At Fir Bank Primary School, we offer a curriculum rich in wonder and memorable experiences. We work hard to provide a stimulating environment that provides exciting opportunities, promotes challenge, exploration, adventure, and a real love of learning.
It is our intent that all children develop physically, verbally, cognitively, and emotionally in an environment which values all cultures, communities and people. We aim for our children to be confident and independent, to believe in themselves and interact positively with others.
We understand that play is an integral part of learning, and this is at the heart of our Early Years curriculum. We believe that the correct mix of adult directed and uninterrupted child-initiated play ensures the best outcomes for pupils. Warm and positive relationships between staff and children, consistent routines and strong relationships with parents are key. We recognise the crucial role that Early Years education must play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based.
At Fir Bank Primary School, we meet the welfare requirements laid down in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all our children.
We prioritise creating a ‘language rich’ environment using songs, nursery rhymes, stories, drawing club, helicopter stories and by providing time for quality interactions between adults and between peers. Trained staff ensure that interactions are positive and progressive, allowing children to flourish and gather words at pace to become confident communicators. Children are encouraged to become early readers through enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of phonics. The children learn nursery rhymes and develop their mathematical thinking through direct teaching and exploration. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences.
We have built our Early Years environment to enable our children to strengthen their core muscles through physical play, children spend time outdoors in their natural environment in all weathers. They develop through wonderful, exploratory, sensory experiences in our mud kitchen, sandpit and taking part in outdoor activity sessions. Our learning environment is adaptable to reflect children’s interests and progression. The children are supported to learn to work together, manage their feelings and ask questions through skilled adult facilitated play.
The curriculum is taught through themes and mini themes which are enriched with classroom enhancements, trips, and visitors. Themes are supported by quality key texts. These are chosen carefully to encourage children’s speech, language, and communication development. All planning, however, is flexible and responsive to children’s needs so plans can be changed and adapted dependent on children’s interests.
We understand the importance of parental engagement and believe that our parents have a crucial role to play in their children’s education. We work hard to create strong partnerships between home and school. Parents receive a knowledge organiser off the class teachers each half term to inform them of what their child is learning and to explain how they can support this at home. Parents enjoy using Purple Mash to engage in their child’s learning and share experiences from home.
As part of the learning and teaching process, children are assessed in relation to their progress towards the Early Learning Goals (ELGs)in the Summer term. These judgements are made based on in-depth knowledge of the children acquired through ongoing assessments. These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year.
Our curriculum and its delivery ensure that children, from their own starting points make good progress. During their time with us children make progress towards the national expectation for a Good Level of Development (GLD) at the end of the reception year.
Children develop their characteristics of learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Children are confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with peers and adults drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are doing.
We believe our high standards are due to our carefully planned environment, enriched play-based curriculum, quality first teaching and the rigour of assessment.