The Early Years
Please find below some important information about our Early Years provision at Nightingale Primary School:
The EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) gate will open at 8:45am daily. A member of staff will be positioned on the gate each morning, but we ask that all children are still taken to their classrooms to be registered; the class teachers will let the class know when the outside area is open for play once the gates are secured.
We encourage and welcome you to spend time within our classroom until 9am for our 'Read with Me' sessions. During this time you can share stories, poems and non-fiction texts with your child. However, you are also welcome to say goodbye at the door, a member of staff can share books with your child.
A self-register for selecting lunch choices will be located outside of each classroom; please complete this with your child on your way in.
The EYFS at Nightingale follow the EYFS Foundation Stage Curriculum (see websites list).
During your child’s first half-term at Nightingale we will focus primarily on the Prime areas of learning which are personal, social and emotional development, physical development and communication and language to enable the children to be confident, settled and ready to learn.
At Nightingale Primary School the children learn about letters and the sounds they make through the Read Write Inc Phonics scheme. When they are ready the children participate in daily group phonics sessions where they learn sounds and the letters that are used to represent them, apply this knowledge to reading and writing.
In the Autumn term our main phonics focus will be on the skills that underpin the ability to read and write, concentrating mainly on:
Rhyming- Identifying rhyming words in songs, stories and games.
Alliteration - Identifying the initial sound in a word and grouping words by initial sound.
Blending - The process of blending individual sounds together to hear a whole word.
Segmenting - Breaking down a word into its individual sounds.
For more information on Phase One phonic skills please see https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/190599/Letters_and_Sounds_-_DFES-00281-2007.pdf
In addition to phonic skills the children learn ‘red words’ which are words that cannot be sounded out and instead need to be read by sight. You can support this learning at home by regularly practicing your child’s word lists (found in your child’s reading diary) at home.
We strengthen the children's fine motor skills and teach them how to form letters through our 'Kinetic Letters' handwriting scheme, which is our whole school approach.
Regular reading is proven to have a huge impact on academic achievement, we urge all parents to make time at home to read with and to your children as often as possible. Reading diaries can be used to make notes of the reading that has happened at home and enable the class teachers and parents to communicate about the child’s targets and achievements.
While your child is not yet able to read the words, make time to hear your children talk about the books you have read to them and to make up their own stories using the pictures. Also look for any of their red words in the text.
We always welcome reading helper volunteers – it makes such a difference to the children! If you are interested in becoming a reading helper please speak to your child’s class teacher.
What are we learning?
PSED, Communication and Language, Reading and Writing
We will be focusing on developing and refining the children’s ability to communicate clearly and cooperatively with adults and peers. We will focus on active listening skills, encouraging the children to think carefully about what they have heard and to respond appropriately. We will work on questioning skills and the ability to stick to theme of conversation even if it was instigated by someone else.
The children will be exposed to a wide variety of texts including fiction, non-fiction and poetry and explore the meaning of new words.
The children will take part in weekly individual or paired reading sessions, where they will be taught reading skills such as decoding the text (once letters are introduced), making predictions about the story; exploring the characters, story structure and plot. The children will be encouraged to mark make and will be developing the necessary phonic and physical skills needed to become a writer.
In maths we will be learning to count with, recognise and order numbers to 10 then 20. We will work to develop a deeper understanding of each number; how it can be made, where it sits in the number system and how it compares to other numbers.
We will also be exploring length, height weight and 2D shape within our provision.
At home opportunities can be made to play dice games, count for real life purposes, spot numbers in the environment and solve simple real life problems such as 'How many more extra spoons are needed if Granny and Grandpa pop round to join us for pudding?'.
In addition to the children's weekly PE sessions focusing on dance and gymnastics, the children will have access to a range of activities to support both gross and fine motor development, and daily access to our outdoor classroom. We will be providing lots of opportunities for the development of children’s upper body, core and fine motor development to support writing.
Understanding the World & Expressive Arts and Design
The children have daily access to a variety of art materials and painting supplies where they can explore texture , form and techniques to achieve different effects.
Music and singing will form an important part of our weekly activities and will also be accessible to the children during their child-initiated learning, alongside opportunities for imaginary and role play.
The children will explore change and features of the natural environment through outdoor experiences. The children will be supported in identifying similarities and differences between features of their own immediate environment and other environments. We will learn about the similarities and differences that make us unique through opportunities to share and explore the lives and cultures of the children in our classes.
The children participate in weekly woodland learning sessions in our fantastic woodland area, which is led by our forest school expert. We therefore ask that all children have a pair of named willies to stay at school.
We have various ICT resources that are used to support the children’s learning. We have an ICT station within our classrooms, where the children can safely and independently access iPads to play educational games such as 'Hairy Letters', 'Numbots', 'Word Wizard' and others.
We are very fortunate at Nightingale to have access to the fantastic resource that is Tapestry. Tapestry is an online resource for the Early Years which allows us to compile individual online learning journals for the children; it forms an integral part of our observation, assessment and analysis which ensures children are appropriately challenged and supported to progress in their learning. In addition to this Tapestry allows parents the opportunity to view their child's learning journals from their own computer or smart phone; keeping you up-to-date with your child's weekly learning. Parents are also able to upload their own observations of learning and achievements that happen outside of school which can then form a part of our assessments. If you need any help to interact with Tapestry, please talk to your child's class teacher who will be happy to help you.
Class Dojo is an educational app that connects parents, pupils and teachers through communication features, such as a feed for photos and videos from our school day, by adding Dojo points for good behaviour and providing home learning opportunities.
Parent helpers are a valued resource in school and we are always very keen to utilise reading helpers to support the children. In addition to this we would love for our parents to get involved with other aspects of the children's learning in school. This year we will be introducing our 'Get Involved' boards which are located on the Early Years classroom windows. We will use these to 'advertise' weekly for one off helper vacancies, giving parents who are unable to commit to a regular session the opportunity to come in and be a part of our school day. Vacancies will vary and may include coming in to help with a cooking activity, some gardening, a maths activity or ball games outdoors. We would also love to hear if you have a particular skill or interest which you feel may benefit the children.
Kingfisher class have PE on Wednesdays and Woodpecker class have their PE lessons on Thursdays. It can be helpful to ensure your child is wearing clothes that they can take off and put on by themselves on PE days. Please ensure your child has a named PE kit in school.
Both classes visit the school library in small groups throughout the week. Please ensure that your child's library book is in their book bag, at school to enable them to change it weekly.
Please provide your child with a named drink bottle that only contain water. These need to be taken home daily so they can be washed.
We like to take our learning outside whatever the weather, including weekly woodland learning sessions. If possible please supply named wellies to remain in school. Thank you.
‘What to Expect When’ A parent’s guide to the EYFS
Early Years Foundation Stage Profile
username: march20 password: home
Click on the videos below to watch how we form the letters within the different 'Kinetic Letters' letter families.
The Jumper Family:
The Abracadabra Family:
The Special Squirter and Window Cleaner Family:
The Fisher Family:
The Slider Family:
You can find below a copy of our school behaviour chart, which you could use at home. You may like to print this off at home or draw out your own one. Then add your child's name to the chart to move up or down according to their behaviour. Please also find attached a leaflet explaining how the chart could be used.