We are very proud to have an Early Years Foundation Stage Unit (who we call our ‘Superstars’) which provides high quality care and education for children aged between 3 and 5 years. The early years consists of ‘Moons’ (our Nursery class) and ‘Rockets’ (our Reception class).
The Seven Stars EYFS phase leader is Mrs Hollinghurst who is also our Nursery teacher and is part of the whole school Senior Leadership Team.
Our Reception teacher is Miss Thomson and the children in EYFS are supported by very experienced and nurturing Teaching Assistants, Mrs Whiteside, Miss Salmon, Miss Murphy, Miss Coombe and Miss Ainsworth.
Below are links to each class page where you will find useful information and newsletters…
In ‘Moons’ (Nursery) we offer 26 places for 3-4 year olds.
These places can be part-time or full-time or a mixture of hours depending on capacity and availability (please speak to Mrs Hollinghurst about your requirements)
This means that your child will have the opportunity to attend the morning, afternoon and/or full day sessions.
These sessions are:
- 8.50am-12 noon
- 12 noon -3.15pm
- Or full time session of 8.15am-3.15pm
(Please contact the school office to discuss eligibility for 30 hours)
In ‘Rockets’ (Reception) we offer 30 full time places to 4-5 year olds (depending on your child’s date of birth)
These sessions start at 8.50am and finish at 3.15pm
Children access both indoor and outdoor learning throughout the day. Both ‘Moons’ and ‘Rockets’ have discreet sessions but open as a unit at particular times each day.
Dinner times are as follows:
- ‘Moons’ full time children- 12 noon to 1.00 pm (a packed lunch to be brought in and will be eaten in class with their key workers and friends)
- ‘Rockets’ children - 11.45am-12.45pm (either a hot school dinner, which is free, or they can bring in their own packed lunch. The children eat in the main hall with other classes)
Parents are asked if their child has any allergies or dietary requirements when they are first allocated a place.
Before your child starts in ‘Moons’ we carry out transition meetings where you will be invited to visit the unit so Mrs Hollinghurst and the team can meet your child and chat to you about your child’s needs. All children are recognised as individuals and therefore several visits may be needed to ensure that transition is smooth.
All children are invited to spend time in their new class before they are due to begin ‘Moons’
For children due to start in ‘Rockets’ class Mrs Hollinghurst and Miss Thomson run transition meetings which would usually involve visits to the class environment and sessions with parents/carers when
more in-depth details about your child’s transitions and expectations will be given and questions can be answered.
Your child will be learning through the Early Years Foundations Stage (EYFS) Curriculum. They will acquire new skills and knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
The first 3 are described as prime areas, these are:
- Communication and language,
- Physical development,
- Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas.
- Understanding the world,
- Expressive arts and design.
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The teachers and teaching assistants supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs and extend their learning.
Your children will learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
Our Early Years curriculum offers a play based approach to learning. your child learns is outlined through the Characteristics of Effective Learning which is documented in the Statutory Framework for The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2021.
There are 3 characteristics of effective learning:
• playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
• active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
• creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
Please follow the link below for more in depth information about the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum and Characteristics of Effective Learning.
Language development is an essential aspect within all areas of learning. For this reason teachers prioritise this as a key area for development. The early years teachers provide a language rich environment where children are constantly hearing, developing and using new words to communicate.
WellComm is a Toolkit to help teachers to identify children who may need extra help with their Speech, Language and Communication Development.
Every child is assessed for around 10-15 minutes on their understanding of what is being said to them (their “receptive” language) and also how they communicate verbally (their “expressive” language).
Supporting activities are then carried out in class if needed, or in some cases, a referral to speech and language services is necessary. We will speak to parents immediately if we feel a referral is necessary.
On entry to ‘Moons’ (Nursery) the class teacher concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work (breaking words down into individual sounds which in turn helps children to read and write). The emphasis during this stage is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills (e.g. c-a-t =cat)
During this stage the children focus on three essential strands:
- Tuning into sounds (auditory discrimination= is the ability to recognise differences between sounds)
- Listening and remembering sounds (auditory memory and sequencing= the ability to remember spoken sequences such as numbers, words and sentences)
- Talking about sounds (developing vocabulary and language comprehension).
