Here at Marsh Green Primary School, we believe that the learning environment is crucial to a child’s success. Our daily timetable provides opportunities for all pupils to participate in both child- initiated and adult-led play. Pupils here are always learning through play, with opportunities to embed and consolidate skills or learn new ones. Carefully planned provision by practitioners providing stimulating and engaging activities with a clear focus and intent. Pupils across the Early Years Foundation Stage participate in learning outside together. Take a look at our incredible learning environment.
EYFS Indoor Learning Environment
EYFS Outdoor Learning Environment
All Early Years providers work within a statutory framework. The framework sets out the three prime areas of learning that underpins everything in early years.
- Communication and Language.
- Physical Development.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
The four specific areas help children to strengthen and apply the prime areas:
- Understanding the World.
- Expressive Arts and Design.
Throughout the school day, children are exposed to different aspects.
This is where staff are able to skilfully use children’s interests and desires to support each child’s development in a holistic way. Children have the time to choose from the many different areas such a water play, imaginative play, construction. In all of our areas, staff are able to support, challenge and develop all aspects of the Early Years curriculum. For example, in our sandpit, staff may support children with their next steps in communication and language or within building relationships.
Teachers plan sessions for both the beginning of end of sessions. It is really important to us that children are able to continue with their developmental play so we do not interrupt this with a directed teaching session. Staff may plan some sequential learning around maths, reading, writing etc. Children also have a daily phonics session, which caters to their needs and is either before or after a continuous provision session.
Children are also taught key skills, knowledge and understanding each half term, which build on in Key Stage One.
Once children are in a routine of accessing all of the above, staff plan extra learning opportunities, which drives forward learning within children’s interests. Staff may enhance areas of continuous provision to support this or plan in some direct teaching sessions to support this interest.
We adopt a holistic approach to teaching and learning, connecting all prime and specific areas. Within each area, children can learn and apply the characteristics of effective teaching and learning. These are:
- Playing and exploring- children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go.’
- Active learning- children contrite and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements.
- Creating and thinking critically- children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.
Below is some additional information on the prime and specific areas, with photographs of pupils engaging within the environment.
Communication and Language
This is a crucial aspect of early years, which underpins all other learning and development. We aim to provide an environment which is language rich and facilitates many quality interactions where children have conversations with both adults and other children.
We listen carefully to our children and aim to make sure they feel valued. Practitioners carefully build on children’s vocabulary development by skilfully adding new words where appropriate.
Developing attention, listening and understanding are three aspects that will support children’s development in all areas of provision. Sharing books with children is important to us at Marsh Green and is a key part of developing children’s vocabulary. Practitioners will engage in meaningful interactions, where key vocabulary and questions are posed, opportunities for children to think and respond.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
We are passionate about helping our children succeed and be long life learners. To help them along their way, we believe that it is crucial for children to develop fantastic relationships with both staff and children to help them build a solid foundation for their personal, social and emotional development.
As a school we support children in developing their emotional intelligence by talking about feelings through story, We encourage children to recognise and label their emotions and to explain why they are feeling this way.
Staff encourage children to have conversations with each other to restore justice and begin to understand how to negotiate and solve problems independently. It is really important for us to build children’s self-awareness and self-confidence so that they have a strong sense of self.
Helping children to have a healthy life, where they feel happy and they have opportunities to be active is a crucial part of a child’s development. Both gross and fine motor skills are development through a range of experiences. Out outdoor learning area and activities inside provide children with opportunities to develop coordination, agility, core strength, stability and balance and spatial awareness.
As children develop their physical skills, they also develop control, proficiency and confidence.
A life-long love of reading is encouraged right from when children start Nursery. Children are exposed to a range of bot fiction and non- fiction texts. Children are encouraged to enjoy rhymes, poems, songs and stories together and children even get to take a library book of their choice home every week.
There are two aspect to reading: language comprehension and word reading. Children learn to use their listening skills to identify environmental sounds and to make sounds using their body and using instruments.
When children are ready to learn the representations for each sound, they learn the phonemes/sounds in a particular order which enabled them to begin to read words by blending the sounds together. Staff carefully plan sequential learning based on assessment through their teaching sessions.
There are also two aspects to learning to write: transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech before writing).
Before children learn to write sounds/words, there are lots of activities both indoor and outdoor that we use to build children’s muscle development leading to good hand eye coordination. It is also important tat children can orally segment words before even seeing the unit of a word. Children in early years are given context for mark making in both provision and during directed teaching sessions. Children have many opportunities to write/draw/mark make being given purpose and a variety of resources to do so.
In Early Years, developing a strong understanding of numbers to 10 is vital for a child’s mathematical development. Children need to understand relationships between numbers and be able to identify patterns. Using a variety of resources, including manipulatives, will help children to develop secure knowledge and vocabulary. Shape, space and measures involves using mathematical vocabulary to talk about different concepts such as length, time, shape, pattern. Modelling of making mistakes and having a positive attitude when tackling any concepts is a key part of mathematical learning.
Understanding the World
Connecting with the world by building on children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge of the community around them and beyond. It is important that children understand themselves and their own culture, which then enables them to develop an understanding of the diverse world. Children need to be exposed to different cultures through the curriculum and use of story should play a pivotal part.
Expressive Art and Design
Children need time to explore and play with a range of media and materials to support the development of their creativity. Children should learn to communicate through art and develop their understanding, self-expression and vocabulary. Opportunities should be given to interpret and allocate art work. Being imaginative and developing learning through role play and small world also comes under expressive art and design.