Foundation Stage Curriculum
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework, sets out the standards for development, learning and care of children from birth to five. It is important that all children are given the opportunity to experience the best possible start to their education.
We need to ensure that our children enter school having established solid foundations on which they can build. Children will start in our Foundation Stage having had a range of different experiences. Within the FS1 and FS2, learning experiences of the highest quality are planned, considering children’s needs and achievements and the range of learning experiences that will help them make progress. Well-planned play is a key way in which children learn with enjoyment and challenge, both within the indoor and outdoor learning environments. The Foundation Stage prepares children for learning in Key Stage 1 and is consistent with the National Curriculum.
In the Foundation Stage, the curriculum is planned and resourced to take children’s learning forward and to provide opportunities for all children to succeed in an atmosphere of care and of feeling valued.
The curriculum for the Foundation Stage is designed to ignite children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and to build their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. The curriculum is planned in seven areas of learning and development; all areas are important and inter-connected.
There are three prime areas which are:
- Communication and Language Development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
- Physical Development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups and to have confidence in their own abilities.
There are four specific areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. These specific areas are:
- Literacy Development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
- Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, 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 through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
- Expressive Arts and Design 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 in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
The purpose built Early Years Centre houses a variety of age appropriate facilities that support the curriculum in a manner of ways. The EYFS is based around a strong philosophy of indoor and outdoor exploration and play. Each Early Years classroom boasts a generously proportioned outside terrace that spans the length of the classroom and affords every class with instant access to the outdoors. A variety of sand and water play resources are available for the students to use, as well as large construction equipment and tricycles. In addition to this the Early Years students have access to whole school facilities, including the astro-turf field and swimming pools.