Early Years’ Curriculum
All staff and governors recently attended training about changes to the Early Years curriculum and we are delighted to see that changes to the statutory framework have moved away from data collection and more towards whether children are learning it. The changes have been made to reduce the gap between the highest and lowest achieving children and to reduce teacher workload.
St Andrew’s Church School Connected Curriculum has been further developed to take into account the new Early Years reforms. The Curriculum runs from nursery to year 6 and is enabling our very youngest children to develop key concepts so they are well prepared for the next stage of their education. The curriculum also focuses on how we support children to learn through:
- Being Active
- Learning through play and exploring
- Thinking critically and creatively.
The unique child
Every child is unique and by taking our time to get to know incoming families, we can help every child become resilient and confident. All staff observe and understand when to step in to further children’s learning, as well as when to leave children to discover things for themselves. St Andrew’s staff have always been committed to creating an environment that values all people, provides rich opportunities and allows learners to take risks.
Changes to early learning goals
There have been some changes to the number, reading and phonics ‘early learning goals’. Our new Little Wandles Phonics scheme and new selection of books in the early years classes are helping children make great progress and they are already making phonetically plausible attempts in their reading and writing.
The governors received a presentation last month about Thrive in Action. This specific way of working gives us all a shared language with children to develop social and emotional well-being, and positive relationships. At St Andrew’s Church School, staff aim to meet childrens’ needs to calm, soothe and nurture and show them that as adults, we too are aware of how we feel and are able to model this in a healthy way.
The recent whole-school Thrive days ‘Growing Together & Playing Together’ showcased the joy of play and ‘Belonging’, celebrating similarities and differences within our St. Andrew’s family. We supported the children through a variety of creative activities to see how they were connected to each other and to celebrate the joy of play. Thank you for your help and support with these activities at home. As governors, we loved hearing about the impact of a unified school approach, enabling children to feel good about themselves and care for each other. Thank you to all the staff who took time to share the presentations with us.