At Nelmes Primary school our intent is that the Early Years education will build on what the children already know and can do. The Early Years setting intends to support and extend knowledge, skills, understanding and confidence with our youngest learners and instills a positive attitude towards learning.
We base our EYFS upon four key principles:
- every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
- children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
- children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers;
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
At Nelmes Primary School the Foundation Stage is based on the seven areas of learning and provides for continuity with the early stages of the National Curriculum.
Our curriculum framework covers these prime areas:
- Personal and social development - learning how to work and play, co-operate and function in a group, develop personal and moral values, understand themselves and others.
- Physical development - physical control, mobility, awareness of space and manipulative skills in indoor and outdoor environments. Establishing positive attitudes towards a healthy and active way of life.
- Communication and Language development - talking, listening and encouraging children to express themselves in a meaningful way with a richness of vocabulary.
Alongside these specific areas:
- English – with the use if phonics based teaching the children become confident readers and writers.
- Mathematics - mathematical understanding and the foundations of numeracy, with a focus on practical mathematics.
- Knowledge and understanding of the world - finding out about the world around them, other people and features of the natural and man-made world. These become a foundation for history, geography, technology, science.
- Creative development - The development of imagination and the ability to communicate and to express ideas and feelings in creative ways.
In order to implement the EYFS effectively we plan for a relevant curriculum and have practitioners who understand and are able to implement the curriculum requirements – these practitioners have a very clear understanding that children develop rapidly during the early years – physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. We aim to always build on what children already know and can do and have parents and practitioners working together.
During the school day there are opportunities for children to engage in activities planned by adults and those that they themselves plan or initiate. We provide a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities and are able to observe and respond appropriately to the children informed by a knowledge of how children develop and learn. Effective learning and development for young children requires high quality care and education by practitioners.
Our curriculum is planned through a series of themes and topics, each of which offer experiences in all areas. English and Maths sessions are planned following the guidance in the National Frameworks and in the summer term begin to link closely to the national curriculum expectations for year 1.
Our planning covers themes and core aspects (such as book experience, outside play activities, free exploration of natural materials and opportunities for writing) and we ensure that all children are encouraged to experience all areas of learning during the week.
We plan a mixture of directed and free choice activity and children’s choices are carefully recorded to ensure a balanced programme. The youngest children have free choice of activities during most of the session. This free programme is gradually directed by staff as children get older and more mature, so that as they approach transfer to Key Stage 1, they are prepared for the more formal curriculum.
Children work towards the Early Learning Goals in the reception year with the majority of children achieving them and being able to move onto the National curriculum programme of study at the start of year 1.
At the end of the Foundation stage our children have a positive and excellent attitude towards their own learning, they are able to articulate their own wants and needs and play an active role model in the wider school community.
From their different starting points the children make excellent progress not only academically but also emotionally, creatively, socially and physically. These early embedded skills enable them to continue their positive learning journey through the rest of the school years.