Early Years Curriculum
At Lingfield College Nursery and Reception, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework which is guided by the belief that ‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential’. We place the greatest importance on your child's earliest years with us, offering them an inspirational and individualised beginning to their educational journey.
The Very Brightest Beginnings
For the youngest of our children, learning will be through exploration, discovery and play. Their learning is increasingly structured as they get grow and develop. When the children reach Reception, we offer specialist tuition in French, Music, PE and Drama.
Communication & Language
Communication and Language are a vital part of the EYFS curriculum. We provide plenty of opportunities for curiosity and discussion, including the use of 'Chatterboxes' where children can discuss items of interest from home. A specialist language teacher delivers weekly French lessons to all Nursery and Reception children.
Every week our children from Nursery and Reception head over to our well-equipped Sports Hall for PE lessons. The 2019 annual report from the government's Chief Medical Officer recommends that "Children and young people should engage in a variety of types and intensities of physical activity across the week to develop movement skills, muscular fitness, and bone strength." The report also advises that children under five should be active for at least 180 minutes a day.
Literacy & Numeracy
Children engage in many activities to develop their fine and gross motor skills throughout Foundation Stage in order to improve their early writing skills, from using their fingers to make lines and circles in sand and shaving foam to working on more significant arm movements during dance. Other activities include painting walls and paper on the floor, and more specific letter formation.
All Nursery and Reception children have daily group sessions tailored to their individual abilities. They also have weekly personal reading time when they can choose a book to be read to them, and move on to reading books themselves. They can then take this book home to share with their family before returning it the following week. During this time, they also go over the phonics and numbers that have been specifically selected to suit their ability level.
Understanding the World
Each week the children in the Foundation Stage enjoy a lively session in our beautiful Forest School. Forest schools are proven to increase a child’s confidence and self-esteem through exploration, problem solving, appropriate (and supervised) risk taking and independent outside play. Our children love these sessions and enjoy the freedom, time and space they are given to make sense of the world around them.
Expressive Arts & Design
Each week the children take part in a variety of art activities to develop their expressive and creative skills. Reception have a drama lesson delivered by a specialist teacher and all children in the Foundation Stage will perform a Christmas Nativity led by the Music and Drama Department, which they perform to their parents. Drama is an important medium for exploring language and communication. Roleplay activities, which children naturally enjoy and engage with, help to develop empathy and imagination.
Music helps the mind and body work together. Dancing builds motor skills and offers a means of self-expression, particularly for very young children whose ability to express themselves verbally is inevitably limited by their emerging vocabulary. Music can also strengthen memory skills. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Children in Nursery have one lesson a week and Reception children have two with our specialist Music teacher. Daily singing and playing musical instruments in class is actively encouraged.
The children have many opportunities through our curriculum and wider play to participate in adult-led experiments and explore scientific concepts. For all ages, science offers a framework for constructing, understanding, developing and testing ideas about the world. By this definition, children in the Early Years are mini scientists every day! Teaching science at this level nurtures your child’s natural sense of adventure and curiosity, facilitates persistence in problem solving and introduces the basic elements of scientific reasoning, from seeking evidence to testing predictions.
Digital learning is any type of learning that uses technology, and it has been shown to enhance cognitive and social development. In the informational age, introducing our children to the digital world in developmentally appropriate ways will help to prepare them for the future. Children have many resources within the classroom and have access to the computer suite within the Prep School. Each classroom has an interactive whiteboard, desktop computer and iPads. Electronic toys such as remote control cars, Beebots, sound buttons and walkie-talkies are available for the children to develop their skills.
A Character Education
At Lingfield College Prep, we believe that a child's character and mindset profoundly affect their academic and social success. Children who are respectful, responsible, courageous and compassionate do better in school and life. Those who show determination and resilience in their learning and who have high standards in what they do are better equipped for the challenges and opportunities that come their way. Academic learning and cultivating character go hand-in-hand building confident and robust children.
Alongside the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, we focus on six character education traits in our Nursery and Reception classes. These traits are courage, gratitude, honesty, perseverance, self-control and empathy. Two traits become the focus in each term:
- Autumn : Courage and self-control
- Spring : Perseverance and honesty
- Summer : Gratitude and empathy
From Year 1, the focus shifts to embedding our Educational Vision.