Early Years Approach
At Medlock Valley Primary School we strive to give each child the best possible start in life with the firm belief that the Early Years are the foundation blocks for a child’s education and experience throughout their school life. We recognise each child as a unique individual and have high expectations of all our children, supporting them to develop independence throughout their time in Early Years as well as to build personal, social and learning skills that support them throughout their journey at Medlock Valley.
We are committed to providing high quality care and education and aim to provide a wide range of learning experiences that meet the varied needs of all our children. Children’s interests, previous experience and needs are carefully considered when planning for their learning opportunities and experiences.
Learning through play and practical hands on experiences underpins our approach to teaching and learning in Early Years. Through play, children develop a number of skills such as language, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills and are given opportunities to develop these skills in a safe and nurturing environment.
Children are encouraged to be independent in their learning, with adults facilitating and enabling them to practise and learn new skills and revisit and consolidate prior learning and experiences at their own level and pace. Independent learning takes place both indoors and outdoors and it is in these different environments that children explore and discover their immediate world.
Adults model and provide time, space and appropriate resources which inspire independent learning opportunities and ignite the imaginations of children.
We strive to build good relationships with parents and carers to secure a strong link between home and school. We understand that parents play a key role in children’s development, therefore it is essential for us to have a strong partnership with parents to ensure each child reaches their full potential.
When children leave Reception, not only are they Year One ready but well-rounded individuals with a positive attitude to learning.
Making it REAL
Making it REAL (Raising Early Achievement in Literacy) is an award-winning programme that works with practitioners to support children’s early literacy and development.
Parents are their children’s main educators and by engaging them in their children’s early development, it has been shown to improve children’s outcomes and help to narrow the gap between disadvantaged and other children.
This programme helps to build parents’ knowledge and confidence so that they can help their children with reading, writing and maths, whilst creating a positive early home learning environment.
Here at Medlock Valley Primary (within COVID-19 guidelines) we are working to deliver a REAL project throughout the nursery and reception years, providing families with ideas, resources and fun activities to enhance their children’s progress.
Using the four key strands of literacy, environmental print, books, oral language and mark making, we work with the ORIM framework, supporting parents to provide Opportunities, Recognition, Interaction and Models of Literacy and Maths.
Communication, Language and Literacy
Communication is fundamental to children’s development. It supports the ability of a child to communicate with others and to express and understand feelings. It also supports a child’s thinking ability and helps them to develop and maintain relationships.
In order for children to become effective communicators they need to be able to use speech and language appropriately so that they can understand what is said to them and be clearly understood by others.
Poor language predicts poor literacy skills and, without the right help, between 50% and 90% of children with persistent communication needs go on to have reading difficulties. Vocabulary at the age 5 is a very strong predictor of the qualifications achieved at school leaving age and beyond.
At Medlock Valley Primary we support children to close the language gap, by providing a total communication approach.
- Create an environment which promotes active listening and values what everyone has to say, whilst ensuring that all children have the confidence to speak out when they don’t understand.
- Provide real life, hands-on experiences which promote the development of language and communication skills.
- Provide opportunities for speaking and listening across all areas of the curriculum.
- Ensure that all members of staff understand their responsibilities in developing the communication skills of the children with whom they work.
- Develop communication strategies appropriate to children’s specific, individual needs, to empower them to communicate effectively.
Children are taught a range of visual strategies to develop and extend their vocabulary, including Signalong. For more information see; www.signalong.og.uk
Please see the video below to join in with your child singing (Good Day) our Signalong song of this half term:
Story Time Phonics
We use the Story Time Phonics programme which follows Letters and Sounds to teach Reception/KS1 children synthetic phonics. Story Time Phonics uses a well-loved story book for each phoneme taught making learning to read and write memorable and meaningful.
Each story has a captivating film which is introduced by the Phonics Fairy. She uses a memorable caption and action linked to every sound to contextualise and embed learning. ‘Sparkle Marks Sayings’ also remind children how to form each grapheme enabling them to write recognisable letters which are correctly formed.