The Early Years Foundation Stage
The Foundation Stage curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning. These areas shape the experiences and activities we offer.
We teach the three ‘prime areas’. These are:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
These are crucial for igniting curiosity, enthusiasm and aspiration for learning and building the capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. We also support children in the four ‘specific areas’ through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive art and design
We deliver all 7 the areas of learning through planned, purposeful play, with a balance of adult led and child-initiated activities (often referred to as Continuous Provision).
The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things and show they are willing to ‘have a go’.
Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy achieving.
Creativity and critical thinking – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for completing tasks.
Foundation Stage staff plan the learning environment, activities and experiences with consideration of all areas of learning and characteristics of effective learning. One experience may provide a child with opportunities to develop a number of competencies, skills and concepts across several areas of learning whilst demonstrating several of the characteristics of effective learning.
Phonics and Maths are taught daily in order to introduce children to these concepts more formally and these are worked on in smaller groups with key workers. Daily opportunities are available within the continuous provision for the children to explore, practise, apply their new knowledge.
Framework for Learning, Development and Care
The Four principle themes behind this framework are:
A Unique Child – every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Positive Relationships – children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and key workers.
Enabling Environments – the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning
Learning and Development – children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.
Early Learning Goals establish expectations for most children to reach by the end of the Foundation Stage. Staff monitor progress and track this electronically using Classroom Monitor and 2Simple. Although these are not officially assessed until the end of the Reception year, we will track your child’s progress throughout their time in Explorers to ensure they are on track to reach these.
Throughout your child’s time in Explorers, you will be invited to contribute to their learning journey through the 2simple portal. Instructions on how to do this will be on the first set of observations you are sent after their first term.
At the end of the academic year, you will receive a written report which details your child’s achievements across the curriculum.