Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage
At Hunts Cross Primary School our vision is to produce model citizens who make the most of their abilities and become responsible and caring members of the community. We want to help each child become a caring and curious young person who has a passion for learning and a drive to achieve.
We will do this by encouraging, supporting, guiding and inspiring our children through excellent teaching practices and by working with our families to create an aspirational school community in which everyone is valued and successes are celebrated.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) forms the building blocks to success for every child.
It is a framework for the care, learning and development of each individual child and as such addresses how children are given the best possible start to their education to ensure they can flourish throughout their time in school.
Hunts Cross Primary School accepts children into Reception from the ages of 4-5. There is a single intake in September for Reception Classes and at the end of Reception children automatically move up to Year 1 in the main school.
At Hunts Cross Primary School we provide a broad and stimulating educational environment which encourages each child to fulfil their potential and become life-long learners. We value each child for what they can achieve academically, physically, socially and emotionally.
We encourage independence, responsibility and consideration for others.
We provide a stable, sensitive and welcoming atmosphere in which our children feel happy and secure. We strongly believe in the value of developing an effective three-way partnership between children, parents and school. Parental involvement is vital in order to help children achieve their full potential.
In addition to these, our aim is to ensure that our EYFS provision complies with the learning and development requirements, and the welfare requirements of the statutory framework for the EYFS.
The EYFS is based on four principles:
A Unique Child
At Hunts Cross Primary School we recognise that every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, and confident and we aim to provide the highest quality of care and guidance. Staff understand that children develop in individual ways and at varying rates and encourage children through praise and support.
We are a fully inclusive school and value the diversity of individuals within the setting. We do not discriminate against any children and all children and their families are treated fairly regardless of gender, race, religion or abilities.
We believe that all our children matter and give them every opportunity to achieve their best. We do this by taking into account their interests and listening to their views.
At Hunts Cross Primary School we aim to give our children the safe, secure environments and relationships they need to become strong, independent learners. We work alongside parents at all times and believe that the partnership we have with each other is invaluable.
We will hold regular meetings with you to discuss your child’s progress and we will also invite you into school for stay & play sessions throughout the year. We enjoy hearing from family members and love having visits to add to the experiences children will have in school. We would also like to encourage you to share celebrations, family events, holidays and cultural events with us through photographs, souvenirs, oral or written stories. We have a learning log book which allows us to share your child’s learning and to keep the connection strong between school and home.
We also have an online tool (2simple Parentshare) that allows us to share photographs and observations of your child during the school day and we encourage parents to use the tool to send special moments from home. This sharing of experiences is a great way for us to grow our partnership in your child’s learning.
The Learning Environment
Rooms are organised to allow children to explore and learn independently in a safe and secure environment. There are designated areas where children can be active, have quiet time and rest. The classroom is set up in learning areas, where children are able to find and locate equipment and resources independently. Resources and activities are carefully selected and reflect the interests and needs of the children in the class. We have a partition wall between the two reception classes which is closed for certain parts of the day when classed split e.g. registration, phonics and story time but for most of the day it is open allowing children to free flow between both classes.
Being outdoors has a positive effect on children’s development and offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales. It offers the children chances to explore using all of their senses and be physically active. We plan activities and resources for the children to access outdoors that link to all 7 areas of learning. We have a large outdoor classroom that we use daily, in all weathers. We use this outdoor space to continue learning outdoors. We can use this space to allow groups or classes to access focused activities or we open the doors and use it in free flow to allow children to select their learning space independently and choose between the indoor and outdoor classroom. As every child is unique so too is their preferred style for learning.
Visits and Visitors In the curriculum
We recognise that children’s learning is enhanced by different experiences. We offer children a wide range of educational visits which are used to motivate and engage learning which improves retention. Regular visitors in school give the children another perspective on values, attitudes, learning and understanding. These include charities, people from different professions and the community.
We consider lunchtime to be an extension of the curriculum. Children have the opportunity to practise the transferable skills they have learnt during lessons. Structured play opportunities are provided. Children are encouraged to think creatively, apply their understanding in individual ways to be able to draw upon their own experiences and to be imaginative during play.
Learning and Development
The Early Years Foundation Stage is made up of the Characteristics of Effective Learning and the prime and specific Areas of Learning and Development.
The Characteristics of Effective Learning are the ways in which children engage with their environment and other people. These underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child in being a motivated and effective learner. The 3 Characteristics are made up of:
Playing and exploring – engagement
Active learning – motivation
Creating and thinking critically – thinking
A vital aspect in the development of essential knowledge and skills is the use of continuous provision. This means that children are using and developing certain skills throughout the year on a daily/weekly basis.
Continuous Provision practice and principles begin in Early Years Foundation Stage and support children to develop key life skills such as independence; innovation; creativity, enquiry; analysis and problem solving. The continuous provision areas will reflect the different areas of learning and development.
Areas of Learning and Development
The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all areas. The prime areas continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS. If a child needs support to develop any of the aspects within the prime areas then teaching and learning is reflective of that. If a child is secure in their prime areas then we move their learning to be focused on the specific areas.
The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning. We are aware that children progress in these areas at different speeds, depending on their age and stage of development. Staff are mindful of this and take this into account when planning activities and learning experiences.
Through play and more formal activities, children can explore, develop and use their imagination to help them make sense of the world, within a safe, secure environment. They practice skills, build up ideas and concepts, think creatively and imaginatively and communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems.
High expectations of progress apply equally to children working above, at, or below age-related expectations, including those who have been identified as having special educational needs.
The teacher’s priority is to support children so that they can keep up with the pace of learning and make good rates of progress by offering higher levels of support or extra challenge for those who need it, so that all pupils can access the learning at the expected year group standard.
Reception class is the last year of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and children work towards achieving their early learning goals (ELGs). There are 17 early learning goals across the 7 areas of learning.
Children are assessed on these goals at the end of the academic year and teachers and staff work alongside parents to discuss these goals throughout the year.
Children are assessed against an age appropriate document called Development Matters. We can track the children’s progress in the different areas against the key developmental issues and are able to build up a picture of where they are and what we need to do to enable them to develop.
We do this for the 7 different strands that make up the curriculum as a whole.
The impact of our curriculum is also measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. We endeavour for pupils to be Key Stage 1 ready and have our school values embedded by the time they leave reception, preparing them for their future.