At GGA we offer a curriculum rich in wonder and memorable experiences starting at age 2 in Little Saplings, moving through to Acorns and Saplings and then into Reception. We work hard to provide a stimulating environment that provides exciting opportunities, curiosity, 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 year’s curriculum. We believe that a balance of adult directed and uninterrupted child-initiated play ensures the best outcomes for our 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 year’s education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based.
We prioritise creating a ‘language rich’ environment through the use of songs, nursery rhymes, stories and providing time for quality interactions between adults and peers. All members of the Early Years team ensure that interactions are positive and progressive, allowing children to flourish and gather words at pace in order 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 learning environment to enable our children to strengthen their core muscles through physical play, children also spend time outdoors in their natural environment in all weathers. Our learning environment is adaptable in order to reflect children's interests and needs.
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 topics which are enriched with classroom enhancements, trips and visitors. Topics 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 needs and 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. As part of the learning and teaching process, children are assessed in relation to their progress towards the Early Learning Goals. These judgements are made on the basis of accumulative observations and in depth practitioner knowledge of the children acquired through ongoing assessment.
These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year. At GGA 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 of our children.
Our curriculum and its delivery, aim for children to make good or better progress from their starting points. During their time with us children can make rapid progress towards the national expectation for a good level of development at the end of the year.
Pupils also can make good progress toward their age-related expectations both academically and socially, developing a sense of themselves before transitioning into Year One.
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. We want children to be 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.
We follow the DfE validated phonics scheme Little Wandle.
Have a look at their website to see more about the programme and how you can support your child at home.
At GGA, we use Tapestry the Online Learning Journey to record any ‘WOW moments’ that we see at school. We also share activities that you can do at home and you can upload successes that you wish to share with us.
This could be learning to ride a bike, a swimming badge, reading at home, an art creation or anything else that you or your child wishes to share.
We love seeing what children have been up to at home and this helps us build a picture of the whole child.