Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Rationale
The period from birth to five is one of rapid growth and development (DES)
Early childhood education provides the essential foundation for all future learning. We, therefore, need to provide a socially and emotionally secure environment, with a less formal atmosphere, in which all children are able to learn successfully and play purposefully. We also need to provide an environment in which they are able to develop their language and mathematical skills and to explore and experiment.
Children learn when:
- They feel secure, valued and confident.
- They find learning to be pleasurable and rewarding experience
- They supported in school and at home
- They are interested and positive
- Their physical, intellectual, social and emotional abilities are taken into account
- They are encouraged to think about their learning and to develop independence
- They are provided with first-hand experiences and appropriate adult intervention.
- Their progress is assessed and recorded and used to inform future planning
We aim to provide a curriculum that should underpin all future learning by supporting, fostering and nurturing and developing children.
Oldmixon Primary School aims to provide a secure, stimulating and positive learning environment where children can:
- Develop intellectually, socially and emotionally
- Develop curiosity in the world around them
- Develop a good moral judgement
- Develop good communication skills
- Become independent learners and creative thinkers
- Become happy and confident learners, with high self-esteem
Our team in Early Years aim to achieve this by:
- Ensuring that each child is equally valued and reading their full potential
- Providing a safe, stimulating environment, both indoors and outdoors
- Planning for and delivering a broad, balanced curriculum
- Recognising and recording individual children’s progress and achievements
- Establish a positive, on-going partnership with parents and families, acknowledging the vital role they play in their child’s education.
The Early Years curriculum is based on the Early Learning Goals (ELG) (QCA 1999)
The period from age three to the end of Reception Year is described as the foundation stage. It is a distinct stage and important both in its own right and in preparing children for later schooling. The Early Learning Goals set out what is expected for most children by the end of the foundation stage.
- There are three ‘Prime Areas of Learning’ and four ‘Specific Areas of Learning’
- Prime areas are essential foundations for children’s life, learning and success. Prime areas of learning are applied in specific areas. We can enhance the prime areas, but we teach the specific areas.
Personal, Social and Emotional development
Communication and Language
Understanding the World
(music, drama, role play)
The Early Years Foundation Phase is organised into three age groups. These three groups share a open plan unit in the main school building.
Little Mixers includes are two year old provision and preschool. This is staff by a qualified teacher and three full-time teaching assistants; it offers five morning sessions or five afternoon sessions from 8.45-11.45 and 12.15-3.15pm. Applications to ‘Little Mixers’ are made directly to the school office.
There is one Reception class with a qualified class teacher two teaching assistants ( 2 full time). Applications to the Reception class are made using North Somerset Admissions.
The Learning Environment
The Early Years’ Classrooms and the outdoor areas are the learning environments and should therefore be designed to maximise learning opportunities and reflect the children’s needs.
Our aim is to provide a positive, stimulating, safe and well-planning environment.
The learning environments look attractive and welcoming to all; they include:
- A book corner
- A writing area
- A maths area
- A construction area (large/small)
- A small world area
- A carpet area
- An imaginative role play area
- An art and design area
- An investigation area
- ICT provision
- Display areas
- Sand and Water areas
- Areas in which gross motor skills are developed
Assessment and Learning profiles
A baseline assessment is completed during the first half-term of Reception and a similar assessment occurs at the end of the Reception Year to track the children’s progress in reading, phonics and maths. The EYFS profile is used as a means of tracking progress across all the different areas of learning.
Children’s progress is monitored and recorded on a daily basis through observation and by gathering evidence in all areas of learning. Tapestry is the online system used in school to monitor and record this evidence. The Parent portal provides daily access so that parents/carers can engage in their child’s learning journey.
Specific assessments and observations occur at the end of each half-term, to assess the children’s progress in phonics/blending/reading; and in maths (reading, writing, ordering and counting to 10 and then 20; shapes, problem solving)
In the Preschool and Reception, evidence is collected to support the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and to assess the children’s progress in relation to the Early Learning Goals (using Development Matters in the EYFS document)
We recognise the importance of parents as their child’s first educator and as active partners in their child’s continuing education. Regular communication is encouraged and parents/carers are invited to discuss their child’s progress with EYFS team.
Workshops are also held during the year to inform and support parents/carers, so that they are more able to assist their child effectively with his phonics, reading, writing and Maths at home. Parents are encouraged to come into school to share in our special WOW afternoons.