Children in the Early Years Department follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. This focuses on developing children’s skills in the prime areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development as well as the specific areas of Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the world and Expressive Arts and Design.
We believe the curriculum to be more than this though; we think it is important to help create individuals who are ready to learn but who are also going to be responsible citizens of the future. We introduce children to skills they will continue to develop during their time at Sidcot including curiosity, integrity, empathy, proactivity, resilience, thoughtfulness and open mindedness.
At Sidcot we believe play is a vital component to children’s development in the Early Years. That is why the majority of the day in the Sidcot Early Years Department is spent with the children having long periods of uninterrupted play where adults and children can play and therefore learn, together. Children learn best when they are really engaged and excited about their learning and this is what we aim to do every single day. Our small ratios enable us to spend lots of time getting to know each and every child as an individual and find out what really interests and engages them. Our skilled practitioners then use this appreciation of the individual to help children to develop their knowledge and understanding.
Children can enter our Nursery in the term in which they turn three. We accept Local Authority Early Years funding up to a maximum of 15 hours of per week until the term following a child’s fifth birthday. We expect children to start with a minimum of four sessions and recommend that this incorporates a whole day.
Our Early Years children make use of many of the senior school facilities such as the swimming pool, library and drama studio, as well as the lovely woodland Forest School. Regular activities include creative arts, cookery, dance, music, PE and plenty of outdoor play.
We see the Early Years as being in partnership with parents who are, of course, their children’s first teachers. Effective communication is key, so Sidcot staff like to engage to talk to you about your child often. We also have termly meetings where we discuss the different aspects of your child’s learning and development, ensuring you are fully updated on how this is progressing and what your children’s next steps are.