Early Years Foundation Stage
Our EYFS Lead is Miss Gilmore.
As a primary school, we believe that young people learn best when they are stimulated by an exciting and challenging curriculum which motivates them to learn. We actively encourage children to be inquisitive about the world around them and we celebrate every child's success. Our aim is to create a lifelong love of learning in every child.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework is a government document that all schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers in England must follow. It sets standards for the learning, development and care of your child from birth to 5 years old. The standards ensure your child will learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.
The EYFS framework identifies the essential role of play in your child’s development. It is through both child-led play and play guided by an adult that your child will develop confidence and relationships with others. Through play, EYFS practitioners will help your child to extend their vocabulary and develop their communication skills. The EYFS framework identifies three characteristics of effective teaching and learning:
- Playing and Exploring
- Active Learning
- Creating and Thinking Critically
A greater focus on teaching specific skills will occur as your child progresses through their reception year, which will help them to prepare for year one. There are 17 Early Learning Goals your child is expected to achieve by the end of the EYFS.
The EYFS framework outlines seven areas of learning and development and educational programmes. There are three prime areas of learning, which are particularly important for your child’s development and future learning:
- Communication and Language (C+L)
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
- Physical Development (PD)
There are four specific areas of learning, through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied:
- Literacy (L)
- Mathematics (M)
- Understanding the world (UTW)
- Expressive Arts and Design. (EAD)
Early Years practitioners also use your child’s needs and interests to plan challenging and enjoyable activities and experiences.
The curriculum at Sunny Bank Primary School aims to meet the needs of all children in the school by providing a broad and balanced curriculum. We want all children to be able to reach their own individual potential and build upon their strengths, helping them to understand that we believe they can achieve and succeed in their education.
Across school, we follow the Learning Challenge Curriculum. Learning Challenge is knowledge-rich in its delivery and requires deep thinking and encourages learners to work using a question as the starting point. In Early Years, we plan high quality learning opportunities that are centered around the children's interests. We begin each Learning Challenge by providing the children with an open-ended question that encourages the children to develop their thinking, investigate and problem solve. By encouraging open-ended challenges, we offer the opportunity for children to learn in different ways and support all our children to learn in the way that best suits their individual needs.
In Reception, the staff plan for learning opportunities using the children's interests wherever possible. Challenges are available across the environment and have a clear focus on Maths, Mark Making and Making Conversation and our routines and staff roles mean that focused learning activities are planned for each day and tailored to the needs of the children.
At Sunny Bank, we also understand the importance of play and use play to lay the foundations for literacy. By providing the children at Sunny Bank with a high quality, well-resourced, vocabulary rich learning environment, we aim for our children to learn through play and develop the building blocks that they need for their future learning.
Continuous provision refers to the resources which are always available within the EYFS classroom for the children to access. In our classroom, this includes areas such as a sand tray (with buckets, spades and small world animals), a water tray (with jugs and measuring cylinders) and a mark making area (with crayons, pens and paper).The provision is organised in a way which enables children to access the resources independently and that engages children, stimulates curiosity and motivates children to challenge themselves, even when an adult is not part of their play, as a large proportion of learning occurs whilst children are accessing the resources alone or with their peers. Both the outdoor and indoor provision within the setting support learning across each of the seven areas of learning, as well as providing children with the opportunity to develop their characteristics of effective learning. To extend children’s learning and maintain interest, the continuous provision is often enhanced. Enhancing the continuous provision allows us to follow children’s interests, add challenge and link the provision to current topics and themes.
Please see below for our Long Term Plan. From time to time, this plan may change as teachers adapt the learning to suit the needs of the children.
Nursery parents are invited to a ‘New to Reception’ meeting in the Summer Term to meet the Reception staff and be given important information regarding their child’s transition to Reception. This meeting includes key information about the Reception day and the settling in process. Most children settle quickly due to our smooth transition and by the second week in Reception, most children are attending all day very confidently. On the rare occasion that this is not the case, those children who are not quite ready are offered a ‘soft start’ and this is agreed with the parents to how this will look.
