About Our Academy
Throughout the EYFS we follow the Project Based Learning approach that is seen throughout the school. We first start with the end project and exhibition in mind and then work back weaving the skills we need to teach the children into the activities we plan for and the play that is planned to support and develop learning/understanding. We have 7 areas of learning that we plan for throughout each project, which are as follows: Personal Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. We make sure that all areas of the curriculum are linked to these areas of learning so that our children get a breadth as well as a depth of learning. During each project we aim to immerse the children in their learning and in the project by creating an environment that is immersive, fun and creative. This environment, project and planned sessions, which are generally practical based sessions, help to thoroughly engage the children in everything they are learning about and allows them to develop a love of learning as well as school.
We believe that being literate is a basic skill, but an essential life skill. We teach phonics throughout our EYFS and follow the RWI scheme. In nursery we have an emphasis on sound play and listening to songs, rhymes and rhythms, whilst we focus on teaching letter sounds, as well as blending and segmenting (spelling) in Reception.
We believe that as well as being literate being numerate is not only a basic skill, but also an essential skill to have throughout life. Mathematics is primarily taught through Mini Maths Missions throughout the school. Mini Maths Missions work like projects in which the children are hooked into learning through a real life mission. The children then learn the maths skills necessary to be able to complete the mission in a real life context. We teach these skills through songs, games and engaging activities everyday following the Numicon approach.
In Early Years exploration time is an important part of the curriculum as it allows the children to become immersed in their learning, engage with their peers and also explore their environment. Exploration time also gives children the opportunity to use the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’. The characteristics of effective learning are a key element in the early year’s foundation stage. They detail the ways in which children should be learning from their environment, experiences and activities. Children up to the age of five should all be displaying the characteristics of effective learning every day, which are:
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically
We ensure that we carefully plan for exploration time linking it to the skills they are learning that week whilst also maintaining the immersion in the project.
In reception the children are encouraged to complete a set of ‘rainbow’ challenges throughout the week. These challenges are related to the project and planned to build upon skills the children need. These challenges encourage the children to become independent in their learning.