Cage Green Primary School Cage Green Road, Tonbridge, Kent, TN10 4PT T. 01732 354325 F. 01732 369 468
Head Teacher: Mr Graeme Garthwaite, NPQH, Headteacher

Early Years

Please click below to see Topic Webs:

Topic Web Terms 1 & 2 2016 Marvellous Me!

Topic Web Terms 3 & 4 2017 - Let's Pretend! 

Topic Web Terms 5 & 6 2017 - Me and My World

Speech, Language and Communication Needs Leaflet

TERMS 3 & 4 2017

We have been using lots of Traditional Tales in our learning in terms 3 and 4 for our ‘Let’s Pretend’ topic. We have used the stories Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, Cinderella and The Gingerbread Man. We have been learning and retelling each story by creating story maps, acting it out using puppets and props and using the Talk for Writing Actions.

We ended our ‘Let’s Pretend’ topic by learning about pirates and having our own Pirate Day! We all enjoyed dressing up as a pirate and doing lots of pirate themed activities. We made pirate hats, created treasure maps, built pirate ships and made our own parrot pal.

We have also been learning about spring. We went on spring walks at the beginning of term 4 and then again at the end of the term to see what had changed and talk about the differences we could see. We also planted our own beans and have been looking after them to help them grow.

In term 4 we enjoyed lots of exciting activities for Book Week and Science Week. In Book Week we had a surprise Charlie and the Chocolate Factory day where we visited the Cage Green Chocolate Factory, we had a Bedtime Stories afternoon and we got to dress up as our favourite book character. In Science Week we enjoyed cooking our own lamb tagine in a Kitchen Club sessions, we explored electricity and how to make a circuit and talked about changes by making jelly and ice lollies.

At the end of term we learnt about The Easter Story and about Easter traditions and celebrations. We took part in an Easter Bonnet Parade and had a surprise visit from the Easter Bunny!

TERM 2 2016/2017

In term two we learnt about the different seasons. We talked about autumn and the changes that were happening outside. We went on an ‘Autumn Walk’ to see what changes we could see to the trees around the school.

We continued to learn using the Numicon shapes in Maths. This term we learnt to recognise each of the numerals from 1 to 10 and matched them to the correct Numicon shapes.

This term we learnt about story maps and made lots of them as a class or with a partner to help us retell a story. One of our favourites was ‘Dear Zoo’. We enjoyed learning the ‘Talk for Writing’ actions to help us remember the story.

We enjoyed lots of Christmas activities such as Christmas dinner and our Christmas party when Father Christmas came to visit us. One of our favourite days was when Prancer the reindeer came to see us. We learnt lots about reindeers and thought of ways that we could get Prancer back to Father Christmas.

TERM 1 2016/2017

In term one we began learning about recognising the Numicon shapes and which number each shape represents. We explored the shapes in the sand and water and experimented with them using paint and playdough. We learnt how to order the Numicon shapes from 1 to 10 and practised how to work with a partner.

This term we were learning about our bodies and our senses. We drew around a body and labelled the different parts of it. We also explored our senses and really enjoyed getting to explore our sense of taste by eating different flavours of crisps and trying to guess the flavour!

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.

(Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2014)

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework that sets the standards for Learning, Development and Care for children from birth up to 5 the end of the Reception year.

Four guiding principles shape our practice:

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

The Curriculum we follow:

The curriculum is everything the children do, see, hear, and feel, planned and unplanned, both indoors and outdoors. Children learn through three prime areas and four specific areas which are:

Prime areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language

Specific areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

The prime areas are fundamental, work together and support development in all other areas. The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society.

All seven areas of learning & development are important to us:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

We want our children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

  • Physical Development

We want our young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. We also aim to help them to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

  • Communication and Language

Through communication and language development we aim to give children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

  • Literacy

Through Literacy we will support children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. We believe it is important that they are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.

  • Mathematics

Through Maths we aim to give opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures. At Cage Green we use Numicon to develop strong foundations in number.

  • Understanding the World

We want our children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

  • Expressive Arts andDesign

We will encouragechildren to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

We consider that none of the seven areas of learning can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult led and child initiated activities.

