"Play is the way children discover themselves-starting with their fingers and toes and gradually including their whole body, their emotions and their minds."- Joan Almon
The Foundation Stage makes a crucial contribution to children’s early development and learning. In our Reception class (FS2), we provide our children with a rich variety of teaching and learning experiences. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) focuses on developing key learning skills such as listening, speaking, concentrating, persistence and learning to work and co-operate with others whilst becoming part of the whole school community. Continual provision and learning through purposeful play are central to our philosophy.
The prime areas of learning that make up the EYFS curriculum are:
• Personal, Social and Emotional development
• Communication and language
• Physical development
The specific areas for learning are:
• Understanding the world
• Expressive Arts & Design
The outdoor environment is a very special part of our EYFS curriculum. As such it is carefully planned for and used each day. Our reception class has its own specially equipped outdoor area.
The teaching to achieve these early learning goals will be through first hand experiences and structured play. Our classroom provision is inspired by the Curiosity Approach. Bringing curiosity, awe and wonder into early childhood and creating the 'thinkers and doers' of the future.Within our provision we aim to create enchanted pockets of learning that have a visually appealing manner which highlight the magic, wonder and possibilities of the resources on offer, inviting the children to become curious about them.
The Foundation Stage team will keep records on children’s experiences and attainments. Assessments of development and learning needs will begin as soon as the children start school and be ongoing throughout the school year. During the first few weeks of the autumn term the teacher will carry out a baseline assessment for every child alongside the statutory Reception Baseline Assessment. This will establish where they are in aspects of their learning and development and it will help future planning. The results of this early assessment will be shared with parents at the parents’ evening in the autumn term. By the end of the year the teacher will have built up an accurate profile of each child’s development.
We encourage children towards reading, communication, writing and mathematical skills from the very beginning. Much of this early learning is achieved through carefully structured play. Play is an important way of developing a wide variety of new skills and building up relationships with other children both individually and in groups. We teach daily phonics lessons following the Letters and Sounds Programme. Phonics is then applied into reading and writing opportunities throughout the day. Reading books are phonetically decodable and link with the child's current phonics phase. Children also have access to a class library where they choose high quality picture books to take home and share. We ask parents to work with children at home by hearing them read on a daily basis and to continue reading stories to them. We are always pleased to discuss ways in which parents can help their child at each stage of their reading development. Singing nursery rhymes and other songs will support reading and writing development, playing board games with a dice and counting games such as dominoes, telling the time and shared activities such as cooking will help with mathematical skills.