What is EYFS?

"Children in the reception class learn well. They have opportunities to extend their skills, especially in counting, calculation and writing. They demonstrate their understanding because of good questioning by adults."

Ofsted June 2014

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the reception year. It is based upon four themes. Each theme expresses important principles underpinning effective practice in the care, development and learning of young children. The phonics programme that is used in the school is Letters and Sounds.

The four themes and principles are:

  • A Unique Child: Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Positive Relationships: Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.
  • Enabling Environments: The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children's development and learning.
  • Learning and Development: Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and inter-connected.

A Unique Child

At Charles Warren Academy we recognise that children develop in individual ways, at varying rates. Children’s attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by our praise and encouragement.We aim to encourage children to develop a positive attitude to learning.We value the diversity of individuals within the school and do not discriminate against children because of ‘differences’. All children at Charles Warren Academy are treated fairly regardless of race, religion, gender or abilities (or any of the 9 characteristics from the 2010 Equalities Act) . All children and their families are valued within our academy.

Positive Relationships

At Charles Warren Academy we aim to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with the children and their families. All staff involved with the EYFS aim to develop good relationships with all children, interacting positively with them and taking time to listen to them. At our school the EYFS teacher, Mrs Frew is the ‘Key Person’ to all children in the class, supported by the Learning Support Assistants, Mrs Carpenter and Mrs Brooks.

We understand that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and we value the contribution they make.We recognise the role that parents have played, and their future role, in educating the children.

Enabling Environments

At Charles Warren Academy we recognise that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development. This begins by observing the children and assessing their interests, development and learning, before planning challenging but achievable activities and experiences to extend their learning.

The Early Years Foundation Stage area is organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are places where the children can be active, be quiet and rest. Children are encouraged to find and locate equipment and resources independently.

Labels include pictures to help pre-readers and everything they are allowed to use is within their reach. The EYFS area has it own enclosed outdoor area that is used on a daily basis. This has a positive effect on the children’s development as being outdoors offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. Observations of the children take place outdoors in the same way as they do inside.

Within the EYFS area provision is made to cater for the children’s emotional wellbeing. Weekly circle time sessions are held where children are encouraged

to talk about their emotions and the children are free to express their feelings as appropriate.

Learning and Development

At Charles Warren Academy we value all areas of learning and development equally and understand that they are inter-connected. Play is a very important part of the EYFS curriculum. Through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practise and build up ideas, and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems. They express fears or re-live anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations. We provide children with opportunities to play whilst Mrs Frew and Mrs Carpenter support and extend the play as required.

‘Active learning’ occurs when children aremotivated and interested. Children need to have some independence and control over their learning. As a child’s confidence develops they learn to make their own choices and decisions. This provides children with a sense of satisfaction as they take ownership of their learning.We ensure that the EYFS environment is interesting, attractive and accessible to every child so they can learn independently. We believe children should be given opportunities to be creative through all areas of learning. EYFS practitioners support children’s thinking and help them to make connections by showing genuine interest, offering encouragement, clarifying and modeling ideas and asking open questions. Children can access resources freely and are allowed to move them around the classroom to extend their learning.We allow the same amount of time for child initiated activities as we do adult led activities. The EYFS is made up of six areas of learning, listed below.

Six Areas of Learning

These six areas of Learning and Development together make up the skills, knowledge and experiences appropriate for children as they grow, learn and develop. Although these are presented as separate areas, it is important to remember that for children everything links and nothing is compartmentalised. None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. Our staff ensure that children's learning and development occur as an outcome of their individual interests and abilities and that planning for learning and development takes account of these.