At Lark Hall, we believe that children’s early learning experiences deeply affect their future physical, cognitive, emotional and social development. We are fully committed to taking the time to understand and follow children’s interests and provide a rich curriculum that supports learning, consolidates and deepens knowledge and ensures that children achieve their next steps. Both our indoor and outdoor provision is carefully planned and demonstrates a thorough knowledge and understanding of the way in which our children learn.
We understand that building secure relationships with children and their families is key to understanding how we can maximise learning opportunities for every child in our setting. Regular parent’s meetings, stay and play sessions and workshops ensure that parents are kept up to date with their children’s development and progress and are aware of how they can continue to support their children’s learning outside of school.
At Lark Hall we ensure that the learning opportunities and experiences we provide are clearly linked to both the Prime (Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development) and Specific (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design) areas of learning. We begin each year by assessing our children’s starting points and with this information in mind, we are then able to plan a range of broad and balanced learning experiences. We place huge importance on the development of children’s vocabulary and ensure that staff are skilled in assessing early speech and language development and have the expertise to support children in being able to communicate their thoughts and ideas and explore the meaning of new words. Staff are able to support children’s communication through a range of strategies including Makaton and visual resources. Our emphasis on the importance of early reading skills also supports our children’s speech and language skills by introducing our children to high quality language in a fun and engaging way.
Staff use their knowledge of the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure that they plan appropriate activities and organise their provision in a way that demonstrates a clear understanding of the way in which our children are motivated to learn. We know that all children are unique, with their own individual fascinations and it is for this reason that we believe a balance of child and teacher led activities is crucial in order for our children to become fully engaged and excited by their learning. We want our children to be independent in accessing quality play-based experiences that encourage them to notice, question and wonder.
We aim to prepare our children to achieve the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and ensure that all children have made good or better progress from their individual starting points. We understand that when assessing children against Development Matters (September 2023), there will be many children who are awarded the same level but may be working at differing levels within this range. Effective communication between staff is therefore crucial to achieve an effective transition for children and to plan accordingly for the next stage of their learning journey. As a team, we carry out regular internal moderation sessions and also ensure that staff attend external meetings and training to ensure that we feel confident with our judgements and that these judgements are consistent with a range of other settings. Our ultimate goal is to prepare our children with the knowledge and skills needed for the next stage of their learning journey in KS1 and that optimising children’s early education is the best investment we can make in ensuring their future success.