Early Years Foundation Stage at Chaddesley Corbett Primary School
The years from pre-birth to five are known as the Foundation Years. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the guidance for anyone providing care and education for children in the Foundation Years. This includes nurseries, pre-schools, childminders and reception classes in schools.
The EYFS is made up of two parts: The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This sets out the legal requirements which settings have to follow in order to support children’s’ learning and development, to assess their development and to ensure they are well cared for. Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage. This contains guidance materials for practitioners on the characteristics of learning and the areas of learning and development that should be offered to children in the foundation years.
The Learning and Development Requirements outline seven areas of learning and development. All the areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected but Communication and Language, Physical Development, and Personal, Social and Emotional Development are priority areas. They are crucial in building children’s ability to learn, form relationships and thrive.
Principles and Ethos
We aim to provide a warm and secure learning environment. We aim to educate children on boundaries, rules and limits to help them understand why they exist. We provide children with choices to help them develop this important life skill. Children should be allowed to take risks, but need to be taught how to recognise and avoid hazards.
The whole child is considered to be important: social, intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual aspects of development are related. We aim to consider all aspects of the child in our planning, provision and interactions.
Learning takes place in a variety of settings. Home is the most powerful setting: we acknowledge parents as first and continuing educators of their children, and we aim to develop a partnership with parents and carers, which is based on mutual respect and a shared interest in children.
Learning is holistic and interconnected. For the young child, experience is not usually separated into different compartments. Our curriculum aims to provide broadly based experiences, providing rich contexts for learning, which have real meaning for the child.
Young children learn through exploration, talk and play, and our early years provision provides an interesting, relevant environment with wide opportunities in which children can be actively involved in their learning.
Autonomy, physical, social and intellectual, and self-discipline are emphasised. Child initiated activities and self-directed learning are valued. We aim to provide challenging opportunities that foster creativity, problem solving and investigation. We recognise the role of active learning involving children in their planning and decision-making. In order to accommodate each child’s particular learning style lessons will be planned wherever possible in a multi-sensory way so that the various activities will cater for all children in the spirit of inclusion.
Both adults and children with whom the child interacts are of central importance. This is encouraged by an awareness of our skills in supporting children’s learning, and our role as models and partners in learning.
The prime areas Communication and language Listening and attention: children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity. Understanding: children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events. Speaking: children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
Physical development Moving and handling: children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing. Health and self-care: children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.
Personal, social and emotional development Self-confidence and self-awareness: children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help. Managing feelings and behaviour: children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride. Making relationships: children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.
The specific areas Literacy Reading: children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read. Writing: children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
Mathematics Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing. Shape, space and measures: children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.
Understanding the world People and communities: children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions. The world: children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes. Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.
Expressive arts and design Exploring and using media and materials: children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
Being imaginative: children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.
The learning and development requirements also describe three characteristics of effective teaching and learning: 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 achievements; and Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Outdoor Education Our Reception class has its own enclosed outdoor area which is used every day of the year. This has a positive effect on the children’s development. Being outdoors offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. It offers the children chance to explore, use their senses and be physically active and exuberant. We plan activities and resources for the children to access outdoors that help the children to develop in all 7 areas of learning. On our site we have a large environmental area, which gives many opportunities for outdoor learning. Within this site we run weekly forest school sessions. We have a large playground area, which has markings to encourage individual as well as group play. We have a large field and wooden apparatus trail which the children use whenever possible.
Assessment During the first six weeks of term observations are made and used to complete the first entry on the EYFS profile. These are called the ‘on-entry’ assessments and form the basis of our first formal consultation at parents evening. Children are taught in small groups through focused teaching - observations are recorded for each child and photographs are taken. They are documented in the children’s Learning Journey. Observations are also made in child-initiated activities. Overall progress is recorded termly in each area of learning and tracked on the EYFS profile. Each child’s level of development is assessed against the statements in Development Matters and then the Early Learning Goals. The profile includes on-going observation, all relevant records held by the setting, discussions with parents and carers, and any other adults whom the teacher, parent or carer judges can offer a useful contribution.
Chaddesley Corbett Endowed Primary School is committed to Safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.