Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception)
Our initial focus in September is to settle the children as quickly as possible into school life. It is our aim to visit all children in their nursery setting during the Summer Term prior to the children starting school. This allows us to gather information from 'Key Workers' and to become a familiar face to the children. During the Summer Term before they start school in September, the children have three 'settling in sessions' at school, so they can begin to become familiar with the Reception classrooms and outdoor learning spaces.
During the first week of term in September, we also have individual stay and play sessions in school. This is a lovely way for parents and children to ask any remaining questions they may have and for the children to familiarise themselves with us again after the summer break, in their classroom! It is very important to us that both parents and children feel safe and secure in September allowing the children to be confident, happy and ready to learn and have fun!
Being School Ready
We celebrate all of the children's achievements, how they develop and progress at very different rates as every child is an individual. Many parents ask us what they can do to get their children ready for school. It is really helpful if the children can undress and dress themselves, take coats on and off, have practised using knives and forks ready for lunchtime and can take themselves to the toilet before they start school. However, help is happily given for doing up buttons and supporting all of our learners in these tasks!
Talking to your child is also invaluable, pointing out numbers in the environment, letters, shapes and encouraging them to ask questions is great for their development. Singing nursery rhymes with your child is a lovely way to encourage early language development and spend time together. Reading to and with your child is key to developing their vocabulary and understanding of texts, we want children to be excited about stories!
Most of the Early Years learning takes place though carefully constructed play activities where the children learn and explore together following detailed observations. There are 7 areas of learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), 3 Prime Areas of Learning and 4 Specific areas of Learning.
Continuous Provision (Exploring Time)
The purpose of an effective continuous provision is to offer children a constant environment that is safe for them to explore whilst challenging their learning. It should allow children the freedom to explore and become independent in making choices. At LMPS, an important part of the EYFS is to support children in becoming active learners; continuous provision allows children to demonstrate this aspect and we can closely observe this during their play. Continuous provision supports children’s learning and development across all seven areas and let’s not forget the characteristics of effective learning (how children learn).
Prime Areas of Learning: These areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving.
Communication and language (CL): The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. CL supports children to develop their understanding and expressive language. A language rich environment is provided and differentiated to meet each child's individual needs. Developing communication skills linked to speaking and listening is a key part of the work we do within the department.
Personal, social and emotional development (PSED)
Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. PSED helps children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others. We aim to support children to be confident and as independent as possible. Activities support children to develop their social skills, a respect for others and the curiosity to want to explore and learn.
Physical development (PD): Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. PD helps children to learn by being active. This helps children to gain confidence, develop their coordination and movement. Children are supported to make healthy choices about the food they eat both at snack time and at lunchtime.
These areas are age sensitive and need to be embedded securely within the children by the age of 5 years so they can continue to develop and grow emotionally and academically throughout their school journey.
Specific Areas of Learning:
It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading and we ensure we promote this at Lytchett Matravers. We provide many activities to support the development of reading and writing skills. We have a wide range of books and other reading materials which children can access independently and with others. The development of writing skills is supported not only via traditional writing activities but creatively through, for example the use of computers and messy activities.
From very early on, the children will begin to learn phonics. Phonics are the sounds that letters make within a word. It is done in a fun, interactive way and promotes the development of early reading and writing through the Read Write Inc scheme. The children love learning their phonemes (sounds) and enjoy sharing their reading at home each week.
Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. Children are provided with a wide range of activities to help them to develop an understanding of number, using number and shape, space and measures.
Understanding of the World (UoW)
UoW provides children with the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. To help children to do this we enable them to use a range of tools and technology safely. We provide opportunities for them to encounter creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments and in real life situations. Children are supported to participate in practical 'experiments' and to explore a wide range of materials.
Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)
EAD enables children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. Children are also provided with opportunities and support to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance imaginative and role play activities, design and technology.
It is amazing to see how quickly the children make progress once they feel safe and secure in their learning environment. We all know children learn best when they are hands on having fun!
Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning
There are three characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning. These 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
We encourage the children to think about their own learning and how they have been learning. To make this child friendly, we have Learning Dinosaurs in the classroom. During the day, the children reflect on how they have been learning and choose the appropriate Dinosaur to help them talk about what they have been learning.
Our Pupil Premium Promise
At LMPS, we strive to support all of our pupils, working hard to close the gap for all children, especially those who qualify for the Pupil Premium.
- to develop positive relationships with parents. Transition visits, stay and play sessions, daily face to face contact and 'Wows' are all used to build a strong home-school link.
- provision of an enabling environment, which is language rich, engaging and facilitates learning.
- early intervention, where barriers to learning are identified swiftly and tailored support is put in place.
- carefully targeted provision of speech and language, the Learn to Move programme, ELSA, Forest Schools, pastoral care or other specialised support as and where needed.
- to help children to reach a good level of development through quality first teaching.
Communication and good relationships with parents is of paramount importance to us. We value parental input as it provides us with valuable information which helps us assess the children and really get to know them. Using 'WOWs', we encourage parents to celebrate success at home. The achievement can be recorded by sticking on a picture or writing directly on the WOW template which is then displayed in our 'Hall of Fame'.
Throughout the year we hold 'Stay and Play' sessions where parents can join the children in the classroom and see them interacting with their classmates in their school environment. They are a chance to play with your child, share their progress with the class teacher and teaching assistants and really get a feel of what life is like for children in Honeybee and Ladybird Class!