Academic Year 2020-2021
Learning Environment. The Foundation 1 classroom is bright and spacious. It is an ideal environment for early years children to explore and learn through purposeful play. The daily timetable enables your child to balance academic and creative tasks, both indoors and outdoors. With free-flow time as a central part of the daily timetable, your child can direct their learning and choose play activities that express their own interests and experience. Part of the timetable invites the children to learn through a more structured approach, this group time allows the teacher to introduce the learning focus of phonics, mathematics and literacy.
In Our Care. We recognise you may want to know the background childcare experiences, qualifications and studies of the teachers and childcare practitioners who care for your child.
The Foundation 1 year group lead, Miss English, has a background of studies in early years and child development. With almost ten years of studying childhood theories and practice in early years education and care, she uses her experiences to inform the learning provision. The completion of a three-year diploma in Early Years Education and Care, followed by an Early Childhood Studies degree and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, resulting in Qualified Teacher Status, has presented Miss English with early years placement experience. In order to better the support provided to children as they develop their independence in self-care, she ended her University studies with a research project that reflected on toilet training methods, parent views on toilet training and childcare practice. She is due to graduate for the third time as she completed the Masters in Education course in April last year. Now, Miss English has entered her fourth year of teaching in Foundation 1 at the Sir Donald Bailey Academy. Teaching in early years is something she thoroughly enjoys; she is excited for the learning adventures and play experiences this year.
This year, we welcomed Miss Norton to the Foundation 1 team. She graduated from University after completing a Bachelor of Education degree in Primary Education with Qualified Teacher Status. Her studies specialised in SEND and conditions for learning, ending the degree with a dissertation module that researched the impact outdoor learning has on child wellbeing. Alongside her research projects, Miss Norton experienced a variety of placements where she developed the practical skills required of a teacher. With the three years of placement experience behind her, she is feeling positive, enthusiastic and looks forward to completing her first year at the Sir Donald Bailey Academy.
The additional members of the Foundation 1 support team are practitioners with childcare experiences at level 2 to level 4, and years spent in childcare, education and early years care. Miss Bowes, Miss Watson and Miss Thompson provide helping hands and support in your child’s learning and play.
Both Miss Bowes and Miss Watson are completing training to develop themselves professionally and apply their research studies to enhance our provision. Miss Bowes is currently completing level 4 training in the Early Years Advanced Practitioner course. Miss Watson is studying level 3 Early Years Workforce at college, alongside a Certificate in Understanding Autism at level 2.
Working Together. In Foundation 1, your child’s teacher will work closely with you to support learning at home. You can significantly support your child’s development through your engagement in meaningful activities that encourage your child’s thinking and talking.
Based on evidence, the home learning activities that have the biggest impact are:
Reading, sharing books and going to the library,
Going out on visits,
Playing with print (letters and numbers),
Singing songs and nursery rhymes,
Drawing and painting (making meaningful marks).
Please view the learning activities presented to you each half. Time spent completing home learning with your child is an opportunity where they can feel listened to, their contributions valued, their ideas taken seriously and their language and thinking encouraged.
Tapestry. We want to show you the learning and play activities that your child experiences in school. We use Tapestry as a platform to celebrate children’s learning and development. This secure online learning journal builds a very special record of child’s experiences and development through observations that are share photos, videos and comments. Please make sure you activate your Tapestry account to view your child’s individual learning journey.
Communication and Language. Talking, playing and socialising with your child is the best way you can help them in their development. There are lots of basic communication and language skills involved first which children need to help them get ready for school.
Top Tips for Talking. Have some quiet time – no TV or mobile phones, this will help your child to listen and pay attention. Chat and sing together – this will help develop your child’s listening and speaking. Drop the dummy – this will help your child to have clearer speech. Praise your child – use positive words and praise when they do something well as this can help your child be more confident.
Sharing Books. It can be tempting to just use books to read. Books can be explored in a number of ways and these suggestions outline other activities to encourage your child’s speech and language. Tell the story from the pictures rather than just reading the words. Encourage your child to retell the story, either with or without the pictures. Make comment about the pictures in the story e.g. “Wow! Look at the giraffe; he’s got a long neck”.
Our Stories. Each week, we share and explore a different story. A number of stories may be familiar to your child, through home experience or earlier years in our setting. In addition to sitting together and sharing the story as a group or one to one, we explore our chosen stories through inside, outside and creative play. We plan and prepare our learning space to suit the story theme, inviting your child to engage in the repeated phrases, character play and the story setting through sensory experiences linking to sounds, touch, and observations. Sometimes, we even link our story to taste, where we act as Goldilocks and eat little bowls of porridge, or we catch the Gingerbread Man and eat him before the fox!
To start the year, we explore stories linking to our family and friends. This way we get to know more about your child as they share their experiences with connections to the story. We then continue the year and explore text on the season change, traditional tales, curious creatures, gardening, and under water. In your child’s diary, we list the stories we are due to share over the coming weeks, this way you can create discussion about the text at home.
Purple Home School Diary. Your child has a purple diary; this provides a link between home and school. To help your child share home news, events and learning please note these in your child’s diary so we can support your child to create a discussion with us. Please make note in the diary of any stories you read to your child, or the stories you share together. Research has found that children in early years who share stories and nursery rhymes with adults find it easier to learn to read.
Speech and Language. Our Speech and Language Therapist, Ms Harris, can provide guidance and support to parents and education staff that is specific to communication, speech, listening and attention.
Label, label, label! Please label all items of clothing with your child’s name, especially school jumpers. Items that have no named label will be taken to lost property.
Water bottles only. If you pack your child a drink for the session, we only accept bottles of water. Any fizzy drinks will be stored away from the provision until the end of the session. We only offer water or milk.
Physical activity. We have timetabled Physical Education (PE) with Gary West. These sessions aim to improve children’s movement and coordination. For the children to participate safely in these sessions, it is essential that they wear suitable footwear such as trainers or plimsolls.
No jewellery. For Health and Safety reasons, we do not allow the children to wear jewellery in school apart from earring studs or small objects of religious significance. No jewellery is allowed to be worn during physical activity due to safety reasons.