We would like to welcome you to our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). In EYFS at St Chad’s, we endeavour to create memories of learning that will last a lifetime. Our intention is to provide a happy, active, safe and caring learning environment which supports children’s development, care and learning needs as well as having the opportunity to reach their full potential. Our purpose is to provide the best Early Years education, in partnership with parents, carers and Governors to ensure that every individual child enjoys education from their very first experiences with us.
We aim to provide rich and challenging learning experiences which enables children to develop enquiring minds, promote independence and become successful learners within a secure, fun and stimulating environment, both indoors and out.
The children in our Early Years Foundation Stage are supported and challenged which allows them to thrive in an engaging environment designed by experienced practitioners who understand the key principles of Early Years education. We follow a child-led approach to a play-based curriculum with a belief that each child develops at their own pace. We ensure that each child’s time in EYFS is exciting, engaging and memorable by working closely together and planning accordingly from ‘in the moment’ observations, children’s interests, enquiry and stage of development. This is so that they can all flourish and develop in a learning style of your child’s choice as well as being fully engaged in their learning. By providing high quality purposeful play, our goal is to nurture independent, confident, creative and resourceful learners that has a love of learning and care for one another. They are also encouraged to support each another and build upon each other’s strengths.
Each day in EYFS, we provide opportunities for the children to enhance their learning, have fun and share experiences in which practitioners will develop and support this. Practitioners are experienced in carrying out individual and group observations that build upon children’s specific skills and knowledge by engaging in play. They promote challenge, ask open-ended questions and model high-quality play to ensure every child has a solid foundation to become confident and independent learners.
The curriculum has a balance of child-initiated and teacher-led activities which is centred around children’s interests. We have at least 4 phonics sessions that take place every week as phonics teaching and learning are a key part of EYFS to help develop early reading and writing skills. We also have at least 4 maths sessions every week which include a problem solving/reasoning task.
Following the Read, Write, Inc phonics programme, children will begin to learn a new sound every day focusing on recognition, pronunciation and formation. The new letter sound that has been learnt will be sent home in a sound book to practice recognition and formation. Please keep this book in your child’s book bag ready for their next sound. Children will then begin to sound and blend CVC words. Reading books and reading records will be sent out when your child is ready.
Following the Power Maths programme through Active Learn, children cover a range of different number work including recognising, counting, ordering numbers to 20 and beyond as well as addition and subtraction. We also cover shape, space and measure units through practical activities.
Following the RE programme Come and See, children cover a range of topics within the curriculum including stories, prayers and recognising special phrases. They also actively take part in weekly collective worship.
Monday/Wednesday afternoons – children should bring their full PE kit at the start of every new half term and it will be kept it in school for the remainder of the half term.
Given out on a Friday to be returned by the following Wednesday which will include reading, sound work and maths based work.
We aim to communicate and work with parents and carers to support their children’s transition and development in our EYFS setting. We would like parents to feel secure in the knowledge that their child is well cared for and happy at school. Our parents are invited into school for informal, yet invaluable meetings which will support them in areas such as how we teach and how they can support this at home as well as being actively involved in their child’s learning journey in school. We value contributions to judgements about children’s development and we use this information to support our assessment and plan next steps for children to be able to thrive.
Our curriculum map covering what is taught throughout the year is below:-
Our planning is flexible to reflect experiences, interests and needs of all children. This may mean that our topics could take a new or different direction as we never know which way the children will lead us as we learn together.
In Reception, we place an emphasis on children learning through play and exploration, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. Our classroom learning environment includes child-initiated play and specific planned opportunities for children to explore, create and learn through exciting, stimulating, interactive and accessible resources. Our enabling environment offers children many new experiences that may provide a child with opportunities to develop a number of skills and concepts across several areas of learning.
Children are encouraged to work and play independently, making their own choices and selecting resources they need for their play as well as joining in a variety of teacher-led activities. Children have access to the following indoor and outdoor areas that are free flowing to ensure successful learning opportunities are available:
- Opportunities to practice regular Reading/Writing and Maths skills
- Story corner
- Creative area
- Role play
- Mud Kitchen
- Digging Pit
- Motor skills
- Malleable area
- Small world
Through these areas, we aim for children to be able to sustain concentration, develop social skills such as taking turns and sharing which will help them develop further in their next stages of learning.
Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
The EYFS is a very important stage in a child’s life as it helps them prepare for school ‘readiness’ as well as preparing them for their future learning. The EYFS framework explains how and what children will be learning to support their development and provide the foundations children need.
We follow the national Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework which is made up of seven areas of learning and development. All 7 areas of learning are used to plan children’s learning and activities so it allows them to learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through these areas.
They are divided into three prime areas and four specific areas.
The three prime areas which are most essential for a child’s development are:
- Communication and Language
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Physical development
These are then supported by specific areas that will strengthen the prime areas. The specific areas are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Following the EYFS curriculum, the seven areas are made up of 17 aspects of learning known as the Early Learning Goals. Practitioners provide children with the opportunities to meet these.
To find out more about the Early Learning Goals click the link below.
Assessment at the end of Reception
We follow the statutory guidance for the EYFS and we complete a EYFS Baseline assessment. We receive your child’s records from previous EYFS settings which enables us to ensure continuity throughout the EYFS. Ongoing assessment is undertaken throughout the year in Reception through interactions with children, day-to-day observations and observations that parents and carers share. It allows practitioners to observe children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations. Using this information, we then also complete the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile at the end of the reception year.
Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals. Practitioners will indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development:
- Emerging- not yet reaching expected levels of development for age
- Exceeding- beyond expected levels of development for age
KS1 teachers have access to the profile report with a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning. These will inform transition meetings about each child’s stage of development and learning needs and assist with the planning of future activities.