In each area of learning there are Early Learning Goals (ELG's) that define the expectations for children to reach by the end of the EYFS. At the end of each school year, teachers and practitioners will make a judgment for each of the Early Learning Goals, based on ‘best fit’,  as to whether the child is at the level of “Emerging”,  “Expected” or “Exceeding” each Early Learning Goal.

A Unique Child

We recognise that every child is a competent learner who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured and that each child develops in individual ways and at varying rates. Children’s attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by feedback from others; we use praise and encouragement, as well as celebration / sharing circle times and reward points, to encourage children to develop a positive attitude to learning.

Inclusion

We value the diversity of individuals within the school and we celebrate children’s ‘differences’. All children at Cage Green Primary School are treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities. All children and their families are valued within our school.

We believe that all our children matter. We give our children every opportunity to achieve their best. We do this by taking account of our children’s range of life experiences when planning for their learning.

In the EYFS we set realistic and challenging expectations that meet the needs of all our children. We achieve this by planning to meet the needs of boys and girls, children with special educational needs, children who are more able, children with disabilities, children from all social and cultural backgrounds, children of different ethnic groups and those from diverse linguistic backgrounds.

We meet the needs of all our children through:

  • Planning opportunities that build upon and extend children’s knowledge, experience and interests, and develop their self-esteem and confidence
  • Using a wide range of teaching strategies based on children’s learning needs
  • Providing a wide range of opportunities to motivate and support children and to help them to learn effectively
  • Providing a safe and supportive learning environment in which the contribution of all children is valued
  • Using resources which reflect diversity and are free from discrimination and stereotyping
  • Planning challenging activities for children whose ability and understanding are in advance of their language and communication skills
  • Monitoring children’s progress and taking action to provide support as necessary

It is important to us that all children are ‘safe’. We aim to educate children on boundaries, rules and limits and to help them understand why they exist. We provide children with choices to help them develop this important life skill. Children should be allowed to take risks, but need to be taught how to recognise and avoid hazards.

We aim to protect the physical and psychological well-being of all children. (See our Safeguarding Policy)

Welfare

“Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them.”

At Cage Green Primary School we understand that we are legally required to comply with certain safeguarding and welfare requirements as stated in the Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage 2014. We understand that we are required to:

  • Safeguard children
  • Promote the welfare of children.
  • Ensure all adults who look after the children or who have unsupervised access to them are suitable to do so.
  • Promote good health, preventing the spread of infection and taking appropriate action when children are ill.
  • Manage behaviour effectively in a manner appropriate for the children’s stage of development and individual needs.
  • Maintain records, policies and procedures required for safe efficient management of the setting and to meet the needs of the children.
  • Ensure that the premises, furniture and equipment is safe and suitable for purpose
  • Ensure that every child receives enjoyable and challenging learning and development experiences tailored to meet their needs.

Positive Relationships

At Cage Green Primary School we recognise that children learn to be strong and independent from secure relationships. We aim to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with the children and their families.

Parents as Partners

We know that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and we highly value the contribution that parents make.

We recognise the role that parents have played, and their future role, in educating the children. We do this through:

·         talking to parents about their child before their child starts in our school; arranging an Induction Evening for Parents and Carers to visit the classrooms and meet the EYFS staff. This allows plenty of time to discuss individual children and to develop our relationship with Parents and Carers.

·         the children have the opportunity to spend time with their teachers prior to starting at our school during our four ‘Play Afternoons’ and parents and carers are welcome to stay throughout the first few visits until their child is happy to be left with staff.

·         Home Visits are arranged for each child during the first few weeks of September. This helps us to build and develop relationships and trust with parents and children.

·         offering parents regular opportunities to talk about their child’s progress and allowing free access to their children’s ‘Learning Journal’s’, Parent Consultation evenings where each child’s parents and carers are allocated time to talk to the class teacher and their child’s Key Person and time at the beginning and end of each day to talk through any concerns or issues.

·         encouraging parents to talk to their child’s Key Person or teachers about any concerns they may have.

·         arranging a range of activities throughout the year that encourage collaboration between child, school and parents. For example, fund raising days, themed activity days, celebrations and concerts including a Harvest Festival and a Nativity.

