St George’s Preparatory School

Believe, Achieve, Succeed.

01205 317600

126 London Road, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 7HB

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Years Foundation Stage 

Children were not born to sit still and learn from silently completing worksheets. Young children learn through actively exploring with their senses and their whole bodies - this can be a physical, messy, noisy and sometimes, repetitive process! In this way, by making connections ("if I do this, then that happens") children make sense of the world around them.

You might wonder how we facilitate this at St George's Prep and Little Dragons Pre-School. Let me explain. As our classes are capped at 15 pupils, our staff are able to get to know their children well. They know what interests them, they know what their family dog is called, that they go to their Grandma's house every Friday for a sleepover, that they eat the icing first before the cake and that they love ladybirds.... With this knowledge, staff can provide activities to excite, interest, enthral and challenge our pupils. Our learning environments are beautiful and invite children to actively engage with the resources provided. Staff are trained to 'slide into' children's learning at the right time, commenting on what they are doing (introducing and extending vocabulary) and asking well-timed questions to extend their learning. 

Children in Little Dragons and Willow Class follow the Early Years Foundation Stage which is a statutory framework for all children from birth to the end of the reception year. It is important to state that the framework is not a curriculum. We have our own curriculum which is age and stage of development appropriate and covers the seven areas of development within the Foundation Stage:

 Personal, Social and Emotional (Prime Area of Development)

Happy, healthy and secure children learn best. Therefore, we only recruit staff who can form warm, trusting and caring relationships with our children. Strong attachments with trusted adults help children to understand and manage their emotions, developing  confidence in their own abilities and empathy for others.

Adults help children to persist in activities they may find tricky, developing resilience and concentration. Children learn about healthy eating and begin to manage their needs with increasing independence. Adults support children to interact with others and to form friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts, thus developing skills which will help children to achieve as they pass through the school.





Physical  (Prime Area of Development)

Every day, there are opportunities to run, jump, climb, pedal and build. At the farm children join in with sweeping, digging, grooming and launching themselves from our huge bales of straw. 

Did you know that before a child holds a pencil to write letters, we work hard to ensure that the body is ready, with activities specifically designed to strengthen the muscles of the shoulder, forearm, hand and fingers. We also work on the core muscles to ensure that when children sit to write, they do so comfortably. Exercises include using large paint rollers on a wall, painting on a vertical easel, making shapes in the air with scarves, squeezing and moulding playdough, pegging clothes onto a line and using tweezers to pick up small objects. All of this preparation work results in our children developing beautiful handwriting! 





Communication and Language (Prime Area of Development)

Spoken language underpins each of the seven areas of learning. It is important therefore that children develop confidence in spoken language.

Our Early Years classrooms are never silent! Opportunities for speaking and listening are built into the day: responding to the register, singing nursery rhymes, listening to a range of stories and poems, talking to visitors, asking questions, sharing ideas, engaging in role play....the list goes on...

Through environments which are 'language rich' and frequent, high quality interactions with adults supporting and modelling, children become confident using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures. Early Years children participate in performances such as the Harvest Festival and Nativity, becoming accustomed to speaking and performing in front of an audience. They are also welcome to take part in our popular annual 'Off By Heart' poetry competition.


Literacy (Specific Area)

It's never too early to develop a life-long love of reading. It is important that children see adults reading and our staff love books - sharing popular titles and new books with the children in our cosy reading areas. Fiction and non-fiction books, poems, catalogues, manuals and other reading materials are always available as an activity for children to choose from. Parents can borrow books from our lending library to share with their child at home.

We teach children to read and spell using a Systematic Synthetic Phonics Scheme and carefully levelled books called Rhino Readers. Phonics is taught daily to the whole class with interventions for those children who need a little more reinforcement. Parents are asked to assist in their child becoming a proficient reader by listening to their child reading daily at home.

Learning to spell can be a tricky business. We use an emergent approach which allows children to develop confidence in writing without needing to have learned all of the sounds. Therefore, a word such as 'table' may initially be sounded out as 'taybul'. There are also words which cannot be sounded out and these are taught in phonics lessons as 'common exception words'.






Mathematics (Specific Area)

We use Maths in every day life and use as many opportunities as possible to demonstrate to the children the importance and relevance of the subject - for example, counting how many children are present/absent, completing the calendar each day or creating tallies for snack orders.

We want our children to gain a sound and deep understanding of mathematics, including numbers to 10; the relationships between the numbers and patterns within them. A variety of manipulatives including counters and tens frames are used to help build mastery of numbers. 

Maths also includes patterns, money, reasoning, shape, space and measures - children participate in activities such as baking and water play (to develop concepts of mass and volume) or growing sunflowers (to understand height). Stories are also woven into Maths to introduce concepts




Understanding the World

 All of our children start school with different experiences and understanding of the world that they live in - they have different families, homes, religions, traditions, languages, food, holidays...the list is endless. Staff use these differing experiences to help children to begin to understand the world around us, beginning with the concept of 'me and my family' then extending to the school family and finally, the local community, so that slowly, but surely, children gain a perspective of their place in society.

Children learn about different customs and festivals, they visit places of interest in the local area and understand that buildings have different purposes. They notice issues which affect the community e.g. rubbish and traffic and are hoped to understand initiatives to help to overcome these. Visitors to school may include a doctor, police officer, RSPCA officer or a vicar help children to understand the roles of adults within the local area.

Early Years pupils visit the farm once a fortnight and will experience activities such as growing vegetables, discussion about the weather, planting trees, identifying bird species, feeding and caring for animals - all of this helps our youngest children to understand industry and land use in the local area, leading to children having a thorough grounding in the basics of geography and science.


Expressive Arts and Design (Specific Area)

Young children don't compartmentalise their learning into subject areas, but for adults, Expressive Arts and Design encompasses the subjects of Art, Design and Technology, Music and Drama and sometimes all of these subjects rolled into one!

Recently, children in the reception class talked about an aeroplane flying overhead; the teacher pondered, "I wonder where it's going?" This provoked lots of discussion about holidays and countries (Understanding the World). Before she knew it, the children rearranged the classroom chairs and began to role play being on a plane. The teacher 'slid' into the play, introducing words like 'pilot', 'passengers' and 'cabin crew' and discussed passports. Some children slipped away from the 'plane' and took themselves to where the art resources are accessibly stored. They selected materials and began to make passports, demonstrating their knowledge that passports bear a photo of the holder. Later on in the day, the teacher showed the class a video clip of a family going on holiday which showed the multitude of related jobs - check-in person, security officers, retailers, air traffic control - this exposing children to a range of careers that children had never contemplated. (Understanding the World) This served to enhance the role play further with children making luggage labels and talking about weighing suitcases. The next day, suitcases, clothes, accessories and weighing scales (Mathematics) appeared to enable children to continue to explore the topic. Please note, no worksheets were completed and the learning soared (no pun intended) because the limit on learning was removed.