As soon as the children enter our Early Years they are exposed to regular story times, learning new songs, rhymes and poems. All this has a direct impact on the essential skills children need to become fluent readers and writers.
Developing a good partnership with parents is one of our key aims in ensuring children have the best start in life. Whenever possible, staff will be available to answer parent questions or deal with any concerns that may arise.
As part of our parent partnership we promote home learning within a realistic context as we recognise the important role parents have in educating their child. This includes liaising with parents using Class Dojo (our remote learning platform) sharing activities, ideas, strategies and messages.
All children will bring home a book each week to share. Parents are encouraged to complete reading diaries and journal and return them back to class each week.
Children in ‘Rockets’ will also bring home high frequency words to learn to read by sight and a phonic and book banded reading book.
Parents are invited to Parents Evening (either face to face or via Zoom) to discuss their children’s education with the class teacher.
Reports are also sent home towards the end of the year.
The Early Years teachers are committed to forging positive and effective partnerships with parents to provide children with the best possible start to their education.
Throughout the year the teachers provide several workshops for parents/ carers/ grandparents etc. to improve their confidence and ability to support their child’s learning and development.
These workshops cover:
- The EYFS curriculum
- Phonics & Reading
- Language through stories
- Early Maths
And much more according to need.
More information will be given and invitations sent home throughout the year
- We recognise prior learning children have gained from pre-school, nursery and experiences at home.
- We recognise that all children are unique.
- We celebrate and welcome differences.
- We will provide first hand learning experiences.
- We will teach basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values.
- We will provide enhancement opportunities to engage learning.
- We will develop a lifelong love of learning.
- We promote positive attitudes to both learning and behaviour.
Our Early Years Curriculum is linked and provides foundations for our whole school 'Open Doors' curriculum
- Key Skills ('Literacy' & 'Mathematics')
- The World ('Understanding the World')
- Healthy Lives ('Personal, Social and Emotional Development' & 'Physical Development')
- Creativity ('Expressive Arts and Design')
- Communication & Language ('Communication and Language')
- We follow the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Prime Areas – Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Specific Areas – Literacy
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
- We offer a broad and balanced curriculum.
- We carry out an accurate baseline to identify starting points for learning supported by the WellComm Screening assessment tool.
- We identify barriers to learning e.g. language, physical development etc. and ensure all children receive the support they need to progress to their full potential.
- We encourage children to demonstrate their attitudes and behaviours to learning through the Characteristics of Effective Learning.
- We constantly encourage language development as this is essential for all areas of learning.
- We create opportunities to support language development where needed through implementing the WellComm Language Programme.
- We maintain high standards of quality first teaching to engage all pupils.
- We offer high quality teaching and learning experiences through adult-initiated whole class, group and individual activities.
- We ensure quality phonic sessions are being taught daily through our newly implemented Phonics Shed programme (see Phonics Shed at Seven Stars)
- We continually support and develop children’s language through access to high quality text, nursery rhymes, wide range of songs and adult interactions and narratives (which scaffold the children’s learning and ideas).
- We offer access to high quality, planned continuous provision to develop key life skills such as independence, innovation; creativity, enquiry; analysis and problem solving.
- We offer access to quality outdoor provision with access to a range of equipment & the natural environment (promotes language, imaginative skills, exploration, personal and social development, physical development)
- We promote partnership with parents.
- Our assessment procedures enables an accurate measure of outcomes.
- Our data shows that all children are making good progress taking into consideration their individual starting points.
- Our GLD (Good Level of Development) is inline/ above Local and National data.
- Parental feedback is very positive and highlights the progress and development that children make.
- The children develop an enthusiastic attitude about learning and love coming to school.
- Children show resilience and independence and are keen to learn and develop at their own rate of progress.
- Children have developed key skills in language which is essential through all areas of the curriculum.
- By the end of The Foundation Stage, the majority of children have reached their full potential in relation to their stage of development.