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We are a team of children who love to be active, explore, and be curious about ourselves, the world and each other. We enjoy sewing, cooking, woodwork, stories, music, art, drama, climbing, and especially talking and laughing together. Through all these opportunities we are learning to become resilient individuals who are able to problem solve and persevere with tasks even when they find them a challenge. At St Mary’s, we know we are supporting children to be a life-long, independent and effective learners.
We work hard to foster positive relationships with children, and between children and value just how important these partnerships are.Right from the start, we endeavour to ensure that caring, nurturing and warm relationships are developed between the whole Fledglings community, which includes the staff, children and parents. We talk regularly about being a ‘Fantastic Fledgling’ behaviours, which tie into the school values, and support these young children to see how they can live out the school values in their day to day class participation. These behaviours include, keeping going when they find an activity difficult, supporting another child with shoes or coats without being asked by an adult, solving their own disputes, or helping other children to solve a dispute without adult intervention. We talk as a class about what it means to be a ‘Fantastic Fledgling’. We promote calm, positive interactions with all children in order to enable them to quickly grow in confidence and independence.
We work really closely with our friends in Kingfishers Class (Year 1) and believe that a child learns best through child-initiated play where they can build important life skills such as curiosity, concentration, creativity, problem solving, use of their imagination and persistence through purposeful play experiences. Although we follow the child’s lead, we recognise each child’s different starting points and use broad themes based around children’s interests to promote key aspects of a child’s development that we would be encouraging through this play.
Miss Prud'homme I am delighted to work be part of the wonderful team at St Mary’s School as the Early Years Teacher, having previously taught in a school just outside Oxford. I completed my degree in Early Childhood Studies and my PGCE, specialising in Early Years, at the University of Warwick. I am the KS1 and EYFS lead, as well as an assistant headteacher.
I am passionate about creative teaching and never fail to be amazed at what children can achieve. I am excited to be part of the learning journey of such wonderfully enthusiastic children. I am enjoying working with a small team of Early Years professionals creating a stimulating environment where every child is motivated to learn and happy at school .
In my spare time I enjoy woodwork and upcycling pretty much anything I can get hold of, and using all sorts of tools to see what I can make.
Our Approach to Early Years
From the very start of their St Marys School journey, our children show us that play is our brain’s favourite way of learning, which is why it’s the centre of our EYFS and KS1 curriculum. We believe that continuous provision helps independent, inquisitive and motivated learners to flourish by meeting the language, social, emotional and physical needs of our children.
Continuous provision at St Mary's enables children from all backgrounds to have the same opportunities, providing a rich variety of practical experiences. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for extending and practicing what they have been learning and complete challenges which are designed to foster and ignite their curiosity. Children are taught to use life-long skills such as perseverance, problem solving and responsibility in their day to day routine and plan their own learning enquiries. The flexibility and ownership that children have of their learning means that opportunities can be easily adapted to meet the specific needs of each individual child – no matter what their starting point. The Early Years Framework (2021) states that “Practitioners must consider the individual needs, interests, and development of each child in their care, and must use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development.”
The framework also states it does not "prescribe a particular teaching approach".
We achieve this through Planning in the moment which fully allows this to happen and encourages the children to pursue their own interests. Planning in the moment means that the learning environment, both the indoor environment and outdoor environment, constantly needs to be reviewed and adapted to ensure there remains challenge, variety and high quality resources. In this way, children’s levels of involvement remain deep. Involvement refers to be being intensely engaged in activities and is believed to be a necessary condition for deep level learning and development.
Additional information about the Early Years is available by following the links below.
Phonics Phonics is taught daily in a group that is working on a specific set of sounds according to the ability of the child. Each session has a distinct structure and utilises Read Write Inc (RWI). Children take home a RWI material matched to the appropriate level to re-read and develop fluency.
Phonics support continues for as long as a child requires it.
Tales Toolkit We continue to use Story Telling resource Tales Toolkit to support children's' imagination, vocabulary and confidence with literacy.
Reading books All children will be given a reading book which matches the stage of phonological awareness to share with you at home. Once the children are ready to start more formal phonics lessons, they will then be sent home with a 'RWI Ditty Book' book that meets the individual needs of your child as well as their phonics book.
Please read with them regularly at home and discuss the book's characters and themes. Ask them questions about what has been read, give summaries of the book and see if they can make predictions about what could happen next as you read.
Bird Box Library All children in Fledglings class, as well as children throughout the KS1 building, have access to the the 'Bird Box' Library and have the opportunity to borrow a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books which they can select themselves. If you would like to borrow books from the library for siblings, please speak to a member of staff.
Reading Café We have previously run a reading café to invite parents to read with their children. We are looking at creative and safe ways to reinstate this to comply with Covid Restrictions.
Snack We provide a daily snack for the children. Children receive free fruit and vegetables through the Government's Free Fruit and Vegetables Scheme (SFVS) which aims to help children achieve their 5 A Day. The children in Fledglings like to try by adventurous foods and we often have other healthy options, not provided by the scheme, available for children to try, such as peppers, melon, pineapple, raspberries, blueberries and pomegranates. In addition to this we also provide fresh drinking water and milk.
Snack is a social time and an adult sits with children during this time, modelling and promoting language. Children are encouraged to be independent at snack time, pouring their own drink, tidying their own fruit waste and developing table manners.
Cooking Once our COVID Risk Assessments allow, children will begin small group cooking again. This is done on a cycle. Goodies are taken home to be shared with family and friends and will also be shared at our reading cafe. We have previously cooked scones, fruit kebabs, chocolate brownies and jam tarts. We are looking at creative and safe ways to reinstate this.
To find out more about applying to our nursery please visit St Mary’s Early Years page.