Welcome to Class 1, the Early Years Foundation Stage where children can continue their learning journey at 3 years old in Nursery and develop to achieve the Early Learning Goals when they’re 5 years old in Reception. In class children are provided with a range of rich, meaningful first-hand experiences in which children explore, think creatively and are active. Through a carefully structured curriculum we aim to provide opportunities for children to take part in activities planned by adults but also, more importantly, those that they initiate themselves. We aim to develop and foster positive attitudes towards learning, confidence, communication and physical development.
The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development. Your child will be learning new skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through seven areas of learning and development. Children should mostly develop the three prime areas first. These are:
Communication and language
Personal, social and emotional development
These prime areas are the most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in four specific areas. These are:
Understanding the world
Expressive arts and design
Each area plays an important part in your child’s education.
For more detailed information about the EYFS curriculum see EYFS Curriculum Statement.
Communication and Language
The development and use of communication and language is at the heart of young children’s learning. At Coniston children are encouraged to talk about their experiences, listen attentively and respond to their peers. They are also encouraged to listen and respond to stories, songs, nursery rhymes and poems. Through a variety of books we aim to help the children understand that print carries meaning and that in English, is read from left to right and top to bottom. We also have a wide variety of activities to promote fine motor skills and pencil control.
Children bring a wide range of physical skills with them when they arrive. We aim to give them the opportunity to practise these and develop new gross and fine motor skills. PE sessions with large and small apparatus, games and dance sessions and outdoor play are all well planned so as to be appropriate to the individual needs of the children, encouraging confidence and knowledge of their own bodies.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Successful personal, social and emotional development is vital if children are to succeed in other areas of learning.
We want children to feel secure, to build their confidence and develop their independence, so that they may establish effective relationships with other children, in an atmosphere in which positive attitudes such as tolerance, fair play and honesty are valued.
We also hope to make them aware of other cultures and beliefs, developing sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others.
Literacy Reading and Writing
It’s important for children to develop phonemic awareness – the ability to hear and identify different sounds, and also to start reading and writing.
Maths. Numbers. Space, Shape and Measure
A mixture of well planned, structured activities and child – led spontaneous events are used to develop mathematical understanding. Activities including singing, role play, puppets, board games, ring games, outdoor play and cooking are all used to encourage skills such as counting, sorting, matching, sequencing, shape, colour and number recognition.
Understanding the World
Understanding of the world covers the children’s scientific, geographical and historical learning. We aim to give all children the opportunity to experience activities that encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, prediction, decision making and discussion. Work outdoors is a vital part of the Foundation Stage Curriculum; therefore most weeks we take the children on an ‘outdoor adventure’ to let the children explore their local, natural environment. The focus of these weekly visits varies according topics and more importantly to the imagination and interests of the children.
Expressive Arts and Design
Expressive arts and design is an integral part of the Foundation Stage Curriculum. All children have immediate and free access to a wide range of experiences to help develop their imaginative and creative abilities. Through activities such as painting, printing, collage, malleable materials, junk modelling, dance, drama, singing and story telling, they are encouraged to explore sound and colour, texture, shape, form and space in two and three dimensions.
Outdoor Adventure – come rain or shine, we aim to take the children out to explore their local, natural environment. This may be a woodland walk, usually Guard’s Wood, a visit to the lake or could be based on school grounds exploring our own garden, ‘woods’ and pond area. Please ensure your child brings suitable clothing on a Wednesday, wellies and waterproofs are best…you never know when the heavens may open in our Lakeland climate!
Show and Tell – at circle time on Friday children can ‘show and tell’ about their favourite memories, toys, stories or about anything they like. We only ask that anything they bring in is not too special and is kept on their peg until ‘show and tell time’.
The four guiding principles
There are four guiding principles in the EYFS. It’s important that these principles are used when implementing the 7 learning and development areas:
1. That every child is unique.
2. That every child can learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
3. That children learn and develop best in enabling environments.
4. That children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.