Early Years Learning
At William Torbitt, in the Early Years Foundation Stage, the staff work together towards a shared vision of “For Every Child, An Excellent Educational Experience” and “No Child is left behind”. We guide the development of children’s capabilities with a view to ensuring that all children are ready to benefit fully from the opportunities ahead of them and are able to fully exploit all learning opportunities.
We aim for the children in EYFS at William Torbitt Primary School to be:
- Happy, secure and to feel safe
- Socially strong and able to form positive relationships
- Independent, self-assured risk takers
- Confident and Resilient
- Excited and motivated to learn
All staff deeply care about the children in our school. We treat all children as individuals and promote positive relationships and secure bonds. We lead with a ‘child centred approach looking closely through the perspective of a child’. We make it a priority to form close relationships with families and the wider community to promote the best outcomes for all children. Staff members use consistent boundaries and praise and rewards form the backbone of our behaviour management system. We recognise and value individual’s strengths and talents and believe in praising effort and valuing the little steps that really make a difference to a child’s progress. We know that by doing this, we are building happy and secure children, who feel safe. Praise and clear boundaries contribute to the confidence and resilience of our children.
Creating children who are independent, not only in their organisational skills but also in their learning, is a high priority for us. We believe that all children are intrinsically capable of amazing things and we develop this through having high expectations of all children. We pose challenges, build confidence and self-esteem, show children how capable they are and support them to reach their potential. We take time to teach independence skills explicitly and support children to develop into well-rounded, ambitious learners. Taking risks is an important part of learning and we have developed both our environments and our teaching and learning strategies to promote children measuring and assessing risks for themselves and in having confidence and resilience to attempt challenges.
Confidence and resilience are key skills for a developing learner. We explicitly teach children to understand the learning process and understand mistakes are valuable learning experiences. Through the Characteristics of Effective Learning, we develop children’s active learning skills and help them to understand and respond to feedback. Perseverance is highly valued and praised. We strongly believe that in order to develop resilience, we must teach children to be independent learners who problem solve for themselves and know to keep trying and how and when to access help.
Excitement and motivation for learning are developed through planning fun, engaging and challenging lessons based on the needs for the children. We follow the fascinations and interests of the children and teaching and learning is fast paced to respond to the changing needs of individuals. We provide new and interesting experiences, building on and adding to the range of activities children will have had at home or through pre-school experience. We make learning purposeful and rooted in real-life contexts, where possible, so that children have motivating reasons to learn and to help them to apply their knowledge to a range of situations. The children have a book focus curriculum where all of their continuous provision is linked through a core rich text.
We set social development at the core of our learning and understand the value of harmonious relationships, friendship and kindness. Children are encouraged to become well-rounded and sociable through the modelling of positive interactions and language at all times. We spend time getting to know families so that we can celebrate each child as an individual and promote mutual respect, understanding for the diverse cultural backgrounds of others and develop a strong moral ethos in every child. This is strongly reflected within our curriculum and teaching timetable where cultural diversity is embedded and celebrated throughout the academic year.
We employ a child-led problem solving approach to conflict resolution and hold children responsible for their actions and behaviour. We teach about honesty, co-operation and respect. While teaching children to be assertive, we balance this with empathy and understanding for others and support children to solve their friendship problems independently, where possible.
At William Torbitt we believe that reward systems and praise should be consistent, fair but overall a positive acknowledgment of the achievements of all children from all backgrounds and abilities.
Isabelle Lawrence (Early Years Foundation Stage Leader)
Read the EYFS Parents’ Guide (What to expect, when? Guide for Parents) to find out more.