Curriculum in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Throughout the Nursery and Reception, we follow the statutory framework for EYFS, supported by non-statutory guidance set out in a document called Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
There are four themes that underpin all the guidance in the EYFS:
A Unique Child + Positive Relationships + Enabling Environments = Learning and Development
We also look for and encourage the development of the Characteristics of Effective Learning (CoEL), which thread through all areas of learning and support children to be effective and motivated learners. They are:
• Playing and exploring – engagement
Finding out and exploring
Playing with what they know
Being willing to ‘have a go’
• Active learning – motivation
Being involved and concentrating
Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
• Creating and thinking critically – thinking
Having their own ideas
Choosing ways to do things
Learning in the EYFS framework is defined into seven areas, three prime areas and four specific areas. We focus on developing the children's skills in the prime areas first, and then the specific areas.
Learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Our work in the Early Years Foundation Stage emphasises the value of play as the medium through which a child achieves most in the Early Years. Play motivates children to learn and helps them make sense of the world through direct experience. Through play, children can encounter all areas of the curriculum and develop their growing social skills. Through careful planning we ensure that the children have a wide range of challenging and stimulating experiences and play opportunities, which will excite their curiosity, interest and motivation. Planning includes outdoor play, which promotes and enables physical activities, encourages social and moral development and self-esteem and confidence, as well as providing for children who learn better outside and allowing children time to consolidate skills they have learned.
When planning for learning experiences and activities through play, we start with the child. We look at their needs, background, previous experiences and stages of development. Starting with the child ensures that all children are included in all activities and not denied opportunities because of gender, cultural background, social circumstances or special needs. We believe in equal access to the curriculum for all children. We also believe that children learn best when things have real meaning for them, so we plan for children's particular interests.
Planning for Individual Children's Needs
Every week each adult in the class focusses on specific children. We make observations, take photographs, gather evidence and work alongside them to assess their individual interests and needs. This information is shared with parents and carers during a brief meeting where we compare observations and discuss next steps. Staff then plan personalised activities for the following week based on this shared information.
Partnerships with Parents
We recognise that you are your child’s most enduring educators and we aim to work alongside you, sharing information about your child, setting next steps together and providing support, ideas and guidance about how you can support their development at home.
Every Child a Talker (ECAT)
We place importance on speech and language and are part of the ECAT programme. Click here for more information.
Phonics & Read Write Inc.
We begin to teach phonics in Nursery using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme. In the Summer term of Nursery, we start the Read Write Inc. programme which continues into Reception.