The Early Years Foundation Stage refers to the provision in school for reception children. We follow the new Statutory EYFS Framework 2021 and the New Development and the Birth to 5 Matters which explains how and what children will be learning from birth to 5 years old. This curriculum provides the foundations that children need in order to develop and make the most of their abilities as they grow. Children’s early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure, and support their development, care and learning needs. Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. At Willoughby, we are committed to providing a high quality early years’ education, which gives children a secure and confident start to their school life, nurturing a lifelong love of learning. We are fully committed to the purpose and aims of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
Children will learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. The 3 prime areas are particularly important for a child’s healthy development, building relationships and inspiring curiosity and enthusiasm for future learning.
– Communication and language (Listening and Attention, Understanding, Speaking)
– Physical development (Fine and Gross motor skills)
– Personal, social and emotional development (Self-Regulation- managing emotions, building relationships. Self-Management – managing their own basic hygiene and understanding healthy choices)
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas.
– Literacy (Comprehension, Word Reading and Writing)
– Mathematics (Numbers and Numerical Patterns)
– Understanding the world (The Natural World, Past and Present and People, Culture and Communities)
– Expressive arts and design (Creating with Materials, Being Imaginative and Expressive)
All 7 areas of learning are used to plan children’s learning and activities. The practitioners teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is similar to the curriculum in the rest of the school but it is suitable for very young children, and it is designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child’s unique needs and interests.
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.
In the Early Years/Reception group at Willoughby, we provide a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Adult-led activities are focused and within the small group, the children are guided and supported in their learning. Activities are planned to develop the children’s skills, enabling them to experience all areas of learning in the EYFS. We also make sure that the children have time and opportunity to explore their own ideas using imagination and creativity and in this, develop their self-initiated play.
We have continuous provision within a range of activities such as role-play, painting, cutting and sticking, small world, building, counting, reading in the book corner. The outdoor canopy area provides equipment such as bikes, large construction, sand and water.
Assessment plays an important part in helping practitioners, parents and carers to recognise children’s progress and understand their needs. Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process. It helps practitioners become aware of children’s strengths, and areas of their learning and development in which they may require further support and nurturing. Activities are provided for each child reflecting those observations. Within our small EYFS group at Willoughby, we are able to monitor and assess each child’s achievements, interests and learning styles. We then use these observations and assessments to plan relevant and motivating learning experiences. Children who require extra help in any area are quickly identified and supported.
Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals (ELGs). At the end of the Reception year, teachers will indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development with the following grading:
– Emerging – not yet reaching expected levels of development for age
– Expected – at the expected level of development for age
Head Teacher: Beatrice Smith
Chair of Governors: Sander Tiel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Type of School: County Primary Co-Educational Day School for 5-11 years
Willoughby Primary School on the Dept. For Education website