Early Years

Our Early Years settings at The Acorns are purpose built with secure outdoor environments providing a wonderful introduction to school life. We have established a safe and stimulating environment which gives a rich educational experience with a balanced curriculum of play, exploration and creative activities.

 

Every child has their own Learning Journey: a book where examples of children’s work, photographs of their achievements and their comments are kept. Observations by adults (key workers) are also included. These tell the story of a particular event, day or week in a child’s life. Parents are invited to read the Learning Journeys on a regular basis, and they are encouraged to send in contributions from home to add to them (since young children often show skills and attributes at home that they don’t yet demonstrate in a school setting). We are very grateful for these contributions, which we call “Wow Moments,” as every child’s learning is very much a partnership between home and school. At the end of the year, this Learning Journey forms part of a report and we hope becomes a document to treasure, giving parents a permanent record of so many special moments in their child’s development.

 

The children will cover the EYFS curriculum through planned and purposeful play, both indoors and outdoors. There is a balance of adult led and child led activities (known as child initiated learning). Child initiated activities form the majority of evidence used for assessment, and also inform teachers’ planning.  An indoor and outdoor classroom means children can learn and explore in a place they feel comfortable.  A vast range of resources are available in both learning environments to stimulate children’s imaginations and to encourage them to learn through play.

 

The EYFS Curriculum has seven areas of learning, 3 prime and 4 specific, all areas are equally important and inter-connected.  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: Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development.  There are also four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. Within each area there are different strands leading to 17 Early Learning Goals. In order to enable the pupils to develop skills in each area, the EYFS teachers centre themes for learning around children’s interests.  A child may bring in a story about dinosaurs that grabs the interest of all pupils; so a dinosaur theme will develop around the classroom with a hunt for bones, research into which creatures hatch from eggs, dinosaur maths challenges, dinosaur writing, building their own dinosaurs and hiding eggs in bushes that miraculously hatch overnight!

At the end of the year Nursery books are moderated.  The Nursery class teacher and staff work with Reception staff to help organise groups and interventions that will meet the needs of the children starting Reception in the coming September.  While in Reception, assessments are gathered and used to inform a summative assessment against the Early Learning Goals for each aspect in the 7 areas (17 early learning goals). Parents will be informed if their child is ‘emerging’ (not yet achieving the ELG), ‘expected ’(has achieved the ELG) or ‘exceeding’ (above the ELG). When a child is assessed as ‘exceeding’ they are working at the Year 1 National Curriculum in that area. Children ‘emerging’ continue to learn through the EYFS Curriculum in Year 1 until they are ready to move onto the National Curriculum.

 

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Contact the School

The Acorns Primary and Nursery School

Pooltown Road
Ellesmere Port
CH65 7ED

Main Contact: Mrs H. Mansfield, Executive Head Teacher

Tel: 0151 355 1546
head@acornswhitleyfed.cheshire.sch.uk

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