Early Years at Severn View Academy

At Severn View Academy we fervently believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and be given support to fulfil their potential. To that end we fully embrace the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework that forms the basis for all our work.

Children develop quickly in the early years, and early years practitioners aim to do all they can to help children have the best possible start in life. Children have a right, spelled out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to provision which enables them to develop their personalities, talents and abilities irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family

We know that a child's experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances.

We offer a secure, safe and happy setting where we celebrate childhood in its own right.

We believe that high quality early years provision establishes a solid foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.

At Severn View we subscribe fully to the following principles:

· every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured

· children learn to be strong and independent from a base of strong and loving relationships

· the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children's development and learning

· children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. All areas of learning and development are equally important and interconnected (Early Education 2012)

· we ensure that children have equal opportunity to develop skills in each of the areas below

We believe effective early childhood education should:

· build on what children already know and can do. Young children are individuals first, each with unique talents and abilities. Schedules and routines should acknowledge the child's needs. In order to meet the child's needs children should be observed by knowledgeable practitioners in order to understand and respond to their current interests, stage of development and level of learning.

· acknowledge that parents are children's first and most enduring educators. When parents and practitioners work together, the results have a positive impact on children's development and learning.

· value and respect the diversity of individuals and communities and ensure that no child or family is discriminated against. (Early Education)

We know that a rich and varied environment supports children's learning and development through experiences and activities that are challenging yet achievable. Such an environment gives children the confidence to explore and learn in safe and secure, yet challenging, indoor and outdoor spaces. We follow the theory behind Elizabeth Jarman’s work ‘Communication Friendly Spaces’* and keep our learning environments uncluttered and neutral in tones in order to better celebrate the rich and colourful work our children produce.

*‘Communication Friendly Spaces™ focuses on practitioners ‘de-cluttering’ the learning environment. It invites practitioners to consider factors such as noise, light, colour and the use of space and resources when planning to promote speaking and listening skills.’

(Guidance note for Inspectors by Liz Elsom, Divisional Manager, Policy and Frameworks, Ofsted)

OFSTED published ‘Twenty outstanding primary schools - Excelling against the odds’ (HMI 090170), on 2nd October 2009*. Why are these schools so successful? This list identifies the reasons and we can see just how our desire to use the Communication Friendly Spaces model across the school fits into every single one!

· They provide affection, stability and a purposeful and structured experience.

· They build – and often rebuild – children’s self-belief.

· They teach children the things they really need to know and show them how to learn for themselves and with others.

· They give them opportunities, responsibility and trust in an environment which is both stimulating and humanising.

· They listen to their pupils, value their views and reflect and act on what they say. They build bridges with parents, families and communities, working in partnership with other professionals.

· They ensure their pupils progress as fast as possible and achieve as much as possible (outperforming both similar schools and many with fewer challenges).

In short, they put the child at the centre of everything they do, and high aspirations, expectations and achievement underpin the schools’ work.

And this is precisely what we aim to do at Severn View Academy both in the Early Years and across the school. Come and see for yourself.