Detailed Foundation Stage Curriculum Information
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (introduced in September 2008) is the period of education from birth to five years. In school the children will continue their learning from their time in Nursery and pre-schools. During the Reception class the children work towards the early learning goals. Most children are expected to achieve the early learning goals by the end of the Reception year.
There is a strong emphasis on learning through play, both child initiated and planned play. The curriculum is delivered through a combination of whole class activities, adult led focussed activities and child initiated activities
What are the areas of learning and development?
Within the Reception class, children work towards the 'early learning goals. The majority of pupils will achieve these goals by the end of the Foundation Stage. Some children will make further progress and will begin to work on the National Curriculum within their time in Reception; and some pupils may still need to work towards some of the goals at the end of Reception as they begin their learning in Year One.
The Early Years Foundation Stage guidance divides learning and development into 7 areas; 3 prime areas of learning, and 4 specific areas as follows.
Prime Areas – Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Specific Areas – Literacy
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
Learning is developed through short topics based on the children’s needs and interests where all areas of learning and development are linked and developed through play activities both inside and by using the various outdoor areas.
The Curriculum – Prime Areas
The Prime Areas of Learning underpin all learning in the Foundation Stage. They are the key skills the children need to have in order to learn the specific areas of the curriculum and continue their learning as they move to Key Stage One.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development – This area of the curriculum is split into 3 areas of learning – Making Relationships, Self Confidence and Self Awareness, Managing Feelings and Behaviour. It is concerned with the development of children’s confidence, their ability to work with others and be sensitive to their needs. Children will learn how to work with the boundaries of the setting and learn how to express their needs and feelings in an appropriate way.
Communication and Language – This area of the curriculum is split into 3 areas of learning – Listening and Attention, Understanding and Speaking. Through this area of learning children learn to communicate effectively, develop a greater vocabulary and begin to ask questions. They develop listening skills and a love of stories.
Physical Development – This area of the curriculum is split into 2 areas of learning – Moving and Handling and Health and Self-care. Children learn to control their body, developing gross and fine motor control. They learn to cut, form letter shapes, control a ball and other PE equipment and travel on and off apparatus. Children begin to think about how to keep healthy, they learn how to dress and undress and manage their own personal hygiene. Children have regular access to the outdoor areas and enjoy being physical. They also have 2 formal PE sessions a week which include gymnastics, games, athletics, dance, parachute and circle game and multi-skills.
The Curriculum – Specific Areas
Literacy – Split into 2 areas of learning – Reading and Writing. Children will learn to recognise letter sounds and form the letter shapes. They will learn to blend sounds together to read, and segment words to spell. They will also learn to read and write simple sentences, labels and captions; and learn about rhyme and alliteration. Children have a daily Letters and Sounds phonics session and will be given regular homework to support their learning in this area. They will also take home reading books to share at home.
Mathematics – Split into 2 areas of learning – Number and Shape, Space and Measures. Children learn to read, write and order numbers to 20. They learn simple addition and subtraction, and begin to develop mental strategies of finding one more and one less. They will also learn to recognise, name and describe shapes, compare different measurements including length, mass, capacity and time. Children have a daily magic maths session to develop key mental maths skills
Understanding the World - This area of the curriculum is split into 3 areas of Learning – People and Communities, The World and Technology. Children learn about people and times that are special to them and how people help them. They will also develop an understanding of pattern and change as they explore the natural world and make observations using their senses. They will begin to question how things work and try and give simple explanations. In technology children learn how to use laptops, recording devices and programmable toys to make pictures, write labels and to create sounds and movements.
Expressive Arts and Design – This is split into 2 areas of learning – Understanding and Using Materials and Media and Being Imaginative. Through this area of learning children begin to express themselves through art, music, drama, role-play and construction. They will learn how to mix colours and use different materials for different purposes. They will learn to sing a range of songs and experiment with sounds that different instruments make.
Please use your child's year group page to find out what they are learning about each half ter.
How do we carry out assessments in the Early Years Foundation Stage?
Assessment is carried out in many ways. Practitioners make regular observations of children in their everyday play, which enables them to make judgements about their learning and plan for their next steps. They also carry out detailed observations on a termly basis and regularly assess key skills in literacy and mathematics. In consultation with parents and children, next steps targets will be devised to help children work towards achieving the Early Learning Goals.
Children’s progress is tracked and monitored on a termly basis and parents are invited into school to talk about their child’s progress each term. Parents are also invited into school on a regular basis to share their child’s learning journey with them and look at the progress they are making in relation to their next steps. Parents are encouraged to make comments and share observations about their child’s learning.