General Information about First Steps Programme
First Steps is a programme designed for children who are a little too young for Kindergarten and offers an age appropriate and relevant introduction to the Early Years Foundation Stage.
This class enables your child to feel confident and comfortable away from their care giver. It encourages the children to become more independent, helping them to develop classroom routines, learning to positively interact with others, and to develop their concentration skills.
The curriculum will be age appropriate and based on the Birth to Three Provision within the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Students enrolling in First Steps will enrol at the same time for the Kindergarten class starting in September 2023.
The teachers are well qualified and experienced kindergarten professionals.
Teachers will work closely with parents/carers to settle the children.
The programme offered is:
Daily: Monday – Friday 5 days per week (Enrolment is for the year)
Times: 2 hours per day (2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
Age Group: 2 years 3 months in September
i.e. for children born in January, February, March, April or May
Excellent Teacher pupil ratio: 1 teacher for 7 pupils
- Students must be accompanied in school until they reach 2 years 8 months
- The adult accompanying the child must stay on the premises, but will be asked to wait in our lobby area
- Toilet-trained is not essential
- Tailored induction to ensure that each child’s needs are fully met
The curriculum for our First Steps class is based on the British National Curriculum’s Early Years Foundation Stage. We include the same 7 areas of learning and have adapted the early learning goals accordingly.
Our belief is that children learn by “doing” to become independent, confident learners. We have a child-centred approach to learning in which the moral, physical, creative, social and emotional development of the child is as important as his/her intellectual development.
- We aim to provide a learning environment in which children :
- have opportunities to learn through investigation, exploration, and discovery within a disciplined yet caring and stimulating environment.
- are motivated to learn through being actively involved in purposeful activities and play.
- feel confident about tackling new situations and are prepared to think for themselves and act independently.
Communication and Language
Students will be encouraged at all times to become confident communicators, both as individuals and as part of a small group. English is the main language used in our classrooms and children are taught through the modelling of our teachers. For our EAL learners, our
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Students will have many opportunities to play alongside other children and skills such as sharing, taking turns and participating in group activities will be encouraged. We will facilitate independent self help skills and decision making skills through practical participation. We will also – after an initial settling period – encourage the gradual withdrawal of the accompanying adult from the classroom for short periods of time.
Through our child-orientated environment, students will be able to develop their large and fine motor skills. They can develop skills such as climbing, throwing, kicking and jumping in the playground. Through carefully selected play materials, their fine motor skills – needed later in life for writing – will be developed in the classroom using pencils, paint brushes, scissors, threading and much more.
All students are encouraged to enjoy books as this helps with reading and writing skills at a later stage. Books are freely available and there are daily “story times”.
The foundation knowledge that students have already attained will be developed. Number concepts, an understanding of size and comparisons, matching, pairing and problem solving will be developed through practical situations.
Expressive Arts and Design
Students will have the opportunity to explore the properties of natural elements such as, water, sand and clay. We will encourage creativity through drama sessions and participation in role play situations. Students will develop their imagination and experiment and create through mediums such as paint, collage, sand, junk modelling, playdough and clay.
Understanding the world
We will provide opportunities for students to explore the environment with the use of field trips as an extension of the classroom. Teachers will encourage a natural curiosity of the surrounding environment using circle times for discussion that would include topics such as the current theme, weather, changing seasons and festivals.