Our school has a dedicated Early Years Centre to provide your young child with the finest surroundings for their first school experience. The commitment at GEMS CIK is to create and maintain a safe, happy and child-centered environment in which children are inspired to become purposeful, life-long learners.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage our aim is that upon leaving Early Years, GEMs students have a strong sense of self, feel positive about their abilities as a learner, have formed constructive relationships and are confident communicators.
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its’ own right, and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. When parents choose to use GEMS CIK Early Years they know that provision will keep their children safe and help them to thrive.
GEMS Early Years Foundation Stage follows the British EYFS curriculum (Development Matters), which is a blend of play based learning and content and looks at the various stages of development for young children. It has clear expectations and milestones to support children to develop academically, socially, emotionally and physically. To support quality provision further, GEMS CIK follows the Cornerstones Early Years curriculum ‘which contains creative and thematic projects based on the Four Cornerstones of learning Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express.
They are perfect for developing the EYFS characteristics of effective learning: Playing and Exploring, Active Learning, Creating and Thinking Critically. The Cornerstones EYFS Curriculum is carefully designed to enable children to practise and master the necessary skills needed to achieve the Early Learning Goals.’
The EYFS curriculum is divided into seven learning areas, three of which are called the Prime Learning areas. These are the foundation for all the other areas on which to build on.
Communication and Language: how children can speak, interpret their own emotions which will support learning.
Physical development includes the physicality of writing. This includes working on the fine and gross motor skills, developing the whole body. It also takes into account self-care and looking after oneself, being healthy and physical development.
Personal, social and emotional development: How they manage relationships; how we learn to manage our own emotions and behaviours.
There are then four specific areas of learning:
Reading and writing, particualry within our age range. At three years children are introduced to books and stories, where they have guided reading.
Children need to have knowledge of the numbers, shape, space and measure, so they are engaged in activities that enable them to explore.
Expressive arts and design:
This is an important area in education which includes activities such as role play, free painting and imaginative stories. The children are able to be innovative during junk modelling, tapping into their creative ability and problem solving.
Understanding the World:
Authentic learning opportunities are powerful and therefore exploring the world around them is vital for students of all ages, making learning real.
GEMS also offers specialist teaching in the Early Years for French, PE, swimming and music. As the children move through the school they also have specialists taking them for Art and Design, Computing and Food and Nutrition.
The school has just introduced the opportunity for students to have one to one music lessons throughout the school day, which is unique to GEMS. In partnership with Lego Education, the school also opened the first fully kitted innovative studio with educational sets, activity packs, teacher resources and programming tools along with a specialist full time Lego teacher.
From the child’s perspective a curriculum such as this needs to be full of real-life, concrete experiences. Children will often be informally consulted about their learning environments and learning opportunities – we will always endeavour to follow their interests to ensure planned activities and themes are motivating for them.
A day at GEMS starts at 7:45am and ends at 3.15 pm, from Monday to Friday.
There is flexibility for children in the Early Years with a softer start and Pearls and FS1 parents can collect their child from school at 1.00 pm, if they believe that this is appropriate or leave them if they have siblings in other classes in Primary.
All classes in EYFS have Interactive Whiteboards which allows teachers to use these as a teaching tool. It makes learning more enjoyable and engaging for the children. There are 2 computers in the classes for children to access independently and practice different computer skills and they have latest age appropriate software for children. IPads are also available for children to use in lessons for research and accessing different activities.
At GEMS CIK we set high standards for the learning, development and care of our children, ensuring that every child makes progress. We provide for equality of opportunity, ensuring that every child is included and not disadvantaged because of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties or disabilities, gender or ability – this includes children who may be Gifted and Talented in areas of learning.
A positive ethos is grown amongst the students by the embedding of the GEMS Core Values, which begins in Early Years. Students develop and learn the importance of life long skills such as collaboration, being responsible and problem solving, to name a few.
GEMS CIK creates a strong partnership between parents and educators in which regular communication through one to one discussions and weekly updates via Edmodo pages; as mutual support is fundamental to successful learning.
We lay a secure foundation for future learning through learning and development that is planned around the individual needs and interests of the child, and informed by the use of ongoing observational assessment which is shared with parents via the 2 simple application and detailed reports.
Parents are also encouraged to share their child’s learning journey through the GEMS 3-aday: talk about learning, share learning and encourage learning.
At GEMS CIK we understand that the impact of education is felt right from the start with an outstanding provision in Early Years.