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Early Years Foundation Stage

“Children develop quickly in the early years, and the early years practitioners aim to do all they can to help children have the best possible start in life. Children have a right to provision which enables them to develop their personalities, talents and abilities irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities or gender”

                                                                                                                                        The British Association for Early Childhood Education.

At Old Sarum Primary School we believe that every child is unique and is a competent learner, who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. Through the principles of the EYFS we aim to provide children with the provision both physical and emotional to ensure their needs are met and an environment where all children have the support to effectively develop and learn. We understand that children learn in different ways and at different rates and that all areas of learning and development are equally important and are inter-connected.

Please see a copy of this years Induction handout and presentation (below) for more information for parents and carers of children starting this year, In addition there is information on Parent Workshops we will be running from September in order that you can learn more about how and what we teach and how you can support your child's learning at home...

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Through a balance of adult led and self-initiated learning experiences we aim to;

  • help children to learn and develop the attributes of an effective learner
  • teach children skills for speaking and listening and to listen to instructions and be attentive
  • teach children to socialize, overcome problems they may encounter and be respectful of one another
  • motivate children to try things for themselves and take risks for learning
  • support children to manage their personal needs and be independent
  • challenge children to ask questions, think and find out more
  • encourage children to speculate and test ideas through trial and error
  • provide good models of language and extend vocabulary
  • develop children’s ability to express their ideas and use their imagination
  • teach children the mathematics, writing and reading appropriate to their stage of development.

Principles  Our principles are based on the EYFS themes and commitments

A unique child

All children are unique individuals with a variety of backgrounds and interests to celebrate. At Old Sarum children’s interests and needs are central to the planning process both in adult led learning and enhancement of the environment. This is key to engaging children in their learning and ensuring they make progress. The uniqueness of each child is celebrated in displays that reflect their strengths and interests and celebrate development, process and outcomes. We understand that children develop in different ways and at varying rates and children’s next steps are planned for in adult led sessions and also for play, with individual play targets to ensure learning and development moves forward with pace.

 

Positive Relationships

 Good relationships with both parents, carers and children ensure the best possible outcomes for the learning and development of the individual and for each other. Adults in the setting always interact respectfully with one another and with the children and the same is expected of the children towards one another. Skills for getting on with one another are taught through class circle times and activities for e.g. Talk Time sessions and through adult support and interaction in play. It is a key aim that the behaviour of children demonstrates that positive relationships are embedded within the ethos of the classroom. We work alongside one another, parents, and children to create that feeling of love and security where the child will best learn.

 

Enabling Environments

We plan for a secure, rich, challenging, well planned but flexible learning environment to support and develop all children’s learning. All adults contribute to observation, assessment and planning across the 7 areas of learning and development. Children have some structured adult led sessions followed by independent learning time for self-initiated work In independent learning sessions time is used in this way to ensure that all adults are able to support, interact and extend play where appropriate . Whole class and small group teaching within this structure is used to ensure adults are not consistently engaged only in ‘groups’ but also within play where planning identifies a specific role in either observation, planned objective led teaching or a key focus area for support or modelling. This allows adults to be fully available for supporting, observing and extending play and ensures children have an extended time in which to get fully engrossed in their own work which is uninterrupted by adults drawing them out for other work.

Planning for adult led teaching focusses on key objectives related to children’s next steps and themes are flexible, responsive and reflect the interests and developmental needs of the children in the group. This promotes motivation, involvement and engagement. Planning for play is also based around children's needs and interests. Activities and enhancements may include adding open ended resources or ‘provocations’ that will encourage investigation, exploration and thinking, or areas where there is a specific challenge. Activities and provision will often be planned as a follow on from adult led learning to give children an opportunity to explore and take ideas in their own direction. Adults are deployed effectively with a clear understanding of their role. We believe it is paramount that staff spend time engaging in purposeful dialogue with children to develop communication and language, and to participate in child initiated experiences (where appropriate) to support, scaffold and extend their learning through play. Observations both written and photographed are made daily to reflect progress toward current ‘play targets’ and for other significant steps children have made.

Learning and Development

At Old Sarum in the EYFS children learn through a balance of adult led/directed learning time and through ‘free flow’ play. Planning is linked to recent and rigorous assessment and is planned for contexts that children will finding motivating, engaging and inspiring. Adult led sessions have clear objectives that are shared with pupils. We use a variety of structures, activities and questioning techniques are used to ensure learners are not passive and are engaged and attentive. We develop their thinking and concentration through active learning, asking appropriate questions and encouraging them to be critical thinkers. Learning is differentiated and this may sometimes take the form of adult support during an input or group, differentiated teaching groups or tasks. As discussed in the enabling environments section children have a balance of structured, adult led sessions and self-initiated, free flow time. The time is used in this way to ensure that adults are able to support, interact and extend play where appropriate during free flow time’.

Parent comments

'****** loves learning and coming to school which is due to the caring and enthusiastic staff. I love the culture of praise and celebration in Reception Class... having a child who is so happy at school is wonderful.'

'We couldn't be happier with how quickly ** has settled. She talks about her teachers all the time and it is clear she has a good relationship with them. Progress in her reading, writing and maths has been brilliant!'

'He has now become so happy and confident and he loves coming to school everyday!'

'Its been a great start to school in Reception Class for my son! We really are enjoying your school!'

The Induction Process

At Old sarum primary we believe that the induction process is key to ensuring children make a smooth, comfortable and happy transition to school. We aim to start the process long before actual entry to school through a variety of strategies set out below.

  • We offer weekly sessions where Old Sarum Pre school and Griffin Pre school can join the class during the year leading up to a child's start at school, these are a variety of Stay and Play sessions and Story and Rhyme Time sessions. We are looking to extend this to other providers.

  • We offer home visits to parents and children at the start of the school year. This is a great opportunity to have time to talk to the teacher on an individual basis about your child and for your child to begin to form a relationship with the class teacher in a place they feel relaxed.

  • Story and rhyme time sessions are offered during the summer term prior to starting school. They are a great opportunity for children to become comfortable in the school environment alongside you.

  • Children are offered a Stay and Play session in order to become familiar with the classroom environment, teacher and teaching assistant during the term prior to their start.

  • You will be provided with an extensive and detailed induction pack to ensure you have all the information you need about aspects such as uniform, lunches, routines and much more.

  • In the lead up to your child's start at school we hold and Induction evening for parents. This will give you information on the Early Years Curriculum and what and how your child will be learning during the reception year as well as information on organisational aspects such as timings, school uniform, communication etc. You will also be able to have a taste of the school lunches!

  • At the start of the year we hold several information sessions for parents to give you an understanding of what and how your child is being taught and the ways you can support their learning at home. The areas we cover are;  ‘Learning in the Early Years’, Maths and Supporting with talk, reading and writing. 

Communication

We believe that the partnership we have with you is key. We are always happy to look at ways we can work together with you for the benefit of your child's education and will always aim to keep you well informed.

In Reception we also use an online assessment and observation tool which you can sign up for too. This will allow you to have access to your childs online learning profile, to add your own observations and comments and also to receive emails when an observation is added at school, keeping you in touch with your childs activity and progress.

We hold Show and Share sessions half termly where you are invited in to look at your childs work, classroom and displays with them. We also will do a performance of a song or story for you!

In addition we hold parent consultations/meetings during the year to keep you informed about your child's progress.

At the end of the school year you will be provided with a detailed written report on your child's progress and attainment

Using the Reception area of the website (scroll down from main page) you can keep in touch with the learning that has been taking place during the term, as well as downloading an extra copy of the termly overview if needed.