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Early Years - The King's School Witney
Stepping Stones forest school outting

Early Years

At The King’s School, we believe the early years to be a crucial stage of development and we want to work with parents and do all we can to help children be confident, eager learners who love coming to school.  Here are some of the things which for us are important and which we feel characterise our setting:

  • Each child is precious to God, loved by Him and made in His image.
  • Each child is unique, with their own set of gifts and abilities and interests.
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of God, an understanding of the Bible and its key messages, and a growing desire to live in a way that pleases Him.
  • Understanding we are made in the image of God makes a difference to how we should treat one another.
  • The importance of good relationships as a key element of Christian community; between children, between children and their key person and other staff, and between staff and parents and carers.
  • Supporting parents in their child’s learning and development and contributing to the home learning environment where we can.
  • A belief that encouragement is more effective than criticism; where correction or boundaries are needed, this is best done in a context where children understand they are loved unconditionally.
  • Fostering confidence and a willingness to have a go, and not being worried about making mistakes, but rather seeing them as an opportunity to learn.
  • Encouraging children to be excited about learning and to love learning.
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books and stories and reading.
  • An appreciation of the natural world and a sense of awe and wonder at God’s creation, through our topic work, through outdoor learning and Forest School.
  • A recognition of the importance of music and song in early child development
  • Using music and song as part of our worship and thanksgiving towards God and encouraging children to express themselves to God through prayer
  • Encouraging children’s creativity and development of their own original ideas.
  • Encouraging children towards independence in self-care
  • The provision of experiences and activities which encourage a deep level of engagement and concentration.

We work towards the government requirements for learning and development by making sure we cover all the seven areas of learning for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and seek to help children reach their Early Learning Goals through planned, purposeful play with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated learning.  Throughout the day, there is a balance of adult led group times and unhurried free play indoors and outdoors.  We seek to provide learning opportunities which both follow children’s interests and open up new horizons to them.

The seven areas of learning include:

Three Prime Areas: these areas are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

 

  1. Communication and Language
  2. Physical Development
  3. Personal, social, and emotional development

 

Four Specific Areas: these areas include essential skills and knowledge, which support and strengthen the prime areas.

 

  1. Literacy
  2. Mathematics
  3. Understanding the world
  4. Expressive arts and design

 

Staff refer to the Characteristics of Effective Learning (also found in Development Matters).  These underpin children’s learning and development across the foundation stage and are grouped under the following main headings:

    • Playing and Exploring (engagement)
    • Active Learning (motivation)
    • Creating and Thinking Critically (thinking)

Our most recent moderation visit commended the parent:teacher relationship:

There is a two-way flow of information between home and school. For example, daily conversations, a reading diary, weekly newsletters, WOW stars, questionnaires and consultation meetings. The Learning Journey is sent home each term for parents and children to read, add comments and photographs from home learning experiences.  There are very strong links with families and many also visit the school to talk about their work and life experiences.

To find out more about joining, please see our Admissions Policy.