The Foundation Stage follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This is based on the principles that children are unique and need unique learning experiences matched to their learning and developmental needs. There is a strong emphasis on learning through play, both child initiated and planned by the class teacher. The curriculum is delivered through a combination of whole class activities, adult led focused activities and child initiated activities.
During the Foundation Stage children work towards Early Learning Goals in the different areas of learning and development. These consist of three prime areas that cover the knowledge and skills expected by the end of the EYFS.
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
These are applied and reinforced by the specific areas which are:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
For each goal, teachers determine whether children are meeting expected levels or are below the expected level (‘emerging’) and these outcomes are made available to parents in their child's school report at the end of the year.
We also encourage the children to become effective learners through skilfully planning and implementation of the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning:
- Playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
- Active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulty and enjoy achievements.
- Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
The EYFS team plan learning with overarching themes, which ensure continuity and progression of learning. We plan adult led sessions which focus on learning skills and then carefully planned enhanced provision activities which allow the children to apply the learning skills.
Phonics and Reading
In Nursery we focus on listening for sounds and rhymes and patterns through a variety of activities, songs and rhymes.
In Reception we follow Read Write Inc Phonics, where new sounds are introduced through whole class and small group teaching and then applied and practised throughout the day through excellent planned provision and activities. We also use RWI Assessments every 6-7 weeks to track the children's progress in Phonics and use it as a teaching resource to practice phonic skills and learn high frequency words. From the autumn term phonic matched reading books are sent home with the Reception children.
In both Nursery and Reception we continually assess the children’s learning through observation and interaction which allows us to plan each child’s next step of learning for progression and ensuring they are on track to meet the Early learning Goals at the end of the reception year.
During the first six weeks the children are in school, we get to know each individual child through a range of activities to assess their level of development on entry to the school in each of the areas of learning. Children will be assessed through observations, short tasks and through the collection of evidence to support judgements. This information will then help set next steps of learning for each child and future targets. Children in Reception will also complete the statutory DFE Baseline Assessment which consists of short activities one to one with their teacher to assess them on entry to school. This is then used by the DFE to track their Progress through to Year 2 and then Year 6.
We aim to give children a rich learning environment including the outdoors as much as possible. Exploring the environment is a vital part of the learning process, outdoor learning gives children the freedom to explore and communicate in different ways to the classroom environment. Outdoor learning allows children to express themselves and their ideas freely on a larger scale. We aim for our outside areas to enrich the children’s time at school through the different areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and enable them to explore a range of natural objects and resources. All children are able to access the outdoor environment whatever the weather to encourage them to explore and take safe risks in imaginative play and experiential learning.
Parents/carers as the primary carers, play the most important part in their education. We develop our relationship with parents/carers and involve them in everything that happens at school, so that we can support each other in helping each child reach their full potential. We are aware that children continue to learn at home as well as at school, so we encourage parents/carers to also upload photographs of children's learning and experiences onto Tapestry. This will help us to build a broad picture of individual children's successes as there are many things, they may do at home but not at school. We offer many opportunities for parents/carers to be involved with the school including stay and play sessions, parents’ evenings, and after school events.
We ensure that all children have a transition from YN to YR and YR to Y1. If children are moving to a different school, we ensure we have an in-depth conversation about the child transferring to detail their current achievements and progress and what their next steps of learning are.