The approach to teaching and learning within the Early Years setting at High Meadow Community School is strongly influenced by the key principles of the ‘Reggio Emilia’ approach to education. We recognise that children have rights and, as such, are valued, listened to and given time and space to express themselves. We see children as constructors of knowledge, who are encouraged to be ‘researchers’. Children are therefore provided with opportunities to actively participate, explore, and question things. We have a very strong emphasis on the social development of children as part of a community and their relationships to other children, their families and teachers. We recognise the importance of expressive arts and understand that children use many different ways to express their understanding, thoughts and creativity. These different ways of thinking, exploring and learning are expressed through drawing, sculpting, music, dance and movement, painting, drama and play. We recognise the importance of the environment, which we consider to be ‘the third teacher’. We also follow the principles set out in the document ‘Development Matters’ which states that significant learning is dependent on each child having opportunities to thrive and develop positive relationships within an enabling environment.
Continuous Provision is how we plan our learning environment. The purpose of continuous provision is “to continue the provision for learning in the absence of an adult”. Each and every part of our learning environment has been carefully planned to meet and challenge the development needs of our children.
Learning opportunities are carefully planned around the interests of the children so they can lead, take ownership and become immersed in their learning. We support the children to develop their skills progressively in exciting, fun and creative ways to achieve the highest standards possible. We also provide ‘hooks’ or ‘scenarios’ to support their ideas and to really engage the children in their new learning experiences.