The Foundation Stage
The Arden School Foundation Stage curriculum is organised using the guidance published by the D.F.E.S. for the foundation stage.
We believe that young children have natural energy, enthusiasm, curiosity and a great capacity for learning, and that play in its many forms is one of the most effective means of fulfilling their needs. Also, the first years of life are the most important in establishing a willingness to learn and a love of learning.
The foundation stage curriculum is organised in six areas of learning: -
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Communication, language and literacy
- Mathematical development
- Knowledge and understanding of the world
- Physical development
- Creative development
The staff plan a balanced curriculum which ensures progression throughout the foundation stage. Activities are provided for developing:
- Imaginative and dramatic play
- Play with natural materials such as sand and water
- Designing and constructing, using a range of materials
- Opportunities for investigation and problem-solving
- Creative activities, music and movement
- Energetic physical play
Sessions are carefully structured to ensure a balance of adult and child planned activities that give opportunities for teaching and learning both indoors and outdoors.
Activities are differentiated according to the needs of the children. It is hoped that most will achieve the early learning goals and some, where appropriate go beyond them by the end of the foundation stage.
The curriculum also takes account of the Literacy and Numeracy strategies for key stage one.
Equal Opportunities, Inclusion and Special Needs
The school policy for equal opportunities, inclusion and special needs is implemented in the foundation stage.
The Foundation Stage Classes aim to provide a broad, balanced curriculum for all children, who are encouraged to progress at their own pace to reach their full potential.
Every child has equal entitlement to all areas of learning. We believe all children are equal and individual. We teach the children to value and respect each other whatever their cultural background, religion, gender, family composition or disability. We aim to provide appropriate learning opportunities for all children.
Information about the religious, linguistic and ethnic background of the children is gathered and disseminated by the H.S.L.T. Home visits provide another valuable source of information about the child and his or her family.
This knowledge ensures an informed understanding of difficulties which may arise at school, and an appreciation of the influence of the home background on the progress of the child.
Children with special needs are referred to the S.E.N. coordinator and extra help and support is provided for them. This may involve outside agencies, such as the visiting teacher service and speech therapists, as well as additional support in school.
Management and Organisation
The Arden Nursery class is a thirty-nine place unit. All children attend part-time, so there are seventy-eight children on roll.
The children are grouped into three colour groups of thirteen children in each group with a member of staff responsible for the pastoral care of the children in their group.
The children are welcomed by their teacher and collect their name badge at the beginning of each session, and they sit in groups at home time.
Throughout the session children work with all staff in free choice and teacher directed activities. There is opportunity to work with their own groups at language time and story time.
The nursery is organised into three main areas inside: -
q Maths/Knowledge and Understanding of the World
q Communication, Language and Literacy
Outside is for Physical play and development of all areas of learning
One member of staff will be based in each area. All activities will be available but each day staff will concentrate on a specific area to ensure a balanced curriculum. Staff rotate between the areas on a weekly basis and daily outside.
Children are allowed to choose which activities they prefer but are encouraged to experience all activities available. Records are kept to ensure this happens.
The reception classes are grouped into four mixed ability groups.
On arrival the children are registered and encouraged to choose independent activities to allow opportunity for parents to talk to the teachers at this time.
The children then join class groups for welcome time and information prior to joining group activities in the different areas of learning. These groups will rotate throughout the day to ensure a balanced curriculum to implement the Early Learning Goals.
One member of staff will be based in each area on a rota system.
At the beginning of the Summer Term we introduce the Literacy and Numeracy Strategies to ensure a smooth transition of the children into Key Stage 1.
All early years staff meet weekly to discuss their plans and aims for the following week. All staff are involved in the initial planning for activities in areas, but then are responsible for their own area; setting out and preparing the activities.
Students and volunteers are involved in the day-to-day planning of activities.