The main principles, as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Guidance, on which the EYFS curriculum is based are grouped into four main themes:
- A Unique Child – every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners, parents and carers.
- Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in EYFS provision.
There are three prime areas and four specific areas of Learning & Development.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Our programme supports children to develop relationships, to develop their self confidence and self awareness and to manage their feelings and behaviour. For example we encourage the children to be able to describe themselves in positive terms and talk about their abilities, sharing these with both peers and adults. At the end of each week and during holidays the children will have the opportunity of taking care of our classroom cuddly friends ‘Boris’ and ‘Bessie’. They don’t need feeding, but we do ask for a diary to be filled in to tell us of the adventures that they get up to!
- Communication and Language – We support children in their listening and attention skills, in their understanding and in their speaking. On a weekly basis your child will be encouraged to bring in items or share stories for Show and Tell, this is an ideal opportunity for children to become great communicators, listeners and to show opinions about things that they have heard or seen.
- Physical Development – We support children to grow more confident in moving and handling, and to develop their awareness of health and self-care. All children experience a healthy range of foodstuffs through milk and fruit being continually available as a snack. At lunch times there is a three week menu that is prepared for younger children, by a chef using a variety of fresh, healthy foods offering them a balanced diet. Water is available to the children, we ask that you provide a water bottle for this purpose. Children in Foundation Stage take part in a daily Movement 4 Learning programme that we were a pilot school for on behalf of Professor Pat Preedy and Dr Rebecca Duncombe. Following this pilot we were able to take from the findings that this programme enabled the children to be much more school ready in physical skills which enabled them to achieve far greater progress than would normally be expected.
- Literacy – We support children in their early reading and writing. Children are encouraged to engage and submerge themselves with books at school. They will bring home library books for you to share with them, they will be given a notebook in addition to this, that you can use with your child to explore different aspects of the book they have brought home. There are many opportunities of engaging in mark making leading to the development of writing skills. This is an important stage for young children and we try to encourage them throughout the various stages of writing, using a variety of styles and resources.
- Maths – We support children’s learning in the areas of number, shape, space and measure. The maths activities that they experience will be of a practical nature, as children are ready there will be more formal recording of the skills and processes that they have learnt. At home you can help your child through involving them in simple activities recognising shapes and numbers in your everyday lives.
- Understanding the World – We support children’s learning about People and Communities (British Values), the World and Technology. At school they will have the opportunity to access websites through using a variety of tablets, whiteboards, programmable toys etc. We always love to hear of any websites/apps that they may enjoy using at home. The children love to learn about the world in which they live through first-hand experience, in order to do this we invite into school a selection of visitors who have volunteered to share either their interests or occupations with us. If you feel that you have something to offer that would interest the children then please do let us know!
- Expressive Arts and Design – We support children’s learning by exploring and using media and materials and by being imaginative. As part of this area of learning the children will take part in an EYFS/KS1 production that includes singing, instruments, acting and costumes. Our stage production is then performed to all parents near to the end of term. Watch out for your shining star!
Spring Term 2021
Literacy will continue to be taught using ‘Magic Moment’ sessions that enable us to present work in an informal way, within the children’s ‘play’, working with children at a similar stage of development. We use ‘Twinkl Phonics’ which is based on ‘Letters and Sounds’.
Our new Nursery children will learn how to listen to sounds and to have sustained concentration on one thing that will gradually increase. Existing Nursery children will learn sounds from phase 2 and Reception children will complete phase 3, practicing forming their letters correctly and then using this knowledge in writing their own words. Alongside this they will use this phonic knowledge to continue gaining confidence in reading learning more tricky words that cannot be phonetically segmented.
This learning is very much based around enjoyment in order that they foster a love for learning. Much of the work that they do will then be re-enforced within their play in the classroom.
We will continue to use ‘White Rose Maths’ which, in the same way as the literacy, will continue to be taught during ‘Magic Moments’. The work that they cover is very much presented in a fun, practical manner in order that they can really grasp an understanding of the concepts that they are learning. They will build upon what they learnt last term. In Number they will be focusing on understanding numbers to 10, comparison of numbers to 10, composition of 4 and 5, making pairs, combining numbers and learning number bonds to 10. In Measure, Shape and Spatial Thinking, they will compare mass and capacity, learn more about length, height and time and will also look at 3-D shapes and pattern.
Planning In The Moment
Our learning in EYFS is based around the idea of Planning In The Moment which allows us to use particular interests that a child might have and to take this further in an adventure of learning. This may be led by an experience that they may have had at home, for example a special birthday celebration, or it may be led by something that they have perhaps seen on the way to school that has really interested them. We look forward to building on their experiences from the Christmas holidays.
We will also plan work around some fixed events such as Chinese New Year, Pancake Day and Easter.
Educational Visits and Visitors
We are hoping that as we move into 2021, we will have an opportunity to begin to welcome visitors to school or even be able to plan educational visits but this will very much depend on what is happening with the pandemic.
Tapestry is used as an online learning journal where observations will be made of the children and these are then linked to the areas of learning. We welcome parents making their own observations at home as this can also help to enhance Planning In The Moment.
We will continue to use memos on Tapestry for Reception-aged children to inform you of where your child is at with their reading in school, we love to hear how they are doing at home with this too. Books will continue to be changed on a Monday and Thursday with us completing the appropriate quarantine of the returned books. For those children that have already completed some time in Nursery they will bring home a set of phase 2 sounds and we will look at these individually at school and you can repeat this at home, adding it as a comment on the memo.