Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage

The early years foundation stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of your child from birth to 5 years old.

All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.

Areas of learning

Your child will mostly be taught through games and play.

The areas of learning are:

3 Prime Areas

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development

4 Specific Areas

  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

Observational assessment

Practitioners can use observational assessment to understand children’s learning. Practitioners watch, listen and interact as children engage in everyday activities, events and experiences, and demonstrate their specific knowledge, skills and understanding. Observational assessment is the most reliable way of building up an accurate picture of children’s development and learning. This is especially true where the attainment demonstrated is not dependent on overt adult support. Observational assessment is central to understanding what children really know and can do.

Child-initiated activity

Children with effective learning characteristics: 

  • are willing to have a go 
  • are involved and concentrating 
  • have their own ideas 
  • choose ways to do things  
  • find new ways of doing things  
  • enjoy achieving what they set out to do

To accurately assess these characteristics, practitioners need to observe learning which children have initiated rather than only focusing on what children do when prompted. Children need rich opportunities to initiate ideas and activities so that they can develop the learning characteristics which are assessed by the EYFS profile. These characteristics also support lifelong learning.

Assessment

The EYFS is broken down into four age bands, called Development Matters bands: 16-26 months, 22-36 months, 30-50 months and 40-60 months.

For each age band, and each area of learning, there is a series of statements relating to a child’s development: for example, ‘notices simple shapes and patterns in pictures’. Teachers will tick off these developmental statements as they see your child demonstrating them.

Assessment is ongoing throughout the EYFS, but the official EYFS Profile for each child is completed in the final term of Reception. The class teacher will decide if children have achieved the Early Learning Goals for each area of learning at the end of Reception. Within each of the development matters bands there are three separate achievement levels:

  • Entering: your child is beginning to show evidence of understanding in this age band
  • Developing: your child is developing further undersatnding within this age band
  • Secure: your child's knowledge is secure within this age band

On exit from FS1, practitioners would expect children to be secure within the 30-50 months age band or entering within the 40-60 months age band.

Your child’s teacher will award him one of these levels for each of the seven EYFS areas of learning. On leaving the Foundation Stage at the end of Reception, a child is considered to have a ‘good level of development’ if they have achieved at least the expected level in the Early Learning Goals in all aspects of PSE, Physical development, Communication and language, Literacy and Mathematics.

To find out more about the EYFS click on the link below:

The School Run

Phonics

Phonics is the process whereby children begin to learn the sounds of letters or groups of letters to develop reading and writing.

The children in FS1 learn Phonics through games and rhymes. Children will learn to hear pattern and rhyme in the spoken word as well as Nursery Rhymes.

Children will also be taught the Letterland programme and Letters and Sounds to get them ready for reading and writing in FS2. Please access the link below for information of how you can support your child at home.

Letter Land - Parent Guide

Other websites that can support the acquisition of Phonics through games at home are:

Letters and Sounds - Resources

Phonics Play

High Frequency Words

As well as Phonics it is important that children learn a sight vocabulary of words that appear frequently in reading, we call these high frequency words. Children will have a Rainbow Word Book that they will bring home everyday, this will give them the opportunity to practise the words at home for 5 minutes everyday. Our aim is that children will learn High Frequency Word recognition a year ahead of Age Related Expectations; eg at the end of FS1 children will know all the words expected for FS2. As chidlren learn the words they will be rewarded with certificates and prizes in class to encourage them. Please click on the document below to see High Frequency Word Progression which details the words children will learn in each year group. 

Reading

We provide a free book bag with a selection of books and parents advice for strategies to support with early reading. Children should bring their book bag to school everyday. In Nursery children will bring home letters and high frequency words to learn at home. In Reception class the teacher will select books for chidlren to take home that are well matched to their phonics ability and change these books once a week to ensure that children have the opportunity to become fluent with that book.

There will also be a library box for chidlren to select a book to share with a family member, perhaps at bed time to help chidlren to leanr about different kinds of stories.

Please use the reading record as and when you like to communicate about your children's reading with school. Reading at school consists of small group Guided Reading sessions and whole class Reading Comprehension sessions. Children identified as needing intervention are targetted for Daily Reading. Children are assessed regularly to encouarge them to move up through the colour bands and rewarded with certificates and prizes. 

Reading is a priority our aim is to inspire children to read and love books. Talking about stories that they have read or you have read to them is as important as reading the words.

Homework

Children will recieve a homework menu each half term. Children can select at least one activity each week to complete with a family member and bring back to school to share with the class.

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