Early Years

At Thurnby Mead Primary Academy we believe in developing the ‘whole’ child – socially, morally, emotionally and physically.

In the Early Years, play is a strong motivating factor in learning and it is positively encouraged within the whole school environment both indoors and outdoors. Quality interactions are a part of our quality first teaching which allows children to develop their language, creativity and thinking skills, increasing their confidence.

We offer a curriculum that is individualised for our children, that takes their interests and strengths to broaden the valuable learning experiences that we provide. Our safe, stimulating and inclusive environment encourages our children to explore, experiment, look, observe, touch, discuss and share their ideas freely.

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance to promote a curriculum that teaches the children to be inquisitive through their purposeful play and develop positive attitudes towards learning that are instilled, building confidence and resilience.

There are seven areas of learning and development which give information on what children in the Early Years need to learn both in Nursery and Reception. The curriculum emphasises the Characteristics of Learning which highlight the importance of how children learn and the need to accommodate the uniqueness of each child’s learning style. The areas of learning are split into two groups, Prime areas and Specific areas. All the areas are important and interlinked.

The Prime areas are:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

We focus on creating healthy, confident individuals at Thurnby Mead. The children are supported in understanding and managing their emotions and behaviour. They set their own goals to work independently and understand the importance of working as a team; developing and building long lasting friendships.

         

Communication and Language

At Thurnby Mead we promote a language rich environment and prioritise high quality conversations to build children’s language effectively. Children learn new vocabulary through stories, poems and rhymes and are given the opportunity to embed their learning in a variety of contexts.

           

Physical Development

Through indoor and outdoor opportunities, Thurnby Mead places a huge emphasis on Gross Motor and Fine Motor development. The children are offered multi-sensory opportunities to develop their core body strength, agility and co-ordination. Our play-based environment offers children a wide range of activities to develop control and precision; skills which are linked to early literacy.

         

The Specific areas are:

Literacy

At Thurnby Mead, high quality ‘Fantastic Five’ story sessions are delivered to promote early books skills and to encourage a love of reading. We teach phonics and early reading through ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’. This programme teaches the skills that are essential for children to decode to read and to have high level of prosody and comprehension. The children’s writing skills are developed in shared writing sessions and through independent activities in the continuous provision environment.

         

Maths

Children at Thurnby Mead follow the ‘White Rose Maths’ sequence of learning. They are encouraged to use practical resources to develop the understanding of number, and the pattern and relationships between numbers. The children explore spatial reasoning skills and develop the confidence to talk about maths using the correct vocabulary. We foster a culture of ‘marvellous mistakes’ to enable children to learn from their errors.

         

Understanding the World

At Thurnby Mead we strive to support children in making sense of their lives, the world around them and the community they live in. We offer a wide range of hands-on, multi-sensory experiences to bring learning to life both indoors and outdoors. We encourage the children to be inquisitive and to actively explore with confidence. The children’s exploration is supported by high quality discussions and questioning to develop and extend their understanding.

         

Expressive Arts and Design

Creativity and imagination are at the heart of our continuous provision at Thurnby Mead. The children are taught the essential skills of working with media and materials and wide-ranging opportunities give them the chance to embed their learning. The children are encouraged to use their senses to explore art, design and music, in an environment where they feel confident and able to express themselves and their feelings.

         

Follow the link to find out more about the EYFS Curriculum: Development Matters

Subject Policies/Plans

Early Years Policy 2022-23

Subject Leader/s

Julia Turland

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