Your child's first year of school is the final stage of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum, before moving onto the National Curriculum during Year 1.
Within the Reception year, we embark on a play-based curriculum offering a mix of child-initiated and adult led learning opportunities – but always taking into account the interests and needs of the children.
The curriculum across the EYFS is based on the principles of Development Matters; focusing on the aspects of a 'unique child', 'positive relationships', 'enabling environments', leading to 'learning and development'.
Learning and Development
Children develop and learn in different ways. Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development.”
- Some elements of Maths and English skills are taught discretely. The majority of learning is developed through a play-based, child-led curriculum. Play provides opportunities for children to experience learning in a meaningful and purposeful way, allowing them to develop the skills needed to become effective learners.
- The inclusion of the basic skills of reading, writing and mathematics as integral to both direct and child-initiated learning, gives children the opportunity to develop and use these skills on a daily basis in addition to the planned focused English and Maths teaching. The integrity of these skills ensures they are viewed by the children as relevant to their lives, with meaning and purpose.
- Our children enjoy learning and are active the whole time. They are totally involved in their learning as they have choice about the activity they want to focus on and have influence and discussion on activities and resources that could go into enhancing the different areas of continuous provision.
- Teachers use formative assessment to monitor progress within the Early Years Framework. Assessments are in the form of observations of learning as it happens and are recorded in each child's Learning Journal using our online assessment tool, School Pupil Tracker Online (SPTO).
- Assessments inform the focus for provision and next steps in learning.
- Environments are planned and adapted to reflect children's needs.
- Reviewing of learning with the children plays an important role in developing good thinking habits and independent learners.
- Ensuring opportunities for children to develop creative and critical thinking is a key element of provision and will enable children to foster good learning attitudes that will build the foundations for the rest of their journey through education.
A Unique Child
Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
All adults working with children within the setting will observe a child's development and learning. This is recorded in a number of ways including through SPTO.
The ways in which a child interacts and engages with their environment, peers and supporting adults – playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically – underpin all teaching and learning opportunities with the ultimate aim of creating motivated and curious learners.
Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
Research shows that if the transition to school life is not managed well, the stress felt by children can impact learning for a significant period of time. For this reason, the building of positive relationships starts as soon as a child is allocated a place at an Olympus school and continues throughout a child’s time at school.
The transition into Primary education can be a big step and families are supported through this process in a number of ways throughout the summer term and into their first term at school.
Throughout a child's time in EYFS, home/school relationships play a crucial part in a child's learning. SPTO is used as a tool for sharing a child's learning in school as well as allowing families to share achievements from home.
PSHE activities, such as the Jigsaw Scheme, are used to support the development of strong relationships between children and their peers as well as helping children develop trusting relationships with the adults who care for them in school.
Children learn and develop well in enabling environments in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.
The classroom environment is organised to enable children to access a wide range of resource independently during their play; this is called ‘continuous provision’ – the continuous provision allows children's learning to continue when they are working without an adult's support.
- The adults within the setting continually observe children’s interests and learning behaviours. They use this knowledge to add enhancements and provocations to the continuous provision; creating ‘enhanced provision’ .
- Each day, children have extended periods of time where they can follow their own agenda with free-flow – playing, exploring and learning through a carefully resourced and planned learning environment; inside and out.
We need to think about the learning environment as a pedagogical space not simply somewhere that learning happens randomly.
Elizabeth Jarman , Leading expert on learning spaces