As the Early Years marks the beginning of the Merritts Brook Journey, we see that through our Curriculum it is imperative that we lay the fundamental foundations, for the development of life-long learning.
We offer the children experiences that broaden and enrich their knowledge, and skills across all aspects of their learning. The prime areas of learning (Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development) underpin the wider curriculum; it is fundamental for our young children to develop strong verbal, physical, personal, social and emotional knowledge and skills. We recognise that without these core aspects of learning, the remaining four specific areas cannot be fully developed.
We offer them an engaging environment based on learning through play, which aims to foster excitement, challenge and a love of learning. Our activities take place both in and outdoors and cover all seven areas of learning within the Early Years Curriculum.
Throughout the Early Years Learning Journey at Merritts Brook we ensure our curriculum is progressive and on exit the children are key stage one ready.
We view each child as an independent early learner. Assessment for learning begins the day the children arrive in our setting. We recognise their individual knowledge and experiences in order to ‘scaffold’ their learning in response.
In the Early Years we submerge the children in a language rich environment. Our relentless approach towards developing the children’s communication and language skills is at the very heart of our Early Years Curriculum. Staff spend a lot of time talking to the children, modelling language, assessing understanding and promoting strong speaking and listening skills. Also providing the children with ongoing opportunities to practise and develop these skills.
Our strong focus on communication and language development also drives our spotlight on early reading. A wide range of texts are chosen specifically to provide the children with the opportunities they need to reach key reading outcomes. We also endeavor to foster a love of reading in our young children, that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Through stories, rhymes, poems and non-fiction books we introduce them to the wider world and celebrate diversity.
We approach teaching and learning through a balance of adult-directed activities and child-initiated learning. Through adult directed learning we ensure the children are introduced to a wide range of leaning experiences. We are able to develop key knowledge and skills across all aspects of the curriculum. Through carefully planned, purposeful continuous provision and an enabling environment, we are encouraging our children to apply key knowledge and skills independently. We are allowing them to become strong, independent learners. We believe this balance is key in achieving a mastery level.
We focus on ‘how’ children learn, through exploring and being actively involved in a wide range of activities. We encourage the children to ‘have a go’ and support them to learn from mistakes, seeing them as opportunities to develop understanding and learning. We support all children to make sense of the world around them through first-hand interactions with their environment in a very practical play-based approach. We give the children a wealth of experiences that are delivered through a range of learning styles, including physically, visually, musically, socially and auditory. We provide lots of opportunity for repetition and revisit past events in order to consolidate and master learning.
All aspects of the Early Years curriculum, are taught through topics with a thematic approach to teaching and learning; however, staff will make it explicit to children when they are learning key skills and are being philosophers, geographers, historians, scientist’s and artists. The Early Years teachers work with all subject leads to ensure the foundations of each curriculum area are fully embedded, implemented and delivered with an inclusive approach. This approach enables us to link the golden threads from the beginning of our pupil’s learning journey in Nursery through to their exit in year 6.