We welcome you to our Early Years Foundation Stage. Here at Coleham we pride ourselves on ensuring the best possible start for all of our Reception children as we know a child’s development at this crucial stage has a fundamental impact on their happiness, school journey and shapes the young person they will become.
Our dedicated team of experienced Early Year’s Practitioners care deeply about the children in our school and form close relationships with children and families.
We treat every child as a unique individual. Above all, we want our children to feel happy, secure and safe. Praise and clear boundaries contribute to building confidence and resilience of our children. We believe in praising effort and valuing the little steps that really make a difference to the children’s progress and self-esteem.
We believe that young children are intrinsically capable of amazing things and we develop this through having high expectations and promoting a strong sense of Independence. Our children are proud to be independent in their learning, personal belongings and routines and are proud of their school and the part they play in it.
Our Reception classrooms are in a separate area of our grounds nestled been our Conservation Area and Adventure Playground to provide optimum outdoor opportunities.
Our Conservation Area provides Woodland Work to our children in all weathers to play and investigate. Here they form relationships with others, assess risks for themselves and have the confidence and resilience to attempt challenges, having a go and trying again. The natural environment is home to a variety of wildlife, historic folly and large pond.
The Adventure play equipment helps build children’s gross motor skills and physical development to aid the practical skills of writing and poses challenges to build confidence and self-esteem. Sharing equipment and space and negotiating turn taking are important skills for our children to acquire and helps develop children’s communication.
In 2018 we worked with Early Excellence consultants to refurbish and re-design our Reception classrooms. Early Excellence specialise in young children’s education and high quality, inspirational practice for EYFS. We believe we have created the best indoor learning environment possible with a variety of learning opportunities and good quality, open ended, gender neutral resources.
We pay great attention to the physical environment and resources used to enhance the children’s experiences. Our classrooms include designated stations for Construction, Block and Small World imaginery play, Dry Sand, Water, Playdough, a realistic Home Corner, Open Ended Roleplay, Maths, Literacy, Ict, and Creation station.
The environment supports children to be fully engaged in purposeful play of their own choice and interest. Resources are displayed on open shelving units so they are accessible at all times so the children can choose where to go, what to use and how.
We are keen to promote a love of books and so books are displayed in numerous areas of the classroom, e.g cookery books in the home corner, construction book in the construction area.
Lunch times play an important part of the school day and we encourage independence and take great care to support the children in the dining hall to make choices they are comfortable with. We educate the children on healthy eating and our Catering Provider runs lots of initiatives to make lunch times fun and deliver food education to support the curriculum.
Our nurture room provides a quiet, calming space and cosy book corner for reading, reflection, conversation or settling into the school day.
The Reception garden areas have been landscaped in 2018 to extend and enhance the outdoor space and specifically provide real outdoor learning that is bigger, louder and messier than activities that take place indoors. It is vital that outdoor learning gives different experiences from learning in the classroom and gives the children freedom to explore, run, climb, build, investigate, make noise, dig, move and get messy.
The outdoor areas provide designated spaces for Mud, Gravel, Sand and Water areas as well as natural areas. It is important to us that our children are surrounded by sensory experiences and natural life such as grass, trees and wildlife.
Our crates and loose parts large outdoor construction has proved very popular with the children. Here they can imagine, plan, think critically, create, construct, balance, develop ideas, work together and solve problems.
Whilst we have two Reception classes, EYFS work as a shared team meaning that staff often work across the classes getting to know all 60 children really well and children can at times independently access either classroom via open inter-connecting double doors or gardens. This allows for a shared vision of inspirational learning, greater interaction between the children and increased opportunities for shared resources and experiences.
Our EYFS staff are key in providing the emotional environment that supports the children with their learning, ensuring they feel confident and independent, ready to try new things, reassured that adults can help them if necessary without taking over.
Key to our children’s progress are these high quality interactions from our staff in the moment. It is when children are engaged in what they are doing, in that moment of curiosity, puzzlement, effort or interest that our skilful staff make a difference. Our practitioners are always ready to listen, communicate, role-model, assess, explain, demonstrate, question and push the next steps of the child’s learning that is appropriate to the individual child. Staff will ensure that obstacles are overcome and new possibilities are available so learning is meaningful and fun!
We follow the fascinations and interests of the children responding to the needs of individuals and real-life situations. We want every child to enjoy coming to school and are passionate to instil a love of learning in our children to follow them throughout the rest of their schooling here at Coleham.
For more information please click on the links below to see our Starting School booklet and EYFS Vision Statement.