Early Years Foundation Stage
A warm welcome to Network Early Years Foundation Stage. Our aim is to give children a safe and happy environment where they can grow in confidence and independence in preparation not only for school but for life.
The Early Years Foundation Stage 1, 2 and 3 accommodates children from the age of 2 to 5 years.
- To provide a safe, friendly, happy and stimulating environment for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage, enabling them to feel safe, confident and valued.
- To recognise each child as unique, to scaffold learning at their own pace and build on what they have already learned at home, from their families and their individual communities.
- To value the diversity children bring to an early years setting and respect and welcome children and their families from all social, cultural and religious communities and family groupings.
- To enable children to feel they belong to the school and that the school belongs to them, paving the path of transition into Key Stage 1.
The environment is planned, staffed and maintained in accordance with the British Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2014 and the 5 Outcomes of Every Child Matters.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) has its own curriculum which emphasises learning based on play and experiences. It is a broad, balanced and purposeful curriculum delivered through planned and child initiated play activities to help ensure all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential and experience the best possible start to their education within an enabling environment and to encourage every child to:
- Be Healthy
- Stay Safe
- Enjoy and Achieve
- Make a Positive Contribution
The EYFS is organised into four overarching principles:
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
Prime Areas of Learning are:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups, and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Communication and Language Development
involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves, and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive, and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
We support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
Specific Areas of Learning are:
Literacy involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
Understanding the World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive Arts and Design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play, and design and technology.
Characteristics of effective learning
- 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 and develop strategies for doing things.
Our outside classroom
As part of our curriculum, we are required to use the outside area in all weathers.
During the day, your child will have access to water and sand play, painting and other ‘messy activities’. Also, we play, plant, garden and dig in the mud and sand, which encourages development in all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that this explorative play encourages your child’s development.
During your child’s time here, they will take visits outside of school and also have the opportunity to meet with children and staff from other classes.
Throughout the day, there are opportunities for teacher-led activities as well as child initiated learning. Group time is a time when children will be working with an adult in a more formal teaching activity.