Inspiring Your Child From An Early Age
Limitless learning begins from Nursery at The Blue Coat School. We want to foster a love of learning and curiosity whilst focusing on the needs and development of the individual child.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) spans Nursery and Reception (ages 3 to 5). The EYFS is distinct and important in its own right. It forms a secure basis upon which future learning can be built. Offering children new experiences in order to extend their skills, develop their confidence and build on what they already know to take their learning forward.
Parents will be invited to workshops to understand how we teach Mathematics and Literacy. Following the workshop, parents are invited into the classroom to join their child for a lesson.
Play and Exploration
Children at this age naturally possess a sense of wonder and curiosity. The EYFS curriculum nurtures and thrives on that spirit. Therefore, learning is predominantly through play and exploration, together with teacher-led activities. Small class sizes and outstanding Teachers and Teaching Assistants enable the School to plan activities for each child’s individual needs and stage of development.
Outdoor learning is an important part of the Early Years Foundation Stage, and so the children regularly take part in activities in the Early Years Play Area or in the school grounds.
Early Learning Goals
The EYFS curriculum is based upon the Early Learning Goals. These goals establish expectations for most children to achieve by the end of the Reception year. The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is organised into three Prime Areas: Communication and Language; Physical Development; and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. These are taught within four Specific Areas: Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World; and Expressive Arts and Design.
There are two aspects to the Prime Area of Communication and Language: Listening, Attention and Understanding; and Speaking.
The children have many opportunities throughout the day to develop their listening, attention, understanding and speaking skills.These include: role play, whole class sessions focusing on language work, one-to-one work with the Class Teacher or Teaching Assistant.
To develop their oral communication and language, children are encouraged to express themselves using the correct language for past, present and future events. The children will also be encouraged to hold conversations when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary.
The Nursery and Reception classrooms are secure environments for the children where they work and play with the support of their Class Teacher and Teaching Assistant.
Building confidence, trying new activities and showing independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge are important principles in the EYFS curriculum.
The children will be supported in being able to explain the reasons for rules, recognise right from wrong and to behave accordingly. This will be closely linked to the Blue Coat School Values. They will also be supported in being able to show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others.
From Nursery, children are taught to take care of the classroom environment. Children will take responsibility for tidying the toys away at the end of each session, as well as being aware of how to take care of the wider environment. This includes understanding the needs of animals and plants.
Throughout the EYFS curriculum, children will be taught the importance of exercise, healthy food and oral health.
The children will have a PE lesson each week in the Pre-Prep Gym. Lessons will focus on activities such as gymnastics, dance or games skills.
Nursery and Reception children will use the apparatus and equipment to develop eye-hand coordination, fine and gross motor skills. In addition, children will learn to control their own movements and to follow instructions.
Fine motor skills are also developed through writing activities, painting, drawing and cutting activities. Our staff also promote the correct use of cutlery at lunchtime.
Nursery and Reception children will have sessions of Forest School throughout the year. This tranquil forested area nestled in the corner of the School grounds is a highlight for Pre-Prep children.
The EYFS goals are assessed at the end of a child’s Reception year, including their gross motor and fine motor skills.
An Extraordinary Lesson
Twice per term, Nursery and Reception will each have an enrichment day. The theme will link to their half termly curriculum.
An enrichment day is an immersive learning experience where children will dress up, undertake classroom activities based on the theme and the highlight of every enrichment day is a special practical activity.
It might be a bouncy castle for Fairytale Day. Or a dance for Colour Day. And a highlight on the Pre-Prep calendar is Animal Day and Minibeast Day. For these exciting days, the Pre-Prep gym is transformed into a minibeast habitat and the children get to test their courage when they come face-to-face with a range of animals. Enrichment days solidify the children’s learning in a dynamic and memorable way.
Nestled in the corner of the School grounds is Forest School. Featuring a mud-kitchen, outdoor classroom, forest, wendy house, firepit and an orchard, it is no surprise that the weekly Forest School lesson is a highlight of the Nursery and Reception children’s week.
At The Blue Coat School we have our own 25-metre swimming pool and two specialist swimming teachers. Swimming lessons are added to the weekly timetable from Reception and continue through to Year 6. Swimming is not just a sport, it is a vital life skill and through swimming lessons and performance squads, we promote water confidence and enjoyment of being in the water.