The Early Years Foundation Stage EYFS is the time when children are either in the nursery or reception class.
The curriculum is the statutory curriculum for all children until they are 5 years old and enter Year 1.
At Petts Hill Primary School our children are excited and engaged through stimulating and challenging learning experiences; opportunities to explore and take risks, and real –life experiences.
We have high expectations for all our children and recognise that children have different starting points to their learning. We plan according to children’s stage of development so all can thrive, develop and excel. We aim for children to be well-rounded individuals who are independent, resilient, and confident in themselves and with others.
We recognise that parents are the first educators in children’s lives and value their contributions to judgements about children’s development. We use this information to support our assessments and share information about what children need to do next to develop and thrive. We work in partnership with our parents and welcome them to be actively involved in their children’s learning in school by sharing in learning experiences through ‘family learning days, parent meetings, and parent workshops.
The EYFS learning Environment
Every day, we provide opportunities for children to come together to share their experiences and have fun.
Our children are happy, proud and feel secure knowing that we celebrate their successes and value their achievements.
The curriculum is centred on children’s interests with a balance of child-initiated and adult-led learning. Our learning environment facilitates child-initiated play and provides children with carefully planned opportunities which allow children to explore create and learn through exciting, stimulating, interactive and accessible resources.
The EYFS is made up of what is known as the early learning goals which are divided up into the prime and specific areas as outlined below.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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 12 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 EYFS is taught through effective teaching and learning. The effective characteristics of this are:
- 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
- Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
By the time our children leave the EYFS, it is our vision that they leave as children with a continuing thirst for knowledge and with a good foundation for the rest of their academic lives