Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth, up until the summer after their fifth birthday. The foundation stage at Cheetwood Primary School can facilitate up to 56 pupils, 26 pupils in Foundation Stage 1 (nursery) and 30 pupils in Foundation Stage 2 (reception). The unit is staffed by two teachers and three full time teaching assistants. A rich and stimulating indoor and outdoor learning environment is provided. The children have continuous access to all areas and are supported by careful planning and organisation of staff and resources to enrich their learning. In EYFS we follow a statutory framework that sets out the learning, development and assessments for children aged birth to 5. The government has recently changed the statutory framework and the non-statutory guidance called Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage, which supports practitioners in implementing the statutory requirements. These changes will become statutory for all early years settings in September 2021. However, the government has offered schools the chance to adopt the framework one year early – this academic year. As a result Cheetwood has opted to become one of the ‘Early Adopter’ schools and we will be teaching towards the new Early Learning Goals.
The characteristics of effective teaching and learning are a key element in the early years’ foundation stage and detail the ways in which children learn from their environment, experiences and activities. The characteristics of effective learning are split into three main areas:
- Playing and exploring which focuses on how children will be learning to explore and experience things, and ‘have a go’
- Active learning which focuses on how children will be learning to concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy their achievements
- Creating and thinking critically which focuses on how children will be learning to have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things There are also four themes within the EYFS which underpin all of the guidance set out for the care and education of the children.
These themes are:
- A Unique ChildPositive Relationships
- Enabling Environments
- Learning and Development
The children’s learning is divided into seven areas of learning and development.
The prime areas are personal, social and emotional development, physical development and communication and language. The specific areas are literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive art and design. Within the EYFS the children learn through well planned, structured play, targeted activities, child initiated learning and adult led activities.
Every child’s progress is tracked throughout the year using different forms of on-going assessment. We firmly believe that parents and carers have a primary role to play within the care and education of their children and we value and support this. At the end of each key stage in education there are statutory assessments, the results of which have to be reported to the Local Authority and the Department for Education, this includes the EYFS. At the end of reception as children are about to move from the EYFS into Y1 they are assessed on the EYFS profile. For further information on assessment in the EYFS please refer to the assessment page of the website.
To achieve our aims, we provide:
- Quality first teaching across all areas of the curriculum.
- Stimulating learning environments, indoors and outdoors.
- Well planned and organised continuous provision which allows the children to learn through play.
- A carefully planned balance of adult-led and child-initiated learning opportunities.
- Promote a love of learning through real life experiences and opportunities to build on prior learning.
- Close links with Early Years Settings which support a smooth and settled transition into school.
- Strong parental partnerships which empower parents/carers to support their child’s learning at home.
- Systematic approaches to teaching reading to ensure all children learn to read; high quality phonics teaching is started as soon as children begin school.
- Opportunities for children and families to develop a love of reading.
- Planned opportunities for outdoor learning in the outdoor classroom.
- Targeted interventions delivered across EYFS to support children’s individual needs and progress.
- High levels of engagement and motivation demonstrated from children which supports them to become lifelong learners.
- Confident and capable readers who demonstrate a love of reading.
- Evidence of strong links with parents/carers.
- Children demonstrate the characteristics of effective learning and are well prepared for the next stage in their learning.
- Children feel happy and safe and enjoy coming to school.
- All children access a balanced and challenging curriculum, respecting background, needs and abilities.
- Children make strong progress from their starting points and are offered a broad curriculum which meets each child’s unique needs.
- Children are supported by adults that are well trained and passionate about providing the best education for every child.
- To raise the percentage of children achieving the GLD within the EYFSP so that it is in line with, or above, the national average.