Life in the Early Years School

Whether your child is transferring to a new class or experiencing school for the very first time, we aim to make the transition as smooth and happy as possible. First experiences of school should always be positive.

The dedicated staff in the Early Years School strive to provide a bright, stimulating and exciting environment where everyone feels valued, secure and well cared for. We want all children to develop a love for learning and to have fun and enjoy success in all aspects of their education. We value the partnership between home and school and encourage you to also play an active part in your child's education.

Many of the children in the Early Years are learning English as an additional language. Such children often start school speaking little or no English but very soon gain the confidence and skills to communicate quite freely in English; this being their second and in many cases their third language. All recent research indicates that children will learn English more effectively if they continue to develop their first language at the same time. Children’s knowledge and skills transfer across languages from their first language they have learned at home, to the school language. With such evidence in mind we do not separate children who speak the same language, rather we try to ensure that there is at least one other child in the class who shares the same language.

Nursery


The Nursery is a bright, caring and stimulating learning environment. There is a child centred approach to learning and the teacher: child ratio is high. Children are encouraged to develop their social, emotional, physical and intellectual skills – skills which they will rely on for the rest of their lives, through a carefully structured and varied programme based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, suitable to their age, ability and needs.

Attendance is flexible to cater for the child's first experience of school, with a minimum of five sessions per week up to full time attendance of ten sessions. Each session allows opportunities for free play and for working on a directed task as a member of a small group. Children must be toilet trained upon entering the nursery.

The Nursery School day is structured as follows:

Morning sessions
Registration at 8.45
Children attending morning sessions should be collected at 11.45

Afternoon sessions
Registration at 12.10
Children attending afternoon sessions should be collected at 3.10

It is also possible to combine both a morning and an afternoon session to make a full day. Children under three may only attend

five sessions.

Reception






Children enter Reception in the academic year that they turn 5 years old. The school year runs from 1st September – 31st August.

Reception marks the entry into the main school. Whether children are transferring from a Nursery school setting or experiencing school for the very first time we aim to make the transition as smooth and happy as possible. Small class sizes and a high teacher to pupil ratio ensure that the needs of each individual child are met and children are able to develop at their own pace.

Following a programme based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, children are given opportunities to develop their academic, physical, creative and social skills and to widen their understanding of the world in a secure and vibrant learning environment. The basic skills of reading and writing are introduced and developed through a daily literacy lesson and a daily numeracy lesson introduces children to basic mathematical concepts upon which they will build throughout their school life. Either English or Dutch is introduced as a modern foreign language.

The Reception School day is structured as follows

Welcome 8.30 – 8.45
Registration 8.45
Play time for Reception 10.15
Lunch time 12.00 – 1.15
End of School 3.10
Extra Curricular Programme 3.15 – 4.15

Assessment and reporting

Staff in the Early Years School use observational assessment to understand children’s learning. This form of observation does not require prolonged breaks from interaction with the children. Staff use the 2Simple app called 2Build a Profile to record observations and assessments. The app provides a simple and powerful way to log children's achievements against the Early Years Foundation stage profile. The app allows practitioners to take a photo with the device's camera, write a virtual post it note, select the children who are being observed, and tag the observation with the early learning goals.

Observations are automatically sent over the internet to a secure website where observations can be collated, viewed, saved and printed at any time. In February and July each child’s profile is downloaded as a PDF from the web management suite and e-mailed to parents.

An end of year report is also sent to parents at the end of the summer term reporting on the child’s progress against the three prime areas and four specific areas of learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile

Enrichment








We provide a range of activities and experiences to enrich the Early Years curriculum. All children in the Early Years join in FitNut, Forest School and MISP (Massage in Schools Programme).

FitNut, (Fitness & Nutrition), is a program that provides a stimulating learning experience to teach children about the importance of health, nutrition and fitness. It has a constant and consistent healthy message to inspire the children and their families. FitNut believes the key to bringing good nutrition into the home is through the children. Children enjoy fun fitness sessions using real mini gym machines and exercise equipment followed by smoothie or juice making. Updates, including nutritional information & recipes are provided regularly. All children in the EYS participate in a six week FitNut course during the school year.

Forest School is the name for an approach to educating children in the outdoors environment on a regular basis. Forest School originates from Denmark where Forest Schools have been an integral part of Early Years Education since the 1980s. Forest School activities teach the children about caring for and understanding the natural environment. They explore and use natural materials. They learn different skills, including using simple tools as well as how to keep safe, how to live in harmony with nature and how the seasons and nature change. The sessions support the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and also have a strong emphasis on raising self-esteem and independence. All children in the EYS participate in the Forest School programme at various times throughout the school year.

The Massage in Schools Programme (MISP) is a clothed, child-to-child massage programme aimed at children aged 2-12. Studies and observations have shown that children experience a variety of benefits as a result of taking part in the MISP. Some of the positive benefits include:
• Children become calmer
• They have improved concentration
• They have more confidence
• Helps children recognise ‘good’ and ‘bad’ touch
• Children develop better motor skills
• Teaches children to respect themselves and others
• Reduces bullying and aggressive behaviour.