The Early Years Foundation Stage
Children entering our Nursery and Reception class will follow the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum’. The teaching and learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage promotes a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundations for a good future and rate of progress throughout the rest of school and life.
The practice in our early years setting is led by the overarching principles that:
• Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning;
• Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
• Children learn and develop well in enabling environments and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents/carers;
• Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
• Our curriculum cares and caters for all children inclusively.
• We deliver our curriculum through the 7 areas of learning of the Early Years Foundation Stage;
• Communication and language;
• Physical development;
• Personal, social and emotional development;
• Understanding the world;
• Expressive arts and design.
Each area of learning is implemented through carefully planned, purposeful play through which our practitioners have considered the individual needs, interests and stages of development of each of the children
The planning is often based around the children’s interests, alongside seasonal celebrations. We have a strong belief that children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play that is guided by our qualified adults. The mixture of adult-led and child-initiated activity is a careful balance that the Early Years Team has confidence in providing.
In planning and guiding the children’s activities all our staff observe and reflect on the different ways that the children learn. These are formally known as your child’s characteristics of effective learning and are described using the following three key characteristics:
• playing and exploring – how your child investigates and experiences things, or their ‘have a go’ attitude;
• active learning – how your child concentrates and can keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy their own achievements;
• creating and thinking critically – how your child develops their own ideas, makes links between their ideas, and develops strategies for doing things. (Meet our Learning Squad Characters - below)
Through observing the children and their learning we are able to gather a full picture of each child’s attainment. We are very strong in the belief that parents, carers and significant adults also play an integral part of the learning and development process and encourage you to make contributions using the forms we provide.
We use many different ways of gathering information on each child to support our judgements:
• knowledge of your child;
• materials which illustrate the child’s learning journey, such as photographs;
• observations of day to day interactions;
• video/electronic recordings;
• your child’s view of his or her own learning;
• information from parents and carers; and
• information from other relevant adults.
In the final term of the reception year we will have achieved a well-rounded picture of each child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1.
Each child will be assessed against the early learning goals and we will indicate whether your child is meeting the expected levels of development, if they are exceeding expected levels, or not yet reaching expected levels, therefore emerging. This is known as the EYFS Profile.
This information will be shared with every parent/carer as a report together with a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three characteristics of effective learning.