Early Years Foundation Stage
‘The goal of early childhood observation should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn’
At Wheatfield Primary School we recognise that pupils need a supportive, engaging and challenging environment that supports them to make the first steps in becoming a life-long learner. We aim for children to leave Early Years being able to: be confident to make mistakes, able to challenge themselves, ask questions when they need help, have ideas and express them effectively and to be independent in their learning choices.
We value pupil’s emotional wellbeing and understand this is fundamental to children progressing. Happy children mean engaged and motivated learners.
Our curriculum is the building blocks to the rest of the school’s learning and all staff are made aware of how progress looks starting in EYFS and moving across the school to YR 6.
Children access a broad and balanced curriculum that gives them a range of planned knowledge and skills needed for good progress through school and life. There is quality and consistency in teaching and learning with carefully planned learning opportunities so that every child makes good progress, and no child gets left behind. We encourage children to identify how they learn based on the characteristics of effective learning and ensure that learning opportunities provide no limitations or barriers. Learning at Wheatfield Primary School takes place through both child and adult initiated activities based on a child’s interests, next steps and the EYFS curriculum. Children participate in specific teaching sessions which provide learning opportunities that children can then build and draw upon in their own play and self-initiated learning.
These are the four Guiding Principles that shape EYFS practice:
• Every child is unique, constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
• Children learn to be independent through positive relationships
• Children learn and develop in environments conducive to high quality teaching and learning and, where their experiences are nurtured and developed.
• Children develop and learn in different ways, at different rates and where the curriculum is delivered in a variety of styles.
The Characteristics of Effective Learning are developed through:
• Playing and exploring (being curious and asking questions) so that children become engaged. They have opportunities to find out and explore, play with what they know and develop the confidence to ‘have a go’.
• Active learning so that children are motivated. They learn to become involved, concentrate, keep trying (be resilient) and enjoy achieving
• Creating and thinking critically so that they have their own ideas, can make links in learning and can choose ways of doing things.
The curriculum for Early Years is organised into 7 Areas of Learning. There are Prime and Specific areas.
All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. The Prime areas are crucial for engaging and promoting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, for building their capacity to form relationships and thrive. The Prime areas are strengthened and applied through the Specific Areas.
The three Prime Areas are: Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The four Specific Areas are: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
Communication and Language
Listening, Attention and Understanding: Children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity. Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
Speaking: Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
Gross Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skills: Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Building Relationships: Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.
Managing Self: Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.
Self Regulation: Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.
Comprehension and Word Reading: Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
Writing: Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
Number and Numerical Pattern: Children count reliably with numbers from one to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
Understanding the World
Past and Present, People Culture and Communities: Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
The Natural World: Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur and talk about changes.
Expressive Art and Design
Creating with Materials: They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them.
Being Imaginative and Expressive: Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.
Children are confident and motivated and are ready for the next stage of school life in YR 1 and beyond. They are able to take this step equipped with the knowledge and skills to be successful learners. They are enthusiastic and independent and have a love of school and a thirst of knowledge,
GLF Early Years Vision Statement
Please click here to view the GLF Early Years Vision Statement
Please click here to find further information about the baseline assessment in EYFS.