Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage
At Eglinton Primary School, we greatly value the importance of the early years foundation stage (EYFS) in providing a secure foundation for future learning and development.
We believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life. We aim to make a significant contribution to their start by helping young children to develop a love for learning, which they will carry with them through life. It is their right to be safe, healthy and happy and the welfare of the children is central to our provision of care, learning and play. We ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. We promote teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and give children a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
At Eglinton, we have one Nursery Class, Charing Cross Class, and two Reception classes, London Bridge and Woolwich Arsenal Class, 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.
We are fully committed to the purpose and aims of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
The EYFS is based on four overarching principles:
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Children learn well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents/carers.
- Children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates.
The curriculum for the Early Years forms the first stage of our Whole School Curriculum. Within the learning and development principle of Early Years Foundation Stage, there are seven areas of learning, which shape the educational programme in early year’s settings. These 7 areas are split between prime and specific areas of learning.
The 3 prime areas are:
- communication and language development - children will be provided with various opportunities to speak and listen in a range of situations and develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves.
- physical development – children will be provided with opportunities to be active and develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children’s understanding of the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy food choices will also be fostered and developed.
- personal, social and emotional development - children will develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; they will be supported to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; they will develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; develop understanding of appropriate behaviour in groups; and develop confidence in their own abilities.
The 4 specific areas are:
- literacy development – children will be encouraged to read and write, both through listening to others reading and beginning to read and write themselves. Children will be given access to a wide range of reading materials – books, poems, and other written materials, to ignite their interest and develop a love of reading.
- mathematics – children will be provided with opportunities to practise and improve their skills in counting, calculating simple additions and subtractions, and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
- 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 involves supporting 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, role-play, and design and technology.
Staffing and Organisation
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 children’s interests and follow their line of enquiry and curiosity.
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 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 theme, practitioners lead the children in discussion to identify areas that they are particularly interested in.
Observation and Assessment
At Eglinton Primary School, the Early Years teachers and practitioners use Tapestry, an online learning journal. All children in our Nursery and Reception Classes have a personal on-line learning journal, which records photos, observations and comments, in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage, to build up a record of your child’s experiences during their time with us. Tapestry allows you to login with a secure username and password so you can view all your children’s observations, photographs and videos. You can like and comment on observations that we add for your child and it is possible for you to add your own observations. Your comments and own observations will allow us to find out about which activities your child really enjoyed and the learning they get up to at home. Once your child is settled with us, we will send you details of how to create an account and further details about how Tapestry works between school and yourselves.
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. When Parents/carers and practitioners work together in early years settings, the results have a positive impact on the child’s development. A successful partnership needs to be a two-way flow of information, knowledge and expertise. To this end we aim to build positive relationships and establish open communication with all parents including working parents, from when we meet each child at their ‘All About Me’ meeting 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 termly curriculum letters.
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 information sessions, where parents and children can learn together and support their child during their school career whilst at Eglinton.
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.