EARLY YEARS AT FRENSHAM
They may be the littlest, but our Nursery and Reception children are just as important in our whole school community as the big kids and teachers. They have the same specialist teaching in sports, dance, drama, music and languages - they also perform on the same stage. But, we believe in letting children be little for longer. And a big part of that comes through nurturing their natural sense of wonder and their natural inclination to explore and play.
Children play with wooden boxes in a nursery setting
children's woodwork is displayed on a windowsill
a nursery teacher and child interact near a model of a badger
Children play with wooden boxes in a nursery setting
EARLY YEARS: NURSERY & RECEPTION
Our Nursery and Reception children are learning through a method called Planning in the Moment, which is rooted in the best practice in Early Childhood Education. Little children really are like sponges and they’re learning every second of the day. With Planning in the Moment, our experienced and creative Early Years teachers mould the day’s learning around whatever interests the children may bring in with them. The day after bonfire night will probably bring activities on light and dark (a quick trip to the photography darkroom), hot and cold, shadows, colour, noises, surely with a campfire down at the forest school to top it all off. It’s the kind of education that keeps the children’s imaginations alive and burning to learn more. It provides the environment for powerful learning where children and teachers work together to create new ideas, make together and learn together. It teaches them that their opinions and interests are important, that their voices, no matter how little, will be heard and most importantly, that school is alot of fun.
TEACHING AND LEARNING
The Reception teachers will filter Mathematics, Phonics and English through short games and activities. These interjections are firmly child-led with teachers listening to cues from the children - when they are ready, when they are interested, when they are getting a bit overwhelmed - in this way helping the children to remain keen to learn more while giving them crucial skills for learning. It teaches them that their opinions and interests are important, that their voices, no matter how little, will be heard and most importantly, that school is a lot of fun.
Class teachers provide holistic teaching through the following curriculum areas:
Personal, social and emotional development;
Communication and language;
Understanding the world;
Expressive arts and design.
OUR CLASS SIZES
Our class sizes are small allowing for a lot more discussion, flexibility and personality. The maximum class size for Nursery is 16 children and Reception is 10. We have a one class entry for each of these years.
In the Early Years, we use Tapestry, an online platform, to build a very special, unique record of each child’s experiences and development. Tapestry allows us to continuously take the parents along on their child’s learning journey through their early years and primary education. Using photos, videos and diary entries, our teachers and parents weave the story of the child and how they are growing and developing. The Tapestry platform allows these memories to be kept as a permanent record of each child’s unique journey.
We update the childrens' online learning journal weekly with photos and videos of both child and adult initiated learning. It is a crucial home/school link supporting the close relationships between the children and families.
We have an integrated forest school programme which fosters confidence and creativity. Our beautiful forest school sits just beyond our Nursery to Year 3 playground. The children in Nursery and Reception spend two mornings a week down in the forest school learning and exploring in the great outdoors.
Our dedicated trained forest leader accompanies our youngest children on their first steps along their Frensham Outdoor Ed adventure where they can enjoy the freedom to explore, to investigate, to experience and to take small but significant risks that help them grow towards being curious and self-aware adults. The adventures on offer are carefully chosen, meticulously prepared and age appropriate. For these littlest members of the school, the adventures will be full of wonder and exploration.
OUR SCHOOL DAY
We have classes Monday to Friday.
Nursery and Reception start at 8:15am and finish at 3:20pm. Their day is split into five class periods with morning and afternoon breaks and lunch. We eat lunch together as a community with children and teachers eating together.
We have a Late Stay club, run by dedicated staff who are familiar with all the children. It runs from 3.30pm to 5.30pm. The children can play outside, with toys, watch a film or do some craft activities. There is a small charge for the Late Stay club for Nursery through Year 3.
As in our older years, every Nursery and Reception child is treated as an individual with their own unique needs and interests. Equally, we know that every child will be at a different point in terms of their physical, personal and emotional development. Our teachers and Early Years Practitioners know each child really well and adapt to make sure each can have challenging and enjoyable experiences in all areas of learning and socialising.
Through this individual approach, children achieve deep levels of involvement, which in turn translates into true progress in all aspects of school life.
Our school is based firmly on mutual respect between every member of the community from the youngest to the oldest. This respect is not demanded or expected but earned. Our staff treat the children as they themselves would like to be treated - with kindness, generosity and a big listening ear. Small class sizes mean that all children get the time to be listened too - most especially when they are out of sorts of just too tired.
We speak more softly and teach more creatively than other schools, but we do still challenge our children to excel, to soar and to leave with all the skills they’ll need for their future paths.
We are very proud of our highly creative, dedicated and experienced EYFS team. All of our staff are qualified from Level 3 up to postgraduate level. They have joined us from a range of backgrounds in nursing, primary teaching and SEN positions. It's a dynamic team who thrive on the imaginations and energy of the children in their care. It's hardly surprising that they tend to stay with us for quite a while!