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Walton On Trent C of E Primary and Nursery School

Living | Learning | Laughing


Early Years at Walton on Trent Primary and Nursery School


Children develop quickly in the early years, and we aim to do all that we can to help children have the best possible start in life. Children have a right to provision which enables them to develop their personalities, talents and abilities and we provide a stimulating and safe environment which nurtures this development.


The Characteristics of Effective Learning are the ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment – playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically. They underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.


The Prime Areas of Learning begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas.

• Personal, Social and Emotional Development

• Communication and Language

• Physical Development


The Specific Areas of Learning include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society.

• Literacy

• Mathematics

• Understanding the World

• Expressive Arts and Design


Learning through play

Children aged three, four and five learn by… playing, talking, observing, planning, questioning, experimenting, testing, repeating, reflecting, responding to adults and to each other. Play is essential for children's development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others." (EYFS 2012)


Through play children can...

• Explore, develop and represent learning experiences that help them make sense of the world;

 • Practise and build up ideas, concepts and skills;

• Learn how to control impulses and understand the need for rules;

• Be alone, be alongside others or co-operate as they talk or rehearse their feelings;

• Take risks and make mistakes;

• Think creatively and imaginatively;

• Communicate with others as they investigate or solve problems;

• Express fears or relive anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations.


Assessing Progress

Monitoring of each child’s progress throughout the foundation stage is essential to ensure that they are making progress and that particular difficulties in any of the areas of learning, whatever the cause, are identified and addressed. Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment (also known as formative assessment) is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations. In their interactions with children, practitioners should respond to their own day-to-day observations about children’s progress and observations that parents and carers share. In the final term of the year in which the child reaches age five, and no later than 30 June in that term, the EYFS Profile must be completed for each child. The Profile provides parents and carers, practitioners and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1.


Parents as Partners

At Walton on Trent Primary and Nursery School we fully endorse the theory that parents are children’s first educators. When parents and practitioners work together in early years settings, the results have a positive impact on the child’s development and learning.


Therefore, we believe a successful partnership needs a two-way flow of information, knowledge and expertise.

• So that children settle into school successfully, we encourage parents to discuss any worries involving their child’s circumstances, interests, competencies and needs.

• Parents are welcome to help out in school once the children have settled in.

• There are evenings throughout the year where you can celebrate your child’s achievements and progress. You are welcome to come and see the class teacher at any other time if you have any worries or concerns.

• Relevant learning and play activities, such as sharing and reading books should also be encouraged at home.


Above all, your child’s first years are so short and precious, we hope that you have fun and become motivated to learn together during your journey through your first years at Walton!