The Early Years Foundation Stage makes a crucial contribution to children’s early development and learning. At Wheatfields Primary School we are passionate about providing children with a rich variety of teaching and learning experiences that are appropriate to their needs and ignite their curiosity. The Foundation Stage is all about developing the key learning skills such as speaking and listening, concentration, language, attitudes to learning including developing the social and emotional aspects of learning.
We offer exciting opportunities for independent child initiated learning in addition to providing high quality teaching and learning across both the indoor and outdoor environment. We encourage children towards developing their skills in reading, communication and mathematical problem solving from the very beginning. Much of this earlier learning is achieved through carefully structured play. Young children who cannot read or write often express their ideas and feelings through play. It is an important way of developing new skills and building up relationships with other children both individually and in groups. Alongside these skills, knowledge of the world around them and creative development is constantly extended through this structured play, hooked into their own individual interests, with a variety of art and music opportunities and imaginative play.
This first year of school life is so important and we are proud of the provision that is made for children at Wheatfields Primary School in the Early Years Foundation Stage and in our partnerships with parents to celebrate and enhance the opportunities we provide our pupils.
We appreciate that some children may be apprehensive about starting school. To help with this we liaise closely with our pre-school providers and organise a series of visits to school in the summer term so that the children can meet their class teacher and classroom teaching assistants.
To ensure a gentle introduction to school that supports building up confidence and new friendships, we operate a staggered entry system. The children will join their class in small groups and be given plenty of time to settle.
We must ensure that the individual needs of each child are met and therefore have to be flexible. If this is not appropriate for any child, we look at:
- Emotional maturity – the readiness to operate independently out of the home for a substantial part of the school day.
- Social maturity – the readiness to form relationships with other children.
- Specific individual circumstances that directly affect the child.
Full discussion takes place with the parents if it is felt appropriate for a child’s entry to school to be more gradually phased.