At Raynham, we offer high-quality early education beginning with our two-year-old provision, developing their skills as they move through to Nursery and Reception. We believe that all children deserve the best possible start to their learning journey and we are committed to giving this to them.
Welcome to Early Years at Raynham!
At Raynham, our children learn in many different ways. We follow the children’s interests through play, developing their skills in an enabling environment, both indoors and outdoors and teaching through interactions. We strengthen these skills through motivating adult-led activities linked to our curriculum. We have targeted sessions to individualise each child’s learning.
We have high expectations of our children, which increase as they progress through the Early Years. As they move through the Early Years Foundation stage, we equip them with skills they will need for their lifelong learning. Our provision is developmentally appropriate, where we continuously build on previous knowledge to ensure all our children make progress at their own pace.
Our broad and exciting curriculum, unique to our children, is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework and ‘Development Matters’ guidance, along with children’s interests and developmental needs and the context of our school. Our curriculum is designed to give children the foundational knowledge and understanding needed to prepare them for year 1 and beyond. This is taught mainly through our focus texts and continuous provision. Our school curriculum is concept driven and we have developed early years curriculum maps for key subject areas, which clearly link our provision to the concepts and knowledge in the national curriculum taught in key stages 1 and 2.
A key feature throughout our provision is developing children’s language and vocabulary. We do this through the stories we read, our interactions with children, and our language and communication rich environment. We provide lots of opportunities to develop children’s familiarity with stories, songs and rhymes throughout, from TWOs to Reception.
Early Years principles
Running all the way through our early years is the principle of learning through play, the best and most meaningful way for young children to learn. We offer lots of open ended exploratory experiences, and the structure of our day includes periods of uninterrupted play so that children can get deeply involved in their learning. We provide rich, enabling learning environments, inside and outdoors, which promote exploration and discovery. The classrooms and outdoor areas in all year groups are organised so that opportunities in all areas of learning are offered. Children can access resources by themselves, make choices, follow their own interests and extend their own learning independently. This all leads to greater involvement and deeper learning.
We place a strong emphasis on the importance of outdoor learning throughout our provision. This has many benefits, including contributing to health and wellbeing and developing the ‘whole’ child. Children are often more confident outside, and outdoor learning offers great opportunities for experiencing the natural world, and active learning and exploration, as well as elements of risk and challenge. We have purposeful outdoor learning environments and a system of ‘free-flow’ whereby children can choose to learn inside or outside for a large part of the session.
Interactions and the Characteristics of Effective Learning
Much of our teaching is through interactions. Adults observe the children closely while joining in sensitively with their play to extend their language and thinking and develop their knowledge and skills. We support the ‘Characteristics of effective learning’ (‘playing and exploring’, ‘active learning’ and ‘creating and thinking critically’), developing confident, resilient, independent learners throughout the early years. We encourage good attitudes to learn, like curiosity, concentration and willingness to ‘have a go’, in everything we do.
Our children are confident with all of these aspects of their learning and are therefore able to move from one year group to another, as they are happy, independent and resilient.