Early Years

Victoria Aref

FS1 Leader

Jennifer Cullotty

FS2 Leader

Explore the world in a creative and caring environment

Your child’s first experience at school is crucial to how they will approach learning for the rest of their life. The Early Years setting at Capital School is committed to ensuring that your child becomes a creative, happy, confident and independent lifelong learner.

Our philosophy is that every child is unique, and we personalise learning depending on each child’s needs and interests. By using the children’s interests to plan purposeful play, we ensure that your child remains highly involved in their learning. We encourage and nurture your child’s curiosity and empower them to take on new and exciting challenges.

Our foundation curriculum is based on the UK Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and incorporates all the essential elements required for your children to develop a love of learning. Our young learners develop the skills, confidence and understanding they need to be successful.

Three Primary Areas of Learning

  • Communication and Language – We immerse the children in an environment that makes communication irresistible. Our classrooms are rich in language, and the children develop confidence and skills they need to express themselves. There are many opportunities for speaking and listening in a variety of contexts.
  • Physical Development – We provide opportunities for children to develop their fine and gross motor skills, coordination, control, and movement. We also encourage the children to be independent and teach them how to manage their self-care.
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development – We help children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others. We show them how to form positive relationships and develop respect for others. We guide children in developing an understanding of their feelings and build the foundations of respect and kindness.

Four Specific Areas of Learning

  • Literacy Development – We give children access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest in literacy. We teach phonics every day, so the children become confident in reading and writing.
  • Mathematics – We provide children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting and understanding of number. We incorporate problem-solving and reasoning into our Maths activities because it is important for children to explain their mathematical thoughts. We also focus on developing an awareness of shape, space and measure.
  • Understanding the World – We guide children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive Arts and Design – We enable children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through the medium of art and design.

Characteristics of Effective Learning

  • Playing and exploring
  • Finding out and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to ‘have a go.’

Our classrooms and learning environments actively encourage and offer children the opportunity to play and explore. We believe that children need to be able to play, explore and investigate using open-ended resources and encourage children to use their imagination.

Active learning

  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Keeping trying
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Children demonstrate active learning when engaging in activities that require them to use their mental abilities. We celebrate when children show a can-do attitude when attempting to do a new challenge. We know that creating an environment that is led by children’s interest will encourage children to become active learners. Tuning into the children’s interests is at the heart of our teaching and learning.

Creating and thinking critically

  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Choosing ways to do things

For children to be creative and think critically, we provide children with lots of opportunities to work things out on their own or with others; this will develop their problem-solving skills. We use our expertise as teachers to know when to intervene and when to scaffold children’s learning. As children begin to engage fully in their activities, they will start asking questions about how things work. We pride ourselves on high-quality interactions and use developmentally appropriate questioning to extend the learning opportunities.