What is the Early Years Foundation?
The Early Years Foundation Stage covers the development and education of children from birth to the age of five. Within school, Foundation Stage is the name given to the Nursery and Reception classes. These classes cater for the youngest children in school, who are three, four and five. When children move into Year One, they begin Key Stage One of the National Curriculum. Children in the Foundation Stage have their own curriculum which conforms to national guidelines. All Early Years settings follow these guidelines, whether they are school nurseries, private nurseries and day care, Children’s Centres, voluntary playgroups or child minders. Reception is an important year for your child to acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding needed for their future learning. Our practice is built on the four Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) themes:
What do children learn in the Foundation Stage?
We value your child’s uniqueness by understanding that children learn at different rates and in different ways. It is essential that we get to know your child before they start school by visiting them at their pre-school setting, during our induction sessions and most importantly by building good relationships with parents. This ensures that the transition from nursery to school is as smooth as possible which enables them to settle in quickly and happily. In Reception we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum which builds on their learning from their pre-school settings. The EYFS is organised into seven areas of learning three prime and four specific areas.
The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The prime areas continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS. Specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning. We will continually assess your child’s development against the criteria set in the EYFS profile. The aim of the profile is to gain reliable information of your child’s progress and next stages of development. It helps us to plan a personalised curriculum for your child’s needs. At the end of the year this information will be shared with you and their next teacher to ensure a smooth transition to Year 1.
How do children learn in the Foundation Stage?
The ways in which children engage with the environment and others around them underpin learning and development in all areas of the curriculum. The characteristics of their learning – playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically support children to become motivated and effective learners.
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage learn through hands-on, play based experiences. It may seem that all your child does when they come to school is play. However, all of the staff who work in the Early Years Foundation Stage work closely with your child to scaffold their play so that they are learning and developing in as many areas as possible. All of the staff have a very secure knowledge of the development of each child in their care and they work with each child on an individual basis to help them develop. Outdoor play is very important to young children, and you can expect your child to spend a significant amount of time outdoors, whatever the weather. All areas of the curriculum are served by provision outdoors as well as in the classroom.
For more information about life in Reception take a look at our Reception Information Booklet