Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years education is the foundation upon which young children build the rest of their schooling.  It is a holistic education that encompasses all learning and development.

In the EYFS setting at Stone with Woodford C of E Primary School, children are at the heart of everything we do and we believe that all children are entitled to the best possible start in their school life - intellectually, physically and emotionally - in order to enable them to develop their full 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 ensure that our ambitious EYFS curriculum enhances the experiences and opportunities available to children. We improve children’s experiences in their learning and play through interactions with our practitioners, engaging continuous provision and a range of both in house and external activities. Our EYFS curriculum allows our pupils to experience the awe and wonder of the world in which we live, through the seven areas of learning, and provides the Cultural Capital they need to thrive in society.

 

The EYFS curriculum at Stone with Woodford follows the ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage: setting the standard for learning, development and care for children from birth to five’ (effective September 2021) which has four guiding principles that shape practice in early years settings. These are:

  • 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 with teaching and support from adults who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
  • Importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

 

Our EYFS Curriculum

Intent

We aim to support each child’s welfare, learning and developmental needs by:

  • Providing quality and consistency in our setting so that every child makes good progress and no child is left behind.
  • Recognising that all children are unique and special.
  • Understanding that children develop in individual ways and at varying rates – physically, cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally.
  • Providing a safe, secure and caring environment where children feel happy and know that they are valued by the practitioners looking after them.
  • Fostering and nurturing the children’s self-confidence and self-esteem through their developing awareness of their own identity and role within the community.
  • Teaching them to express and communicate their needs and feelings in appropriate ways.
  • Providing a secure foundation through planning for the learning and development of each individual child, and assessing and reviewing what they have learned regularly.
  • Encouraging children’s independence and decision-making, supporting them to learn through their mistakes.
  • Providing partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers.
  • Developing children’s understanding of social skills and the values and codes of behaviour required for people to work together harmoniously.
  • Supporting children to develop care, respect and appreciation for others, including those with beliefs, cultures and opinions different to their own.
  • Understanding the importance of play in children’s learning and development.
  • Providing learning experiences in play which reflect the children’s personal interests and areas of curiosity in order to encourage and develop their natural desire, interest, excitement and motivation to learn.
  • Providing experiences which build on children’s existing knowledge and understanding in order to challenge, stimulate and extend their learning and development.
  • Providing effective and differentiated learning opportunities and challenges in a range of environments, inside and outside, that enables children to fulfil their potential.
  • Deliver an ambitious curriculum which balances the need for hybrid teaching (teaching episodes that teach vital skills for children to then explore within their play), play based learning and child initiated learning experiences whilst having an emphasis on phonics, reading, mathematics and vocabulary.
  • Providing equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.

 

 

Implementation

Teaching  and assessment in the EYFS department at Stone with Woodford is delivered in accordance with the government’s statutory document  ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage: setting the standard for learning, development and care for children from birth to five’ (effective September 2021). This document is a principled approach to Early Years education, bringing together children’s welfare, learning and development requirements through four themes: “Unique Child”, “Positive Relationships”, “Enabling Environments with Teaching and Support from Adults” and “Learning and Development – Children Develop and Learn at Different Rates”.

The curriculum is centred on 3 Prime areas of learning:

  • Communication & Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social & Emotional Development

Providers must also support activities through 4 specific areas which strengthen the Prime areas.  These are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts & Design

These Areas of Learning and Development address children’s physical, cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional development.  No one aspect of development stands in isolation from the others as all Areas of Learning and Development are all closely interlinked.  This ensures the delivery of a holistic, child-centred curriculum which allows children to make lots of links between what they are learning.

Active Learning through Play

At Stone with Woodford, we recognise that young children learn best when they are active.  We understand that active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods. Therefore, we believe that Early Years education should be as practical as possible and our EYFS setting has an ethos of learning through play.

We recognise the importance of children’s play.  It is an essential and rich part of their learning process, supporting them in all areas of development.  Play is a powerful motivator encouraging children to be creative and to develop their ideas, understanding and language.  Play is also flexible and able to suit the preferred learning style of the child. It can provide multiple ways for children to learn a variety of different skills and concepts.

