Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The Early Years Foundation Stage at Becket Primary School is made up of children in the EYFS Stage 1 (Nursery) and the EYFS Stage 2 (Reception). The staff and children work together to form an Early Years Foundation Stage team in a shared learning environment.
We have high expectations for all of our children and recognise that children have different starting points to their learning. We spend time getting to know the children well through observing how they interact with adults, with each other and with the environment and the exciting resources provided. Knowing that children who feel safe, secure, valued and cared for will thrive, every child’s wellbeing is at the heart of what we do. At Becket, children are well cared for by nurturing adults who get to know the children through high quality interactions. We plan in response to the children’s stage of development and interests and aim for children to be well-rounded individuals who are independent, resilient and confident in their relationships with others and ready for their future learning.
Our practice in EYFS is led by the four guiding principles.
In the Early Years at Becket Primary School, our children are excited and motivated to learn through rich and challenging activities, opportunities to take risks, and first-hand experiences in a stimulating and well-resourced environment. Our children learn best through play based activities and first-hand experience. Children become independent learners through the provision of a balance of child initiated and adult initiated experiences. The starting point is ‘what children can do’, not ‘what they cannot do’. We begin each year by looking at the individual needs of all our children. We take into account their different starting points and carefully develop our EYFS provision to ensure that it suitable for their unique needs and stages of development.
On entry to the EYFS parents complete a Home School Link booklet and EAL booklet. These are discussed with staff and form a first assessment, along with information from any previous settings. Reception aged children also take part in the statutory Reception Baseline Assessment. This assessment is based on early mathematics, literacy and communication and language and is administered within the first six weeks of a child starting Reception. Please click on the link and read more about this - Reception Baseline Assessment.
We will also observe your child in the first few weeks of school to gather information that can be used to assess your children on entry in their level of development. These observations highlight strengths and next steps for your child.
Parents and Carers as Partners
We believe that an effective partnership between home and school is essential and will have a significant impact on the children’s learning and development. The home and school relationship is a high priority for all staff and two-way communication is encouraged by:
- Time at the beginning and end of sessions for parents and carers
- Whole school newsletters, information and parents evening
- EYFS notice-boards, half-termly EYFS Newsletter and half-termly letter informing the parents of the learning activities at school and how they can help at home.
- Dojo provides parents with a snapshot of their child’s time at school and information for parents including the focussed vocabulary for the week ahead
- Activity sessions and Open Mornings including Reading Breakfast
- Leaflets including Funky Fingers activities
- Participating in trips and outings within the local community and further afield.
The Characteristics of Learning underpin everything that happens in the EYFS environment and provision. We pride ourselves with knowing each child very well and understand how they learn and their preferred styles. This enables us to plan for and provide learning opportunities for individual children in which the children feel safe, stretched and challenged.
We plan an exciting and challenging curriculum based around the children’s needs, interests and stages of development across the seven areas of learning.
The three prime areas of learning are:
The four specific areas of learning are:
Quality interactions with the child, deeply involved in an activity enables the learning to progress. Adults need to see the teachable moments and know when to intervene and when to stand back and observe. The staff plan together to provide a balance of adult directed and child initiated activities. Adult directed sessions are built on throughout the year and include story and language sessions, phonics, Talk 4 Write, Maths, PSHE, Physical Literacy, Talk Topic and music. We also provide a range of interventions including Launchpad to Literacy and Dough Disco.
A stimulating learning environment offers high quality continuous provision, which is enhanced, both inside and outside. We follow the principals of Early Excellence with clearly defined learning areas. The areas enable children to follow their own ideas and learning and to practise, continue and develop their learning from the teaching input.
The emphasis is upon quality and the areas are exciting and appealing to the children, have a range of safe and age-appropriate equipment, encourage independence, have a range of equipment available all the time for the children to select themselves, are enhanced according to the need of the children and the topic and have differentiation to allow for all children within the EYFS.
By the end of the Early Years Foundation stage we aim for all children to have reached their personal best and have achieved outstanding progress. A good level of development, GLD demonstrates that the child has achieved the Early learning Goals in the Prime areas (Communication and language, Physical development and Personal, Social and Emotional development) and in the Specific areas of Literacy and Mathematics. By focusing on the characteristics of effective learning we strive to promote resilience, motivation and appropriate risk taking and problem solving. This supports the child’s independence and builds on key skills that they will need throughout their life.
Ongoing Observation: All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps. This formative assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paper work. Practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgements through discussions with other practitioners, photographs and physical examples such as a child’s drawing / making.
Assessment: Phonic assessments are carried out using Phonics Tracker every half term to quickly identify pupils that are not making expected progress. Our aim is for children to ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’ where possible. In Summer Term 2, the EYFSP is completed where teacher judge whether the child has met each of the 17 ELG’s. They will be assessed as either ‘emerging’ or ‘expected.’ Impact is also evident through our successful transitions into Year 1. EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELG’s link to the National Curriculum, and through our robust planning and delivery across the spectrum of subjects – both core and foundation - children leave the EYFS stage with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue their journey as scientists, historians, artists and geographers.