THE EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE:
The curriculum for the Early Years Foundation Stage at Euxton Primrose Hill is based upon the areas of learning identified in the ‘Development Matters’ document and we work towards the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Reception year. These cover the knowledge, skills and understanding that the children should acquire by the time they are ready to enter Key Stage One. The children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception in line with national requirements.
Areas of Learning
The EYFS is made up of seven areas of learning.
There are three prime areas:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
There are four specific areas:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
These areas are all equally important and linked to each other throughout the curriculum. They are taught and assessed through a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Each day the children may receive teaching in whole class, small group and one-to-one situations.
The Learning Environment
The Reception area is organised to allow the children to become motivated and independent learners. It is set up in learning areas between which the children can move freely for much of the day and they have access to a wide range of equipment and resources.
We have our own outdoor area which the children can access freely throughout the day. Being outside has a positive effect on all children’s development and they can explore, use their senses and be physically active on a larger scale than indoors. There are many opportunities to develop their social and language skills.
Staff in the Reception class plan activities that will interest and motivate the children in all areas of the curriculum. There are areas of knowledge and skills that the children are expected to cover but these are taught through themes that come from the children’s own interests. This means that topics will change from year to year in response to each new intake.
In the summer term of the EYFS we complete the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and provide a written report to parents. The report includes the children’s progress against the Early Learning Goals and a summary describing their child’s characteristics of learning.
In Reception, the children are encouraged to take responsibility for themselves as much as possible. This includes being responsible for their own possessions and also their own behaviour. We spend time each day talking about our feelings and the feelings of other people and the children are encouraged to consider other people’s points of view. This promotes an ethos of mutual respect and an understanding of British Values, which are further developed as the children move through Key Stage One and Two.
British Values in the EYFS at Euxton Primrose Hill Primary School
The fundamental British Values of ‘Democracy’, ‘The Rule of Law’, ‘Individual Liberty and Mutual Respect’ and ‘Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs’ are already embedded in the EYFS curriculum and practice.
At Euxton Primrose Hill Primary School we actively promote British Values in these ways:
- Encouraging children to know their views count and their opinions are important, e.g. following the children’s interests for topics and activities.
- Encouraging children to make decisions together, e.g. when sharing a group toy like a large train set.
- Encouraging the children to see their role in the ‘bigger picture’, e.g. linking to part of a family, class, group, school, community, etc.
- Encouraging children to value each other’s views and beliefs and to talk about their feelings.
- Providing opportunities for the children to vote for activity choices, e.g. choosing a book for story time by a show of hands.
- Encouraging children to complete activities that involve turn-taking, sharing, discussion and collaboration, e.g. model making, role play activities and using equipment.
- Using group times and circle times to encourage children to take turns, listen to others and to value and respect the contributions made by others in the group.
- Working together to create an environment where it is ‘safe’ to make mistakes, share thoughts and ideas and to explore different options, e.g. promoting forgiveness after an argument, opportunities to retry an activity and tolerance for different views.
The Rule of Law
- Encouraging adults and children to work together to create group rules.
- Discussing the need for rules and how they should be administered fairly, e.g. the need for rules to keep everyone safe and happy.
- Teaching children to understand their own and others’ behaviour and feelings along with their consequences.
- Working together to create an environment where actions are consistently followed through, e.g. adherence to class rules.
- Encouraging and supporting children to learn how to distinguish right from wrong.
- Encouraging children to take turns, share and compromise.
- Encouraging children to develop a positive sense of themselves.
- Providing opportunities for children to develop their self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities, e.g.by sharing achievements and successes and promoting independence.
- Providing opportunities to take on risks, challenges and responsibilities and also encouraging children to explore and discuss their thoughts, feelings and ideas with others.
- Encouraging children to try a range of different activities and to discuss and select their own preferences.
- Providing opportunities for children to follow and develop their own interests and ideas.
- Providing activities for all children to engage in and actively challenge gender-specific tasks and activities.
- Encouraging children to reflect upon their similarities and differences and appreciate and respect that others may have different views.
Mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
- Working as a group to create an environment that includes, values and promotes different faiths, cultures, views and races.
- Providing opportunities for the children to make links with the wider community, e.g. inviting family members or speakers to visit the class and trips out to local places.
- Encouraging children to learn about other faiths, cultures, traditions, families, communities and ways of life. We encourage the children to share their experiences with the group if they feel comfortable to do so.
- Encouraging children to learn about the world around them, both locally and further afield, e.g. local trips, using books, stories, posters and videos to learn about places far away, cultural days, local events and activities, national celebrations.