Our Early Years
At Whittle Academy we believe that each child is a unique individual who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident, and self-assured. We know that children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships. Children are active, inquisitive, and intelligent and it is our role to provide them with a caring, secure environment which is also challenging and interesting. Children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. At Whittle we believe that everyone has the right to reach their full potential surrounded by people who believe in them.
The aims of the EYFS at Inspire are:
• To provide engaging, challenging, and exciting play-based learning opportunities for all
• To provide a safe and secure environment, recognising that this is where children learn best
• To support all children in developing their communication skills
• To provide high quality phonics teaching to give all children the best opportunity to become confident mark makers and readers
• To give children the opportunity to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding, and using numbers as well as exploring shape, space, and measure
• To give children the opportunity to explore and foster curiosity about the world around them
• To provide an inspiring learning environment both inside and out, allowing children to to be enthusiastic risk takers who set their own challenges and follow their own interest and lines of enquiry
The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is organised to take care of and develop the whole child and not just their academic learning. The Foundation curriculum is split into 7 areas of learning, 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas.
• Personal, Social and Emotional Development
• Physical Development
• Communication and Language
• Understanding the World
• Expressive Arts and Design
Our EYFS curriculum also includes the Characteristics of Effective Learning. These focus not on what children know but how children learn.
- Playing and Exploring – our children investigate and experience things and events around them and ‘have a go.’
- Active Learning – our children concentrate and keep trying if they experience difficulties, as well as enjoying what they achieve.
- Creating and Thinking Critically – our children have and develop their own ideas, make links between different and experiences and develop strategies for doing things.
The EYFS also includes the Characteristics of Effective Learning.
These focus not on what children know but how children learn.
• Playing and Exploring – children investigate and experience things and events around them and ‘have a go.’
• Active Learning – children concentrate and keep trying if they experience difficulties, as well as enjoying what they achieve.
• Creating and Thinking Critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between different and experiences and develop strategies for doing things.
At Whittle Academy this is just the start. We have designed our own bespoke curriculum that encompasses the 7 areas of learning and the characteristics of learning in an engaging and exciting curriculum that we call the 5 Ms.
We prioritise; making, conversations and learning to communicate, mark making and understanding the meaning of marks, developing secure early mathematical skills, exploring the marvelous world around them, and giving children the opportunities to use and develop their muscles and movement.
Magic is at the heart of all we do, making sure that the children are engaged and excited in all their learning. This could be anything from coming into their classroom to find that a beanstalk has grown in their classroom over night when learning about the story of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ or finding a new role play corner stocked full of resources to explore.
All the learning and experiences of the children are recorded on Tapestry our on-line learning journal. Tapestry builds a very special record of a child’s experiences, development and learning journey through their early years education at Whittle. Parents or carers can view their child’s progress, the activities provided for them, and how much fun they’re having, whilst also uploading their own comments and media.