Sotik Academy is a private primary school founded on christian principles.The school is situated some 45 minutes from the world famous Maasai Mara, Kenya. Founded in 1996, the school has grown from three students in 1996 to about a thousand students currently. Over ten thousand seven hundred students have successfully completed their studies from the school.Apart from maintaining academic excellence, the school also promotes collaborative working with other neighbouring and national schools.This website is therefore a new beginning in our attempt to seek external collaboration, global links, and international program exchanges.
Our school has won several academic awards for overall and special subjects achievements.
Through the channel of communications within the internet, Sotik Academy aims to share culture, geography, diversity issues and their African history for the advancement of knowledge across the globe.
It is our prayer that the skills that our students and their teachers have attained will be shared with others across the globe. We learn something new everyday, when we pay attention – we are now paying attention to the technological advancement of the internet.
Early Childhood Foundation Stage policy
“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to their full 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 early years services they want to know the provision will keep their children safe and help them to thrive. The Early Childhood Foundation Stage is the framework that provides that assurance.”
The Early Childhood Foundation Stage (ECFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the reception year. In our school, most children join us, part time, at the beginning of the term after which they turn four. They then start full time school either in the September or the January of the year in which they are five.
The ECFS is based upon four principles:
v A Unique Child
v Positive Relationships
v Enabling Environments
v Learning and Development
v Spiritual Development
A Unique Child
At Sotik Academy we recognise that every child is a competent learner who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. We recognise that children develop in individual ways, at varying rates. Children’s attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by feedback from others; we use praise and encouragement, as well as celebration and rewards, to encourage children to develop a positive attitude to learning.
We value the diversity of individuals within the school and do not discriminate against children because of ‘differences’. All children at Sotik Academy are treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities. All children and their families are valued within our school.
In our school we believe that all our children matter. We give our children every opportunity to achieve their best. We do this by taking account of our children’s range of life experiences when planning for their learning. In the ECFS we set realistic and challenging expectations that meet the needs of ourchildren. We achieve this by planning to meet the needs of boys and girls, children withspecial educational needs, children who are more able, children with disabilities, children from all social and cultural backgrounds, children of different ethnic groups and those from diverse linguistic backgrounds.
We meet the needs of all our children through:
- planning opportunities that build upon and extend children’s knowledge, experience and interests, and develop their self-esteem and confidence;
- using a wide range of teaching strategies based on children’s learning needs;
- providing a wide range of opportunities to motivate and support children and to help
- them to learn effectively;
- providing a safe and supportive learning environment in which the contribution of all children is valued;
- using resources which reflect diversity and are free from discrimination and stereotyping;
- planning challenging activities for children whose ability and understanding are in advance of their language and communication skills;
- monitoring children’s progress and taking action to provide support as necessary.
It is important to us that all children in the school are ‘safe’. We aim to educate children on boundaries, rules and limits and to help them understand why they exist. We provide children with choices to help them develop this important life skill. Children should be allowed to take risks, but need to be taught how to recognise and avoid hazards.
We aim to protect the physical and psychological well-being of all children. (See Whole School Safeguarding Children Policy)
“Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them.”
At Sotik Academy we understand that we are legally required to comply with certain welfare requirements as stated in the Child Protection Policy. We understand that we are required to:
v promote the welfare of children.
v promote good health, preventing the spread of infection and taking appropriate action when children are ill.
v manage behaviour effectively in a manner appropriate for the children’s stageof development and individual needs.
v ensure all adults who look after the children or who have unsupervised access tothem are suitable to do so.
v Ensure that the premises, furniture and equipment is safe and suitable for purpose
v Ensure that every child receives enjoyable and challenging learning and development experiences tailored to meet their needs.
v Maintain records, policies and procedures required for safe efficient management of the setting and to meet the needs of the children.
We endeavour to meet all these requirements.
At Sotik Academy we recognise that children learn to be strong independent from secure relationships. We aim to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with the children and their families.
Parents as Partners
We recognise that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and we value the contribution they make.
We recognise the role that parents have played, and their future role, in educating the children. We do this through:
v talking to parents about their child before their child starts in our school;
v inviting all parents to an induction meeting during the term before their child starts school;
v encouraging parents to talk to the child’s teacher if there are any concerns.
There is a formal meeting for parents in every term at whichthe teacher and the parent discuss the child’s progress with the teacher.
Parents receive a report on their child’s attainment and progress at the end of the Foundation Stage;
All staff involved with the ECFS aim to develop good relationships with all children, interacting positively with them and taking time to listen to them. At our school the ECFS teacher acts as a ‘Key Person’ to all children in ECFS, supported by the Teaching trained assistants.
Staff in the Foundation Unit meets regularly with the feeder pre-school settings to share good practice and discuss current issues. Where children attend other settings in a day, weaim to ensure continuity and coherence by sharing information about the children.
