The Early Years Foundation Stage is the period of education from birth to 5 years. In our Foundation Stage Unit we have a Nursery Class and 2 Reception Classes.
This academic year (2020-2021) we are an Early Adopter School, which means we are adopting the new Early Learning Goals a year early within our school. This also means we are using the new 2020 version of the Development Matters to support our curriculum throughout this year in both our Nursery and Reception classes and assessing against the new Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception.
Our EYFS Intent
To work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points.
To understand and follow children’s interests and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps.
To create an indoor and outdoor environment which supports learning.
To prepare children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Foundation Stage and ensure children make good progress from their starting points.
To support transition into KS1.
We keep parents informed and we meet regularly with parents and carers to ensure children’s transition into school and through the EYFS is happy and allows them to reach their potential with the support needed. This includes coffee mornings, workshops, Class Dojo and parent consultations.
We have a curriculum that is child-centered and that is based upon wow experiences and topics which engage the children. We encourage active learning to ensure the children are motivated and interested. We take time to get to know children’s interests and their likes to support learning.
All areas of the EYFS curriculum are followed and planned for to ensure there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum. The children will learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas in the EYFS curriculum:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
These 7 areas are used to plan children’s learning and activities. Planning for this curriculum is designed to be flexible so that a child’s unique needs and interests are supported.
Daily guided activities are set up and planned that cover different areas of the EYFS curriculum and allow children to develop their next steps in learning. Areas of need and next steps are identified for all children to ensure good progress is made. There are also a range of stimulating and engaging activities which the children can access independently and a variety of opportunities for child-initiated play. In planning and guiding children’s activities we reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in our practice.
We ensure activities support the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning to ensure learning takes place. These are:
• playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
• active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements;
• creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. Our outdoor areas are used all year round and in most weather conditions.
Staff in the EYFS make regular observations of the children’s learning to ensure their next steps are met. These are collected in each child’s Learning Journey. We regularly assess where the children are using the Development Matters and then ensure our planning, adult interaction and learning environment support children to reach their next steps.
Staff support transition into Key Stage 1. Preparing children for Year 1 with visits to their new class, meeting the teacher and ensuring the environments are similar at the end of Reception and the start of Year 1.