The Early Years Foundation Stage at Alt Academy covers the part-time Nursery provision (children join in the September, January or April after they are 3) and the full time Reception provision (children join in the September after they are 4). At Alt there is a Nursery Manager leading the 24 place nursery provision, supported by two Teaching Assistants and 2 teachers leading the 45 place reception provision, supported by two Teaching Assistants.
Within the Early Years Foundation Stage children are working towards the Early Learning Goals as set out by the government in the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage. This document states there are 7 areas of learning.
There are 3 prime areas-‘Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development’.
Alongside the prime areas providers must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are: ‘Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Art and Design’.
At the end of Reception all children are assessed against each of the 17 Early Learning Goals. They are assessed as emerging, expected or exceeded.
Both the reception and nursery classes have a large indoor area, an uncovered outdoor area incorporating hard tarmac with markings, a soft ground/barked area with mud kitchens and sensory gardens and a covered outdoor area. The indoor area is broken down into learning areas such as construction, creativity, role-play, funky fingers, small world and malleable. There are dedicated maths, writing and reading spaces, but these key development areas are also interwoven into all indoor and outdoor learning spaces. Fine and gross motor skills and language development are also interwoven into all spaces, ensuring that the prime areas for learning are incorporated in such a way that all children are given the opportunity for a good level of development.
At Alt we believe that our youngest children learn best with a mixture of play based child led experiences, adult led small group experiences, and whole class adult led inputs. Each half term there is a Topic question that supports and directs teaching and learning experiences. However, there are opportunities for mini topics that come from the children’s own interests and local events. The pupils are given daily inputs in phonics, literacy and maths, and are then set learning challenges to complete within provision. They are also given the opportunity to take part in whole school learning experiences such as assemblies and outside visitors, and also go on visits of their own within the community and wider area. Children are assessed through formal and informal methods; during focus tasks and their play based learning. It is in their purposeful play that they put into practice their learnt skills and knowledge, and staff capture this through the use of photographs, written observation notes and the child’s finished pieces. At the end of the school year all children receive an end of year report. This will give you an insight into what your child has achieved. In this report, we discuss ‘characteristics of effective learning’. These are descriptions about how your child learns, what excites them in our setting and what they like learning about.