The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is based on the premise that children learn through practical play based activities. Play is a natural activity which enables children to explore and find out about the world around them. The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum follows the 'Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage' and is divided into seven areas of learning. The seven areas are then divided into 'Prime' areas and 'Specific' areas. All areas of learning are interconnected. The 'Prime' areas are vital to develop children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, to build on their capacity to learn and to form relationships. Through teaching and supporting children in the 'Specific' areas of learning the 'Prime' areas are strengthened.
The 'Prime' Areas:
The 'Specific' Areas:
Communication and Language
Children will be given opportunities to develop their confidence when expressing themselves and to develop their speaking and listening skills in a variety of situations. Children will be exposed to a language rich environment.
Children will have opportunities to be active and interactive. They will have opportunities to develop their skills of coordination and control using a range of equipment. Children will begin to learn about the importance of exercise and keeping healthy in order to make healthy life choices.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children will be encouraged and supported to develop a positive sense of themselves as well as in others. They will be encouraged to develop positive relationships, share and be kind to their peers. Children will learn about taking turns and playing together cooperatively. They will talk about their feelings and what makes them happy or sad. They will also begin to respect the different feelings and beliefs of others.
Children in Foundation Stage 1 (Nursery) take part in a Literacy based small group time session on a weekly basis. Children in Foundation Stage 2 (Reception) take part in a daily Literacy session. Our priority during these sessions is to develop the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening in order that children have the basic skills needed for the future.
All children in the Early Years Foundation Stage take part in a daily 'Letters and Sounds' session, from our youngest children learning about body sound and environmental sounds to those who are learning phonic sounds and the skills of blending to read words and segmenting to spell words.
Children within the Early Years Foundation Stage Unit are encouraged to access a wide range of reading materials. Foundation Stage 1 children begin with 'wordless' reading books from the 'Oxford Reading Tree' reading scheme. Encouraging the children to talk about the illustrations and answer questions based on 'who' is in the story, 'where' is the story set, 'what happened' and 'when' help to develop a child's understanding of story and story structure. As the children progress into Foundation Stage 2 they are introduced to the PM books from the Nelson reading scheme. These books include the 'tricky' words covered in Letters and Sounds and support word recognition due to the repetitive nature of the sentences. Children also use the 'Oxford Reading Tree' scheme which encourages the children to use their knowledge of phonics to blend the sounds in words in order to read them.
Children are heard to read on a regular basis in class and encouraged to read to an adult at home, reading buddies also read with the children on a daily basis. Stickers, house points and reader of the term awards are given out as incentives for the children to read. Children are also encouraged to choose a library book to take home and share on a weekly basis. Children are given homework on weekly basis to support their work in 'Letters and Sounds'.
Children in Foundation Stage 1 (Nursery) take part in a Mathematics based small group time session on a weekly basis. Children in Foundation Stage 2 (Reception) take part in a daily Mathematics session. Our priority during these sessions is to develop the skills of counting, calculating and problem solving in order that children have the basic skills needed for the future. Children in Foundation Stage 1 and 2 are encouraged to apply their number skills through the recollection of number facts and problem solving during a daily Mental Maths session. Children are given homework on weekly basis to support their work in 'Mathematics' and 'Mental Maths' sessions.
Understanding the World
Children are given opportunities to learn about themselves, their bodies, plants and animals. They find out about and explore their local environment as well as the world around them. Children will begin to learn about our culture and beliefs and those of other people. Children will use a variety of technology to support and enhance their learning.
Expressive Arts and Design
Children will have opportunities to explore a range of media and materials. They will be encouraged to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of art, music, movement, dance, role play and design technology activities.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage we aim to encourage and develop children's independence as well as foster their natural curiosity by encouraging exploration and investigation. We aim to achieve a balance between structured teaching and learning opportunities as well as giving the children time to apply what they have learnt. Children take part on a daily basis in 'Free Flow' sessions, during this time children have the opportunity to explore, investigate, apply what they have learnt and extend their learning with the support of an adult.