The Oxton St Saviour's Early Years Foundation Stage
At Oxton St Saviours, we believe in nurturing, celebrating and developing children’s individual interests and skills. We aim to develop resilience in pupils and the confidence to always ‘give it a try’.
Here at Oxton St Saviours, we understand that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) plays a pivotal part in this through the speed at which children develop and learn during their first 5 years. Because of this, we promote and hope to instill a love of learning within children that will inspire and challenge them through a balance of child-initiated, adult-guided and adult-led activities. Many of these activities are play-based and practical, and children can access them across both indoor and outdoor environments. Allowing children the opportunity to pursue their own interests, and explore independently, ensures that they know that thie brown ideas are valued. It also helps the children to become independent thinkers, problem solvers and risk-assessors. This helps to provide them with the best possible start to the rest of their journey through school, and beyond!
In developing our EYFS curriculum and practice, we are guided by the four main principles of:
- A Unique Child
- Positive Relationships
- Enabling Environments
- Learning and Development
This ensures that we are continuously providing activities, tasks, resources and interactions that are matched to the changing needs of our children. We approach all learning opportunities in this way to ensure we are providing an inclusive environment with open-ended opportunities.
Our main aim, throughout EYFS, is to provide children with the best possible start to school. For us, this means ensuring they make good progress against all areas of learning and development as well as enjoying coming to school. It is this enjoyment, which allows children to develop confidence and independence and helps them to continue being enthusiastic, curious learners as they move into Year 1 and beyond.
We believe in developing the ‘whole child’ and therefore recognize the importance of building skills, knowledge and confidence in each of the areas of learning. These are:
- Communication and Language
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Although we recognize the importance of all of these areas, we understand that reading is of paramount importance in order for children to continue to progress in all subjects, throughout EYFS and beyond. Because of this, we aim to provide a language-rich environment where reading is promoted and available in all environment areas, wherever possible. Sharing books, stories, songs and rhymes are a daily part of our practice. We also understand that the prime areas of learning (those above in bold) are so named because of their significance to children’s development across all other areas and therefore must be prioritized in our day-to-day practice.
We also seek to provide:
- Quality and consistency, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind.
- A secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each child and are assessed and reviewed regularly.
- Partnership working between practitioners and parents.
- Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.
The EYFS environment is play-based, with a variety of different areas that children access independently, which help to develop children’s skills across the areas of learning. Continuous provision is provided which allows for open-ended learning opportunities. These areas are adapted and enhanced to meet the changing needs of children within the class, or to provide a new exciting stimulus to engage and interest children. These types of activities are referred to as child-initiated, meaning that they are activities that the child chooses independently and are led by their own interests. E.g. a child accessing art materials to make a picture/model based on their own interests.
Other activities within the Early Years environment are referred to as adult-guided. These activities, or games, may have been introduced or modelled by an adult and have a more specific outcome. Children will also work on adult-led activities. These are activities that have a specific learning objective and will involve the direction or support of an adult.
Each day, children are shown a visual timetable which sets out our plan, including daily routines and the learning focus for the day.
Planning across the EYFS involves different themes which run across each half-term. Please see ‘Curriculum Overview’. These themes are based upon common popular interests and annual events, but are also broad and flexible to ensure there are opportunities to follow the children’s interests.
Our whole-school phonics scheme is Read, Write Inc. Children take part in daily phonics sessions with a Read, Write Inc. teacher, these groups are split depending on the child’s level of reading. The children are assessed by the Reading Leader each half term and placed in the correct reading group for their daily lesson. We use Fred Talk, the Read, Write Inc. letter formation rhymes and Fred Fingers throughout the week to support the children with their reading and writing.
Weekly evidence will be collected in children’s individual online learning journals on Tapestry. This will provide a snapshot into the learning that has taken place each week, including information about our focus book, photographic evidence and quotes from children.
Environment plans are produced on a weekly basis to show enhancements and changes to environment areas, alongside the continuous provision. The environment is continuously monitored to ensure it is being used productively and observations are used for future planning.
The success of our EYFS can be seen through the enjoyment and enthusiasm of our pupils. They are happy coming to school and develop positive relationships with both their peers and staff. Children make good progress across all areas of learning. This results in a big increase of children working at the expected level by the end of Reception and therefore ready to move onto the next stage of their journey through school. Those children with gaps in their learning or difficulties in some areas, are identified quickly and supported in school to address their needs. Where further intervention or support is needed this is acted upon before they leave the Early Years Foundation Stage to ensure support plans are in place to help their transition into Key Stage One.
Please see Horse Chestnut class page for more information, including miedium term plans and weekly timetables.