Our children develop sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others and show respect for British values and people of other cultures and beliefs. They take turns and share fairly. We encourage children to express their feelings and behave in appropriate ways developing an understanding of what is right, what is wrong and why and to treat living things, property and their environment with care and concern. Our children respond to relevant cultural and religious events and show a range of feelings, such as wonder, joy or sorrow, in response to their experience of the world.
COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE
In small and large groups our children are encouraged to listen attentively and talk about their experiences. They become able to use a growing vocabulary with increasing fluency to express thoughts and convey meaning to the listener. They become able to listen and respond to stories, nursery rhymes and poems. They can make up their own stories and take part in role- play with confidence.
Our children are encouraged to move confidently and imaginatively with increasing control and co-ordination and to show an awareness of space and others.
They begin to use a range of small and large equipment, balancing and climbing apparatus with increasing skill. They handle appropriate tools, objects, construction and malleable materials safely and with increasing control.
Children are encouraged to develop their gross and fine motor skills.
Our children enjoy books and handle them carefully and understand how they are organised. They know that words and pictures carry meaning and that, in English, print is read from left to right and from top to bottom. They can begin to associate sounds with patterns in rhymes, with syllables, and with words and letters. They can recognise their own names and some familiar words. They recognise letters of the alphabet by shape and sound. In their writing they can use pictures, symbols, familiar words and letters to communicate meaning and show awareness of some of the different purposes of writing. They can write their names with appropriate use of upper and lower case letters.
All our children are encouraged to learn to read, as soon as our teachers recognise their readiness. Flash cards are introduced, which the children can take home, so that parents can become involved in their learning. Reading books are introduced when the teachers feel the child is confident in story telling and familiar with the written word.
LETTERS, SOUNDS AND THE TEACHING OF READING
We use a combination of the phonetic and look and say approaches to the teaching of reading, in accordance with those methods used in local schools. Our main schemes are the Ladybird Key Word scheme, Sheila McCullagh's 1, 2, 3 and Away, and Oxford Reading Tree Series, all of which we have used very successfully in the past with young children. We also have additional books, which are used to supplement this material, where necessary.
The teaching of reading is of course undertaken on a one to one basis.
Parents should be aware that the letters of the alphabet are taught phonetically.
Our children use mathematical language, such as circle, in front, of bigger than and more, to describe shape, position, size and quantity. They begin to recognise and recreate patterns. They become familiar with number rhymes, songs, stories, counting games and activities. They begin to compare, sort, match, order, sequence and count using everyday objects. They begin to recognise and use numbers to 10 and are familiar with larger numbers from their everyday lives.
They begin to use their developing mathematical understanding to solve practical problems. Through practical activities children can understand and record numbers, begin to show awareness of number operations, such as addition and subtraction, and begin to use the language involved.
UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD
We encourage children to talk about where they live, their environment, their families and past and present events in their own lives. They can explore and recognise the features of living things, objects and events in the natural and made world and look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change. They are encouraged to show an awareness of the purposes of some features of the area in which they live. We encourage children to talk about their observations, sometimes recording them and ask questions to gain information about why things happen and how things work. Our children begin to explore and select materials and equipment and use skills such as cutting, joining, folding and building for a variety of purposes. They are encouraged to use technology, where appropriate, to support their learning.
EXPRESSIVE ARTS AND DESIGN
Children can explore sound and colour, texture, shape, form and space in two and three dimensions. They begin to respond in a variety of ways to what they see, hear, smell, touch and feel. Through art, music, dance, stories and imaginative play, they show an increasing ability to use their imagination, to listen and to observe. They can use a widening range of materials, suitable tools, instruments and other resources to express ideas and to communicate their feelings.
All our children are encouraged to reach standards higher standards than those suggested within the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Finally at First Class, learning is made as much fun and as interesting as possible to help create a good positive attitude towards learning, that once formed will last a lifetime. This is also role-modelled by our staff who are encouraged to continue with life-long learning through personal development programmes.
Young children learn through play and we therefore, promote learning through carefully planned, fun activities both in the indoor/outdoor environment.
The Early Years Foundation Stage emphasises seven areas of development and learning:
PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
At First Class we encourage children to develop confidence, show appropriate self-respect and become able to establish effective relationships with other children and adults. We encourage children to work as part of a group and independently, to be able to concentrate and persevere in their learning and to seek help where needed. We encourage children to explore new learning, and show the ability to initiate ideas and to solve simple practical problems. Our children demonstrate independence in selecting an activity or resources and in dressing and personal hygiene.