Early Years at Four Marks
Here at Four Marks we believe in providing children with an intriguing learning environment that sparks curiosity, awe and wonder. We follow a purposeful, interest-led curriculum, inspired by the unique personalities of our children and those who care for them.
Our caring and experienced team are passionate about providing learning experiences which are enriching and challenging, all while keeping children nurtured and happy.
We believe that children thrive in natural spaces, surrounded by authentic, open-ended resources which allow them to develop into curious mathematicians and instinctive writers.
We are blessed with beautiful, open grounds where our children can learn to explore, enjoy and respect nature, developing a sense of guardianship and compassion for the world around them.
Our core Christian values lie at the heart of all we do, and guide us to nurture children who are loving, honest, thankful and above all, kind.
We will endeavour to give your precious child the best possible start to school, and life beyond.
For the Early Years Virtual Tour please click the link below:
A day in the life of our reception children:
If you are a new year R parent for September 2023, please do join our closed Facebook group where we share last minute reminders, and you have the opportunity to link up with other parents over the summer:
Follow the link:
All our children:
... are safe
Our environment is carefully considered with children's safety first. Care and thought is given to the resources and activities planned throughout the day, and all environments: the classrooms and the outside areas. Children need to be taught how to keep themselves safe at school and when to ask for help.
We also place great importance on how safe the children feel in their relationships with school and our teachers. Without this we can do nothing: if you don’t feel safe, you cannot learn. The quality of interactions is everything and teachers ensure that all children feel able to take risks, make mistakes and ask for help. This safe climate for learning with child’s emotional, mental and physical at the heart is the bedrock of our approach in the early years.
... are excellent learners
Developing independence and resilience and learning how to listen and work collaboratively are key skills to develop in early years. Here at Four Marks, we ensure every one of the traits is encouraged and articulated right from the beginning. This feeds into our everyday language and our expectations for all children: for example making sure children know that making a mistake is part of learning; encouraging creativity in finding different solutions to a problem; or praising a child for asking questions to learn more.
Excellent learners are at work and encouraged all the time through our aspirational curriculum, whether we are den building up at Forest School, learning the rules of a game, working as a team to build the tallest structure possible or making and eating delicious pizzas! We make our language and expectations clear and children understand the importance of being an excellent learner.
... have exceptional personal, social and emotional skills
Working alongside other children can bring challenges, especially for our youngest learners. Resolving conflict, learning to listen, to share and to empathise with others are a core part of personal and social development, a key area of learning in Early Years. Learning how to be a considerate communicator, to understand and be understood is modelled consistently in our school. Staff understand that early language and vocabulary development underpin children's later achievement. In our early years, every interaction is a learning opportunity.
... achieve and succeed
We closely follow children's unique interests and fascinations to engage them in learning, balancing this with exposing them to new, fun, hands-on experiences. We create opportunities for the awe and wonder of discovery, enabling children to take control of their own learning, with our support.
We believe in high quality teaching to ensure children achieve their potential, so our focus is first and foremost on the effectiveness of our teaching and curriculum. We have structured, precise and highly successful teaching of early literacy skills (wonder writing!), our phonics scheme (Essential Letters and Sounds) and a mastery approach to mathematics. Through clear programmes of study, excellent resources and enthusiastic delivery - we ensure that children leave Reception as confident, skilled and enthusiastic learners- ready for year one!
Our Early Years Foundation Stage is recognised as being one of the best in Hampshire. Our Leading Foundation Stage Practitioners provide support and advice to other local primary schools looking to develop best practice whilst making sure that our children get off to the best possible start to their school journey.
Our Award Winning Early Years Setting:
Our Early Years Team were winners of the 'Laying the Foundations' Award at the Hampshire Education Awards in July 2022: The judge felt that the whole team were outstanding, showing incredible drive, passion and ambition to implement changes in line with best practice based on educational research to back up their vision for the environment. Through diligently sourcing the right items for their setting, they had enhanced children’s creativity and interests, resulting in very high levels of engagement and ultimately consistently good results leaving the Early Years Foundation Stage, as well as growing well-rounded, independent learners ready for their next stage of education.