At Garway Primary and Pre-school, we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced, which builds on the knowledge, understanding the skills of all our children, whatever their starting points.
We follow the Early Years curriculum using cross curricular topic themes and enriched opportunities based upon wow experiences that engage the children.
Children in EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outdoors. We believe that ‘The Natural World’ is a vital part of a child’s learning experience at Garway. The children in Early Years have consistent access to the outdoor environment and have weekly Forest School sessions in our school grounds. This allows the children to take risks and attempt new challenges they would not face in the classroom.
Characteristics of Learning
We ensure that activities encourage the 3 characteristics of learning which underpin learning and development in all areas and support children to remain effective and motivated learners. These are:
- Playing and Exploring—children investigating and experiencing things, and having a go
- Active Learning—children concentrating, keeping on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoying achievements
- Creating and Thinking Critically—children having and developing their own ideas, making links between ideas and developing strategies for doing things.
All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps. This formative assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paper work in line with the New EYFS Framework. Practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgements through discussions with other practitioners, photographs and physical examples such as a child’s drawing / making. Some observations are uploaded using Tapestry and shared with the supporting parents and carers and examples kept in individual files. Our Early Years Staff draw on their knowledge of the child and their own professional judgement and should not be required to prove this through collection of physical evidence.
The progress check at aged 2
The Early Years Foundation Stage requires that we supply parents and carers with a short written summary of their child’s development in the three prime areas of learning and development: personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language. This is to take place as soon as possible after their second birthday. Meg is responsible for completing the check using information from on-going observational assessments carried out as part of our everyday practice, taking account of the views and contributions of parents and other professionals.
For more information on the EYFS please visit the DfE website: EYFS
How parents take part in the setting
Our setting recognises parents as the first and most important educators of their children. All of the staff see themselves as partners with parents in providing care and education for their children. There are many ways in which parents take part in making the setting a welcoming and stimulating place for children and parents, such as:
- exchanging knowledge about their children's needs, activities, interests and progress with the staff;
- contributing to the progress check at age two;
- sharing their own special interests with the children
- joining in community activities, in which the setting takes part; and
- building friendships with other parents in the setting.
We welcome parents into the setting with our open door policy.
Our stay and play session is a great way to meet other parents and bring along younger children to join in the fun of Pre-school ready for them to start in the future.
Key person and your child
Our setting uses a key person approach. This means that each member of staff has a group of children for whom they are particularly responsible. Your child's key person will be the person who ensures that the care we provide for your child's particular needs and interests is right. When your child first starts at the setting, they will help your child to settle and throughout your child's time at the setting, they will help your child to benefit from the setting's activities.
The management of our setting
The Pre-school is a Governor led Pre-school and is an integral part of Garway Primary School. Miss Jones, Headteacher, is the overall manager of the Pre-school and administration, with Meg taking care of day to day leadership in the Pre-school environment. There are often days when the Pre-school children visit the School, and this certainly helps with the transition from Pre-school to School for our older children.