The Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial in securing solid foundations that our children continue to build upon. It is our intent that the children who enter our EYFS develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst embedding a positive attitude to school and learning.
In the EYFS, we strongly believe that we are at the beginning of our children’s educational journey. By igniting the flame for learning we are transforming lives, building communities for the future and broadening horizons. We believe that all children deserve to be valued as an individual and we are passionate in allowing all children to achieve their full, unique potential.
We begin each new year by looking at the individual needs of our children and, taking into account their different starting points, we carefully develop our EYFS provision to ensure that it is suitable for the unique needs and stages of development of all our children.
Our aim in the EYFS is to build strong foundations rooted in academic success as well as moral and spiritual development.
Practice in the EYFS is led by the four guiding principles that shape our approach in early years settings.
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and is resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
The teaching of all seven Areas of Learning is practical, playful and inclusive with support and challenge from adults in class sessions, small groups and when working with individuals. There is a combination of adult-led, teacher taught sessions as well as a wealth of stimulating continuous provision opportunities when adults scaffold learning through skilful interactions and questioning as well as plenty of child-led learning. Throughout all of these areas of learning and at the heart of our EYFS are the “Characteristics of Effective Learning” allowing children plenty of time to engage in explorative experiences.
All of the crucial skills, knowledge and vocabulary that we teach are presented to the children throughout the year in a range of topics, which are designed with their interests in mind as well as supporting children to develop their experience and knowledge across a range of topics. Focussed child observations ensure that children’s individual interests are developed alongside a strong progressive curriculum. Our learning environments, both inside and outside, are also adapted regularly to meet the different and developing needs of the children in our care. We aim to ensure that these areas are always stimulating and exciting and that, importantly, they are accessible to and challenge all children, regardless of where they are on their developmental journey. Within our EYFS, children are assessed continuously through accurate and specific observations. These provide us with information for immediate and future planning for our individual class, but also for individual children’s next steps in their learning. Observations enable us as EYFS practitioners to ensure learning is embedded and consistent and that all children continue to make outstanding progress within our Reception class.
By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage the majority of children will have reached their personal best and have achieved outstanding progress aiming for a Good Level of Development measure (GLD) for every child. All children will have made significant personal progress across all areas of learning with the aim that they will have achieved at least the expected level in the ELGs across the Prime Areas of Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and in the Specific Areas of Literacy and Mathematics.
Children will demonstrate high levels of engagement in activities, developing their speaking and listening skills, enabling them to access more areas of the learning and be able to communicate skilfully with both adults and children. Children will have developed a wider sense of the world around them and can draw on these experiences during interactions with others and link this to new learning. Children will also develop their characteristics of effective learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Children will be confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with adults drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are doing.
The impact of our curriculum will also be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well-rounded individuals who embody our Christian values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. A rich diet of balanced learning experiences is undoubtedly the best way to develop happy, curious children, and we endeavour for pupils to be Key Stage 1 ready by the time they leave Reception, preparing them for their future school career.