Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage, which underpins the curriculum in our EYFS classroom, is distinct in its identity. The learning and development undertaken by every child in this Key Stage (Early Years Foundation Stage), is planned in accordance with ‘The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework 2017’.

The development of each child is recorded through the use of assessment which provides an accurate and detailed insight into the progress made by the individual. Observations made of each child in a variety of environments and learning situations ensure that holistic observations and assessments of an individual are made. With a comprehensive view of the level of development for each child, an appropriate and challenging curriculum can be delivered to ensure the needs of the individual are met effectively.
On entry to Reception at our school all children will undertake a baseline assessment in order to ascertain stages of development, strengths and needs. Many children have followed an EYFS programme at nursery and the records made by practitioners in that setting also provide vital information on individual attainment and requirements for the coming year.

Careful planning between all the staff in contact with the children ensure a wide, varied and effective curriculum is delivered.

Our Learning Environment using The Curiosity Approach
The learning opportunities available are planned according to the children’s interests, next steps and own lines of inquiry. These are presented to the children as invitations to play, and provocations to learn. This means, we aim to capture a child’s interest and provide resources which will support them embed their developing knowledge and give extra challenge for those who are ready.

Using natural, authentic resources and equipment such as real tea cups, real food and real equipment, instead of a plastic toy alternative, we believe, gives children the opportunity to independently learn from the environment as the third teacher. For example, by learning a real tea pot is heavier than a tea cup, whereas the plastic equivalents would not provide this learning opportunity. By providing real resources to children, we believe that they will learn to respect the equipment they have, make links about their world around them, and feel trusted and respected themselves to use ‘the real thing.’ A tour of our learning environment will show a well thought out, resourced inside classroom, with those learning provocations reflected outside. We provide real loose parts, both inside and outside for open ended imaginative learning opportunities which will give the opportunity and experience to create, imagine, adapt, problem solve and evaluate.

Settling in and Getting Started
We work to ensure each child settles into the school environment as quickly as possible. We follow a thorough and robust transition program from Preschool/ Nursery to the start of Reception. We will assess each child using a baseline assessment, no longer than three weeks into the school term.

Characteristics of Effective Learning
We recognize that the Characteristics of Effective Learning underpin the whole of each child’s learning, both academically and socially. During our play, we will be taking safe risks, learning to have a go and challenge ourselves with things we are less familiar with. We will be predicting, testing and evaluating our own lines of inquiry. We will learn to explore the process, not necessarily the end result. We will be learning to achieve for ourselves- not just for external praise or reward. We will be trying things using trial and error, looking for ways to improve things or make them different. We will be learning how to get involved, how to explore and be curious and how to develop our concentration skills. We will be learning to persevere when things get tricky. We will learn to make choices and develop our confidence to use the learning environment to be self- sufficient, independent, open minded learners.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Through a balance of child initiated play and directed activities, we will be learning that we are special and ways that we are unique. We will be learning how to make friends and how to manage our feelings and behaviour in school. We will learn to express ourselves, using kind hands, kind feet and kind words. We will learn to be tolerant of each other, wait our turn, be friendly to each other, and be patient when we have to wait. We will learn to ask people to play with us and use their ideas too in our games. We will learn to try new things, as well as develop the confidence to ask for help when we need it.

Communication and Language
We will be developing our communication skills, our receptive and expressive skills and our understanding of language. We will explore stories and different text types such as poems, joining in the repeated phrases, learning nursery rhymes and riddles and many songs. We will be exploring stories and different text types through Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing. We will learn how to listen to, repeat and tell our own stories, which story words to use, how to use characters and how to end the story. We will be learning to follow instructions and be as independent as we possibly can be. We will be developing our listening and attention skills throughout each day in order to prepare us for learning. We will be learning to express our needs, wants, opinions and understanding a delay in our needs occurs; developing patience. We will be using new words to express ourselves in our inquiry based environment.

Physical Development
We will be learning to move in a variety of ways and negotiate space safely. We will be giving opportunities to climb, run, balance etc.. We will use the scooters and the bikes to practise taking safety measures as well as adjust speed, direction and movement. We will develop gross motor skills using magic wands, for example, in phonics. We will be using malleable materials such as playdough to develop our hand strength (for example in dough gym) to develop our fine motor skills. We will be handing tin beads, seeds, toys to sort etc.. developing our pincer grip. We will also be using tongs to develop our hand muscles. We will be developing a preference for a dominant hand, learning how to hold the pencil or pen with a tripod grip. We will be learning how to keep ourselves safe when using scissors etc.. We will be learning how to try a variety of foods including fruit, bread etc… We will be learning good hygiene practices such as hand washing techniques and why it is important.

Phonics and Reading
We will be developing our listening and attention skills through play based, practical learning activities. We will be learning the phonemes (sounds) in their pure form. We will be practising how to hear the phonemes, identify where in the word they are and identify them by recognising the grapheme (the way it is written down.) We will learn how to word build real and ‘alien’ words (nonsense words) in order to develop our understanding of the phonemes and make oral and written sentences with these words in. We will be looking at text types, for example riddles, poems, songs and rhyming phrases that use these phonemes in order for us to develop a sound understanding of the context of the phoneme and word. We will be learning to access, appreciate and enjoy a variety of text types, both fiction and non-fiction. We have been practising how to read unfamiliar words by sounding out and a variety of other strategies to independently read. We will be practising how to read tricky words by sight using approaches such as bingo games. We will be learning how to answer questions by using picture clues and our understanding. We will be learning to build up our reading for enjoyment as we explore a variety of fiction, non fiction and poetry throughout the year.

Mark Making and Writing
Writing opportunities will be inspired by our interests. We will be learning to write for pleasure and understand that writing is for a purpose and that text has meaning. Our early writing skills will be developed through purposeful mark making. Through shared, guided and independent writing opportunities, we will build our writing stamina and listen for the first, final and middle sounds in each word as we progress to sentence writing. We will learn to segment words into the pure sounds to write the word down. We will explore writing for different purposes such as labels, captions and lists.

We will be learning 1:1 correspondence, counting and identifying objects to each. We will be exploring numbers 1- 20 and matching the corresponding quantities to each numeral. We will learn to order numbers. We will learn to order by size and height too using non standard units. We will learn simple additions and use toys and resources to help us. We will explore shapes, how to collect data and how to use language related to time. We will be working towards solving simple problems, finding fractions and learn to double and halve numbers. We will use ICT programs to help us learn too.

Understanding the World
We will be exploring the world around us in both directed activities and in our play. We will be observing and commenting on the weather. We will be seen out and about in our local area such as at the church or the post office! We will be learning how to look after ourselves and animals too. We will be learning about family routines and how other families are similar or different. We will be learning about different occupations in our local community. We will be learning how to care for plants and deciding if something is dead or alive. We will be observing growth and decay, especially as we tend to our own gardening plot. We will be using technological toys such as beebots and laptops. We will be engaging with simple programs and thinking how we use technology in a safe way at home or at school.

Exploring and Understanding Media and Materials
We will be using our imaginations in our play; by starting our own games and learning to accept and continue the ideas of others. We will be learning to sing new songs, make our own dances and move freely as well as being creative using different materials such as paint, gloop and junk modelling.

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