Our Vision

“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to their full potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure safe and happy childhood is important in its own right, and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. When parents choose to use early years’ services they want to know the provision will keep their children safe and help them to thrive. The Early Years Foundation Stage is the framework that provides that assurance.” Statutory Framework for the EYFS.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the reception year. In our school, children join Nursery when they are three. The majority of our children join the Reception class in the September following their fourth birthday.

The EYFS is based upon four principles:

· A Unique Child

· Positive Relationships

· Enabling Environments

· Learning and Development

A Unique Child

At Shirestone Academy we have the philosophy that every child is a competent learner who can be resilient, collaborate, respectful, persevere, reflect and question This is taught to children through our jigsaw model, where we understand that we can learn most effectively through being all of these aspects. We recognise that children develop in individual ways, at varying rates. Children’s attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by feedback from others; we use praise and encouragement, as well as celebration assemblies and rewards, to encourage children to develop a positive attitude to learning.

Positive Relationships

At Shirestone Academy, we understand that children learn to be strong and independent from secure relationships. We aim to develop caring, respectful, and professional relationships with the children and their families.

Enabling Environments

At Shirestone Academy, we recognise that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development. This begins by observing the children and assessing their interests, development and learning, before planning challenging but achievable activities and experiences to extend the children’s learning. These enabling environments should be both in the indoor and outdoor classrooms and both areas should include different activities that engage and develop children’s interests and attainment.

Learning and Development

At Shirestone Academy, we know that children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape the educational provision in Early Years Settings. These are divided into prime and specific areas. The three prime areas are important in developing children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. The areas of learning are detailed below.

None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult led and child initiated activities. In each area there are Early Learning Goals (ELGs) that define the expectations for most children to reach by the end of the EYFS.

All About Us

The Seven Areas of Learning and Development:

There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years’ settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.

Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

These three areas, the prime areas, are:

Communication and Language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical Development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Providers must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.

The specific areas are:

Literacy involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials including books, poems, and other written materials to ignite their interest.

Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.

Understanding The World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment

Expressive Arts and Design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

Click the link below to see our overview for the year: