Communication & Language
Personal, Social & Emotional Development
Understanding The World
Expressive Arts & Design
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.
The 7 areas of learning within the EYFS framework underpin your child’s experiences at school.
The three prime areas of learning place a key emphasis on the development of skills which are fundamental to children’s successful learning in the specific areas.
The specific areas encompass literacy, maths, expressive arts and design and understanding the world. They cannot be developed in isolation without the development of prime areas, as children understand and make sense of the world through communication and physical and sensory involvement.
We encourage children to play and explore, be active learners and create and think critically through a range of valuable learning experiences in their learning environment through a balance of child and adult initiated learning experiences.
Children learn and make sense of the world around them through play and have a fundamental right to play. Our learners are encouraged to play, explore and take risks in their learning. Exploration and questioning are modelled and encouraged by our skilled teachers and teaching assistants to support children in developing their independence and positive self-esteem.
Learning is constantly developed through play-based activities, centred around a range of child-led topics or themes. This ensures children have ample opportunities to explore concepts known to them in order to gain deeper knowledge, critical thinking skills as well as creativity and confidence.
Research on the effects of play continues to show its positive benefits for active, engaged, meaningful, and socially interactive learning. Active learning is a key component to our approach as children actively explore, engage and test theories to develop problem solving skills, critical thinking and reinforce learning.
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. Our learners are immersed in language rich programme in order to support their language acquisition. This is achieved through the use of singing, aspirational texts and ample opportunities for active, hands on play with their peers and teachers.
Children begin their journey by exploring pre reading and writing concepts such as; mark making, discrimination of sound, rhythm and body percussion – All building blocks in preparing to read and write. As our students build on these skills, they then begin to explore sounds and link these sounds and letters as they begin to read and write. Children are provided access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems and other written materials) to support and ignite their interest.
Children develop their number awareness through play. One of our main objectives is to keep it fun, active and embedded within our daily routine. Once children understand the concept of numbers and shapes, their mathematical skills develop such as, adding and subtracting. We focus on a three step journey starting with concrete to pictorial then abstract. This can be exploring number bonds to 5 using counters, drawing this, then creating a number sentence.
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. Children show their understanding in a variety of ways including talking about themselves and their family, the similarities and differences between people, observing animals and plants, how they differ and how the world around them is different from place to place.
Creative and expressive activities directly support a child’s cognitive development and at Safa, Expressive Arts and Design is not only for our music and art classrooms. Children are immersed in provision that supports the expression of their ideas and encourages them to explore different methods of expression, from art to music and movement. It recognises that children’s imagination and imaginative play support their ability to invent, express and share their thoughts and ideas and will lead to them making links and connections in their learning.
Studying a second language boosts problem-solving, critical-thinking, and listening skills in addition to improving memory, concentration, and the ability to multitask. Our students attend Arabic twice a week with our EYFS trained Arabic teacher. Students learn through play, music and movement which prepares them for the transition to Key Stage 1, when learning Arabic becomes more of a focus for students in the UAE.
Art, in any form, is an international language that everyone speaks. Our students attend weekly lessons in our dedicated art classroom with our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) trained specialist Art teacher. Students explore concepts such as mark making, design, texture, shape and form as well as experimenting with colour.
Studies show that young children who participate in music classes have improved speech development and learn to read with greater ease. Our EYFS specialist trained music teacher works with our students on a weekly basis. During these lessons the children not only explore musical concepts, music and movement, they also explore body percussion, sound discrimination and and rhythm – all key skills in a child’s pre reading abilities.
From even our youngest learners, we encourage a healthy active lifestyle both physically and mentally. Our students attend their PE lessons with EYFS specialist teachers, trained in supporting young children to make healthy choices and develop a love of being active. Students explore areas such as gymnastics, games, and fundamental athletic skills which all support our students’ gross and fine motor development.
Swimming begins in FS1 where students will develop water confidence and water safety in our learner pool. When students are ready they transition into our 25m pool where they embark on our learn to swim programme where there is a key focus on the core aquatic skills and stroke development. Our Swim programme ensures that all children master a key life skill whilst also providing a large number of opportunities to expose students to a competitive swim pathway through our Inter house and Sports programme.
Our two highly qualified lifeguards ensure the health and safety of all pool users at Safa Community School supported by the PE team. The Swim programme is delivered internally by the PE department who all hold the most up to date International Pool Safety qualifications, most recently completing the Highfield Emergency First aid with CPR & AED Level 2 qualification.
At Safa, we support and encourage a love of reading for even our youngest learners. Our state of the art children’s library is very much a part of our students’ experience at SCS as children visit the library for a story and library session with our school librarian every week. Students are also encouraged to choose a book to read for pleasure at home. Encouraging reading for pleasure not only supports a child’s imagination and intellectual development, but also significantly supports progress in vocabulary, spelling and maths.