Early Years Foundation Stage
Curriculum Leader: Mrs T.O'Sullivan
At St Aidan's we believe that children should be curious about their learning. Through our engaging and inclusive curriculum, ‘Live, Laugh, Love, Learn!’ we ensure that children can foster a passion for learning that will help to develop high aspirations and a lifetime of memories. We believe in ensuring that children receive a broad-balanced curriculum; where individual talents can be spotted and nurtured to ensure that all children experience success and reach their full potential.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the area of education upon which young children build the rest of their lives. It is a single framework for care, learning and development. All children should be given the opportunity to experience the best possible start to their education to develop solid foundations which will ensure that they flourish throughout their school years and on into adulthood.
The Early Learning Foundation Stage Curriculum refer to the children from Birth to the end of Reception class. It sets a series of steps for children to work towards by the time they reach the end of EYFS at the age of 5+ (including the statutory welfare requirements).
For most children, the end of the Reception year will be the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, when the expectation is that most children will have achieved the national expectations. At St Aidan’s all children will be provided with experiences which will support them in reaching the goals at the appropriate time according to their individual ability following ‘Development matters’ guidance.
In the Reception class, a high quality, well resourced, integrated early education should make a positive contribution to this distinct stage in a child’s development with the key learning skills of listening, speaking, concentration, persistence, co-operation, literacy and numeracy.
Rich, stimulating and appropriate experiences will provide each child with opportunities to develop these skills, their competencies and their thinking to the best of their ability across all areas of learning
- A clear induction process involving parents, pupils, staff and contact with prior preschools or childcare.
- Intake in September may be staggered, dependent upon numbers of children attending that particular year e.g. small numbers over three days or all pupils beginning half days am/pm.
- A gradual, well supported introduction to the various aspects of school life and its members is catered for. The children are introduced to the routine of school which require more conforming, socialising and directed learning situations than will have been experienced before.
- Pupils are provided with opportunties and experiences which motivate and nurture pupils to reach their full potential
- The children have playtimes in the infant playground and are introduced to named older play buddies and other regular members of staff.
- The routine of the school day is introduced slowly, especially those aspects which take the children away from their environment, for example, P.E. and Assembly.
- Staying for lunch time either with a packed lunch or a school dinner is approached gradually and increased to everyday, once all adults concerned feel that it is appropriate and not detrimental to the happiness or confidence of the child.
- A carefully structured curriculum based on the “Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage” will offer provision which takes account of the differing starting points on which to build the various elements and match differing levels of need via development matters guidance in the seven areas of learning, (three prime and four other related areas). These milestones may need breaking down or may be missed altogether for some children dependent upon abilities and competencies. This provides a progression through to the end of Reception year, laying the foundations for KS1 curriculum.
The Seven Areas of Learning support, foster, promote and develop children’s
1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development- Crucial for all aspects of life which will give the children the best opportunity for success in all other areas of learning. Each child needs a positive sense of him/herself and respect for others.
2. Communication, Language - The key skills will develop confidence in communication, speaking, listening and understanding in a variety of settings and purposes,
3. Physical Development – Will improve the skills of co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement. It helps children to gain confidence and feel positive about being healthy and active. This promotes a positive feeling of well being and understanding about healthy lifestyles.
4. Literacy - the children will have a wide range of books read to them and read simple texts for themselves, plus writing for a variety of purposes.
5. Maths development – Will develop confidence and competence in learning and using key skills. This includes counting, sorting, matching, seeking patterns, making connections, recognising relationships and working with numbers, shapes, space and measures.
6. Understanding of the World – People and Communities, Crucial knowledge, skills, problem solving, exploring and understanding will help them to make sense of the world. Foundations are developed for Science, Design and Technology, History, Geography and I.C.T.
7. Expressive Arts and Design- Creativity is fundamental to successful learning. It enables children to make connections and extend their thoughts, feelings and understanding. It will include art, music, dance, role-play and imaginative activities.
Planning will take place collaboratively between the teachers and other staff involved in the unit. These describe teaching and learning activities linked to objectives and assessment opportunities. There will be medium term plans (spanning a few weeks) which include the learning objectives to be covered including continuous provision for indoor and outdoor learning. Short term plans are decided on a weekly basis from observations/themes and more importantly taking into account current needs and interests of the children. Observations on focus children will also provide additional information for assessment purposes. There will also be a timetable showing the activities taking place each week which will be displayed for all staff concerned.
- The children will be given opportunities to explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world through structured play. They will practise and build up ideas, and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They will have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They will communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems.
- The learning environment is planned for both indoors and outdoors to encourage a positive attitude to learning. In addition to skills based learning the children choose their own selection of the activities on offer as this encourages independent learning.
- Monitoring of each child will take place through regular observations, discussion, photographs, record keeping and planned assessments.
- Informal assessments to gauge individual children’s abilities will take place at the start of the year (baseline assessments)
- A learning journey is completed by the end of the Summer term. This information is also used to report on the progress in each of the seven areas of learning to parents at regular intervals e.g. SEN. Parents also receive a compilation and synopsis of their child in the form of a learning journal, which is compiled over the year.
- An end of year report summarising the achievements is given to parents.
- The information discussed with Year 1 teachers so that they can continue to help the children to achieve and support access to the KS1 curriculum.
- All planning and assessments are rigorously monitored by Senior Leadership each term. Moderation judgements and discussions of pupil observations are used to support pupil progress and intervention, e.g. continuous provision resources and external support, ensuring value for money in EYFS and also to aid smooth transitions for pupils from pre-school, inter-schools, and into year one.
Children will be encouraged to develop a positive attitude towards people of different ethnic groups, cultures, beliefs, gender and ability. We are an inclusive school and all areas of the curriculum will be available irrespective of race, gender, gender orientation, ability, ethnicity and social circumstance.
Work will be differentiated to meet the needs of all pupils and pupils with Special Educational Needs may be given support from other adults/agencies. Support will be identified on Individual Pupil Profiles and Targeted Learning Plans.
- To make the child’s first experience of school happy, positive and fun.
- To ensure that all children feel valued and secure in the Early Years Foundation Stage setting with positive relationships between carers and staff.
- To experience a curriculum firmly based on active learning to meet the needs of the individual child which has a flexible approach, using a wide range of strategies and teaching styles to address the particular needs of the child, families and the community regardless of disadvantage, or disability developing self-esteem and confidence in their ability to learn.
- To ensure a breadth of balance in the curriculum through carefully planned adult input and sensitive interaction, while having regard for the skills and attitudes, preparing them for the KS1 National Curriculum demands.
- To encourage parents to become partners with the school in the education of their children.
- To further love of learning, enquiring minds and the ability to discuss, adapt and negotiate. Children should be able to explore, investigate, question, test, observe, experiment, plan, make decisions for themselves and participate in activities which are planned by adults as well as those which they plan and start themselves.
- To help children develop self-control and to respect the feelings, needs, culture and the abilities of others.