Early Years

In The Olives at Zaytouna Primary School our children are happy.  They are excited and motivated to learn through rich and challenging learning experiences; opportunities to explore and take risks, and first-hand experiences.

We have high ambitions for all our children and recognise that children have different starting points to their learning. We plan according to children’s stage of development so all can thrive and develop. We aim for children to be well-rounded individuals who are independent, resilient, and confident in themselves and with others.

Our partnership with families means that parents have the opportunity to work closely with us to support their children’s transition into The Olives.  We believe that you only get one ‘first day’, at Zaytouna we pride ourselves in making sure that the first day is one that children are excited about and are eager to come to school.  We believe that an excellent partnership with parents is key to ensure that parents feel secure in the knowledge that their child is well cared for and happy at school.  Our parents are welcome to be actively involved in their children’s learning in school and are able to share learning experiences through ‘stay and play’ sessions, soft starts, learning journeys and volunteering.

Every day, we provide opportunities for children to come together to share their experiences and have fun. Our children are happy, proud and feel secure knowing that we celebrate their successes and value their achievements. The curriculum is centred around children’s interests with a balance of child-initiated and adult-led learning.

Our learning environment facilitates child-initiated play and provides children with carefully planned opportunities which allow children to explore, create and learn through exciting, stimulating, interactive and accessible resources.  We are a united team with play-based child centred learning at the heart of our practice. We aim to communicate and work cooperatively with parents and carers to support our children’s development.

Our phonics learning is delivered through Read Write Inc., a highly interactive programme that teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension through engaging books and imaginative introductions.  We teach the children to ‘bounce’ and ‘stretch’ sounds and support the children’s development using ‘dot and dash’ to visually support their learning of graphemes.

Maths in the Olives is just as much fun as our phonics.  We deliver learning through concrete and pictorial methods that stimulate engagement and a love of learning.  We follow the structure of White Rose Maths which is supplemented with Power Maths to elevate the learning experiences that we provide to the children.

However, our learning is not just for adult lead sessions, children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. It is very important that they develop social skills, such as turn-taking, sharing and independence, which help them greatly in the next stages of their learning.  The guiding principles that shape our practice in the Early Years are that 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.

Learning in the Early Years is separated into the PRIME AREAS of learning and the SPECIFIC AREAS of learning as you can see in the table opposite. Alongside these areas of learning are the Characteristics of Effective Learning.

Through excellent teaching, focused observation and evidence gathering from multiple sources, teachers are highly skilled in arriving at a judgement as to whether a child is achieving a Good Level of Development (GLD).

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