·         providing space in the child’s “Learning Journal” for parents to leave comments relating to the children’s achievements and providing each child with a “Home Learning Journal” and a weekly synopsis of Teacher Directed learning.

All staff involved with the EYFS aim to develop good relationships with all children, interacting positively with them and taking time to listen to them. At our school, each of the practitioners in each class is ‘Key Person’ to ten children.

We have good links with local pre-schools. Annual visits are undertaken by the EYFS Leader and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator to meet with the children prior to them starting at their new schools. These visits provide the opportunity to discuss individual needs and to meet the children within their pre-school environment.

                         

Enabling Environments

At Cage Green Primary School we understand that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development. This begins by observing the children and assessing their interests, development and learning, before planning challenging but achievable activities and experiences to extend the children’s learning.

Observation, Assessment and Planning

The Planning within the EYFS follows termly curriculum themes, alongside the Learning Environment Plan (fortnightly planning), which is based around the individual children’s needs and interests. These plans are drawn up after discussions with all of the Key Persons, who have a thorough understanding of their children, to ensure we take account of all the children’s individual needs and interests.

We make regular assessments of children’s learning and we use this information to ensure that future planning reflects identified needs. Assessment in the EYFS takes the form of observation, and this involves the teacher and other adults as appropriate. These observations are recorded in children’s individual ‘Learning Journal’s’. They also contain information provided by parents and other settings etc.

The Learning Environment

The EYFS learning environment is organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are areas where the children can be active, be quiet and rest. The environment is set up in learning areas where children are able to find and locate equipment and resources independently. The EYFS classes have an outdoor area which offers access to climbing, crawling, sliding, balancing, digging, pond dipping, storytelling, quiet contemplation, drama and singing and dancing, building and constructing, growing, splashing as well as having fun. This has a positive effect on the children’s development. Being outdoors offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. It offers the children the opportunity to explore, use their senses and be physically active and exuberant.  We plan activities and resources for the children to access outdoors that help the children to develop in all seven areas of learning.

                                         

Learning and Development

At Cage Green Primary School we recognise that children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. We value all areas of learning and development equally and understand that they are inter connected.

Teaching and Learning Style

As a school our policy on teaching and learning defines the features of effective teaching and learning in our school. Features that relate to the EYFS are:

  • the partnership between staff and parents, so that our children feel secure at school and develop a sense of well-being and achievement
  • the understanding and knowledge that staff have of how children develop and learn, and how this affects their teaching
  • the range of approaches used that provide first-hand experiences, give clear explanations, make appropriate interventions and extend and develop play and talk or other means of communication;
  • the carefully planned curriculum that helps children work towards the Early Learning Goals throughout EYFS
  • the provision for children to take part in activities that build on and extend their interests and develop their intellectual, physical, social and emotional abilities
  • the encouragement for children to communicate and talk about their learning, and to develop independence and self-management
  • the support for learning with appropriate and accessible indoor and outdoor space, facilities and equipment
  • the identification of the progress and future learning needs of children through observations, which are shared with parents

Playing and Exploring

“Children’s play reflects their wide ranging and varied interests and pre-occupations. In their play children learn at their highest level. Play with peers is important for children’s development.”

Through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practice and build up ideas, and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems. They express fears or re-live anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations.

Active Learning

“Children learn best through physical and mental challenges. Active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods.”

Active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need to have some independence and control over their learning. As children develop their confidence they learn to make decisions. It provides children with a sense of satisfactions as they take ownership of their learning.

Creativity and Critical Thinking

“When children have opportunities to play with ideas in different situations and with a variety of resources, they discover connections and come to new and better understandings and ways of doing things. Adult support in this process enhances their ability to think critically and ask questions.”

Children should be given opportunity to be creative through all areas of learning, not just through the arts. Adults can support children’s thinking and help them to make connections by showing genuine interest, offering encouragement, clarifying ideas and asking open questions. Children can access resources freely and are allowed to move them around the setting to extend their learning.

Skills for School

Overview:

When your child is starting school you will want them to be able to make the best use of their time there. Here are some things you can do to help before actually starting school.

Remember that all children develop at different rates and will start school with varying levels of skills and achievements. Don’t be alarmed if your child seems to be ‘behind’ others, just keep encouraging and helping with some of the things suggested here.

