Foundation Village Specialists
"Never underestimate the power of a puddle!"
Our Early Years Philosophy
At Aurora Academies Trust, we understand the significance of early education.
Throughout our lives, we all learn and our learning begins on the day we are born. This is when the foundations for the child’s future is laid, and why it is often referred to as the foundation years. Children learn more quickly during these early years than at any other time in life. To support their learning children need to be surrounded by adults that nurture their moral, social, emotional and physical wellbeing and support them to ‘be ready for the next step.
Our mission at Aurora Academies Trust is to create environments that enable children to succeed as unique individuals, celebrating their achievements and giving them the tools to achieve economic well-being and make a positive contribution to society. Our stimulating learning environments are rich with a variety of resources for children to experience their learning both in the indoor and outdoor spaces. Learning should be fun and we strongly believe in first-hand experiences, valuing the importance of the outdoor environment to develop children’s thinking and problem solving skills and provide a wide range of opportunities, both within and beyond the curriculum to enable them to make healthy life choices.
Our secure learning environments provide high standards of safety to ensure the well-being of every child in our care and teaching them to stay safe. We pride ourselves on listening to children and those who care for them and using this information to personalise each child’s learning. We provide a happy, safe, warm and stimulating environment for all children to play, learn and develop freely, helping children to develop a responsibly for themselves and their actions and to become competent, confident, independent and cooperative individuals learning to live in a diverse world.
Practitioners encourage children to have a positive attitude and respect for both themselves and other people. Promoting positive relationships with parents/carers and work in partnership with them, also taking into account inclusive services that are accessible to all children in the community. We strive to develop an environment where no child suffers discrimination in any form.
Our early years provisions undergo regular monitoring and evaluation to ensure that each provision continues to meet the needs of children and parents/carers and any suggestions made would not detract from the 'uniqueness' of each particular setting. The early years staff team are experienced and well trained. The services meet the conditions of the Childcare Act 2006 and all other relevant childcare legislation, wherever they apply.
We understand the importance of practical learning experiences and strive to equip children with a love of learning and a natural curiosity, and resilience. Aurora Academies Trust is committed to giving our children the best possible start to their school life, teaching those skills that ensure their well-being now and success in the future.
Our Foundation Village Approach
In all of the Aurora Academies Trust schools, where the age range starts at two years old, we operate a Foundation Village. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Village supports reception classes and the nursery to work together to develop a seamless Foundation Stage experience for children, families and practitioners. The Foundation Village was developed to improve outcomes for children and places great importance on the value of learning through both outdoor and indoor play. The key principle is that we support ‘stage not age’ of development.
Some of the benefits of the Foundation Village approach are that all staff understand children’s development across the Foundation Stage and the children benefit from the staff sharing their expertise. We know that this concept improves children’s language, as younger children learn from older ones while older children have the opportunity to explain and share their learning to the younger children. Our children become more considerate and helpful to each other, again often with the older children taking the lead. Children who have attended the school from nursery start the reception year with more confidence and secure within the environment which in turn will enable children to make good progress and develop the skills, ambition and the 'know how' they need in everyday life.
Within Aurora Academies Trust we have several different approaches to the Foundation Village, some are fully Integrated with shared space and others are partially Integrated with designated times and/or places where children from across the EYFS come together to share learning experiences.
What do Ofsted say?
"Children get off to an excellent start to school in the early years. The outstanding learning environment and highly skilled staff help children to develop positive attitudes to learning, behave well, and get to grips with school life quickly." City Academy Whitehawk, Early Years 'Outstanding' - Ofsted November 2018.
For more information, please contact Sam Attwater, our Director of Early Years: