Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
We believe that our Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial to developing firm foundations to be built upon throughout our school journey and beyond. It is our intent that the children who enter our EYFS develop physically, verbally, emotionally, creatively, intellectually and spiritually whilst embedding a positive attitude to school and learning in order for each child to achieve their full potential. We set high expectations throughout all areas of school life and beyond. Our school motto is introduced in our Reception Class…Be the best you can be. This motto is embedded in all aspects of our children’s lives as they become lifelong learners in an environment of acceptance and support. We believe that all children deserve to be valued as an individual and we are passionate in supporting all children to achieve their full, unique potential.
Our Reception class follow the EYFS curriculum, which has seven main areas of learning.
The Prime Areas:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
The Specific Areas:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts
We implement these areas of learning by providing a safe, stimulating environment that allows children to discover, be challenged, consolidate and achieve their very best whilst developing their resilience and independence. There is a combination of adult-led, teacher taught whole class, group and individual support. Throughout all of these areas of learning and at the heart of the EYFS Curriculum are the "Characteristics of Effective Learning". We strive to develop these key characteristics of "Playing and Learning", "Active Learning" and "Thinking Critically" in order to give the children the skills that they will continue to draw upon throughout their development. We get to know our families and children well and use their interests and knowledge to support and inspire our children’s knowledge and understanding of themselves, our local community and beyond. Our learning environments, both inside and outside are adapted to meet the different and developing needs of our children. We are passionate advocates for ensuring all of our children are able to share how they feel and work with them to support any worries or concerns they may have as we fully believe that children learn best when they are happy.
With regular assessments made from accurate observations, future planning is informed and children’s individual next steps planned. Learning is embedded and consistent and that all children continue to make the best possible progress within our EYFS setting.
The impact of our provision is measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens.
It is a privilege to be part of such an important stage in our children’s development and our dedicated staff work tirelessly to deliver the best possible outcomes for our children.
The curriculum in EYFS
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. At Christleton children join us in the September after their fourth birthday. We plan a phased start to give the children every opportunity to get to know the school environment, school routine and to ensure that they are happy, settled and ready to learn.
Our EYFS provision is based upon four overarching principles:
- A Unique Child
- Positive Relationships
- Enabling Learning Environments
- Learning and Development
A Unique Child
At Christleton we recognise that every child is an individual with different skills, abilities and talents and we understand that children develop at different rates. We aim to provide quality and consistency so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind. Children’s dispositions and attitudes to learning are influenced by the feedback they receive from others. We value each other’s contributions and time is set aside to reflect on this. We use praise and encouragement, as well as celebration and rewards to develop a positive attitude to learning.
We value the diversity of individuals, all children and their families are valued and treated equally regardless of race, religion or ability. We believe that all our children matter and we give them every opportunity to achieve their best. We do this by taking into consideration children’s interests, life experiences when planning for learning and we value contributions from parents, carers and previous settings.
In the EYFS the expectations we set are realistic and challenging to meet the needs of the children. The phased start at Christleton enables us to get to know the children discovering their personality likes, dislikes, interests, needs and school readiness. Through learning and development opportunities we plan around these needs and interests ensuring that every child is included and supported.
At Christleton we aim to educate the children on boundaries, rules and limits, helping them to understand that they are in place to keep them safe. Children should be able to take risks but need to be taught how to recognise and avoid hazards. We provide opportunities for children to talk about their own and others behaviour and work together as a class to know that some behaviour is unacceptable.
Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them. We take our role very seriously in ensuring that this is their experience. We recognise that children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships so we work to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with children and their families.
Within school we operate a very successful buddy system. Year six children are paired with a Foundation Stage child to support them through their first year at school. They help in various ways including supporting at lunch time, during whole school events and with some reading activities.
