The Early Years Department at Park Community Academy is a welcoming, stimulating environment where your child will be inspired and motivated to learn. Children develop and achieve through commitment, team work and a sense of belonging to a caring school community.
Our strengths are:
- The happy, safe and secure learning environment.
- The close relationships that we build with parents, carers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and other professionals that enable us to fully understand the needs of each child.
- The positive relationships established between staff, governors, children and the school community as a whole.
- The high quality of teaching and learning within the department.
- The purpose built provision and extensive range of appropriate equipment within the department.
The Early Years Department of the school is housed in the purpose built Jubilee Building, where we cater for the needs of our young children aged 3 and over who have an Education, Health and Care Plan.
The Jubilee Building comprises of:
- Two classrooms - with attached pupil-centred toileting, washing and changing facilities;
- A Sensory Studio - this newly developed room provides an immersive learning environment. This allows the children to be totally "immersed" in a self-contained simulated environment while experiencing it as real. It is a highly visual and engaging experience for all our children to further develop their technical, creative, problem-solving and speaking and listening skills.
- A Soft Play Room - this is an enclosed space where the walls and floor are padded and the layout consists of multi-levels connected with steps, slopes, wedges, tunnels and blocks. Physical exercise, expression and interaction are encouraged whilst children enjoy playing and learning within this safe environment;
- Secure outdoor play areas with a safety enhanced surface. This includes purpose built storage for all outdoor play equipment and a range of static wooden climbing frames to further develop gross motor skills.
- Two rooms available for the use of therapists, meetings etc.
- Separate food preparation area and washing machine facilities.
Help is also given by visiting professionals, whose contributions enrich the children's experience and learning. These may include Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, School Medical Officer, School Nurse, Dentist, Audiologist, the Physical/Sensory/Complex Needs Co-ordinator, Social Workers and the Education Welfare Officer.
All staff work in close liaison with each other in order to provide a happy, caring, stimulating and secure learning environment for your child. Liaison between staff and parents/carers is also essential to enhance the learning process.
How my child will be learning
The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development.
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
· Communication and language;
· Physical development; and
· Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
· Understanding the world; and
· Expressive arts and design.
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is the equivalent of a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it's suitable for very young children, and it's designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
How can I find out how my child is getting on?
It is important that you and the teachers and SSA’s caring for your child work together. You need to feel comfortable about exchanging information and discussing things that will benefit your child.
At Park Community Academy you will have the opportunity to discuss your child’s needs with the team leader of the department and your child’s class teacher.
There will be parents evening and review meetings arranged throughout the year and the home/school diary will be available each day.
You can of course call to talk to your child’s teacher at any other time if you have any concern or important news.
The homework book will also keep you fully informed of the main learning outcomes each week and will provide an opportunity for you to let us know how your child is learning at home.
When your child is 5
At the end of the EYFS – in the summer term of the reception year in school – teachers complete an assessment which is known as the EYFS Profile. This assessment is carried out by the reception teacher and is based on what they, and other staff caring for your child, have observed over a period of time.
Another important part of the EYFS Profile is your knowledge about your child’s learning and development, so do let your child’s class teacher know about what your child does with you: such as how confident your child is in writing their name, reading and talking about a favourite book, speaking to people your child is not so familiar with or their understanding of numbers.
The homework book provides space for you to add your comments throughout the year.
All of the information collected is used to judge how your child is doing in the 7 areas of learning and development.
The school will give you a report of your child’s progress, including information from his or her EYFS Profile.
What can you do to help your child’s learning when they begin school?
- Sharing books, talking about the pictures
- Reading virtual books together on the computer using the bug club homework scheme.
- Use the home/school diary to tell us about news events in your child’s life so that staff can help your child to talk about different events that are important to them.
- Continue to encourage mark making activities such as pretend writing shopping lists etc.
- Encourage your child to talk about the pictures on the school website class blog and the pictures in the homework book.
- Practise counting at any time such as climbing the stairs, shopping etc
- Play simple board games
- Sing number rhymes and songs together
Where can I go for further information?
The DfE website includes all the legal requirements and assessments.
You can find the Early Years Foundation Stage which includes the early learning goals at www.foundationyears.org.uk. The foundation years website also includes a range of resources and contacts.
Blackpool Council Early Years website