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Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Curriculum
In the Reception Class, our curriculum is broadly based on the guidance issued by ‘Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)’ published by the Department for Education. We plan lessons with childrens’ interests in mind and provide stimulating activities designed to engage and inspire children. We foster the characteristics of effective learning such as playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically, which underpin childrens’ learning and development across all areas.
The EYFS curriculum covers several areas of learning, including Communication and Language, Literacy, Mathematics, Physical Development, Understanding the World, Expressive Art and Design and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. Within these strands there are a number of learning objectives that are expected to be met by the end of the Reception Year.
Below is a summary of each area of learning:
Communication & Language
This includes listening attentively to stories and instructions and responding to questions and ideas; using past, present and future forms of language when expressing own thoughts and feelings.
This includes learning letter sounds and names and using them to read and decode simple words and sentences; discussing stories, poems and simple non-fiction texts; applying knowledge of letters to write simple words and sentences with increasing independence; using simple punctuation such as full stops and finger spaces between words.
This includes counting a set of up to 20 objects reliably and recognising numerals up to 20 ; beginning to understand simple addition as combining two groups of objects and recording simple number sums; talking about and making simple patterns ; using everyday language to talk about size (eg. bigger/ smaller/ longer) position (eg. behind/ next to) and time (eg. morning/ yesterday/o’clock ) and using mathematical language to describe shapes and objects (eg. circle/ sphere)
This includes developing control and coordination of a range of big and small movement ; handling equipment and tools (such as scissors) safely; finding out about healthy diet and exercise, managing their own hygiene and personal needs.
Understanding the World
This includes talking about events, traditions and celebrations in their own lives; talking about similarities and differences between their own community and others; finding out about similarities and differences between objects and things they see happening; finding out about plants and animals; recognising that a range of technology (such as laptops and cameras) is used in homes and schools.
Expressive Arts & Design
This includes experimenting and joining in with songs, music and dance; using imagination to create paintings, models, dances, stories and songs and representing own ideas through art, music, role-play, dance and stories.
Personal, Social & Emotional Development
This includes building a child’s confidence to explore and participate in activities and making new friends; working as part of a group and playing with others, whilst sharing equipment and toys and taking turns.
In school we use a variety of approaches when teaching phonics. The websites and apps listed below are just a few that we use regularly and you may find helpful at home.
- jollylearning.co.uk (particularly Jolly Phonics) this gives more details about learning to read and includes the actions that we teach for each letter in our phonics lessons
- Jolly phonics app (this is a great tool for practising those letter sounds!)
- cbeebies.co.uk website (particularly Alphablocks) and Cbeebies Storytime app is great for fostering a love of stories
- Twinkl app (Phase 2, 3 and 4) Great for extra practise, playing games using letters (some free activities, some you have to pay for)
- Phonics play app and phonicsplay.co.uk/ (some of this is free, some subscription)
- Pirate Phonics app (fantastic app that Mrs Johnson uses lots in phonics lessons!)
Early Years Assessment Guide
In the Reception class we carry out on-going formative assessment. This means we observe children as they interact with others in their play, everyday activities and planned activities with adults. We also ask parents and guardians to get involved by telling us about activities at home, such as favourite bedtime stories, finding out about animals on a trip to the zoo and talking together about celebrations and family occasions.
By doing this, we assess children’s understanding and skills in an informal way. We understand and observe each child’s development and learning, assess progress and plan for next steps, setting targets and identifying any need for extra support.
We add these observations to an online learning journey using a programme called ‘Tapestry’ which parents are invited to access online, ideally adding comments and observations of their own to give us a unique picture of each child.
As a team, both teachers meet regularly to discuss and review each child’s learning and needs.
At the end of each term, we complete an interim report for each child, summarising achievements, strengths and areas for development.
At the end of the Reception year we complete a summative assessment with a view to each child’s achievements over the course of the year. This information is then passed onto parents and guardians in the form of an end of year school report and the data is shared with Suffolk County Council who compare our school with others both locally and nationally.