In Foundation Stage, we recognise the importance of play in a child’s development. It allows children time to experiment with language, relationships, movement, creativity, and to practise the skills they will need as they develop. Play allows children to use their imagination and engage with the world around them. The children in our Foundation Stage range from 2-5 years of age.
2-3 years: Caterpillar Nursery
3-4 years: Bumblebee Nursery, Butterfly Nursery, Ladybird Nursery
4-5 Years: Panda Class, Elephant Class, Giraffe Class
We have 5 clear aims which are at the heart of our everyday learning.
We want our children to be:
● Ready to learn: Children have a positive, confident attitude to learning. They are both physically and emotionally ready to learn.
● Resourceful: Children show initiative, ask well thought out questions and are prepared to use a variety of strategies to learn.
● Reflective: Children are curious, able and willing to learn from their mistakes and can describe their progress
● Resilient: Children are prepared to persevere and stay involved in their learning, even when the process is challenging.
● Reciprocal: Children are prepared to help each other and work as a team..
Three Prime areas:
Communication and language development
Providing an environment for young children to express themselves and speak and listen in a range of situations allows them to develop their language and communication skills. We introduce new language through ‘Word Aware’ which helps children to understand the meaning of words and how to include them in everyday speech.
We all know that young children often love to be active, but they also need to understand that continued physical activity, as well as healthy food choices are important, and why. We have a focus on the children’s fine and gross motor skills and plan a range of activities to support this development.
Personal, social, and emotional development
This area helps to shape children’s social skills and develops respect and an understanding of their different feelings. The children are provided with many opportunities to develop their PSED through activities such as circle time, philosophy for children and drama.
As a school we have 11 Core Values that we believe are important to the ethos of our school. Each month we focus on a value, which provides a focus and a discussion point.
In our Foundation Stage we have a free flow approach to learning and the children in Nursery are able to use all classes and outdoor spaces. In Reception, the children are encouraged to interact with their peers throughout Foundation Stage and learn from each other’s experiences.
We love to perform in Foundation Stage! Throughout the year we provide opportunities for the children to showcase their learning and invite parents/carers in to celebrate their achievements.
We believe that as parents/carers, you are your child’s first teacher. We love to invite you into school to involve you in some of the special experiences we have. These include Family Cafés and Forest School days, also celebrations such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day!
Foundation Stage is the start of your child’s educational journey and we look forward to being part of their first steps. Each child’s unique characteristics of learning and development is at the heart of the Early Years curriculum we provide.
The four guiding principles of the EYFS:
1. Every child is unique.
2. Every child can learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
3. Children learn and develop best in enabling environments.
4. Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
We understand and follow children’s interests and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps. This will enable them to develop the skills, attitudes and understanding that will form the basis of lifelong learning and encourage them to become well-rounded, happy individuals, ready to succeed.
Each child has an individual Learning Story and evidence gathered supports all areas of the EYFS curriculum. Evidence includes both short and long written observations, photographs and samples of children’s work. We also welcome parents/carers contributions and love to see all the wonderful things that is done as a family. The learning stories are always available to be seen by parents/carers.
The Characteristics of Effective Learning help us to see when children are learning. They tell us that children are learning when they are engaged, motivated and when they are thinking. Our Early Years Statutory Framework tells us more about the Characteristics of Effective Learning, defining the three key areas as:
● Playing and exploring – Children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
● Active learning – Children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.
● Creating and thinking critically – Children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Four Specific areas:
It’s important for children to discover phonemic awareness – the ability to hear and identify different words and sounds and use these to support reading and writing. We teach this through our Catton Grove Phonics Approach, which the children will continue as they move through the school. We aim to enrich the children’s vocabulary and story writing skills through our Talk 4 Writing texts. We have a positive reading culture in our school and believe that every child is a reader.
In Maths, we use daily Maths Meetings to give the children the opportunity every day to practise key mathematical learning. We rehearse the days of the week, months of the year and counting forwards and backwards to name just a few. Maths is enhanced through the daily routine, for example, singing number rhymes and counting how many children have attended each day. We incorporate the White Rose Maths programme which enables the children to learn every day problem solving through an interactive approach.
Understanding the world
This involves children making sense of things by observing and exploring everything from the places they spend time to the technology and tools that they use.
Expressive arts and design
Activities like drawing, playing with paint, instruments or technology all give children the chance to express themselves and learn new things.