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. At Lark Hill Primary School, we follow the new EYFS framework. Within the EYFS framework there are four guiding principles which shape our practice.
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident, and self-assured.
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
- Children develop and learn at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
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.
The 7 areas of learning in the EYFS
There are seven areas of learning and development in the EYFS. All areas are important and inter-connected. The three prime areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building positive relationships in order for them to thrive. These three areas are:
Prime Areas of Learning
- Communication and Language development of children's spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. This involves providing a language rich environment with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts. Through conversations, storytelling and role play, the children share their ideas with support and modelling from the EYFS team, and questioning invites them to elaborate.
- Physical Development is vital in children's all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. The EYFS team help children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility through providing play opportunities in both indoors and outdoors.
- Personal, social and emotional development is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive ability. This involves forming strong and supportive relationships with the EYFS team which enables the children to understand their own feelings and feelings of others. Children are also supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, develop friendships, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and to understand appropriate behaviour.
We also provide support for children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
Specific Areas of Learning
- Literacy development is crucial to develop a life-long love of reading. This 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 is essential in developing a strong grounding in number so children develop the necessary building blocks to excel in Maths. This involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, to subitise, 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 by increasing their knowledge and sense of the world through visiting local places and meeting important members of society. In addition, listening to a broad selection of books will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world.
- Expressive arts and design development supports the children's imagination and creativity. This 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.
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
These elements underpin how we reflect on each child’s development and adjust our practice accordingly. Supporting children in their individual learning behaviour and observing the context of children’s play is essential.
‘What children learn is important, but how children learn is even more important if they are to become learners in today’s society.’ Helen Moylett
How Children Learn, Nancy Stewart (2011
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.
From September 2021 - Statutory Framework For the EYFS
Birth to 5 matters