Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
During early childhood rapid growth occurs and a high proportion of learning takes place from birth to five. We aim to provide an inspiring ‘hands on’ curriculum in a safe, nurturing environment at this important stage of your child’s development.
Learning through Play
Play underpins the Early Years curriculum. It also underpins learning and all aspects of children’s development. Through play children develop language skills. And, their emotional and creative, social and intellectual skills are practiced, explored and developed.
For most children their play is natural and spontaneous, although some children may need extra help from adults to explore their world and interact with others.
Play takes place indoors and outdoors, and it is in these different environments that children explore and discover their immediate world. It is here they practice new ideas and skills, they take risks, show imagination and solve problems on their own or with others.
The EY team provide time and space and appropriate interventions and resources to support children’s play. These might include setting up activities that will inspire play and fire children’s imaginations. Adults in the EY team observe children’s play closely and join in when appropriate, watching and listening before intervening. The adults value play, and provide safe but challenging environments that support and extend children’s learning and development.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework
The national EYFS framework explains how and what children will be learning to support their healthy development and provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
The EYFS specifies requirements for learning and development and for safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.
Children learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through seven areas of learning and development. These are:
- Communication and language;
- Physical development; and
- Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those essential for a child’s healthy development and future learning. As children develop, the prime areas support them to develop skills in a further four specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the world; and
- Expressive arts and design.
All seven areas of learning are used in planning children’s learning and activities. This does not mean that all your child’s learning is divided up into specific areas. The professionals teaching and supporting your child at Normand Croft will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. And, one experience may provide a child with opportunities to develop a number of skills and concepts across several areas of learning.
If you visit Nursery, or the Reception class, you will see a range of activities taking place such as role-play, practical games, painting, cutting and sticking and reading in the book corner.
You would also see the outdoor classroom in operation, with equipment such as bikes, cars, sand, mud and water.
EYFS in more detail
The three 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.
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.
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.
Personal, social and emotional development
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.
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.
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 four specific areas:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Understanding the world
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Our curriculum is devised with reference to the Early Years Foundation Stage Document Development Matters which can be read in full by clicking HERE.
Observation, Assessment & Planning in EY
In EY practitioners focus on the child and work in a continuous cycle of observation, assessment and planning based around the Development Matters document. Practitioners see what children are able to do by themselves, and identify next steps for their learning based on these observations. They are then able to plan activities that will support children to develop, based on their assessments.
At Normand Croft we use an online profile system called Tapestry. teachers and Early Years Educators use tablets to take photographs and record observations of your child’s learning during their time in Nursery and Reception. These online profiles are only accessible by school staff and individual parents who are given a logon and password for their child’s profile. These profiles are a wonderful, flexible way for school and parents to work together as parents can add their own observations and comments about what their child has been doing at school as well as at home.
Baseline assessment in Reception
A baseline assessment in reception year has been introduced by the government to help improve how primary schools measure children’s progress over time. We have chosen the Early Excellence (EE) Baseline as our approved provider. The EE baseline takes an observational approach and allows the reception team to observe and understand children whilst they are interacting with their peers and their learning environment.
End of Year assessment in Reception
The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) is a report on your child’s development and achievements by the end of the Reception year. The EYFSP is useful in that it:
- informs parents about their children’s development
- provided valuable information that support children’s transition into Y1
- supports the Y1 Team in planning to meet the needs of all children in their class
The EYFSP is completed during the Summer term when the document is evaluated and children are given a judgement against each of the areas of learning based on their teachers observations and ongoing assessments. There are three categories: expected – your child is working at the level expected for their age; emerging – your child is currently working below the expected level and exceeding – your child is working above the expected level.