Foundation Stage

Foundation Stage Curriculum Statement

At Harleston Primary School, we are lucky enough to have our very own Nursery situated on the school grounds, next to the two Reception classes. This means that from day one, the Nursery children are a part of our school and the closeness of proximity ensures that the transition from Nursery into Reception is smooth and without any stress or anxiety for either the children or their parents.

The Nursery children are in the safe, experienced and loving hands of a team of 4 practitioners.  Miss Ingram leads the Nursery team alongside Miss Churchard, Miss Ling, Mrs Snowling and Mrs Wilson.  Together, they make a formidable team who make teaching and caring for your child, their utmost priority – Quote Parent Questionnaires June 2017 –“They learn so much in the time they are at Nursery all down to having excellent teaching and resources to play with.”

The Reception classes are taught by two inspirational, caring and creative practitioners; Mrs Beaumont who is the Foundation Stage Leader and Mrs Botwright.  Each teacher has full time support from two practitioners.  Mrs Stannard and Mrs Randall work beside Mrs Beaumont and Mrs Clarke and Miss Oslavia with Mrs Botwright.  Together, they plan for fun, contextual, practical, hands on learning experiences that are relevant to your individual and unique child.  Quotes from Parent Questionnaires: “We have particularly loved the Come and Play sessions and the Mother’s Day assembly was great and something to treasure,” also, “The different topics each week are great and being able to see so much on the online Tapestry – it helps us know what to talk to our child about at home.”  “It’s lovely to see the confidence that has grown within my own child.”

The Foundation Stage encompasses your child’s time spent in Nursery and Reception and during these two years, the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is followed. There are 7 areas of learning within this, however all areas are integrated and taught holistically as opposed to discreet subjects. In Nursery, there is an initial emphasis on the 3 Prime Areas of Learning which are Personal, Social and Emotional development, Physical Development and Communication and Language. These 3 Prime Areas feed into the other 4 areas of learning which are; Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design.

Throughout the Early Years environment our key focus is following the interests of each child in order to support, challenge, engage, motivate and enhance both individual and group learning. All children and their families are welcomed to the school through a Home Visit which takes place at the start of the academic year in September.  This precious time enables staff and families to bond, work and communicate with each other in a confident, and open partnership.  Quote from Parent Questionnaire 2017, “The Home Visit was good as we got the information before hand to discuss with my child and it helped to prepare her better, and it was also a good chance to chat and bond with her new teachers.  She was also very excited to have the teachers come to our house.  Parent Quote re Transition, “I thought the transition process was very helpful.  When it came to start the new term, they knew exactly what they were doing which in turn settled any nerves they had.” Working closely with parents/carers is another of our top priorities.  Parent, child and staff questionnaires are given out throughout the year and these ensure that all voices are heard and valued and the practice and provision offered is continually developed and adapted to the children’s needs.  Parents and carers are welcomed into the setting at every opportunity and encouraged to become parent helpers or share with the children areas of their own personal expertise relating to the topics of learning. Parents/carers also enjoy our ‘Come and Play’ sessions which are held each half term.  These special times enable parents to experience the Early Years environment, engage in craft activities, Story Cafes, watch their child perform songs, or watch a PE lesson as well as being offered support with their child’s learning through, for example, Helping Your Child to Read session.  Parent Quote from Home School Book, “I would not have known what sound buttons were or how to help my daughter if I hadn’t come to the reading session.”

Come and Play sessions enable parents to; Quote Parent Questionnaire June 2017 “Have an insight into what your child has been learning……it’s good at these times to see how X responds to his friends and how he behaves in different environments….. it gives me a chance to spend quality time with X and the online Tapestry Learning Journeys are excellent……..the provision offered is excellent as is the school.”

Planning changes from week to week according to the children’s interests and the provision is adapted to meet their next steps in learning.  This year topics have varied from dinosaurs, hatching chicks, Diwali, animals, the city of London, the Nativity, Harleston town, keeping safe, healthy living and lifestyles, works of different artists, Prayer week to the changing seasons.  Children learn to read through a combination of the Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics scheme of work and once they are secure with their blending, they start on the popular Oxford Reading Tree scheme. In addition to following the children’s interests, we have explored a variety of different cultures and beliefs along with Christian festivals and celebrations thus extending the children’s understanding of the wider world and respect for global diversity.

Over the course of the year, the children have also participated in regular Forest School sessions where they have learnt the rules of forest safety, built dens, enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies around the camp fire, retold stories, been on magic key jungle adventures and hunted for mini beasts and wildlife.

Both Nursery and Reception children have participated widely in whole school events and these have varied from, celebrating Harvest, Christingle and Easter at St John’s Church.

Nursery and Reception take pride in maintaining a close relationship and opportunities are maximised to share special occasions. For example, a Christmas production is put on each year for parents to come, watch, laugh and shed a tear, Chinese New Year festival celebrations are shared and an emotional Mother’s Day assembly has many mums crying into their tissues as their special children perform songs, recite poems and offer Mothers Day gifts. During the Spring term, the Reception children take pride in becoming responsible ‘buddy’s’ to the Nursery children and it is delightful to see how they accept this role with maturity and sensitivity and ensure that the Nursery children’s transition into Reception is full of excitement and awe.  The children also have free flow between the Nursery and two Reception classes once a week after the settling in period.

So, that’s a brief summary of life in the Foundation Stage at Harleston C.E.V.A Primary School. We would love to welcome you into our family and share part of your life during your time with us and support you and your child along their learning journey.

The Foundation Stage Team