Article 28: Every child has the right to education
Early Years at the Acorns
The Acorns Primary and Nursery School Foundation Stage caters for children between the ages of 2 and 5 years. It consists of three main indoor learning environments; Caterpillar Class, Butterfly Class and two Foundation 2 classes.
Each provision has its own separate learning environment, tailored to the age and stage of the children, offering a range of different learning opportunities and characteristics to the indoor environment. Play and exploration at the Acorns involves children taking risks to steer them beyond their current capabilities and challenge them physically, socially and cognitively. Our environments are planned to maximise the impact on both children's experiences and progress.
Foundation Stage practitioners work in liaison to provide a continuous curriculum throughout the Foundation Stage.
In Foundation Stage, all children are allocated a 'Key Person' which we call the child's 'Special Talking Teacher'. The role of the Special Talking Teacher is to take responsibility for the emotional needs of a small group of children, ensuring they feel safe and cared for. This is the first person for a parent to talk to if they have any concerns about their child at home or school.
The role of parents is vital in Early Years and we therefore invite parents into all settings every day to facilitate positive communication. Parents and staff share news and achievements, with the children present, on a day to day basis, as well as through purple 'WOW moment' post-its. TLC bags (Talk Listen Create) have also been designed to be taken home for parents and children to use together. TLC activities inspire language-rich talk, curiosity and partnership and collaboration. In addition, parents engage with staff during parent meetings, reports and parent workshops.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, where possible, we plan learning experiences based on the children's individual interests to ensure that they are engaged and motivated to learn. We also plan for 'Narrative Immersion' which runs parallel to Talk4Writing. This immersive approach promotes creative enquiry-led learning fusing drama and literacy so that learners can flourish in settings where 'positive struggle' and challenge is embraced, making learning purposeful and fun.
Our practitioner's role is crucial in supporting children's play; extending their language and sustained, shared thinking to help them make progress. Through this supported play, children can explore, develop and use their curiosity and imagination to help them make sense of the world in a secure environment. They practise skills, build up ideas and concepts, think creatively and imaginatively, and communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems. Practitioners constantly measure our children's chronological ages against their developmental ages and plan to diminish any differences by planning, both in advance and spontaneously, for their individual interest, gaps in their knowledge and as a result of daily observations and assessments.