What is the Early Years Foundation Stage? Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is how the Government and early year’s professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5.
This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.
Nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and childminders registered to deliver the EYFS must follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
What is the EYFS Framework – why do we have one? The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with a number of early year’s experts and parents.
In 2012 the framework was revised to make it clearer and easier to use, with more focus on the things that matter most. This new framework also has a greater emphasis on your role in helping your child develop.
It sets out:
- The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare
- The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge
- Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS
- Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs).
There is also guidance for the professionals supporting your child on planning the learning activities, and observing and assessing what and how your child is learning and developing.
How my child will be learning
The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development.
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it’s suitable for very young children, and it’s designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child’s unique needs and interests.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
When your child begins school s/he will be encouraged to being home a reading book once a week to share with you. The first books may have little or no text in them as they are intended to encourage discussions. The child ‘reads’ the pictures looking for small detail and sequence. Later your child will bring home books from our book bands.
We think it is extremely important for you to share your child’s reading book with them. We do need these books to be brought back to school each morning along with the child’s reading diary so we can see what they are reading at home as well as record the reading activities we have done with the children. At school the teacher will use a variety of methods. These include:
- Picture clues
- Reading for meaning
- Initial sounds (phonics)
- Sight words
- Guided reading
The children read twice a week in a group. The group discuss the book and will often complete work based on it as well as read the book. We have a limited number of books so each book must be bought in and returned daily.
We follow the letters and sound document for phonics. We have a 20 minute daily phonics session where the children learn to read, write and identify sounds and words.
The children are grouped into the phase they are working in and all staff in EYFS and Key stage 1 take different groups so that children are in the correct phase for their ability. The children will move around the classes at this time.
We use the Jolly phonics scheme to teach our sounds. A parents guide to the pronunciation of these sounds has been included with this pack.
Please encourage your child to draw, crayon, paint, model with plasticine etc, any activity which will help develop and strengthen the muscles of the fingers, arms and shoulders. All of these will help your child to control and manipulate a pencil for writing. We encourage the correct pencil grip between thumb and first finger.
If you wish to do some writing with your child please avoid capital letters except for the first letter of their name.
Our school follows the penpals handwriting style and it would help if you can use and model this too. An example page is given for you to look at.
Children are always encourage to use their phonics to try and sound words out and write down the sounds they can hear.
Mathematic is made up of the following aspects;
Number – is about how children gradually know and use numbers and counting in play, and eventually recognize and use numbers reliably to solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
Children will also learn about money under this heading too.
Shape, space and measures – is about repeating patterns, 2D and 3D shapes learning how to describe their properties and their uses as well as the different ways we can measure a range of items.
In the early years and the rest of the school we teach the children their different skills they require through a number of practical termly / half termly topics such as;
- Pirate and princesses
- Understanding the world
Children must be supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. Their learning must be supported through offering opportunities for them to use a range of tools safely, encounter creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments and in real life situations; undertake practical ‘experiments’ and work with a range of materials
Typical day in reception
|9.00||Come in and find peg & name|
|9.05-9.10||Choose activities before Register|
|9.10-9.20||Register and look at the visual timetable for the morning|
|9.20-11.40|| Activities and teacher focused tasks and Child Initiated time.
(Free flow between indoor and outdoor during this time)
|11.40 – 1pm||Wash hands and dinner time|
|1pm – 1.05pm||Afternoon register|
|1.05 – 2.45pm|| Activities and teacher focused tasks and Child initiated time.
(Free flow between indoor and outdoor during this time)
|2.45- 3.15pm||Get ready for home and Story time|
Children in reception will be expected to;
- Read at home each day
- Have a selection of words to learn
- Pieces of work relating to class topic may also be sent home
As a mum or dad, how can I help with my child’s learning?
All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school.
Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.
- Reading with your child every day
- Working on phonics sounds and letters
- Writing for different reasons such as shopping lists, letters and cards.
- Supporting children with any homework they may have
- Talking with your child about their day and the topics they are doing
- Assessment of children
- Formative Assessment
As the year progresses children are monitored on their development and progress in all areas of development. Examples of children’s learning, showing their individual level and stage of development are built up throughout the year. Provision is made for these observations and assessments through experience and play. Progress is recorded by observing and assessing children either using hand written observations, staff notes.
At the end of the year we will assess the Reception Class children against the EYFS Profile Early Learning Goals, stating whether they are EMERGING, EXPECTING or EXCEEDING.
At the end of the EYFS – in the summer term of the reception year in school – teachers complete an assessment which is known as the EYFS Profile. This assessment is carried out by the reception teacher and is based on what they, and other staff caring for your child, have observed over a period of time.
Another important part of the EYFS Profile is your knowledge about your child’s learning and development, so do let your child’s class teacher know about what your child does with you: such as how confident your child is in writing their name, reading and talking about a favourite book, speaking to people your child is not so familiar with or their understanding of numbers.
All of the information collected is used to judge how your child is doing in the 7 areas of learning and development. Finding out at this stage how your child is doing will mean that the teacher your child has in their next school year – year 1 – will know what your child really enjoys doing and does well, as well as helping them decide if your child needs a bit of extra support, what that support should be and if they are already getting it.
The school will give you a report of your child’s progress, including information from his or her EYFS Profile s at the end of the year
Staffing and Support
The Foundation Stage comprises of 1 Reception class currently taught by Miss Docherty and 1 Reception Year 1 class taught by Miss Jennings.
Mrs Bahra works as a full time teaching assistant with Miss Jennings and Mrs Jones and Miss Forde work full time in the reception class. An additional teaching assistant (Mrs Moore) works between the two classes each morning during the week to best provide support for all our children.
At times the Foundation Stage will have visiting student teachers working in the setting alongside the staff. Other professionals may also work within the setting throughout the year. All parties will have an appropriate CRB certificate.
We are dedicated to providing excellent pastoral care and education to those children in our care.
Staff are fully qualified, have a wide range of experience and expertise in working with and educating children. The Staff are committed to professional development and attend up to date training courses and have excellent knowledge of the Early Years Foundation Stage and child development.
We have an outside learning space which children have access to each day. We have all weather clothing available so children are protected and there are no barriers to learning. The outside area is an extension of the classrooms and there is a variety of resources to facilitate learning. In this area EYFS staff provide planned activities for children as well as giving opportunities for them to make their own choices.
We all know that children behave differently with different people and in different places. As teachers we understand that your child might demonstrate skills and learning at home that they may not show us in school. We value parent’s knowledge of their children and therefore each child is given a home school book in which parents can write about their child, stick in work or picture to show us what their child is demonstrating at home. We then use this information to help us to make judgements of the children towards the ELG’s and their profile.
We also have proud clouds At Teagues Bridge we like to share the children’s personal achievements as well as their academic ones.
Every time you learn how to do something new or your parents / carers are proud of something you’ve done they can record it on a proud cloud to be shared in class.
These can be things like;
- Learning to ride a bike, dressing and undressing myself, learning to swim or even helping at home
- The teachers place these clouds on the wall so we can all share in each others achievements.
- Reading mornings
As part of encouraging the children’s love of books and an interest in reading we also encourage parents to come in and share a book with their child in a morning. Books and dates for the reading mornings are shown in the weekly newsletter and programme of events.
We also hold parent / carer open afternoons where adult are invited to come and join their children class to share work, a fun activity and refreshments. Dates for these can be found on the programme of events