Foundation Stage at Whetley Academy
At Whetley Academy we provide a safe, welcoming, and stimulating environment, where our children are nurtured to become happy and confident members of our academy. We offer an exciting, language-rich curriculum enabling our children to make progress by developing a range of knowledge and skills, preparing them for the next step in their journey.
At Whetley our pedagogy has been influenced by Reggio Emilia and The Curiosity Approach which focus on exploration, sparking curiosity and being independent thinkers. This creates an environment that has communication and language and problem solving at the heart of it. Our children are made to feel like their conversations with practitioners are an opportunity to learn and search together. Practitioners will involve themselves in children’s play and develop the children’s skills through dialogue and enhancements. Children’s interests are valued, igniting their love for learning.
At Whetley, we have created a bespoke curriculum with our children and community at the heart of it. We have a strong focus on quality texts and rhymes that support our ethos of fostering a love of reading and language development. Our texts follow themes that fit in with seasonal events such as festivals, weather, events, seasons etc, creating opportunities to ignite children’s interest and understanding of the world around them.
Our environment reflects our pedagogy and supports our curriculum. With lots of open-ended resources and loose parts children are given opportunities to facilitate their own learning and inspire a love of learning. Enhancements provide chances for children to practise skills they have learnt and extend their own learning. We have spacious outdoor areas which enable our children to access resources on a much larger scale and connect children with the environment. Children have access to the outdoor area throughout the school day.
We are proud to be officially recognised as a ‘communication friendly setting’ having completed the Early Years Professional Development Programme in 2022. This enabled all practitioners to understand how to support communication, language and vocabulary through adult interactions and our environment.
We prioritise having a ‘language rich’ environment in EYFS where stories, rhymes, poems and songs provide our children with experiences. Through quality interactions with adults our children gain confidence to be confident communicators.
Parents as partners
From the beginning of EYFS we believe in creating strong relationships with parents, warm and positive relationships between staff and children and consistent routines. Parents are invited in regularly to join in with their child’s learning. In Little Acorns and Nursery parents are invited to join in a weekly story and rhyme session and each half term they are invited to join in with planned activities. In Reception parents are invited in each half term to join in with a lesson focussing on Literacy. Learning alongside their child, parents can see how to support their child with their learning at home. We share our children’s learning through Seesaw and Twitter and always welcome parental contributions towards children’s learning.
‘Little Acorns’ has been running since Jan 2020 and has been a hugely rewarding addition to our Early Years at Whetley Academy. Getting to know our children at an earlier age has enabled us to focus on the prime areas of learning (Communication & Language, Personal, Social & Emotional Development and Physical Development) and build positive relationships with families.
Information for parents and carers: