Early Years and Foundation Stage
What learning looks like in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Children start school in the academic year in which they turn five and are placed into a Reception class. Each Reception class has a teacher and a teaching assistant. The school day begins at 8:50 however the children can walk into their classrooms from 8:40 each day, and are then collected when the school day finishes at 3:15pm. During the day the children are involved in a wide range of activities either chosen by themselves or led by teachers and teaching assistants. They have access to carefully planned activities where they are able to learn through play. Play is recognised as so important to their well-being and development that the right to play is set down in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), and play is a fundamental commitment within the Early Years Foundation Stage.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum information about the curriculum and assessment
Whilst in Reception the children are working within the Foundation Stage and follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This curriculum has four key themes and principles. These are:
A Unique Child
– 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 carers.
Learning and Development
Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early year’s provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Within the Foundation Stage curriculum there are seven areas of learning – 3 Prime Areas and 4 Specific Areas and at Harold Court these are taught through themes and topics. Parents will be provided with termly curriculum newsletters informing them of the topics to be covered, and how to support their child’s learning at home. This information is also available on the school website. Additional information is available at https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2012/03/Development-Matters
There are 17 Early Learning Goals in Reception and 7 areas of learning, which are like subjects. These areas of learning are exactly the same as those in a nursery setting so we should be viewed as the final stage in your child’s early learning journey. When your child finishes Reception in July you will be given a report which tells you whether or not your child has met the Early Learning Goal (ELG) in each aspect. The expectation is as follows:
Communication and Language
ELG 01 - Listening and Attention
Children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events, and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.
ELG 02 - Understanding
Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
ELG 03 - Speaking
Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
ELG 04 - Moving and Handling
Children show good control and coordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
ELG 05 - Health and Self-Care
Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
ELG 06 - Self-Confidence and Self-Awareness
Children are confident to try new activities, and to say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.
ELG 07 - Managing Feelings and Behaviour
Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.
ELG 08 - Making Relationships
Children play cooperatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.
ELG 09 - Reading
Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate an understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
ELG 10 - Writing
Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
ELG 11 - Numbers
Children count reliably with numbers from one to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
ELG 12 - Shape, Space and Measures
Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.
Understanding of the World
ELG 13 - People and Communities
Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
ELG 14 - The World
Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one to another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
ELG 15 - Technology
Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.
Expressive Arts and Design
ELG 16 - Exploring and Using Media and Materials
Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function
ELG 17 - Being Imaginative
Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.
At the start of the year each child is assigned a key person, generally the class teacher of teaching assistant. Their role is to help ensure that every child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs. They help each child to become familiar with the setting, offer a settled relationship for the child and build a relationship with parents and carers. We do have a communications/home school links book in place where information can be exchanged on a daily basis.
Assessment in the Foundation Stage
Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners (teachers and teaching assistants) to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support.
Assessment begins on entry in the Foundation Stage and involves practitioners observing children whilst they are working and playing. At the end of the Foundation Stage the Foundation Stage Profile is completed for each child and outcomes are reported to parents and carers. The profile provides a picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities and their progress against expected levels.
2Build a Profile
At Harold Court we feel it’s important that we share all children’s learning journeys with parents/carers. We use the 2Build a Profile app which provides a simple, effective and powerful way to log children’s achievements against the Early Years Profile. It enables staff to capture planned and spontaneous important moments, which are recorded and used to monitor each child’s progress against individual targets. It also empowers the children by allowing them to record their own achievements using our new iPads.
2Build a Profile provides accurate and detailed progress tracking from birth to the end of reception. It creates pupil learning journeys that can be shared with parents/carers and enables all staff to compare cohort groups and identify areas for intervention.