curriculum and deepen their knowledge and understanding.

At Tree Tops Primary Academy, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. This consists of four overriding principles which our Early Years education is based upon:

  1. Unique Child – Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  2. Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
  3. Enabling Environments – 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 carers.
  4. Learning Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Each term, we have a new Central Idea and this is at the core of our learning, leading into child led inquiries. These inquiries provide flexibility and inspiration, following the child’s interests and ideas. There is a balance between child led learning and adult-directed tasks. 

The daily timetable is carefully structured and adapted to suit the changing and developing needs of the children. Time is dedicated to directed teaching time, initially followed by small group focus activities where the learning can be tailored to suit the individual needs of the child, misconceptions can be quickly addressed and real-time verbal feedback can be given resulting in a strong acquisition of new learning. As the children progress through Nursery and Reception, the balance between adult directed and child-led learning is adapted depending on the children’s needs.

Both of our well resourced indoor and outdoor learning environments provide learning opportunities that are carefully planned for, providing high levels of engagement and challenge.

Many Reception children have the benefit of attending our school Nursery, making the transition for the child smooth and built upon solid foundations on which we can develop further. For those children joining us from other nursery/pre-school settings, we aim to ensure children have the best start in our Reception classes. In order to make this transition as smooth as possible, we visit the nursery setting and discuss each child with their key person, invite parents to attend a 1:1 meeting with the teaching team and offer stay and play sessions for the children prior to September. This gives staff a secure knowledge of the children’s starting points, allowing them to make an informed decision about baseline, supporting the statutory Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA). This assessment focuses on language, communication, literacy and mathematics.

We regularly assess where the children currently are within their learning, providing opportunities for them to build and develop their next steps. Across EYFS, we record their learning in learning journeys, evidencing their successes throughout their time in our Foundation Stage.

As a team, we attend moderation meetings within the trust ensuring consistency and confidence with staff judgements. Assessment begins with careful observations and interactions with the child, allowing this to inform planning, thus supporting effective teaching.

The children at Tree Tops Primary Academy, leave their EYFS learning journey as confident and competent lifelong learners.

We are an accredited PYP school, which is an example of best educational practice globally, responding to the challenges that our children face in this rapidly changing world.  The core principles of the PYP, develop children’s agency and promote the attributes necessary to be successful learners and are: