At Villa Real School our pupils in Early Years follow an individualised curriculum which supports children to work towards the new revised Early Learning Goals.
Villa Real also includes their bespoke REAL curriculum due to the nature of the pupils’ / students’ additional challenges, which covers the 4 areas of ‘REAL’-
A-Access to the World
The Early Years curriculum is play and experience based. We provide a safe and secure learning environment where independence is encouraged and good relationships are key between staff, pupils and the family/carers.
We have well developed indoor and outdoor play facilities. All of the pupils in Early years have access to the Hydrotherapy Pool, Multi-Sensory Room and Soft Play where appropriate. We also offer Forest Schools and Outdoor Education which enables our pupils to be learners beyond the classroom and develop an inquisitive approach in varied real-life situations. Additional input is available as required from therapy interventions such as Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy and Speech and Language Therapy.
The staff working in the Early Years are committed to the progress of the pupil as an individual and to share progress with parents/carers through the use of web-based recording programmes which families and carers can access along with their physical Learning Journals.
Our staff have a breadth of expertise and knowledge and provide a wide range of opportunities for your child to learn and develop. Early Literacy and Early Mathematics are built into their day, preparing them for formal teaching beyond EYFS.
Some of our Early Years classes are mixed with pupils from Key Stage One. These pupils follow Pathway 2 or 3 in order to motivate and inspire pupils ensuring they have a rich and enhanced learning experience whilst at Villa Real.
The EYFS provision is available through all three streams of our school cohorts;
Autistic Spectrum Condition
Severe Learning Disability
This allows for a more personalised approach to learning where all academic, communication, sensory and physical needs are met utilising the relevant teaching strategies.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework sets the standards that all early years’ provisions must meet to ensure children learn, develop well and are kept healthy and safe.
Our EYFS promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’, providing a broad and balanced foundation of skills and knowledge for good future progress through school and life thereafter.
Villa Real’s EYFS follows the current research that suggests we need a mixed approach to working with young children in the EYFS.
This involves getting the learning environment right for the children, to enable them to play, make choices, and develop. This ranges from standing back and letting then develop their own play, with adults following the child’s lead, sometimes stepping in to help solve problems, extend play ideas and vocabulary and sometimes the adults directly teaching a child something they need to learn.
For most of the time, the best practice is in the middle. The following graphic from Learning, Playing and Interacting (DFE, 2009) illustrates this:
Additional strategies used;
Grouping by individual ability
Total communication approach, including speech and other alternative and augmentative communication methods – where ALL methods are valued equally. Examples of AAC include, Makaton signing, PECs, PODD, objects of reference, Tassels
Task series built into their day as part of CE provision
Play based learning
Supporting individual choice over activities and play
Adults modelling how to play
Adults scaffolding play as learning opportunities and expanding their repertoire
Whole class work
Outdoor play / learning environments
Mixed ability groups
1:1 Support for some individuals
From unique starting points, our pupils and students make individualised progress at a challenging and appropriate pace, in all areas of the curriculum. This progress is measured against bespoke REAL targets set termly, which are linked to the objectives of their EHCP.
In Early Years, our pupils are assessed on REAL progress and using Learning Journals, Development Matters advice and the reformed Statutory Framework for the EYFS.
Parents and carers are kept informed of progress through parent / carer stay and play (COVID-19 alternatives planned), parents’ evenings, CTM/TAFs, Earwig, written reports, home school diaries and the statutory annual review.
More formal, summative assessment takes place twice in the Revised EYFS. Firstly, when a child is between 24 and 36 months – outcomes of this assessment are recorded and parents and multiagency professionals use the information gained to identify a child’s strengths and their learning needs.
The second assessment takes place towards the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage when children are in the final term of the school year where they turn 5yrs old by Aug 31st. Staff report to the local Education Authority as part of your child’s Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) – showing the levels different children have achieved in the seven areas of learning and development in the Revised EYFS.
All pupils are entitled to a broad, balanced, differentiated and relevant curriculum appropriate to their individual needs. The curriculum is structured and sequenced to ensure progression and continuity for all, based upon the statutory EYFS framework.
Villa Real School offer 15hr Nursery placements within EYFS provisions from 2 years of age and 30hrs from age 3years and fulltime to the end of Reception, the year in which they turn 5yrs old.
We have the potential to accommodate N-YR in all three cohorts of our school, SLD, ASC and CE.
SAFEGUARDING AND WELFARE
Villa Real School EYFS provision is covered within the whole school policy and procedures for Child Protection and Safeguarding. Please see the policies section for additional information.
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential, from whatever their unique starting points may be. Children’s development at this early stage of life are the building blocks for the rest of their life and can have a major impact upon their future life chances.
The four guiding principles that shape our early years setting are;
Every child is unique, they are constantly learning and adapt our teaching to their needs.
Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships with their peers, staff and families
Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who are responsive to their individual needs and interests. Staff will build these interests into their learning. Children benefit from strong partnerships between staff and parents and / or carers
The importance of learning and development is key to our provision. Children come to school from different developmental starting points and learn at different rates.
Our play-based and sensory curriculum for Early Years Foundation Stage learners aims to supports pupils;
To begin to recognise their thoughts and feelings
To develop a love of learning and exploration
To learn how to play with each other
To understand their local environment
To learn to communicate with their friends and other known people
To promote early skills, e.g. early reading, writing and number
PARTNERSHIPS WITH PARENTS
We know that when parents and staff in the early years work together what a positive direct impact it has on children’s development and learning. Both partners have much to learn from one another and a great deal to share with each other. Working together to really understand and meet a child’s individual needs, valuing and respecting the different roles that each partner plays, sharing information and skills and building relationships based on mutual respect and trust. Open two-way communication is vital to make sure that knowledge and expertise is shared between parents / carers, multiagency partners and school.
At Villa Real EYFS parents and carers are kept informed of progress through parent / carer Stay and Play (COVID-19 safe alternatives planned), parents’ evenings, CTM/TAFs, Earwig, written reports, home school diaries and the statutory annual review.