Early Years Foundation StagE
The Early Years Foundation Stage at Amesbury Archer
At Amesbury Archer Primary School, we believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial, in securing the solid foundations required for children to build new skills upon throughout the school.
Our ‘Aim High’ ethos, ensures that there are no limits to the children’s learning, with the expectation that all children will make good progress from their starting points, and no child will be excluded or disadvantaged. Learning begins as soon as the children start, particularly in phonics and counting, so that they are moving forwards immediately.
We place a high priority on building strong partnerships with parents and carers, so that children can flourish and become independent learners, both at school and home.
We want our children to be confident and motivated, so we ensure that they are happy, feel safe, and have their days filled with adventure and challenge.
Our historical footprint of the Amesbury Archer has influenced our unique set of learning words. These are introduced and modelled by the adults, so that the youngest ‘Archers’ in our school, are prepared for the learning and challenges ahead of them.
A - Aspirational – do your best.
R - Respectful – be kind and thoughtful to other children, adults and property.
C – Curious – ask lots of question.
H – Honest – tell the truth.
E – Enthusiastic – enjoy and have fun.
R – Resilient – never give up!
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum – Development Matters, is used as guidelines to plan our effective learning opportunities. The children develop skills, knowledge and understanding, through playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically. There are 7 areas of learning which are divided into:
Prime Areas – Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development.
Specific Areas – Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
These 2 areas are then broken down further into 17 aspects – each with age related developmental stages – aiming towards achieving Early Learning Goals at the end of the reception year. The children are assessed at the end of the year, to see whether they are ‘emerging’, expected’ or ‘exceeding’ against all of the 17 Early Learning Goals. This is used to inform their transition into Year1.
Prime Area – Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Making relationships – playing co-operatively, taking turns and forming positive relationships.
- Self-confidence and self-awareness – confidence to try new activities and speak in a familiar group.
- Managing feelings and behaviour – understanding the need for rules and talking about feelings.
Prime Area – Communication and Language
- Listening and attention – listening attentively in a range of situations and responding with relevant comments.
- Understanding – following instructions and answering ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions.
- Speaking – expressing themselves effectively and developing their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
Prime Area – Physical Development
- Moving and handling – good control / co-ordination in large and small movements, and handling equipment and tools effectively - including pencils for writing.
- Health and self-care – healthy living, basic hygiene and personal needs.
Specific Area – Literacy
- Reading – enjoying books, reading words and sentences - using their phonic knowledge and knowing some common irregular words. Answering questions about what they have read.
- Writing – writing simple sentences that they can read back to others – spelling some words correctly and others phonetically plausible.
- Phonics is taught as a discreet subject, for 10-15 minutes every day.
Specific Area – Mathematics
- Number – counting forwards and backwards form 20 – including 1 more/1 less, adding and subtracting single-digit numbers, and solving problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
- Shape, space and measure – developing language and problem-solving skills related to size, weight, capacity, time, position and money. Describing patterns and 2D and 3D shapes.
Specific Area – Understanding of the World
- People and communities – talking about past and present events, and knowing about similarities and differences between themselves and others.
- The world – identifying similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things.
- Technology – recognising a range of technology used in homes and schools, completing simple programs and selecting technology for particular purposes.
Specific Area – Expressive Arts and Design
- Exploring and using media and materials – singing, making music and dancing. Experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
- Being imaginative – representing their own ideas through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.
- Phonics is taught daily using the phases set out in ‘Letters and Sounds.’
- The Year is divided up into termly topics, which provide cross-curricular links and a ‘Talk for Writng’ story focus.
Our learning environment, both indoors and outdoors, enriches and enhances the curriculum on offer. The children will experience a day that includes, continuous provision play opportunities, adult-led activities and whole class teaching. We build on what the children already know and can do, through activities that motivate and interest them.
Through play, our children are encouraged to explore and develop an understanding of the world around them. We want them to practise their new learning, put their ideas to the test, develop their social and communication skills and have the opportunity to think creatively.
Assessment is an integral part of teaching in the EYFS, and we ensure that the cycle of observation, assessment and planning for progress, is kept at the heart of the curriculum. It is used to extend the children’s thinking and embed their learning.
Children with SEND, like all children, have quality first teaching throughout their day. They will have 1:1 adult support (teacher or TA) where required, and activities may be adapted, so that they can access all learning. Additional equipment or resources will be used for specific needs, for example i-pads, wobble cushions, pencil grips. Speech and language sessions are timetabled and led by a specialised TA.
A strong partnership is formed with our parents, starting with a robust induction process, including home visits. This is then followed throughout the year by a series of ‘stay and play sessions’ in phonics, maths, science and writing, and information talks after school.
- Children make good progress across the EYFS curriculum from their varied starting points.
- The number of children achieving the Expected judgement against the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception is consistently inline or above National expectations.
- Evidence in children’s Learning Journeys and on Tapestry, support all areas of the EYFS curriculum.
- Class teachers use observations to make formative assessments, which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace.
- Summative assessment compares children’s attainment to age related expectations using month bands in the Development Matters. This is tracked to ensure rates of progress are at least good for all children, including vulnerable groups such as those with SEND or who are disadvantaged.
- Assessment judgements are moderated both in school and externally with local schools. Experienced staff undertake moderator training through the LA which validate our school judgements.