Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage
At Eglinton, we are committed to providing a high quality early years education, which gives children a secure and confident start to their school life and nurtures a lifelong love of learning. We are fully committed to the purpose and aims of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
Staffing and Organisation
At Eglinton, we have two Nursery Classes and two Reception classes that have the use of large classrooms and dedicated outdoor areas. The classrooms have carpet areas for whole class collaborative learning and the rest of the space, including our outdoor space is organised into learning zones for the children to access.
Staff are organised to support the children through a balance of adult led and child initiated experiences throughout the day. All sessions include free flow access to the outdoor area. Practitioners are aware of the need to be flexible in order to respond to unplanned events that the children are interested in.
Learning and Pedagogy
Adult led activities are playful and practical in nature and based on first hand experiences wherever possible. The children are supported to develop problem-solving skills through open-ended tasks and opportunities to share their thinking with others. The number of adult led activities that the children take part in increases throughout the year, as their concentration develops.
We plan through exciting interactive and creative learning projects that have been produced by ‘Cornerstones’. The EYFS projects have a sharp focus on the children’s needs, their interests and their stages of development.
We aim to deliver the curriculum through planned, purposeful play and present new concepts in meaningful contexts that enable the children to build on what they already know. At the beginning of each project, practitioners lead the children in discussion to identify areas that they are particularly interested in.
Observation and Assessment
At Eglinton, we use a range of strategies to gather information about the children’s learning and development and use this information to ensure that our planning meets the needs of all learners.
Each child has a ‘Profile’ which is built up using an iPod application and all observations are gathered here along with parental observations. This information is closely monitored to ensure that all children are making good progress.
Parents, Partnerships and Home Learning
We recognise and respect that parents are their children’s first educators. We know from research that parental involvement in children’s education from an early age has a significant effect on educational achievement. To this end we aim to build positive relationships and establish open communication with all parents including working parents, from when we visit each child in their home environment prior to admission to our setting. We will share information with parents on a regular basis; we share information regarding our curriculum and our setting through our Welcome Pack, we explain what the children have been learning throughout the week and we give ideas of how learning can be supported at home through our weekly newsletters, and we hold open story sessions once every half term.
We recognise that Family learning can also provide a range of benefits for parents and children including improvements in reading, writing and numeracy as well as greater parental confidence in helping their child at home. In supporting parents we aim to host half termly open classroom afternoons where parents and children can learn together which consolidate the learning throughout our half term project.
The Learning Environment
We aim to provide an attractive, challenging learning environment that offers high quality opportunities for the children to learn through play, both indoors and outdoors. There are a range of activities available in the classroom that are designed to offer open-ended, practical learning opportunities. Children are supported to think creatively and imaginatively and explore how resources can be adapted. We aim to create an attractive, welcoming and stimulating learning environment which will encourage children to explore, investigate and learn through first-hand experience. Resources are clearly labelled and organised into learning zones, enabling the children to access them with a high level of independence. Practitioners regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the learning zones and make adaptations as necessary.
Relationships between adults and children build social and emotional skills from a young age which helps to build the bond of a ‘secure attachment’. At Eglinton we recognise the importance of the role of the Key Person, which has been retained as a legal requirement of the revised EYFS framework. The role of the Key person offers many opportunities for quality interactions between adults and children. The teachers are responsible for the well-being of all of the children in their class. In addition, each child is assigned a ‘key person’ who may be the teacher or an Early Years Practitioner. Parents are informed of who their child’s key person is and receive information about their role.
The key person’s responsibilities include:
- helping the child to become familiar with the setting;
- building a relationship with each child’s parents, working in partnership with them to ensure that the child is being cared for appropriately for each family;
- responding sensitively to the child’s needs, feelings, ideas and behaviour;
- ensuring that the learning opportunities on offer meet the needs of each child