Early Years Foundation Stage
The Foundation Stage follows a unique curriculum that enables every child to have the best possible start in life. We understand that children develop at different stages to one another and we believe that our curriculum ensures every child reaches their full potential.
Our creative curriculum follows the, Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. The Curriculum comprises of seven areas of learning and development:
The prime areas of learning:
- Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
- Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
The specific areas of learning:
- Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write using our Read, Write Inc. programme. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
- Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
- Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
- Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
Achievement of these Areas of Learning is reached by putting the Characteristics of Effective Learning at the heart of all we do. This ensures all children are exposed to a broad and balanced curriculum. Children become self-motivated learners who embrace challenge and are inspired to learn. They are able to fulfil their potential and develop the skills necessary for success.
Playing and exploring – engagement: Finding out and exploring, playing with what they know, being willing to ‘have a go’
Active learning – motivation: Being involved and concentrating, keeping trying, enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Creating and thinking critically – thinking: Having their own ideas, making links, choosing ways to do things
The Learning Environment
There is a seamless link between the indoor and outdoor learning environment which children access all day and in all weathers!
- In the EYFS children’s natural, exploratory drive is developed through their self-directed play.
- A child initiated (self initiated) activity is an activity wholly decided on by the child itself and is the result of an intrinsic motivation to explore a project, or express an idea.
- The learning environment is organised in such a way that children can find and access resources for themselves. This promotes independence and responsibility.
- We ensure that there is a balance of adult-led and freely chosen or child-initiated activities, delivered through indoor and outdoor play.
- Outdoor learning has equal value to indoor learning
- Outdoor learning has a positive impact on children’s well-being and development
Transition into Year 1
- Before the children move from the Foundation Stage into KS1 the teaching staff meet to discuss each individual child’s progress.
- The child’s present teacher informs the future teacher of his/her level of ability, special educational needs and any other information relevant to the well being and development of the individual child.
- Year 1 teachers are therefore aware of all the children’s achievements and can implement the next steps of their learning
- The children have many opportunities to spend time with their new teacher to make their transition as seamless as possible.
- The Y1 curriculum builds on and extends the experiences children have had during the foundation stage.