Based on the four principles of the English Early Years Foundation Stage:
- Every child is unique. They are constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident, and self-assured.
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Children learn and develop in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents.
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
There are seven areas of learning and development that shape our educational programmes. These are comprised of three prime areas and four specific areas. The three prime areas are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
Three prime areas:
- Personal, social, and emotional development
- Communication and language
- Physical development
Four specific areas:
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive arts and design
Underpinning all areas of learning and development are the Characteristics of Effective Learning. These are a set of skills divided into three main areas that focus on how children learn.
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically
Many of these skills relate to children’s ability to reflect, help themselves, be self-motivated and adopt a 'can do' approach to learning and new challenges. Learning is constantly developed through play-based activities. These are centred around a range of projects whereby pupils are invited to share what they already know and, with the help of the adults around them, research the theme in greater depth.
The seven areas of learning and development are interrelated. Children’s knowledge, understanding and confidence are therefore taught through this pedagogical approach. By providing a curriculum designed to challenge, motivate, and inspire curiosity, we allow them to delight and experience success. We can also provide support for gaps in learning, so children can move forward with their personal and academic achievements.
Each area of learning and development has a set of desired and age-appropriate learning outcomes. We monitor these through observational assessment as the children engage in independent play. We record individual assessments of each child. They include an individual record of their achievements throughout each year, documented in a 'learning story' or 'journey'. This is then shared with the pupil and parents.