Curriculum

Early Years Foundation Stage 

Birch Farm's curriculum supports The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework to ensure activities are appropriate for individual children's needs. 
We offer play based curriculum that is in line with the latest research into children’s development.
The Early Years Foundation Stage was introduced in 2008 and was revised in 2017. It is a curriculum for children from birth to the end of reception year,Staff will support children to develop and learn through 3 prime areas and as they become older adding in the four specific areas of learning. 
[Click Here] for a parents guide to the EYFS and see how you can work with us and what to expect of your child and when.

PRIME AREAS

1. Personal, social and emotional development, involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others, to form positive relationships and develop respect for others, to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings to understand appropriate behaviour in groups, and to have confidence in their own abilities. 

2. Communication, language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment, to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves, and to speak and listen in a range of situations. 

3. Physical development Involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive, and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food and exercise. 

SPECIFIC AREAS

1. Mathematics – involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and to describe shape, space and measures. 

2. Understanding of the world – Involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.  

3. Literacy – Development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials.) 

4. Expressive arts and design – involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thought, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology. 

Here at Birch Farm we build on the children’s existing skills and interests, develop their play activities to help them progress. All children learn best from experiences that are suitable for their stage of development. Play is key to the way young children learn using a combination of adult led and child initiated activities. Recent research has show this is the most appropriate way of supporting children's learning. Through play your child can develop, for example: the confidence needed for learning; the social skills needed for personal development; and the skills needed for writing. In that way your child will become more independent and will be able to tackle simple problems.  

Children’s work is displayed and valued. There are folders to track progress, which you are welcome to view at our regular parents consultation sessions and half termly reports will be completed in conjunction with yourselves. 

The weekly planning covers all areas of learning and uses the whole of the Birch Farm complex including the playbarn, garden areas and  weather permitting walks. We also have a selection of additional curriculum activities that can be added to your child's day. Each term we offer a structured music session with our trained music teacher, the day of this changes each half term to ensure all children have the opportunity to join in and all rooms have a session each week during the school term time. We also offer swimming lessons from 3yrs and ballet from 2 yrs. Ballet and swimming  are  at an additional fee and subject to availability (for those children receiving 2/3/4yr old funding this cannot be included in this entitlement  and so additional fees are still charged).

 We at Birch Farm believe that children's learning should be supported on an individual basis. To achieve this staff observe children on a daily basis and use these observations to inform their weekly planning sessions. In addition to general observations we also identify the schemas in which children are presently interested in. Schemas are patterns in children learning, children will have a dominate schema but will also develop skills through other schemas. In identifying children's schemas staff are able to tune into how individual children are learning and tailor activities to help them gain the most from them. To learn more about schemas [Click Here].


The children have the opportunity (from the age of 3Yrs) to swim within the curriculum for a small additional fee of £3 per week these are term time lessons only and are subsidised by the nursery. This is a fun, confidence building lesson, where the children attend on a 4:1 ratio with the trained swimming instructors from Birch Farm swim school. These are valuable stepping stones towards more formal swimming tuition. Please provide a NAMED costume, hat, hooded towel (Birch Farm have a selection of Bags Hats,Goggles available at the Play Barn reception). Ask a member of the management  team for more details.


Ballet lessons are held in the barn dance studio on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, staff are able to take your children to these lessons and collect them afterwards if you wish them to attend. 

PE:

Birch Farm offer PE sessions for children in Owls pre-school as part of their curriculum, PE sessions are held on various days and help children to develop core muscles and become aware of health and development in a fun way. Children explore stretching muscles, making hearts race as well as balancing activities. No additional charge is made for the PE session.

MUSIC:
 
Children undertake structured music session with Mini during the term time this introduces and supports rhythm and beat as well as developing communication and Language skills, working in teams and groups and , following more complex instructions No additional charge is made for the Music session.


Here at Birch Farm we have developed our own library. This contains a selection of books that children are able to borrow and explore at home with their parents and carers. 
Children are able to exchange books with  parents and carers as you either enter or leave nursery and our library is based in nursery reception all we ask is that you sign your book out in the log.
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