Early Years Foundation Stage
Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), the first steps of your child's learning journey at Lacey Green Primary Academy.
Every child deserves the best possible start in their education and through parental and teacher support they can reach their potential. The EYFS year will lay the foundations to enable your child to become an independent and self-motivated learner throughout their whole school life.
The Foundation Stage follows a unique curriculum that enables every child to have the best possible start in life. We understand that children develop from different starting points and will be working at different stages to one another in the early years and we believe that our curriculum celebrates this.
We are delighted to announce that we have taken the exciting decision, to be one of a number of schools nationally leading the way in Early Years Practice, by becoming 'Early Adopters' of the new Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which will be statutory from September 2021.
Children develop quickly in the Early Years and we aim to capture their eagerness to learn in all areas of the curriculum. As well as following the new 'EYFS Early Adopter' Curriculum we use the new Development Matters Framework to support our planning and assessment on a regular basis. Therefore, all staff know the stage all individual children are working at and use assessment to facilitate and move learning on to enable the children to make progress. The Curriculum comprises of seven areas of learning and development:
The 7 areas of learning in the EYFS
There are seven areas of learning and development in the EYFS. All areas of learning and development is important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:
Prime Areas of Learning
- Communication and Language development of children's spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. This involves providing a language rich environment with extensive opportunties to use and embed new words in a range of contexts. Through conversations, storytelling and role play, the children share their ideas with support and modelling from the EYFS team, and questioning invites them to elaborate.
- Physical Development is vital in children's all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. The EYFS team help children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility through providing play opportunities in both indoors and outdoors.
- Personal, social and emotional development is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive ability. This involves forming strong and supportive relationships with the EYFS team which enables the children to understand their own feelings and feelings of others. Children are also supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, develop freindships, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and to understand appropriate behaviour.
We also provide support for children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
Specific Areas of Learning
- Literacy development is crucial to develop a life-long love of reading. This involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write using our Read, Write Inc. programme. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
- Mathematics is essential in developing a strong grounding in number so children develop the necessary building blocks to excel in Maths. This involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, to subitise, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
- Understanding the World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community by increasing their knowledge and sense of the world through visiting local places and meeting important members of society. In addition, listening to a broad selection of books will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologoically and ecologically diverse world.
- Expressive arts and design development supports the children's imagination and creativity. This involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
Playing and exploring – engagement: Finding out and exploring, playing with what the children know, being willing to ‘have a go’.
Active learning – motivation: Being involved and concentrating, perseverance, enjoying achieving what they set out to do.
Creating and thinking critically – thinking: Having their own ideas, making links, choosing ways to do things.
Achievement of these Prime and Specific Areas of Learning is reached by putting the Characteristics at the heart of all we do. This ensures all children are exposed to a broad and balanced curriculum. Children become self-motivated learners who embrace challenge and are inspired to learn. They are able to fulfil their potential and develop the skills necessary for success.
How do we learn?
We know that children learn best when they are given practical and first-hand experiences.
Providing high quality planned experiences for children’s play is an important way for adults to support children’s learning that is both enjoyable and challenging. When children play, they are learning at the highest level. Play can extend certain areas of their learning – for example, developing language skills by promoting talk between children or introducing new vocabulary that they use and act out in their play.
Each day the children have short teacher led lessons such as Phonics and Maths, but they are also encouraged to independently complete challenging activities across the curriculum that match their individual requirements and help them achieve their next steps.
There is a seamless link between the indoor and outdoor learning environment which children access all day and in all weathers!
- In the EYFS children’s natural, exploratory drive is developed through their self-directed play.
- A child initiated (self-initiated) activity is an activity wholly decided on by the child itself and is the result of an intrinsic motivation to explore a project, or express an idea.
- The learning environment is organised in such a way that children can find and access resources for themselves. This promotes independence and responsibility.
- We ensure that there is a balance of adult-led and freely chosen or child-initiated activities, delivered through indoor and outdoor play.
- Outdoor learning has equal value to indoor learning.
- Outdoor learning has a positive impact on children's well-being and development.
As the children progress through the Reception year more adult initiated activities are introduced to prepare them for their transition into Year 1.
We use an on-line Learning Journey called ‘Evidence for Learning’ to capture your child’s learning and share some of the exciting experiences they have with us. Over time it will tell a story about your child such as; their learning, friends and the activities they enjoy sharing with others. The EYFS team observe each child because it helps us to understand and support their individual well-being and development. All parents have access to their child’s secure page.
In addition to the above, we send home a Reception Newsletter every two weeks. This provides you with a brief overview of the learning that has taken place as well as sharing what the children have enjoyed being involved in.
Our relationship with parents or carers is fundamental to our work in the EYFS. Staff are always available in the playground before and after school and more personal individual parental meetings can be arranged after school if and when appropriate. We nurture an environment of open communication and accessibility so that children can enjoy their Reception year to the full.
Reading and Phonics
Lacey Green Primary Academy was chosen by the DfE in 2019 to be one of the 34 English Hubs across England. The aims of the English Hubs are to promote a love of reading and support schools across the country to provide excellent phonics and early language teaching. Here at Lacey Green Primary Academy, we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their Phonics and Reading. Teaching of phonics starts as soon as the children start school. We strongly believe that being able to read opens the doors to all areas of learning which is why we put a strong emphasis on the early teaching of Phonics and Reading.
To find out more about how we teach children Phonics and Reading please click here.
“Teach a child to read and keep that child reading and we will change everything. And I mean everything.”
Transition into Year 1
- Before the children move from EYFS into Year 1 the teaching staff of these classes meet to discuss each individual child’s progress.
- The child’s present teacher informs the future teacher of his/her level of ability, special educational needs and any other information relevant to the well-being and development of the individual child.
- Year 1 teachers are therefore aware of all the children’s achievements and can implement the next steps of their learning.
- The Year 1 curriculum builds on and extends the experiences children have had during the Foundation Stage.
- All children attend a meet their new teacher morning in preparation for their move into Year 1.
- There is also a transition meeting in the Summer term, to support parents with their child’s transition into Year 1.