Learning in Early Years
In the Early Years at Hugo Meynell, we believe in providing children with a safe and stimulating environment where they flourish. At Hugo Meynell Primary School, we are very lucky to be surrounded by beautiful grounds where our children are able to investigate, learn and thrive. We pride ourselves on listening to children and those who care for them and using this information to personalise each child’s learning. Learning should be fun and we strongly believe in first hand learning and valuing the importance of the environment to develop children’s thinking, language and problem solving skills.
We believe that every child is unique and should be treated so, allowing them the opportunity to develop and learn in a safe and nurturing environment where play and learning is combined. We understand the importance of practical learning experiences and strive to equip children with a love of learning and a natural curiosity.
We are committed to giving our children the best possible start to their school life, teaching them skills which ensure their wellbeing now and success in the future.
Learning in our Foundation Stage
Our learning is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which is split into seven areas of learning: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication and Language, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design. We use a range of cross-curricular continuous provision to ensure that the children have rich and rounded learning experiences, guided by the children’s interests and abilities.
The Characteristics of Effective Learning underpin everything we do, as they help develop the children’s skills as independent learners and enhance essential attributes for long term success such as perseverance, problem solving and critical thinking. The Characteristics of Effective Learning are divided into three categories: ‘playing and learning’, ‘active learning’ and ‘creative and thinking critically’.
During English, children will explore a range of books and stories linked to our topics. This will support children with their rapidly growing vocabulary and it will expose them to new and unfamiliar words and their meanings. Children will answer questions about texts and will discuss what they have read with an adult. They will explore writing for different purposes including labels and captions, retelling stories, writing lists and simple instructions as well as creating short non-fiction pages. Children will then develop the ability to compose, verbally recall and write their name, words, phrases and simple sentences that can be read by an adult. In Reception, children will learn to use finger spaces, capital letters and full stops in their writing and also develop the ability to sound out new words for spelling.
We follow ‘Letter and Sounds’ along with Jolly Phonics when teaching phonics in school with a focus on teaching children to read and spell accurately and fluently. Children first learn to recognise the individual sounds (phonemes), then move onto groups of letters (diagraphs/trigraphs) which make sounds when they are put together. They learn to write letters and also blend and segment words, supporting early reading, writing and spelling.
Children will start to develop their understanding of number and shape; they will do this through the exploration of the world around them and through active learning. Children will be encouraged to investigate number both indoors and outdoors through play and they will be given a wide range of opportunities to develop critical thinking skills by solving simple problems practically. In Reception, key skills will include learning to count, recognise and order numbers to 20 and to investigate the meaning of number and different ways we can represent it. We will introduce addition and subtraction, finding one more and one less using concrete objects and applying this skill in different situations. Children will also learn to double, halve and share groups of objects.