Who Are We?
Class Teachers - Mrs Harrison & Mr Lovatt
Teaching Assistants - Mrs Webb, Mrs Mullins, Ms Couchman, Miss Hill, Mrs Lansley
Our Current Remote Learning Sway
Click on the picture below to see a list of all of our daily Sways, detailing all of the activities to complete remotely at home.
Our Two-Year, Long & Medium Term Planning
Once opened, click on each subject title to open a Sway containing our Medium Term Planning for that subject.
Summer Term 2022
This term the starting point for our learning is the book 'Egg Drop' by Mini Grey.
We will learn about things that fly; birds, insects and machines!
We will find out about the history of flight and experiment with creating our own flying machines.
Spring Term 2022
This term the starting point for our learning is the book 'Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?' by Eric Carle.
We will find out about life in a cold climate and the people and animals who live there.
Autumn Term 2021
This term the starting point for learning in the Early Years is the book ‘Think Big’ by Kes Grey. This book features lots of our favourite nursery rhyme characters so we will learn, perform and enjoy lots of traditional songs and rhymes.
Please click on the planning mindmap below to see specific statements for each subject.
In September 2021, we adopted Little Wandle Letters and Sounds as our validated Early Reading and Phonics programme. Click the logo to find out more.
Summer Term 2021
This term we are finding out about dinosaurs and enjoying the stories of ‘The Girl and the Dinosaur’ by Hollie Hughes and 'Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs' by Giles Andreae.
Please click on the planning mindmap below to see specific statements for each subject.
Spring Term 2021
This term we are finding out about nocturnal animals and enjoying the story of ‘Owl Babies’ by Martin Waddell.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The 'Early Years Foundation Stage' (EYFS) is the stage of a child's development from birth to the end of the Reception year at school. It is based on four important principles:
A unique child
Learning and development
Our intent for our Early Years
At Black Firs, the EYFS curriculum is designed to encourage independent, inquisitive and happy life-long learners who are equipped with the resilience and confidence for life in our ever-changing world. We recognise children’s prior learning and different starting points and create a holistic curriculum that maximises opportunities for first hand experiences and builds strong foundations for the future.
Every child is recognised as a unique individual and we understand that all their learning journeys will be different. We acknowledge and celebrate children’s interests and provide opportunities for children to follow their imagination and creativity through play.
We provide vibrant continuous indoor and outdoor provision that supports and challenges children in investigating, developing and applying their skills.
At Black Firs we see parents as our partners and work with them to encourage and support children to be the best they can be. We value the importance of a successful transition into KS1 and work with our infant team to provide children with the skills, attitudes and behaviours needed to make a strong start in Year 1.
In Preschool and Reception, we meet the welfare requirements laid down in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021). We actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all our children. We recognise that children learn most effectively when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with the adults who care for them. We aim to provide a setting that is a safe and stimulating environment where children are able to enjoy learning and grow in confidence and independence.
We begin by ensuring a strong foundation in the Prime areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language. We know that unless a child is secure in these areas, learning and development in the specific areas of the EYFS framework will be limited.
Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-led activities and challenges organised as a ‘play sandwich’ during our day.
How does this look in practice…
Black Firs children are provided with plenty of time to engage in exploration through enticing experiences centred on their interests and deeply rooted in a love of books and reading.
Reading is at the heart of our EYFS curriculum and we follow a DfE validated early reading programme to ensure a strong start for all our children.
We follow a maths mastery approach in Reception with an emphasis on key skills so that our children develop a deep understanding and acquisition of mathematical language.
Our inclusive approach means that all children play and learn together but we are timely in our intervention and support for children not reaching their potential or those who are ready for more challenge.
We are reflective practitioners with a good subject knowledge. We welcome professional discussion and development. This is supported by engagement with other EYFS practitioners across our cluster of local schools.
We build strong relationships with parents and families from the outset. We keep them informed through our use of Earwig and Teams, and through more formal parents’ evenings. We value parents’ contributions to their child’s journey and share and celebrate successes with them.
