Here at St Amand's Primary School, we pride ourselves on our Early Years provision. Every child is happy, excited and motivated to learn through rich and challenging learning experiences; opportunities to explore and take risks, and first-hand experiences.
We have high expectations for all of our children and recognise that each child is different and needs a variety of learning experiences on offer, tailoring to their needs. We plan according to children's stages of development so that all can thrive, develop and succeed! At the end of EYFS we want all children to be confident and independent individuals with a love of learning.
Teaching and Learning
Our Early Years Curriculum is divided into seven areas. Children's learning is observed and assessed throughout the year through written observations and photographs. At the end of the year they are assessed against the 17 Early Learning Goals, seen below in brackets.
Prime Areas include:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
(Making Relationships, Self-confidence and self-awareness, Managing Feelings and Behaviour)
Communication and Language
(Listening and Attention, Understanding, Speaking)
(Moving and Handling, Health and Self-care)
(Numbers, Shape, Space and Measure)
Understanding of the World
(People and Communities, The World, Technology)
Expressive Arts and Design
(Exploring and Using Media and Materials, Being Imaginative)
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. It is very important that they develop social skills, such as turn-taking, sharing and independence, which help them greatly in the next stages of their learning. The guiding principles that shape our practice in the Early Years are that children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.
Phonics and Reading
Phonics teaching and learning are a key part of the Foundation Stage and help to develop early reading and writing skills. If you visited our Reception class, you would see a range of activities taking place such as role-play, practical games, painting, cutting and sticking and reading in the book corner. Children also have a phonics lesson where they learn a new sound daily and practice this in form of songs, games, rhymes and other practical activities. When they have learnt all individual sounds they can then start blending to form words.
These are some of the words you may hear the children talk about in their phonics:
Phoneme - this is a sound it can be represented by 1, 2, 3
or 4 letters
Grapheme – is the letter or letters that represent a sound
Diagraph – 2 letter sounds can be a consonant diagraph such as “sh” or a vowel diagraph such as “ee”
Trigraph – 3 letter sounds such as “igh”
Split diagraph – may know it as “magic e” a diagraph in which the two letters are not next to each other
Syllable – single unit, an unbroken sound used to make up a word
So What Does Planning and teaching Look Like in EYFS at St Amand's?
In EYFS children our planning is created by:
- Building on what your child already knows and can do.
- An objective-led planning approach where learning is taught through the children's play and based on rigorous tracking and daily observations.
- The use of topics and current trends taken from the children’s interests are used to plan the learning and skill development.
- Delivery of the curriculum is led through purposeful, planned play opportunities and enhancements of provision, where adults observe and intervene with higher order questioning and engagement to extend the learning taking place
- Adult-led activities that introduce new skills and extend learning.
- Content, provision and resources matched to the needs of the current cohort of children which are changed throughout the year in line with the development of the children.
- A well developed and nurturing environment where the children can independently access resources as and when they require and feel safe to take risks and make mistakes.
- Free-flow learning where children have equal access to the indoors and outdoors.
- A positive, safe environment where children have an 'I can' attitude and take risks and challenge themselves.
- Embedding children's personal, social and emotional development so children are happy in school and making friends. A happy child is happy to learn!