At Sotik Academy we recognise that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development. Through observation we assess the children’s interests, stages of development and learning needs, before planning challenging, achievable activities and experiences to extend the children’s learning.
Observation, Assessment and Planning
The Planning within the ECFS is based around half termly themes. These plans are used by the ECFS teacher as a guide for weekly planning, however the teacher may alter these in response to the needs (achievements and interests) of the children. This will be indicated on weekly planning.
We make regular assessments of children’s learning and we use this information to ensure that future planning reflects identified needs. Assessment in the ECFS takes the form of observation, and this involves the teacher and other adults as appropriate. These observations are recorded in a variety of ways and used to inform the (Early Childhood Foundation Stage Programme) ECFSP.
Within the final term of the ECFS, we provide a written summary to parents, reporting their progress against the (Early Learning Goals) ELG’s and assessment scales. The parents are given the opportunity to discuss these judgements with the teacher and both parents and children are encouraged to complete a feedback sheet.
The Learning Environment
The Foundation Unit is organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely.
There are areas where the children can be active, be quiet and rest. The unit is set up in learning areas, where children are able to find and locate equipment and resources independently. The Foundation Unit has its own limited, enclosed outdoor area. This has a positive effect on the children’s development. Being outdoors offers the children furtheropportunities to explore, use their senses, develop their language skills and be physically active. We plan activities and resources both inside and outside enabling the children to develop in all the areas of learning.
Learning and Development
At Sotik Academy we recognise that children learn and develop in different ways and have their own learning styles. We value all areas of learning and development equally and understand that they are often linked.
Teaching and Learning Style
Our policy on teaching and learning defines the features of effective teaching and learning in our school. These features apply to teaching and learning in the ECFS just as much as they do to the teaching in Key Stage 2.
Features that relate to the ECFS are:
v the partnership between teachers and parents, so that our children feel secure at school and develop a sense of well-being and achievement;
v the understanding that teachers have of how children develop and learn, and how this affects their teaching;
v the range of approaches used that provide first-hand experiences, give clear explanations, make appropriate interventions and extend and develop play and talk or other means of communication;
v the carefully planned curriculum that helps children work towards the Early Learning
Goals throughout ECFS;
v the provision for children to take part in activities that build on and extend their interests and develop their intellectual, physical, social and emotional abilities;
v the encouragement for children to communicate and talk about their learning, and to develop independence;
v the support for learning with appropriate and accessible indoor and outdoor space, facilities and equipment;
v the identification of the progress and future learning needs of children through observations;
v the good relationships between our school and the settings that our childrenexperience prior to joining our school;
“Children’s play reflects their wide ranging and varied interests and preoccupations. In their play children learn at their highest level. Play with peers is important for children’s development.”
Through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They have the opportunity to practise skills, develop ideas and think creatively alongside other children as well as individually. The children communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems. They have the opportunity to express fears or re-live anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations.
“Children learn best through physical and mental challenges. Active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods.”
Active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need to have some independence and control over their learning. As children develop their confidence they learn to make decisions. It provides children with a sense of satisfactions as they take ownership of their learning.
Creativity and Critical Thinking
“When children have opportunities to play with ideas in different situations and with a variety of resources, they discover connections and come to new and better understandings and ways of doing things. Adult support in this process enhances their ability to think critically and ask questions.”
Children should be given opportunity to be creative through all areas of learning, not just through the arts. Adults can support children’s thinking and help them to make connections by showing genuine interest, offering encouragement, clarifying ideas and asking open questions. Children can access resources freely and are allowed to move them around the classroom to extend their learning.
At Sotik Academy, Christian education for the Children is very important.
Deuteronomy 6:5-8: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.”
Proverbs 22:6 also tells us to “train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Training includes not only formal education, but also the first instructions parents give to a child, i.e., his early education. This training is designed to plant the child firmly on the foundation upon which his life is based.
In Hebrews 10:25, God gives Christians the command, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
The body of Christ is an integral part of the education of children, assisting parents in nurturing and educating children in spiritual matters. Exposure to something outside of the family structure, in this case sound biblical teaching from church and Sunday school, is also good and necessary.
Areas of Learning
The ECFS is made up of six areas of learning:
v Personal, Social and Emotional and Spiritual Development
v Communication, Language and Literacy
v Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
v Knowledge and Understanding of the World
v Physical Development
v Creative Development
None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult led and child initiated activities. In each area there are Early Learning Goals (ELG’s) that define the expectations for most children to reach by the end of the ECFS.
Monitoring and review
It is the responsibility of the Foundation teachers to follow the principles stated in thispolicy. The School Principal is responsible for the ECFS and has the opportunity to discuss ECFS practice with the practitioners and provide feedback to the whole governing body, raising any issues that require discussion.
The Head teacher and subject coordinators carry out monitoring of the ECFS through observation and discussion as part of the whole school monitoring schedule.