Early Years Unit

Merlin Top Primary Academy EYFS Unit

We believe that 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 provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up and progress through their education at Merlin Top Primary Academy.

At Merlin Top Primary EYFS Unit we strive to create a warm and stimulating environment where learning is fun.We provide an inspiring and relevant curriculum were children can engage in activities that promote and extend their curiosity and awareness of their world. We provide a balance of child-initiated and adult directed experiences, which encourage learning through play and exploration, promoting confidence, self-esteem and independence.

Our Early Years is a large unit with an extensive outdoor area, it is staffed with 3 teachers, 1 HLTA and 2 teaching assistants. The unit consists of 45 reception children and 2 nursery classes of 26.The nursery children attend over 2 1/2 days.We also offer 30 hours FFE for our working nursery parents.

We offer children a wide range of multi-sensory activities, which cater for individual learning styles. Our approach is a balance between play - child initiated and planned as well as teaching skills such as reading, writing and mathematics. The unit is a language rich environment were staff enrich children's vocabulary and communication skills.

The unit operates as a 'free-flow' unit meaning that children in the Nursery and the reception classes mix for much of the morning and afternoon sessions, accessing the facilities and resources.

Children in the EYFS unit are split into ability groups for phonics/ letters & sounds, writing and number.


Outdoor Provision

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We are fortunate to have a superbly resourced early year's outdoor space, which is viewed as an essential teaching and learning environment.Our outdoor classroom offers children the opportunity to use effective styles of learning - playing, movement and sensory experience.

"Some of us have childhood memories of dandelion clocks, frost suspended in a spider's web, frozen puddles, grass wet with morning dew.Children are often deprived of such simple experiences, spending a large part of their early childhood indoors or in uninspiring man-made environments.Carefully planned outdoor spaces can provide countless opportunities, not only for play and social experience, but for first hand learning, no book can teach.Elinor Goldschmied.


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At Merlin Top we use an online learning journal called Tapestry to record photos, observations and comments, in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, to build up a record of your child's experiences during their time with us. This system allows us to work with parents and carers to share information and record the children's play and learning inside and outside the classroom. Tapestry allows us to share some of these observations and moments with you. The Tapestry app can be downloaded to smart phones and i-pads which gives parents easy access to their child's learning journal and also allows parents to upload their own pictures to contribute to the children's learning record.


Early Years Camera & Mobile Phone Policy

Early Years Parent Booklet