We aim to ensure all children progress through a balanced and creative EYFS curriculum. We strive to ensure that every child makes a good level of progress from their individual starting points, including vulnerable groups such as though with SEND, PP or EAL children. Every child gets the best possible start to their Black Firs journey. We take the following measures to check we are achieving this;
- We record quality Earwig observations of children whilst they play and learn. These inform our professional judgements and steer our planning to ensure our practice remains relevant and appropriate.
- Summative phonics assessments are completed half termly for all our Reception children
- Each term we use a checkpoint spreadsheet to highlight children ‘on track’ and ‘not on track’ to meet the requirements of the Early Learning Goals for Reception, or the Development Matters guidance for 3 to 4 year olds for our Pre-schoolers.
- Parents are invited to provide evidence of their child’s learning at home through Earwig.
The impact of our curriculum is also measured by how effectively it helps our children develop into well rounded individuals who embody our Black Firs values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens.
At the end of EYFS Black Firs children;
- Have strong communication skills. Our children listen respectfully and with a tolerance of the views of others. Our children speak up and ask for help.
- Take pride in all that they do and always strive to do and be their best.
- Demonstrate emotional resilience and the ability to persevere when they encounter a challenge.
- Develop a sense of self-awareness and become confident in their own abilities.
- Are kind, respectful and honest, demonstrate inclusive attitudes and have a sense of their role in our wider society.
Applying for a place at Pre-School
Preschool Admissions Statement
Our pre-school offers children a true “pre-school year” before they move up to Reception. We operate three intakes per school year to coincide with our main school terms, September, January and April. Each intake is reviewed separately each term and priority will always be given to parents of children who are applying to Black Firs Reception the following September. This can mean that availability for sessions changes each intake. For example, we may be able to offer full time in September, but only 15 hours in January or April to allow us to accommodate more Reception starters. Parents will be contacted before the start of every term if we need to reassess their current sessions.
With their own purpose-built EYFS building, which is shared with Reception, our pre-school children enjoy a well-rounded school experience so that when the time comes to start “big school” they are raring to go!
Children can start the term they turn three which means they also qualify for the 15 hours free universal funding, and, if both parents are working, will also be eligible for the 30 hours funding. To find your eligibility code or to register for the free universal hours, please go to Childcare Choices | 30 Hours Free Childcare, Tax-Free Childcare and More | Help with Costs | GOV.UK
We operate a waiting list for each intake and, even though we try our best to accommodate every request, we do fill up very quickly. Priority will always be given to Reception starters.
To get your child onto our waiting list, please complete all of the forms in our pre-school application pack which can be found below and return them to our school office by post, email (email@example.com|) or pop them straight to us between the hours of 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday-Friday by hand.
Once applications are received, we apply similar criteria to that applied to our Reception school starters with priority given to those children who will be joining our school once they reach compulsory school age. This means that we prioritise siblings and children living nearest to school first. We understand that attending our Preschool but being unable to secure a place in our Reception class would be disappointing and disruptive so applying the same criteria hopefully lessens the chances of this happening.
Places in our preschool fill up quickly and we endeavour to offer all children a minimum of 15 hours (2 full days and one morning or afternoon) in our setting before joining our Reception class. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee full time places so some of our children attend two settings if full time childcare is required. In this event we work closely with other childcare providers to ensure continuity of care and a smooth transition into our Reception class.
We encourage you to apply for your child’s preschool place as soon as you can. This enables us to manage our numbers and plan staffing.
Parents will be contacted by email by the school office to offer a pre-school place prior to the start of each term. Emails will be sent in June for the September intake, November for the January intake and February for the April intake. You will also be contacted if you have been unsuccessful in securing a place for that term and offered the next available term.
Late applications are always welcome, however to avoid disappointment, it is better to plan well ahead and get your application to us as soon as you can.