At Manley Park we recognise that the Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial for every child to secure solid foundations that they will build upon for the rest of their school life and beyond. We are committed to all learners being inspired to achieve personal and academic success. In our Early Years Foundation Stage we provide learning experiences that are relevant, motivational and challenging. We believe that all children deserve to be valued as an individual and we are passionate about allowing all children to achieve their full, unique potential.
Each year we welcome children from a wide range of backgrounds. We have one Nursery class and the vast majority of our Nursery children choose to continue their education in our Reception classes at Manley Park. We also welcome children from a variety of formal and informal pre-school settings. Our first half term in the Early Years is dedicated to supporting all our children to engage with each other, form positive learning behaviours and build relationships with their peers and adults.
Our Early Years intake represents our vibrant and varied community. We have pupils from a variety of backgrounds that are rich with a multitude of cultures and languages. We have many pupils that speak English as an additional language so we use a variety of teaching strategies, practical activities and opportunities to play and explore in English and their home language. This ensures that learning is accessible for all and that children are given the best opportunities to reach a good standard of English language.
At Manley Park our curriculum is built around 6 whole school themes - Diversity, Values and Perceptions, Social Justice, Sustainable Development, Interdependence and Aspirations. These themes are adapted to engage our youngest learners. We begin each new year by looking at the individual needs of our children, taking into account their different starting points. We then carefully develop our medium and short term planning to suit our new cohort.
We use Development Matters to support us to deliver the statutory education programmes that are split into 7 areas of learning. These areas are Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
Our Long Term Plans for Nursery and Reception and our Knowledge and Skills Progression documents ensure that there is a progressive balance of knowledge and skills from when our children start at Manley Park.
Each half term an Emotional Intelligence theme compliments the curriculum learning. It is designed to help pupils feel confident about who they are whilst developing their skills to aid others to do the same. Our 6 values Respect, Understanding, Compassion, Responsibility, Patience and Positivity drive the EI curriculum. In the EYFS we adapt the whole school questions to make them phase appropriate.
At Manley Park we have a variety of pedagogical approaches in our Early Years. You will see children engaged through a mix of learning through play, adults modelling, observing each other, through guided learning and direct teaching. Sometimes we make time and space for children to invent their own play. Sometimes we join in sensitively to support and extend children’s learning.
In planning and guiding what children learn, we reflect on the different rates at which the children are developing and adjust our practice appropriately.
We have a carefully organised learning environment both indoors and outdoors, to ensure that all children can be supported in all 7 areas of learning. Our learning environment allows our children to apply and embed learning from taught sessions and to explore independently. The environments are developed to promote autonomy within our children and allow them to access the curriculum confidently with the necessary level of support and challenge. The Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning are Playing and Exploring, Active Learning, and Creating and Thinking Critically. Our environment and teaching sessions have these characteristics of effective teaching and learning at the heart of them. Helping children to think, discuss and plan ahead is important, like gathering the resources they need to make a game up before they start playing the game.
Our resources in the environment are carefully selected to support progression from Nursery to Reception. We have a rich variety of resources that promote open-ended exploration, such as our loose part gross motor resources outside. The environment is set up with a wide range of resources that children can access at all times in provision. This encourages mastery through play and creative use of familiar objects. We then add enhancements to the environment on a weekly basis that are inspired by new learning we are introducing, learning we are revisiting in the environment, or the children's interests.
At Manley Park we recognise the importance of developing children’s early communication and language skills. This is done through a mixture of quality interactions with our pupils and specifically taught sessions. Our literacy sessions support children to develop all areas of literacy through a thematic approach. We use a range of engaging books and meaningful moments to ensure that their learning is relevant and stimulating to help children develop their communication. From when the children start in our Nursery setting we teach them the importance of collaborative learning including through our P4C sessions.We help the children with their thinking, listening and reasoning skills and support them to ask questions and listen to each others’ point of view. We encourage the children to challenge their own and their peers’ thinking. This enables even our youngest children to critically engage with new learning and make links across the curriculum.