Early Years Foundation Stage
Welcome to Bilsdale and Carlton’s’ Early Years Foundation Stage Class. All schools and registered early years providers use the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for children from birth to the end of the reception year.
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It is our intent that all children develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally in an environment which values all cultures, communities and people. We aim for our children to be confident and independent, to believe in themselves and interact positively with others. Our children are all unique and we plan teaching and learning opportunities according to their individual needs.
We understand that play is an integral part of learning and this is at the heart of our early years curriculum. We believe that the correct mix of adult directed and uninterrupted child-initiated learning, where adults and children engage in sustained shared thinking, ensures the best outcomes for pupils.
Our school has identified a clear set of values that underpin expectations for behaviour for all. Warm and positive relationships between staff and children, consistent routines and strong relationships with parents are key.
The Development Matters document alongside the statutory Early Learning Goals set out expectations for our children and we recognise the crucial role that Early Year’s education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based.
We aim to provide a learning environment where children can work with adults and peers in a climate of mutual respect to develop confidence in their ability, the social skills necessary to learn and the emotional capabilities to enable them to understand their feelings.
Our Curriculum intent is underpinned by the four guiding principles which shape practice in early years settings. These are:
- Every child is a unique child, 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.
- Children learn and develop in different ways.
We aim to provide our children with knowledge, skills and experiences in a meaningful context. We do this through a personalised, flexible curriculum that engages and motivates our children. It covers all the 7 areas of learning:
The Prime Areas:-
Communication and Language
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The Specific Areas:-
Our curriculum is designed to develop the Characteristics of Effective Learning:
- Playing and Exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
- Active Learning – children keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy their achievements.
- Creating and Thinking Critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Our schools meet the welfare requirements laid down in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children. We help them to stay healthy and happy making sure that school is a safe and positive place for the children.
We offer a curriculum rich in wonder and memorable experiences, enabling the purposeful acquisition of skills and knowledge. We provide a broad, enriched and stimulating environment that provides exciting opportunities, promotes challenge, exploration, adventure, language development and a real love of learning. The curriculum is taught through topics which are enriched with classroom enhancements, trips and visitors.
The whole school follows the Cornerstones curriculum. Topics are supported by quality key texts. These are chosen carefully to encourage children’s speech, language and communication development. All planning however, is flexible and responsive to children’s needs so plans can be changed and adapted dependent on children’s interests.
We prioritise creating a ‘language rich’ environment through the use of songs, nursery rhymes, stories and providing time for quality interactions between adults and between peers. Trained staff ensure that interactions are positive and progressive, allowing children to flourish and gather words at pace in order to become confident communicators. Children are encouraged to become early readers through enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of phonics. The children learn and develop their mathematical thinking through direct teaching and exploration. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences.
We have built our school environment to enable our children to strengthen their core muscles through physical play; children spend time outdoors in their natural environment in all weathers. They develop through wonderful, exploratory, sensory experiences in our dedicated EYFS wildlife garden. Our learning environment is adaptable in order to reflect children’s interests and progression. The children are supported to learn to work together, manage their feelings and ask questions through skilled adult facilitated play.
In EYFS we offer a balance between guided group work, child-initiated activity and activities which are supported by adults, inspired initially by children. Initially there is a greater emphasis on child initiated activities and as the Reception year progresses we move the balance more towards adult led activities.
We understand the importance of parental engagement and believe that our parents have a crucial role to play in their children’s education. We work hard to create strong partnerships between home and school. Parents enjoy using Tapestry to engage in their child’s learning and share experience from home.
As part of the learning and teaching process, children are assessed to ensure they are developmentally on track. These judgements are made on the basis of accumulative observations and in depth knowledge of the children acquired through ongoing assessment by their Keyworker. These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year. Any areas of concern are highlighted and acted upon quickly.
Our curriculum and its delivery ensure that children, from their own starting points make good progress. During their time with us children make rapid progress towards the national expectation for a good level of development at the end of the year. Pupils also make good progress toward their age-related expectations both academically and socially, developing a sense of themselves before transitioning into Year One.
Children develop their characteristics of learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Children are confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with peers and adults drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are doing.
We believe our high standards are due to our carefully planned environment, enriched play-based curriculum, quality first teaching and the rigour of assessment.