Early Years Setting
At. St. James' Church of England Primary Academy, we believe that the environment is the 'third' teacher, after the staff and children themselves.
The setting has been carefully designed and thoughtfully resourced to enable the children to access learning opportunities at all times, whether under the guidance of an adult or independently. Our resources spark a sense of curiosity and question the wonder abound. The highly skilled, passionate and qualified practitioners provide the children with wonderful opportunities for learning. The staff create learning provocations with a range of natural and unusual objects that empower the children to use their imagination to create, question and experiment.
Wherever possible, 'real' items are used, such as tea cups and saucers in the home corner, these precious and delicate items provide important opportunities for learning on how to respect and care for their own environment. Breakages are dealt with gently and often when an item is beyond repair, the children are encourage to discuss other ways to use them.
The staff are adept at engaging the children in ways that enable them to move their own learning on and enhancing areas of the environment to keep the children engaged and encourage them to set, meet and surpass any set of challenges.
We use Tapestry in the Early Years to track each individual child's development, record moments of exceptional learning and communicate with care-givers in an instant and meaningful way to both the child and their families.
Explorers (2 year olds)
In the Explorers' Room the focus is on nurture, building strong relationships, beginning to understand boundaries and exploring the world through an accessible and supportive environment.
The children are welcomed to a small and gentle space where their individual needs are met by highly skilled and experienced practitioners. Items that would be familiar from home are available to ensure that the child can begin their learning journey through play that they know and are comfortable with, while they get used to their new surroundings. New and exciting activities and resources are introduced and they are gently encouraged to explore at their own pace.
Explorers begin to learn about self-care, looking after resources and becoming more independent. They are able to choose if they would like to spend time with older children in the wider setting once they are comfortable and confident to do so, all the while under the guidance of their key person.
We offer term-time sessions in the morning or afternoon (8.30 am to 11.30 am or 12.15 pm to 3.15 pm).
Discoverers (3 and 4 year olds)
The Discoverers are part of the integrated Early Years Setting and are able to integrate with the older children across the space. The team of experienced staff care for, nurture and inspire the children in an exciting and challenging environment.
The children are supported and encouraged to be independent and lifelong learners who are able to make choices and decisions and their play is highly valued and leads the practitioners through the planning and learning process.
The children begin to join in with carpet times that are a mixture of interactions planned around their interests, phase 1 phonics and early number work.
We welcome and value the parents and carers of our children and have an open-door policy. We provide the opportunity for parents to share their child's learning and achievements and showcase their achievements with evidence in the environment.
We offer term-time sessions in the morning or afternoon (8.30 am to 11.30 am or 12.15 pm to 3.15 pm) or full day care (8.30 am to 3.15 pm).
Inventors are confident in their environment as they have transitioned through the setting. They have a good understanding of behaviour expectations in the setting and set good examples to their younger peers.
Their learning is a combination of independent learning, group carpet time and small group work. The staff know the children very well and this enables them to plan 'in the moment' in order to challenge and extend, based upon their interests, engagement and their individual learning priorities immediately, meaning that the learning intention is not lost.
The children are introduced to systematic phonics teaching through the Read Write Inc. program during group times. Opportunities to write are provided in all areas of the environment using a variety of mediums. This means that the children can revisit methods they are most confident in while also having the choice to experiment and apply their phonics knowledge in ways that are meaningful to them.
The Creative Curriculum and the Inspire Skills are accessed through whole class teaching. A core text that forms the basis of carefully planned lessons are set to inspire and engage the children. The intention being that they take the inspiration and new knowledge into their own learning. It also enables the staff to spend quality time with the children discussing stories, their meaning and creating learning provocations that extend and encourage.
Building on their skills means that by the end of the Early Years the children leave as confident, curious and responsible learners.
We welcome visits from prospective parents - please make an appointment at the school office.