Norton Little Learners Curriculum

Norton Little Learners Curriculum
We offer a high quality broad and balanced curriculum based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Development Matters and Birth to 5 matters.
The schools values underpin our curriculum.
Strive: that our children lead happy and fulfilled lives through seeing the best in others and in themselves; they are resilient, forward looking and appreciative
- Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships
- Provide the best start for every child
Think: that our children have the essential knowledge, skills and behaviours to guarantee that they thrive in modern Britain; the wisdom to preserve the beauty of our planet; the wisdom to make informed, positive decisions
- High expectations and equity -Ongoing learning and reflective practise
- Respect for the world we live in
Act: that our children celebrate differences and value everyone in our Norton family and wider community; they celebrate belonging to a local, national and international community and they expect inclusion
- Partnerships with parents, carers and other professionals
Respect: our children know that everyone has the right to be themselves. Norton is a place where everyone can feel safe, be happy and learn. Everyone at our school is equal and acts with respect and kindness towards each other. Our children respect themselves and are proud to be part of an inclusive school.
- Respect for diversity
Learning is play-based and takes place indoors and outside.
  • There is a balance between adult-initiated experiences (guided learning) and child- initiated experiences.
  • Adults take childrenÕs interests and strengths as a starting point, seeing each child as a competent learner.
  • Parent involvement is crucial. We learn a great deal about each child from their parents. Parental support and a high-quality home learning environment make a huge difference to children.
What is the curriculum?
The curriculum is everything we want the children to experience and learn whilst they are in pre-school. Learning includes new words, new skills and new knowledge. Experiences include caring for the pet tortoise, times when we invite people in, like emergency service visits, visiting the local park and walks in the local area. We also have extra experiences in pre-school like having caterpillars to watch their life cycle, eventually releasing the butterflies, planting seeds and watching them grow, baking and raising money for charities. Children will have the opportunity to be the “helper” of the day. We also celebrate a range of festivals and events. Children learn a great deal of our curriculum through play and activities they choose. They also learn through our careful selection of ‘key books, rhymes and songsÕ in pre- school.
Areas of learning
There are seven areas of learning, including three prime areas:
Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development
And Four specific areas of learning:
Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design
There are also three characteristics of effective learning based on how young children learn. These must be taken into account when we plan and guide children's activities.
Playing and exploring, Active learning, Creating and thinking critically
How do young children learn? How do we teach young children?
We have lots of evidence about how young children learn. Here are some of the key points:
  • Language: chatting, playing and reading with children every day helps them learn lots of new words. Language is the foundation of children's thinking. Children who are good communicators at five are most likely to be successful learners throughout their time in school.
  • Relationships: it is very important for children to feel safe and secure. That's why at Norton Little Learners we love that we are a small setting with a close-knit team of staff, who get to know children well. We also follow a key person approach. Children become more independent when they have strong and loving relationships to fall back on. They also become better at bouncing back when they find something hard, or get upset.
  • Independent play: children need uninterrupted time to choose their own play and make friends. Adults will often get involved, in a sensitive way, to help the children to learn whilst they are playing. Adults will think about the important knowledge children need and how they can learn this whilst they are playing.
  • Adult-guided play: children also need times when adults plan and guide their play. A play activity might be guided so it has a clear focus on learning to count, for example.
  • Direct teaching: sometimes adults work directly with children to teach them new things. This could include learning to use scissors, or ride a balance bike/trike, or write some of the letters of their name.
  • We offer a balance of all these different approaches.
Our medium term planning can be found in the Little Learners cloakroom. Please speak to a member of staff if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child's development and learning.
Our intent is for children to leave us confident in :
  •  Knowing about themselves and others, and how to keep safe (PSED, CL, PD, UW)
  • Having the social skills and confidence to play alongside/with other children (PSED, CL, UW)
  • Being able to make a simple choice (CL)
  • Having a go and keep on trying (PSED, PD, L, M)
  • Listening and taking turns (CL, PSED)
  • Following simple instructions (CL)
  • Knowing a number of songs and rhymes and enjoy joining in with the singing (L, M, EAD, CL, PSED)
  • Sitting at the table for snack and meal times (PSED, UW, PD)
  • Talking to an adult (CL, PSED, UW)
  • Using gross and fine motor to do things independently (PD)
  • Using mathematical concepts and language in play and everyday experiences (M)
Implementation – How we will support children
  • Observe children at play and plan activities that follow their interests and introduce them to a new ideas and concepts
  • Being specific with our praise, noting how well children solve problems, have ideas and negotiate
  • Contact the school SENCO to support children as identified
  • Work with parents to ensure they are able to support their child’s learning at home
  • Share and discuss experiences
  • Role model positive language and positive behaviour
  • Provide supervised opportunities for turn-taking
  • Provide real life experiences
  • Use visual aids to support children to express their own wants and needs if necessary
  • Well planned learning environments indoor and out that promote the focus on learning
  • Know and understand the areas of learning and development
  • By building a good relationship with both children and their immediate family
  • Know how each child plays and learns