Early Years Foundation Stage
At Tarvin Primary School, our practice is guided by the Early Years Statutory Framework 2021, which sets out expectations for children’s learning and development and welfare.
The EYFS framework has four overarching principles:
- A Unique Child
- Positive Relationships
- Enabling Environments
- Learning and Development
These link in well with our School’s Curriculum Guiding Principles:
At Tarvin Primary School, we recognise that every child is unique. They begin school with a variety of different experiences. These experiences may include time in other early years’ settings. We aim to build on these experiences in order to ensure that we deliver an ambitious curriculum for all. In order to achieve this, we are conscious of prior learning and work closely with other settings and parents during the transition to school. We recognise that children develop in individual ways and at different rates. We take a holistic approach to developing the unique child.
Transitions to school begin early in order to build positive relationships. Teachers are conscious that starting school is a big milestone and we acknowledge that an effective transition is essential to a successful start to primary school life. Our aim is for all children to feel happy, safe and secure. We believe that this is fundamental to creating a holistic learning experience. Our relationships with our families are also important in achieving this as we recognise that learning is a partnership between home and school.
The Reception classroom is organised to allow children to explore and learn safely and securely. The resources are carefully considered so that the child’s learning during play-based activities is enhanced with open-ended opportunities. Children are encouraged to investigate, as questions and explore, whilst building resilience. This ensures both a holistic and ambitious experience for all.
Learning and Development
In planning and guiding what our children learn, we reflect on the characteristics of effective learning:
- Playing and Exploring
- Active Learning
- Creating and thinking critically
The Revised Foundation Stage curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning:
3 Prime areas:
- Communication & Language
- Personal Social & Emotional Development
- Physical Development
4 Specific areas:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts & Design.
These areas are developed through adult-led activities, structured play and child-initiated activities, following the children’s interests and embodying topic led themes.
Communication and Language
Communication is key to our children's learning and embodies our whole curriculum: speaking and listening activities are throughout every day. We support our children to:
- listen carefully and respond with relevant comments and questions
- share their thoughts and feelings with our friends, peers and grown-ups
- value and respect each other's opinions.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
At Tarvin we take pride in helping our pupils to:
- develop their feelings
- learn to work together
- develop a positive disposition towards learning
- develop friendships with adults and peers
- understand differences between themselves and others.
Physical development is developed through:
- PE and forest school activities – using imagination and showing an awareness of space
- learning to understand how to stay fit and healthy through exercise and diet
- using small equipment and materials to develop fine motor control and coordination
- using large equipment to develop gross motor skills because large movements support the development of writing through control, suppleness and coordination.
Literacy skills transfer across the whole curriculum – we learn to read and we read to learn. We write for lots of different real reasons and with a purpose so that we are interested and inspired.
- Reading – We follow the Read, Write Inc scheme. This is supported by adults reading to the children frequently at school and at home.
- Phonics – learning letter sounds and names, upper and lower case to help us read and write. We have daily phonics sessions, using the Read, Write Inc Scheme of work.
- Writing – independent mark-making on a large and small scale is encouraged and further developed with phonic and reading skills.
Maths is all around us and we use our whole environment to help us learn.
- Numbers as labels and for counting – we focus on numbers to 20 to start, recognising, counting and ordering.
- Calculating – lots of practical problems, 1 more, 1 less, adding objects together, etc.
- Shape, space and measure – e.g. pattern making, sorting & recognising shapes, using sand to measure capacity.
Understanding the World
The world around us is a fascinating place in which we all have different and similar experiences. We use our senses to explore and our IT provision to research and support our learning, encouraging children to:
- use first hand experiences to explore the environments and people/ communities around them – immediate, local and further afield.
- develop their understanding of predicting, decision making, problem solving, investigating and observation.
Expressive Arts & Design
In Reception, we put great emphasis on;
- developing skills in music, art, drama, dance, story-telling, role play through topics and the children‘s own interests.
- giving children opportunities given to express themselves in a stimulating environment.
- having our making table as a permanent fixture, which includes a range of materials.
As part of the focus on self-confidence and self-awareness as cited in Personal, Social and Emotional Development, children learn about the fundamental British Values:
Democracy: making decisions together
- Rule of law: understanding rules matter
- Individual liberty: freedom for all
- Mutual respect and tolerance: treat others as you want to be treated
Assessment in EYFS
We assess our children all the time, formally and informally through observation of child-initiated activities as well as planned adult led activities.
As children start school, we spend time having quality interactions with them in order to understand their interests and needs. We observe each child and understand their individual and specific Characteristics of Learning - Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creating and thinking critically. During their first weeks in school a Baseline Assessment is formed from which we can plan for next steps and track each child’s progress throughout the year.
Assessment evidence is collated in the form of observations and written comments which are recorded in different ways, for example completed work, photographs or videos and celebrated in an individual Learning Journey on Tapestry. This is used to monitor cohort, group and individual progress and inform next steps.
During the Reception year, children work towards the Early Learning Goals in each area of learning. Each child is assessed against the different stages of development in age bands, usually 30 to 50 months and 40 to 60 months, as being either “Emerging” or “Secure” for each area based on the observations evidenced.
At the end of the Reception year, each child is assessed against Early Learning Goals for each area of learning, Prime and Specific, and deemed to be:
- Working towards the expected level (Emerging)
- Working at the expected level (Expected) or
- Working beyond the expected level (Exceeding)
Children are expected to achieve what is known as their ‘Good Level of Development’, which includes being assessed at the Expected level or above in all Prime areas of learning (Personal, Social & Emotional Development, Communication & Language and Physical Development) along with the Specific areas of Maths and Literacy. Children that achieve this are ready for their transition into Key Stage One and the Year One curriculum. Children that do not achieve this will be supported in Year One to continue to learn in an Early Years ‘hands-on’ manner until they are ready to access the next step of their education.