To get the best out of time in school, your child needs to have developed certain skills. These will help your child to:

·         feel happy with a range of different people

·         be confident about working or playing as part of a group

·         learn to read, to write and to handle numbers.

In order to be happy with a range of different people your child has to have a certain level of self confidence. She needs to know that she is valued and an important person. Being able to complete certain tasks alone will help your child to feel good and develop their self-esteem.

Being Independent

Try saying things like “I’m sure you can put this T-shirt on yourself”. Then say “Well done, I knew you could”. Let your child see that you believe in them, that you have confidence in their abilities and then praise all attempts. Refer to these new skills when you can. When you next see friends and family, let them know about these new skills, in front of your child. Don’t try this method if your child is unwell or tired. Do try it when they are in a positive mood and make sure you set a task that you really do know they can achieve. They must be able to succeed.

Use this approach to encourage independent skills such as

·         getting dressed and undressed

·         going to the toilet and hand washing afterwards

·         using a knife and fork

·         eating food in a socially acceptable manner

Being Part of a Group

Many activities in school are carried out in groups. Some will be the whole class, but most will be in groups of four to six children sharing an activity, and one adult. Your child needs to have experience of being part of a group. If they go to nursery or playgroup this is usually a skill they will have developed there. However, some children are used to the undivided attention of an adult. This cannot always happen in school where there are 29 other children. If you feel this may be difficult for your child you will need to plan some experiences for them.

·         Play a game as a family, and don’t let them win every time. They need to know that others can win and how to react. They need to see how you react when someone else wins, so that they learn how to enjoy someone else’s success.

·         Play games where they have to take turns. Made sure that they are not always first to go or the first to choose. Life includes times when we cannot have our own way and this is a lesson best learned early. Counter this with times when they gets to choose and times when they have the first go.

·         Make sure they help to tidy toys and games away.

·         Use these ideas to develop social skills such as; responding to adults and children politely, in actions and in words, taking turns when playing with other children and tidying away when they have completed an activity or at the end of the day.

Preparing for school

School is also to do with learning in an academic sense. There are certain skills which your child must have first if they are to be able to take a full part in this.

Writing:

Before your child starts using pencils and pens to write, they need lots of opportunities to develop the skills required to do so (called fine motor skills). Give them opportunities to ‘write’ with their fingers in sand and on different surfaces, to feel and trace the shapes of letters that have been cut out of different materials (for example, sandpaper).

Have a name label on their bedroom door. You can make one on a piece of paper or a scrap of wood, using felt tip pens or some leftover paint. Write it in small (lower case) letters with a capital only for the first letter. Children ‘read’ the pattern of a word at first and block capital writing makes every word into a rectangle.

Write their name on drawings before hanging them up, so that they see their name. Let your child trace over it or try it on their own. If they have a long name; encourage them to learn it a little at a time. Felt tips flow more smoothly than others and are good ones to use to start with. Check how they are holding the pen – they should be holding it correctly – it can be difficult to change bad habits later.

Provide paper and colouring equipment and encourage your child to use them. Boys often need more encouragement than girls. Try making up stories as you share the drawing. For example, “Here’s a tall, thin man. Oh look, he’s got a little brown dog with him. Can you draw a ball for the little dog to fetch?” and so on.

Concentrating on a Task and Completing it:

Praise your child for completing tasks, such as a jigsaw or a colouring book picture. If they stop before they finish, and it won’t take long to actually finish it, encourage them to complete it, helping yourself if necessary. Try not to put them under too much pressure however.

Following Instructions:

When you ask your child to do something, only give one instruction at a time. When they can follow it perfectly, give them two instructions at a time, and so on. Remember that children are all at different stages of development – even those whose birthdays may be close together – and what is easy for some may still be too difficult for others. Keep encouraging your child and praise them when they succeed.

Listening:

Children need to be good listeners in school, as they will need to listen to their teachers for extended amounts of time.
When you are speaking to your child, make sure that they are looking at you. Giving ‘eye contact’ is a powerful social skill. We all need to do it. Watch people when you are out. Good listeners keep looking at the speaker. When you are speaking ask your child to look at you. Hold their gaze by looking back at them. Give positive signals and a warm smile.

