Early Years Foundation Stage
We provide a secure foundation for every child. We provide every child with a wide variety of rich experiences that are crucial to their learning and development. The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum encompasses our school values of Ready, Respectful, Safe.
The four guiding principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework shape our practice across our reception provision:
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Children learn to be strong and independent through the positive relationships we provide.
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which planned experiences are in response to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
- The importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates.
- To provide and safe, stimulating learning environment, both indoors and outdoors, that enables children to discover and explore new and exciting things.
- To develop children’s independence and resilience.
- To provide children with the skills they need to reach their potential.
- To nurture characteristics of effective learning – playing and exploring; active learning and creating and thinking critically.
- To nurture children’s curiosity about the world around them opening up their worlds to diverse opportunities.
- To provide parents and carers with the opportunity to develop their children’s learning at home.
- To prepare children for the next part of their learning journey.
- To provide stimulating indoor and outdoor environments that foster curiosity and questioning.
- To promote a love of learning through real life experiences and opportunities to build on prior learning, supported by skilful and knowledgeable Early Years’ staff.
- To provide carefully balanced continuous provision that follows the children’s interests as well as provide new and exciting things to draw their attention to new ideas.
- To plan objective based activities that meets the developmental needs of children across all 7 areas of learning and development.
- To plan and provide adult led tasks that challenge and engage children.
- To use careful and effective questioning to develop children’s language, thinking and understanding.
- To carry out and use high quality observations that move children’s learning on.
- To have strong parental partnerships which empower parents and carers to support their children’s learning at home.
Our Literacy curriculum is based on 12 high quality and challenging texts. Children immerse themselves in two texts which enable them to become confident story tellers. We focus on using and understanding key vocabulary and the meaning of words. They learn about characters, setting and plot in depth, all of which are important skills as they develop it confident and capable readers and writers.
As children move into reception they build on their secure knowledge of oral blending and segmenting as they learn to recognise and use letter sounds in their reading and writing. Our Sounds-Write phonics programme in reception focuses on the initial code, using a highly specific and carefully sequenced plan so that code knowledge is taught to be remembered. Alongside new phonemic knowledge, children have daily opportunities to revisit past knowledge, supporting automaticity and growing fluency. In reception children are introduced to the following sequence of sounds:
- Unit 1 – a,i,m,s,t
- Unit 2 – n,o,p
- Unit 3 – b,c,g,h
- Unit 4 – d,e,f,v
- Unit 5 – k,l,r,u
- Unit 6 – j,w,z
- Unit 7 – x,y,ff,ll,ss,zz
- Unit 8 – use taught sounds from units 1 to 7 to read and write CVCC words
- Unit 9 - use taught sounds from units 1 to 7 to read and write CCVC words
- Unit 10 - use taught sounds from units 1 to 7 to read and write CCVCC and CVCCC words
- Unit 11 – ch, sh, th, ck, ng
Further information about Sounds Write is included in our parents’ guide below.
In reception, we follow the White Rose Maths schemes of work which are divided into 3 weekly units. High quality learning environments and meaningful interactions with adults support children in developing mathematical thinking and discussion. Children learn through a range of activities that use a range of mathematical strategies, including using concrete manipulatives, pictorial structures and representations. These are rehearsed, applied and recorded in both adult led and child initiated exploration.
Knowledge Rich Curriculum
Our wider curriculum is taught through “Understanding the World” and “Expressive Arts and Design”. Through the carefully selected and sequenced content of our plans, we want to enable our youngest children to begin to develop a sense of identity, through engaging with the world around them. They can begin to ask and answer questions about the world and their place in it.
Children will learn about their local area and community, their bodies and how we grow, transport and journeys around the world, dinosaurs, space, plants, animals, Greek Gods, heroes, adventurers and much more! The curriculum plans are packed full of interesting ideas to support play, stories to tell, investigations to undertake, words to learn and use.
For a more detailed overview of our Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum please click on the link to our curriculum map below.
- Children feel happy and safe and enjoy coming to school.
- Children show high levels of engagement and are excited to learn.
- Children are able to think independently and creative with the tools needed to question the world around them and the drive to find the answers to these questions.
- All children access a balanced and challenging curriculum regardless of their background, needs or abilities.
- Parents and carers take a full and active role in supporting their children’s learning at home using the home learning resources available to them.
- Children make good progress from their starting points.
- Children move through the EYFS with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as they continue their learning journey into Key Stage 1.
During the first half term in reception, all staff using ongoing assessments, observations and conversations with the children to develop a baseline assessment. This identifies each child’s starting points in all areas and is used to help plan experiences that are based on their interests and next steps.
The RBA (Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment)
This assessment focuses on Early Literacy, Communication, Language and Mathematics. The purpose of this is to show the progress children make from Reception until the end of Key Stage 2. It is carried out in the first 6 weeks of children starting in reception and is a set of short, interactive and practical assessments.
A parents’ guide to the Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment is included in the link below.
Wellcomm is a speech, language and communication intervention programme that can be used to support individual or groups of children. Groups are led by Early Years’ staff. All children are initially assessed during their first 6 weeks in Preschool and Reception and then on a termly basis to support with early identification.
All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning and to identify children’s next steps. Parents have access to these observations on their child’s Tapestry online learning journal.
Each term, children and their families participate in a “focused observation” week. Families are encouraged to contribute information about learning at home alongside observations made in school. At the end of the week, families and staff meet to discuss the content of observations and plan activities and experiences based on children’s interests and next steps.
Summary assessments are completed 3 times during the year and shared with parents.
Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP)
At the end of the Summer Term, the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile is completed for all children in reception. Judgements are made against each of the 17 Early Learning Goals and children assessed at either “emerging” or “expected”. Information on this is shared both with parents and Year 1 teachers to support a successful transition into the National Curriculum