We believe that children learn best from first hand experiences and through play. We offer our children a carefully planned range of experiences and opportunities, starting with their interests and existing knowledge. Children are most engaged when they are undertaking activities that are child initiated and based on their current interests. We follow the children’s interest when we plan our themes.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development, and care of children from birth to 5 years old. The EYFS profile is broken down into seven areas of learning: 1-3 are known as the Prime areas and 4-7 the Specific areas. By the end of the reception year, your child should reach or exceed a main goal for each of the areas of learning. These goals are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)” The goals for each area are shown in italics.
1. Personal and social development: helping to build confidence, concentration, independence, and respect.
Self-Regulation: Children can understand their own feelings and the feelings of others and regulate their behaviour accordingly. Children can wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses. They can focus their attention on the teacher and respond appropriately.
Managing Self: Children are confident to try new activities and gained independence so that they understand and follow rules and manage their own basic needs such as toileting, dressing and the need to eat a healthy diet.
Building Relationships: Children can form positive relationships and have developed skills allowing them to work and play cooperatively. They are aware of their needs and the needs of others.
2. Communication and language: developing speaking, listening, understanding and attention skills.
Listening, Attention and Understanding: Children can listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments, or actions. They will be able to make comments and ask questions about what they have heard. They will be able to hold a back-and-forth conversation.
Speaking: Children will participate in 1:1, small group, and class discussions, offering their own ideas and using recently introduced vocabulary. They will be able to offer explanations about why things happen and express their ideas and feelings using full sentences. They will be able to use different tenses and conjunctions with modelling and support from their teacher.
3. Physical Development: developing fine and gross motor skills
Gross Motor Skills: Children will be able to negotiate spaces and obstacles safely, with consideration for both themselves and others. They will be able to demonstrate strength, balance and coordination while playing. They will move energetically in a variety of ways e.g. Running, jumping, dancing, hopping.
Fine Motor: Children will hold a pencil effectively ready to write fluently - for the majority this will be the tripod grip. They will be able to use a variety of tools such as scissors, brushes and cutlery and start to show accuracy and care when drawing.
4. Literacy: developing skills in comprehension, reading and writing.
Comprehension: Children demonstrate an understanding of what has been read to them by re-telling stories and narratives. They use their own words and recently introduced vocabulary. Where appropriate they will anticipate key events in stories. They use and understand new vocabulary introduced during discussions stories, non-fiction, poems, rhymes and during their role-play.
Word Reading: Children say a sound for each letter of the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs. They read words by blending, using their phonic knowledge. They can read aloud simple sentences that are consistent with their phonic knowledge including some common exception [tricky] words.
Writing: They can write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed. They segment to spell, identifying the sounds and representing the sounds with a letter/letters. They can write a simple sentence that can be read by others.
5. Mathematics: focusing on a deep understanding of numbers to 10.
Number: Children will have a deep understanding of number to 10. Be able to subitise to 5 recognise quantities without counting by the patterns e.g. the spots on a dice. Automatically recall without the need for number rhymes or counting aids number bonds to 5, and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.
Numerical Patterns: Children can verbally count beyond 2, recognising the patterns in the counting system. Be able to compare quantities up to 10. Saying when there are more, less or the same. They will explore and represent number patterns within numbers to 10, including odds, evens, doubles and how quantities can be distributed equally.
6. Understanding the world: helping children investigate and think about their place in the world.
Past and Present: Children can talk about the lives and roles in society of the people around them. They will know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now using knowledge provided within the class through books, and their individual experiences. They will gain an understanding of the past through settings, characters, and events they encounter in books read in class.
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.
People, Cultures and Communities: Children can describe their immediate environment using knowledge gained from observation, discussion, story, non-fiction texts, and maps. Know some of the differences between the different cultures and religions in this country. Know and explain some differences or similarities between life in this country and life in other countries, again drawing on knowledge gained from non-fiction, stories, and maps.
The Natural World: Children explore the world around them making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants. Thet know some similarities and differences between local environments again drawing on their experiences and books read in class. They understand some of the important changes in the natural world such as the seasons and changes in matter e.g. water to ice.
7. Expressive arts and design: centred on building children’s imagination and allowing them to explore different media and materials
Creating with Materials: Children will use safely a variety of tools. They will explore a variety of materials and techniques and experiment with colour, texture, design, form and function. They will share what they have made and be able to explain the process they followed to make it. They will make use of props and materials during role-play and when creating narratives.
Being Imaginative and Expressive: Children will make up or adapt stories to create narratives with peers or teachers. They will sing a range of songs and rhymes and be able to perform them with others when appropriate. They will try to move in time to music.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
We support children to develop their Characteristics of Effective Learning as we believe they play a central role in a child's learning and are essential in building an effective learner. We follow children's interests to ensure they are engaged and motivated to enable them to develop their creative and critical thinking. The characteristics of effective learning run through and underpin all the 7 areas of learning and development. They represent processes rather than outcomes.
Playing and exploring – engagement
‘Finding out and exploring’ is concerned with the child’s open-ended hands-on experiences which result from innate curiosity. These experiences provide raw sensory material from which the child builds concepts, tests ideas and finds out. ‘Using what they know in their play’ describes how children use play to bring together their current understandings, combining, refining and exploring their ideas in imaginative ways. Representing experiences through imaginative play supports the development of narrative thought, the ability to see from other perspectives, and symbolic thinking.
‘Being willing to have a go’ refers to the child:
- finding an interest
- initiating activities
- seeking challenge
- having a ‘can do’ attitude
- being willing to take a risk in new experiences
- developing the view that failures are opportunities to learn
Active learning – motivation
‘Being involved and concentrating’ describes the intensity of attention that arises from children engaged in following a line of interest in their activities.
'Keeping on trying’ refers to:
- the importance of persistence even in the face of challenge or difficulties
- an element of purposeful control which supports resilience
‘Enjoying achieving what they set out to do’ builds on the intrinsic motivation which supports long-term success. It refers to the reward of meeting one’s own goals, rather than relying on the approval of others.
Creating and thinking critically
‘Having their own ideas’ covers the critical area of creativity - generating new ideas and approaches in all areas of endeavour. Being inventive allows children to find new problems as they seek challenge, and to explore ways of solving these.
‘Using what they already know to learn new things’ refers to the way children use narrative and scientific modes of thought to:
- develop and link concepts
- find meaning in sequence, cause and effect
- find meaning in the intentions of others
‘Choosing ways to do things and finding new ways’ involves children in:
- approaching goal-directed activity in organised ways
- making choices and decisions about how to approach tasks
- planning and monitoring what to do and being able to change strategies
How you can help with your child's learning.
All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and will have a long-lasting effect on your child’s learning and the 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 unfamiliar 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.
- Sing and tell nursery rhymes.
- Talk about the numbers, colours, words and letters you see when you are out and about.
- Allow your child to cut out and stick pictures from magazines.
- Cook / bake together.
- Plant seeds or bulbs in a pot or garden patch.
- Use the weather – shadows, rain puddles, snow, wind, mist and sun – to extend your child’s vocabulary.
- Explore the park at a different time of the year – go off the beaten track.
- Share a book.
- Talk to your child at every opportunity – e.g. what you are doing that day.
- On a trip to the supermarket, talk about all the different packaging shapes.