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Early Years

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the Government and Early Year’s professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5. This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes.  From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs. At The Hayes Primary School, there are two reception classes and the teachers follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.

 

What is the EYFS Framework - why do we have one?
There are seven areas of learning and development that help to shape educational provision in Early Years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. None of the areas of learning can be delivered in isolation from the others. Our children’s learning experiences enable them to develop competency and skills not just academically but also socially, emotionally and physically. 
The three prime areas which are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn and form relationships are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development

Our staff will also support children in four specific areas, through which the Prime Areas are strengthened and applied:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive arts and design

All areas of learning are connected together. The characteristics of effective teaching and learning weave through them all. That’s because children in the Early Years are becoming more powerful learners and thinkers. These characteristics develop as they learn to do new things, acquire new skills, develop socially and emotionally, and become better communicators.

At The Hayes, we plan learning experiences considering both the children's individual needs and achievements as well as a range of learning experiences that will assist them to make progress. Well planned play is a key way in which children learn with enjoyment and challenge during the Foundation Stage. Children deepen their understanding by playing, talking, observing, planning, questioning, experimenting, testing, repeating, reflecting and responding to adults and to each other.

Our learning environment is made up of areas which reflect all areas of the curriculum. Here, children can make their own choices, encouraging them to play and explore. They can be active learners and are able to create and think critically. We operate indoor and outdoor learning experiences for our young children, where they can move freely between both areas. Links are made between both learning environments to ensure that all children receive a rich and varied curriculum that supports their learning and development.

 

Early Years Goals
Communication and Language

Listening, Attention and Understanding: Children at the expected level of development will:

· Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions;

· Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding;

· Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.
 

Speaking: Children at the expected level of development will:

· Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary;

· Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate;

· Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.

 

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Self-Regulation: Children at the expected level of development will:

 · Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly;

· Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate;

· Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.


Managing Self: Children at the expected level of development will:

· Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge;

· Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly;

· Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.


Building Relationships: Children at the expected level of development will:

 · Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others;

· Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers;

*Show sensitivity to their own and to others' needs. 


Physical development

Gross Motor Skills: Children at the expected level of development will:

· Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others;

· Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing;

· Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.
 

Fine Motor Skills: Children at the expected level of development will:

· Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases;
· Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery;

*Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.


Literacy

Comprehension: Children at the expected level of development will:

· Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary;

· Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories;

· Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.
 

Word Reading: Children at the expected level of development will:

· Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs;

· Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending;

· Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words. 10. Writing ELG Children at the expected level of development will:

· Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed;

· Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters;

· Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.

Mathematics

Number: Children at the expected level of development will:

· Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number;

· Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5;

· Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.
 

Numerical Patterns: Children at the expected level of development will:

· Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system;

· Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity;

· Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.


Understanding the World

Past and Present: Children at the expected level of development will:

· Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society;

· Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;

· Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling;


People Culture and Communities: Children at the expected level of development will:

· Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps;

· Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;

· Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.


The Natural World: Children at the expected level of development will:

· Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants;

· Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;

· Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.


Expressive Arts and Design

Creating with Materials: Children at the expected level of development will:

 · Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function;

· Share their creations, explaining the process they have used;

· Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.


Being Imaginative and ExpressiveChildren at the expected level of development will:

· Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher;

· Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs;

· Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – try to move in time with music.


How can I find out how my child is getting on?

It is important that you and our EYFS staff are professionals caring for your child, working together.  You need to feel comfortable about exchanging information and discussing things that will benefit your child.  These conversations will be with your child’s class teacher.  At the end of the EYFS – in the summer term of the reception year in school – teachers complete an assessment which is known as the EYFS Profile.  This assessment is carried out by the reception teacher and is based on what they, and other staff caring for your child, have observed over a period of time.

Another important part of the EYFS Profile is your knowledge about your child’s learning and development, so do let your child’s class teacher know about what your child does with you: such as how confident your child is in writing their name, reading and talking about a favourite book, speaking to people your child is not so familiar with or their understanding of numbers. All of the information collected is used to judge how your child is doing in the 7 areas of learning and development. 

 

Finding out at this stage how your child is doing will mean that the teacher your child has in their next school year – year 1 – will know what your child really enjoys doing and does well, as well as helping them decide if your child needs a bit of extra support, what that support should be and if they are already getting it. The school will give you a report of your child’s progress, including information from his or her EYFS Profile. 

Characteristics of Effective Learning is a key element of the Early years foundation stage development. It covers the ways in which children should learn from their environment, their experiences and their activities and how this is to be reflected in teaching lessons.

The 3 characteristics are:

  • Playing and exploring - e.g: showing curiosity about objects, events and people
  • Active learning - e.g. showing a ‘can do’ attitude
  • Creating and thinking critically - e.g. observing and solving a problem.

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