Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) marks a critical time in a child's early development. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. The framework identifies seven areas of learning and development, divided into prime and specific areas of learning.
The prime areas are:
- Communication and language (giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen to a range of situations).
- Physical development (providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food).
- Personal. social and emotional development (helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities).
The specific areas are:
- Literacy (reading and writing - encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write).
- Mathematics (counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, describing shapes, spaces and measure).
- Understanding the world (guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment).
- Expressive arts and design (enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance and role-play, and design and technology).
The Early Learning Goals:
By the time children reach the end of the EYFS stage, they should have achieved the 17 Early Learning Goals, which encapsulate the knowledge, skills and understanding they should have at the end of the academic year in which they turn five years old.
Both Nursery and Reception provides children with a rich variety of learning and teaching experiences that are appropriate to their needs and interests and underpin all of their future learning. Through planned, purposeful play, children are able to discover, practice and refine their skills in literacy and mathematics, as well as find out about themselves and their environment. They practice and build up their ideas, learn how to control themselves and begin to understand the need for rules that help them make sense of the world. They are encouraged to think creatively, independently and on their own.
The Early Years' team work closely to deliver a curriculum which provides a balance across the areas of learning from Nursery to the end of Reception year.
Observations are undertaken regularly, which then inform the Foundation Stage Profile. This is a national assessment tool and allows teachers to summarise children's progress towards the Early Learning Goals.
Through the use of regular assessments, teachers are able to plan and deliver learning opportunities according to pupils' needs. As a collection of assessment data is a statutory requirement, both teachers and other adults make regular observations and record their findings against the Foundation Stage Profile. During the first term in Reception class, the teacher asseses the ability of each child, using the Foundation Stage Profile. These assessments allow staff to adjust the teaching programme for individual children and groups. The information contained in the profile is shared at our Parental Consultation meetings.
EYFS at Wessington Primary School:
- Teachers have high expectations of children in the early years and learning opportunities are well planned, based on regular and accurate assessment of achievement so that every child is suitably challenged.
- Planning is based on 'child initiated learning' that has proved very effective.
- Children are highly motivated, enjoy learning, have good relationships with their peers and are self-motivated to learn.
- The vibrant indoor and outdoor environment provides imaginative, varied and stimulating continuous provision to enhance child initiated learning, which promotes their imagination and curiosity.
- Children investigate learning opportunities during choosing time and engage full, being always keen to 'have a go' with sensitive encouragement from adults to explore all areas.
- Teachers respond to children's interests, amend planning to meet these, with assessments sharply focused to include all who are involved in each child's development.
- Teachers monitor the progress of each child, set challenging targets to ensure they meet or exceed the Early Learning Goals in all areas of learning.
- Children enjoy sharing their achievements, ask questions to further their knowledge and can talk enthusiastically about the next steps in their learning.