Learning in Early Years

Welcome to Early Years Information!

 The Early Years setting is often a child’s first venture alone into the larger world outside the family home. What children experience and learn in Nursery and Reception can create strong and lasting foundations on which to build in later life, so we believe it is essential that the experiences in the Early Years are of the highest quality.


Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.

A Unique Child

Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

At St Aidan’s we:

· keep children safe

· support children to develop a positive sense of their own identity and culture

· value and respect all children and families equally

· understand and observe each child’s development and learning, assess progress and plan for next steps

· identify any need for additional support

· have high expectations of all pupils and recognition of every child’s individuality, thereby raising self-esteem, hopes and aspirations for the future


Positive Relationships

Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

At St Aidan’s we offer:

· a warm and loving environment that fosters a sense of belonging

· sensitivity and responsivity to each child’s needs, feelings and interests

· support for each child’s own efforts and independence

· consistent and clear boundaries


Enabling Environments / Learning Development

Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences build upon their individual needs, feelings and interests and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.

At St Aidan’s:

It is our intent that every child will achieve their full potential during their Early Years Foundation Stage experience at St. Aidan’s, as they enjoy learning in our high quality, inclusive educational environment led by practitioners who understand the specialist nature of early years practice. Good health, safety and emotional well-being is seen as paramount to future success in life and is reflected in our school core values of ‘Love, Compassion, Trust and Togetherness’. Learning opportunities value the inquisitive nature of children and allow them to develop as unique and autonomous learners, showing initiative, independence, creativity and resilience to challenge. The importance of child-initiated inquiry and time to become engrossed in learning activities is valued. Past learning is used as a basis for future progress and we welcome the contribution parents make to their child’s development.

Practitioners engage children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities are accessible to all within our enabling environments, which are based around the core elements of ‘Communication Friendly Spaces’ research. The seven areas of learning form the basis of our planned, purposeful learning opportunities, with a balance of adult and child-initiated activities being provided across the setting. Our environment fosters children’s ‘characteristics of effective learning’ by allowing them time to play and explore, learn actively, create and scaffold their critical thinking.

Our key focus on-entry to Nursery is the development of the ‘prime’ areas of learning: Communication and Language, Physical and Personal and Social Development. We see these areas as particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to engage, form relationships and secure healthy development.

Throughout our Early Years provision, we support children in the development of the ‘specific’ areas of learning: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design, alongside which the prime areas are strengthened and applied. At St. Aidan’s we believe that the seven areas of learning are of equal importance and depend upon each other to support the development of well-rounded individuals for the future.


Online Learning

In Early Years, our app for online learning is the ‘Seesaw Class’ app. This enables us to communicate continuously and more effectively with our children and families. We use this platform to:

· share weekly homework ‘Talk Tasks’

· upload home learning timetables that include activities, videos and links to useful teaching materials, etc.

· allow parents to share snapshots of their child’s learning and successes

· communicate with families in order to provide support and feedback that enables them to support their child during home learning situations

· share snapshots of children’s learning or successes when they are in school