Early Years Foundation Stage
Nursery and Reception
Children can join Nursery the September after they are three years old and join Reception in the September after their fourth birthday.
A child’s first years of school should ignite a passion and curiosity for learning about the world around them and begin a positive journey of personal growth resulting in confidence, independence and a strong understanding of self, self- worth and a sense of belonging.
We pride ourselves on providing a rich, broad and exciting curriculum where children have the opportunity to learn in a safe, happy and stimulating environment both in the classroom and outdoors and passionately believe in ensuring that the learning, achievements and wellbeing of every learner matters. We are fully inclusive and treat all as equals. Our close daily contact with parents is immensely beneficial in promoting this ethos and in working with the wider community.
Through play, exploration, creativity and critical thinking children learn and develop new skills and knowledge linked to the seven areas of learning and development outlined below:
- Communication and Language (Listening, Attention & Understanding, Speaking)
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Building Relationships, Managing Self, Self-Regulation)
- Physical Development (Gross Motor Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Health)
- Literacy (Reading – Comprehension, Reading -Word Reading, Writing)
- Mathematics (Number, Numerical Patterns)
- Understanding the World (People, Culture & Communities, The Natural World, Past & Present)
- Expressive Arts and Creative Designs (Creating with Materials, Being Imaginative & Expressive)
Thematic Approach to Teaching and Learning
All of our learning (apart from phonics) is taught through a theme. Our focus theme changes each half term. Please see the Nursery and Reception curriculum maps on the class website pages which outline the learning the children will be covering in each of the seven areas over the year.
Teaching and learning activities reflect the seven areas of learning and are differentiated to meet the needs and interests of individual children. We make a point of discussing children's learning with them and make their enjoyment and choices our priority. All the areas of learning are delivered through a balance of adult-initiated (guided learning) and child-initiated play, taking place indoors and outside, including weekly sessions of Forest School offering further opportunities to build the children's physical strength and co-ordination. We aim to take the children's interests and strengths as starting points, seeing each child as a competent learner. Please see below for an outline of our Nursery and Reception Curricular Goals.
The Wendell Park Early Years Foundation Stage Policy can be found by clicking here.
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING
During the Early Years the Teachers and Early Years Educators look to develop the children’s learning skills and, at the end of Reception, teachers will provide a summary of each child in relation to the following characteristics of learning:
Characteristics of Effective Learning
Playing & Learning
Creating & Thinking Critically
Tapestry – Our Online Pupil Learning Journal
Tapestry is a secure website which can be accessed on a computer or laptop, and also on any Apple or Android device such as a tablet or smartphone.
Snapshots of your child’s learning in Nursery and Reception is recorded in their secure access online learning journal. This is an exciting way of keeping track of each child’s development over their time in Early Years. Parents/carers can log on via secure access and view what their child has been up to and instantly add comments to entries. Entries include uploaded photos, videos and written observations. The child’s online book can be shared with members of the family - we actively encourage our families to contribute their own snapshots, learning milestones and observations of their child’s learning too. We ask families to sign up to Tapestry the summer before starting in their new Nursery or Reception class, to ease transition and give us an opportunity to get to know the children a little better before they begin their school journey.
During the first few weeks of your child settling into their nursery environment, practitioners will talk regularly with parents/carers about how they are settling and what they have observed. The practitioner will refer to the ‘checkpoints’ in the Development Matters curriculum guidance, checking children’s development in the Prime Areas (Communication & Language, Personal Social & Emotional Development and Physical Development). These informal assessments, involving both parents and practitioners, will help to highlight any children who may need extra help and support to overcome any barriers to their learning.
After the first six weeks of your child's learning journey in Reception, their class teacher will carry out a short assessment, The Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA). It is age-appropriate, consisting of short practical tasks in the areas of mathematics, literacy, communication & language and has been designed to be accessible to all pupils, including children who have English as an additional language (EAL) or special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The RBA will help the staff working with your child to build more effectively on what they are already comfortable & familiar with and support them to engage and progress through the curriculum more effectively. We offer scaffolding and extra support to help every child to access the curriculum and to ensure they make progress through it. We strongly believe that every child can progress well in their learning, with the right support. Every child can thrive.
With this in mind, the majority of our planning in the first Autumn term, is based around the 3 prime areas of learning. These are: communication, self-confidence & awareness and physical health.
Please see short information video below about the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA).
At the end of the EYFS – in the summer term of the Reception year in school, teachers complete an assessment which is known as the EYFS Profile, using the Early Learning Goals (ELGs). The Early Learning Goals outline the level of learning and development that children may have reached by the end of their Reception year at school - of course children learn at different rates and each child's learning journey and development is unique. We use the ELG's as a guide only and recognise that every child will not make the same progress through these curricular goals. This does not mean, however, that they will not have made substantial progress in many areas of their learning. This assessment is carried out by the Reception class teacher and is based on what they, and other staff caring for the children, have observed during their Reception year.
The children will be assessed as Emerging or Expected.
Early Learning Goals
Please see below for the new updated non-statutory curriculum guidance which all early years settings will be implementing from September 2021.
The New Development Matters non statutory guidance document can be found here:
The Birth to Five non statutory guidance document can be found here:
Learning at Home
Parents are a child’s first educators therefore we strive to work in full partnership with parents.
We value parents’ opinions and aim to assist parents in gaining practical help and guidance, if required, that will equip them to support their children’s learning at home.
This is provided through a range of initiatives such as ‘Stay and Play’, which takes place each Friday morning beginning in the autumn 2 term through to the summer term, parent workshops where teaching methods are shared, themed subject weeks such as Arts, Science and Maths weeks and bespoke parenting sessions through Early Help Family support.
The activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development and have a significant & long-lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school. For example, talking, playing listening games, reading, singing songs and nursery rhymes, cooking and playing outside and visiting different places with them are invaluable experiences that every child should be exposed to at home.
The DfE recognises the crucial role parents play in their children’s early language development and in response to this have launched Hungry Little Minds – a three-year campaign to help parents and carers to engage in activities that support their child’s early learning.
Follow the link below. There are lots of simple and fun activities for children, ranging from new-borns to five.