Our foundation stage provides a secure, happy and caring environment in which every child can develop and learn. We are passionate in our commitment to making a difference for each individual and believe that by providing outstanding opportunities for purposeful and carefully planned play we enable children at all stages of development to thrive. The early years of a child’s life are a vital stage, where the foundations for future development are established. We aim to guide children to become good learners for life. Through an appropriate balance of adult led and child initiated learning activities we challenge and support every child to be the best they can be.

The curriculum is carefully planned to ensure continuity and progression of skills in seven areas of learning. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. The three prime areas reflect the skills and capacities all children need to develop and learn effectively and these are:

Communication and Language Physical Development Personal and Social and Emotional Development.

There are also four specific areas through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied:

Literacy Mathematics Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.

In planning and guiding children’s activities staff must reflect on the different ways that children learn. We believe that it is as important to respond not just to what children learn but also how they learn. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go’

Active Learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements

Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things

These characteristics of engagement, motivation and thinking are not just for Early Years but are the learning values that are promoted throughout the children’s time at Meredith.