In the EYFS at Stone with Woodford, practitioners provide both structured and unstructured play opportunities inside and outside. These activities are designed to engage and challenge children in practical, first-hand experiences which will support children to discover, explore, investigate, develop their personal interests and areas of curiosity, and help to make sense of the world around them as they begin to understand specific concepts. The quality of enhancements within our continuous provision promote Age Related challenge and therefore progression of skills across all ELGs and provides extension for all pupils with no ‘Glass Ceilings’. Play opportunities are also set up to provide children with opportunities to apply newly acquired knowledge, demonstrating their skills and level of understanding.

In providing these active learning opportunities through play we understand the central position of play within the EYFS framework.  This is essentially a play based curriculum and pedagogy as the provision of play opportunities underpins its delivery within settings.

 

Impact

Impact Baseline: Prior to children starting, staff spend time speaking to the child’s parents, previous settings and read previous learning journey’s to gain an understanding of the whole child and where they are at. During the first half term in Nursery or Reception, all staff use ongoing assessments, observations and conversations with the child to develop a baseline assessment. This identifies each individual’s starting points in all areas so we can plan experiences to ensure progress.

The following baseline assessments are also carried out.

The RBA (Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment) This assessment focuses on ‘Language, Communication and Literacy,’ and ‘Mathematics.’ The purpose of this is to show the progress children make from Reception until the end of KS2.

NELI (Nutfield Early Language Intervention) NELI is an evidence-based oral language intervention for children who show weakness in their oral language skills and who are therefore at risk of experiencing difficulty with reading. The assessment informs us if the child is at expected for their age or requires intervention from trained NELI practitioners.

Ongoing Observation: All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps. This formative assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paper work. Practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgements through discussions with other practitioners, photographs and physical examples such as a child’s drawing / making. Some observations are uploaded using Tapestry and shared with the supporting parents and carers and examples kept in individual files.

Assessment: Phonic assessments are carried out every half term to quickly identify pupils that are not making expected progress. Our aim is for children to ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’ where possible. In Summer Term 2, the EYFSP is completed where teacher judge whether the child has met each of the 17 ELG’s. They will be assessed as either ‘emerging’ or ‘expected.’ Whilst there is no judgement to state if a child is exceeding beyond an ELG, teachers, have a duty to provide a narrative for both parents and the Year 1 teacher.

Impact is also evident through our successful transitions into Year 1. EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELG’s link to the National Curriculum, and through our robust planning and delivery across the spectrum of subjects – both core and foundation - children leave the EYFS stage with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue their journey as scientists, historians, artists and geographers

The Early Learning Goals

Early Learning Goals:

Communication and Language

1. Listening, Attention and Understanding ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions;
  • Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding;
  • Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.

2. Speaking ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary;
  • Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate;
  • Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

3. Self-Regulation ELG

  • Children at the expected level of development will:
  • Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly;
  • Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate;
  • Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.

4. Managing Self ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge;
  • Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly;
  • Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.

5. Building Relationships ELG

  • Children at the expected level of development will:
  • Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others;
  • Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers;
  • Show sensitivity to their own and to others’ needs.

Physical development

6. Gross Motor Skills ELG

  • Children at the expected level of development will:
  • Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others;
  • Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing;
  • Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.

7. Fine Motor Skills ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases;
  • Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery;
  • Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.

Literacy

8. Comprehension ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary;
  • Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories;
  • Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.

9. Word Reading ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs;
  • Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending;
  • Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.

10. Writing ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed;
  • Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters;
  • Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.

Mathematics

11. Number ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number;
  • Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5;
  • Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.

12. Numerical Patterns ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system;
  • Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity;
  • Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.

Understanding the World

13. Past and Present ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society;
  • Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
  • Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling;

14. People Culture and Communities ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps;
  • Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
  • Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.

15. The Natural World ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants;
  • Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
  • Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.

Expressive Arts and Design

16. Creating with Materials ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function;
  • Share their creations, explaining the process they have used;
  • Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.

17. Being Imaginative and Expressive ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher;
  • Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs;
  • Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – try to move in time with music.

We have two formal Parents’ Evenings in the autumn and spring term. EYFS individual pupil school reports are given out at the end of the year which are shared with parents and include a commentary of their child’s Characteristics of Effective Learning.  Parents are given the opportunity to discuss their child’s report with the teachers in July.