Early Years Foundation Stage
In our Foundation Stage we aim for each child to live, love and learn. We recognise each child is a unique, special individual who brings different skills, abilities and experiences from home. We acknowledge their individual needs, interests and starting points and see ourselves as an extension of the child’s family. We feel it is vital that as a team, we nurture, safeguard and care for each child across our Foundation Stage.
We aim to develop the whole child. We want the children to…
- Be curious, confident and caring.
- Respect themselves, each other and their environment.
- Develop a ‘sense of self’, recognising their own needs, wants and interests.
- Self-regulate by playing and learning within clear boundaries and expectations.
- Develop self-belief by motivating and encouraging a ‘have a go’ attitude.
- Know and feel God’s love.
- Feel safe and secure within our Foundation Stage. To feel ‘at home’. We value all of our families and welcome them in to our setting to take an active part in their child’s learning.
- Develop personally, socially and emotionally. We recognise the vital importance of this prime area of learning and place it at high priority.
- Develop relationships by fostering cooperation, kindness and respect.
- Be ‘the best they can be’ through motivation and challenge, setting high expectations for behaviour and learning.
- Be life-long learners by fostering a love of learning and teaching key skills for independent learning.
- Lead their own learning through play, exploration and discovery.
- Gain a deeper understanding of their world, making learning real and relevant.
We follow the EYFS statutory framework and take guidance from the Development Matters non-statutory guidance. Our Foundation Stage curriculum has been created to foster a developmental progression of skills within a calm, yet stimulating environment. Curiosity, play and open-ended enquiry are at the heart of learning.
Through a balance of adult direction, child-led play and sensitive interaction the children develop essential knowledge, appropriate vocabulary and progressive skills. Communication and language development is a priority throughout our Foundation Stage, whether supporting children to develop their understanding and use of English as a additional language or supporting our English speaking children to extend their vocabulary. We have planned a responsive provision, which evolves throughout the year. We believe in the development of the whole child and that play is a child’s work. Through engaging, exciting and fun experiences the child will discover more about the world around them. We develop a love and appreciation for nature through seasonal outdoor explorers challenges. We encourage enquiring minds through scientific exploration, using ‘I see’, ‘I notice’, ‘I wonder’ to name and describe natural and manufactured objects and to encourage enquiry. We promote respect and exploration of our local community and local environment. We welcome visitors into school and also engage in visits within the local area for example the church, the park, the library. Learning is made real, relevant and meaningful, allowing the children to gain a deeper understanding of their world.
The children will learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas of the EYFS curriculum.
• Personal, Social and Emotional Development
• Physical Development
• Communication and Language
• Understanding the World
• Expressive Arts and Design
Children in EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking, which takes place both indoors and outside. Our outdoor areas are used all year round and in all weather conditions.
At this stage in a child’s life, learning through play is vital. We recognise the changing needs and interests of our pupils and we are responsive to this. Learning is planned around exciting key texts, religious celebrations and seasonal exploration. We are aware that young children are stimulated by many unplanned, impromptu situations that arise and we allow for this.
We use the Seesaw app throughout our Foundation Stage and into Key Stage One. This app allows for two-way communication between parents and staff. We use it to document each child’s learning journey, sharing photographs, videos and observations of the children. Parents are encouraged to comment and to share their own observations of the children from home as well as any experiences the child has had whilst away from school. We also share songs, stories and suggested home learning through this application. This communication promotes partnership with parents.
We support parents to take an active part in their child’s learning. We provide regular opportunities for parents and carers to come into school and work with their child, share their work and celebrate success. This includes transition days, nursery or home visits, stay and play sessions, parent workshops, song and rhyme time sessions and parent consultations. We also encourage daily communication at drop-off and pick-up points, where we are always available to speak to parents.
We respect the experiences and prior knowledge that children bring from home and extend this within school. The children are involved in preparing and sharing food on a daily basis and are encouraged to sit together and enjoy the communal element of sharing a meal. We promote active discussion and model conversation. Talk is a key element of our learning in the early years. We promote enquiring minds and encourage the children to ask questions and engage in discussion, extending vocabulary. The children are encouraged to have a voice and feel safe to make themselves heard, by adults who take the time to listen.