In Nursery and Reception, our dedicated team work tirelessly to promote co-operative learning through all areas of the Foundation Stage Curriculum. We prepare children for a smooth and seamless transition to KS1 by developing and modelling a range of skills that will aid this transition and prepare them for the rest of their school career. Parent and carers are invited in for training and ‘meet the class’ days, where they can see learning taking place first hand, and get more information on how to support their child at home. We encourage an ‘open door’ policy, where parents enter the class every morning and settle their children, see the learning taking place and have any discussions with staff that are needed.
We put a strong emphasis on speaking and listening skills, encouraging a ‘no hands up policy.’ Instead we have group discussions and talk partners for each child, allowing to all talk through their learning and build up a high level vocabulary and use full sentences. We have an Early Years Educator, trained in Speech and Language, who takes small groups of children who need extra oracy support, as well as links with outside agencies.
Early Years also has a close relationship with our Academy’s SENCO, who supports children in our school with various needs. She is there to offer advice, outside agencies and ensure we create a provision suitable for their needs.
At Applegarth Academy, we are fortunate to have a 52 placed Nursery attached to our school which provides children from the age of three with a rich and creative learning environment, helping them to develop as confident and independent young people.
The benefits of having a Nursery on our school site are huge as the children get to access a vast range of resources and facilities that other smaller settings (such as a pre-school or child-minder) may not be able to provide. For example, our Nursery children have access to our ICT, academy hall and all of the areas within our school grounds including our pond, field and playgrounds.
Having been with us throughout Nursery, all of the children who then transfer to our Reception classes do so with confidence, particularly as they already know the adults in and around the school and are familiar with the learning environment. It also means that assessment information is passed across seamlessly from Nursery to Reception, supporting children in their progress. Whilst transfer is not automatic and parents need to apply for a Reception place (via the Local Authority), we find that many of the children who attend our Nursery put Applegarth Academy as their first preference when deciding on a school place.