At William Tyndale we have one Nursery class and two Reception classes. We teach through a creative, play based curriculum using a combination of whole class teaching sessions, small focus groups and working with children individually. The children learn through a combination of adult led and child initiated activities. The focus is to provide hands on experiences to learn and discover.
Staff promote high levels of interest and creative thinking with a strong emphasis on developing language throughout all the curriculum areas. Through exploration in a safe, stimulating environment the children develop confidence and an interest in the world around them.
It is important for children to have a positive start to their school experience and a key part of teaching in the Foundation Stage is supporting the children to develop their social skills and relationships with their peers. The staff support children in their play to communicate and share ideas and older children from the school also volunteer as peer mentors.
At William Tyndale we follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
The EYFS areas of learning are:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
In each area there are Early Learning Goals, which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of Reception year.
The areas are not taught in isolation and wherever possible cross curricular links are made. Each term the curriculum is taught through a different topic. These are carefully planned to generate exciting activities and also linked to a class trip. There is also a focus each term on a particular story which the children act out and recite as a class. The story acts as a mini topic and cross curricular activities are planned and linked to it.
Currently, the topic foci are as follows:
||All About Me
||People Who Help Us
||My New School
There is also a focus in the Foundation Stage on how children learn and develop. We observe and monitor children as they play and aim to develop confident, inquisitive and active learners. The Characteristics of Effective Learning are organised into three key areas:
- Playing and Exploring
- Active Learning
- Creating and Thinking Critically
William Tyndale's Foundation Stage has a stimulating and well equipped outside area. The children develop their physical strength and agility through using the climbing equipment, bikes and scooters. We have large scale sand and water play as well as opportunities for outdoor role play and construction. The children enjoy sessions with the gardening teacher and sports coach. We also have a session on the sports pitch every week
The children visit the music room every week for a lesson with a specialist music teacher and attend singing assembly. At William Tyndale there are opportunities throughout the year for the children to perform and share their achievements. Currently, in the Autumn term, the Foundation Stage perform a Christmas Show to parents and in the Summer term there is a presentation of art work related to the topic. The Reception classes also present a class assembly.
Communication between home and school is a big priority at William Tyndale. Before starting in Nursery and Reception, every child has a home visit. This provides an opportunity for parents to share information about their child as well as ask questions about the school. We have a parent conference every term, when we talk more specifically about each child’s progress. Staff are also available throughout the year if parents have queries or concerns.
Once the children are settled in, there is a curriculum meeting for parents. In Reception the focus is on how to support children at home using the daily PACT (PArents and Children Together) reading programme. We share video clips of staff reading with the children at school and show a range of resources and activities. Communication continues throughout the year between the staff and parents to track children’s reading progress. We also run phonic sessions in class to which parents are invited to join in.
The children are continually assessed through a range of observations and specific activities. These assessments enable staff to realise children’s individual needs and carefully plan the next steps. In the Foundation Stage at William Tyndale we use Tapestry, an online learning journal, to collect photos, videos and observations. We use it to track children’s progress and make assessments. These learning journals are shared with parents throughout the year.
Our aim in the Foundation Stage is for children to feel safe, supported and happy at school. We want to nurture their love of learning and the confidence to embrace a range of exciting opportunities. Through interesting activities and experiences we create a rich and stimulating environment.