Early Years Foundation Stage
At Brockworth Primary Academy we believe that the Early Years are critical in children’s development and that the Early Years Foundation Stage builds a firm basis for future learning, development and independence.
The EYFS principles which guide the work of all practitioners are grouped into four distinct but complementary themes:
• 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; and
• Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
Our aims are to:
• Provide a happy, secure, well-ordered and stimulating environment, where children can develop as independent individuals through interaction with sensitive adults and other children.
• To offer a broad and balanced curriculum which extends previous learning and covers the seven areas of learning as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (Sept 2012).
• To ensure that children develop positive attitudes to learning, self-motivation, curiosity, confidence and responsibility.
• To provide children with first hand learning experiences rooted in purposeful play in which they can become actively engaged, expressing thoughts, ideas and feelings.
• To develop the whole child socially, spiritually, emotionally, physically, intellectually and aesthetically.
The Areas of Learning and Development
There are seven areas of learning and development which shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. The three prime areas of learning are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
These three areas, the prime areas, are:
• Communication and Language
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.
• Physical Development
Physical development provides opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children are also helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
• Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
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.
There are four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. These specific areas are:
Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to 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:-
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:-
Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, 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.
Learning and Development in the EYFS
Learning and development in Reception takes place through a wide range of adult-directed and child-initiated activities. Learning through play and first hand practical experiences provide the children with the opportunity to develop in all seven areas.
Lessons aim to be as practical and multisensory as possible with a wide range of activities. Learning through play and other child-initiated experiences forms a valuable and necessary part of the children’s day in Reception.
They will often choose to play in the role-play area, with the sand, play-dough, IWB, drawing, cutting, sticking, construction, puzzles, small world play etc…
During the afternoons the children have longer periods of free play/ child-initiated activity time and are able to freely access resources in the classroom or in the outside EYFS area.
On-going observational assessment takes place during this time and during other parts of the day.
Talk4Writing by Pie Corbett and The Jolly Phonics programme is introduced in Reception and forms the basis for the literacy lessons.
To begin with homework in the reception class consists of learning a new sound from the Jolly Phonics with an action. When it is appropriate each child will be given a reading book to take home and share. To start with the books will only have pictures so as the children become confident in handling books and retelling stories. As soon as the children have learnt the majority of their initial sounds they will have key words to learn. Homework should last no longer than 10 minutes at this age and stage.
We are on the playground first thing for a brief conversation to make an appointment for a longer consultation. Unfortunately, due to safeguarding, parents are not allowed into the classrooms at the beginning or end of the day.
Parents/carers are encouraged to ensure either the teacher or teaching assistant is aware of any changes with regard to the collection of their child, together with any other important information – such as their child being tired or upset, Grandpa being poorly or the cat being lost etc. ‘Communication books’ are used throughout the academy. Parents are encouraged to mention ‘other matters’ verbally to a member of staff, whenever possible, as well as noting them in the Communication books.
After School Clubs
The Academy runs a wide variety of after school clubs during the week. In the Autumn term these clubs are not available for the Reception class children as we believe that starting in a new environment and learning new routines is enough for the younger children.