Early Years at Hateley Heath
“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high-quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.”
EYFS Early Adopter Framework – Department for Education (2020)
The Early Years Foundation Stage applies to children from birth to the end of the reception year. At Hateley Heath, children are admitted to Hateley Twos following their second birthday, Nursery in the term after they are three and Reception in the September following their fourth birthday.
Early childhood is the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives. At Hateley Heath, we greatly value the importance that the EYFS plays in laying secure foundations for future learning and development. However, we also believe that early childhood is valid in itself as part of life. It is important to view the EYFS as preparation for life and not simply preparation for the next stage of education.
We aim to develop children’s imaginative and linguistic repertoires by using Pie Corbett’s talk for writing approach. Imitating the text enables children to internalise the language patterns of storytelling, then innovate them and become confident inventors of their own stories. Talk for Writing also helps build a love of reading and enables children to move from oral storytelling to beginning to write stories of their own. We will support all children individually to improve their writing skills by providing age appropriate and ability appropriate learning opportunities.
For mathematics, we use White Rose maths to support our planning. We try to reflect the mastery approach that is embedded throughout the rest of the school, ensuring that children aren't just extending learning by being exposed to larger numbers, but that they are able to do a wide variety of things with smaller numbers, and in different representations.
Children are allocated time to access our continuous provision each morning and afternoon. We follow a ‘plan, do, review’ approach with the children’s interests at the heart of what we do. Children are provided with an inquiry question and children then explore what they already know and what they would like to find out. Resources and provocations are planned for and provided the following week based around the children’s interests. Our staff are trained so that they either use observation led planning or they plan ‘in the moment’ to extend a child’s learning. Staff at our school ensure that broad opportunities are provided for the children to develop their existing skills.
Please see our current long term planning here: