Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage is the period of education from birth to 5 years. In our school we have a Reception Unit. As of September 2021 Etwall Primary School has embraced the EYFS 2021 Curriculum and Development Matters. Early Learning Goals within the Development Matters sets the expectations of what children should be able to do at the end of Early Years Foundation Stage. However; we aspire for our children to be able to do more, experience more and contribute more.
Our EYFS Intent
We want our children to develop a sense of pride in themselves and respect for others in their immediate, school and Etwall community. We want to foster partnerships with families and engagement in their child’s learning journey. We will work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points. We will support our children to develop a sense of citizenship in line with British Values.
We will provide an ambitious curriculum which enables children to develop their curiosity and problem solving. This will sow the seeds for a love of lifelong learning. We will develop our children to become eloquent orators speaking with confidence and fluency in a variety of situations. We want them to develop an enriched vocabulary and a love for reading.
We understand and follow children’s interests and for these to be nurtured to ignite their enthusiasm for learning. Through developing learning behaviours such as playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically, we want children to be autonomous with their own learning. We want them to plan, implement, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps.
We will create an engaging and stimulating environment, both inside and outdoors, which supports and challenges learning. It will stimulate the children physically and mentally developing the health and wellbeing of our children. Giving the encouragement to manage risk and develop resilience.
We want our children to play out of doors to exercise their growing intellectual and emotional muscles, as well as their physical ones. We want them to develop their ability to think, feel, see and understand, do and to represent and express. We want them to imagine, puzzle, wonder, explore, befriend and share. To enable this; we will provide opportunities through curriculum enrichment to provide outdoors hands-on learning both within our immediate school environment as well as the wider community.
This will all prepare children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Foundation Stage and ensure children make at least good progress from their starting points.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum 2020 includes the statutory areas of learning as well as the educational programmes. We also plan for other experiences and opportunities which best meet the developmental needs of the children in our school with value added to their culture capital and the development of a range of transferable skills.
The curriculum and early years practice have been shaped with respect to the four overarching principles:
- 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 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.
We have a curriculum based upon ‘Wow!’ experiences and topics, which engage the children. We encourage active learning to ensure the children are motivated and interested. We take time to get to know children’s interests and their ‘likes’ to support learning.
All areas of the EYFS curriculum are followed and planned for; ensuring there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum. The children will learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas in the EYFS curriculum:
The Prime Areas
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
The Specific Areas
These 7 areas are used to plan children’s learning and activities. Planning for this curriculum is designed to be flexible so that a child’s unique needs and interests are supported.
The teaching of these areas of learning is practical and playful with support and challenge from adults in class sessions, small group sessions 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. Daily guided activities are set up and planned that cover different areas of the EYFS curriculum and allow children to develop their next steps in learning. Areas of need and next steps are identified for all children to ensure good progress is made. In planning and guiding children’s activities we acknowledge the different ways that children learn and reflect these in our practice.
We ensure activities support the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure learning takes place. These are:-
- Playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
- Active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements;
- Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. The outdoor environment and local community are considered an opportuning for learning for all children. The immediate school grounds have been developed so that they can enrich different curriculum areas in ways not afforded indoors. Outdoor learning is actively promoted and planned for. Our outdoor areas are used all year round and in most weather conditions.
Staff in the EYFS make regular informal observations of the children’s learning, and collaborate together to ensure their next steps are met. The staff use a variety of methods to stimulate professional discussion about the children's learning journey. We regularly assess where the children are using the Development Matters and then ensure our planning, adult interaction and learning environment support children to reach their next steps.
We keep parents informed and we meet regularly with parents and carers to ensure children’s transition into school and through the EYFS is happy and allows them to reach their potential with the support needed. This includes learning together sessions, workshops, Class Dojo and parent consultations.
Staff support transition into Key Stage 1. Preparing children for Year 1 with visits to their new class, meeting the teacher and ensuring the environments are similar at the end of Reception and the start of Year 1.
We anticipate that our curriculum will ensure that children are equipped with skill sets and prepared for the future. During their time in EYFS they become fantastic role models and the very best of themselves. Their individuality is valued and the unique child has every opportunity to achieve and excel, based upon their own personal strengths, interest and core values whilst learning in EYFS, and in the future.
Our Children will;
- Be eloquent orators who have strong communication skills. They will be able to talk fluently as well as listen respectively and with tolerance to the views of others.
- Take pride in all that they do themselves, others and their community. They will always strive for the very best.
- Demonstrate self-regulation, emotional resilience and the ability to persevere when they encounter challenge whilst managing risks.
- Develop a sense of self-awareness and become confident in their own abilities.
- Be kind, respectful and honest, demonstrating inclusive attitudes and have a sense of their role in wider society.