The Estcourt EYFS Team:
- Mrs Tallant
- Mrs Jackson
- Mrs Brough
- Mr Kelly
- Mrs Collingwood
- Miss Thundercliffe
- Miss Eggleton
The Foundation Stage
Children in Nursery (FS1) and Reception (FS2) access the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. They engage in learning through first hand experiences that foster investigation and enquiry. The Early Years curriculum is made up of 7 areas of learning; 3 prime and 4 specific.
The prime areas of the EYFS are: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development is vital in the Foundation Stage. Through every day learning, we support the children in making strong relationships with their peers and familiar adults and encourage them to become confident and independent young people. At all times, adults support and model appropriate behaviour to promote positive relationships within the classroom; this is in reinforced during circle times and small group activities. The children are encouraged to recognise and celebrate personal achievements, however small, and those of their peers. Each class has a reward system in place that celebrates the small but significant steps along a child’s personal foundation stage journey.
To promote a rich and varied vocabulary, we provide a language rich environment, which gives opportunities for children to experience new and imaginative vocabulary. We plan specific activities to upscale the children’s vocabulary which is illustrated daily in Talk for Writing, book sharing, role-play, child initiated activities and when using the outdoor area.
To further deepen the understanding of children’s learning, staff in Foundation stage are encouraged to use questioning to allow children to talk about their experiences. The use of questioning also encourage children to use a wider range of vocabulary to form longer, more complex sentences. Where children have limited vocabulary and struggle to answer questions, adults will scaffold appropriate responses to allow all children to respond.
Physical Development, is a fundamentally important skill which underpins all aspects of children’s early experiences. If children learn to move with control and coordination; to balance and climb; to move with agility and self-expression they are likely to be more successful learners throughout their school lives. .
Our outdoor area gives the children opportunities to climb, balance, and manoeuvre in and out of equipment.
The specific areas of the EYFS are: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design
The children in F1 have a ‘rhyme and story rich’ environment, to allow them access to story structure and playing with rhyme. They are introduced to the the pure sounds, and finally the letter shapes. We have introduced a weekly Stay and Read session where parents are supported in ways to help their child with early reading skills and to promote a love of books.
Children in F2 access daily Phonics sessions where they learn to articulate pure letter sounds through a range of multisensory activities.
As the year progresses, children move on to reading words, sentences and books. Children use and apply their phonic skills when accessing continuous provision through reading labels, captions, instructions and other text in the environment. All of the children are part of guided reading groups and are immersed in reading opportunities across the year to encourage reading for pleasure.
Children if F1 are supported in developing ‘pre-writing’ skills by exercising and strengthening their fingers in activities including cutting and sticking, pouring, manipulating playdough, using tweezers etc.
Mark making is the next step towards successful early writing. Children are encouraged to use a variety of different writing materials on a variety of scales. This could be writing on a post it note or making gigantic marks on the playground; it could be using brushes or magic wands.
The importance of this mark making practice is to embed fluent movement which will eventually lead to forming recognisable letters. In addition to this daily practice, the children participate in Talk for Writing and purposeful writing in each learning environment.
By the end of the Foundation Stage, many children can write short, simple sentences independently and read simple words and sentences.
Early maths is taught through games, song and exploration. In F1 we concentrate on the language of maths through child initiated play, simple challenges, questioning and stories. In addition, we deliver a daily maths session to consolidate and extend learning concepts.
In F2, we build on the children’s early experiences through a mastery approach to maths, which encourages children to use manipulative resources, like cubes and counters, to solve a range of problems. We ensure that children are fluent with: counting, ordering, adding and subtracting, doubling, halving and sharing before we challenge them to use their reasoning and problem-solving skills. Children also explore 2d and 3d shapes, measuring equipment and start to use the language for a range of mathematical concepts like time and money.
Understanding the World
In Understanding the World, children are encouraged to be curious and explore natural materials and learn about living things and compare different places. Our topics are chosen carefully to exploit the children’s own experiences which are vast and varied. They learn about technology, using computers and programmable toys and the wider application of technology in everyday life. Moreover, they learn about people and communities; how they are different or similar to their friends and they learn about and celebrate other cultures.
Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)
EAD is a fundamental area to develop in Early Years as it gives the children the foundations to underpin their own identity and enables them to develop self-expression and self-confidence.
Children are given the opportunity to use their skills imaginatively in Expressive Arts and Design. They are given the opportunity to explore and use media and materials such as paint, clay and construction equipment. Children are also encouraged to be imaginative in areas such as role-play, art and dance. In EYFS, we also learn about different artists and create our own interpretation of their work.
Children in the Foundation Stage engage in high quality learning experiences both indoors and outdoors. Their learning and progress is tracked through observations, photographs on a learning journey.
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