Early Years Curriculum and Learning Journey
Small class sizes allow teachers the time to observe the children and regularly assess their individual requirements, so they can plan for the next steps of their learning. There is a focus on learning through investigation and exploration. Children are encouraged to keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and to enjoy achievements. They learn best when they are actively engaged in what they are doing, and we aim for them to become self-motivated and intrigued by learning. Children are given room to develop strategies for doing things by thinking creatively and critically.
Outdoor play and woodland school are wonderful learning environments where the constraints of the classroom are removed, and the children have the freedom to explore the world around them.
Our children play outside at every opportunity and benefit from regular Woodland school sessions. This environment naturally lends itself to creativity, invention, problem solving, trial and error, persistence, risk assessment and resilience. These are all fundamental life-long skills that will help them in adulthood. This Woodland School experience encourages children to love and nurture our natural world.
Numicon is used throughout the school and is designed to help children visualise numbers. From these visual pictures, they can see how to add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers and see the relationships between these operations. Each week in Nursery, the children are taught a different number or shape. This allows for lots of play and exploration through inspiring and well-planned activities. When the children enter Reception, we continue to build on this wonderful hands-on learning with imaginative maths sessions to help the children to manipulate numbers, explore how they connect together and identify patterns.
In the Early Years at Mowden Hall School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) occurs all of the time. Children are encouraged to explore, observe, ask questions and predict. Opportunities may set out for independent learning or adult initiated activities to help develop these skills. This enables children to make those vital connections between everyday life and the STEM disciplines. It also lays down the foundations for future academic success because the skills learned are transferable to other subjects. STEM allows children to develop their intellectual learning, which is linked to reasoning, hypothesizing, and predicting, theorizing.
Exploring with a supportive and engaged adult helps to build vocabulary and supports children to make sense of their world. Everything is new to the young child and everything needs observing and exploring. When children are engaged in STEM activities, they become more confident and successful learners, are much better able to see the connections in real life contexts and make rapid progress.
help children develop language, communication, and problem-solving skills
promote independent and collaborative learning
put children on the pathway to future academic success.
Nursery and Reception have STEM lessons that involve exciting activities designed to develop creative and critical thinkers. STEM challenges young minds to plan, make decisions about how to approach a task, solve a problem and reach a goal, this enables children to make those vital connections between everyday life and the STEM disciplines. Most of all, they are great fun!
For example, when they explore the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’, the children become designers, engineers and inventors. They use a wide range of different materials to build a house to see which would withstand the huff and puff of a big bad wolf.
Health and Wellbeing
As a parent, the health and safety of your child are one of your biggest concerns and this is something we share. All our staff undertakes regular First Aid training and, unlike most other Early Years providers, we have a school Nurse present throughout the day. Parents can therefore feel reassured that if their child is injured or taken ill, they will receive excellent care.
Our children are busy learning and having fun so we provide them with healthy drinks and snacks throughout the day to help keep their energy levels up. Every morning the children have a selection of snacks which they help to prepare themselves.
Our catering team provides a balanced and delicious hot cooked lunch. Vegetarian options are available, as well as the choice of a hot pudding, or fruit. We believe that it is just as important for children to learn how to eat properly with good table manners as it is for them to learn their lessons in the classroom.