In the Early Years at Ridgeway Farm CE Academy, we want children to be happy, confident, well rounded individuals with a love for learning. We believe in providing all children with a safe and stimulating environment that builds on individual’s wants, needs, and interests and aim to give the children a sense of belonging in the wider school community.
Learning through play should be fun, engaging and promote children’s natural curiosity whilst providing suitable challenge. We aim to encourage children to take turns, share and be thankful to one another and to God, committing to our Christian values. We value the importance of our outdoor environment and believe that it offers children the opportunity to develop their thinking and problem-solving skills.
We are committed to providing the best possible start to school life, teaching them skills, and giving them experiences that will ensure their well-being now and success in the future.
All staff have high expectations and the enhancement of skills for learning is achieved through a well-resourced, stimulating environment that allows children to repeat and consolidate their own learning. Children are encouraged to take an active part in their learning journeys and become independent learners. We foster a love of learning by ensuring that we capture and learn through the children’s interests as much as possible. Every opportunity is a learning opportunity!
Our high quality teaching and learning is based on a team planning approach centred around children’s individual needs and interests, as well as providing the initial building blocks for the wider whole school curriculum which follows.
Our curriculum provision enthuses and generates a love for reading whilst effectively teaching new ideas, concepts and vocabulary. This can be seen through our ‘Book Talk’ teaching focus in Reception which is driven through exposure to quality texts, which is also linked to all areas of our curriculum. Our children also have access to a lending library, home readers, guided reading in Phonics sessions, daily story time and daily nursery rhyme time.
Our mathematics curriculum is taught daily through exposure and exploration of number and numerical patterns. It encapsulates real life scenarios for example, cookery (weights and measures), shopping (money role play) and general day to day teacher daily activities and routines.
Staff are skilled at asking questions that encourage children to think more deeply about their learning, to extend their use of language across the curriculum and to make connections in order to embed new learning.
Prime areas are a key part of our curriculum. They are covered though all areas of our curriculum provision but specific examples are:
- We have a welcoming and inclusive environment
- We have our key person system
- We have key interventions that cover one or all three prime areas i.e. Dough Disco.
- Educational trips to enhance the children’s language skills
- Daily or Weekly PSED sessions (cohort dependent)
- Weekly PE and Just Dance sessions (from Autumn 2)
- Assessments are relevant and purposeful, leading to improved outcomes for children. We have continuous, daily assessment which influences provision lesson to lesson, day to day, week by week. This can be seen in our planning files, children’s files, daily practice and the learning environment.
We strive to involve parents to engage in supporting their child’s to learning. We do this through parent workshops, information leaflets, weekly newsletters, regular tweets and website class page updates and the use of Interactive Learning Journey where families see their child’s progress and share WOW’s, add images and progress achieved at home with families.
Children enjoy their learning and the majority participate eagerly and enthusiastically. They are beginning to manage their own feelings and behaviour, and understand how these have an impact on others.
It can be seen that, for those children that have been present for the majority of their early years education at our school will flourish and develop into confident, motivated and independent learners, will make good or better progress and often achieve GLD. This is in comparison to the children who join the school at times other than the usual admission times or families that are required, often during the school year, to return to their home country for prolonged periods of time i.e. visa applications / renewals.
By the end of the Foundation Stage, the majority of children read accurately and are starting to develop fluency in their reading. Their vocabulary and understanding of language is good and many children achieve the early learning goals, representing high achievement from low starting points.