Parents as partners
We recognise that parents and/or carers are children’s first educators and we value the contributions they make by:
- Encouraging the parents to visit school before applying for a place
- Holding a ‘stay and play’ afternoon for parents and children in the summer term, before they start school
- Inviting children to visit school to spend time with the class teacher and teaching assistant in the summer term before they start school
- Visiting children in their pre-school / nursery settings prior to starting school
- Inviting parents to a ‘New Parents’ evening at the beginning of the summer term, giving parents an opportunity to meet the Head teacher, Foundation Stage staff, PTA members and visit the classroom
- Provide parents with a ‘One-page Profile’ in order to provide the opportunity for parents to write about their children prior to them starting school e.g. children’s interests, friends, worries, Likes /dislikes and anything else parents feel will be of value
- Openly encouraging parents to come in and talk to a member of the Foundation Stage staff, either in the morning or after school to discuss any worries or concerns
- Inviting parents to a ‘meet the teacher’ evening at the beginning of the Autumn Term, where the Foundation Stage curriculum and assessment documents are discussed and whole school procedures are explained
- Holding formal parents’ evenings in the Autumn and Spring Term, where parents meet with class teachers to discuss their children’s attainment and progress
- Providing parents with a written report on their children’s attainment and progress at the end of the Summer Term
- Inviting parents to ‘Share the Learning’ events, where children are encouraged to share the work they have been doing during the term
- Encouraging parents to contribute to their children’s Learning Journey by filling in a ‘shocks and surprises’ card which celebrates moments of achievement by their children when they are not at school
- Inviting parents throughout the year to attend curriculum meetings. These meetings explain how we teach subjects such as phonics, reading and mathematics and suggest ways in which parents can support their children’s learning at home
- Sending home reading books and phonic activities weekly for the children to practise and complete at home
- Sending home curriculum overviews to parents at the beginning of each term, these share the learning intentions for the children each term. Information is regularly sent home informing parents of what the children have been doing at school in the form of a learning update
- Using the school twitter account to inform parents of activities and experiences taking place in school
- Inviting parents to come into school to talk about their jobs or special talents
- Accepting offers of help in the classroom from parents
- Inviting parents to accompany children in the Foundation Stage on school trips
Observation, assessment and planning
Planning in the is based around themes. These themes alter from year to year depending on the needs / interests of the cohort. The teaching staff plan weekly, following on from what has been observed during the week, these plans are fluid and open to change in response to needs, achievements and interests of the children and where applicable changes in the weather.
We make regular assessments of children’s learning and we use this information to ensure that future planning reflects identified needs.
Assessment in the Foundation Stage is predominantly recorded on a piece of software called Tapestry. The observations made are used to inform the class teacher of children’s next steps. At Christleton we use the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile to assess the evidence collected and use the seven areas of learning and development to make judgements of the children’s progress and achievement. At the end of the summer term parents are given a report showing progress against the EYFSP assessment scales.
An Enabling Learning Environment
At Christleton we recognise that children need time, space and materials to investigate and explore. The Foundation Stage classroom is organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. The classroom is set up in areas to enable children to find and locate equipment and resources independently. Some areas provide opportunities for the children to be creative and loud whereas other areas provide opportunities for children to play quietly or rest. The children have the use of a covered outdoor area allowing for free flow activity between inside and outside during the day. The outside area provides opportunities for the children to do things in different ways and on different scales than indoors. It offers the children the space to explore, use their senses and be physically more active. Outdoor activities are planned to help the children develop in all areas.
Learning and Developing
At Christleton we recognise that children learn and develop in different ways and have their own learning styles. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play and by taking part in play that is guided by adults. We value all areas of learning and development equally and recognise and understand that they are all inter-connected.
Children learn best through physical and mental challenges. Active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods. Active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested and have some independence and control over their learning. As children develop confidence they learn to make decisions, providing them with a sense of satisfaction as they take ownership of their learning.
Creative and critical thinking
When children have opportunities to play with ideas in different situations and with a variety of resources, they discover connections and come to new and better understandings and ways of doing things. Adult support in this process enhances their ability to think critically and ask questions.
At Christleton we aim to provide opportunities for children to be creative through all areas of learning. As adults we support children’s thinking and help them make connections by showing genuine interest, offering encouragement, clarifying ideas and asking open questions. We make sure children can access resources freely and are allowed to move around the classroom to extend their learning independently.
|Reading At Home Booklet 1||Download|
|Reading At Home Booklet 2||Download|