Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. In our school, children join us fulltime in the September of the year in which they turn five.
Teaching in Reception is delivered in accordance with the government’s document, ‘The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage’. It is an approach which brings together children’s welfare, developing relationships and learning and development. The curriculum is centred on Seven areas of learning, the prime and specific areas:
Prime Areas of learning:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
And Four Specific Areas
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
None of these 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 are there are Early Learning Goals (ELG’s) that define the expectations for most children to reach by the end of EYFS/Reception.
These are underpinned by the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’, which show the learning styles of individual children.
- 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
Learning and Development
At Southgate we believe that ‘Play’ is how children learn best. Play can be seen as;
Activities for the
‘Children’s play reflects their wide ranging and varied interests and preoccupations. In their play children learn at their highest level. Play with peers is important for children’s development.’
Through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They have the opportunity to practise skills, develop ideas and think creatively alongside other children as well as individually. The children communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems. They have the opportunity to express fears re-live anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations.
‘When children have opportunities to play with ideas in different situations and with a variety of resources, they discover connections and come to new and better understandings and ways of doing things. Adult support in this process enhances their ability to think critically and ask questions.’
Children at Southgate are given opportunity to be creative through all areas of learning, not just through the arts. Adults support the children’s thinking and help them to make connections by showing genuine interest, offering encouragement, clarifying ideas and asking open questions. Children in our Reception classrooms can access resources freely and are allowed to move them around the classroom to extend their learning.