In the Foundation Stage, there is a Nursery class and a Reception class. The needs of the pupils are met through activities that carefully match the children’s interests and abilities. In this way we seek to motivate and inspire them, providing the best start to their learning journey as they progress through school.
Challenge questions and personalised learning drive our planning, ensuring rich and engaging learning experiences. Play underpins our provision, enabling children to explore the world around them, practice and build up ideas, learn to understand the need for rules, take risks and make mistakes.
The children’s learning is all planned in line with ‘The Early Years Foundation Stage’ guidance. A range of visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic activities ensure the consolidation and consideration of the characteristics of effective learning. All the activities and play opportunities encompass the seven areas of learning:
Prime Areas of Learning
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This is where children develop social skills, respect for others and a positive self-image. It also includes the way children play and work together; how they share and interact in various situations and learning about other cultures.
Communication and Language
This includes developing speaking and listening skills through role-play, stories and rhymes, talking to their peers and adults.
This area is concerned with the development of fine motor skills e.g threading, cutting, drawing, painting, writing. Also, children’s large body movements e.g. running, balancing, climbing, throwing and catching. Children develop their skills of coordination, control, movement and manipulation indoors and outdoors.
Specific Areas of Learning
Learning to handle books, talk about stories in their reading book and to read. Also writing their name, keywords, lists, recounts of events and beginning to write captions and simple sentences.
This is developing an understanding of mathematical areas such as number, calculating with numbers and shape, pattern and problem solving.
Understanding of the World
This helps children to develop skills and understanding to make sense of the world around them. Learning about their past, people, environments and other cultures. Children also experience the technological world around them, e.g. using computers and programmable toys.
Children explore, learn and play using a wide variety art and craft activities. They express themselves through their art work, music, dance using all their senses.
The Principles Underpinning Teaching and Learning
At our school, the principles underpinning teaching and learning in early years are:
Parents and teachers work together in an atmosphere of care and mutual respect within which the children have security and confidence.
Learning and provision are individualised depending upon the different starting points, built on what children can already do.
Opportunities are provided for children to engage in activities planned by adults and those that they plan or initiate themselves.
Teachers carefully structure a curriculum that provides opportunity for high quality teaching and learning both indoors and out, enabling children to explore, experiment, plan and make decisions for themselves.
Practioners observe and respond appropriately to children informed by knowledge of how children develop and learn with a clear understanding of next steps.
Teachers and teaching assistants deliver a stimulating knowledge based curriculum that stems from children’s interests, promotes enthusiasm, curiosity, builds skills, supports and extends knowledge.
This broad curriculum remains reasonably flexible allowing us to adapt to any particular interests of the children or current events.
Baseline Assessment in Reception
We have devised our own Baseline Assessment which we will use and we will be taking part in the new National Baseline which is being trialled next year (September 2019) and introduced fully in September 2020.
End of Year Assessment
The document ‘Expected and Exceeding Statements for EYFS‘ found above show the statements against which the children’s achievement is measured at the end of the school year. You will see both the learning objectives which are ‘expected’ and those which are ‘exceeding’. Please familiarise yourselves with these learning objectives so that you understand what is expected of your child during their Reception year. Please also note that the ‘expected’ category is very broad, including children who are on the border line of ’emerging’ or ‘exceeding’. The vast majority of children will fall into the ‘expected’ band.
The second document ‘Early Years Foundation Stage GLD for parents‘ explains that children are expected to reach the “expected” (2) level for 12 of the possible 17 strands in order to achieve a Good Level of Development (GLD).
Some children may achieve “exceeding” (3) in some of the strands. If a child is not yet meeting the expected criteria in any strand they will be given the “emerging” grade (1) for that particular strand.