Children are at the centre of everything we do. We celebrate children as individuals who have natural curiosity and thirst for new knowledge through exploration. Children learn best through practical experiences and structured play, and this is at the heart of our Early Years curriculum. At Southwold, our Early Years curriculum offer embraces children from two years through to five years.
Our highly experienced team plan together to deliver activities based around termly big questions such as 'Where in the world are we?', 'What's your story?' and 'Can we investigate?' alongside engaging in children's interest points and next steps. Our unit is friendly, dynamic, creative, and stimulating and focuses wholeheartedly on the high-quality provision within the learning landscape both inside and out, and the interactions made with children.
At Southwold, we embrace the love of reading. This starts very much in Early Years encouraging children to use their imaginations to create their very own stories using familiar characters, objects, and fabrics. In 2019 we introduced Tales Toolkit into our unit, and this has provided our children with the confidence to listen, tell and go on to write their own stories with excitement, action, and wonder. Children have great fun in phonics using our scheme 'Read Write Inc' and enjoy sound hunting, making instruments, and playing sound games in Nursery moving on to recognising sounds and starting to blend with them in Reception. The process of reading is a delight to be a part of and the most wonderful moment is when a child picks up a book and starts to tell a story, looks closely at the pictures, and finally read their first words.
Exploring and investigating numbers is also an important part of the daily curriculum at Southwold. The children have continuous opportunities to engage with practical equipment to enable them to practise a skill, secure and question the new concept and then teacher led enhancements to enable deeper thinking.
In the Early Years, it is important to celebrate your child's achievements both at home and in school and use these to decide upon their next steps, therefore we are excited to introduce you to our home school learning journal called Tapestry. This is an online tool used to record your child's learning and progress.
As a school, we are extremely fortunate to have an inclusion team who work alongside children from across the year groups and support parents too. Our 'Sensory Room' and 'Well Being Suite' are used regularly by our Early Years children and enable further sensory adventures and opportunities to play alongside our experienced staff.
At Southwold, We Can Offer You
- A caring experienced Early Years team with consistently high expectations, modeling and building positive relationships.
- A support system based on choices when things go wrong.
- A values-based approach promotes positivity, respect, honesty, determination, and most importantly happiness.
- A rich, engaging curriculum focused on a big question, interest points, and next steps which also promotes curiosity, wonder, questioning, and much more.
- Early years education for two-year-olds through to five-year-olds.
- Excellent transition through to Key Stage 1.
- Daily circle and reflection time for all.
- Story, rhyme, and song times galore.
- Assemblies that model and celebrate values within our unit and the wider school.
- Family Learning sessions for parents and children.
- Opportunities to work alongside your child in Maths and Phonics.
This booklet has been written to give you an insight into the wonderful world of Early Years at Southwold and we very much look forward to welcoming you and your child to our school; come and join the fun!
Where will you find us?
The Blossom Nursery Class is located through the main entrance, turn right at the pencil fence gate. The children will need to wait outside in the garden until the door is opened at 9am. All children will be released at the end of the session from the same door at 11.45am, unless they are staying for lunch. Afternoon sessions will begin at 12pm and end at 3pm.
The Apple Nursery Class is located through the main office entrance, turning left into the garden. The children will need to wait outside in the garden until the door is opened at 9am. All children will be released at the end of the session from the same door at 11.45am, unless they are staying for lunch. Afternoon sessions will begin at 12pm and end at 3pm.
Birch and Cherry Classes can be accessed from the Reception gate entrance. Children will come in via the cloakroom door. The reception children will be in school from 8.45am until 3.15pm.
What Will Happen At Lunchtime?
The 30-hour Blossom Nursery children eat lunch in their own rooms and have some time outside in their own nursery areas. The Apple children eat in the school hall and then have their playtime in their Nursery Garden. The Reception children eat in the school hall and then play outside in the school playground alongside the KS1 children.
In our secure and caring environment, the children work towards a set of Early Years statements, which set high but achievable expectations for the children to reach by the end of the Reception year, based on their age bracket.
Through a broad and balanced curriculum, your child will be offered a variety of activities and experiences. Activities are organised for small groups as well as opportunities for individual work. The children are encouraged to participate in planning and reviewing their work, managing their own time and equipment.
In Nursery, we work in small groups, and this allows us to get to know the children and their families individually. Focusing on a small group of children means that we are better able to plan for their learning needs and build a special relationship with them. In Nursery the children have key worker groups. In Reception, the children are allocated to a class teacher but will also have a Higher-Level Teaching Assistant between the classes so that they can look after your child best.
The Reception children will have a PE lesson once a week. Please provide dark shorts and a white t-shirt for PE - children will get changed. Their kit should be kept on their peg in a named PE bag. Policies for these areas can be accessed via the school website. Nursery will still enjoy visiting the hall for mini P.E. sessions but will not get changed.
A little reminder for Nursery and Reception children. You will need:
- Named PE kit in a bag for your peg (Reception)
- Book bag
- £1.00 weekly voluntary contribution (cooking, treats, craft activities)
- Water Bottle clearly named (Fresh water is always available in the unit)
- Spare clothes for your peg
- Waterproof coat/Mac and trousers
- Wellies/ outdoor shoes to keep in school.
- A fruity snack in case you feel hungry (remember to label these and pop them straight in your own tray) Children will also be entitled to government fruit and vegetables too.