The Saplings Centre - learning to be the best me I can be.


The Saplings Centre is the Early Years and Key Stage 1 provision at Springfield House School. We provide a bespoke, enabling, exciting and stimulating space for our youngest learners.

Most of our pupils have missed all, or a large part, of their early education and as such have missed the opportunities and skill development associated with this. Many have also had negative educational experiences and this has meant that school has become an unpleasant and anxiety provoking environment. We aim to create a safe space that children enjoy coming to, where they are able to build positive relationships and become effective learners.

Our aim in the Saplings centre is to help all our pupils SHINE by:

Sharing our own and others successes

Having respect for themselves, others and our world

Inspiring lifelong learners

Nurturing confidence, compassion and independence

Encouraging enjoyment in all aspects of school and life


We use an approach based on EYFS pedagogy but support our pupils to experience and access the KS1 curriculum as pupils become ready. The key themes of the EYFS form the basis of our development ensuring each unique child has the opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments to ensure they learn and develop to become the ‘best me I can be’.


We have created an enabling environment where our pupils have access to:

  • Stimulating resources, relevant to their own cultures and communities.
  • Rich learning opportunities through play and playful experiences.
  • Support to take risks and explore.

Our curriculum is designed to be fun, engaging and meaningful. It is taught through topics on a two year cycle, however topics can be subject to change to take into account children’s interests. The curriculum focuses heavily on enabling our pupils to become effective learners and develop the character skills necessary to succeed in school and beyond. There is also a heavy focus on supporting our pupils to be:


  • Effective communicators and early readers.
  • Mathematical thinkers.
  • Confident movers.
  • Understanding of their own and others Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

We recognise all our pupils are unique and individual learners with differences in their needs and the way they learn. As such we create bespoke, individual curriculums for each of our learners. We ensure we carefully analyse gaps in their early learning and address these before moving forward. Our pupils have targeted English and Maths work, taught through teacher led activities, carefully set up continuous provision and supported and consolidated through carefully thought out pupil led opportunities. All pupils also have carefully targeted effective learning and social, emotional objectives which are taught as a priority through our topics.

We often use play as a vehicle for learning. Play is a powerful tool. Through play children are able to develop language skills, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills. Through play they practise new ideas and skills, they take risks, show imagination and solve problems on their own or with others. For many children play is natural and spontaneous, however due to missed early experiences, or specific needs, many of our pupils require support and scaffolding to access play. They may start at a very early stage of play development, solitary play or onlooker play, but we support pupils to develop through the different overlapping stages of play.


Our pupils like consistency, routine and familiarity but through support and challenge we enable them to move away from their restricted learning and play diets. We do this by developing safe, trusting relationships and enabling and challenging resources and environments.

We aim to provide effective provision to ensure the children have opportunities to demonstrate characteristics of effective learning; playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically. There are opportunities for new learning and consolidation of existing learning. Initially our pupils may struggle with independently accessing provision, preferring to stick to familiarity or rely on an adult for direction. With support and consistency pupils will learn to engage in and enjoy the provision offered. At this stage the provision offered will enable children to make choices and initiate play and learning without direction from, or interaction with, an adult. Therefore we ensure that the areas and resources are readily available and easily accessible for all pupils. The areas and resources are appealing and plentiful.