Early Years Foundation Stage
'Providing a bespoke, learning environment where children blossom and feel safe whilst developing learning behaviours and skills that prepare them for school and life.'
Key Learning Skills
These are taken from our bank of Early Years Key Skills which form a broad and rich Early Years curriculum across 7 Areas of Learning, allowing children to optimise their cognition and skills in the context of their developmental stage and unique learner characteristics. Opportunities to practise and apply these skills are enabled through Key Learning Experiences.
Key Learning Experiences
These are co-constructed by the children who also evolve learning questions at the beginning of each new topic to create learning pathways. This optimises engagement, develops thinking skills and broadens knowledge. Our EYFS teacher uses a child-centred, stimulating learning environment and developmentally valid resources to create activities which allow the children the opportunities to move forward in their learning in the context of their chosen subjects and the Goals within the 7 Areas of Learning. There is a healthy balance of both Self-Initiated and Teacher Led / Teacher Supported experiences.
Our children learn by Playing and Exploration, Active Involvement and Creative and Critical Thinking.
Children's progress is monitored very closely and informs all planning of Key Experiences and Skills. Detailed individual observations are made of all children four times a year, to evaluate their progress in relation to the Development Matters document. The teaching staff use ipads and ipods to capture learning as it occurs and to form the basis of both professional dialogue and the sharing of children's learning with their families.
To ensure consistency of provision we have developed a checklist to support all adults working in the EYFS, ensuring we optimise engagement of adults in supporting children's learning. This includes the enabling nature of the classroom environment and a shared understanding of the importance of Key Experiences for parents to enhance children's learning.
Key Family Experiences
These include information on a daily basis of Key Experiences (via daily notice board, Learning Logs and Twitter posts), Family Learning Events, Welcome Evening, Sausage Sizzle, regularly updated school website information, VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) sharing of news and activities, Family Progress Meetings and Family Learning visits.
New Starter 'Getting Ready' Visits and Induction Programme (Term 1).
These are gently tailored to the children, to give Key Experiences which allow our ethos to be shared and routines established. This ensures a smooth, seamless transition to our setting. We have our own Transition Toolkit, developed to ensure the best possible outcomes for our New Starters.
The EYFS teacher arranges an induction programme which includes school visits, a New Parents' Open Evening and liaison events with our feeder pre-schools.
Children attend pre-school induction events during the two terms prior to the school entry. The purpose of these sessions is for the children to form relationships with their teacher and their peer group and become familiar with their new surroundings.
At the beginning of their first term the new intake will attend school for half days only for a limited period - please refer to our Example EYFS Newsletter below for current transition arrangements.
Strong links have been forged between the Foundation Class at Whissendine CE School and all feeder pre-school settings.
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