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North Lane, West Hoathly, West Sussex, RH19 4QG
Tel: 01342 810302 | Email: office@westhoathlyschool.co.uk
Headteacher: Annabelle Fox

Early Year's Curriculum

At West Hoathly School our curriculum is based on the framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. It states that the seven areas of learning and development “must be implemented through planned, purposeful play”. In addition to this the framework says that “Practitioners must respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction.” The EYFS framework also describes the “Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning ... playing and exploring ... active learning and creating and thinking critically.” This approach to teaching and learning underpins all that we do in Hedgehog Class and our children's wellbeing is at the heart of our curriculum. Our core values of Love, Hope and Forgiveness are woven through our daily practice and are modelled by both the staff and our children.  

The seven areas of learning are: 

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development 

  • Communication and Language 

  • Physical Development  

  • Understanding the World 

  • Mathematics 

  • Literacy 

  • Expressive Arts and Design 

The first 3 of these areas are known as the Prime areas and these are vital to learning and development across all other areas of the Early Years curriculum and beyond.  

We believe that all our children are unique and should be treated as so. We know that children flourish and learn best when they feel safe, confident and well supported. Our aim is to provide a happy, secure and stimulating environment in which our children flourish and develop as individuals. We provide learning experiences that spark their curiosity and develop a love of learning. 

We provide a language rich environment through a diverse range of texts and meaningful conversations to support children with their speaking, listening and understanding. Our children develop confidence, resilience and independence through child-led learning and we provide an environment where our children can create, explore and challenge themselves both indoors and outdoors. We have an inclusive approach to learning, and we challenge and support all of our learners, wherever their starting points may be. 

Hedgehog Class is a mixed aged class with both Reception and Year 1 children. Although the Reception children mainly follow their own interests, they still have opportunities to access some of the learning linked to the overarching themes that drive the Year 1 curriculum. Reception and Year 1 are taught separately for some lessons or learning sessions each day. 

At the end of the Reception year, there are 17 Early Learning Goals (ELGs) that children are assessed against. For those children who meet their ELG's, their progress is 'expected' and for those who don't quite meet them, their progress is 'emerging'. Children who do not meet all of the ELGs are supported within Year 1 to consolidate any gaps they may have before moving onto Year 1 learning. We believe that it is important that our Year One curriculum is ready for our children, not that our children are ready for Year One.  

In addition to this, we use our observations and interactions to note the children's interests and progress and we use this to plan purposeful activities. Learning is individualised and we plan for next steps so that all children can achieve and make progress.  

We work closely with our parents and carers to build positive partnerships so that our children make the very best start to their school journey.  Communication is key and we really value the relationships with parents that we build throughout the year. 

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