Welcome to Willow room for children aged three to five years. We are privileged to have a large well resourced room that readily accommodates the sixty children who make up our school community. The room is thoughtfully planned to support children’s learning across the curriculum. For example we have a listening area, writing area, technology area, creative area that includes painting, workshop and malleable activities. There is also sand, water and a regularly changing discovery table. The construction area and home area are always buzzing and for a quiet space our sensory area aims to be a calm area for exploration.
Complementing this, our outdoor space is large and well resourced. The children can climb, ride bikes, build dens, play ball games and garden. In the undercover space they can explore sand on a large scale, engage in music making and build with big blocks, tyres and pipes.
There are daily opportunities for children to engage with the activities and resources independently, with friends and/or supported by the staff team. Over the course a week children will all engage in a range of focused activities. These will be delivered by members of the staff team and are designed to support the next steps in learning for each member of the group. By consulting our parent board, near the coat pegs, you will be able to see what our learning focus is each week.
Our curriculum is the Early Years Foundation Stage and this supports and underpins all our planning for the children in Willow room. A key part of the curriculum, are the ‘characteristics of effective learning’, which we seek to nurture these in all our children. The children will be playing and exploring: they will be encouraged to find out and explore play with what they know and be willing to have a go. Children will also be active learners: they will be encouraged to be involved, concentrate, keep trying and enjoy achieving what they set out to do. Also children will be creating and thinking critically: they will be encouraged to have their own ideas, make links in their learning and choose ways to do things. (Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage 2012)
During their time in Willow room the children will have a key person. This member of the staff team will support the children in their key group to settle into Willow room and engage them in learning activities. They will regularly update their learning journeys and be a support and point of contact for parents and carers.
The children take part in three group times each day. At these times the children take part in specific activities that support learning and take account of the next steps for each individual child . Observations and assessments are used to inform planning and are added to the child’s learning journey documenting the learning taking place. We value parent’s contributions to their child’s learning journey telling us about experiences, achievements and special moments from home. We want a child’s time in Willow room to be a shared journey for the child, parents/carers and the Willow room team.