Private Education for boys and girls 3 – 11 years
Banbury, Oxfordshire

Early Years Learning


The Organisation of Teaching and Learning in the Early Years Department

At St John’s Priory we have adopted a ‘workshop’ approach to the classroom organisation. Resources are organised to provide a wide range of provision, each promoting experience and opportunities across most or all of the areas of learning and development. These areas of provision form the basis of our Early Years Curriculum. These areas are regularly enhanced to support consolidation of learning across different themes. Both the Nursery and Reception have challenge areas, some of which are differentiated, they are changed regularly to extend challenge and therefore learning.

Provision of this kind increases the children’s opportunities to:

  • Become independent learners
  • Explore and discover (engagement)
  • Enjoy achieving what they set out to do (motivation)
  • Choosing ways to do things (thinking)

Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.

‘Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage, 2012’

The role of the adults in the classroom is to:

  • Provide a warm and nurturing environment which promotes exploration and learning through active involvement
  • Provide quality adult/child interactions whilst working in all areas of the Early Years Department
  • Developing a learning based on the children’s interests
  • Provide purposeful and meaningful experiences that encourage a thirst of learning
  • Observe, record, interpret and plan the development of each child

To use observation and assessment to support the children in strengthening and deepening their understanding and development

Encourage a positive and supportive ethos which embraces all children regardless of differing abilities, dispositions, learning styles and interests.

Praise the child’s attempts and successes while continuing the further their understanding the development.

Observation and Assessment

Through quality interactions, staff aim to:

  • Identify misconceptions and correct understanding and development
  • Identify ‘gaps’ in understanding and correct
  • Identify, support and extend each child’s intention
  • Identify, support and extend those things that the child can nearly do
  • Extend and challenge on what the children know, understand, can do, what to know and need to know

Observations are completed in a variety of ways:

  • Parent / child welcome book
  • Post its to record star moments
  • Photographs of child initiated understanding and development
  • Long observations to assess communication, language and understanding
  • Informal discussions among staff based on what has been seen or heard

These observations inform assessment and in the Early Years are recorded in the child’s individual learning journey and inform our recording of achievement on Classroom Monitor. These assessments are used to inform planning and provide evidence for the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.

The staff are on hand to observe, and work with the children to consolidate their understanding and extend their learning. We aim for 70% adult focused and 30% child initiated activities; giving us the opportunity to pursue the curriculum and also give the child the opportunity to follow their own passions and interests.

St John’s Priory School

St John's Priory School Front View

Contact Us

St John’s Priory School
St John’s Road
OX16 5HX
Phone: 01295 259607