Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Your child will follow a curriculum planned using the Early Years Outcomes of the Early Years Foundation Curriculum. The curriculum is divided into seven areas and these are:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Successful personal, social and emotional development is critical for very young children in all aspects of their lives and gives them the best opportunity for success in all other areas of learning. In Reception, we help to do this by providing a safe, stable, caring environment where each child is valued for their individuality.
We encourage children to be confident, have respect for each other and establish effective relationships with their friends and adults. They have opportunities to work on their own and in groups and to persevere in their activities, as well as solve simple, practical problems. They learn to be independent in selecting activities and resources. Rewards are given in the form of verbal praise, house points and stickers. Children are shown how to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of others and show respect for people of other cultures, beliefs and abilities.
Communication and Language
The development and use of communication and language is at the centre of a child’s learning. They do this in every part of school life and especially play. Your child will be encouraged to listen, talk and respond to other children and adults. They will sing songs, learn rhymes and share their ideas and feelings.
Young children develop in this area in two main ways. The first is the use of their whole bodies to move in different ways, e.g. running, jumping, sliding, etc. To help their development, we have a variety of suitable outdoor equipment/activities and the use of the school hall so they can explore the space around them.
The second way is to develop the control of essential fine motor and hand-eye co-ordination skills. Specific examples of this are the use of tools such as scissors, pencils, hammers, paintbrushes and cooking utensils, as well as activities of dressing, undressing, threading and using construction toys. Most of these are freely available to use at any time and also as specific group activities.
Mathematical development depends on becoming confident and competent in learning and using key skills. This takes place in many ways – through stories, songs, games, cookery and play. It will involve the children learning about shape and space in their environment, numbers, measures, counting, sorting, matching, pattern making and number writing.
Children will also be introduced to the written word in their environment through books, signs, labels, etc. They will share stories through books, role-play and puppets. They will learn sounds mainly through the nationally recommended “Letters and Sounds” scheme and put sounds together to make words.
Many opportunities will also be provided for them to experiment at mark making, e.g. in the writing area, artwork and malleable table. They will also be taught how to form letters and to spell words. Once children are ready they will bring home a levelled reading book.
The role-play area is a wonderful place for make-believe, dressing up and trying out different roles. It provides scope for developing imagination, language, sharing, co-operation and mathematics. Imaginative play is encouraged in many aspects of Reception, including miniature worlds such as the farm, railway, dolls’ house, etc. Through play, children work through their own experiences, widen their vocabulary and share ideas with each other.
Expressive Arts and Design
Being creative enables children to make connections between one area of learning and another and extend their understanding of the world. Children will learn to express themselves and communicate thoughts and ideas through art, music, dance, role-play and imaginative play. Children will gain experience of colour, shape and texture.
Much of the pleasure for a young child is from the process of doing activities rather than the end result. Your child will therefore value your interest and encouragement – please take pride in displaying any work they bring home.
We have a range of large and small musical instruments which we use regularly as well as singing songs, rhymes and clapping rhythms. We respond to music of different cultures and for different purposes through dance and movement, e.g. toys, animals, festivals.
Understanding the World
In this area of learning, children are developing the crucial knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. In Reception, we provide a range of activities indoors and outdoors to stimulate children’s interest and curiosity, e.g. the outdoor areas provide opportunities for observing seasonal changes, growth and living creatures.
We have different topics each term and go on visits where possible. We also celebrate different festivals. All of these help children to become aware of and explore differences of gender, language, religion and culture. Pupils have access to a range of technology items over the year, e.g. CD players, computers, digital camera, interactive Clevertouch screens, Ipads, remote controlled cars, etc.
How will my child’s progress be recorded?
During their time in EYFS, the children will be observed working in all areas of the curriculum so that the staff can plan for the next stage of your child’s learning. Each child has their own Learning Journal in which observations and photos are kept to show progress through The Foundation Stage. These Learning Journals are available for parents to look at, and contribute to, whenever they like. The learning journals are kept in school as they are used on a daily basis, however if you have a specific reason you would like to take it home, please speak to the class teacher.
If you have any concerns about your child’s progress, please come and talk to the staff as they will be pleased to help if they can.