The EYFS Curriculum
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Together good parenting and high quality early learning provides the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
There are four guiding principles in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which the curriculum is based:
- 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/carers.
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates
There are seven areas of learning and development that are inter-connected.
The Prime Areas are:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and emotional development
These are particularly crucial igniting your child’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
We also support your child in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
The Specific Areas are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
In EYFS your child will access these areas through activities and first hand experiences.
- Communication and language development involves giving your child opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
- Physical development involves providing opportunities for your child to be active and interactive; and to develop their coordination, control and movement. Your child must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- Personal, Social and emotional development involves helping your child to develop a positive sense of themselves; and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
- Literacy development involves encouraging your child to link sounds and letters to begin to read and write. Your child will be given access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interests.
- Mathematics involves providing your child with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
- Understanding in the world involved guiding your child 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 enabling your child 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.
In EYFS we reflect on the different ways that your child learns.
The three characteristics of effective learning are:
- Playing and Exploring-children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go’.
- Active Learning-children concentrate and 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.
Learning within the Foundation Stage will be a mix of whole class carpet times, independent learning and adult focused times and all children’s work will be celebrated in class and their achievements praised.
Much emphasis is placed on practical experiences, speaking and listening and social interaction. Well planned indoor and outdoor play underpins all learning at this early stage in your child’s development.
Reading and Writing
Our children will be supported with reading and writing following a national programme called Letters and Sounds. Children will learn to read phonetically and in a fun and practical way.
A love and enjoyment of books will be encouraged within the Foundation Stage and we will share lots of books everyday as a whole class. Al these books will have elements of repetition and rhyme so that children can join in and read them independently during learning time.
Our library is being refurbished over the Summer Holidays and will be fantastic! It is a well stocked library with a selection of fiction and non-fiction materials.
Although writing is an integral part of young children’s development it is important that it is not forced upon children too soon. Children will have a fun and exciting writing area in class where they can write their names, stories, letters, recipes and shopping list using lots of different materials; pencils, gel pens, chunky crayons and much more. They will also be encouraged to write with chalks, shaving foam, sand and with water paint outside. Just like reading we want to create a love and purpose for writing that will stay with them forever.
Assessments/Records of Achievement/Celebration
During the first few weeks in school your child will be assessed through teacher observations and teacher led activities. The children will be unaware that they are being assessed and it is not necessary to prepare your child in advance. The assessment is taking place so that a baseline level is given so that progress can be measured from then on. We also look closely at your child’s transition documents from nursery or child minder.
At the end of your child’s first year, the Foundation Stage Profile is completed. To assist in our assessment of your child’s progress we complete a Record of Achievement/Celebration throughout the year, this is in the form of:
- Sticky labels which record progress
- Pictorial evidence
As a home school partnership, it would also be helpful if you could add information to these records illustrating achievements at home e.g. learning to ride a bike, writing party invitations, getting dressed without help etc.
This Record of Achievement/Celebration ‘Learning Journey’ shows a range of achievements against the areas of learning and how your child learns and develops. These records are always available for you to see.
At the end of the Foundation Stage, you will receive a written report with comments made against the areas of learning.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s learning please arrange to see your child’s teacher in the first instance.
EYFS in Action