Acorns – Nursery Class

Our amazing facilities have been transformed into an Early Years Foundation Unit (EYFU), catering for children ages 3 years to 5 year, comprising of a Reception class (Oak Class) and Nursery class (Acorns). The unit ensures a seamless transition from Nursery into Reception and we work very closely with the rest of the school enabling children to confidently move through into Key Stage 1. We aim to nurture each child’s love of learning and life through forming trusting relationships and creating an inspiring curriculum and environment.

Purposeful play will be at the heart of our unit. Friendships are formed and basic skills are learned through play based activities and social skills are developed at every opportunity. We welcome each child as an individual and look forward to celebrating their successes and achievements whilst working with you to help them meet their potential. We want to develop strong links with home and will invite parents in throughout the year to celebrate their child’s learning and achievements.

Our curriculum will be based on the interests of children and relevant events and occasions. Whilst learning, children will be encouraged to access all areas available to them throughout the day – the classroom, the two wonderful free-flow outdoor spaces, the planting area and the forest school. We really do have the most fantastic Early Years indoor and outdoor space where children can free flow throughout the day.

Daily Routine

Each day at Shoscombe Church School is full of learning opportunities, planned by the staff and the children. We understand that play is crucial to children’s development and we allow children to enjoy free play sessions throughout the day that give children the chance to choose activities they enjoy such as building, digging, role play and art. Staff are trained to move children’s learning forward at every opportunity, even within activities that children repeat daily!

Children will also take part in small group activities planned by staff to support their learning in Literacy, maths and their understanding of the world. This will include games, songs and activities on the interactive whiteboard as well as exercises to improve gross and fine motor skills and lots of stories to encourage language and listening.

The most important factor in all of this play and learning is that your child has fun! We are always keen to learn about their interests and passions and build on this within our setting. Your support as a parent or carer is paramount in this and we are keen to work together and appreciate your support within our classroom and also by continuing your child’s learning at home.

A typical day:

9:00 doors open for morning activities

8.55 Register and group activities

9.20 Free flow learning opportunities and adult led group activities

Morning snack provided during session

11.20 Phonic based activities (Oak and Acorn split)

12:00 Lunch or home time / start of afternoon session

1.00 Afternoon registration and whole class activity

1.30 Free flow learning opportunities and adult led group activities (split by age and stage)

Afternoon fruit snack provided.

2.40 Story, songs.

3.00 Home time

 

Our Curriculum

Within the play-based learning and activities in our EYFU, all children will be taught phonics, literacy and maths skills on a daily basis. These are planned around their starting points and will ensure all children, whether they are a new starter in Acorns or an older child in Oak Class, can build on and further develop their knowledge, skills and vocabulary. Although Oak and Acorn children will be taught in a unit that shares a classroom and outdoor spaces, we will skilfully provide the correct provision and challenge for all our children at the age and stage of development they have reached. Children that are nursery age have plenty of opportunity to play and learn alongside reception age children, however we plan and deliver differentiated activities and teaching sessions to meet the different learning needs of both the younger and older children. Logistically this means that Oak and Acorns are also taught in separate groups at times throughout the day.

All children in the EYFU will follow The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage – a stage that caters for all children under 5 years of age. Our EYFS Curriculum is at the heart of our learning journey approach and is reviewed in the light of national developments, new thinking and research and development. It includes a balance of child-led and adult-led learning within a child centred approach. Learning and development is categorised into three prime areas of learning:

  1. communication and language
  2. physical development
  3. personal, social and emotional development

And four specific areas of learning:

  1. literacy
  2. mathematics
  3. understanding the world
  4. expressive arts and design

Achievement of these prime and specific areas of learning is through the characteristics of effective learning:

  • playing and exploring
  • active learning
  • creating and thinking critically

Each area of learning and development will be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults. We respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction. As children grow older, and as their development allows, it is expected that the balance will gradually shift towards more activities led by adults, to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for Year 1. This approach will be for Reception age children only and will only happen later in the school year.

Quiet area for resting, napping and sharing books:

Children age 3-5 will need opportunity for quiet, rest time during the day. There is a sofa and quiet area where children can enjoy a rest, nap or share a book with friends. There are cuddly toys and soft cushions to snuggle up with if they need some quiet time.

Toilets and changing facilities:

The EYFS unit has 3 purpose built toilets in the classroom so that children can safely become independent in using the toilet and washing their hands. There is also a disabled toilet in the entrance area of the unit which can be used for changing children if necessary and supporting children with toilet training.

Snacks:

We provide a morning snack of fruit, vegetables and carbohydrates where children are encouraged to explore new tastes and be independent in preparing their snack. Milk and water are also provided. In the afternoon we provide fruit, vegetables and water/milk. NB Milk is provided free of charge to all children up to their 5th birthday.

We request that all children bring a water bottle for school but further snacks are not necessary.

Session times:

Your child is entitled to 15 free hours through Early Years Entitlement Funding. In some cases, depending on eligibility, your child may be entitled to 30 hours free childcare.

Children can attend from 9:00 to 12:00 and/or 12:00-3:00 daily. You can send a packed lunch or buy a school lunch. You can choose sessions that you wish your child to attend. Children may also be booked into the school Breakfast Club.

For more information about session times and costs please contact the school office.

For Reception children the day starts at 8:45 and ends at 3:15pm with the same break, snack and lunch times.

Breakfast Club:

The school runs a very popular Breakfast Club which starts at 7.45am. This is bookable through the office and the present cost is £4.50 per child per day with a sibling discount available.

Safe touch and caring for your child:

Children who are in EYFS, particularly children who are only 3 years old will need loving care and attention. Young children often need reassurance if they are upset, hurt or unwell. This may involve holding hands, a hug or to sit on an adult’s lap for reassurance. All practitioners in our setting will follow our Safe Touch and Physical Touch Policy to protect the safety and well-being of all children and members of staff. Parents will be made aware of this and will be asked to sign their consent as part of a home school agreement. We have and implement a policy, and procedures, to safeguard children. This is in line with the guidance and procedures of the relevant Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).

Uniform:

Children in their Reception year are expected to wear a full school uniform. We would however encourage all children in our Early Years Unit to wear a school jumper.

PE kit for reception children only.

Please also provide a change of clothes, to be kept on your child’s peg, in case of accidents or over indulgence in messy play activities!

As much of our learning takes place outside we request that each child has a pair of wellies to be kept in school. This means that learning does not need to stop when the weather is wet or muddy.

Please can we request that all items of clothing are clearly named.

Forest School:

We have a wonderful and well established forest school at Shoscombe that is accessed weekly by every class.  

To take part in forest school each child will need:

  • Wellies (already in school)
  • Waterproof trousers (we have some in school but you may provide your own)
  • A warm waterproof coat (that may get muddy) or a thin waterproof jacket to go over the top of a coat
  • Full length trousers, jogging trousers or leggings
  • Long sleeved top and a warm jumper
  • A hat, scarf and gloves for the cold weather
  • A sun hat and sun cream for warm days

All children are outside for the duration of the session whatever the weather, so please dress appropriately!

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