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Guest Blog From Sara Wilson – Head of Early Years

Posted: 14th May 2023

I am extremely proud and excited to be taking on the role as Head of Early Years from September. Just when I thought I could not love my job anymore, the opportunity to lead our wonderful Early Years provision presented itself and I could not be happier.  I’ve worked within the education sector my whole career and have been teaching across the primary phase since 2006.  I’ve taught at Weston Green since January 2019 and it is a magical place to spend my working day due to the unique and special way in which we put the children at the heart of everything we do.  Each and every child is known, cared for and their individual gifts, talents and abilities are nurtured.  It is a privilege to be working with our youngest learners and to have the chance to start their educational journey with them.

As a team, the Early Year specialists at Weston Green have a multitude of skills, experiences, abilities and ideas.  We are currently busy creating our Early Years curriculum to focus on each unique child and to give them opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments that encourage their engagement and recognise their strengths.  All children have agency and curiosity to learn and we are excited to be shaping a curriculum at Weston Green that enables this to develop for our 2 years old through to the children who are ready to enter KS1.

When our youngest learners arrive at our school they instantly become part of our Weston Green family.  They have access to use all the shared spaces within the school – including the lovely library, our Quiet Courtyard and the Music hall.  They become familiar with staff beyond the Early Years team and, as a consequence, expand their social experiences.  We learn about the children – their interests, what they need and make sure they see themselves in their learning.  Our class sizes mean we are uniquely placed to allow space and time for this and we see our young children flourish on a daily basis as a result.

We know how daunting the move from our Kindergarten into Reception can be – the children are starting ‘big school’ after all!  We spend a lot of time preparing everyone for the move to Reception but the children are already familiar with the staff and physical surroundings so, for them, this is a small, natural step that they feel ready for, rather than a leap into the unknown. We find that a continuation of some of the rhythms and routines of Kindergarten, alongside gentle introductions of the expectations of ‘big school’ is the best way to settle children into Reception.

On the Early Years Resource Hub you will find a ‘Top Tips for Reception Readiness’ video in which I detail ways you can be even more sure your child is ready and there are many other lovely videos on there to help prepare your children, on top of our comprehensive induction programme.  Our current Reception cohort are curious, enthusiastic, independent and reflective learners who were eager to enter Reception and now have added to their learning bank and have what they need to continue to thrive as they enter KS1.  Future cohorts will be too – that’s a promise.

We know that starting in Reception can be a daunting prospect for parents, especially if it is your first child. Rest assured that the whole of the Early Years team are here to help all our parents as well and if you have any queries at all, please do get in touch (swilson@westongreenschool.org.uk).  Take guidance and comfort from your children – we prepare them well – they are ready for this!

Early Years is a crucial time in a child’s development.  Their bodies and brains develop rapidly as they build their physical strength, explore their world, develop language and gain social and emotional skills. This is a rate of change that will never be matched again.  It is an honour to be part of such a wonderful team of educators who support, challenge and guide our children onto their next steps in KS1 as confident, kind, resilient and enthusiastic learners.

Sara Wilson

Head of Early Years (September 2021)

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