Early Years Foundation Stage   

 

Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage  at Ottershaw CofE  Infant School.     

At Ottershaw Infants we believe our role as an Early Years Team is to:

  • support each child to settle happily into nursery and school.
  • provide stimulating and engaging learning  environments where each child feels comfortable, valued and safe enough to enjoy the challenges of the learning process.
  • have high expectations of each child as a whole person, including their behaviour.
  • enjoy getting  to know each child  well – enabling  us to respond to their individual needs and interests.
  • be enthusiastic, open and  approachable.
  • work in close partnership with parents, to ensure each child’s first experiences of nursery and school are as positive, exciting and stimulating as we can make them.

The new Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, which came into effect September 2012,  is divided into 3 Prime areas and 4 specifc areas,  all of which are taught through our  International Primary Curriculum topics.  Our  topics draw all the areas of learning  together to ensure your child learns through meaningful, connected experiences.  

The 3 Prime Areas of Learning are:

  • Communication and Language

Developing the skills of attentive listening, understanding language.  Being able to ask and answer questions.  Children are able to express themselves clearly to describe past/current/future events, and talk clearly to provide explanations and share ideas.                             

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development  

Developing self-confidence and self-awareness, learning to express feeling appropriately, learning acceptable behaviour boundaries.  Understanding how to work as part of a group – taking turns and sharing fairly.  As well as developing positive friendships and relationships, by developing sensitivity towards the needs and feeling of others.

  • Physical Development

Children have opportunities to develop fine motor skills to use pencils, scissors and tools effectively.  They will also have a wide range of opportunities to develop gross motor skills to move with coordination and control.

 

The 4 specific areas of learning are:

  •  Literacy - Reading and writing.  

We use the Jolly Phonics © alongside the Dept. for Education ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme to provide exciting and engaging ways to teach phonics through songs, images, stories and games.  Phonics are taught daily in short faced paced sessions – with lots of opportunities throughout the day to revisit and embed the skills taught.  The first 100 high frequency words are taught alongside phonics.  We encourage reading for pleasure from a child’s very first day in school.  We do not follow a specific reading scheme but provide a books from a wide range of schemes/genres, within a specific level.

Children are taught to use their developing phonic and high frequency word knowledge to develop their writing in a wide range of contexts and genres.

  • Mathematics

Children develop their knowledge of number  and use this to solve simple problems (+/-) doubling and halving; and begin to recognise simple patterns in number.   Children will also learn mathematical concepts related to shape, space and measure.  They will have opportunities to learn about time, size, money, comparing quantities etc.

Mathematical concepts are taught in a practical way and developed further through independent play based activities or when working with an adult.

  •   Expressive Arts and Design

Children have a wide range of opportunities to use a range of media and materials, tools and techniques to experiment with colour, texture form and function.

The children are encouraged and supported to be imaginative in their play and their artistic explorations. They begin to represent their thoughts and feelings through art and design, music, dance, role-play and drama. 

  •  Understanding the World

Children are supported to make sense of the world through  exploring the natural environment and wider world, conducting simple scientific enquiries, finding out more about different cultures and religions; as well as people in the past. 

In addition we teach our children the Guildford Diocese RE syllabus  matched as closely as possible to the topics.

 

Throughout the year we will  assess  the children’s individual progress to inform the planning of the next steps in their learning. 

From September 2015 the Dept for Education have introduced the requirement for baseline assessment  nationally.  All children will complete this within their first half term in school. We have chosen to use the Early Excellence package, alongside our own ongoing assessments.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage play is a fundamental part of children’s learning.  ‘Hands-on’ experiences are how young children learn.  Our carefully planned activities enable children  to develop a wide range of social, language, mathematical, problem solving and  investigative skills.  We really want the children to go home and say “We’ve played all day!”

A typical day will be based around a range of well planned play-based activities,  both inside the classroom and in our outdoor learning environment.  Many of the activities will be on ‘child-led’,  although a proportion of the day will be spent working on focussed tasks either  individually, or in small groups, with the teacher and/or teaching assistant.       

As the year progresses the Literacy and Mathematics areas of the curriculum, in particular, will become slightly more structured, as we prepare the children for transition to Key Stage 1.

Some of the children’s work will be recorded in books, but please do not expect to see reams of paper!  As explained, much of the learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage is through practical activities and we, as practitioners, will make informed judgements and assessments of each child’s learning through observations and  discussion, as well as marking recorded work.