Children joining us are visited in their current setting: the Reception teacher spends time getting to know them in their familiar environment and meet with their key adult when transition information is shared. New to Sunny Bank children are also visited at home and this is a further opportunity to meet our new families and answer any questions they may have.
During the summer term, transition videos are sent out via Evidence Me and shared with parents/ carers. This platform allows parents/ carers to share their child’s interests and ‘getting to know you’ tasks are set by the class teacher.
Transition from the Reception to Year 1 presents a unique challenge as children move from the play-based approach of the Early Years Foundation Stage to the demands of the National Curriculum. Reception children are encouraged to visit Year 1 to share good work throughout the year and begin to build strong positive relationships with the Year 1 team from the start.
Reception children begin to go into assemblies in the spring term and the Reception team talk positively to the children about their move into Year 1. During the summer term, pupils from EYFS visit their soon-to-be Year 1 teacher for a transition morning.
Teaching and learning within the summer term in Reception will include a higher proportion of written focused group tasks at tables ensuring the children have some level of independence when entering Year 1. During this time, there is a key focus on learning behaviours and encouraging independence so that pupils are prepared and well-equipped for the transition period.
The Reception teachers and Year 1 teachers meet to discuss transition. The Year 1 teachers are made fully aware of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) for each child during a timetabled handover meeting. Each area of learning is discussed for every child and their likes/dislikes and strengths/areas of development are highlighted. Children who may need additional support are identified and a particular focus is given to children who do not reach a Good Level of Development (GLD). All formal and ‘soft’ data is shared so that the Year 1 teacher has a good understanding of each child as an individual and their academic ability.
Assessment On-Entry Baseline Assessment
The EYFS baseline assessment is a type of assessment used when a child first starts school. At Sunny Bank, our Early Years practitioners will observe your child during the first few weeks of school to establish the child's current level of attainment and plan for their next steps with their learning. We also use what information we have from parents and previous child-care providers to support our judgments.
The main areas of focus for the assessment are literacy, communication, physical, social and maths skills. We observe each child during play and invite them to take part in adult-led activities, independently or as part of a small group.
All adults in our Reception Unit make observations of the children by looking at and listening to children to find out how they are developing, what they like doing and what they are learning through their play and the experiences on offer. These observations are vital to capture each child's abilities and talents firsthand. Our adults know how and when to provide high quality interactions/ modelling to help challenge and support each child's learning and will then provide clear, focused next steps that support the progress of each individual child. Observations take place as part of our daily routines and are sometimes recorded using an iPad. Observations, along with the child's physical work, create an individual learning journey for each child.
We use a system which allows us to share what your child is doing in school. The ‘Parent Share’ feature in Evidence Me enables you to view reports (complete with photos) via the app or website, showing you what your child has been learning and the new skills they are developing.
You can send us your comments and feedback by simply adding them to the reports. This will help our staff to support your child even more effectively in the classroom. You can also take an active role in contributing to your child’s observation portfolio by uploading your own observations, simply add these to the app or website.
Parents and families are very important to us at Sunny Bank Primary School. We are continually looking for ways to develop stronger and more positive links between school and home. We will ensure that all parents are kept informed about what and how their children are learning through a variety of means including:
- Curriculum overviews available on the school website
- Holding parents’ evenings and parent workshops
- Having an annual report to parents in which we explain the progress made by each child and indicates how the child can be supported to make improvement/further progress
- Informally or formally explaining how they can support their children with any work at home through an open-door policy
- Sharing information with parents Via Arbor App
- Using 'Evidence Me' to share your child's achievements.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, parents and carers play a strong part in their child's learning. We encourage you to become involved in your child's education and invite you to share any of your child’s ‘Proud’ moments via the school office with FAO Reception: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also have a class Twitter page that we encourage parents to follow to keep up to date about our learning.