Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
We recognise that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) of education for children has a distinct identity and is fundamental in providing an essential base, both academically and socially, for a child’s education.
What is it like to be a learner in the EYFS?
Learning in our Early Years classes is a joyous journey of discovery. Children are active participants in their learning, acquiring new knowledge and skills, developing their thinking, taking and managing risks and working independently and in groups.
We recognise that children in the EYFS learn through a careful balance of play and direct experiences, through exploring and being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
The children enjoy a wide range of activities, learning through whole-class inputs, group work and one-to-one focused learning activities. There are opportunities for adult- and child-initiated activities every day, linked to themes taken from the children’s interests and ideas as well as key texts carefully chosen and shared throughout the year. We encourage independence of thought and choice of activity throughout the EYFS, as we believe this allows children to develop the skills that they need to become successful learners and to reach their full potential.
In the Early Years, children have a daily structured phonics and maths sessions which teach new skills and knowledge. The children also spend long periods of time in exploratory play, where they use their new knowledge to interact with their classroom environment, supported and extended by our excellent staff.
Carefully planned experiences across the curriculum capture the children’s imagination and build on their developing skills across the year.
The EYFS environment:
The learning environment across the EYFS is designed to reflect the seven areas of learning. There is a writing/mark making area, role play area, creative and small world areas and a 'Snack Shack' in our Reception environment. Resources to inspire children to read, write and explore mathematical concepts are always available. Each classroom also has carpet areas for whole class sessions, space for group work and an interactive white board.
Our classrooms link together so that children can move freely around the space, accessing areas for creative development, sand and water exploration and technology.
Our shared outdoor area is accessible from both classrooms and children are able to work inside and outside in all types of weather. Children enjoy a large range of physical activities as well as a mud kitchen, a gravel/sand pit, a role play/music area, a creative area as well as an exploration/science area.
The children really enjoy looking after our two rabbits ‘Twinkle’ and ‘Star’ making sure they have enough food and water. They learn how to pat and handle them gently and carefully.
The children also have opportunities to cook, make art and music and create with modelling equipment.
The children have a weekly apparatus session where they develop balance and co-ordination skills and can climb, hang and swing.
When children need to, they are able to help themselves to a healthy snack from a selection of fruit, vegetables which they help themselves to. Milk and water are also always available.
Our aims for the EYFS:
· provide a well-planned, carefully-structured and resourced curriculum, in partnership with parents and carers, to take children’s learning forwards and to provide opportunities for all children to succeed in an atmosphere of care where they feel valued;
· provide a welcoming environment for children and their families;
· ensure that all children feel included, secure and valued;
· establish positive relationships with parents;
· keep parents well informed about the curriculum and their child's progress;
· build on what children already know and can do and celebrate achievement;
· help children make links in their learning;
· stimulate positive attitudes and dispositions to learning;
· encourage independence;
· value children's interests, providing a balance of direct teaching and child-initiated activities;
· help children build friendships and learn to co-operate with each other;
· provide a solid foundation in the seven areas of learning through well-planned, rich and stimulating experiences;
· make careful observations in order to support and extend children's learning appropriately;
· to ensure that children with special educational needs are identified and receive appropriate support.
Partnership With Parents
How will I know how my child is doing?
On entry to Reception the children are assessed through a mix of observationS and working with an adult. We follow the Baseline Assessments set by the government at the beginning of the school year.
Their progress is then tracked across the year termly and children's achievements are shared with parents during Parents 'consultation meetings in the Autumn and Spring Term when parents will be given a learning update which include primary targets for each child to work on. Parents will receive an end of the year report in the summer term. Observational notes are used to inform teachers’ judgements about a child’s development as well as discussions with parents and carers.
The Foundation Stage Profile is completed for each child towards the end of the Reception year and the results reported to parents as part of the end of year report. Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals. Your child's teacher will indicate whether they are meeting expected levels of development or not yet reaching expected levels.
You can download a guide to the EYFS framework and what typical development looks like in each area of learning here:
Supporting your Child with Phonics and Writing. Please click here for information about our most recent parent meeting on Phonics and Reading. You can find information about supporting correct letter formation here.
Tapestry Online Learning Journal
Your child’s ‘Tapestry’ online learning journal will be available for you to share with them at home, which is a great way of talking about what they have been learning at school. ‘Wow’ moments will be posted on Tapestry as they happen. If you cannot access the online learning journal please let us know.
Guides to using the Tapestry online learning journal for parents/carers can be found here:
Parent/Carer Tapestry guide
Tapestry Apple app help guide
Tapestry Android help guide