Curriculum in the Foundation Stage
Every child deserves the best possible start to life and our Early Years curriculum aims to enable children to develop positive attitudes to school and a love for learning that will travel with them throughout their education. We follow the standards set out in the Early Years Framework which emphasises 4 key principles: every child is a unique child, children learn through positive relationships, children learn and develop within enabling environments with teaching support, and the importance of learning and development at different rates.
The Early Years Framework sets out 7 areas of learning and development that must shape our classroom. These areas are split into the prime areas and the specific areas.
These are the key areas that are crucial in building a foundation for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning:
- communication & language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
Children will develop these skills both in discreet carpet time sessions and through their own busy learning (continuous provision). During our busy learning times, children have the opportunity to explore play with their peers and the adults in class and outside. Through play, children are able to have back and forth conversations with peers and adults and it provides opportunities to explore language, build relationships and develop their social and emotional skills. Physical activity is crucial at this stage in development and children will be building on these skills both during busy learning times (playing with large construction, bikes, outdoor equipment) and in additional PE sessions to focus on specific skills including games and dance. In addition to this, children will also work on their fine motor skills which is also linked to early literacy.
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts & Design
We aim to instil a love of reading starting in Early Years and building upon this year on year. We will share a range of stories throughout the year covering fiction, non-fiction, poetry, songs and rhymes. The books are at the forefront of everything we do in literacy and enable us to explore different worlds, develop vocabulary and enhance their play. Word reading skills are also taught daily through teaching of our systematic synthetic phonics programme.
Mathematics in the Early Years comprises of daily teaching of number and numerical pattern sessions often through songs, stories and physical activities. Children will develop a deep understanding of numbers to 10 and will look at the relationships between numbers. Our continuous provision and high quality interactions enable children to explore maths through their play particularly in terms of shape, space and measures.
Understanding the World
Children love to make sense of the world around them, mostly through asking questions and exploring their physical world. We aim to enhance their knowledge of the world around them both through stories and in our daily conversations with the children. Some areas of learning include: talking about their own lives, learning about different religious and cultural communities and exploring the natural world.
Expressive Arts & Design
We aim to spark the imagination and creativity in all of our children by giving them plenty of opportunity to engage with arts, materials and music. Children will be able to create a variety of projects with some adult input, but will also have the freedom to perform songs, create characters and stories within their busy learning time.
The Importance of Play
Children will have daily teacher led sessions covering the skills outlined above and in addition to this will have regular reading sessions with adults in class. Play is essential for children's development and gives children the opportunity to develop these skills as well. Through play, children can set their own goals and solve problems, explore relationships and find areas of learning that they find the most stimulating. For this reason, there is large emphasis on play in the early years and in particular at the start of reception. As the children grow older, there is a greater shift towards more time spent on specific learning in order to help the children prepare for Year 1 and beyond.