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Early Years

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the stage of education for children from birth to the end of the Reception

Pre-Reception pupils may stay for full days or choose between five sessions combining mornings and afternoons (dependent upon availability) each week.

EYFS is based on the recognition that children learn best through play and active learning and has four themes, these are:

  1. A unique child
  2. Positive relationships
  3. Enabling environments
  4. Learning and development

Within the theme of learning and development there are seven areas. There are three prime areas and four specific areas. The prime areas develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, run through and support learning in all other areas and are fundamental throughout EYFS:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Physical development
  • Communication and Language

The specific areas grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning. They include essential skills and knowledge:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive Arts and Design

The provision of the curriculum ensures that children experience a full range of learning opportunities including child initiated, teacher directed and group learning. Within the curriculum there are different ways in which children learn, known as the characteristics of effective teaching and learning. These describe how children learn across a wide range of activities; how they learn rather than what they learn. The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

  • Playing and exploring
  • Active learning
  • Creative thinking and learning

Reading and writing are taught through guided reading and writing sessions alongside daily phonics and supported by a structured reading scheme (Oxford Reading Tree). Phonics is taught formally using the Letters and Sounds, Phonics Play and Jolly Phonics.

Children are assessed through observations, conversations and photographs. Parents, staff and the children themselves all contribute to the assessment process. In the Pre-Reception class, the developmental phases are used for assessment purposes and the foundation stage profile in Reception.