At Margaret McMillan we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) to plan our curriculum for children 0-5 years.
The EYFS identifies:
Three Prime Areas which support development in all other areas.
Four Specific Areas which cover the essential skills and knowledge children need
Characteristics of Effective Learning which underpin all learning and development and help children become effective learners
At Margaret Mc Millan we have a child centred approach where we take great care to provide a structured environment which supports children in becoming active, independent learners. Children learn best when they feel safe to explore and experiment, make mistakes and try again. We aim to create a space where children feel safe and at ease so that they can take charge and become really engaged in their learning. This is often called the Continuous Provision. Each day children are free to choose from a range of activities which are always available such as bricks, the Home corner and the outdoor space. These are areas where children like to play and we provide the structure and resources to extend their opportunities to be creative, explore and think critically.
Alongside this core provision staff also develop themes and projects which are based on the children’s interests and are designed to stretch their thinking and knowledge.
Staff work with the children in all their activities sometimes actively demonstrating how to do something, sometimes supporting children to solve a problem by themselves and sometimes challenging the children to extend what they have achieved. Through this we feel we get to know the children very well. We gain a very good picture of how each child learns, what they need support with and where they can be challenged to go further.
Staff take time to share and review their child observations at team meetings and use them to assess progress and set targets for further development. We value what parents tell us about their child’s progress so each term the class teacher meets with parents to review progress and share ideas about target setting. When children move on to primary school we complete a comprehensive report covering all aspects of the EYFS which we share with parents.
Some of our two year old children attend for day-care between 8am and 6pm. Others attend for 15 hours as part of the 2 year old entitlement.
A school based report is completed for all two year olds. This is shared with parents. All two year old children receive an assessment by a health visitor. If the child is attending nursery these become Integrated Reviews where the nursery key worker joins the parent and health visitor to share the assessment. The progress check aims to identify the child’s strengths and to identify what each child needs to thrive.
Through careful assessment we sometimes identify an area where a child may need some additional support. We always consult with parents to share ideas and strategies. The school has a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) who supports staff and children to identify need and plan the best support. If needed, we can seek help from specialist staff such as speech and language therapists. Wherever possible we aim to provide support as part of the usual school provision.
Parents are their child first teachers and play a crucial role in supporting their child’s learning throughout their schooling. We aim to work in partnership with parents to support their child’s learning. Alongside the consultation meetings for individual children we organize workshops, a curriculum evening and courses to support parents in working with their children and in linking what they do at home with what their child is learning in school.
As a children’s centre we work in partnership with other services such as health and Adult and Community Learning to provide courses and information sessions for families and the wider community.
We believe the whole school and children’s centre is a learning community where we all work and learn together. We strive to support all members of this community to become active and enthusiastic lifelong learners.
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