Sandleford employs a fully qualified Early Years teacher to guide and plan the curriculum from the Baby Room through to the Reception class (4 - 5 year olds).
In the Baby and Toddler Rooms, each Room Leader has the training and experience to deliver a varied and exciting daily programme with support from other staff. This includes singing, creative activities and games to encourage counting and speech development.
From the age of 3, when they are able to understand and enjoy more structured routines, children have specialist teachers for languages, music, sport, drama and dance, whilst still having plenty of time to learn through play and express themselves independently.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum is followed all the way through Sandleford. There are three prime areas and four specific areas of learning which inter-relate and are taught in a linked way.
1) Personal, Social & Emotional Development
The personal, social and emotional development of each child is central to the school’s philosophy and ethos, its aims, attitudes and values. We aim to enable each child to think and act for him/herself; acquire personal qualities and values; develop confidence and independence; value and respect him/herself and others — including belongings, living things and the environment.
We encourage the children to share and co-operate with others and form positive relationships with adults and peers.
We provide a variety of learning experiences in order that the children continue to be interested, excited and motivated to learn and so that they develop an understanding of cultural and ethnic diversity in the community.
Moral issues are given specific focus during ‘Circle Time’. The children are encouraged to develop understanding and empathy towards others through discussion and games in a circle setting.
2) Physical Development
The children’s physical development is encouraged through the provision of opportunities for them to be active and pro-active, allowing them to improve their skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement.
They are supported in using all their senses to learn about the world around them and to make connections between new information and what they already know. The children are encouraged to develop an understanding of the importance of physical activity and of making healthy choices in relation to food.
3) Communication & Language
The development of good listening and language skills underpins the EYFS educational programme.
Priority is given daily to increasing vocabulary and providing speaking and listening opportunities.
We encourage each child to talk about his/her own experiences, listen to others and take part in phonic and rhyming activities, singing, role-play and a wide variety of games.
The children are supported in developing their understanding of problem-solving, reasoning and numeracy in a broad range of contexts. We encourage them to practise and talk about their understanding through stories, songs, games and imaginative play. The children are helped to become confident and competent in using key skills in such areas as counting, sorting, matching, seeking patterns and working with numbers, shapes, space and measures.
Children in Reception follow the Ginn Abacus Mathematics Scheme, which provides a blend of focused class teaching, group games and activities, individual workbooks and sheets and stresses the use of mental strategies.
Additional resources are made available to extend and challenge the more able.
There is a strong emphasis on supporting, developing and extending pre-reading and writing skills at the earliest stages.
Mark-making and letter formation are enlivened through fun activities using sand, paper and card with a colourful range of pencils, chalks and pens.
The initial stages of learning to read and write are supported by the Jolly Phonics Scheme. The children learn letter sounds and blends through the use of puppets, songs, actions, games, puzzles and videos. The love of books and reading is promoted and parental involvement is strongly encouraged.
Technology and ICT are used to access and enrich the children’s learning experience.
3) Understanding the World
The children are supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world.
They are offered opportunities to use a range of tools safely; encounter creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environment and in real-life situations; undertake practical ‘experiments,’ and work with a range of materials.
4) Expressive Arts & Design
Creativity is fundamental to successful learning. The children’s creativity is developed by the provision of support for their curiosity, exploration and play.
They are given opportunities to explore and share their ideas and feelings through Art, Music, Dance and Movement, imaginative and role-play activities and Design and Technology.