Early Years – Reception
Early Year Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework, sets out the standards for development, learning and care of children from birth to five. It is important that all children are given the opportunity to experience the best possible start to their education. We need to ensure that our pupils enter school having established solid foundations on which they can build. Pupils will start in our Reception Classes having had a range of different experiences. Within the Reception Year, learning experiences of the highest quality are planned, considering children’s needs and achievements and the range of learning experiences that will help them make progress. Well-planned play is a key way in which children learn with enjoyment and challenge, both within the indoor and outdoor learning environments. The Foundation Stage prepares our pupils for learning in Key Stage 1 and is consistent with the National Curriculum. In the Reception Year, the curriculum is planned and resourced to take children’s learning forward and to provide opportunities for all children to succeed in an atmosphere of care and of feeling valued. The curriculum is designed to ignite children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and to build their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. It is planned in seven areas of learning and development; all areas are important and inter-connected.
There are three prime areas which are:
- Communication and Language Development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
- Physical Development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
- There are four specific areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. These specific areas are:
- Literacy Development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
- Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
- Understanding the World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
- Expressive Arts and Design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
Throughout the year, pupils are assessed against the Early Learning Goals. A final assessment is reported to parents at the end of the year. You can find out more about the expectations and how to support your child in the 4Children Parent Guide.
Tapestry Learning Journal
All Reception children have a personal on-line Learning Journey which records photos, observations and comments, in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage, to build up a record of their experiences during their first year at our school.
We use Tapestry, a system, which is hosted in the UK on secure servers. These servers conform to very high environmental standards and are proactively managed 24 hours a day. Each Tapestry account has its own database and the code itself is developed using hack-resistant techniques. Filenames are encoded for uploaded, videos and images, making Tapestry a safe and secure on-line Learning Journey tool. The benefits of this being on-line, is that parents and carers can also have secure access (via a website which you login to using your email address and a password) to their child’s Learning Journey. In addition to viewing our contributions, we encourage parents and carers to add to it by uploading photos and comments, or commenting on observations made by us.
We have our own secure Tapestry website and we set up user accounts for parents and carers. There is information on how to view/use the Learning Journey. Each child will also receive a CD with their Learning Journey on at the end of their Reception year. Please note each parent only has access to their own child’s Learning Journey.