Early Years Foundation Stage
We believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is the fundamental start to a child’s learning journey where we aim to ignite the flame of curiosity and ambition, forming the building blocks to allow a successful transition to the next stage in their future education. We believe that every child is unique and so value home experiences, encouraging children to be proud of their culture and form their own identity. We strive for every child to develop socially, academically, physically and emotionally whilst embedding independence, resilience and a love for learning. We continually assess each child’s starting points, progress and individual needs to develop a flexible and ambitious EYFS curriculum (derived by the ‘Early Years Framework’ and supported with ‘Development Matters’), allowing them to follow a path of their own learning journey and an individualised curriculum to allow each child to reach their full potential. Our curriculum is tailored to offer learning opportunities and experiences to suit the needs of our local community.
Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Ambitions
We pride ourselves in knowing our children well, identifying their starting points and using this to tailor the opportunities we provide. We arrange to meet our children and families before they join our EYFS setting so we can gather information about each child’s interests, where they are in their stage of development, their family life and prior experiences, their needs, likes and dislikes. We continuously interact with our children, listening to their ideas and encouraging them to share their interests and knowledge, and we connect closely with our families.
We provide a settling in period and once our children are settled, we begin a more formal process of identifying and recording each child’s starting point in the seven areas of learning, using the age bands in Development Matters. From their starting points and subsequent assessments, the ‘next steps’ in their learning and development will be identified. These are used to inform planning and learning opportunities provided through adult led opportunities and child initiated learning. We recognise the importance of both school and home working together, to elevate the learning and development of our children, so learning captured is shared with our families through the platform Tapestry.
We recognise the importance of our staff in keeping our children safe, modelling play and language and promoting this in our children’s play. Through this, our staff are able to enhance in the moment learning opportunities. Our children will have access to good quality, stimulating and varied provision that will encourage them to explore and talk. Through interactions and observations of our children, we aim to identify further enhancements in this area and plan for these to support and stretch learning opportunities.
Our staff develop clear routines are established so that our children feel safe and know what to expect. Our expectations are realistic and high with clear modelling from both adults and peers. We openly discuss challenges and difficulties and explore ways of tackling these. Our children are encouraged to become independent by selecting resources with care and purpose. They are encouraged to develop responsibility for their personal care and dressing with an adult on hand to support and model where necessary.
We then share information and practice with Year One staff to ensure smooth transitions and classroom provision that initially reflects that of the EYFS.
Early Years Foundation Stage Progression of Skills
Our children are assessed formally each term but staff use assessment for learning to continuously assess children’s progress and attainment accurately so that their learning is always being moved on. We identify gaps in their learning and address these by supporting play during child initiated learning and during focused adult led activities. We share information regularly with parents and encourage them to share concerns and progress with us either in person or through Tapestry, our observational learning journey platform.
The majority of the class will have made GLD by the end of Reception and meet the Early Learning Goals set out in the Early Years Statutory Framework. Children that have not achieved this will have made good individual progress based on their needs. These needs will have been documented and monitored during our pupil progress meetings and individual tracking methods.
At Saffron Green Primary School we recognise and value the importance of reading in EYFS and the impact this has on developing secure starts to their phonological journey and developing vocabulary and language skills.
We teach early reading through the synthetic phonics scheme called Read Write Inc (RWI). RWI has a clear progression of reading books that are phonetically decodable. Books have been carefully aligned so that they specifically match what children have been learning in class. Children in Reception will bring home a phonetically decodable book, linked to their learning, every Monday and revise the sounds taught that week using letter formation practice sheets and identifying and spelling words matching the initial sound taught.
During RWI, there is a daily phonics lesson where the teacher teaches a new sound, or reviews sounds learned earlier in the week. This is shown to the class using sound cards, picture cards and on the whiteboard using matching sound frieze pictures. Children learn a sounds, read words matching the sounds taught will develop skills to read sentences with the new sounds in. Children will also practise writing the letters that represent the sounds.
Children learn to read letters or groups of letters (special friends) by saying the sounds they represent. It is important to pronounce the pure sound as you would say them within a word so children can hear and orally blend accurately and fluently.
Click here to follow the link to hear the pure sounds taught in RWI.