The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of your child from birth to five years old. In the EYFS, we aimed to give your child the skills, knowledge and a solid foundation on which to build their future learning through a happy, active, exciting, safe and secure learning environment.
We use the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework as our base for the opportunities and provision that we provide your child with in the first years at our school. This is a continuation of the learning and experiences they would have accessed in their pre-school or nursery setting. There is a great emphasis on learning through direct, first hand experiences in a play based environment. This allows your child to develop the skills needed in preparation for their National Curriculum education that commences in Year 1.
Our EYFS curriculum is carefully planned to ensure progression and continuity of skills in all areas of learning. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. The three prime areas reflect the key skills and capacities all children need to develop and learn effectively in order to be ready for school.
The Three Prime Areas
- Communication and language through which your child will learn about listening, attention, understanding and speaking.
- Physical development which emphasises gross and fine motor skills in moving and handling, as well as health and self-care.
- Personal, social and emotional development through which your child will gain confidence and self-awareness, the ability to manage their feelings and behaviour and learn about building effective relationships with others.
The Four Specific Areas
- Literacy through which your child will develop phonic knowledge that will enable them to decode, read and write words. Your child will learn the skills they need to be a reader and to love books, they will borrow books to share at home and enjoy daily stories at school. We love writing and all attempts at writing are encouraged.
- Mathematics where your child will develop their ability to count reliably, read and order numbers, calculate, problem solve and use mathematical language. They will explore, recognise, create and describe patterns and shape. They will also learn about weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money.
- Understanding the world through this your child will think about their own family and explore other people, the place where they live and about all aspects of the environment.
- Expressive arts and design through this your child will experiment with media and materials, finding out about their properties and modifying and manipulating them. This includes exploring sounds, patterns, movement as well as different tools and techniques.
The Characteristics of Effective Learning
Each child is unique, learns and experiences things in different ways. We value the diversity of each and every child in our care and celebrate their differences and individual characters. Your child’s individual learning characteristic will determine the way they respond to both the teaching and learning taking place in the environment. During your child’s time in our EYFS we will be looking out for not just ‘what’ your child learns but ‘how’ they learn too. This is referred to as the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning.’
There are three characteristics of effective teaching and learning identified by the Early Years Foundation Stage:
- Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
- Active learning – children concentrate, keep on trying if they find things difficult and enjoy achievements.
- Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.
Our EYFS Environment
‘Learning through Play’ is an essential part of your child’s learning journey. Play helps them to process the world around them, their thoughts and feelings, it gives them time to process new learning and reflect on what they already know. They gain confidence as they learn to explore, take risks and relate to others and take joy in what they achieve.
Our EYFS environment is designed and organised to promote positive, engaging areas for your child to learn in. We have designated areas of the inside and outside learning environment to support the prime and specific areas of learning. We believe in the importance of outdoor learning and use our lovely EYFS garden for our adult directed activities and ‘Learning through Play’.
As our classroom reflects the different areas of learning, we provide opportunities and activities to enhance and stimulate interest and develop learning. We all learn best if it is something we are interested in so we plan and explore learning through topics based on children’s interest.
EYFS and Resilience
EYFS have been exploring numbers and quantities through nursery rhymes.
Early Years have been learning about why some people wear poppies and have created a lovely window display to say thank you to the armed forces.
Happy Socks Day – Following on from our Happy Socks Day, EYFS have been reading Simon Sock and learning how we are all special, all unique and that we can all be a good friend to each other. We even managed to work it into our maths looking at patterns, similarities and differences.
EYFS have been exploring favourite stories set in different parts of the world.
As we say goodbye to our Autumn topic and welcome winter, the children wanted to share two of their favourite creative displays with you all. Hope you are as impressed by them as we all are in Early Years.