Early Years Early Years Nursery EYFS In Nursery and Reception, our dedicated team work tirelessly to promote co-operative learning through all areas of the Foundation Stage Curriculum. We prepare children for a smooth and seamless transition to KS1 by developing and modelling a range of skills that will aid this transition and prepare them for the rest of their school career. Parent and carers are invited in for training and ‘meet the class’ days, where they can see learning taking place first hand, and get more information on how to support their child at home. We encourage an ‘open door’ policy, where parents enter the class every morning and settle their children, see the learning taking place and have any discussions with staff that are needed. We put a strong emphasis on speaking and listening skills, encouraging a ‘no hands up policy.’ Instead we have group discussions and talk partners for each child, allowing to all talk through their learning and build up a high level vocabulary and use full sentences. We have an Early Years Educator, trained in Speech and Language, who takes small groups of children who need extra oracy support, as well as links with outside agencies. Early Years also has a close relationship with our Academy’s SENCO, who supports children in our school with various needs. She is there to offer advice, outside agencies and ensure we create a provision suitable for their needs. Both Nursery and Reception follow a program called ‘Success For All’, which is a whole day program that works to ensure all areas of the EYFS curriculum are covered, but also preparing children to be independent learners, with a variety of skills so they can be challenged and question the world around them. This program is also used throughout the rest of the school in KS1 and KS2, which allows children to have consistency as they move up year after year. Since its implementation, we have seen a dramatic increase in results in Early Years and the rest of the school, with Applegarth Academy being named ‘Primary School of the Year 2017’. The seven areas of learning are split into prime areas and specific areas. The prime areas focus on children’s capacity to learn, healthy development and the importance of building good relationships with others. As children grow and mature in the prime areas, they become ready to develop and acquire skills and knowledge in the specific areas. The Prime Areas: Personal, Social & Emotional Development Physical Development Communication and Language The Specific Areas: Literacy Mathematics Understanding the World Expressive Arts and Design Each of the areas has its own learning goals. By the end of Reception most children should have made significant progress towards achieving these goals. Nursery Welcome to Applegarth Academy Nursery At Applegarth Academy, we are fortunate to have a 52 placed Nursery attached to our school which provides children from the age of three with a rich and creative learning environment, helping them to develop as confident and independent young people. The benefits of having a Nursery on our school site are huge as the children get to access a vast range of resources and facilities that other smaller settings (such as a pre-school or child-minder) may not be able to provide. For example, our Nursery children have access to our ICT, academy hall and all of the areas within our school grounds including our pond, field and playgrounds. Being part of Applegarth Academy also means that our youngest children are able to join in with whole school events such as the Christmas performances, assemblies and other events like Beep Beep Day, Anti-Bullying Week and Jeans for Genes Day. Having been with us throughout Nursery, all of the children who then transfer to our Reception classes do so with confidence, particularly as they already know the adults in and around the school and are familiar with the learning environment. It also means that assessment information is passed across seamlessly from Nursery to Reception, supporting children in their progress. Whilst transfer is not automatic and parents need to apply for a Reception place (via the Local Authority), we find that many of the children who attend our Nursery put Applegarth Academy as their first preference when deciding on a school place. Following on from improvements to our Reception classrooms and outdoor learning facilities, we are now in the process of improving our Nursery area with a £20,000 refurbishment of the outdoor area, alongside further improvements to indoor facilities. We’ve invested a great deal over the past year on resources to support an inspirational learning environment but are committed to continual improvement. We’ve just introduced Ipads to the Early Years, as an assessment tool, and have been amazed at just how effective they are; we’ll continue to find innovative ways to improve the quality of provision across Nursery and Reception. We’d love you to come and visit and find out more about what we have to offer your child. Please make an appointment via the school office or come along to one of our Open Mornings.