Play is important!

At Folly Hill the children are excited and motivated to learn through rich and stimulating learning experiences and opportunities to explore and take risks. Our learning environment provides this through high quality planned opportunities for play which is a crucial way to support children’s learning that is both enjoyable and challenging. When children play, they are learning at the highest level.

In our Early Years environment, we facilitate the ‘characteristics of effective learning’. These are the fundamental skills and attitudes required to help children become lifelong learners, focusing on not just what children need to learn but how they learn it. Children develop the ability to become independent and capable learners for life when we focus on the following skills and attitudes:

  • being willing to have a go and try something new
  • bouncing back after difficulties and persisting in the face of challenge
  • being encouraged and supported to have their own ideas
  • finding more than one way of doing something
  • being proud of how they achieve something, not just the achievement itself
  • making links and connections between their learning

Our effective continuous provision provides children with the opportunity to demonstrate these characteristics of learning. Continuous provision is defined by the resources offered to children as part of an enabling environment or the resources that are safe for children to explore independently. We provide a high-quality environment that support children’s ability to interact with the resources.

Adults as facilitators

Adults have a crucial role in stimulating and supporting children to reach beyond their current limits, inspiring their learning and supporting their development. We do this by providing a rich language environment, asking open-ended questions and posing exciting challenges. We recognise the importance of taking an active role in child-initiated play through modelling, facilitating and extending.  When children engage with continuous provision, we can take the opportunity to make careful observations. This is especially important, as our observations determine how the environment is enhanced at a later stage in order to progress learning. We pride ourselves on providing a warm and welcoming environment for the children, giving them the reassurance that they are safe and cared for and to build trusting relationships.

Partnership with parents

As a parent, you are your child’s first educator, and your home is their first learning environment. It is here that firm foundations are laid to build a sense of emotional security and resilience. Children’s early experiences have the biggest impact upon their later life. In the first five years children develop physically, cognitively and emotionally at a faster rate than at any other time.

As a school we work in close partnerships with parents and carers to ensure all children accessing our provision begin to build the foundations of their learning journey in a safe, happy and nurturing environment. We offer many opportunities for parents to be in school to keep up to do date with their child’s progress and provide information about the curriculum through weekly class emails.


The Early Years Foundation Stage

The curriculum is centred around children’s interests with a balance of child-initiated and adult-led learning. The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum has seven areas of learning which are divided into Prime and Specific areas. The three prime areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

Prime areas of learning

  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Personal, Social, Emotional Development

The four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.

 Specific areas of learning

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Art and Design