Build up your child’s listening stamina as you share stories. Set a good example and they will copy you.

How to Help Your Child Make a Good Start

Overview:

Remember what it is like to start a new job or move to a new area. Some things can be quite worrying and others can seem quite exciting. That is probably something like the feelings in your child’s mind as they approach starting school. The following information is a reminder of the things that can become worries for your children, so that you can deal with them before this happens and help your child to make a confident and enjoyable start to school.

“Will they know who I am?”

Explain that the EYFS staff are expecting them and looking forward to seeing them in September. Their name and photograph will be on a card for them to ‘self-register’ with in the morning and their name will also be next to a coat hook, on all their books and on a special drawer or tray. Make sure they can recognise their name and can respond to adults in a polite way.

“Where will you be?”

If your child is used to pre-school this may not cause much concern. However, it is still worth reassuring your child about what other members of the family will be doing whilst they are at school.

Reassure them that you will be coming back to collect them at the agreed time and show them where you will be waiting.

Before your child starts school you will complete the form with your contact details. Explain what you are doing. Let them know that the school knows where you are and can phone you if necessary. Don’t overplay this however, as you don’t want them to link school with feeling ill or having accidents. You just want them to feel that you are not out of reach.

At the End of the Day

Ask your child how they have been and if they have had fun. If you ask your child what they have done, you are most likely to be told “I can’t remember” or “I played”. Respond positively to any concerns they have and make sure they have understood what has happened or what the adults meant when they said something.

“What Happens if I want to go to the Toilet?”

Remind your child where the toilets are (and look at the “photo booklet”) and explain that they will need to ask so that the teachers know where they are. Make sure your child knows how to wash their hands afterwards.

Make sure your child can see to their own personal hygiene. Remind them that if they gets into difficulties, has an accident or is unwell, then they should ask for help. Remind your child of the need for personal privacy. If anyone does anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, then they should tell an adult.

“Can you come to school too?”

Be firm about this. School is a special place for your child and the other children. Explain how you will come in to the door with them and that an adult will help them to make sure all of their things are safely stored away. Let your child know there will always be a member of staff at the door everyday to greet them. Don’t drag out this time of parting. Hand your child over to staff in a positive way. Let them see that you are not worried about leaving them there, to help them feel this is a place where they will be safe. The staff are experienced in handling children who find this a difficult moment and your child will have things to distract them which will help them to settle quickly. The school will always contact you if they need to, so during the day remember you are probably worrying more about your child than they are – they will be thoroughly enjoying themselves!

If your child does get distressed the staff have ways to help you and your child overcome this. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and take the school’s advice. They have seen this and dealt with it before.

“What will I do when I stay for lunch?”

If school lunch is the option you prefer, remind your child about choosing something hot to eat which they will place on the tray. Make sure your child can use a knife and fork and tell them how to ask for help.

If you prefer to give your child a packed lunch, make sure they know exactly what their lunchbox looks like and that it has their name on it (there are usually several of the same design and colour). Go through the food that is in it and check they can open things. A box or foil wrapping is much easier to open than cling film. Practise having lunch together using the school lunchbox at home. Remind your child that there are Midday Meal Supervisors who will help them.

“What is a PD bag for?”

Explain about playing with bats and balls, dancing and using large equipment in the school hall. Show your child the special clothes for this and how they will keep them in this special bag which is kept on their peg. Talk about the need to get changed for these activities as they will get hot. Compare your child with a famous sportsperson wearing a strip or special clothes. Makes sure they can manage to put on and take off their plimsolls or trainers independently.

Coat Hooks

Your child’s name and photograph will their coat peg is. Make sure your child can use the tag inside their coat to hang it on the peg and that their PD bag has a simple drawstring so that it doesn’t fill all the space on the hook and make the coat fall off.

Uniform

Let your child practise wearing their new uniform, becoming familiar with how it goes on and fastens up. If they have a new coat, help them get used to what it looks like – at the end of a tiring school day, many forget and look for an old, familiar one. Mark all your child’s clothes clearly with their name and show them where the names are and check them occasionally for any fading.

To sum up

By helping your child know what to expect, you will help them enjoy the new experience. Be positive about this new and exciting step in their life and enjoy it with your child.