Teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage refers to the teaching in Preschool, Nursery and Reception classes. The teaching at this stage in children's development is decided by the Department of Education and takes the form of the national Early Years Foundation Stage Framework which has recently been updated.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
We offer a safe, secure and nurturing environment where children develop a sense of emotional well-being and self-confidence. Children regularly take part in circle time which is a time to share news, feelings and opinions. They learn how to take turns in speaking, how to share toys and how to look after our classroom environment. During this time, children become more aware of others’ feelings and we talk about our own experiences at school and at home. Staff help children to develop good relationships with each other and children learn how to make friends, play effectively with each other and resolve conflicts. Our pupils learn about what makes them special and we encourage children to feel positive about what they can do. Special work is celebrated by sharing with the rest of the class or sharing in whole school assemblies. Each week children strive to be the Star of the week and feel very proud to tell everyone this news.
Communication and Language
Our school encourages children to work in small groups to develop their speaking and listening skills. We play a range of fun and interactive games to help children feel confident, safe and secure in sharing their ideas. We encourage children to speak to each other in a range of situations, and help them feel confident in expressing themselves. Children will be introduced to a range of nursery rhymes, stories and songs throughout the year and are encouraged to expand their language skills further by engaging in imaginative play. Our Unit fosters a nurturing environment where children’s speech is valued and encouraged.
Our children enjoy twice weekly PE sessions. During the sessions children develop a range of skills including throwing and catching, travelling in different ways and using large apparatus. Children also have opportunities to explore a range of dance and gymnastic activities. We encourage children to eat healthily through providing a range of healthy snacks and we actively promote a healthy lifestyle. Children have access to a range of bikes, scooters and play equipment when playing outside and regularly use the large outdoor adventure playground to develop their gross motor skills. Our school also has a story path which children use to travel around and explore. Children regularly take part in threading, lacing and cutting activities to help develop their fine motor skills and get them ready for writing. We encourage children to develop their pencil control skills, then move onto writing their name once ready. Children in Reception have a name book to practice writing in during the morning task, and we share these with parents to celebrate children’s progress.
Understanding the World
All children in our Foundation stage unit enjoy exploring how to use cameras, I pads and other technological toys such as Bee-bots and remote controlled cars. They have access to Smartboards and computers on a daily basis which help develop their Computing skills. The children in Nursery and Reception benefit from dedicated weekly sessions with Mrs Wilson who works with small groups of children on a range of skills such as programming robots, designing meals and outfits and simple word processing activities. Children also learn about the world around them, beginning with exploring where they live. We go on regular walks around our locality and often take trips on the community bus to local places of interest. We have a range of visitors to our school and regularly take children to places such as the Fire station, the town supermarket and Lifeboat station to find out about people in our community and the job they do. Our children enjoy finding out about living things and help to care and look after our chickens which live in the school grounds. Reception children also enjoy helping to plant new flowers and fruit and vegetables in our school garden. Pupils are supported by Mr Parker who helps them to learn all about growing and about healthy food.
Expressive Arts and Design
All EYFS pupils have access to a range of media and materials in the Unit. They can investigate how to join materials together and practice their cutting skills. Children enjoy making pictures to take home and often use a range of empty cardboard boxes, kitchen rolls and plastic containers to make models such as houses, buses and cars. Throughout the year, we explore how our bodies can move to a variety of music and rhythms and investigate making sounds with musical instruments. Children use what they know in the role-play kitchen, using utensils to make meals, tidy up and take the baby for a walk in the pram. We also introduce a themed role-play area that links to the topic we are studying each half term. These areas can include for example, a doctor’s surgery, a garden centre, a fairy-tale castle and a variety of shops. We encourage children to help set these areas up by asking for ideas, collecting resources and making things to use.
Everyday children are split into small groups to participate in phonic activities. Our school follows the Phonics Play programme which involves children playing a range of fun, interactive games to support their understanding of letters and sounds. Once children are ready for a reading book, they are given a book to take home to share with people at home. We encourage children to read their books at home as much as possible and listen to children read at school everyday. All children enjoy listening to a range of reading materials such as stories, non-fiction books, poems and other written texts. They have access to reading areas in class where they can enjoy a book with their friends. There are also dedicated drawing and writing areas in the Foundation Stage Unit which provide an area for mark making for the children. Reception children enjoy a range of activities to help support them in their early writing skills. Guided writing activities such as writing a shopping list or writing about their favourite part of a story, help encourage children to become confident and independent writers as they move through school.
The Foundation Stage Unit houses a well resourced maths area which enables children to choose the equipment they need to solve their own mathematical problems. We provide lots of practical and engaging activities to help children improve their counting, calculations, shape, space and measures skills. Children are regularly engaged in play activities that help foster and develop their problem solving skills.