Early Years Provision

Philosophy 

We believe that the philosophy of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) underpins excellent practice for all our early years children. We recognise that the sound principles of the EYFS reflect the needs of young children with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (CLDD). These four guiding principles are: 

  • every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured; 
  • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships; 
  • children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and 
  • children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. 

The framework covers the education and care of all chil- dren in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities. (EYFS, 2012) 
All children are given the opportunity to experience the best pos- sible start to their education, to develop sound foundations which will ensure they flourish throughout their school years and on into adulthood. 

The EYFS provides: 

  • quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes excellent progress and no child gets left behind; 
  • a secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly; 
  • partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/ or carers; 
  • equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported. (EYFS 2012) 

Partnership With Parents 

Parents are a child’s first and most enduring educators. We value the role of the parent in their child’s education. We develop effective partnerships with parents and carers right from the very beginning. 

Starting school

  • Initial visit: parents are invited for an informal visit to be introduced to the school. 
  • Home/nursery visit: children also receive a home visit, or a visit may be made to the previous setting. 
  • Initial meeting: After a placement has been agreed, parents and child come along for an initial meeting. Here they meet staff who are going to be closely involved with the child including their class teacher and other agencies such as the speech and language therapists, occupational therapist, physiotherapist and nursing staff. 

The Learning Environment 

The Unique Child reaches out to relate to people and things through the Characteristics of Effective Learning, which move through areas of learning. 

  • playing and exploring 
  • active learning 
  • creating and thinking critically (EYFS 2012)

Children learn through play and our aim is that they enjoy an enriching, inspiring experience. We also believe that children need an outdoor environment that can pro- 
vide them with space, to explore, experiment, be active and healthy, and to develop their physical capabilities. 

We are located in a ‘state of the arts’ building in the heart of a culturally diverse community. All our classes and learning environments are well resourced and equipped with stimulating and motivating resources which children access daily. 
Children in Early Years enjoy the use of a multi-sensory playground, a swimming pool, sensory and soft play rooms, a garden as well as a magnificent roof playground. 

Teaching in Early Years 

The Early Years Foundation Stage sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. Teaching in Early Years focuses on the 7 key areas of learning, with an emphasis on the prime areas (Personal Social Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language). In Village 1, classes plan using the ‘Development Matters’ areas of learning within the EYFS framework. 

Our aim is to foster independent learning, where children explore and are encouraged to develop an enquiring mind. Adults support children in their learning and work with them to develop fine and gross motor skills, as well as skills in problem solving and social interaction. 

Children enjoy a curriculum that is culturally diverse in order to develop their understanding of the world around them. They engage in role play activities, child initiated games, and exploration. Children who have difficulty with interaction or tolerating others often go on to begin to engage in parallel play and group activities with their peers. 

Progress and Assessments 

At the beginning of the Autumn term children are baselined within 4 weeks of commencing school and their progress is monitored using a robust and rigorous assessment tool system from early years until they leave school as teenagers. 
Each pupil will have evidence of their work recorded in a learning book and evidence file. Their learning is shared with parents/carers on a regular basis and parents/carers are encouraged to contribute to this. 

Our Team 

We have a robust and efficient multi-disciplinary team who work closely with parents and carers so that no gaps exist in children’s learning and development. 
In-house, we have a team of fantastic teachers and assistants who 
understand the early development stage. Children also have access to:

  • Physiotherapists, 
  • NHS nurses; 
  • Occupational therapists; 
  • Speech and Language therapists; 
  • Behaviour team; 
  • Physical management team; 
  • Art, drama and music specialists; 
  • GP, Dietician & TaMHS (Targeted Mental Health in Schools) 

We provide a nurturing environment which enables children to develop relationships and to learn. We also work closely with other schools in the community and ensure that children have every opportunity to visit places of local interest. Trips are organised regularly to zoos, garden centres, and museums in order to broaden children’s experiences. 

We believe that providing young children with opportunities in a rich learning environment will enable them to become skilled, confident and life-long learners in our fast-changing world.