The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
The EYFS is the framework for learning for children from Birth to 5 years old. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. The early years is where our children begin to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding, creating a firm foundation for learning which they build upon as they move up the school. Our children are nurtured and supported to develop the characteristics of effective learning: playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development:
- Personal Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language- Speaking, Listening & Understanding
- Physical Development
- Literacy- Reading and Writing
- Mathematics- Number and Shape, Space & Measure
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
The teachers across the early years provide a stimulating and enriching learning environment inclusive of all children, where they can explore, experiment and create through well planned, play based activities and experiences which reflect their diverse needs and interests in partnership with parents and carers.
EYFS and Year 1
Our EYFS unit and Year 1 unit follow an EYFS model.
The EYFS is based upon four principles:
• A Unique Child
• Positive Relationships
• Enabling Environments
• Learning and Development
Pupils follow a topic-based, cross-curricular approach centred on the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum / Early Years Outcomes. This is extended into Key Stage 1 for those pupils who have not yet reached the Early Learning Goals. The National Curriculum is also incorporated. Pupils follow the seven areas of Learning and Development as outlined in the Early Years Statutory Framework incorporating the National Curriculum. None of the seven areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities. In each area there are Early Learning Goals (ELGs) that define the age related expectations children may reach by the end of the EYFS. However, for those children at Pike Fold that do not reach them by the end of EYFS they are continued in Year 1 alongside the National Curriculum. A great emphasis is put on experiential learning and learning through discovery, led by the child him/herself where possible. However children also have whole class and small group teacher led activities based around the teaching of the main areas of development. All children’s experiences are recorded using photographs, video and evidence of work, where possible. Much of this may be presented in a pupil’s Learning journey, in Year 1 this is continued for those pupils who have not reached the ELGs alongside their academic books.
At Pike Fold we follow a two-year rolling program in EYFS. This is taught through pre-defined half-termly topics, although children’s own interests are also followed, developed and addressed in planning and outcomes. Each topic has texts allocated that are taught. Below are the two cycles that show the topics and texts we use.
As mentioned, none of the EYFS Areas of Learning and Development can be taught in isolation, and also overlap with the National Curriculum subjects taught at Key Stage 1. Staff carefully plan, teach and evaluate areas that best relate to the topic, interest or skill being developed. Each of the Prime and Specific Areas are then broken down into specific aspects with developmental statements relating to each area. Children develop at their own rates, and in their own ways, so these developmental statements and their order should not be taken as necessary steps for individual children. They should not be used as checklists. The age/stage bands overlap because these are not fixed age boundaries but suggest a typical range of development. Within our EYFS unit we seek to enhance our curriculum with quality outdoor provision in our newly designed and installed playground.