“Play underpins the delivery of all of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Children must have opportunities to play indoors and outdoors. Providing well planned experiences based on children’s spontaneous play both indoors and outdoors, is an important way in which practitioners support young children to learn with enjoyment and challenge.”
(The Early Years Foundation Stage Practice Guidance)
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
This is a very important stage as it helps your child establish the building blocks of their education. The success of the Foundation Stage will enable a smooth transition through our school, into Class 2 where they will begin learning from the National Curriculum. We aim to give the children in Class 1 early years experiences that are happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum sets out:
- The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge
- Expected levels that your child should reach at the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first.
- Communication and language;
- Physical development; and
- Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. I will be supporting your child to make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s individual needs. It's designed to be skills based and flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing, exploring and investigating. Open ended activities with the aid of continuous provision enable children to be active, creative and critical thinkers. Learning will consistently take place both indoors and outside.
Encouraging Personal Growth
Alongside the EYFS skills we help and encourage personal growth by instilling that:
- • 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 and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
- • children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
The framework covers the education and care of all children in our early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
There is a strong emphasis on the characteristics of effective learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage:
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
- Keeping trying
- Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Creating and thinking critically – thinking
- Having their own ideas
- Making links
- Choosing ways to do things
I am Mrs Cox and I have the pleasure of teaching Class 1, Elaine Jeffery, our Teaching Assistant supports me in delivering care and learning opportunities for all of our brilliantly unique and interesting children. Together we learn important skills through open ended investigations, continuous provision and where appropriate direct instruction.
With Reception pupils we follow the children’s interests and so will have a variety of mini themes that run throughout the year. The children are responsible for setting up their role play areas and dismantling this once finished. They are taught how to use all areas of the inside and outside classroom so that they become responsible learners. They can differentiate the learning through their play that takes place in the Reception class setting with the social play of playing with their friends on the playground.
The teaching of phonics is the system that we use to teach children to read. Phonics teaches the link between letters and sounds they represent. Here at Blakesley we use the Soundswrite scheme. The importance of phonics cannot be stressed enough. Phonics is taught daily. Children are encouraged to apply their phonic skills within all areas of their learning. Regular parent workshops are run in order for parents to understand how to aid their children at home and be part of their learning journey.
Observations are a daily part of assessing the children’s progress. Learning is captured in an online learning journal called Tapestry. This is a wonderful tool through which the very practical nature of our curriculum can be captured in photos and videos, these are then shared with you as parents. You are also encouraged to contribute to your child’s journal.
Our day consists of dedicated teaching time, small group work with adults and time for the children to be independent and apply the skills that they have been taught. The children have access to a range of resources which they use independently and are able to choose their preferred learning area.
A snack area is permanently open for children to have access to water, fruit and other snacks. Very often this will also include a skill such as spreading or cutting food. Children are taught to be independent in this process and to also clear their table and wash up equipment used.
Mrs Klegeris provides cover for our class when needed. She is an integrated and valued member of staff who knows all of the children really well. Mrs Klegeris knows how our class is run so is able to continue and build on the children’s current learning.
Alongside the school rules and school values, which are shared by all, the children are encouraged to be as independent as possible, whilst knowing when to ask for help from adults and peers.
Children are encouraged to read daily at home and have a reading record in which parents can keep a record of reading with their child. Guidance for parents is given as children begin to progress through the reading levels. Parents also have a weekly update on which sounds are learnt. Each Friday, a Tapestry challenge is sent home. This will be based on a skill learnt in school that week. Parents are asked to upload the children’s challenge to Tapestry where assessment criteria can be added to by school; we also make a comment and make suggestions for the child’s next step.
Concerns and Contact us
The children are brought to, and collected from the classroom door each morning and afternoon. This is an opportunity for parents to see me and pass on any relevant information. If you would like to talk out of earshot of the children and other adults, I am happy to arrange another time to see you. E-mail:
Every day I put out an information sheet detailing our main skill focus for the day. This can be a lovely conversation starter to have with your child at the end of the day as you will be able to hook straight into their learning. The board will also tell you what snack is being provided that day, give things for you to remember i.e. an assembly that week, or a mufti day coming up, and finally share details about how you can help (for example, collection of junk modelling, the request for a specific book etc).