At the heart of our Early Years (EY) Unit is the commitment to provide a stimulating and nurturing learning environment where children between the ages of three to five years of age progress through our two year Early Years Curriculum in in one setting with core staff. Over this longer period of time the staff get to know children and families very well, making it easier to cater for their needs. This reduces the disruption of transition from one year group to another and allows us to foster the emotional security of the children and for them to develop familiar routines, build relationships and confidence that will prepare them for entering Primary School in Year 1.
To give a reference for development that is easy for young children to understand, children are referred to as Caterpillars and Butterflies. They start off small like Caterpillars and may move and learn slowly at the beginning but as they progress through the unit they grow and learn together until they blossom into Butterflies when they gather more knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to fly of to Year 1.
With a focus on developing social skills and self esteem, we are committed to providing a secure, sympathetic and stimulating environment where children feel cherished and supported and see themselves as learners from the beginning of their time with us.
We strongly believe that each child is unique and has their own interests, enthusiasms and strengths. Through building positive relationships with your child, we can learn what motivates and interests them and carefully considering the learning objectives in the curriculum, look for activities to best help them develop and progress in their learning journey.
While children will be able to take advantage of the wide range of resources we have a St. Michael’s, we also see the importance of children learning from their environment and the things they can find around them.
Our Early Years Unit allows children to move through the curriculum at their own pace. Butterfly children are provided with support if needed to review and consolidate their learning and Caterpillars can challenge and extend themselves when they are ready. Continuity and progression are ensured. Groupings can be flexible to benefit the needs of the children with staff providing opportunities that are challenging and able to meet individual needs.